My ex-wife and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things. But one thing we've kept relatively clear over the last 5 years of divorce is THE KIDS COME FIRST. Always.
If you put your kids first you may need to fight to get what you want. And by putting your kids first, sometimes you may have to fight their mom. But to be the best dad you can be, you have to be there, you have to spend time with your kids. All of that time that was taken away is now water under the bridge, but today it's much more clear for me. I take every offer to have the kids an extra night or to support my ex when she has to work late.
I learned that one person cannot keep a marriage together no matter how hard they try or how much they want to keep the family together. I was in agreement that things could not continue as they had been.
So I'm a little rocket ship. And when I'm well-fueled, well-balanced, and have a good map in front of me, all systems are go, green lights across the board, look out, cause here we go.
Sitting around that table, telling 15 people I'd just met about how I hoped to make it past 9 am on the next day, was a liberating experience.
I got rid of about 50% of my things, and sold the spaceship and returned to the "captain without a ship" state that I find myself in right now. I put what was left of my things in storage and moved into my mom's garage. And again, I went back to the drawing board in search of a better map.
I wish my co-parent all the joy and love in the world. I can no longer provide any of those things. But I can be a soft cushion when she needs to hit or collapse into something. I resolve not to hit back. But, I won't stand-in for the drama anymore. I will only take my responsibility. I will only pay attention to the business between us as we continue together in co-parenting.
Parenting is a life journey that I've committed myself to. My partner should have the same orientation. And tennis, being my favorite sport, is a passion that if shared, can unlock a lot of positive feelings and shared time together.