Single Mom Reveals The 4 Reasons She Bought Her Ex A Father’s Day Gift — ‘He Deserves To Be Respected’

She advised divorced parents to 'rise above' their differences.

daughter giving father a gift Prostock-studio / Shutterstock
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Solo parenting can be an emotionally fraught and challenging role to take on, especially over holidays, when it becomes clear how deeply your family structure has changed.

No matter who makes up any given family, it’s always important to cultivate a sense of emotional connection rooted in kindness and love.

A single mom revealed 4 reasons she bought her ex a Father’s Day gift:

1. He gave her 3 children

A mom named Kelly Kalisz shared her perspective on one form of healing after divorce, noting that she works to “be the bigger person” while co-parenting with her ex-husband, the father of her three kids.

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Her first reason for celebrating her ex on Father’s Day centered around the love they share for their children, who Kalisz called “the 3 most precious gifts of my life.”

RELATED: Mom Throws Away Her Husband's Father's Day Gifts After The Disappointing Mother's Day Weekend He Planned

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It’s a thoughtful reminder of the different kinds of love we can hold in our hearts, even when family dynamics are tough.

There’s a sense of finding the silver lining within the single mom’s mindset. She’s able to look back at the time she spent married to her ex-husband without bitterness, all while recognizing the joy they created together.

Kalisz’s romantic relationship with her ex may have ended, but that doesn’t discount the years they spent building a life they once shared. 

Their journeys may be diverging down separate paths, yet they remain connected as parents, which can be a gift, in itself.

mom and dad kissing baby Vladimir Konoplev / Pexels

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2. Getting divorced has no bearing on his role as a dad

“It’s not the kids’ fault we didn’t work out,” Kalisz explained, expertly differentiating between being a parent and being in partnership with the father of her kids.

Ending any relationship takes a major amount of emotional processing, an act that requires people to dig into themselves, reassess what they assign value to, and start over in a newly unfolding version of their day-to-day life.

Good people end relationships with other good people all the time: It doesn’t mean they didn’t try hard or work on repair or care for each other.

Successful co-parenting requires direct communication and clear boundaries. In an ideal world, having negative feelings about your ex shouldn’t determine the way you come together to co-parent.

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RELATED: 5 Silent Promises The Healthiest Co-Parenting Exes Make

Getting divorced is often framed as a failing, but it’s well past time we define it differently, as both an ending and a beginning, a reshaping.

Centering your kids’ needs while setting your own complex emotions aside holds huge benefits for all families, no matter how hard it is to co-parent with your ex.

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3. He’s devoted to his kids

Kalisz’s third reason highlighted the commitment her ex has to their kids.

“He would give his life for them,” she shared.

As the saying goes, becoming a parent is like letting your heart exist outside of your body.

two kids kissing their dad on the cheek Orlando Allo / Pexels

The mere act of providing for a small person changes how people relate to the world around them. Parenting brings certain aspects of existence sharp focus, as you become immediately responsible for someone other than yourself.

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Mothers, fathers, and all primary caregivers do the hard emotional and practical labor of nourishing their children in mind, body, and soul.

Single dads often catch intense criticism for not showing up when they said they would, for being unreliable as parents, and for not knowing essential information, like the names of their children’s doctors.

Yet, as Kalisz explained, parents who do the work should be recognized.

4. ‘He deserves to be respected’

Co-parenting looks different for every family configuration, and as with all parenting advice, what fits for some people won’t fit for others.

Laying a foundation of respect and empathy in all our relationships, no matter how broken they may be, is an act of healing.

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dad hugging child August de Richelieu / Pexels

No path is linear, especially after divorce. Parenting with an ex is bound to be messy at times, touching on all the complexities of our emotions and all the ways our grief can take hold.

There will be moments of anger and frustration, where the loss of what you once had together is deeply felt.

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Yet, as this single mom's experience bears witness to, there will also be moments of discovery and ways to express a new form of love.

RELATED: Emotional Dad Picks His Daughter Up From Her Last Day Of High School Holding A Bouquet & Singing A Boyz 2 Men Song

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.