I'll be chronicling my new life as I go through the divorce process and I hope you'll follow my journey. If you're looking for me to bash my ex, that won't happen. But if you're looking for a woman and mom excited for a new life, if you find it interesting to read about the roller coaster of emotions and all of the things that come with starting over... then join me here.
Have you ever cried watching Sesame Street? I did, today.
I cried not because I was sad but because I was so thrilled that an institution like Sesame Street is taking on divorce. I cried because I was so happy to have a show like this for my kids. I cried because I think "Sesame Street's Little Children Big Challenges: Divorce" will help my kids understand that their differences don't make them different.
I cried all over again after thinking about the moment my husband and I told our kids we were getting divorced.
I knew the conversation would be a defining moment in both of my kids' lives so I wanted to be sure the language was perfect. I also didn't want my two boys to react to each other's reactions, so we decided to tell them separately so they could each react on their own. That was one of the smartest things I've done in my life.
Since I had no manual on how to deal with divorce positively and with successful results, I made it my job to pave the way as best as I could.
The next thing I thought about was having the right language to share our divorce news with my family, close friends and the kids' teachers and classmates. If the language we chose to use was so important to us, then shouldn't other people have that language too?
This is an excerpt from an email we circulated: "We have decided after very careful consideration to get divorced. We have realized that we care about each other greatly and actually really like each other -- but as friends and as parenting partners. We wanted to send you this email because over the next few weeks, you and your kids will notice the change and see the differences. Our kids will have two homes and will split their time between each of us.
We have spoken to experts and as you and your kids discuss divorce, as it pertains to our family, we wanted you to each understand the best language to educate your children --especially if they are all talking about it.
We have told our kids that we have decided we are no longer going to live together. We love being parents and will continue being good friends. We are still going to work as a team and as partners to parent our kids and sometimes people work better as parenting partners than as husband and wife. "
For the kids, however, there was really nothing to follow up with. Wouldn't it have been easier if they had something to relate to? Wouldn't it have been comforting if I could have put on a Sesame Street video dealing with divorce?
Now I can, and because of this breakthrough with Sesame Street, my kids may have an easier time understanding that their differences don't make them so different. Because of this, my kids' friends may comprehend divorce. Because of Sesame Street, maybe people will realize that it's okay to talk about it. We continue to talk about divorce in our home because we don't want it to be something we don't talk about.
Sesame Workshop created the outreach program as a series of free multi-media resources. In one video, Abby Cadabby discusses for the first time that she has two homes. She explains to her friends that sometimes things don't work out with parents. Abby speaks about all of her big feelings, her anger, her sadness, all of the changes in her life and about how she sees Mommy some days and Daddy some days. But most importantly, Abby says, "I always have someone I love to tuck me in at night. I still love my mom and dad and they still love me."
And that's exactly the message that others should remember. I hope Abby continues to relay those messages so kids from divorced families can grow up understanding that they aren't so different after all.
I hope Abby also relays that divorce is not a secret. Divorce isn't necessarily bad. Divorce doesn't have to be a huge change. Divorce can be good. Divorce is not different. Divorce is change.