Divorce with Kids: Kids Come First

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Last year, I told you all about how my boys have two dads. They’re pretty lucky kids, the way they tell it. They get tons and tons of christmas gifts, they have two Dads telling them how awesome they are, and once a year, they get both Dads under one roof. Divorce with kids isn’t ideal. Divorce never is. However, I got divorced (and am happier and healthier because of it) and I am doing my best to keep my kids happy and healthy.

So- the “Other” Dad is here visiting again this year.

All of us hanging out together isn’t ideal…. mostly because the world says it shouldn’t be a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong, if I let myself dwell in yucky-things-that-happened-in-the-past feelings, him being here doesn’t quite make me happy. It’s easy to hate on the Ex. I mean, they are an Ex for a reason.

We had our moments of fighting, and there may have even been some occasional screaming. I remember one fight where I totally crossed the line and shouted very hurtful things. I’ve cried buckets, and I’ve been madder than mad, and curled up in a ball sobbing sad. There may have been a time where I hated his guts.

But that doesn’t matter.

It just doesn’t.

Because you know what?

They need him.

About once a year, Dad flies in, and we pick him up from their airport, and my kids light up.

Divorce with KidsJust like this.

The Ex and I will spend the week playing nice. We’ll be polite as we cross paths in the kitchen. I will chat about the weather as I drive him and the boys around town. We will both put a smile on our face and show these kids that we love them, first and foremost.

I plan on making this week a wonderful, awesome, fun week for my kids and their Dad. Because they come first.

Someday, these kids are going to be teenagers, and they are going to have lots of questions. They are never going to question the love we have for them. I am going to be able to look them in the eye and be able to tell them I did my absolute best- despite my feelings, despite living on the other side of the world, despite being the weirdo who lets their Ex-Husband stay in their guest room- I will be able to tell them that I did my best.

It’s important.

If I am a little absent this week, it’s because all my energy is being channeled into making sure I keep my head on straight and keep on doing my best. 🙂 Thanks for listening!

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  1. I really admire you putting your kids first in this situation. My parents couldn’t even be around each other during trade-offs (and my dad lives in Mexico), so my little and sister and I had to resort to bumming rides off extended family members or using buses to travel alone. To this day they really only speak ill of each other in front of us kids. It really damaged our relationships with them because we’d hear about stuff we weren’t really supposed to hear, whether it was true or not. I wish they had been better able to put on a brave face and just hold their tongues more so we didn’t have to grow up quite so fast.

  2. Beautiful post Heather. The look of joy on their faces in the photo moved me to tears. I think you are doing a very beautiful, strong, courageous thing. As a daughter of divorced parents who (for the most part) played nice, I can tell you that IT MATTERS. As I’ve grown, I’ve seen friends and family with parents who didn’t play nice and it leaves the kids feeling confused, angry, and frustrated. I’m so proud of you (and both Dads) for keeping who & what really matters in perspective. I know people don’t plan on divorce, but it’s beautiful that those who are divorced can plan for well-being of their children.

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