Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Somebody better get these kids, or, How do we do Divorced Parenting?

How do divorced parents do it? How do we work out parenting two decidedly near evil dwarf sized agents from another place and time?

Divorced parenting is no joke. It is no less stressful than married parenting. The most crucial issue is that we can reason together over what is best for these children. To do that, we have to communicate without interference. You know what that is – without being angry, jealous, bitter, and hateful, about the past. We have to forgive each other for the sake of our children.

She is a typical American teenage princess. She is working on every single nerve ending in my limited physical being. This kind comes out only by laying on of many hands and fast walking away before something really bad happens to the child.

He is a 7 year old boy, who lives to aggravate not only his teenage sister, but to call my name, which turned into Mom the minute they were birthed into this world at the hands of the midwife, as many times as he can utter it within a minutes time, continuously and without halt.

Our children are at ages of development that cause our ideas of parenting to constantly change. They find new ways to be disobedient, and we have to find new ways to steer them in the right direction, discipline them, and still provide an environment of love for them, while being divorced. This is not what we signed up for – at all.

We cannot just turn to each other for discussion and answers. Yet still, we need parental outlet and our children need to feel they have access to both parents. Especially when we are at our wits end.

On a regular basis, I randomly text my ex husband and tell him his children are driving me to distraction and I am sure that we need to tweak this shared parenting thing because the court can do a better job at distributing the time share arrangement. I believe it would work out better for him to have them for the whole summer rather than quick intervals here and there, while I do most of the custodial parenting and he does what I consider ‘virtual’ parenting. If it has been a particularly trying period of time, I may even include some expletives, although I don’t really need to do that. I find the vocabulary ripe with words that satisfactorily describe my angst.

You can imagine how many actual texts it takes to get that all out. Usually, he doesn’t respond until the next day, at which time he calls my daughter and has a discussion with her and my son about what they have been doing. Then he will call and inform me that he is coming to get them for a while. I know he really means this, just as well as I know our son will be packing to leave with his dad for a few days. Our daughter will be texting her cousins to come get her. She is not into daddy time at this age.

My ex husband and I have worked to get to this place, and continue to work. We recognize that we are divorced parents, and not just divorced people. That means we still have a responsibility to communicate effectively with each other and to be on one accord where our children are concerned.

It is not always perfect, but it is always a work in progress. We work harder at this than we did at being successfully married. Imagine if we knew then what we now know. God’s ways are so much higher than ours. How is that working out for you?

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