Sometimes happiness comes under the most unexpected of circumstances.

Letting Things Go

Posted: July 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: happiness, parenting, tips for a peaceful divorce | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Despite my harmonious relationship with my ex, we still have conflicts, disagreements, and occasionally hurt each other’s feelings.  Just yesterday we butted heads over who would take the kids on Wednesday night.  I am heading home to Northampton after being in California for five weeks and, frankly, I can’t wait to get some time to myself.  Yes, we have had an incredibly fun vacation.  Yes, my family has entertained and cared for the kids.  Yes, I love all the togetherness time, but I am also dying for a break from being a solo parent (my heart goes out to the single moms and dads who don’t have help from a co-parent).

My ex keeps telling me how much he misses Jonah and Layla, so I assumed (never assume, never assume) that he would want to have them our first night back in town even though it’s not his usual night.  So I made plans with a girl friend to go to yoga and then to her house afterwards.  I mentioned this to my ex on the phone the next time we talked (in the midst of Chinatown while waiting for a cable car and with a dragon parade in the background, perhaps not the best venue for this), and he said, sure they can stay with me…after yoga (did I mention that he goes to my yoga studio too?  There are a few stories there.)  So I got a little pissy about the fact that he has had five weeks free of parental duties and thought couldn’t he miss yoga this one time.  He said we’ll talk about it later.

At that moment I had two options.  Get mad at him for not immediately accepting my proposal or just let it go.  Okay, I think we all know that the second option is preferable, but it’s not always easy.  So here is what I told myself to feel better about it.

1) We arrive after midnight on Wednesday morning and my ex is picking us up at the airport. He doesn’t have to do that, but he does it because he is still family.  He can’t wait to see the kids and is willing to miss some sleep and inconvenience himself to see them as soon as possible.  Oh…and he kinda misses me too.

2) Yoga is important to his wellbeing.  I can’t argue with this because it is important to mine as well.  A friend has asked me to do a blog piece about the benefits of hot yoga, and I will someday, but for now suffice it to say that it makes us both calmer and less reactive, which are very good things.  When my daughter complains that I am going to yoga, I tell her that I am a better mama because of this practice and that she should be glad that I do it.  I can’t be hypocritical now.

3) I can go to the gym instead. I want to do a little more cardio anyway and the kids love the childcare at the gym so we could just do that instead and be quite content.

4) My ex is fond of his routine. Many divorcees have custody arrangements that are set in stone, and they have to consult their attorneys to make any temporary changes for travel or whatnot.  Thank God we’re not like that.  We are flexible with each other’s needs, but we also both tend to like to stick to the routine that we have in place, and Wednesday nights are my nights with the kids.  The positive side of this is that my ex is reliable and I can always count on him to take the kids on his nights.

5) Is this worth picking a fight over? This is a question that I ask myself frequently (frankly I should have asked it more when we were married).  This is where I have made the biggest strides.  I have learned that there are very, very few issues that are worth fighting over.  Sure, we all want our own way, but is that really going to get us what we ultimately want, which is a peaceful co-parent relationship that allows us (and more importantly the kids) to continue to have a happy family experience?

So one of the keys to my peaceful divorce is that more often than not, I let things go.  Because it is best for the kids.  Because it is best for family harmony.  Because it is best for me.  And, most importantly, if I really think about it, there is always a way to make it a win-win situation for everyone.

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8 Comments on “Letting Things Go”

  1. 1 Homeshuling said at 1:41 pm on July 25th, 2010:

    These are pretty much the same strategies I use to maintain a peaceful marriage….

  2. 2 Molly Monet said at 2:30 pm on July 25th, 2010:

    Yep…I think they are pretty universal to maintaining any relationship. I’m going to write a piece soon about how the lessons I have learned from my divorce have helped me improve all my relationships.

  3. 3 pell grant said at 6:27 pm on July 25th, 2010:

    this post is very usefull thx!

  4. 4 Molly Monet said at 9:37 pm on July 25th, 2010:

    I wasn’t sure if this post was spam or not, but since you are offering Pell Grants for single mothers, it seems like worthwhile information for my readers.

  5. 5 simonoff said at 12:09 pm on July 29th, 2010:

    it was very interesting to read
    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

  6. 6 Molly Monet said at 3:53 am on July 30th, 2010:

    Of course you can quote me and provide a link back to my site. I wish I could read your blog but I don’t read Russian. My Twitter account is MollyLive.

  7. 7 gkmama said at 11:13 am on August 1st, 2010:

    I just happened upon this blog while I was researching getting over guilt in a divorce. Thank you so much for writing this! My ex and I get on pretty well considering (not nearly as close as you are with yours, but we’re still much friendlier to each other than most believe is possible). To me, and him, it’s all about putting the kids first and making sure their needs are met. Anyway- you’re an inspiration and this post in particular helps me not only with my ex but with my new relationship as well. One thing about divorce- it helps you to learn what not to do in your next relationship. : P

  8. 8 Molly Monet said at 11:29 am on August 1st, 2010:

    I am so glad you liked it. Please keep me abreast of your research. It sounds interesting.

    You are so right. Divorce teaches you some great relationship lessons! Letting things go has been a big one for me.

    I feel like all my relationships have improved since then. I’m planning to write a piece on that soon. Great to be in touch!

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