During divorce and many years following (maybe forever?)… there are bad days. I have learned to manage these much better and avoid triggers and/or negative influences, but when my babies have bad days – there is nothing to describe the pain and heartache.
My youngest had a bad day yesterday and thankfully she’s only had a few. It was tough. I couldn’t do anything but listen. We have a policy in our house that anything can be said and revealing your heart is always ok. It started with a rough day at school and then it escalated into all her worries from the past couple years. She had questions about divorce and why it’s part of anyone’s world. She revealed bad memories she had of our lives before divorce. We talked about her friends at school that are struggling with their parents divorce and how they confide in each other. She discussed the issues she has at both houses. She opened up about the trouble she has trying to make sure she’s got everything she needs and doesn’t forget stuff. She was heartbroken and pouring it all out. I listened and cried with her.
After what felt like forever, she was done revealing her hurt. I decided to redirect the discussion and focus on positives. We talked about how we can do things in both houses to stay happy and enjoy all the blessings we have. She started talking about the good memories she had before the divorce and some good ones since. We discussed ways to help her feel less broken like keeping photos of me and her father together in her room and us working together to keep the atmosphere light and happy when we are all in the same place or at the same event. We talked a lot about how much she is loved and the benefit of having bonus parents that love her too. We cuddled and went to bed early to get some rest.
There are lots of takeaways from this bad day…
– I’m reminded that the world could be a much better place if we all saw it through the eyes of a child.
– Change is tough on little ones and even the smallest change can trigger hurt.
– No matter how hard my days are, my girls need my focus and my presence when I am home.
– Regardless of the happiness we provide, it will not take away the fact that her family is broken and her parents are not together.
– Parents and bonus parents should put out as much effort as possible to put aside the differences and provide a united front for the kids. We will disagree, but the kids should not be in the middle. They should come first.
– Bad days will happen and an open ear with no boundaries is so important.
– Divorce forces kids to feel they have no control over what happens to them. Let them be part of your household decisions and give them some control back.
I have learned so much over the past couple years, but I have to remember our girls are learning huge life lessons too. My guidance and effort are needed all the time. It’s ok to have bad days and it’s ok to fall, but we will continue to be positive, focus on the good and grow together. Today is going to be a good day!