The children just returned from Fall break with their new Stepmom and Dad. It was a good week for all. They hunted deer together, they attended a college football game, they gathered at their grandparents home…..they did life their way. The homes are very different but we all love the children.
Being now the “ex wife” more often than the “children’s natural mother” has really been a shift in my role. The children’s father was single for almost a decade after our divorce. We worked well as a team, though separately, without anyone else involved. Last February though that has changed. The dynamics change with a new wife in the picture…and we are thankful for her. I am blessed that she not only loves our children, she chooses to include them in as her children as well. This is her first run at motherhood, and the children both are blessed to have her.
What one doesn’t expect when you leave a traditional situation with your children, is that divorce and remarriage gives outsiders rights to have opinions on your parenting. Often in the last eight months I have had to carefully think through comments said or offered to my children as most likely not meant as they were heard….and I often wonder how many of my own words are used in ways that may sound “off” to the new step mom. I am thankful for her, more than she knows, because we are both trying to simply love the children and help them know they are loved. There is enough pressure on children when there are two sets of parents, without unpleasantness between the parents. Extended family members have accepted our children on both sides, and I am thankful that they are seen simply as “the grandchildren” now his or her children.
Who knew though, that after almost a decade of believing that there is enough room in the children’s lives for all of us, that I would have to remind myself of that fact regularly as we readjusted routines and opened calendars to make the new schedules work. We are readjusting the schedules, the boundaries, and the relationships to keep everyone as included as possible….after all, the children have two families, and I want them to love and participate with all of us without pressure or guilt…..that’s what A Joyful Place Called Home…is all about.