Divorce can complicate even the smallest of matters.
Divorce is a complicated relationship to navigate. It becomes even more complicated when children are involved, and two people who no longer wish to be in a partnership have to still be partners in jointly raising the kids.
Over 750,000 divorces are finalized in the US every year, leading to many complications with the logistics of splitting assets and separating a once shared life. That said, data also shows that ⅓ of divorced couples have children, adding even more obstacles to the psychological and practical realities of separating a household into two.
This is a situation that was highlighted in a recently viral Reddit post where a mother tells her ex-husband that he needs to stop giving their daughter lunch money, and her demand is not received well.
Even the smallest of matters can be made more complicated when divorced parents are trying to instill rules and raise children together. This is just an example of such difficulties in a real-life setting.
Are there some battles that just aren't worth fighting when it comes to co-parenting after divorce?
An online post, reported on by Samantha Berlin of Newsweek, has gone viral and has already collected 7,500 upvotes and 3,600 comments. In this post, the author explains that she co-parents for 16-year-old daughter with her ex-husband.
The mother clarifies that she also has a 15-year-old stepdaughter in her current relationship. The daughter she shares with her ex chooses to live with the ex and his wife because at the mother's home the daughter would have to share a room with her stepsister.
The mom then explains that her daughter and stepdaughter both attend the same school, and the ex-husband gives their daughter $25 a week to buy lunch. The daughter often leaves campus to buy school lunches, while her step-sister doesn't get to join because she brings a packed lunch with her to school instead.
The mother then called her ex-husband and told him that he should no longer give their daughter lunch money, because it made the author's stepdaughter feel left out. The father refused the request, causing a large argument between the families.
Blended families with children make matters even more complicated.
Any good parents would do their best to treat their children and stepchildren as equally as possible, within reason. However, the other reality is that each set of parents has the right to raise their children the best way they see fit, so parenting techniques and decisions from household to household will always vary.
The U.S. Bureau of Census has reported that 1,300 new stepfamilies are created each day, with 16% of those families living in blended households. The success rate for these set-ups vary by family, however, statistics show 60-70% of marriages involving children from a previous marriage do fail.
That said, data from the British Educational Research Journal also finds that it isn't the mixture of family members that most affects a child's overall success, but rather the general stability of the household and healthy members involved.
After such a significant reaction from her ex-husband, the mother is now wondering if she was in the wrong for asking him to stop giving their daughter lunch money to make her stepdaughter feel better.
What do you think? Are the mother's concerns valid, and worth standing her ground on? Or is she being unreasonable and should recognize that different households have the right to parent their children differently?