We had the youngest’s parent teacher interview yesterday.
“We” being my ex and I, perched side-by-side on kiddie chairs as handmade mobiles twirled above our heads.
The youngest’s teacher said it was unusual for separated parents to attend parent-teacher interviews together.
I can’t imagine NOT doing it together.
We are her parents. Her progress and welfare is incredibly important to both of us.
It’s waaaaaaaaay more important than any grievances we might have with each other.
I will always be disappointed by what happened before and during our separation three years ago. I was a snotty, sobbing wreck for months. I didn’t want my ex to leave. I didn’t want to be a single parent. I didn’t want to struggle to pay the bills and maintain a house on my own.
I could nurture my righteous fury about all those slights and fixate on endless ways to punish my ex … but why? What good would that do my kids … or me for that matter?
So I’m officially cancelling my membership to The Angry Ex-Wives Club.
Actually, let’s make that The Angry Ex-Partners Club – ugly, unproductive post-separation behaviour isn’t gender specific.
I want nothing to do with it, other than having the occasional quiet sob in the shower where I curse my ex for the chaos he wrought on my life and finances.
Oddly, I felt like a bit of a weirdo when I walked out of the parent-teacher interview. Why does it have to be so rare for parents to discuss their kids’ achievements and issues together?
But I’ve decided if I’m a weirdo for putting my kids before my negative feelings towards my ex, then so be it.
I’m fortunate to have forged a productive, healthy co-parenting relationship with the father of my children following the messy end to our marriage. Not everyone has that opportunity.
Some people have escaped violent exes. Others are dealing with co-parents who are battling mental illness. Some have bitter former partners who are intent on being as nasty as possible and never letting it go.
My heart aches for them and the children caught up in those awful situations.
So I will join my ex for the parent teacher interviews, the band performances, the netball matches and the presentation nights. Our love for each other is gone, but our love for our kids is infinite and will always be something we share.
I’ll leave you with a fabulous quote from “God” that sums up my philosophy on life (massive apologies to my Christian friends for the first sentence, I’m referring to the bit that starts with “Just be good …”):
Song of the day: Oasis “Don’t look back in anger”