Peaceful/Conscious Co-Parenting During A Divorce
Yes, you read right! My teaching comes from the core of my own EXPERIENCE. My children's father and I chose co-parenting our children in ways that reaffirm how much they are loved, protect their well-being, and strengthen their ability to overcome future adversity no matter what happens between he and I.
We understand what it takes to stay a family in the middle of separation, divorce and how to go about creating a happy, even sane new normal for us. Separation and divorce doesn't have to stunt a child’s emotional development or their quality of life. Hearing that parents like us are going to divorce is sad and traumatic for some to digest (friends, family, relatives). That said, I say this to use within my teaching platform. Not as a pity, victimized standpoint or for any sympathy. Separation/Divorce experience itself does not scar a child(ren) for life; rather, it is disengagement that can do so. My journey has allowed me to process, heal and also help others within their own experience in conscious parenting together or not.
I do know if one or both parents are preoccupied with their own internal struggle, or if they’re too focused on projecting blame onto the other, this can cause a withdrawal and you can't really focus the attention on your children's needs. That could leave children feeling abandoned by a dismantling family system and alone with their feelings. When children do not have adequate emotional support to help shepherd them through this challenge, they often disengage from their own feelings. But what we resist does persist: Suppressed confusion, sadness, anger, and grief can linger for a very long time if children aren’t given time and space to express, release, and heal. Our children' are smaller and younger and do not even grasp the idea that mama and daddy are departing "marriage" but we are prepared for the unknown questions. We continue to be present and available with them and maintain their lives and much more together.
In order to heal, develop resilience, and continue thriving, we know that our children's feelings need to be heard and attended to. It’s important to keep this observation and conversation going throughout their childhood. I missed this as a child when I watched my parents go through a rough divorce. I went through many developmental stages, challenges and I know that I deserved continued attention and assistance. So NOW, I can support my own children to help them process any issues that arise during this type of transition.
Many partners/couples often “stay together for the children’s sake,” we get it-and we did. We spent 8+ years in a child centered marriage. I have grown to know that children do not thrive emotionally or truly feel “at home” when exposed to chronic conflict, estrangement between parents, or disengaged and dysfunctional role modeling. Under those circumstances, assuming both parents remain emotionally available to their children, divorce can actually be the most beneficial road for the child’s optimal well-being.
The primary goal of our co-parenting is to continue the foundation for our children to become a well-adjusted, independent, confident, and connected individuals. Divorce is and was never the chosen blueprint—it’s usually interpreted as an impediment to our child’s best interest. We chose to handled it with mutual compassion, grace, respect, and patience, the experience of moving through it ultimately gives our children tools to help them navigate future trials and tribulations—skills for problem-solving, conflict management, mindfulness, and resilience. This can actually strengthen their ability to overcome adversity later in life.
Co-parenting during / after divorce is often assumed to be contentious for some parents. Once you’ve lived life as a family under one roof, co-parenting while separated can feel overwhelming, and it can also be hard to imagine working together in a way that does not compromise consistency, security, and connection with your children. But even if the marriage was not a forever fit, each person has the power to choose a co-parenting partnership that reflects and expresses their best self. We are in each other’s lives forever. It can be hard or easy, discourteous or respectful, rigid or compromising. For all concerned parties, it’s a conscious choice to take this path.
Biggest Challenges....Dealing with Grief!
I spent many years grieving and mourning my marriage within my marriage. So the peace I have now in this transition has give me power to get through and I am so thankful.
When separation/divorce happens, everyone experiences some form of grief—whether they are aware of it or not. When couples/partners first fall in love, they usually do so with a full and open heart, as well as a vision for an everlasting love affair that feels safe, loving, and joyful. And sometimes the relationship deteriorates, and there is usually profound disappointment and sadness. Grief is often camouflaged by anger, which can manifest as depression or escalate conflict through projection and/or blame.
WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS HAVING A PHYSICAL EXPERIENCE. Our individual and collective journey is about realizing our true divinity and this miracle of life. There is nothing perfect here, except for our true nature of love, light, and infinite wisdom about the truth of who we really are. My children’s father and I had a mission and an assignment to bring these children on earth together.
I was at one point unable to understand this because of fear in the past. But I tell myself everyday that I am not doing my children a service by presenting a scenario that gives the impression that anything or anyone is perfect. Children do not gain comfort thinking that their parents are flawless and that they have to live up to this fictional standard. They feel most comfortable, safe, and inspired when they witness you taking pride in who you are and taking responsibility for any detours from your best self.
As stated, the most damaging thing you can do to your child is to expose them to and involve them in chaos, drama, and trauma. Most often, the issues you are trying to resolve belong between you and your children’s other parent, or just yourself. That being said, sometimes it’s unavoidable (and actually harmful) to pretend that all is well when it’s not. When your child is old enough to hear the real truth (vs. the sugar-coated one), delivery is everything. The wording you choose will depend on the age of your children.
During this huge shift in my love life and family I have committed to taking time for ME. I spent 10 years with my identity buried in motherhood and as a wife and lost ME and to LIVE my free self.
I always stress the importance of solitude and self-care. Creating healing rituals and a reliable system of resources will provide space to work through grief and all its accompanying feelings. This is the groundwork that has offered a greater sense of repair and grounding, as well as setting the stage for new beginnings for me and for my family as a whole.
Set mantras to remind you of the truth of who you are and what you would like to exemplify for your children!!!!
Doing this brings us back to our deepest longings, intentions, and visions for our best lives. When I work with families going through a similar transition. Sharing, as a family, ideal visions for moving forward will illustrate a common concept and give you something to steer back to when you inevitably detour.
“I know I am safe and loved by both my parents.”
“I am a wise, loving, and courageous person who is committed to staying connected to the truth of who I am.”
“We are two good people, with good hearts and noble intentions. We choose forgiveness, respect, caring, and gratitude for our relationship journey, and we honor all we learned from one another. We are committed to being good team players and remaining a united front as parenting partners for our children.”
“We are and always will be a family that will care for one another.”
MAKE SURE TO HAVE CLARITY OF A SHARED VISION!!!
Most times some parents discover to have differences in lifestyle preferences and/or perception of reality. Moving through divorce peacefully and constructively requires a mutual willingness to focus on your common ground. This will help you return to a more unified energy, providing a greater sense of security and
Successful co-parenting requires you to accept that things will change: New developmental issues and milestones will arise with the children; finances may shift; periodic health challenges come up. New lovers, relationships, and marriages are likely. The more willingly you predict, plan for, and embrace the ebb and flow of life, the more pleasant the road will be for everyone.
BE OPEN TO RECEIVE SUPPORT!!
If you don’t do it for you, do it for your children. You’ll be better off, and they will thank you later.