Navigating Shared Parenting
Shared parenting can seem like an impossible arrangement, especially after the emotional roller coaster of divorce. After Lydia’s divorce at age 29, she and her new ex-husband found themselves in uncharted territory, dividing time of two sweet little boys that needed both parents in their lives. This proved to be a difficult task, as neither parent wanted to see the other again.
The choice to share parenting was obvious, but that did not make it any easier. She knew they needed their dad in their lives. They made a schedule. He got three days a week, and on those days, she missed her boys terribly. She worried about everything. Would he know what each cry meant? Would he be tempted by a good time and leave them in the middle of the night? She worried that he wouldn’t take care of them. What if something happened to one of them? Would he know what to do? No one knows kids like their mom does.
She didn’t want to spend her time worrying–she knew that wouldn’t bring about the positivity she wanted in her life. Nothing good comes from worrying. She realized all too often that
We judge people based on their actions, and we judge ourselves based on our intentions.
Pretty convenient, huh?
She poured herself into her work as a Personal Trainer, working very early mornings.
She picked up random shifts as a waitress to fill time.
She went back to school and earned her Master of the Arts in Teaching.
She tried to make the best of her time instead of locking herself inside and binging on Netflix and wine.
Lydia knew his intentions as a father were good. He doesn’t always make the best decisions (cough – Stephanie, Ashley, Jessica – cough), but he loves his boys just like she does.
Her boys might drink soda at their Dad’s house. They might stay up too late. They probably don’t get naps there. But they are loved and at the end of the day she wants them to grow up knowing she was fully supportive of their relationship with their dad.
Seeing the Good
What comforts her is this: when her boys are home with her, they’re great. They are growing into good people. They are polite, they are funny and they are smart.
She and her husband provide them consistency, structure, safety, routine and comfort.
Her children are always loved. They are fed. They are happy kids.
She won’t always have control over what they do, even when they’re with her. She has learned the only thing we truly have control over in life is how we react to each situation we find ourselves in. So why worry about what we can’t control. Her advice, sit back and be the best you you can be, love yourself and your kids. Don’t be the reason they resent anyone, if your ex is truly an awful person they will figure that out on their own!
Let your kids be your guide. Are they healthy & happy?
Allow yourself to embrace this freedom. The possibilities are endless. Get out of the house, socialize, be a friend. You rock. You got this.
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