I recently endured my first post-divorce Mother’s Day. It was an interesting experience for me.
You see, last year I finalized a divorce from my wife of 14 years. I’m still getting used to the idea of not being there to celebrate her as the mother of my children. Regardless of the change, I made sure my children still planned ways to make their mom feel loved and appreciated. It wasn’t easy, but it felt like the right thing to do.
In spite of the divorce, perhaps because of the divorce, I feel it’s not only respectful, but absolutely necessary that I still teach my children how to honor, respect, and celebrate their mother.
I know if may feel hard guys, but let me share three reasons that honoring your ex-wife as the mother of your children is so important.
She is STILL the mother of your children
Things have changed, and you may have hard feelings between you, but this is still the mother of your children. She and you once decided together that you were going to bring life into this world. You were a team, and together you nurtured and raised your children to be the people they should be. Even if the marriage has ended, your role as parents has not. You still need to work together for their benefit. Raising these precious children is the most important thing the two of you will ever do, and it’s going to take a team effort.
Speaking of team…
She is still your TEAMMATE when you are not there
This may seem odd, but like it or not, you are still teammates. There may be some animosity and doubt, but you have to know that when you are not with them, your children are being taught and nurtured by your ex. There will be differences of opinion, and you will sometimes have to negotiate the game plan, but there should be a concerted effort to make sure there is a standard of agreement and consistency. And remember, you have to be the kind of teammate you would want her to be, because all members of the team have their role
Speaking of roles…
She is still their MOM
You are the Dad. Dads generally play a specific role as the provider and protector. Moms are usually the nurturer and teacher. While these rolls become convoluted after a divorce, they tend to persist. You will learn how to provide more of what their Mom usually gives them, and their Mom will be working hard to figure out how to substitute for you, but you need to understand that while you will give your best Mom effort, you will always be Dad. Embrace your role and take comfort in knowing that your ex is doing the same. Your kids still need you both!
Divorce may change many things, but it won’t change everything. Whether it’s Mother’s Day, her birthday, another holiday, or honestly just any day, the upright man is one who respects the woman who is still a part of his life when it comes to his children.
It may not be easy, you may not feel she deserves it, and it may not seem fair, but showing your children that you still honor and respect their mother is the right thing to do. Your action towards her will teach then more than any words you will ever speak. Do it for them!
Question: What good has come from a time you were respectful to your children’s mother? Leave a comment below.