No one talks about us!

The blended family.  Everyone talks about divorce and how families are split.  People talk about how awful their “baby daddy’s” are and how crazy the “ex’s” are.  The truth is not all situations are that way, and most of the time you can prevent that kind of drama.  You can minimize the pain for the children and work as a team your ex and current spouse.  So here goes… Here’s the things that no one talks about.  The life I live.

I have a beautiful life with my better half and three children.  We have three amazing children, but none with each other.  My daughter is a gift from my high school sweetheart, his son was born of his first marriage, and my son is a surprise from my past marriage.  As you can see none of our children have the same parents.  We parent together and also co-parent with three other people to give our children the life they deserve.

Parenting can be hard with just two people trying to come together and decide what’s best for a child.  How do we do it with three other parents involved?   That’s exactly why I started this blog!!  I wish it was a simple answer, one I could simply write one post about.  However, there is so much that goes into how and why we do things.

I hope while I continue to learn and write that I can help those out there who are in a similar situations as me.  There are so many good out comes that are possible for families and children of divorce.  It doesn’t always have to be that mom and dad don’t get along.  You don’t have to hate his/her ex.

Please contact me if you have any questions, or suggestions.  If you have a situation and would like to know how I would try to handle it to avoid “drama” I’d be happy to help!  We owe it to our children to get along and work as a team with everyone in their life!

 

Time is Precious

So many parents want to win battles or arguments by taking time with a child away from another parent.  That doesn’t just hurt the parent, it hurts the child too.  You may not see it on their faces, or they may still be too young to understand, but it hurts them in the long run.  You are taking away their ability to bond with that other parent, to learn from them, to feel loved by them, and to share memories with them.

We have been so lucky in our lives.  We share 50/50 custody arrangements with all outside parents (except my son, who has a different circumstance).  We’ve both fought to ensure that this has happened.  It wasn’t something that was easy that just landed in front of us.  We too had our share of lawyer fees and court dates for our little ones.  We made sure not to use our past with the outside parents influence our choices though.  We never went out to hurt them, or prove we were better then them.  We didn’t try to disgrace or shame the other parents.  We set a standard that we would not aim to hurt the other parent, just to ensure our children had equal time with both their parents.  In fact, in my own court hearing for custody of my daughter the judge commended her father and I saying, he’s “never heard two parents each say so many good things about each other while on stand.”

It’s hard to give up time with you’r babies.  However, you have to remember that you’r children need the time with both parents.  It’s very important that they have the ability to bond and connect with both mom and dad.  They need to feel that they are important to both parents.  It will greatly improve their self esteem and social skills later in life.

It’s ok if they have bonded more with the other parent.  Don’t make this a competition.  It’s completely natural for a child to bond more with one parent then the other.  It doesn’t mean they love you less, or that the other parent is the “better” one.  My daughter is a daddy’s girl through and through.  She doesn’t like to go fishing with me, but loves to go with her dad.  I won’t say that it doesn’t hurt just a little, but I remind myself to be happy for her.  I am happy she will have those memories of the two of them when she is older.  I am happy that he has found something he can do with her that gives her that “daddy time.”  I find my own ways now to bond with her, and I praise her father for the effort he puts into being such a big part of her life.

Be more open to switching and changing holidays.  I don’t remember the last time my family celebrated Christmas on Christmas day.  I don’t know if I’ve ever celebrated the kids’ birthday on the actual day.  We work all three parents to find days that work for everyone on holidays.  The truth is your child doesn’t know what day is what, and if you start this process of being open to changing things for them then it won’t affect them when they are older.  As an example this was our last Christmas:  We spent Christmas even and day alone.  We got the little one’s back Christmas day, but not until close to bedtime.  We made that our Christmas eve.  My 10 year old daughter knows the truth, Santa wasn’t really going to show up again, but she had fun playing along for the boys (4 years old and 2 years old).  That next morning we woke up all excited to see what Santa had brought for everyone!!  All our children got to have a great Christmas with family on both their mother and father’s sides.  That is what is most important.

I’m not going to say that things will always be easy and that you’ll always find a way to make things work.  I just want you to remember how important it is for your babes to be able to experience joy with both parents.  Nurture that bond and help it grow.  Listen to the stories your child tells you about the fun time they had with the other parent.  Make them feel safe, let them be open, let them know they are loved by the two people who matter the most.  You’r children will be happier in the long run, and that’s all you want anyway.

Thank you for taking the time to read my little blog page.  Please contact me if you have any suggestions for blog topics.  I’d love to hear what you have to say!!

 

 

 

Drama Drama Drama

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.