I’ll be the first person to admit I don’t have all the answers when it comes to parenting. Lord knows I’ve had my fair share of obstacles raising my daughters, concerns, mistakes, and all of the fun stuff that comes along with being a mother. Sometimes I feel like I’ve failed them, and become weighed down with guilt. It happens. It’s life.
That said, almost without fail, the first thing I consider when making decisions is whether or not the decision is in the best interest of my children. That’s just what you do when you make the choice to have babies. You have to consider their physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. You factor in how your actions impact them, and weigh the pro’s and con’s.
When you throw a divorce into the mix, often you’ll find that it’s not the folks in the middle of it that cause problems, it’s the ones standing in the periphery who tend to do the damage, to rock the boat. At least that’s been my experience.
It’s extended family, “well meaning” friends, and others who feel the need to step in and put their own spin on what’s happening in your life. They’re the ones who say things in front of your children that confuse them, cause them to question everything they have seen from their parents, who have taken pains to look like they are on the same page. Parents who have, despite any arguments they may have with one another, are a united front, bonded by friendship, and their roles as parents to these children.
I’ve had folks tell me I’m selfish for moving my kids this summer. That I’m somehow doing them a disservice because our move will take them further away from their dad. I’d like to point out that neither of us planned on living in our apartments (currently 1/2 mile down the road from one another) for the indefinite future. We chose this arrangement because it was the best option for the girls during the transition from married in the same house to divorced in our own places.
Yes, we will live further away. Yes, both their father and I will have to drive more in order to do the drop off/pick up. If we meet in the middle, we’ll both drive less than 20 minutes. It’s not like I’m packing up and moving to Utah. Hell, I’m staying within one county of the one we are living in, which is what we both agreed to as a limit in our divorce decree. It was discussed in depth. Their dad supports the move, because it will make our daughters’ lives better. And if we have to drive a little more to make that happen, we’re both willing to do that.
The kidlets and I will have lived in this apartment for 2 years. And they have enjoyed having their dad close. But the time has come for us to find a more permanent place. So, to those who have an issue with my moving, I would like to simply request that they come visit the new home, see these kids they are so concerned about in a space where they have room to run, a tree lined sidewalk to ride their bikes on, and a great school across the street.
Have dinner with us in the eat in kitchen, and watch how we are going to be able to prepare meals together, see the dog sunning herself in the yard.
People, I’ve noticed, have a tendency to hear snippets about what’s going on in my life, and instead of asking for the rest of the details, fill in what they “think” they know. And why is that always negative? Why can’t people fill in the blanks with POSITIVE stuff? Is it just that it’s more fun to create drama? To have something juicy to talk about? I don’t get it.
What’s even worse is when things are said TO my daughters about me. Questioning my actions to little girls who are 6 and 8. Planting a seed of doubt that I have been anything but honest with them, or that I am actively doing something to hurt them. Why on earth would someone who claims to love those girls make them feel anything less than good? What purpose would it serve to make these children question their mother? How could a grown up use a child as a pawn for leverage, or make them the messenger? That is selfish, and cruel.
I’m open as can be. If you have a question about me, my actions, my decisions, just ask me. I have a phone and the number has been the same for over 3 years. I have email. Send me a fucking letter if that’s easier, but do not ever, and I mean EVER communicate with me through my children, or use them to relay a message which leaves them confused and upset.
Passive aggressive behavior that worries or hurts my children will not be tolerated. Period. They have gone through enough, so when they come to me and ask why I am doing such and such, and that someone said I needed to do this, you’re going to see fury the likes of which you have never seen before.
They are CHILDREN. They are children who have gone through a divorce, and come out the other side a little more fragile, but whole, healthy and loved. They are not carrier pigeons. They are not a delivery system for words another adult doesn’t have the guts to say to me in person.
If you don’t have the balls to talk to me, then please STFU, and don’t dare choose innocent little people as the target for your butt hurt passive aggressive shit. You can go to time out, and when you’re ready to put on your big kid panties, can choose to be a part of their lives in a healthy, positive, supportive way.
Or you can go pound sand.
I don’t particularly care either way. Because what are we going to be doing even if you’re stomping your foot because you aren’t getting your way? We’re going to be laughing, playing and enjoying every second we get to have together. Join us if you’d like, but leave your drama at the door.