Co-parenting in Silos

I’ll be honest and admit that I had judged my best mate when he decided to leave the Country and leave behind a daughter to his ex-wife who still till this day denies access to his daughter and that of his Parents; the Grandparents.

Although our situations are different, what made me empathise with him was when I too, was “A Monster”. A horrible, manipulative and overbearing husband who took away her rights to speak. That was never the case btw… Even if you ask her yourself today, she would never say such things. Or admit to saying the above.

Apparently how she described our relationship and breakup, was enough for anyone listening to form an opinion of me that it became pointless to speak. Though I didn’t take it laying down. I tried to put my best foot forward each and every time, but that eventually got tiring going up against her cheer squad, and opinionated family.

I ran out of steam and didn’t have anything left in reserves. At that point, empathy had kicked-in for me and I thought of old mate Mike. Again Mike’s situation was different and his reasons for starting a new life overseas, I respect so much more for knowing when to jump ship.

So if you haven’t already read between the lines, you’ll know that my story is not a standard divorce settlement. That alone is hard enough to deal with but then with my children being raised by the very person who constantly disagreed with parenting style which is guided by my culture, my upbringing and core values as is hers, I feel like we did everything we could to repair it, but the families started to speak a bit to loudly!

I know it will eventually get better but I’m seriously terrified of what lays ahead. We weren’t being able to agree on how to raise my 21y/o step son who I had raised since he was 6, and that was a primary reason that broke us apart. The confusion in him is heavily influenced by his Mother and Aunties and it is not what I want for my boys who are still 7 and 11y/o. That’s what happens when double standards are explained to be “ok” for one group of people but not for another group. I did what I could and I see some of my influence in him but it is a twisted opinion and it concerns me.

But I have to do what is right for my young children based on the facts that is in the present and not “look in the revision mirror”.

I am looking for some advice on a solid coping strategy that I can rely on as I have little faith that it will be different for the next two children.

Please help and share some wisdom with me.

How do you cope with stress?

The pressure’s of life can really take a toll on anyone at the best of times. In current times amidst a global pandemic, it is more important than ever we have healthy coping strategies. I have a list of my own that have really kept me alive. Interpret that as you will because it is ambiguous, but the take-away for me is; being mentally alive is key to being physically alive.

We all mess up and we will never get it right ALL the time.

So you messed up again… So bleepin’ what?!

We are human and it’s ok to mess things up. That’s it…!

And no. There’s no need to emphasise on what happens next, i.e. lessons learned and how to avoid it. Start with understanding why it is ok to mess up. And let that simmer…

The learned lessons and prevention will follow naturally while you continue to work on keeping yourself mentally and physically alive.

Don’t put pressure on yourself to start thinking about the next step. Coping strategies need a strategy and the simplest strategy to success is Your Life, Your Rules. Work at your own pace with one milestone at a time.

Here’s my list of coping strategies that I have used and still use. Hope it’s helpful and welcome you to share your list also.
  • Unpack thoughts with a trusted friend i.e. friend, work colleague, mentor, counsellor, spiritual/religious elder.
  • Research! Read and understand the theory of a situation to use as a benchmark. Knowing where I go wrong is important to me.
  • Facebook support groups. I don’t post, but I read what others share and it helps to normalise my situation.
  • Access online mental health support services
  • MensLine Australia I used almost daily https://mensline.org.au/
  • 3 Mindful Minutes with Cass Dunn https://cassdunn.com/podcast/
  • Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown https://www.bialikbreakdown.com/episodes
  • Mindset Mentor – Rob Dial https://robdial.com/podcast/

BTW, I don’t get paid by any organisations to share my list of coping strategies. I have no intention to receive payments and just want to share what is helpful for me. I hope you get some value from it too.

Getting used to being alone

This my first official post online and if you haven’t already, check out my home page to read more about my intent and reason why I woke up one morning and decided to start blogging.

Truth is, I have put this on the back burner for at least 6 months for a few reasons. Mainly being busy with work and the community work I do aside from my 9-5 job. It keeps me busy and I am getting real reward for helping people develop skills and be at their best when it matters.

Needless to say, I have a lot of people around me in my professional circle of influence and used to have my own family to come home to which was the only other circle of influence I ever wanted to be around. Now that I come home to a four bedroom house, that was built to be our home, it is often harder to let go of the plans and goals that we all worked so hard to achieve and sacrificed so much to get here. By here, I mean we got the house we wanted so badly.

Here are my Pro’s of living in a house alone.

1. I get to work for as long as I want to without being interrupted while on a call or meeting.

2. I have Jax, my dog who is always happy to see me.

3. I don’t have to clean up after myself straight away and can leave dishes in the sink for days if I wanted to.

4. I only have to cook for one.

5. I have turned the front lounge room into my office and can hold meetings (Covid permitting) at my home office.

So for the Con’s.

1. I work for for way too long because I’m not needed elsewhere.

2. I clean pee every day I come home from work as I have Jax my dog who is always happy to see me and wets herself every time.

3. I don’t clean up after myself straight away and can leave dishes in the sink for days if I wanted to.

4. I have to cook for only one.

5. I have turned the front lounge room into a tech dumpster.

Like most people, I struggle with my thoughts when I’m isolated and I also find it hard to concentrate when there is no other noise in the background. People often ask me, “How are you?” but not sure how to respond. I’m trying to get used to being alone. I think I’m slowly getting there, have been using a lot of podcasts, building business concepts, reaching out to supports and working on this blogging site. I feel like I’m doing all the right things, but yet I still get crucified for my choices.

It is what it is right?!

It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, what matters is what you do when you get back up.! Famous words, don’t ask me exactly who quoted it. Remember the Titans perhaps?

The thing is, as a social being like everyone else, I like my space but I also like to have it occupied especially if it’s my family. (Partner and Children). The extended families however, they can continue extending! LOL. Just joking, I’m only referring to my family living situation.

This week, I’m trying a new strategy. It’s called routine. I’ll keep you posted but apparently it’s a key element to success.

Talk soon,