After many years of cohabitation, it is obviously not so strange, but when I start to sense the conversation’s content and seriousness, I get up to find my own phone.
I’ll just check and to make sure (just like that for good measure) that my son of course called his mom first, because I am closest to him, so he would naturally seek the advice of me first….or?
To my great surprise I see that he has not called. He has not even tried to reach me!
My spontaneous reaction is that I get hurt, because he did not choose to call me. My hurt makes me start the trailer for an extremely well-performed drama called “A mother who loses her son to her husband”. Her son no longer trust her. Her son no longer believes that his mother is competent enough to be his advisor.
In my inner movie trailer, I see myself kicked off the winner platform. Right down to second place. From there I stare fiercely up at my husband.
My drama stops here fortunately. I manage to stop myself before my drama unfolds.
The conversation my husband and Nicklas had was (thankfully) so long that I got to listen, be touched and grateful and angry again, when I was told that not everything concerned me. And I had to accept it. I did this and thought “it’s all good.” Just how it should be. That’s what I had struggled to reach.
I will therefore in this blog help you to fill your role as a fusion parent and feel eligibility…. straight to the heart.
But before we get started I would just remind you to be loving and patient with yourself. Do not beat yourself up when you fail, become a coward, lose your temper, hide behind your boyfriend, or stop when your limits are reached.
Look at every challenge as a stepping stone, because each one of them is an important part of your development path towards being authentic in your role as a fusion parent. Expect that you must exert yourself in the role, again, again and again.
The 5 steps of filling your role as a fusion parent.
Know yourself, your strength and vulnerability, so you can recognize your patterns and reactions when you get them presented in various guises. Know what you need and take responsibility for it, so you do not project your unmet needs onto the children. For example, you know you are jealous of the kids, then claim a little grown-up time with your partner, even when children are there. Half an hour’s loving presence time, when you get home from work, can create miracles for the rest of the evening. Create routines with your partner who supports you in the areas where you need it most.
You must have your partner’s full support, space and permission to engage in a disciplinary role towards the children. He/she must back you up, both in word and action. You must stand side by side and explain to the children that YOU also “govern” them. Stand together as a team affectionately towards the children. Get him/her to help you define your role. Be honest with him/her about your feelings (even if you are ashamed.) Ask him/her to help you on the road.
Practice quietly saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to the kids. Define your limits towards them and be aware of what is going to be said in a positive way. Find little situations where it’s reasonably easy for you to do and practice them. Preferably with your partner in the room (in the beginning) so the kids can see that their father/mother “allow” you to express yourself. Remember to always say “I want to …. or it’s important for me to ….” Explain to kids what you want, instead of blaming.
Find your niche. Find the area you are passionate about where you can involve the children, completely independent of your partner. Children are (like us adults) attracted to enthusiasm. Perhaps you love to cook or gardening. Share generously of your knowledge and show the kids your passion for what you do. It will rub off, even if it does not immediately seem like it.
Make you own [mental] list of areas where the children might as well address you as their father/mother. Also give them their pocket money, make their sandwiches (do a little more than their father/mother), ask about their day, tell them about your day, do small (un-) visible things for them. Put for example a rose in their room for when they come home. Create your own charming characteristics that the children do not see in their parent. (You create small loving bonds). Show the children confidence, show them in word and action that they can trust you.
One day you will find that they come to you and not their parent. It’s big. Enjoy.
Help the children to see the benefits of having a fusion parent.
You and your partner should be good at highlighting the benefits of being a child of divorced parents and having “new” adults come into their lives and thus a larger family, with all positive pleasant socializing it brings.
Maybe not so pedagogically correct, but it also works to remind them of twice the amounts of gifts, birthdays, Christmas, holidays, etc..
Point out to the kids that they can take everything they like best from the adults in their lives. Who is best to talk to about boy/girlfriends? Who is best at baking their favorite cake? What is best at fixing things? Who is best at helping with homework?
If we are good at helping children to see the benefits of having received one or maybe two fusion parents in their lives, we help them (and us) to faster acceptance of their life now – “It’s what my father/mother chose and it is also good for me.”
I wish you all the best. I look forward to hear how you fill in you role as a fusion parent.
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