Today I felt inclined to write a little post about me, get a little personal with you. I don’t know if it is because of the upcoming holidays or the family pictures we had taken last week. I felt like I wanted to share more about my personal life, which I usually keep very private.
So I divorced in 2012 after being married for 11 years and had two boys from that marriage. When we divorced we agreed that we would share custody (50/50) of our boys who were 8 and 2.5 years old. I didn’t want them to only see their dad every other weekend. I wanted them to enjoy equal time with both of us. I felt like I owed my boys that because they did not ask for the divorce.
Over the last few months my youngest son, who is now 8, is struggling more then ever. He hates the back and forth and just wants his mom and dad together (what ever kid wants). It breaks my heart every time he has to leave and I hear that he is not happy from his dad and teachers. Crazy thing is that is it not just leaving my house that makes him unhappy, he misses his dad when he leaves his house too. It just takes him a couple of days to adjust and enjoy being with the other parent, then he seems content. Until Sunday he realizes it is time to switch. Then the sad faces and latching on begins and the questions ‘why did you and daddy have to divorce?’. He just doesn’t quite understand yet.
Being a parent is hard and although we try to do our best and make the best choices for our children. But sometimes it is not enough. Sometimes I feel like I failed them by divorcing their dad and that I was selfish for wanting to be happy (took a year of counseling to stop feeling guilty). And when you have an ex who you can’t really communicate with consistently it makes trying to raise 2 boys a little difficult. Communication with their dad was lacking in our marriage and it continues to be lacking after our divorce. I wish I could say that we are co-parenting to the best we can, but I can’t. It is hard when someone doesn’t want to communicate in person with their spouse around but can talk on the phone for hours when they are alone. He lets personal feelings get in the way of the kids best interest and that is not a good way to co-parent. I believe that all anger and bitterness should be put aside and divorced parents should work together to make the children’s life run a little smoother with 2 households. We share them 50/50 and should be on the same page. And I feel like the children see the lack of interaction from their parents and it doesn’t help make their situation any easier.
Yes my divorce wasn’t pretty and a lot of hurt, anger and bitterness still seems to linger on the other end. Has enough time not passed for those feelings to subside? I would think so but I guess not. I was in counseling for a year after my divorce and learned a lot about forgiveness (mainly forgiving myself) and how to manage the divorce with children involved. It was eye opening and great to talk it through with someone neutral. I just wish my ex would have done the same. But I keep trying to be the bigger person for my boys, and nothing changes even 6 years later. But it is hard not to want to have a healthy relationship with my kids dad. Is that too much to ask? Shouldn’t we be on the same page?
Here we are 6 years later and my boys have 2 homes, 2 families, 2 somewhat different lives every other week. Holidays are the hardest because with the holidays comes family photo seasons. I see all these family photos starting to pop up on my social media pages. People asking outfit ideas, blog posts about color schemes and people posting previous years pictures. It hits home pretty hard for me.
I love taking family pictures and love having them on my walls in my house, on Christmas cards and on social media for everyone to like. But they just don’t feel right with a blended family sometimes. I failed to mention that my husband also has 2 boys who are 21 and 27. They don’t live close and don’t want to participate in pictures, which is fine, I can’t and won’t force them to do that. But I know it hurts my husband to see photos of just him and I with my boys and to know that his don’t want to be involved. Another struggle we deal with.
So I opt to not do family photos yearly, more like every 3/4 years. I struggle even asking my husband to take them. I would love a great family photo every year but I know that won’t happen, maybe when one of our four boys gets married. A mom can dream.
Will it ever feel ‘right’? Will my boys be ok? Will my stepsons? Will this get any easier on everyone? Will we ever live a ‘normal’ blended family life (is that even a thing)?
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