Oh, the lovely parent teacher conferences. I will admit with my first two children who are now a freshman in high school and a 7th grader I very much enjoyed going with my spouse and hearing the glowing reviews from the teachers. How they were great kids and excelling academically. Of course that was when I was in a traditional family dynamic. Now that I’m no longer in that situation, parent teacher conferences have become a situation on fear, embarrassment and anger. First let’s talk about the FEAR. When you are in a traditional family you may have some fear lurking about what your first grader might have told your teacher about their home-life. After a divorce and your conference is with a wide eyed young teacher in the early stages of marriage, the FEAR of what your 2 outspoken 7 year olds have said over the course of 10 weeks of school can be paralyzing!! I can just hear the stories being told about my new relationship let alone my strained relationship with my ex-husband through the lens of a 7 year old. Let alone 2 seven year olds.
Second is the EMBARRASSMENT. This one may just be my own hang up. But I still view being divorced as embarrassing. Maybe it’s my drive to be successful at everything I do…always. I never in a million years thought I would be the couple meeting at the school at an arranged time to discuss the academic and social development of my kids of which I only have control over 1/2 the time. This leads to the other part of the embarrassment which is more for my ex than myself. Let’s just say he doesn’t exactly take an interest in their academic development. So when the teacher references different websites and activities they partake in at my house, he has no clue. They can’t be on his computer at home or they might be exposed to the myriad of dating websites, etc. that he chooses to partake in. Regardless, it is the most awkward 15 or in this case 30 minutes.
This leads to the ANGER part. So, if you don’t take an interest in helping them succeed academically..PLEASE do not take pictures of their cute little narratives to show to your flavor of the week of how cute your kids are. Guess what? You played little to NO role in that. You do not read to them. You do not do math with them. You do not do spelling words with them. So how dare you have the audacity to take dad brag pictures to try to show random women what a sensitive and caring dad you are. It brings up an anger in me that is very deep. Now when you are married and he doesn’t play a role, it’s no big deal because (Hopefully) he is not using your children as a trolling mechanism for his latest tryst.
Then when you are leaving….who gets the papers. Him?? Really?? I can’t believe I even let that happen. Exactly what will he do with them? Well, I know they will not take precidence over any Zoosk, Bumble, Plenty of Fish, Match encounter.
To end on a positive note. My youngest two continue to excel socially and academically, despite their change in family structure. And their writing is funny….