Updated: Mar 23
One of the contention points between my ex-husband and I was in what manner we wanted to raise our children. There were many things that we agreed on. But....There was also many things we did not.
When we were together, I found myself conceding to what he wanted, mostly because I hate confrontation and tend to back down to avoid it. (I'm working on that). He was also very domineering, so conversations were very one sided. Which doesn't work well with someone who doesn't stand up for themselves. (Again, I'm working on it).
So when the marriage was over and we were both on our own, a different level of confidence took over. I suddenly realised that I don't have to bow down and I make the decisions in my own home.
Well that adds another level of confusion and disagreement, especially for the kids. What mommy lets us do (or doesn't) and vice versa. None of which is completely out of range...BUT when you split 50/50 custody and their dad says one thing and I feel another way, it's hard to find the middle ground. Because ultimately you want your child to be secure and have that consistency. Changing the rules will be very confusing for them and create another set of problems for an already challenging time.
This is still a thing we are working on, but I have gained more confidence in speaking my mind. And I give credit to my ex when he was over for my oldest sons birthday, reason being after I explain Haha.... Example...I allowed my son to have a seltzer (he likes the bubbles, but no soda of course). He had his best friend over from school. His friend said "you're allowed to have that?" And I interjected and said "It's his birthday so it's a treat".
My ex looks up to me and his friends mom and says "well, I don't allow it in my house." Pause for disgruntled thoughts, and quite frankly, the boiling emotions that I did not expect to feel with a passive comment like that.
Now, just let me paint the picture of the slow motion face I had. I looked at his friends mom and it was, in a split second, of her face saying GO FOR IT, without saying it.
I suddenly realised, I don't have to agree with him anymore. (Like I said, I conceded all the time) So what happened next was almost like a burning of the bras moment! I just turned to everyone in the room and said "Well in my house we do"! I know it doesn't sound like much. But for me to hold myself confident like that, was a big moment for me.
And guess what.... My ex actually just bowed his head and said ok. I could tell it killed him a little bit, BUT he did not fight it. He no longer had me under his control and he accepted that. I know this sounds small, but the subtleties of a marriage is what gets you in the end. And THAT was a small victory for me. Not that I'm keeping count, ha.
But where is that balance? Do you find conflicting parenting styles with your ex? No matter how small or how big. Would love to hear your thoughts.