1. A beautiful well-adjusted 10-year-old daughter.
2. A person I can still seek parenting advice from.
3. A better platform for discussion because when we don’t agree it is easier to sort out a solution because the topic is always on my daughter only.
4. I have a break regularly and my daughter gets to see the other person in the world who she loves to bits.
5. I can show my daughter how to get-along with people (even when it is hard sometimes).
I have been divorced for 5 years and the first year is the hardest, while emotions settle down, but if the parents realise the benefits of having a positive, co-parent relationship early and work at establishing this, the rest can fall into place. The absolute best way to look at it is: what can be done so my child is more comfortable going to Daddy’s or Mummy’s place?
I don’t really think it matters how the relationship ends. I know some people are reading and thinking of course it does because ‘he did this’ and ‘she deserves that’. However, the only loser, in all of the built up anger, is the child and sometimes when this is realised, it’s too late. Of course we are sad when our relationship is over and our self-esteem takes a dive. Nevertheless, letting going of the anger and the need to punish your partner, because of the relationship breakdown, is vital so your children flourish.
I have had a lot of people say it would be great if all divorced parents got on like I do with Emma’s Dad; I love hearing that because it also means Emma is in a good place. If two people, the child loves the most, can have a co-parenting relationship; then this is very positive for the child.
Mistakes were made in the early years, but I had to challenge my thoughts and believe in the coincidence of life being the way it was and I had to realise how bad I felt if I believed Emma’s Dad was anything but a good person. This was a challenge, but this thinking helped me move on to be happier and healthier. If someone believes negative thoughts about someone; this thinking affects the person, thinking it, more than anything.
My mistakes, along with new knowledge, made me realise I had to be strong for Emma. I had to encourage her little eyes to light up when I mentioned her Dad. When I suggested buying a Father’s day present or taking a craft to Daddy’s place or a drawing – she would just have the biggest smile on her face. As I write this blog, I realise, among other things, it was definitely the smiles that taught me to treat Emma’s Daddy properly.