As Paula Spencer Scott, wrote in 7 Ways to Handle a Hothead -- Without Blowing Your Top steadying yourself with people who feel slighted is challenging. In my line of work, this would be hurt and angry co-parents and their children.
Even though it took me a long time to recover from my heartbreak, the experience has definitely given me inner reserves of strength and deepened my empathy. When the going gets tough, I know I'm capable of pushing through all obstacles.
It's not that the idea came out of nowhere, it had been planned for months. It's not that their absence was a surprise. I'd offered him Spring Break, since I knew I couldn't afford to take them anywhere.
It's often more confusing for kids of divorce whose parents still get along. At least the kids who know their parents don't get along can't nurse as vivid hopes for a reconciliation, and they understand why the divorce occurred.
Parenting after divorce takes patience, cooperation and collaboration. It's not uncommon for one parent to notice behavior differences in their children when they return from a stay with their other parent.
Co-parenting is hard. There is just no other way to describe it. Raising a child is difficult... and doing it with someone you are no longer with, likely for some pretty major reasons, is just... well, hard.
Conscious parenting is HARD. Parenting is one of those places in life where we really have to learn about surrender because so much is not in our control. Surrendering, letting go and trusting are critical skills if we are to survive parenthood with our mental health intact.
Regardless of race, religion, creed, or ethnicity, all is viewed as equal, and in a world where the teenage mindset will compromise even the well-planned and effective parenting philosophies one has, it shows no prejudice.
The most heroic gift you can give your children is taking every opportunity possible to speak positively about your co-parent. Divorce in itself will not likely damage your children. However, how you choose to get divorced and behave after your divorce will make the difference.
No matter what your status as a parent is -- whether you're happily married, kinda-happily married, partnered up without the paperwork, or like me, doing it on your own -- there is really just one simple objective: to do the best you can.
You both matter, maybe not to each other, but to that kid that calls you mom and dad. On the 23rd of January, the claim on that hill that we created and fought so hard over will expire. As much as we wanted to be the sole victor, we both came out on top. Whether we meant to or not.
To all of you co-parents out there, especially the new ones -- these struggles are real. Don't feel bad because your co-parenting relationship isn't one in which you are best friends with your ex or their spouse.