Perception Changes Everything

Friday, June 10, 2016

Over the last few months, things with my ex have been getting a lot better. Meaning I have been getting past my personal feelings of hurt and anger and have just been living life and trying to cooperatively co-parent with her. Oddly enough, it's changed our little dynamic for the better. Looking back on this time last year - I was in a dark, dark place both personally and in my marriage. I was still super down about my body and adjusting to the girls, and things with my marriage were just beginning to unravel. I worked hard to get through the pain and deal with everything post-divorce and looking at my life now I can barely believe this change has come in less than a year.

That being said, I have been able to take my old grief, work it out (mostly) and create a new life for myself. I've been able to focus on the things that I can change, and have been building connections with friends and family that I have let go by the wayside for years. I have invested back in myself. And I think when you do that, that leaves no room for the bitterness or anger that can haunt your heart after going through what I did. Something clicked and completely changed the way I feel.

Online a few weeks ago, one of the parents in a Facebook group I'm in asked a question about her ex taking her kids on a vacation - she was upset because she couldn't afford this lavish trip that her ex had planned and she wanted to address it with her ex because it hurt her. She thought it wasn't fair because she couldn't provide the same experience for her children. That's the first thing I noticed in her statement - she was taking a personal stance against that trip because she couldn't "compete" with the other parent.

I responded. I told her that you can get to a place where you're happy for the experiences that your children have with your ex, without taking them personally. I want my kids to be happy all of the time. I want them to enjoy their time with their other mom, and I want them to experience things that sometimes I can't provide. It's about them and not about comparison. Comparison is the thief of joy, right? So I asked her to just try to work on her perspective - to think about the fun her kids will have and how happy it will make them, and then to do things that are special with herself, regardless of how much money it costs - making a memory is free.

I want my kids to be happy and healthy. I want them to have two parents that love them to the moon and back and can stand to talk to each other and dare I say - share a joke or two? I want them to have parents that problem solve together, lean on each other (when it comes to kids issues) and to feel like they never have to choose between the the two parents because even if their moms are no longer together - they're still a parenting team. It's taken a while to put my personal feelings on the back burner and keep my children front of mind. It's taken me a long time to realize I can't control everything and I'm wasting pressure time and energy worrying about it.

I still have dark moments here and there. I still have flashes of pain and anger. I'm not sure if that will ever fully go away. But I feel confident that it's just that - a little flash on this journey called life and not something that derails me from having a future, or being the best parent I can for my children.

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