Let me start by saying that I am no expert by any means on divorce or children. I am by far not the best, or perfect mom. I cuss, talk about things that my kids probably shouldn’t overhear. I am an open book, if they ask me a question I tell them the answer. (usually a sarcastic one) I have gone out when I should of been home. I have made my children (gasp) fix themselves their own dinner on several occasions. I have cussed their dad and his wife, and every freaking slow driver that gets in my way.
Anyone who knows me, knows my divorce could be a lifetime movie. Hell it probably already is, but I survived, my kids survived and I am a hugely changed person. I am much more open minded about so many more things in life than I ever was, since my divorce. But what I have never, ever done is hold my kids hostage or used them as a personal advantage against my ex.
Having been on the dating scene for what seems like forever, I have met many men. I have met great dads who have full custody of their kids, and would stop the world to give them the best life that they can. (this is such a turn on) But I have also met dads who complain because they feel that they got screwed by their exes just because they have to pay child support, medical insurance etc for their kids. (uh hello jack wagon, they are your kids, you should support them) Moms don’t be fooled, you do this crap too.
But I am not here to talk about child support. I am here to tell you all that divorce sucks. But as much as it sucks for you it really sucks for your kids. They no longer get to see their parents at the same time. Their homes, schools and pretty much everything in their lives is being turned upside down and they have absolutely no say or control in the matter. You, the ex, or the courts are now determining what is in their best interest. So for the love of GOD stop making it about YOUR best interest and think of your child’s.
It’s not going to be easy, emotions are high, and you may feel the need to control some aspect of your divorce by using your kids as leverage. But it is only going to hurt your children. You make your child your best friend, or make yourself feel better by making your kid completely dependent on you. They are not mentally prepared to handle the pressure of feeling like your happiness depends on them. Stop holding them hostage by making them feel like they love you less if they want to spend time with the other parent. Stop thinking that if you ruin their relationship with the other parent that makes you the better parent. Basically stop MIND FUCKING your children to believe what you want them to believe, and trying to make them feel the pain you are feeling over your divorce so they take your side. Kids need to be kids, they need food, love, and physical activity. They need to know that they have the support of their parents and that they can count on them to be there for them when needed.
I didn’t do everything right in my divorce, my kids know more than they should for sure. But I can’t not talk about this any longer. It’s too hard to stand by and watch people hurt what they love the most, because they are hurting. I am sick of seeing moms so scared to be on their own that they pit the child against the dad so they can get more money. I am sick of seeing dads talk bad about the mom because they have to pay child support. Or fight for custody of the kids just so they don’t have to pay support, only to leave the kids with other people all the time and not really have a relationship with them.
So whether you are going through a divorce now or are thinking about it or even if you are already divorced. Don’t make your kids collateral damage. Protect their hearts from hurt and promote the best relationship that they can possibly have with both parents. Try to be the parent you wanted to be when you found out you were going to be a mom or dad. Remember that you wanted more for them than you had for yourself. Remember our job as parents to teach our kids what is right and wrong and how to treat others. Be the role model that you had or wished you had as a kid.
When the love is gone, try to remember the love that created what you have. The Kids!!!