Breaking up is never easy, but it is even more difficult when children are involved. Raising children with an ex-partner can carry a whole host of issues, especially when your ex starts dating someone new. All of the sudden, you have to deal with a brand-new person being in your child's life. It can be very challenging, and it can make even the most secure person grapple with jealousy.
Not so for Audrey Loving. This young mother of 4-year-old Riley wanted to take an entirely different approach with her ex's new girlfriend. Having grown up in a blended family with step-siblings, Loving was well aware of the "baby mama drama," as she puts it, that can go on between adults when their ex-spouses begin to date someone.
So Loving did something pretty sweet. She shared a touching thank-you note to her ex's new girlfriend, Whitney McGraw.
"This is my daughters fathers girlfriend," she wrote. "The sweetest thing ever! I'm super thankful for her because when she visits her dad she feeds her, takes care of her, buys her gifts, and basically takes care of her like her own. Why do all these moms act so spiteful and jealous towards the other women? NOONE (sic) said it was easy trying to be a mother to a kid you didn't have. So when there is someone trying, don't push them away!"
The beautiful message has since gone viral, with more than 3,000 comments and 12,000 shares.
"A kid can have two moms because in my eyes the more people that love her I'm happy!" Loving continued. "I would never make her feel like an outsider; I'm extremely thankful for this girl. Ladies, grow up and focus on being a good mom. Love more hate less!"
Loving and Riley's father, Corey Henry, ended their engagement after "several years of long-distance and personal differences," as TODAY explains. Loving has full custody, but Henry is involved in Riley's life and often takes her on weekends. That Henry's new girlfriendÂ brings more love and care into Riley's life is icing on the cake.
The heartfelt note has inspired others to share their words of wisdom about blended families.
There are so many sweet stories about stepmoms and moms getting along:
It's a good reminder about what is most important: The kids.
These inspiring messages make having a "bonus mom" sound amazing:
Loving says that over 5,000 people have sent her messages of support, as well as messages asking for her advice and how she manages to stay so positive. Well, her advice is simple? "Love more, hate less!" She also encourages parents to remember that it is about the kids, and that you have to model the behavior you want them to emulate. After all, kids are always watching and listening, even when we think they aren't!
If you are looking for more advice about how to best "co-parent" within a blended family, check out "The Co-Parents' Handbook: Raising Well-Adjusted, Resilient, and Resourceful Kids in a Two-Home Family from Little Ones to Young Adult" by Karen Bonnell and Kristin Little. It's a great resource.
Here's to putting the kids first and bringing more loveâand less hateâinto the world!