Molly Wilder, Certified Divorce Coach from Idaho, was our guest this week and boy did she give us a holiday story that stopped us in our tracks! Molly shared her divorce story first: She had seven children (3 biological and 4 adopted), belonged to a church that didn’t approve of divorce, and, was a stay-at-home mom who home schooled all of her children, cooked three meals a day, and never sat down to breathe! Lots going on, right?
Well, Molly came to a different position within her faith about divorce and decided that her individual happiness and fulfillment in life, which was completely dwarfed by her Mom and wife duties, needed to be a priority. And with that she divorced. Amicably.
When her former husband remarried, Molly made the decision to be the best blended family possible, and her former husband was of the same mind. Apparently, so was his new wife. Molly and the step-mom met, and bonded over the goal of creating the most positive environment possible for the children. This level of cooperation is so important when new partners are brought into a co-parenting relationship. These must be thoughtful conversations, without animosity, in order to support the children so that they can grow as children, and learn conflict resolution skills. The reasons for the divorce have to be pushed aside for the greater good of the children. Children need to continue to be kids, living their lives without their parents casting a shadow on their happiness because their relationship issues have not been resolved or at least avoided in the best way possible. Of course, if a parent is concerned about their former spouse’s new partner’s ability to have a healthy influence on the children while providing a safe and nurturing environment, that has to be dealt with.
But, if the goal for all the adults is to be the best family support system for the children, then divorce and the guilt some parents feel over the breakup of the marriage, can just be a life circumstance that everyone learns from in a positive way.
Here’s what Molly and her former husband did. Not only do they spend the holidays together – no half day here and half day there – they actually all get together all day. But now for the kicker…they are together in their Christmas cards! Every single one of them: Molly and her new boyfriend, Molly’s former husband and new wife, and the children. Norman Rockwell would have put this family in a painting if he knew them. That’s a first. I’ve never heard of this before. This is like the resolution to the blended family challenges in the movie Step Mom with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. Picture Perfect.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. With the intention to blend, with the commitment to create a new paradigm, the holidays will be the best days of the year!