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February 3, 2017

The past twelve months have been like no others in our family, and now we are radically transformed from the way we started.  I’ve realized that in many ways parenting through these kinds of changes is the hardest parenting of all.  

My separation brought with it some serious positives, not the least of which has been a respite from fighting, hostility, and other perpetual undercurrents.  And though I deeply mourn it, the end of my marriage has definitely brought some relief.  And not just for me.  For my daughters, there is a new sense of peace in their day to day lives.

However, I have still broken an important contract with them–the contract that says that their mommy and daddy are supposed to stay together forever.  That vows are permanent.  That love is unconditional and never changing and that nothing will ever break us.  I thought that, too, but I was wrong.  

And kids, even when they recover from the initial shock of a family torn apart, seem to think that for a season anything goes and it becomes a psychological battle within yourself as a parent not to let them be right.  It’s so tempting to spoil them, let them rule the roost, make up for everything by letting all the rules fall apart.  But I can’t and I don’t even though there is a new layer of childish frustration when the hammer has to come down.  

Finding balance is always the challenge, but it’s a new balance point.  I can’t let the most important things slip–like the expectation of respectfulness in act and deed.  But some things can slip a bit, like letting them crawl into bed with me a few times when they wake in the middle of the night, or curling up with one extra story at bedtime.  And sometimes I just need to hug them a little bit longer than usual, until they are wriggling and squiggling out of my grasp.  

Kids are resilient, but so are adults.  Together, we take one step forward at a time and muddle through as best we can.  

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One Comment
  1. MrsMollyC permalink

    you just wrote out my thoughts. Thank you.

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