Let Them Be Little
As a parent, you should never speak negatively about the other parent to OR in front of your kids.
Children are innocent, loving, and protective.
If you criticize the other parent, you are forcing your child to grow up too soon. The intrinsic innocence of a child cannot comprehend judgement, negativity, and criticism.
The natural dedication and gratitude your child feels for you will allow him or her to embrace, mimic, and eventually believe the unfavorable things you say about his/her own father/mother.
Mind you, your child is dedicated and grateful to his/her other parent as well. You're making your own child resent you, although that may not be evident until the child is older.
When both parents speak negatively of each other to/in front of the their child, both of the child's home environments force him into a referee position.
No matter which call he makes, one side is going to be upset by the outcome.
The child who loves you and wants nothing more than to make you happy and proud, immediately feels as though he has let you down. It's constant.
Your child develops stress.
Your child learns how to lie and manipulate to appeal to the emotions of his piers.
Your child learns that such a "relationship" between parents is acceptable behavior, so, more than likely, your own grandchildren will grow up in a hostile, stressful environment.
Your own grandchildren--just like your own child-- will, through your nurture, learn how to refuse to interact with their own empathetic feelings.
Child support laws are not very well constructed, in my opinion.
The current general guideline for a "we both want out of this marriage. We both make about the same amount of money" type divorce is acceptable.
However, the other 95% of divorces should receive individualized attention before any child support is mandated.
Child support should support children. Child support should not punish parents who so desperately want to spend more time with their kids.
I was "That Kid"
I don't hold either of my parents' individual actions against them. I don't think about the validity of the accusations they each made against one another.
They were both my parents. To me, they each hung equal parts of the moon.
Even still, they each wanted me to think that the other was awful. How could I do such a thing? They had supported each other in the past. Now they hate each other, yet I am the one who must voice a lack of support and admiration? There was simply no word available to described just how much I admired them both.
Looking back I think, "Why did I have to stand in the middle of a frozen pond while the temperatures crept dangerously close to exceeding the freezing point? Why couldn't I just love them both equally and not feel ashamed about it? Why couldn't I just feel as carefree in my head as my physical actions of playing with dolls and gi-joes portrayed?"
They wanted me to choose a side, and I refused.
I had to grow up way too fast to mentally comprehend what was going on.
I was forced to become an adult.
I was forced to abandon my own childhood innocence.
The Father of My Children
I am proud to say that my ex-husband is the father of my children.
We had our issues, but we attempted to remain a family unit. We were married for almost 9 years. The damage had been done, but our children were not impacted. We remained civil, amicable, and friendly.
He will always be one of my best friends.
I have never kept my children from him, and he has never kept them from me.
I would never hurt my children by doing that, and I feel that he wouldn't either.
Co-Parent for Them.
No matter how bitter you are towards your ex, please realize that your children are the only ones who have anything to gain or lose by your refusal to co-parent.
Love them. Nurture them. Instill values within them. Encourage a bond between the other parent and your children.
Let Them Be Children. Let Them be Little.