Karin Calde, Ph.D., CPC
I Was Determined My Kids Would Have a Different Experience Than I Had
When I was ten, my parents separated and my life changed dramatically. I suffered multiple losses in a short period of time and suddenly was given more responsibility than any young child can reasonably handle. On top of that was the addition of stepparents and the pressure to adapt to that change. It was yet another loss for me, even though on the surface, it looked like I had it all together. Don’t get me wrong: I understand that my parents didn’t have a lot of information about how to become a stepfamily. They did the best they could. Still, it was HARD. I don’t have fond memories of that time in my life.
When I ended up divorcing after 23 years of marriage, I was determined to give my kids a different experience. I was scared and feeling anxious that I was repeating history. As I prepared to get serious with a new partner, I surrounded myself, my kids, and my soon-to-be-ex-spouse with lots of support.
Thankfully, by that time I’d earned my PhD in Clinical Psychology, so I knew a few things about relationships and parenting. I still needed a lot of guidance and support! It helped to have people help me with both parenting AND my adult relationships. I also benefited from being able to talk about my feelings, what I wanted, and how to balance my needs and those of everyone around me. It wasn’t bump-free, but all that support made a big difference.
Two years after my new partner and I moved in together, everyone is getting along (including me and my ex) and my kids and partner are slowly growing closer. I succeeded in blazing a different path for my family.