Talking to my children about the divorce was scary to me. Despite knowing Seth and I are making the right choice, there is still the ingrained social values that, when I am not on top of my game, make me feel like a failure. Children deserve two parents together and married, right? We told Tajh many months ago, knowing at 10 years, and being who he is, it would be easiest. At the time his only questions was “where will we all live?” and the answer was we were all continuing to live together. Now that things are moving forward and our actual divorce day is tomorrow, we felt it was finally time to let the others know. Seth and I sat Tea and Tay down and had our chat. The important points here are: 1. Divorce looks terrible coming from others parents and 2. Children just need to know you care about them. Tea brought us into a long conversation about her friend we will call “Tara” and how her parents can’t even attend the same school functions together and how sad that makes “Tara”. How terrible is that? Two adults who can’t put their own feelings aside so their child can feel loved. How are such selfish human beings allowed to procreate?
When we get back from our grand summer adventure we will be getting a “kids house”. A place where they stay, no 2 homes, 2 bikes, 2 of everything. At this house Seth and I will each have our own space as well, but we will be the ones moving back and forth. We will both have separate places we will stay when it is not our time at the “kids house” We will plan on having dinner all together at the “kid house” multiple times a week, but also giving each other time to parent without the other one there.
Talking with Tea about this seemed to calm her fears. No we do not hate each other, we actually are friends and love spending time together. No we will not have to take turns coming to all your special things, we will even sit next to each other! Tay is of course quiet during all this, being a 6-year-old boy means being slightly oblivious, by nature. Eventually he did chime in with: “Grama and Grampa Jim are divorced”. This shocked me because I had never had that conversation with him, but that was all his imput, and he was ready to go play again.
Screw the societal norms, I do what I want. This “kid house” will work for us for a while, and then we will reevaluate. Seth or I having more children with someone else will require a revaluation, but at least our children will get some time in their space, no moving, no stress, just to continue being kids. Seth and I deciding that we aren’t made to be married has nothing to do with them, that’s our adult problem. It is our job to continue to be friends (which is pretty easy for us) and do everything we can to give them the happiest childhood possible. Maybe sharing a “kid house” is not for everyone, but any little step you can make to unburden children with your adult problems will help them. As adults it is our job to make sure no one takes away their childhood, why should their parents be the first to? I love my Littles, and I love Seth, just as long as I don’t have to be married to him!
Sabrina, as a child that was not given this consideration, your plan made me cry. Bravo to you and Seth for actually being the grown ups you are meant to be! Your kids deserve the kid house and to be allowed to be stable. Making choices between Mommy and Daddy should never have to happen. Thank you for sharing your journey. It is inspirational.