I’m finding there are a lot of helpful blogs out there to help get through the day, or event, or whatever I happen to need to get through, and that it’s much easier to see how someone else could make things work out than it is for me to see the same thing in my life. It would be cool if I could find a way to give myself the advice that seems so easy to give to others, and they claim to really appreciate.
I have a mantra. I frequently fail to keep it going through my head, but it’s a good one, for me, and while it seems like the most common sense thing you could ever think, in this odd life that is new single parenting, it is often forgotten in the battle with the geyser of various (and usually unpleasant) emotions that spring forth, less regularly than Old Faithful, but just as powerfully. In replying to a post at singlemommyhood.com, I realized that I should probably have this written down, or tattooed on the back of my hand.
It’s not about me… It’s not about her, it’s about the kids.
This applies in almost everything that has anything to do with my soon to be ex-wife. I am a fairly petty person, and all kinds of less than kind things run through my mind, and if I can inject the mantra before making a decision, it tends to be a better decision overall. Really anything antagonizing that I could do to her, directly or indirectly, has an effect on the kids. So most the little and not so little petty things I consider doing to get at her, I manage to mantra away , with it’s not about me, it’s all about the kids.
It continues to surprise me how valuable that phrase is. It really doesn’t matter what the situation is, if your really consider how the kids will be effected by whatever it is you’re thinking about doing, or saying, unless you’re really a super-parent, you’ll probably want to do it differently. You may NOT actually do it differently but you’ll at least want to. It also tends to make me a nicer person overall, which is difficult sometimes, because there are lots of situations where I don’t want to be nice to her, but in the long run, not being nice just isn’t going to do anything for me, and in many situations will be damaging for the kids.
You can’t do it all the time, but even if it comes in handy in infrequently, you find it gets easier as time goes on, or at least I do.