When my son was 7 years old and I realized that living with his father was no longer good for my health, my sister and her family were kind enough to take us in.  We lived with them for a year and a half while I recovered from the sadness of a failed marriage, and developed new hopes and dreams for a different sort of future for Maxx and I.

Transitioning from being an only child, to one of four children in a busy, chaotic household was likely a healthy distraction for Maxx as he adjusted to living life without his dad as part of the day to day household.  

He also had to adjust to an entirely new style of parenting as well as being one of four children.  

One day as both my sis and I pounced upon him about an incomplete task, he drew on his remarkable wit and comedic sense of timing and yelped, “oh NO!  I’ve been DOUBLE-mama’d!!”.

scary-double-moms                                                                                                                                                                                                      ……..Ok, we weren’t quite that scary.  

I look back on that time with deep appreciation for both the support we received, but also for the opportunity to deepen my relationship with my sister, my brother-in-law, as well as my niece and nephews.  

As for Maxx, I’ve come to realize that one of the many benefits was that he learned to adapt easily to different household expectations.  

After my sis’s place, Maxx and I shared two homes with girlfriends and their kids, providing Maxx yet another opportunity to adjust to new parenting styles, and new rules for sharing space and other people’s belongings.

At times I longed for my own home, with my own set of rules, the ability to create ‘our’ rythm of life, as I’m sure Maxx did, but we both enjoyed the journey, and developed very special friendships with those we shared homes with along the way.  

Then I met, and fell in love with Andrew.  

We decided to create a home together, marrying almost two years ago.  For the most part, we three have a co-created a harmonious household, treating one another with respect, sharing much laughter and good times.  

But, like in all co-parenting situations, my husband and I don’t always see eye to eye.  For the most part we usually can settle our differences amicably, and then there’s that occasional, somewhat inevitable robust exchange of views.  couple-arguing_pq_7574921

 

 

Maxx has learned to adjust to yet one more home-life configuration as we’ve negotiated new rules and guidelines that honor both Andrew’s parental expectations as well as mine.  

There’s a step-mom added to the mix now as well, and Maxx spends time in his dad’s new home as well as ours.  

At the time of the marriage break-down Maxx had a barely functioning mom, and a rarely present father.  

Now, he’s dealing with FOUR functional parents with relatively clear expectations, rules and guidelines.  It’s not exactly a fairy-tale but at least it’s not a nightmare. 

For the most part, I think the transitions through all these parenting configurations have provided Maxx a unique view on the different ideas that different adults bring to their role as parents.  When I travel with Maxx, I witness how easily he adjusts to the expectations of whatever household we’re in, and when he’s invited to travel with friends, I always get rave reviews from the parents on his cooperation and participation.

It isn’t always easy, but for the most part – I think we’ve been able to surround this amazing boy with a LOT of love, as well as exponential parenting. 
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