Not being around the cubs 24/7. They spend the majority if the time with their mum. This is tough.
I read a twitter post from a single dad a while back where he admitted that he broke down in tears the first time they went away and stayed with their mum. I really felt for him. I also immediately wondered if I should have felt more when they first went?
Solipsistic thoughts aside, I realise that in this situation I have been quite fortunate. Although things aren’t a bed of roses between me and the ex, she’s stayed local and realises the importance of me being active in the cub’s lives.
I adore them; I really do. They are everything and I’ve always tried my hardest to build and maintain a strong relationship with them. It’s good for all of us.
The difficulty comes when you start to see the values of the other partner enacted in the cub’s behaviour.
We have differences. Obviously. If we didn’t or they weren’t insurmountable, we’d still be together.
We have; they are and we aren’t.
As parents, we always think we’re right, right? We sometimes find ourselves looking at other parents in scorn. We might not always say something, but we think it.. ‘You don’t do it like that…’
Well when a family splits, you can’t help but judge the other parent in the same way. I try not to.
But some times….
I’m a values based individual; sometimes it can be my undoing.
I can turn off something or someone if they don’t share my values. My principles guide my actions and it tends to be a golden thread in my life. I struggle with those that don’t. I don’t understand them, or what drives them. That can be an issue.
I see my job, as dad, to teach and guide. I prepare the cubs for a future in an uncertain world.
A world which, despite Trump, Brexit and emerging far right threats is a lot better than it was a generation ago.
That said, some things don’t change; determination, fortitude and a positive mental attitude will overcome most obstacles. So will knowledge of self-worth. Never, ever, sell yourself short, nor let anyone undervalue you.
Early days I know, but have a plan.
They’re too young, so it’s our job to keep them on the right path. Respect for others, humility and honesty are rewarded, as is telling the truth. My daughter gets it and there have been several, teary confessionals. More often than not, she’s been rewarded for that honesty, or at least not punished as much. My son, well that’s work in progress.
Here’s the challenge.
They learn so much more from what we do, than what we say. Not only do they pick up on the incongruous but they will mimic whatever it is that they see. I’ve written about this before, but our children are the mirrors that we hold up to ourselves.
Make sure you like what you see.