Family, Relationships

Breaking up was the best decision we ever made for our kids

Carla McConnell by Carla McConnell
February 13th, 2018

I’ve been separated from the father of my two kids for over three years. When we made the decision to part ways it was an overwhelmingly painful one. We had tried to make it work and no one leaves a relationship, especially one with kids, without a great deal of agony and thought, but in my heart I knew it was the right one.

The months afterwards were some of the hardest of my life. As I struggled to deal with my own hurt and anger, the thing that kept me awake every night was what would happen to my kids. Would my two beautiful daughters struggle in life because of mistakes that we had made?

I remember moments of pure anger where I wanted to call him and yell so I didn’t feel angry anymore. However before picking up the phone, the question that would go through my brain was, “Is what I’m wanting to say going to benefit my children?” And 99% of the time it didn’t… so I would sit there, sometimes for hours, allowing the anger to wash over me without the satisfaction of putting it anywhere. It was bloody hard but I’m glad I did.

I’m lucky that when I put my kids first so did he. We both struggled to find our new lives but as the pain lessened, the names we hadn’t called each other, and the hurt we hadn’t put on each other, made it easier to move forward in our new lifelong relationship as co-parents. This is the relationship we will have far longer than the romantic relationship.

We totes did a Gwyneth and Chris

We totes did a Gwyneth and Chris

Sometimes we still get annoyed with each other but we ALWAYS put on a united front for our kids. If we disagree, it is done away from them. We back each other’s decisions and we share our kids, their toy obsessions, their parent teacher interviews, their birthdays, when they need to be disciplined and when they need to be celebrated. We’re not always perfect but we are definitely parenting better together now than we ever did when we were actually together.

I watch my eight-year-old as she watches us. Her face lighting up as she watches us share a joke, or something that happened to us at work that day. Someone once said to me you don’t need to be together to model a healthy relationship for your children and I really feel like we’ve achieved that. We’ve also modelled finding our own happiness and our kids get two happy (separated) parents that they know love them more than anything.

Recently I started seeing someone new.  I decided I was ready to introduce the kids and I was freaking out as I dragged my ex into the kitchen away from the kids and blurted out, “I’m seeing someone and I’m going to introduce the kids”. A smile broke out over his face as he replied, “I’m so happy for you” and he walked over and gave me a massive hug. 

I was so proud of him and us. It hasn’t always been an easy journey but our two beautiful girls will always be number one. I’m so glad that even though our relationship didn’t work out we still get to share our kids, because trust me he’s the only other person in the world that thinks 35 photos of them dressed in fairy costumes is the BEST thing ever.

The one and only Amy Schumer spoke to us about the impact her parent’s separation had on her in the chat below. We’ve got heaps of awesome podcast chats for you to check out by subscribing to our podcast channel here.