Is it a gender thing?

I’ve entered the over-thinking phase of the cycle. I lie in bed until the early hours of the morning, searching for hidden meanings in everything and creating dramas where there aren’t any …

Oh, who am I kidding? That’s not a PMT thing, it’s just a ME thing.

Anyways …

When my husband left the marital home two years ago he took virtually nothing with him. Just his clothes – except for a vintage Hawaiian shirt I once gave him that he never wore and left hanging in the wardrobe – some kitchen utensils, old towels and a bed.

If he felt any attachment to our 23 years of collected belongings it didn’t show. All of our art, furniture and knickknacks remain with me.

He cleared out of his apartment last week and dropped a large load of stuff off to my place. The kids’ Halloween costumes, Christmas gifts, the eldest’s special year 6 jersey, all the rocks and hotel toiletries they collected last month on their holiday to Tasmania with his girlfriend. Unfortunately not the little Tupperware containers I pack dip into for the kids’ school lunches.

It’s all still sitting piled up in my hall, waiting for me to pack away. Every time I walk past it I wonder why it’s presumed the sentimental stuff is mine to keep.

Is it because he knows I’m the co-parent who cares more about that sort of stuff?

Is it because he thinks I place more stock in material things? (I’ll never, ever forget his “Happiness is not to be found in a new BBQ” snipe.)

Is it because my place is bigger than his?

Is it because I’m the mother?

Is it because I’m the woman?

Yes, I AM the sentimental one and I DO want to keep that sort of stuff. But it still irks me for some reason.

It bothers me that he’s not sentimental about anything we accrued over two decades of our lives. Yes, yes, I know that’s more of a chick thing than a bloke thing, but it still bugs me.

The presumption that I want more crap cluttering up my place gets on my goat too.

But, really, it’s only the tiniest of niggles.

Sure, he’s done some supremely shite things to me over the past four years – some intentional, others just missing-sensitivity-chip slip-ups – but constantly finding reasons to tear strips off him isn’t the answer.

He’s the father of my children and a great one at that. My children’s safety and happiness are what matters when it comes to my relationship with him.

I still don’t get the ex-wives who cherish their bitterness like a lover, because it’s stopping their hearts healing and it’s hurting their kids.

Move on.

Your children need both of you in their lives.

If he’s a good dad, don’t stand in his way.

Kids shouldn’t be used as weapons in their parents’ battles with each other.

Focus on getting them to adulthood as well-balanced as you possibly can.

War has no place in that equation.

Now I’d better go and throw all that extra crap into the terrifyingly messy place that is my garage …














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