My ex doesn’t make it to the children’s games…
By Cindy Romer, Yellowbrick Accredited Divorce Coach
Enter the familiar feel of September, Fall sports and back to school nights are upon us. It is one of the situations I hadn’t thought of when I was trying to foresee all the scenarios of a divorce and what our children would be feeling. As with anything, until you’re in the situation you cannot conceive the feelings and what will arise. If you’re separated, divorced or contemplating; consider how will you handle these situations, and paramount to anything how do you want your children to see you handle them?
A Monday text … “Hi. Joey’s schedule is up, game this Saturday at 9, will you be there?” Perhaps the text goes unanswered and Thursday you ask again, Friday you may have your child ask…one painful response, “Dad doesn’t care about that”.
Maybe the pain that I feel is something selfish, I expect him to be there and it’s completely out of my control. It has felt like the last hold out as a family unit for the children. Ideas of us both still supporting the kids in the very same way, watching them play, look to us and we smile and cheer as we always had. MY ideas…but alas, it is only mine that I have control of.
What is one to do?
* Let them know he’s the best father he can be. Whatever it takes to surround children with love. They need love and hope that they will be continued to be loved.
*Go back into your own memories as child. For me, 30 years ago my father owned his own business and could not be at my sporting events. If he wasn’t working he wasn’t making money. I knew he cared about me and I didn’t feel less without him there. I try to harness this and bring it to the present. If your ex is supportive financially it can be explained that Dad works so you can play the sports and he and I can buy the equipment you need.
*Look at it all through a different lens, stand in your child’s shoes. The games are theirs to enjoy and look back on as fun and growth not that a parent was missing from the stands.
*Allow yourself to have compassion for your ex, it will be hard and of course, we want to be angry. Fighting about It and having your child plead with your ex will only cause more disappointment. It’s your ex’s loss, no one else’s. It will also take away your own joy in being there for your children. Go to the games and embrace these golden days that only last a short while. They can call Dad after a game and that will be ok. Kids can have a solid relationship with each parent but not at the same time nor in the same way.
– Cindy Romer, Yellowbrick Accredited Divorce Coach