When I first heard that she was coming I was excited; the kids haven't seen their mother in many months. I wanted them to spend the most time they could with her. I was highly interested in seeing how she had grown since she has been away. I didn't have too many expectations beyond my previous experiences; mostly I expected things to involve her taking jabs at me and my parenting. Which is exactly what happened; only it's worse when it's in person rather than a phone call. Thankfully the kids got some quality time before she had to head back.
Now I'm left to pickup the pieces, e.g. the pushing of boundaries, attitudes, etc. This isn't a comment about her parenting; it's more about being a kid and trying to make sense of the world. I'm happy the kids feel like they can push boundaries with me; even if it's tiresome at times. Xan has been having a problem with lying and throwing tantrums over the past month it came to a peak after Mommy left. So he needed some tough love and a good bear hug. The girls don't seem to be impacted by her visit as much; for that I'm happy for but worried at the same time.
The morning after she left we sat down at the table while eating our breakfast and I asked for any questions, comments, etc; then we talked though things. Then I took each of the kids aside during the day and talked to them privately to see if they had anything else on their minds and we talked though it. Overall they would have liked to spend more time with mommy but their also happy that they got the time they did with her. It's something I hope I can make happen more in the future. Children need their mother and father figures in their lives and they need the love that comes from having a supportive community around them.
While I may not agree with all the things happened while Mommy came to town; I'm happy that the kids got to experience their mother's way of doing / seeing things. After all we're all just deeply flawed humans trying to do the best job they can. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse; we love our children and want the best for them.
As I've said time and time again; Even if you're married, divorced, or whatever, co parenting is hard!