How could a song by Gwen Stefani possibly relate to a children's book about divorce? I say she has written a powerful emotional song on a subject that many of us have endured. And if we listen, most of us can relate. She is currently going through a divorce and like many of us will begin the path of sharing time and custody of her 3 young kids with someone she used to love. I hope she remembers her own song as she relates to them. I suspect she will.
Adults often get lost in their emotional turmoil and hatred and they begin bashing and berating the other parent. When I recently heard the brand new song by Gwen Stefani "You Used to Love Me", I felt her emotion as real and raw. For me I love that song because it is a tool to remind me that in the throes of divorce we get caught up in hatred and anger, and yet there was a time that we in fact used to love our partner. It further reminded me that our kids in fact still do. Her candid, brilliant lyric repeated several times is simply ingenuous.
I don't know why I cry
But I think it's cause I remembered for the first time
Since I hated you
That I used to love you
In my mind we need to recognize that our kids are not feeling that hostility and bitterness toward their parent. They in fact still love both parents as much as they did before divorce battered their previously simple lives.
This statement of mine, "Your Ex is not your child's Ex!" has garnered more attention than I could have ever imagined. It is such a simple phrase really. I suppose it is ultimately why I wrote this kids book, to help little ones living between two parents' homes. We're Having A Tuesday supports kids in remembering that they love both of their parents and that it is ok to do so. It reminds them that both of their parents are loving them and they carry a piece of that love inside of them wherever they may go. I think maybe one of the best unexpected benefits of reading the book is it also reminds the adults in the situation that these kids feel this way. I think Gwen's song has the power to do that too. At least it did for me.
So I continue to say "Your Ex is not your child's Ex!" I will keep on saying it because I am constantly reminded by watching, and receiving emails from people how our society constantly likes to bash our ex spouses. We need to remember that our divorces are ours. We are making decisions that are for us, and that our kids are unfortunately enormously affected. They didn't ask for a divorce. And yes, in some cases (drugs and abuse etc.) it is possible that it is good for the kids to be away from their other parent. But most of the time it is good for the kids to have a loving relationship with BOTH parents. They love your ex just as much as they did before. I encourage all of us not talk down about someone they LOVE! Do NOT make them feel bad for loving their own parent. They did not choose this. They are not hating this person. They still love and want to love that person that as Gwen Stefani reminds us we used to love too.