It’s so common now days to hear someone putting down their spouse’s ex. I hear it in conversations with friends, family, I even it seen on Facebook! News Flash People: Not everyone parents the same!! Parents who still live in the same household usually can’t agree on who has the right parenting techniques. The thing you have to remember is that other parent is doing what he/she feels is in the best interest of the child.
It’s easy in a split or blended family to want to put down the ex, or make yourself believe that you and you’r spouse are better at raising the child/children then the outside parent is. However, the truth is, you’re all doing great! You don’t have to agree with everything that happens in the other homes, you don’t have to like that your ex feeds the kids fast food and candy or that his ex takes his son to her parents every weekend so she can go out on the town. You’r ex is keeping the kids fed while with him, and his ex is still putting her child’s safety in front of her having fun.
Don’t get me wrong, somethings are worthy of worry. If child abuse or neglect is suspected then authorities need contacted. If this is not the case then stop putting “the ex” down. That other parent is half of who that child is. You can get mad and upset that your child always comes home with Popsicle stains on her shirt, or grass stains on his knees. You can get angry that when the kids are at her house they watch too much tv, or play too many video games. You can also accept that as a dad he’s probably not too worried about dirty clothes and be happy that one day your little girl will have fun memories of times with her dad. You can accept that being a single mom is hard and sometimes she may need that tv time and video game to clean her own house, or cook dinner, or catch up on work.
You as a parent will defend your every motherly/fatherly decision. You have your reasons and thoughts and past experiences that contribute to how and why you do things as a parent. Your ex’s do too!! Everyone is just doing what they believe is best. Stop putting them down.
If you and your spouse have a legitament concern for the well being of the children then talk it out with the ex. Set the standard for the “no more drama” lifestyle for you and your children. Stop posting online or telling your friends how “crazy” or “awful” the ex is. Stop fighting with your spouse about your children’s other parent. And please for the love of everything do not belittle that other parent to your children.
You and your spouse should sit and talk out whatever the situation is that is bothering you. The spouse who has the “wrong doing ex” should be the one to communicate with them. You should not overstep your boundaries as a step-parent and tell a real parent they are not doing what is best for their child. That will only cause more drama. Any discussions like this should not directly involve you, outside of the conversations you and your spouse have. You love and care for their child, I completely understand that, however you did not create that little one.
In my opinion most of today’s drama can be avoided by step parents knowing their place. It is a very hard position to be in. As a mother to my own two children and a step mother to one, it is so hard to stay in my lane as a step parent. It’s honestly what is best for the child though. You will be there to love and care for him/her. You and your spouse will be a parental unit and team for all aspects of that child’s life, except when it comes to conversations with the outside parent.
Believe it or not, this will give you personally a better relationship with his/her ex. Knowing that they have nothing to be jealous of, or fear from you. The sense of security they will have from seeing that you are not trying to kick them out and replace them will allow a better frame work to grow for the whole family.
As mothers and fathers we should be building each other up. We should want to see the best for our children. This means we have to get along. Stop the fighting, stop the drama!!
I’ve been told multiple times by teachers, family members, and even parents of my children’s friends how nice it is that her dad and I are so cohesive. This is true for the boys and their other parents as well, they just haven’t reached the age where many outside the family have seen this at work. No one in my daughters family has to worry about “causing a fight between her dad and I because of something they said or did.” Her friends parents don’t have to worry about which house to send an invite to, or which parent to text to ask permission to go to the pool. Her teachers don’t second guess sending stuff to me that needs copied and given to her dad, or that I will relay the reminder for parent teacher conferences.
I’m not going to say that my way is perfect. There’s still times that my ex’s and his ex make me want to scream. The moments when you think, “Why the fuck did she do that?” or “What the hell was he thinking?” I don’t call my best friend and immediately start a rant about how awful of a person the other is. I damn sure don’t post on Facebook for all my family and “friends” to see. I have and will never say a bad thing to the child about their parent. I wait until the kids are in bed and my spouse and I can talk about frustrations we have. We vent and then we move on.
So please, end this cycle of trying to put each other down. Stop trying to one up the ex’s by airing out the things that make you mad. No one is perfect. No parent is perfect. You have your own flaws, you make your own mistakes. One day your little one will tell you exactly how you failed as a parent, I assure you. Team up and be united as a united for those kids. Your list of failures in their eyes may end up being smaller that way.
Please feel free to comment or email me. You can find my email address in the Contact me section.