I am happily and luckily divorced. My ex and I were married just shy of ten years. We have two children together. JoJo is our daughter: a smart, sassy, independent, 7 year old. And Brayden is our son: a goofy, sweet, rambunctious, 6 year old.
When we got divorced the kids and I moved from Westport,CT to Portland, ME and my ex moved to Milford, CT. The kids are with me nearly full time. They spend two weekends a month with their father: one in Connecticut and one in Maine and school vacations.
Sharing the kids and co parenting with my ex is a near daily struggle. It makes sense that it is so challenging to parent with him now that we are divorced because it was challenging doing anything with him when we were married. We are two very different people, with very different beliefs, values, morals and goals. It also makes it much harder now that I am no longer a doormat. I have evolved into a powerful goddess mom. A version of myself that is outspoken, strong and competent. It is challenging for me to try to share in co parenting responsibilities with him because we are such different people, living very different lives. On top of that, I do not trust and respect him as a person.
Christmas break just passed and my kids were with their dad for the entire nine days. As we have settled back into our normal lives at my home, there have been moments that are so challenging like usual. It is very clear the kids exist in two very different worlds. Worlds that do not have much overlap besides them. It is not just growing up in two different states, with two different sets of parents, two different rooms but it is a life of regular transition. It is the different rules and routines the become problematic upon their return.
In my home, my partner and I value respect, love, independent thought, sharing the load in work and household projects and kindness. We have our own routines which we try to stick to make life run smoothly but we are not slaves to them. And punishments are fairly rare, often behaviors or issues are interrupted prior to any major incident. Obviously I believe my way is right and a better way to raise our children.
From how he used to be and the things the kids say, I know in his house, he values cleanliness, rules, discipline, being the best and traditional parent child roles. He is much quicker to yell and discipline the kids. My kids do love him and enjoy their time with him. The thing they dislike most is the traveling back and forth. In one weekend to visit their dad in Connecticut they spend at least 10 hours in the car.
My ex and I need to learn to parent separately and together. We can either figure out a way to work together or work against each other at the determent of the children. But it is not easy.
Brayden and JoJo only get one childhood even if they do have two homes. And this suburban goddess mom is determined to give them a childhood filled with love, laughter, safety, innocence, compassion, second chances, understanding, snuggles, exploration and guidance in both their worlds.