Focused Fridays: Q&A for Divorced Parents

December 14, 2007 at 11:56 am | Posted in children, dads, Divorce, Families, Focused Fridays, Holidays, marriage, moms, Mothers, parents, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, spirituality, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Focused Friday Question:

I am so stressed and my heart is truly breaking.  I have to send my children to their father.  He lives about three hours away.  And they have to stay with him for a week.  I get to have them on Christmas day.  But after that, they are gone.  How can I possibly stand Christmas knowing they will be gone the next day and how can I ever manage to spend that week with out them?

GEM Parenting Answer: 

I can feel your pain.  I know it is hard to send your kids away.  What you are feeling is the pain of mourning.  The dream you had of a family has been demolished.  Now it is time to use some very strong energy on your part to bring yourself to harmony with your knew situation.  Each and every time you have a thought of loss remind yourself of three things you are grateful for.  This may take up a few hours of time.  Just keep at it.  And be gentle with yourself.  This loss can be slow to heal.  But you will heal if you give yourself permission to do so. 

The other thing to realize is that even though your life now may revolve around your kids, you did do things before you had them, and you will do things without them as they grow older.  The timing may not be perfect, but do some things when they are gone that is complicated or difficult to do when they are with you.  And forget about feeling guilty about doing something fun.  The situation is a fact.  The kids will be gone and you have the time.  Use it to benefit yourself.  This way when your kids get back you will be refreshed and eager to see them, not anxious and worried. 

Focused Friday Question:

This is my first year being divorced.  We have a structure of time.  How can I actually make any changes with my ex-husband when we both hate each other?

GEM Parenting Answer:  

You may not be able to change the structure this year.  But you can approach your ex-husband with respect rather than hatred.  Explain that you are working on trying to develop a respectful way of interacting with each other.  You would like to know what is important for him during the holidays and you would like to share what is important for you.  You can say that in the court process you were unable to deal with these kinds of things.  But as time goes forward you would like to see if things can be set up with respect for each other as well the needs of the kids.  Hopefully, this will open the door for discussion. 

If it does not, then you need to organize your time with your kids to include what is special for you.  Only you do not have to do everything, nor should you even try to. 

And one more thing.  Remember this is the beginning.  It will not stay this way forever.  And you will be developing new customs and celebrations.  Look at this new situation as wonderful new opportunity. 

Focused Friday Question:

I really want to give my daughter a gift that her mother, my ex wife, does not want her to have.  But now that we are divorced why shouldn’t I get my daughter whatever I want? 

GEM Parenting Answer:  

There is no law that says you can’t.  But think about this.  There are about a million things you can give your daughter for Christmas.  Why do you have to get hooked on the one thing that her mother doesn’t want her to have?  It seems to me that with all the possibilities out there you can find something that would not be offensive to your ex-wife

When you change to this route, your daughter will not have to get caught in a trap between you parents.  You will not be changing the gift for your ex-wife, but for the harmony and peace of your daughter.

Get your copy of “How Divorced Families Share the Holidays today and enjoy the joy of the Christmas season again!

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