By: Amy Gentry
In 2005, I became a divorcee. Not something I ever thought I’d be, but the papers had been signed and agreements on how to raise a daughter in separate homes had been made. The divorce had been my doing and was very painful for everyone it impacted. But now, seven years after the fact, I truly admire my ex-husband’s level of forgiveness toward me and his deep love for our daughter as we have created a burst of love and support around this kid.
Since the divorce, I have married the right man for me and we have had two children together. My ex-husband married a fantastic woman and they also have a child. So my daughter, now ten years old, has a family of five on one side and a family of four on the other side. We refer to ourselves as her “posse.” At soccer games, talent shows, Christmas pageants and science fairs she can easily have seven people standing up for her. If any of her four sets of grandparents are there, we can take up an entire row on the bleachers. I often introduce my husband and my daughter’s step-mother to people at the same time. We’ll get funny looks every once in a while, but it’s our life and we’re proud of what we have built for this one young girl.
I realize many marriages end and simply can not find a civil road on which to meet. The pain of the relationship runs too deep for an amicable existence. And, quite unfortunately, children are often caught in the middle of a parental tug-of-war regarding vacations, holidays, finances and all of the other nitty-gritty that goes with child rearing.
I don’t judge any other parents. Ever. Well, mostly never, since we can’t truly know other’s situations. But I think it’s obvious the negative impact a strained relationship between divorced parents can have on a kid. It’s simply a burden that no one deserves to carry through life. I do know the positive impact that a civil (and even friendly) parental relationship can have on kids of divorce. Our daughter not only sees both of her parents in loving marriages now, but she benefits from seeing the respectful and supportive relationship between the people who are raising her together.
It is a gift worth working for.
Seeing her surrounded by her “posse,” receiving praise for a job well done at the winter concert, I am proud of how we’re all raising this girl. But more importantly, I know that she is proud of this family of hers.
Amy Gentry is a very average human, woman, wife and mother, starting a journey to a healthier life, while trying to figure out what she wants to be if she ever grows up. You can follow more of her adventures on Average Joe Mama.