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Dealing with sharing your kids with your ex...

Written by Aimee Hair


Posted on June 03 2019

Instant eye roll, I know... we all hate having to deal with an ex and especially hate having to co parent with them. 

I mean, it's bad enough remembering we had sex with that person (as much as we try to scratch that thought out of our memory), let alone still have to speak with them about our kids! It's a hard thing to do, but guess what? It's harder for our kids to have to go backwards and forwards between the two, and can even be traumatic for them if their parents can't suck it up and get along in front of them. 

If you have followed me for some time, you will know that I am NOT a fan of my ex husband, I'm that much of a 'non-fan' that I don't tell people I was married to him - I will rarely call him my 'ex husband' and usually just say my ex (or the sperm donor to some people when I'm mucking around). To be bluntly honest, he does my head in and I think very little of him... that is how much I don't like him. BUT, in front of my kids - he is one of my 'best friends.' They don't need to know my feelings towards their father, firstly it's none of their business, and... he is their Dad!! They love him! It's not up to me to influence their thoughts and feelings about the man that they think is a rock star. 

Let me tell you a story about how damaging it can be for kids who have parents who influence their thoughts and feelings:
I grew up HATING my father. My parents were together all throughout my childhood, we all lived under the same roof, went out together as a family... but my Mum made it quite clear to me that she didn't like my Dad, she would say things like 'If he died, I would kick him to his grave' and 'I can't leave him because I have you.' Now, these words affected me in two very big ways - they taught me to hate based on someone else's opinion and not my own and it taught me that you should stay in an unhappy relationship when you have kids, because you have nowhere to go and no way out. 
I was 28 when I mended my relationship with my father and finally realised how toxic my mother's actions and words were, and I was eight years and two kids into an unhappy and toxic relationship when I realised that I didn't want to follow my mother's footsteps and I deserved better. 
All but four years of my life I have held onto feelings of anxiety, hatred, resentment and unhappiness because I was brought up thinking 'that's just how it is'. 

Your children, DID NOT ASK FOR A BROKEN HOME. It isn't their fault that their parents couldn't be together. They should NEVER, EVER feel ill affects of their parents breaking up... EVER! Children are innocent and unless you don't care about messing up their lives, then DO NOT allow your feelings to project onto your kids. They will work it all out for themselves when they are older and they do not need input from other people.

I feel so strongly about this because I look at it as hurting my children... someone says or does something negative to them about their family - it HURTS them!
I had the displeasure of experiencing this first hand with my big boys grandparents one afternoon. It was around the time that Lukas had his final major operation for his disease and we had a close family member receiving a world first trial cancer drug. I had booked an appointment with my hairdresser for a trial with my extensions for mine and Dion's wedding and I happened to book an appointment for the boys to have their hair cut at the same time...
MY GOODNESS, what a shit show!
When I walked through the door, one of my boys was with my hairdresser having his hair cut and the other was on the couch with his grandparents. Of course the boys were excited to see me, they had been with their Dad all week and what kid isn't happy to see Mum! The grandparents scoffed and muttered 'what is she doing here, checking up on us' they were very unhappy to see me (cough, cough, at MY hairdressers... at the appointment that I had made for MY kids!!). I had mentioned to my hairdresser that I was expecting an important phone call that afternoon and may need to run off to take it. I was waiting to hear from Dion with results from our family members' biopsy, to see if the new drug had worked. Before we could get started with my hair, my phone rang... it was Dion. I ducked out the back to take the call and the news wasn't good. I was shattered, he was shattered; we were told the treatment hadn't worked and there was nothing more they could offer. I hadn't got off the phone when my hairdresser walked out the back to where I was with a horrified look on his face. His eye's were wide, he was a little pale, he looked at me and shook his head in disbelief. When I got off the phone he proceeded to tell me that when he had finished cutting the boys hair he told them that I was out the back and they could go out there to say goodbye to me. Their grandparents caused a scene in the salon, angrily stating 'NO! It's their Dad's week - they don't need to see HER!' stormed out the salon, dragging the boys by their arms and didn't even pay for their haircuts! (this is just the 'classy' type of people they are... and not an isolated incident with their behaviour). 

Again, children are innocent in break ups of their parents and they should never feel like they have to choose between parents or ever be caught in the middle. My trick to dealing with my ex is simple: I always think of my kids first. Will this affect them negatively or positively? Am I displaying good or bad qualities to them? What will ensure they are happy and don't feel ill effects of their parents breaking up? 
As far as my kids are concerned - I am friends with their Dad. He and I get along and so do their step parents, the kids are happy and that is exactly how it should be!


~ Aimee xx