Moving into my new apartment was great for me. It was not only a big milestone in my life but it also was a huge accomplishment for me. I went from sleeping at my moms house and sharing a room with my young nieces. I even slept in my car in the parking lot of a hospital after my sister and I got into a big fight, to moving into a small one bedroom apartment and not having enough space to put all of my children to now living in a very spacious three bedroom apartment. The only thing I was missing was my children.
Coming from a house with both parents living under the same roof. Meaning, it was me, my husband and my children for many years. All of a sudden there were two separate households and the kids were right in the middle of it. This was all new to me as it was new for them. In my perfect world, I wanted all my children to live with me and I was willing to do whatever I had to do in order to get that done. When I was living in my one bedroom apartment, my oldest daughter moved in with me but because of our differences, she decided to move back in with her father. I was more of a disciplinary and he was very relaxed. At the time it was not okay with me but I took it for what it was. Moving forward, I was focusing on getting my other kids to move in with me. What I did not know or understand was the fact that the kids probably did not want to move in. That was something that was very difficult for me to accept. I had to understand that I was asking them to leave a place that was comfortable for them into the unknown. That was a scary transition for them just as it was scary for me.
Let me explain. A divorce is not only hard on the adults but it is also hard on the children. My children were no exception to the pain caused by their parents getting divorced. In many situations, it is assumed that the children would automatically live with their mother. It is also assumed that the father would give the house to the ex wife and allow her to be with the kids. In my case, everything was the complete opposite. He had the house, which I gave to him in the divorce, because I did not have to means to fight him for it in court. Besides, at the time I was so ready to be done with everything I just gave him what he wanted so that I could move on with my life.
In my mind, I figured it would’t be so hard for me to have my children move in with me because that is what’s automatically expected. I didn’t consider their feelings or what they wanted to do which is something I should have considered before expecting them to up and leave everything they knew. When I presented them with the opportunity to move in with me, they hesitated. I didn’t understand their hesitation initially, but I wasn’t going to be pushy about the subject. The most painful thing I’ve experienced was the rejection that came from my children. I had to understand that I’d broken their trust by leaving. They did not fully understand my reasoning for leaving. All they saw was the fact that their mother had left and moved on with her life. They didn’t understand that I had been fighting hard to rebuild myself up to a place where I’d be able to support them the ways they needed to be supported. From that moment, I knew I had to start repairing the broken relationship I had, but did not want to admit to, with my children. My new focus was going to start with rebuilding trust with my children, which I had no issues with. I knew I would have to get my children to trust me again and I knew I had to do that without bashing their father because in reality, although him and I were over, the children will always love their dad. I will say, I had to fight the filth he had placed in my children’s heart about me out of his own hurt. Let him tell it, I was the worst mother in the world and he would tell them that I did not love them and I left them behind and how he was always there for them. I was being painted as the bad guy. However, with guidance from God I had to learn not to seek revenge or meet him at his level. I was instructed to take the high road. Let me tell you, that was challenge in itself. I wanted to be just as petty as him but I knew it would hurt the kids more if I became disgruntled and bitter. I had to, once again be the bigger person and not let his actions or my personal feelings get the best of me.
There is a purpose for everything and in everything. In times of uncertainty, trust God and have faith that it will all work out in the end……
2 thoughts on “But What About the Kids???”
This is a very brave post. Thank you for writing it. Acknowledging that your kids need to learn to trust you again after you left is courage personified. I’d love to see a post with your action steps, and your methodologies for building trust again. G.
I had lot’s of patience and understanding. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it.