Out of the Mouth of Babes
Divorce is hard, but so is cleaning up the regrettable words said, and actions taken. And witnessing it all are the kids...what do you want them to see?
“Could you just be a little bit nicer to Dad?”
That comment from her 12-year-old daughter recently stunned a client of mine...and I can totally relate. I’ve been there.
I am nice. In fact...I’m the one holding everything together, our own inner 12-year-old wants to scream back with hands on our hips.
The truth is that when we are all up in our feelings, surrounded by divorce drama and daily triggering occurrences, surrounded by mountains of legal documents and decisions that need to be made — we can easily lose site of the bigger picture while in the heat of the moment.
Out of the mouth of babes. There’s nothing quite like it to shift us back into a new reality.
Over and over again, our children drop truth bombs if we are open to listening.
Instead, we think we have to have all the answers to a situation we’ve never dealt with before.
The mamas that we work with in our coaching program are usually very concerned about what to say to their kids, how to help them navigate their own feelings through it all and how best to get them to the other side of the divorce and all of its twists and turns the best they can.
They want the perfect script. They don’t want to make mistakes. They know what’s at stake. But the truth is that it simply starts with your presence (your listening ears included).
Sounds simple enough, right? Well not if you are not used to listening. Not if you can’t control your emotions and let regrettable words slip out of your mouth for the wrong reason.
Sure, you’d like to respond to their plea of being nice to Dad with a few snarky retorts — sentiments like:
- Well maybe Dad could’ve been a little nicer to me — maybe he could’ve stopped gaslighting me or consuming all the oxygen in the room and manipulating me.
- Maybe he could’ve refrained from having that affair or being emotionally abusive or pretending to be someone in public different than who he is in the house.
- Maybe he could’ve not been a deadbeat.
- Maybe he could grow up and start acting like an adult and been a better husband.
Maybe, maybe, maybe...
Oh, the parade of maybe’s that roll out in our minds accompanied by a marching band on cue. You want to save those for your coach, lawyer, best friend, or anyone else you can turn to for support, mama — and make sure you’re not in earshot of your kids.
The kids, no matter their age, aren’t your sounding board for processing this experience. Learning how to keep them out of the conflict is the greatest gift you can give them.
Look, navigating our feelings and all the wounding of our past that has led to this moment, is a tall order, especially with children in the house. But it’s also a wonderful opportunity to get clear on how you want to show up, what you want to engage in (and what you don’t) — and how you want to feel while doing it.
You do control that, mama.
It doesn’t happen overnight, and it does take a willingness to shift your perspective, but it’s benefits far surpass the work it takes to navigate the drama that will ensue unnecessarily, if you don’t.
And you know what else? It’s a game-changer in divorce and life going forward.
You can maneuver your way through divorce without losing any more pieces of yourself — in a grounded, calm, heart-centered, intuitive and strategic, fierce mama bear way.
Wouldn’t that feel better?
So back to the question, “Could you just be a little nicer to Dad?”
The answer is actually, yes — you could and it’s not because you are a pushover or a doormat or he’s getting away with anything yet, again. It’s not because anyone else is entitled to anything or deserving of it — it’s because it feels good to YOU to show up in this way. It feels good to model this for your kids and to honor yourself.
Remember, we aren’t defined by the bumps in the road that we hit, but rather by HOW we navigated them. What do you want that to look like?
Go ahead and be your Best Self, mama. And if you want help uncovering her, strategizing and are in need of someone to walk beside you while you do it — know that I’m a phone call away — and nothing gives me greater pleasure than to see a woman step back into her power.
Is that you?
— Kristen Noel, Certified Divorce Coach & Founder, Best Self Intuitive Divorce
Schedule a Free Breakthrough Call
Hey momma, do you enjoy success in other areas of your life, but worry about the impact of divorce on you, your kids and your future... and are you ready to do it differently? If so, book a free call to discuss the struggles you're facing, where you'd like to go and a path to get you there.
Get the Intuitive Divorce Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter where every week we share expert tips, inspiration and support for mothers navigating divorce.