Blended Family: The Ex
More often than not, I shy away from talking about my stepchildren’s mom.
My guess is that by now you’re thinking that we don’t get along, in fact, you may even be thinking that we hate each other. Maybe that she makes our lives a living hell and on bad days I wish I’d never married a man with kids.
When I’m out and about at social events or around friends of friends, this must be what goes through people’s minds the second I say “I’m a stepmom”.
Being a stepmom in today's society very often equals,
Never really seeing your stepchildren because their dad has a ridiculous and limited access schedule
You and their mom can’t be in the same room together without name calling, animosity or resentment.
On countless occasions, I’ve watched people struggle to find words or the courage to ask me what my relationship is like with their mom. Even going so far as asking if I have a good bond with my stepchildren. I’m the kind of person who would like to say “this is none of your business!” and keep going about my day. But, I also know that I should speak up, I should use my voice and experience to show how it can be done differently.
At the end of the day, it’s about adults acting like adults, being mature and putting the kids first. That’s all.
It’s not about who was married to who first. It’s not about her having 'firsts' with the guy you’re now with, it’s not about who cheated or lied or hurt the other person. It is, however, about the kids. The kids you’re now co-parenting or the stepchildren you’re co-parenting.
For some people, becoming friends will never happen, and that’s okay. Every blended family is unique and deals with different dynamics. I’m not asking you to become best friends with your stepchildren’s mom. All I’m hoping for is that it’s civil for the sake of the kids. They often notice more than we realize and the less we can impact them with our adult bs the better.
When it comes to my relationship with my husband’s ex-wife, from now on I will divulge all the juicy gossip everyone is waiting on, go all out and not shy away from the subject. Although I’m pretty sure I will let tons of people down because it’s not what they’re expecting to hear.
In our day-to-day life,
Teachers compliment us on our great co-parenting relationship. Often commenting that they rarely see it in their classrooms. After the third time, I felt like a walking billboard for positive co-parenting.
At the last parent orientation day at the school, I felt the urge to clarify that we are not a couple after she introduced us as the mom and stepmom of one of the students to the principal. This wasn’t the first time clarifying this fact either. More often than not we show up to the school while our husbands are at work.
I can’t keep track of how many nights we have spent having a glass of wine and a chat in the past 5 years.
At this stage in the game, I’m just done with feeling awkward about our relationship. I’m done with the raised eyebrows, surprised and confused looks over something that should be celebrated when raising kids in two households and is slowly becoming more and more common.
So today I say,
Yes, I’m friends with my husband's ex-wife and I wouldn’t want it any other way.