As the kids get older, it makes me think about the initial transitions that the family went through during the divorce. The possessory interest that we feel for our children can take over, as we, as newly single moms are forced to share time, and share our children. All of a sudden, I had half of each child, yet each child had two homes. Somehow, it was a mathematical problem that did not make sense. And I would challenge any great mathematical mind to figure out how those two equations were equal. How can you divide one family, and somehow have the pieces equal more than the whole.
Math aside, writing this is allowing me to revisit some history. Every time I do this, I ask myself, is there anything that I might have done differently. Would I have been more aggressive in challenging requests for additional financial support? Would I have challenged his desire to be the father that he never was? Over a decade later, my answer is probably not. Working towards maintaining peace, to every extent manageable has been the single most important factor, I believe, in raising healthy children. As we tend to recreate that which we live with, and grow up with, it is far more important to raise talking points with children and take every opportunity as a moment to learn.
Growing a peaceful environment does not mean passive acceptance; it means take every disagreement as a moment to learn and develop “teachable moments ” for your children. How many times I had to say to them, ” I am so sorry about what just happened. How do you think that might have been handled differently?” and ” Please remember when you are the parent, how you felt when someone treated you that way.” Every teachable moment, is a chance to allow our children to NOT recreate the same situations as they grow.