Can you imagine posing – with your ex – for a smiling selfie outside the family court to celebrate your divorce?
The idea unsettles me, despite how focussed I am on positive co-parenting for the sake of my kids.
But I’m incredibly impressed by this mum who did.
Shannon Neuman has gone viral with her Facebook post, which said: “Here’s Chris Neuman and I yesterday after filing for divorce! But we’re smiling?! Yep, we’re kooky like that. Are we smiling because the partner we chose for forever turned out not to be the forever partner we needed? Of course not. We’re smiling because we have done something extraordinary (we think anyway!) We have respectfully, thoughtfully and honourably ended our marriage in a way that will allow us to go forward as parenting partners for our children, the perfect reason that this always WAS meant to be, so they will never have to choose. They’ll never have to wonder which side of the auditorium to run to after their Christmas concert or spring play, because we’ll be sitting together. They won’t have to struggle with their own wedding planning because we’ll be sitting on the same side of the aisle – THEIR side. We have struggled, but we have succeeded in the plan we came up with together, to come out on the other side as their two parents who live in two houses who give them two teams to love them up two times as much. And now that you know it’s possible – please consider our way if you find yourself on this road, or tell your friends about us and pass on our number if we can help remind them that it’s possible to love your kids more than you hate/distrust/dislike your ex (which we have felt at times on the journey but for the record we do actually like each other). Nice work #teamneuman #divorceselfie.”
These guys are my divorce heroes.
THIS is how it’s done.
They’ve put their kids first. They’ve give them “two teams to love them up two times as much.”
No one enters marriage thinking it’s going to end … and if you do … WHY ARE YOU WALKING DOWN THE AISLE?
I wanted to keep my marriage together, no matter what. My husband didn’t.
I had no choice in what happened next. He left and told me he was never coming back.
I could have let that fill me with bitterness and anger. I could have chosen not to move on. And, as a result, I could have damaged my kids and their futures.
But WHY would I do that?
That be bat-shit crazy talk.
I’m not divorced yet, not even on the path. But when I am, I hope to do it with as much compassion to my children as Shannon and Chris Neuman have chosen.
The post has been shared almost 8000 times already and attracted mostly positive comments.
Even Chris wrote one, saying: “I couldn’t have hand picked a better ex wife if I tried! Thanks for all you have done, continue to do and most of all the kind of mother you are. I know that B and F are and will continue to be proud of us!”
Among the other comments:
“Healthy, mindful separation at its best. Job well done.”
“You both rock. My parents split when we were babies. Never knew one household. Only two Xmas two bday, etc. it would have been a dream for me and my bro and sis to have parents with as much sense and care as you two. Standing ovation. Super cool.”
“My ex and I did the same exactly the same thing back in 1995. It’s ALWAYS about what is best for the kids. Those parents that use the children as “pawns” to get back at each other should be ashamed of themselves. I don’t care how bitter your divorce might be – do NOT let that get in the way of your children’s welfare. That should always come first !!! (sorry, I rant a bit on this because I see so many divorces where what the parents do is absolutely unbelievable !!)”
“Admirable and loving parents and respectable ex-partners. You are the exact picture of what divorced parents with children should be. Always putting the kids first, the ones you brought into the is world through love in the first place. Xo”
Isn’t it time you chose to love your kids more than you hate your ex … for their sakes?
Song of the day: Coldplay “The Scientist”