I’ve been divorced for a little over 4 years now. Before I found myself in this predicament, I had no idea what a challenge parenting is after the gavel is lowered and the phrase “divorce granted” is so easily decreed. It’s emotionally challenging and fueled, at first, by fear and the rawness of the pain. Figuring out how to parent from opposite corners of the ring has been one of the greatest challenges of my life.

I just had to delete the term “broken home” from the paragraph above because that label is really starting to get on my nerves. My home isn’t broken. It’s challenging but it isn’t broken. God has healed the broken places in ways only He can… so I’m going to stop calling this life of ours something it isn’t.

Let’s talk about co-parenting with someone who you are not married to anymore. There are a lot of lies about this that we embrace as truth and it’s time to show them for what they are… one by one.

WARNING: I’m going to step on your toes. Count on it. Brace yourself. Jesus take the wheel. Katy bar the door and all that jazz.

Let me get this out of the way right off the bat. I am no expert on this subject… I have no counseling certifications and I certainly don’t get it right all the time. I’m human and in a difficult situation just like millions of you out there – and I forget how to walk in wisdom and grace sometimes. But I remind myself EVERY DAY that BabyDaddy and I made two little perfect humans and they deserve parents who can work together to make a life that fosters peace instead of divisiveness.

What I do have to offer this conversation is a quite a few years of parenting in a less than ideal set of circumstances, hours and hours and hours on my therapist’s couch talking this out and more hours than that spent putting in the heart-work so that the best scenario possible for my children could be set before them. I have a wonderful ex-husband who is one of the best fathers I’ve ever encountered, a new step-mom who is everything I had prayed would be in my babies’ lives and we work tirelessly to ensure our children are cared for, safe and at peace.

You see, children who find themselves living back and forth between two homes DID NOT CHOOSE THAT LIFE. That life was chosen for them. Our failures in marriage forced them into a situation that heaped mounds and mounds of pressure/stress/pain and fear onto their tiny little shoulders. How dare we put anything MORE on them by acting like immature and spiteful idiots to each other.

SO WHAT you got hurt.

SO WHAT they walked out on you.

SO WHAT your life is infinitely more difficult now that you are alone.

These things have nothing to do with your children and by refusing to forgive after divorce or separation, you are setting your babies {and YOURSELF} up for a lifetime of stress and pain. I’m just not willing to do that to our hearts and it baffles me when I see adults who can’t figure that out.

So here’s the deal. This topic can’t be handled in one essay and undoubtedly this is going to turn into a series. So for this installment, I want to deal with the first lie that I had to get over in the beginning so that I could move forward…

Lie #1: Divorce Equals The End Of Being A Family

It was a mental block to me at first because I thought it was strange that BabyDaddy and I could actually get along and remain partners in this parenting process.

I mean… that’s just not normal, right? People will think we could have stayed together and worked it out if they see us actually getting along! What will they think if they see us having dinner together as a family or spending Christmas morning together?! That just doesn’t happen, right?!

But as soon as I laid down the preconceived idea that it had to be literal hell to be divorced, things went a whole lot smoother for us.

You don’t have to be miserable when you’re divorced!  You don’t have to hate each other just because you aren’t married anymore! It was a revelation to me. Don’t get me wrong… there was immense pain… monumental disappointment… and a grieving process that no one could prepare me for. I get the hurt and the anger and the struggle to forgive! I get the confusion and the “how the heck did we get here” thoughts…

But here is some hard truth for you…

Terrible Things Are Going To Happen… now move on.

Even if your spouse has done the unthinkable… the seemingly unforgivable… the thing that sends you into emotional panic every time the memory replays all too vividly in your mind. EVEN THEN. You can forgive and you can move forward. How does this happen? I’m glad you asked…

It happens every morning when we wake up and whisper the prayer, “I forgive you.” This is a prayer that you may have to say every morning for the rest of your life. Forgiveness is not a magic line that you cross one day and all is well. Forgiveness is a daily decision to walk in peace instead of hatred. It is a choice that we make every time the pain is scratched to the surface again. {and again}

It happens when we find ways to extend kindness and yes, even FRIENDSHIP to our ex-spouse/partner. I know that sounds like nails on a chalkboard to some of you, but if you will just begin, I promise it will get easier. And do you know what? Your babies will see it… they will breathe a little easier because of it… they will grow up knowing THAT as normal instead of vitreous unforgiveness.

I will end this post with a big fat disclaimer. I understand that everyone’s situations are different and some of you find yourselves in an impossible set of circumstances.  I understand that some of you came out of dangerous and abusive relationships and there is NO ROOM for that person in your life and your children’s lives ever again. I know that your situation seems impossible and a weight too heavy to carry at times. Know that I am praying for you and your littles…. for protection and safety and refuge from that past. I can’t imagine the burden you are under.

I feel like my heart may just BURST with everything I have to say on this subject. But for now, loves… just put one foot in front of the other in the direction of kindness. The peace it will bring to your life is so worth the effort.

I sure do love you all! (especially YOU!)


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