Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Making divorce with kids involved work....sort of.....

Lately I have been getting a few questions from colleagues and friends as to just how I make my divorce work.  And eventhought Divorce and Making Things Work seems to be dichotomus, I thought I'd share some of the strategies that I have chosen to use and, thankfully, Ex follows along (if only he was so ammendable when we were married!).

1.  Keep the kids first
Whenever I am deciding on a schedule change for the kids, personal decisions relating to my career, vacations, meal planning, etc I ALWAYS think of the kids first.  If this change or decision would add undue stress to their schedules of lives, I just do not do it, or I change my plans.  Even though I am remarried, HH is perfectly clear and understanding that the kids come first, and he, poor soul is a distant 4th.  

2.  Communicate, communicate, communicate

We use ALL these and more to keep
try and keep in touch, it seems.
Ex and I communicate  Seriously!  We either text, phone or email daily updates about the kids at least once a day.  Some days, it seems like I talk to my Ex more than I talk to HH.  I will admit, when we were in the process of getting divorced this communication wasn't always pleasant or positive.  It took time, energy, patience and dedication to strategy #1 for us both to make it work.  I automatically forward every email/text I receive dealing with any of the kids school/social/athletic events.  I will also Text and/or call Ex to REMIND him of events and exactly what is required for said event (special shirt, $$, gear, etc).  It takes a lot of time, energy and patience, but it makes #1 work the end of the day my mantra is "It is for the kids, if they are happy, I am happy."

3.  Agree to disagree
Ex and I definitely have different ideas on raising kids, morals, religion, etc.  If we didn't then we most likely would not be Exes.  We finally came to a point about 6 months after our divorce was finalized that we agreed to disagree.  This means that sometimes he makes decisions I don't agree with (like having a babysitter for the kids almost every weekend he has them), but I do my best to keep my $.02 to myself about his decisions.  He does the same for me, although he has little to complain about since I am so perfect ;-). 

4.  A very understanding new partner
There is no way my strategy would work out if I didn't have a most wonderful, understanding and reasonable Husband upgrade 2.0 (aka Hottie Husband).  He is part of the decision making for the kids and supports Ex and I 100%.  We ALL sit together at the kids social and athletic events.  No matter how pissed I may be, neither of us every say anything negative about Ex in front of the kids and we are always cordial and respectful  with each other.  I believe it gives us a united front to the kids.  I get very little "but Dad let us......" and this is because they know we are all on the same page...even HH.  If the kids have earned a consequence at one parent's house, that consequence is enforced when the go to their other home. 

5. Get used to having 2 husbands
Please reference my post titled: No, I am not your wife anymore for a much more detailed description of balancing an Ex who depends on you with trying to live your own life.

6.  Let go and FORGIVE

No matter the circumstances that led to the end of your marriage you must learn to forgive your ex and more importantly, yourself.  There can never be the end of a relationship that resulted in children when both parties do not feel some sort of guilt.  Learning to forgive yourself and your ex will allow you to move on and become a better parent.  Most folks had NO clue that Ex and I were going to get a divorce...until we did.  We didn't fight, we didn't argue....we also didn't love each other anymore.  We were two people living separate lives in the same house.  We do more together NOW than we did when we were married.  I felt SO guilty about "breaking up my family and doing this to my kids."  I finally forgave myself when I realized that the marriage I had was NOT the example I wanted to set forth for my kids of a healthy adult relationship.  I wanted them to know that 2 people who love each other kiss, sleep in the same room, go on dates, look forward to being together.  I want that for my kids, and I deserved it for myself.  Thanks to HH, I feel happier, the kids know what happiness looks like, and we get to gross them out on a daily basis....WIN!

Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. Amen, sister! I could have written this myself (except XH and I don't communicate daily - frequently, yes, but not daily). You nailed it. ~LPN


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