We have been living together for 144 days.
One hundred. Forty Four.
Almost half a year.
That’s how many days, weeks and months I have been living with my ex-husband, his wife and our children. When we separate this week it will be 146 days of being all together. I don’t know how to divorce again. What will that look like? How will it be for the kids? How will it be for us?
When we left NYC in Mid-March we thought it would be for a few weeks. We have moved three times together. Each time our plans were up in our temporary homes, we worked hard to find our next spot together. We discussed what was best for the kids first and then made it work for all of us. Each time, we decided to stay away from our apartments in NYC but to create a home together during the pandemic.
We left with no discussions about how it would work. We just made it work. We alternated cooking nights. We cleaned together. We worked out together. We ate together. We collaborated on distance learning together. We hiked together. We biked together. We dined out together. We drank together. We socialized and laughed together.
We also disagreed plenty. We also fought. We were reminded why we divorced. We were reminded of what we didn’t, and still don’t, like in each other. We differ In parenting styles, in decision making, with monetary issues and how we live life. But we worked through it all together every day, every week and every month. We became better co-parents together.
Recently, I had to say to my kids, “You do remember that we’re all divorced, right!?” I said it after a hard day when they were talking about missing their friends. I said it after they were frustrated with what’s going on in the world and taking it out on me. I said it to them after I reacted by saying, “Do you think I would choose to live with your dad and his wife for this long”. Then I felt badly and had to remind them that we are divorced. I reminded them that I now “love” their dad and his wife after living together. I reminded them that we are all doing this for them; but that we are divorced and my ex and his wife would not be the people in my “pod” or bubble given the choice. I reminded them that this experience has brought us all together and I wouldn’t change it. I shared that I am excited for our future together as a blended family when we go back to our lives in NYC.
We brought others into our bubble. My business partner and her family thankfully joined us. It took away the loneliness I had felt although may have been hard for my ex and his wife. My kids had their friends who are family. Their step-sisters made new friends who are now their family too. Another family also joined us. We created something really special and unique. We were safe, healthy and completely blended in our own little world filled with kids and people.
But how will we all separate? We have not only been living with our exes but we have been four parents doing it all together. How will we go back to sharing the kids in different homes? How will the kids respond to yet another transition. How will the kids be without all four who have been in their daily lives for all of this time?
How will we learn to be divorced again?