Five Against One & Broken Promises

So, I’ve now left for my first trip since the kids have joined the fold and it’s just Jessica dealing with them for the weekend. I have zero doubt about her ability to handle it, but I feel bad for leaving her to do it alone.

The week has had its share of up and down dramatics. ‘A’ and Eli are quite competitive and are constantly trying to one-up each other. This almost always ultimately ends up in hurt feelings; and not just typically one, but for both. I do think that in the last 48 hours we have made some progress with that, but it’s something that will take time and it’s a pretty big pain point for us as parents.

Jessica has a pretty full weekend planned for them. Trick-r-treating on Saturday, birthday parties, etc. And luckily, the kids’ favorite babysitter and her boyfriend are going to help out a ton, but still, it’s a tough thing to dump on someone when you are just getting things under control as a team. I considered canceling my trip, but it just wasn’t feasible. And Jessica has been ultra-supportive of our efforts with the new company and while she doesn’t like it that I’m gone, encourages me to take these trips because it’s getting us great exposure.

The really big frustration we’re dealing with at the moment, though, is the mom. She is a nice person, but she has real issues with sticking to a plan. We can see that this is having an impact on the kids, especially ‘A’ who has constantly been promised things and then, of course, the promise goes unkept. This is particularly rough because he is now at that point between boy and adolescent where he gets his hopes up and then when it doesn’t happen gives the “I don’t really care” response even though we know he does.

Because of this it’s been tough for us to show that there ARE people in the world that keep their promises. And every time, just as we start convincing him of it, something happens. This week is a perfect example. Their mother contacted Jessica on Tuesday and told her that she wanted to come over for dinner and see the kids on Wednesday. We’re smart enough not to tell the kids that, so when nothing happened there, it was no harm, no foul. Then, yesterday, she told Jessica that she wants to have the kids this weekend. We said that would be fine, once again, making it a point not to tell the kids.

Last night was the school circus and I took the kids. What I did not expect was to see their mother there. When ‘A’ saw her, she proceeded to tell him that he would be spending the weekend with her. He got really excited. And then this morning, she texted Jessica telling her that she’s moving this weekend and so cannot take the kids.

This puts Jessica in the awkward position of having to tell ‘A’ that he won’t be going over. He will be heart broken. ┬áIt’s unfair to the kids and every time something like this happens, we take a step or two back from where we were.

So, at the risk of sounding preachy… Parents, if you make a promise to your kids, do everything within your power to keep it. Kids understand that once in a while, things happen, but when your promises are broken more often than not you’re just creating a much bigger problem down the road. Plus, it teaches them that it’s ok to break promises. . . Which it’s not.

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