I am so blessed to have this ModernMom community to be my sounding board, hear my heartaches, and allow me to share my life challenges.
I was beyond touched by all the positive and supportive feedback to Brooke Gets the Bad Mommy Award. It validated my ongoing preaching of the value of girlfriends and community healing.
So, I called Sierra yesterday, tail between my legs and heart in my hand.
“Hi” I said. “I want to talk to you, do you want to talk to me?”
“About what?” she coldly asked.
“About what happened between us and the hurtful things we said to each other.”
“OK,” she said.
So here is how it went…
“I am soooo sorry for the mean things I said to you. I didn’t mean them. I was hurt by your words. They made me angry. I should have walked away or just cried, but instead I said things I did not mean. I’m really sorry, and I love you very much.”
“OK, thank you Mommy, I am sorry too,” she softly replied.
I took a deep breath, and then I went on to explain why I was so pissed, why what she did was not acceptable and how we both may have handled it differently.
I have chosen to leave the personal details of our exchange out of this story because the issues are not as important as the style in which we must learn as parents to deal with conflict. But I will say that it is when your kid is out of control that they need you most. When they say the words that you hope you will never hear, that is when you must be the strong, sensible and resilient parent. Trust me, it is easier said than done. But I will always think of a feather every time I get angry.
Raising a blended family is an ongoing challenge. (Check out my Blended Family post.) When my kids are in trouble, they want to run to Daddy’s house and vice-versa. When one parent is stern, they want to be rescued by the other parent’s love. To hear, “I want to be at my Dad’s house, it’s better there…” Are some of the most painful words a divorced parent can hear. They definitely top my list! Unfortunately, they should be expected and dealt with properly, instead of emotionally. What I have learned is to stick strictly to the joint custody schedule that we have created for our kids, assure them that it is in their best interest, and let them know that they DO NOT get to chose when and where to be. I am so lucky that I have a great relationship with my ex and that our kids’ well being is our top priority. NO games. I do tell my girls that if they ever need more Daddy or Mommy time and if it comes from the right place, they can have that. My ex and I often adjust our schedules when it is right. We never do that when our kids are fighting with us, defiant, grounded and seeking freedom for the other parent, etc. It’s a really tough life raising divorced kids, no BS about that.
But through love, forgiveness and compassion, I think all things are possible.
My daughter and I spent the whole day together today- talking, cuddling, cooking, and laughing at life. We know we trigger each other and we know we have to try harder to be better people. Isn’t that what life is about?
Here are a couple helpful divorced parenting articles:
Parenting 101 for Divorcing Couples
101 Ways to Make a Difficult Divorce Easier on Your Children