No matter your title or marital status, we’re in this with you.
It occurred to me recently that we address many of our blogs as if both parents are still engaged in a relationship with the child, still both parenting, just separately now. Then, it occurred to me that while that is ideal for a child whose parents are split, it may not be your reality.
You may be a single mom or single dad just trying to make it alone. You may be a grandparent or an aunt doing a fair share of the parenting through this divorce. Maybe you’re a much older sibling or a friend trying to figure out how you can help. Maybe you’re a stepparent navigating the world with a child of your own and now a stepchild too or maybe your stepchild is your only.
I don’t know where you are, but I want you to know that we see you and you are not alone.
If I’m honest, any form of parenting seems challenging to me. Especially when trauma or crisis or divorce comes in with all its big emotions and mayhem, for the adults and the kids.
When an 8 year old boy throws a tantrum and locks himself in his room because he doesn’t want to go to his mom’s house or a teenage girl goes silent and stops talking to everyone in the family in the middle of a divorce, it’s hard. No matter if you’re the aunt running the show, the stepparent home from work, or a grandfather trying to help along the way.
In any of those roles, or simply as a single parent with an uninvolved other parent, there’s a ton of pressure. We want you to know we see that and notice you.
There’s the pressure of bills and childcare and taking care of the home, not to mention the day to day tasks of running a family and a life. There’s the added pressure of likely feeling the need to compensate for what your kids don’t have.
From our hearts to yours: I’m so sorry about that. I’m sorry for the times you feel alone or discouraged or overlooked.
We do not ever want to overlook you, your kids, or your experience.
This is what we want you to know:
We want you to know that you are welcome here, cared about here, and your struggles as a parent matter to us.
We also want you to know that your kids matter to us greatly.
We will continue writing blogs about summer visitations that may not apply to you or conversations with ex-spouses that you haven’t heard from in ten years. In the midst of that, we want you to know that you are not forgotten.
We want to ask you some specific questions as well so we can write more resources for you and your kids.
So tell me this:
What are your kids struggling with specifically?
What are some of the specific challenges you find yourself dealing with regarding your kids or your parenting that you could use some resources on?
What are some areas we are missing that would be helpful for raising the children you love?
Are you a stepparent for the first time wanting to do this well but clueless with the behavior of your new child?
How can we help?
Are you a single mom or dad wondering what to do as your child reaches a certain age without a mother or father figure present? What kinds of resources would benefit you?
The heart of where we’re coming from is this: We know divorce leaves effects on kids. There’s no question there.
We want to help others be aware of that and then work toward a solution of health, wholeness, and happiness for your children and family, no matter what that family looks like.
Within my extended family alone, there are single moms, stepparents, grandparents and aunts and uncles functioning as parents. There have been more divorces than I like to remember and effects of those divorces trickling down several generations.
For each of us, there is still hope and there is still help. As much as we are each willing to seek and accept.
That’s how we feel for you too.
You and your kids may be carrying baggage and my instincts say it’s probably heavy and you’re probably tired.
If you are, I bet your kids are too.
Also, I want to say a note here about bravery.
Personally, I think every parent doing their best in this gig of raising children is a hero. The work is hard and the days are long. It takes courage to pick up that baggage every single day, especially baggage you didn’t intend to carry.
If you are an unconventional parent, as so many parents are these days by choice or often not, your bravery and courage is through the roof.
You work and then work some more and then work some more, often unnoticed.
You are making choices and sacrifices every day for the benefit of your children that you likely never intended to do or especially not do alone and that kind of courage is the rawest there is.
Who’s also taking heat and working hard? Often your kids.
I’ve worked with kids in therapy offices who never intended to live with grandparents or didn’t want to give up a relationship with their dad and you know what? Those kids to me are brave warrior kids too.
They handle questions and unconventional audiences at school plays and extra chores like champs sometimes, and I’m always impressed at the courage often extended there as well.
Overall, it’s clear. Human beings in general are brave, amazing creatures who can do more than we ever imagined.
We do get discouraged and we don’t have to do it alone. Kids or parents.
So, if you have a minute, let us know how we can come alongside you and help. Tell us what your kids are carrying that’s too heavy and let us know what kinds of resources you’d really love to see.
Then, take a moment to check out our recent blog on community.
Sometimes doing this parenting thing together makes all the difference in the world.
Thanks in advance for helping us help your kids and letting us know the resources you need to succeed.
We’ll look forward to your responses and look forward in the future to hearing stories about your kids thriving again.
- Making Order of Their Needs - December 1, 2017
- From Bah-Humbug to Christmas Cheer: How to Handle the Holidays after Divorce - December 1, 2017
- What Your Son Needs When The Ground is Shaking: Specifics for Mom and Dad - December 1, 2017