Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Divorce...The kids come first

I said it once and Ill say it again; DIVORCE SUCKS! Whether you're getting a divorce, been through divorce, a friend of someone getting divorced or have divorced parents its the same; its sad, hard, confusing and emotionally taxing.
  Lets go back to 1982. I was 2 and my parents decided to divorce. I have no recollection of this. I have one memory of my "birth parents" and I together and we were feeding ducks and eating ice cream (go figure I remember the ice cream lol) I cant tell you if the divorce affected me because again I don't really remember my parents as a married couple. To this day I look at them and just don't get how they were ever a couple. They are so different; maybe that's why they aren't married now. I lucked out. I got amazing "bonus" parents and I call them "mom" and "dad." To me they are my parents. I have 4 parents, 2 moms and 2 dads. Thats been my life since I was about 3 or 4. I'm used to it cause I don't know differently. #1 rule in my book...Let your child decide if they like your ex's new partner. It would have been very easy for either my mom or father to get upset about the other moving on...maybe they were but again I never knew if that was the case because they let me decide how I felt about the new person. Of course theres exceptions. No one should introduce their child to a new partner in the first few months or introduce the child to every person they date; but when they find that person whos very special to them, who they have grown to really know and trust its up to you as an ex to let your child decide if they like them (again as long as the new mate isn't detrimental to the child, evil or a killer of course lol) My parents didn't really fight. As far as I know. If they did it wasn't in front of me. I NEVER have heard my Father speak bad about my mom or dad (I call my bonus dad "dad" and my birth father "father" its how we keep it all straight around here lol of course when Im with my Father I call him dad. Confused yet?) Ive also never heard my mom speak ill of my father. They were always nice and civil, they put me first and made the transition very smooth and easy on me and Ill assume that's why I adjusted so easily and I'm not "damaged" by it as an adult. I don't have a jaded perception of marriage. I know not all men cheat or treat women badly. I grew up in a home where my mom and dad (bonus dad) loved one another. They argued because when you're married you're bound to get into it but they also always made up. I learned how to communicate with my now husband by watching them lead by example. I learned even when you have kids you and your spouse need to still make time for each other. Don't get so wrapped up in your kids you forget why they are there to begin with. You as a husband and wife set the foundation for which your children learn.
  I have found my parents divorce is not the "norm." Most people who divorce aren't so civil and nice. They forget that there's a child involved and that needs to be the priority not your own wants and needs. Sometimes you have to put your own dreams on hold to parent effectively. I'm not saying give up, everyone should have a dream for the future but when you decide to have a child you have decided to say "I'm not number one anymore all the time." You have a little person who needs you and depends on you. I'm not sure why this is so hard for some divorcees to understand. It seems like common sense. I know its possible because I saw my own parents do it and have been doing it since I was 2. What gets me the most is men or even women (but its mostly men) who believe once you leave the home being a part-time parents OK. ITS NOT! Ask the child, they will tell you first hand they miss you, love you and need you around. Of course things will change. If you're divorced; one parent will see the child less however make an effort. Make every possible effort to be there and present especially when it counts the most. Don't play "fun parent" all the time. You cant let your own guilt for leaving take you away from your number one job..parenting. You still need to discipline and set boundaries.The child will be all the better for it in the end. I don't care if you as 2 adults dont like each other. Keep your mouth shut, play nice and fake it for your own little one. Trust me and take it from someone who knows this will pay off in the end; I'm living proof. I came from that divorced home and I'm normal, healthy, happily married and have 4 parents I love very much.
 The point is divorce is hard. Hard on you, hard on friends, on family and most of all the children. Do whats right by them. Before you act or speak ask yourself "is what I'm about to say or do going to benefit my child?" If the answer is no..shut your mouth.