by accepting that even though my children’s dad is not very moral, he is still their dad. I left when he was bringing his latest ‘friend’ to visit when I was on nightshift. He’s had a live in girlfriend for almost two years, and I’ve now found out that he is leaving her, but has already introduced the kids to the new girlfriend.
He’s a very immoral man, and we share custody 50/50. But, my children wanted to be with their dad half the time. I am now in the process of setting ground rules out in a revised custody agreement. He’s an athiest, non Catholic and doesn’t attend Church, hence the Faith upbringing is left to me when they are with me for my week.
However, God knows my situation. I’ve passed it to Him. I also figure the kids have to work out on their own their dad is an immoral person and my daughter prays for Him.
I was torn between wanting to shield them from the fact their dad lived in sin, and their dad did this and was this, but I knew he was eligle for custody rights, so there was no point in making a big deal of it because this would have affected the children. He most likely would have tried to convince the children I was taking them away from him.
I’ve wondered at what stage I should talk to the kids about living in sin, but decided not to, because if they had brought it up at dad’s he might likely find a way to convince them it is ok with God and say God doesn’t exist or something that probably would be more detrimental. I just everynow and then mention for example that God would not approve of boys and girls having relations before marriage and recently something did come up about dad and his gf not being married, so I suggested they pray for Dad to know God and his laws.
I try and bring my kids up Catholic, and I hope they know and understand God. But even kids who have been raised by two Catholic parents aren’t always guarantee’d to follow the teachings of the Church. But I can teach my kids some attributes of the Church by example, and they are forgiveness, compassion, hope and love. They see I’ve forgiven their dad for his adultury, they see I have some compassion for him. They see I have hope and love because I ask them to pray for dad’s conversion to God. And I have Faith God will see my children and myself through.
Somethings are a challenge. Sometimes our world, our dreams and our plans are uprooted or shattered. But if we face the situation we have been given or currently in, we can find via God’s assistance, a way to deal with it or cope with it. It might mean making more of an effort, for example ensuring from our end that we teach the children the Faith, take them to regular Confession. Mine only get to go to mass the week with me, but I try and do other things that are of a Catholic nature to add to it.
Parent them with love, pray for you children and ex, and let God’s love help you and your children through this. Because at one stage I got so worked up that the girlfriends apparent former lesbian lifestyle might crop up and my daughter would be influenced to become a lesbian with belly button rings, and my son would end up turning into some sex maniac like his dad. But the stress isn’t worth it. It can rub off on the children. One can turn the worry into prayer and the anxiety into energy to try and add to the children’s Catholic upbringing.
We can’t shield our children forever nor from everything, but we can provide them with some tools to sustain them. And God will provide us with some tools.