There are a lot of topics I could apply that title to, but here, I'm going to focus on the hardest part of co-parenting-- letting go of control.
Last Friday was another exchange day. I packed the kids' medicine bag, we had a snack and then headed out the door at 5 o'clock for St. Louis. Our drive is normally an hour and a half which is long, but good time to talk with the kids. This time we talked about the weather and how cool it would be to ride a cloud. Good stuff!
We met with the kids' grandparents and I was feeling okay about things, until they mentioned that they passed a bad accident on the way in. Car accidents are a very negative subject for me. Several years ago I was in a bad car accident and subsequently was diagnosed with PTSD a few years later. I have actually gotten over a lot of my fear and I can drive about anywhere now and feel safe. However, something about the news set me off. I kept my cool and said good-bye to the kids as usual...and then cried the entire way home.
Normally I don't have that hard of a time with exchanges, but the anxiety took over. I know that the kids are safe with their dad and his family, and I know that they are perfectly good drivers...but there's something about having the kids with me where I can be the one to protect them that makes me feel better. And I'm going to take a wild guess that's true for all parents.
As a mom, I have been given this awesome responsibility to take care of my kids. It's something that makes me feel proud...and something that scares me to my core. When they are away from me I worry constantly. Are they taking their medicine? Are they eating right? Are they getting enough sleep? What if _____ happens?
In reality, I am not in control or responsible for every single minute of their lives. I can do my best when they are here and the rest of the time I have to give it to God. This entire situation that we're in was not my plan, but His. There is a reason for each time the kids are away and I just have to trust that everything will go alright. And sometimes I have to accept that even if things aren't alright, that's the plan too.