Author: Mother Cusser/Tuesday, February 4, 2014/Categories: Cussing, Pumpkin Pie, DIVORCE..., Don't let them win.
This past Saturday I was a fan at the Father/Son Flag Football game that is put on by our local YMCA here in Franklin, TN.
It is an event that all my kids look forward to – my stepsons and my sons.
And my stepsons always want to be on the same team as my sons (except for one stepson who prefers to watch and cheer on the team).
So do the math…
If my stepsons and my sons want to be on the same team – then that means my ex-husband is going to be on the same team as my husband.
You read that right. My EX husband is going to be on the SAME TEAM as my husband. For the world of non-divorced people – that can be tricky. But the kids don’t see it that way. The kids see it as they are playing flag football with their brothers and their Dads. It’s very simple and very black and white to them.
You see – in the world of divorce - study after study after study says that the children who do the best in divorce situations are the ones whose parents are most reasonable during and after the divorce. The kids watch the adults in their lives and model how they manage stress, change and the ex spouse.
But that is not always an easy task. It takes WORK. Sometimes more work than you did when you were married (yes, there is much irony here) – to maintain a healthy attitude and respect for the person you had children with AND their significant other. Because it’s called “work” that means it’s not easy to do. But if you want your kids to feel okay, it’s the right thing to do.
In our case – my ex and my husband have done an amazing job of being respectful to one another as the Dad and as the Stepdad in the boys’ lives. They don’t step on each other’s toes and the kids don’t even notice that they are hanging out with MY ex-husband and my husband. The kids just really don’t care or even think about it.
They just want to play flag football with their brothers. And win, of course.
Here’s the best part. During the game my husband was standing near my son who tipped the ball into the air. Because my husband is a good guy and wanted my son to have another chance to catch it – he stretched out a little too far to tip it back to my son. In doing so, he twisted his ankle horribly and tore his tendons. I helped him get off the field and the game went on.
Literally the next play – I see my ex-husband walking off the field holding his right hand. Evidently, he’d been trying to catch a pass and an overzealous-I-was-a-football-hero-in-high-school- Dad slashed my ex as he was trying to catch the pass and fractured his thumb.
But my sons and stepson kept playing. And they won the game!
My life is strange. I know this. I know it looks weird to be helping my husband limp off the field and then turn around and share my extra ice pack with my ex. And maybe you look at my situation and you judge me. Maybe it’s not how you would do it. Maybe you think I’m wrong for that. I don’t know. I can’t care about that because it’s not about you, is it?
In this day and age where families can sometimes be more or less than just the mom, dad, kids model – this is how it works for me.
I was proud of my unconventional family team. There’s a metaphor here for my family. It takes work to play on a team and win the game. And sometimes you get injured along the way. But being on a team means sacrificing your immediate needs for the group.
Family wins when the kids are free to succeed on their own to win their game.
We definitely aren’t the "Leave it to Beaver" family model. But I guarantee you we’d totally crush Wally, The Beave and Ward in a flag football game.
Number of views (3534)/Comments (3)
2/4/2014 4:21 PM
I applaud you guys! I'm also divorced, remarried and the mother of adult sons. My ex is also remarried and has 2 stepdaughters. One of our sons was recently married so there was a lot of events that brought us all together over the past few months. And we had fun! There is no animosity between us, the boys enjoy being with their stepsisters and his wife and I get along well as do my husband and my ex. I was determined that the kids would always feel comfortable with their father and know that it was ok to love him. And my life became easier too! Win-Win
2/4/2014 4:36 PM
You really are a SUPER mom! You see the bigger picture and you've got it right! I'm proud of you and I know how much all of the guys in your life are so blessed by your perspective too. Love ya, M.C.
2/9/2014 7:27 PM
Glad to see we're not the only 'unconventional' family - vacationing with my son's biological mother and her man seems weird to some, but it works for us. (I can't call him my stepson, it just doesn't feel right. Just because he has a different mother doesn't make him not my son. She treats my biological kids like they were hers, too. It's all good!) Too bad my ex is a POS who isn't interested in his children's lives.