When I chose to dissolve my marriage, I also set the intention that I didn’t want to fight with him, over anything, to include our kids. Initially, I created a beautiful story that I wanted to play out with him. I wanted to let go of the coupleship and keep the rest. I mean, why not? We were raising kids together, had been family for many years and on many levels, he was my best friend. By this stage in our relationship, we really knew each other and I really loved him despite no longer desiring to be his wife.
I don’t get to choose for anyone except me. He didn’t see anything the way I did. He was actually caught off guard, confused, hurt and pretty angry with me for a long time. In some ways, he may still be. That story didn’t play out and trying created aspects of it that would blow up in my face, over and over. The expectations were killing it and along with his own side of the story, we continued a dance of hurting each other and making choices from that pain.
I remember the exact moment he told me he was moving. I was standing on the edge of the San Juan river, enjoying the day with our boys, believing he and I were on track with the co-parenting thing. In that instant, I actually felt the whole world pull out from underneath my feet and had to sit down. Alaska, what? What about the boys? I will take them with me he said and the tears streamed down my face, I couldn’t respond, breathe or comprehend what was happening. In that moment, he decided we didn’t have an agreement to live in the same place, to share our children, to co-parent together. He decided what he wanted to do and that was that. I was left to weigh the variables, the impact on the children and my next move. Even more, I was angry that after all my best intentions, I was still fighting with him over our kids.
I have been a mom my entire adult life and as determined as I was to be a perfect mother, I was terrible at it. I was terrible at it for a lot of reasons:
- I needed to prove everyone wrong who didn’t think I could do it.
- I needed to do it on my own, also part of proving others wrong.
- I needed to be perfect, because I judged myself enough to believe I wasn’t.
- I needed to be better because I judged other mothers, mostly my own.
- I had no idea what I was doing.
- I studied, applied and pushed myself through every healing modality I could find and applied them all to my family, lifestyle and parenting.
- I mothered from the place where triggers lived, fear thrived and control was the weapon of choice.
And, in the core of my being, I knew there was more, that I could be more and give my children a life of believing in themselves. I continued to choose for everyone else, continued to sacrifice myself and by letting them all go, I somehow fumbled my way to truly finding me.
In the dissolution of our marriage, I chose not to fight with him over our children, I gave into what he asked for and I gave into letting them go, to live with him, to get out of the way and I chose to give them something I hadn’t been willing to give before, I let go of control.
Where are all of the places you parent from that create the frustrations that have you tired and joyless in relationship to your children?
What points of view in parenting are you stuck in that has you believing the change in your kids is within them when it’s actually within you?
Would you like to choose something different?