Nobody ever really dreams of becoming a split parent family, we are conditioned to want a family where the mum and dad are together with all of the children under one roof. But what happens when one parent leaves the home?
It’s a time filled with turmoil. Not just for the kids but for the parents. The parent that leaves the home will no longer be there in the morning waking up to the family, the parent who still lives in the home will “be left to pick up the pieces” and the kids will have to adapt to one of the parents not always being there. It can be a very upsetting time for all involved. Iv been there… twice.
I split from my partner when he left for another woman, my son was just one year old at the time so did adapt reasonably well. It was me who struggled to adjust.
My now partner was the opposite, his partner had cheated on him and he then had to leave the family home. He had to adapt to not seeing his daughter everyday and not waking up to her every morning. This upset him grately. I was there to watch the aftermath and helped to support him during this period of change.
But what makes our family the greatest?
We accept it for what it is and do our best by it. I have shortlisted a few ideas to what helped us during the transition, and though it took time (which it will) we have a good little family now that has fully adjusted to these changes and are happier for it.
1. Don’t slag off the other parent.
This is an obvious no no. Say what you will to people about your ex, but not infront of the children. Its an obvious one and yet iv heard my friends do it often. It will upset the children, making them feel divided and that’s not fair. (Besides, if your kids are like mine, they will repeat everything you say)
2. Let the children see the other parent
Sounds daft but it’s true. Its going to be hard to split your time up, in a perfect world you and the ex will be able to still do outings together as a family and if you can do that, then go for it. That wasn’t something that me and my ex could do, he wanted to bring the lady he left me for, and I wasn’t up for that. Not yet anyway. Everything was still raw. But I did split the time up 50/50 and let him come to the house to put K to bed some nights- I’d go to the gym, or my mum’s, to give them some time alone. That worked for us. I found that sitting down and talking things through really helped. We were on the same page. He was happy to come to the house because I was unhappy about K sleeping somewhere that wasn’t his own bed. That’s just us, we found solutions.
3. Make sure you get YOU time.
This can be tricky if you’re the parent that’s suddenly left with all of the children. But you need to make sure you get time to yourself. You are still adjusting and potentially healing as well so you need to make sure you reconnect with yourself. Its vital to relieve stress. Happy parent happy children after all.
4. Don’t try to control what the other parent does or doesn’t do.
This one’s tricky. Or can be. Iv seen this one too and it’s part and parcel I think when you’re feeling a bit sour toward the other parent. Which is expected after a break up, unless it ended nicely. The trick here is if you want your life, they need to have theirs as well. You can’t expect to click your fingers and they come running, same as if they click theirs and you go running. They have to have control over what they do with the kids just as much as you do when you’ve got the kids. Its not fair to limit them. I think this comes down to time as well.
This one is paramount to becoming a kick ass split parent family. It has to take time. If you have just become a split parent family then wounds are still fresh and adjustments will take time. It will get better.
6. Treat stepchildren the same But as individuals.
It’s self explanatory this one. I treat all the children as if they are my own. I have a good relationship with my stepdaughter and she will come to me if she has a problem. We are lucky in some respects because she was only little when I met her. So it’s second nature to her as iv always been around and she knows no different.
You will have to work at it every day and you will have to work together to make it work. But have faith, it will all come together. Iv been in a split parent family for six years. My partner has for three years, and even now we are working at it because life gives us new challenges to face regularly. You have to work as a team, and not just the parents. Step parents will come along. I have an amazing relationship with my daughter, and whilst my relationship with her mum could do with more work, we can all sit together and discuss things that are affecting M and her mum can come to us if she needs to. I also know that I can go to my ex if I need to (and believe me i have needed to) and his partner. She treats my child with care and I thank her for that.
Thankyou for reading my blog.
If you have any other ideas what makes a kick was split parent family I would love to hear them!