Editor’s note: If I didn’t have a mom who I love and am thankful for I would put in an application tomorrow to Tikeetha to be my mom. I can not tell you how excited I was when she offered to post on Skipah’s Realm. Next time I’m in the D.C. area, the crab cakes are on me with my friend Double T!
Trying to parent when you’re going through a divorce sucks.
Those were some of the thoughts that I had when I asked for a divorce four years ago. I thought it would be cordial. We didn’t want to be married. We were making each other unhappy. We both loved our son. I offered joint custody with no child support because I believed that we could both support our son. What could possibly go wrong?
Fast forward to my life right now, and I will tell you that I was living a pipe dream in some ways. I wanted to believe that the man that I had pledged my love to knew me and my heart and wouldn’t try to exact revenge on me. Yeah, that didn’t happen. When a person is hurt they tend to lash out at you no matter what you do. I was heartbroken.
I tried. I tried to keep calm and not get broken down by the nasty phone conversations, emails or text messages. I tried to not want to throw acid on him when I saw him at functions for my son. I tried to not want to vomit any time he wanted to have a conversation. I was angry too. Just a little.
But, one of the things that I will tell you that I tried to do was keep my son separate from all the foolishness. We both wanted him. We both needed him. We both had to grow the hell up or we would mess this little boy up. I never said I was perfect. I never said I was the victim. Trust me…in the beginning I gave as good as I got.
Until one day I started to not care. To not care about the back and forth because my son was suffering. He was having problems in school and I needed to focus on him. No more fights with his father. I needed to be present in his life and make sure that he knows that he is loved and wanted and that it’s not his fault.
Children tend to believe that it is their fault that their parents aren’t together. We’ve explained it to him a lot of times that it’s not his fault. We did therapy. My son was hurting, starting kindergarten and living in two separate homes with two separate rooms. He hated it.
We tried to make it better for him. We let him know that he would have toys at both parent’s home. Yeah, that worked well in the beginning until he had a toy at my house that he wanted to take to his dad’s and then left it. Don’t get me started on how many times homework was left or books forgotten that he needed for school.
We moved the schedule (my suggestion) to accommodate my desire to not lay eyes on his dad and to benefit our son. My son got a real schedule that didn’t confuse him. We exchange on Fridays. We keep it simple. At school. If he’s off on a Friday, we do it at day care. We settled into our new normal.
No one tells you that parenting while divorcing is hard. I think we all hope that we can be better. In some ways I am. I am happier than I’ve ever been. My son is good. He’s happy. He’s healthy. He’s loved.
In the end you just realize that what you’re fighting for is the chance to raise your child in an environment where they will see two people happy and in love. Where they will see and recognize change and not be afraid. Where they will see two people who started over and how much happier their lives have become. Because in the end, that’s all that matters…the happiness of your child.
Tikeetha is the coolest mom on the planet, loves her son like I love Diet Dr. Pepper, and an overall awesome person. If you don’t believe me, see all the thoughts and wisdom of D.C.’s hidden treasure at A Thomas Point of View. When you see the pictures of her precious Mr. Munch, just make sure to remind her that this future #ladykiller respects women. Nevermind, his mom will knock him into last month if he doesn’t. Yeah, she’s that good!