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The other day I was reading a post that asked if it would be wrong for a man to be on a family outing with his children and their mother, and for him to just want to take a picture with just his children. And he was in a relationship with another woman. My vote is yes!
My hope with the new woman would be that we have already taken care of our grown women business and met on common ground in that I'm not a threat to her and she is not a threat to me or my children. And that my children are well behaved and respectful. Heck! Then I'd be like she is more than welcome to come along.
Secondly, I'm not a single parent. I have children, and I hope I wouldn't have to go through this if I were a single parent. But I have been a child of a single parent.
Even when my mom separated from my stepfather, he continued to do for children who were not his. Even if there were problems between him and my mom. If she asked, he was there. And he is still there for his grandchildren today.
When we were younger if we went out, we wanted them both to be there. Granted, it was difficult for them at first but they learned that it wasn't about them. And we still hoped that they would eventually get back together, but this never happened, and our parents knew what was best for them. It was also difficult because my dad was in another relationship and engaged to be married. And as normal kids, we made it difficult for the new woman but it all eventually worked itself out, because we realized that relationship wasn't about us.
So to further my knowledge of understanding in this situation, we all took pictures together when we all went out together. We weren't there separately and we didn't want to see anyone left out. It meant so much to us that our parents could put their petty differences aside and make the day about us, including something simple as taking pictures together.
If they wanted to be separate then they should have not invited the other parent. If he is active in his children's life, then he has the right to private/personal time, within reason, where he can feel free to take pictures with them by himself or get family portraits of just him and the children. But don't invite or have an event with a co parent and be as petty as to leave the other parent out because you have no dealings with them. This goes both ways for mother and fathers. Teach your children consistency and healthy relationships. Not relationships of convenience. This is why we get to know each other before we have sex—so that we know the person we are dealing with and can judge if we want to take that leap of faith and have children with them.
Furthermore, another reason is whatever you do in this moment, you will teach your children about values. Children are very observant and the biggest walking, living, breathing, talking sponges in life you will ever meet. They are very much so a product of their environment. If he doesn't take a picture with their mother, he has just taught his children something negative, in that they don't have to be bothered with their mother if she has done something to make them unhappy. And we usually do quite a bit of things our children don't like, but we do it in their best interests. This would also teach them that they should just avoid important situations that make them uncomfortable and just pretend the issues doesn't exist.