Kate Meyers: Last weekend, my ex-mother-in-law was in town for a visit. We were talking together on the sideline of my daughter's soccer game, and she said, "I just want to tell you what an amazing job you and Lee have done with the girls, and what amazing girls they are."
I gave my daughters most of the credit, but I was very touched. I thanked my ex-mom-in-law and told her I felt lucky that my children have a loving grandma who comes to visit and goes to soccer games. These are heartfelt emotions on both sides. There is no drama, just appreciation.
Divorce can be hell, but co-parenting doesn't have to be. First, you have help. Second, the help you have comes in the form of a person who loves your children. My daughters know that I respect and care about their dad, and I ALWAYS support him. My standard answer to any grumbling is this: "Your dad is not perfect. Neither am I. We love you, but we don't know how to do that perfectly, either."
There is no bashing; just a sincere attempt at building a different kind of foundation -- one that is inherently imperfect. The rewards are massive. There is no tension at celebratory events. There is no adult drama raining down onto our childrens' already-complex worlds. A few years back, before my daughter Annie's bat mitzvah, she thanked me for getting along with her dad. She said, "I have friends whose parents can't even be in the same room, and I feel so lucky that you and dad aren't like that." Me too.