I don’t talk too much about divorce/coparenting/family-blending here, anymore. A lot of it is ancient history; a lot of it is just an attempt to respect my kids’ privacy. I don’t see a whole lot that can be gained by noting every time my ex comes to see the kids and pretends that Otto is invisible (every. freaking. time.), or times when the inevitable “I wish you and Daddy never got divorced but then if I wish that I wish Otto and everything here away and I don’t want that, either” sadness comes up and I have to 1) try to be comforting and 2) bite my tongue about the million reasons why this was so much better than the alternative.
A lot of it Just Is. It is what it is and we deal with it as best we can. What else can we do?
And while I don’t suffer any delusions of dealing with it any better than anyone else, I was very flattered to be interviewed over on Rockstar Coparenting about our experiences as a divorced, remarried, coparenting blended family. (Try saying that one five times fast.) And I especially love that it started with quite literally asking to see the shoes I walk in. She had me at shoes, people.
Wonderful, well written piece Mir, and you communicated the tremendous amount of constant work and communication that is required.
Although I’m not a parent, and I’ve only commented once or maybe twice here, I’ve been reading for months and I keep being impressed and amazed at your compassion and power and clarity and the beautiful way you talk about your family.
This bit: ‘Oh, if I had a nickel for every time Iâ€™ve said, â€œI make the best choices I know how, trying to be the best mother I can. You can be mad at me anyway; I can take it.â€’ Nearly broke my heart. In a good way. That’s a thing that EVERY parent should be able to tell their children, not just divorced parents.
What a fabulous article!
That your ex talks – or at least tries – to talk to your kids every day is interesting to me. My husband travels, is gone most weeks from early Sunday afternoon to late Friday night, and my kids rarely want to talk to him on the phone. Some of the problem is scheduling that he’s working all day and into the evening and often doesn’t have time to call until late at night. When he’s out of the country or gone longer than the usual 5 or 6 days we Skype and they talk to him a lot more, some of that is because he’s going to bed and can talk when it’s the middle of the afternoon for us. Skypeing also works better because they can see him, they play games with each other with the camera, drawing things and writing messages. They’ve grown up with him gone most of the time and when they were old enough to talk on the phone they’d rarely want to interrupt what they were dong to talk to him, and if they did they’d soon start itching to be off doing their own thing. It was clearly more of an obligation than a treat. He and I talk every night, but usually after I have the kids in bed. He’s a fabulous dad and husband, and they miss him terribly, crying themselves to sleep some nights, but they probably talk to him once a week, if that, when he’s out of town. That you can even get your kids to talk to your ex once a day is great, I’m sure my husband would like it.
Bravo, Mir! I wish I could write about my situation as candidly and compassionately as you do yours.
I loved the interview! You sound like a fun and wise mom. So does Otto – fun and wise I mean ;)
You are one wise lady.
Hey that picture with the shoes – it totally makes me think of the laces we had as kids from that store downtown, the Cats Pajamas, I think?
Thanks for that. I know you didn’t post it for me specifically, but it hit me right where I’m at in this whole life phase. I’m bookmarking that post, and reading it again and again as I need to. You’re one of my heroes, Mir.
I know you don’t talk very much about the divorce stuff any more and I get why…but I just adore this interview…I’m glad I got to share it with readers…but I am mostly glad for my future self and for future Sunshine because I learned from your experiences and how you were able to sum them up and distill them down and remind me what’s truly important. Thank you!
I truly admire you, Mir. You’re just pretty dang fantastic. Just so ya know ;-)
Not 100% sure that saying “I enjoyed that read” is appropriate given the subject matter… so take the compliment as it is intended… :)
I read StacyQ’s comment above and was wondering if you ever tried, or considered trying, the webcam communication method. It would seem an intriguing solution/ compromise/ idea for some of the communication issues you mention. it would be interesting to see if that medium, with its promise of more visual and interactive exchange, would be helpful.
And, in the spirit of the article… Keep on Rockin’
Dude, you nailed my parenting foundation with acknowledging and accepting the feelings but not allowing or enabling the behaviour!
I wasn’t divorced, but as an unexpected, and traumatically created single parent many, many of the divorce issues resound with me (especially the guilt – oh guilt! In all of your varied shades and forms!). It’s so good to have eloquent, passionate (and COMpassionate) voices to air this stuff!
You really ARE a rock star, you know that? Sometimes I’ve used bits and pieces of your divorced-family tips, other times it’s just been a comfort to know that you’ve been through it and survived. Thanks for sharing all that you do, Mir!
oh, mir. yes. that was a really lovely read for me. both me and my kiddo’s dad have lovers/soon to be spouses and the whole co-parent, blended family, split-home stuff is boggling. super super boggling. thank you for putting it into words that make sense. you are a total rock.star.