This blog may ruffle some feathers, but I feel compelled to write it. You may end up throwing tomatoes at me? Or shaking your fist in anger? Or, maybe you will totally understand? I’m praying for the latter.
Listening to a podcast while driving to see my grandchildren this past weekend sparked the calling for this rambling. The podcast was published by @freakonomics, and I highly recommend that you take the time to listen to it. It is all about early learning. Please check it out here: http://freakonomics.com/2015/11/19/does-early-education-come-way-too-late-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/. That is not what this blog is about though.
One quote from that podcast made me reflect back on my life, and now it’s time to share that reflection. What was the quote you wonder? Here you go: “One vigilant parent is better than two crappy ones.” Hold on…please don’t throw darts. Stay with me for a minute.
I am a divorced woman. Not a statistic I am proud of. BUT…I have been happily remarried for almost 24 years. My husband has been a wonderful step-dad to my two children from the time they were 5 and 8. Here’s the beauty of this though. My husband gets along great with my former husband and ALL of his family. And, so do I!
Here’s WHY we all get along. I have asked for forgiveness from my former husband several times as I am the one who asked for the divorce. It was my choice. My decision. My selfishness, not his.
Not saying it was easy for either of us. We were angry. We were hurt. BUT…we ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS put our kids first. We did NOT pit one of us against the other. We made that decision from the beginning. No matter what, our children would come first. And my second husband has known that from the beginning. He has always been gracious about it. He loves my kids like they are his own, and this doesn’t make my former husband angry or jealous or resentful.
When my daughter made the decision a few years ago to end her abusive relationship and come home, my husband and former husband immediately hopped into a pickup truck and traveled 24 hours one way to get her, pack her up, and bring her back to the prairie…together. Yes, together!
My husband has always respected my former husband and vice versa. My hubby knows my former is the dad to the kids. He also knows he is their step-dad. This has never bothered him. It has never been an issue. My hubby knows his role and because of this, both of my kids adore him! Love him! Isn’t that amazing…my two children can love their dad AND their step-dad…both at the same time.
I’ve seen too many divorce situations turn into dog fights between the two adults, and then the children become the victims! Shame on you who do this!! And this is why the folks talking on @freakonomics made the comment about one vigilant parent being better than two crappy ones. They were talking about children who come from divorced homes and how this might affect their learning early on in life, especially if a parent is a crappy parent.
It’s true. Some parents are crappy parents. I currently know a young adolescent who is mixed up. Who lives in a home with one parent who is a crappy parent. This immature parent has ‘Sunday Funday’ at the bar. Has her second grade son take pictures of her while drunk at the bar. The young adolescent thinks this is normal until…
She shows up at the other parent’s house every other weekend. Here she thinks this parent and step-parent are ‘weird’ because they don’t drink. Wow…what is wrong with that picture? This young teen is a product of her environment, which is in the house of the crappy parent the majority of the time.
Please understand…I do not condone divorce. I also do not condone abuse. If that is your situation, I am so sorry. Please seek help.
As I said earlier, for me, being divorced is a statistic I am NOT proud of. But, parents…if you have gone through a divorce, I get it.
I get the pain.
I get the hurt.
I get the rejection.
Even if you are the one who initiated it. However, if you have children with that spouse you divorced, PLEASE, I beg you…grow up and be the adult. It’s not about you, it’s about those kids. It’s always about those young, influential minds. Be a positive role model for your children.
Be aware…your kids grow up, get married, have children who become your grandchildren. Your connection with your former never ends. So please, please be the vigilant parent, NOT the crappy one!!! ~Wendy
Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.