“If parents want their kids to be OK through a divorce, then they have to be OK though it, and there has to be someone out there who needs to hear that kind of story.”Darlene Taylor
I have known since about seventh grade that I would write a book. I didn’t know when, or what it would be about, but I knew there was a least one book in me waiting to get out. Lord knows I never thought I’d be sharing with the world one of the hardest chapters of my life.
It’s 2021, and co-parenting a 15 year old with my ex-husband of eleven years. We have managed, after many years of turmoil, to get to a really great, dare I say friendly, point in our relationship and I have to admit, we’re pretty proud of ourselves. I am visiting Cincinnati during the NCAA tournament in which Mick’s team is kicking ass, and over the course of 48 hours I have three totally unrelated conversations about how Mick and I managed to find our way back to being friends. As I told my story, each of them insisted that I needed to share my philosophy on coparenting with others.
So, I wrote a book.
I knew our situation was unique, but never really stopped to think of all it took to get us here. Maybe I did have a story to tell…a story that might save someone from some of the bumps we faced on this crazy road.
I had watched so many people fall into the black hole of divorce and forget that if they act on their anger and pain, their children are the collateral damage. I knew that no parent wanted to hurt their child, but it’s easy to forget or not see that is exactly what happens when you follow your impulses to be spiteful or difficult just because it feels good or you feel like your ex has earned it. I wanted to remind people that everything they do is going to affect their kids. YES, EVERYTHING. Because in the middle of all of the drama, the pain, it is so easy to lose sight of that.
I wanted people to know that divorce doesn’t have to be bad, that the children don’t have to come out of it with the baggage of their parents’ failed marriage. I wanted them to know that they would be alright, even if alright felt a million miles away.
And I wanted to remind them that even when it all feels like it’s about you, IT’S NOT.
When we become parents, we give up the right to consider what we want first. We give up the ability to make decisions without considering anyone else. As a parent, you sometimes have to do things that you don’t want to because it is what’s best for your children. You just do.
And I wanted to remind people that there is a gift in divorce if you choose to take it. You have the opportunity to get to know yourself better, to figure out how to be the best version of you, so you can be the best parent for them. It can give you the space to stop and re-evaluate everything. And in that space, if you really look at yourself, you can see things to improve that will help you as person and as a parent. I wanted to remind people that only when they are their best selves can they be the parents that they want to be. And that means they have to enter a place of forgiveness and stay in a place where their focus is only on making sure they do everything to keep their children feeling emotionally safe, loved, well adjusted.
We will all fall short. It’s not a straight path, but if we can remember who this is really about, the choices are easy.
“It’s Not About Us” will be available online starting November 11, 2022. If you grab a copy, I would love if shared with me what you got out of it and how it may have helped you. Find our “Share Your Story” on my homepage or send me a message. Thank you for reading and your support!
Are you currently trying to figure out how to co-parent with your ex? I’d love to help get your family on a healthy and cohesive plan to co-parenting success. Take my quiz to find out what kind of co-parent you are and share your results with me.