And then I started crying

This morning I opened my What’s App message from my youngest son, and then I started crying.

“Are we cancelling the flights?” was all he had written; and with this simple questions my eyes filled with tears.

And even as I write this, they are still falling.

You see, they were supposed to be joining me in just 11 days.

Both of them together.

The last time we were together in person, just the three of us, was 14 months ago.

That’s a long time since we were the Travelling Trio on the road together .

Memories flooded to the surface and then I started crying all over again.

I saw them both individually 7 and 8 months ago; and I see them pretty much every day through the screen of my phone or my laptop.

But the thought of holding them both together in my arms, of kissing them both, and breathing them in deeply was a moment I was looking forward to the most.  

Yes we were going to have some incredible adventures around Argentina, but to just be able to hold my boys,

feel them next to me,

to just have them put their arms around me at any random given moment…

these are the moments I miss the most.

And yes, I know there are going to be people out there who will tell me “serves you right, you left them with their dad” and “what did you expect when you left them to go sailing around the world?”

But to these people, I send love, because they are living in judgement of others, without knowing the full story.

You see I dive deep into whether I have done the right thing by leaving my boys with their dad on a regular basis.

I have to.

I dive deep into the emotions, beliefs and challenges which come up for me daily, unblocking any potential blindspots which maybe holding me back.

I know this is only a temporary set back.

A postponement of their visit.

It is not a cancellation of it, just a delay.

And we all experience delays in our lives; and if we are honest with ourselves, we cause a lot of our own delays.

When we just keep moving through the emotions, as I am doing now, the tears stop falling, as they did a few sentences ago.

I have received more messages from my eldest and we are having a family meeting after my podcast interview in less than two hours.

It’s all good.

Emotions when we dive into them help us explore options, get creative and come up with new answers.

I know I am not going to cancel their flights, and the stubborn arse in me doesn’t even want to postpone the flights.

There is something deep inside of me which tells me the fear and hysteria has 11 days to die down and they will still be able to fly.

Governments will come to their senses…. if they had any at all in the beginning, and with the number of people recovering quickly and the breakthroughs happening, I know everything will be just fine.

Will the travel bans be lifted before the boys are due to fly?

Well, that will depend on whether the UK and Argentina choose to step out of fear and work together on this issue.

How likely that is given their history in the past, heaven only knows!

But I am choosing to remain positive.

I can only control one thing, and that is what is going on inside of me.  It is why I choose to eat healthily, it is why I choose to read and watch positive and informative content; and why I choose to write content in the way I do.

I sent my son the Bill Gates Ted Talk on where Bill predicted this kind of outbreak back in 2014.  How many people listened to him? How many people were even wanting to be ready?

And I repeat this last bit… “How many people were even wanting to be ready?”

My son is studying Computer Science, Physics and Further Maths, and loves the world of Dungeons and Dragons… for me he is a beautiful mix of the ancient and the modern, and incredibly smart…

Sometimes a little too smart for his own good, but that’s a different story!

My boys and I message each other daily with Ted Talks, Meme’s, articles, photos and messages of love and cheeky banter.

Without WiFi this global book tour and research trip for my next series of books would have been a lot harder to deal with.

As a mother who loves the outdoor life, I have hated my boys being on their tech so much.

“Get outside and play” I would say to them when they were little.  5 and 6 hour hikes in the Peak District National Park we would take on a Sunday with our dog.

We would spend hours in the park, weekends on road trips, and when we are together, nothing really changes.  We still have mad adventures, and we always will.

This challenge is a different kind of adventure.  Do we postpone or change the flights to somewhere else? Do I move up the Americas to Brazil? Because the event that is planned here in Buenos Aries is now going to be online, which I can do from anywhere.

I wanted to go to Iguazu Falls with the boys, take them horse riding, watch them enjoy ‘the best steak in the world’ and show them the Tango at one of the most amazing theatres here in Argentina, but maybe this isn’t the time.

Maybe it is time for me to move on and meet them in Rio?

Who knows what is going to happen in the next few days, next few hours even!

All we can do is just move forward, feel into the emotions, acknowledge them and allow them to show us what they need to show us, take what is needed from them and then move on.

Right now, for me, it is time to prepare for my podcast interview, have a coffee and some lunch, and then send some documents and workbooks to my clients.

Wherever we are physcially, mentally, financially and emotionally, we also have a choice on whether we stay in that space.  We always get to create a new vision, we always get to learn, we always get to sit and reflect on if where we are, is where we want to be.

This morning I posted some journalling questions on Facebook for those who are resisting being at home, the response has already been an interesting one.

Having just had another message from my youngest, I know he is now home from school.

He has sent a big massive grin through What’s App because I have told him we are not cancelling, just postponing…

And now it is time to sign off here, and go and speak with him, with them both… before I add photos, SEO, slugs etc to the rest of this post, and before my podcast interview, which I will of course share with you here once it is available.

Family first right? And just like this photo shows, my boys and I always create bridges… regardless of where we are.

The Chess Game of Co-parenting

You think things are going well, and then the chess game of co-parenting starts to raise it’s ugly head.

You’ve done all you can, or so you thought.

You didn’t drag them through the divorce courts, because let’s face it, the only winners there are the lawyers.

You have allowed them to choose their own times to visit the children, never restricting access, or watching over them all like a hawk; not even by skulking the shadows.

You’ve even given them the opportunity to step up and be the parent you believed they could have been, or at least allowed you to think they could have been.

But it has all been lies, deception, manipulation at every turn.  Just like all the discoveries you have made since the moment they told you they wanted a divorce.

The thing is this person you’re dealing with isn’t your run of the mill idiot.  This is a very clever, highly decpetive person, who managed to lie and deceive everyone they knew.

They know the obvious trashy behaviour will do them no favours; so they start playing the chess game of co-parenting.

A game so clever it would leave the Grand Masters of chess stumped.

It’s carefully tailored liked a Saville Row suit from London, and at first you just thought you were being paranoid, but then bit by bit you start to see the entire jigaw falling into place.

They think they have out smarted you, but what they forget is the amount of soul searching you have done,

The amount of dissecting of their behaviour you’ve done over the years and just how much bullshit you discovered came out of their mouth.

But here’s the clincher, you made a choice which goes against the grain of society, and in society’s eyes, you’re the bad parent.

Very few people understand why you have done what you have done, and even those who commend you to your face, will very happily jump on the bandwagon with the haters behind your back.

Your desire to keep everything amicable is skating on the thin ice of patience and if something doesn’t break soon it will be your ever so cool exterior.

So what do you do?

Do you keep playing nice, call their bluff like the coolest Las Vegas Poker player, come out all guns blazing Al Capone would want to hire you, or do you offer to support them? 

Because you know exposing them for the fake, manipulating narcissist will only cause your children harm and cause an explosion like Mount Etna is capable of.

You know you cannot play the children in this chess game of co-parenting, it is just ikky energy and you would be no better than them, but something has to be done.

You can’t reveal all your cards, but you have to make sure they know you are onto them.

What do you do?

You’re awake all night worrying, searching the internet and the only thing available is the bloody long distance co-parenting plans which are not the support you are looking for.

You can’t call social services, or obtain legal advice because that would be the red flag they need to take things and blow them out of all proportion.

You not even sure you can trust them any way.

You reach out to friends who work in different child services and legal professions, ask them their advice.

All they can do is ask you what you want, because it is you who ultimately has to make this choice.

Head home and play right into the other parent’s overall game plan? The one they have skillfully created to then pull the victim card out and make you look like the bad person.

Or simply get tactical yourself?

So many minefields, but whichever one you choose you are in check, and if you are not careful, do not consider your options carefully it will be check mate, and you will have played right into their hands.

But all this is ego.

The ones who are most at risk are the children and you have to put your ego aside, and think about what is best for the children.

Sounds familiar?

I thought so.

And I get it.  As a long distance parent myself, one who is away working, I get it more than most.

Add into the mix that I am the mother who is the long distance co-parent away from her kids, and the whole Scotland Saga you can imagine the challenges I face when my fellow co-parent and I do not agree on how to raise the boys.

Our situation is unlike many others, those of us who refuse to be put in boxes and parent alternatively.  We are the trail blazers. The ones even family members turn on.  

Look at the film Captain Fantastic by Matt Ross and this will show you just how alternative parenting situations are handled.

We give others courage to be who they wish to be; but many are too scared to leave the herd.

When push comes to shove, it means we’re out on a limb with no one to understand what we are really going through.

And sometimes it gets to the point that if we pull our hair out anymore, we’re not going to have any more to pull out!

Like I said, I get it, and I don’t have the answers for your situation, all I can tell you is this:

If you give in now, everything you have been fighting for, living forx will have been for nothing.

You will have fed the narcisisstic beast the meal they have been seeking, and your children will learn that this is the way things are done.

They too will develop manipulative, narcissitic behaviours and the negative legacy will have passed onto another generation.

You and I both know our children are smarter than the average bear and they see through the behaviours exhibited, they are just waiting and watching to see just how much you are going to tolerate.

They are watching to see how this game of co-parenting chess is going to play out; and trust me, you will be the victor.

You’ve come to far to not be.

And my advice?

If you don’t see the information out there you need, or the knowledge out there you wish you’d had access to, then why not start gathering a group of people together and collaborate on a project together?

Get that book written, get that podcast sorted, and the training, the group workshops, however it looks for you; and if you want a coach who gets it, one to hold space for you, someone to share over 20 years of entrepreneurship, over a decade of author experience and 17 years of long distance co-parenting, then send me a message and let’s talk about which one of my coaching programmes is the best fit for you.

Until then, I am off to my next destination.

Remember, keep the faith, keep living to laugh and laughing to live because it makes the frustration disappear a lot quicker than you can ever imagine!

With love, as always,