What This Divorced Couple Teaches Their Son Through Family Pictures Is Everything

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
Image via Love What Matters

Divorced couple takes pictures each year to remind son they will always be a family

No one enters into marriage thinking they will divorce. Having children together only complicates an already excruciatingly painful and difficult decision. When Victoria Baldwin and Adam Dyson divorced, they decided to keep up one family tradition to show their son Bruce, and themselves, that nothing—not even divorce—comes in the way of family.

Victoria shared her family portraits with Love What Matters and said, “The top two photos were taken when Adam and I were married. The bottom two, taken nearly one year and over two years after our divorce was finalized.” Baldwin decided to continue taking family pictures with her ex-husband to show her son that they are still a family, even though theirs may look a little different.

“We are not in love, we don’t always agree, we’re not best friends, sometimes we don’t even like one another. But you know what we are? We are forever connected because of our beautiful, smart, kind, compassionate, funny son. We RESPECT one another. We remember that neither of our roles as parents take precedence over the other – neither one of us are any more important to the life of our son,” Baldwin explains.

Baldwin and her ex-husband live in different states now and tells Scary Mommy to her, the photo is “a representation of what goes on behind the scenes in co-parenting relationships: its a visual reminder of what took place to make the photo happen – consideration of one another, kindness, flexibility, and team work, to name a few.”

I can say from experience it takes tremendous effort to co-parent peacefully. I hear people say all the time “you are so lucky to have such a great relationship with your ex.” I can tell you there is no luck involved. We’ve all worked extremely hard to be able to have the relationship we do and to be able to call each other ‘friend’. No matter what happens in a marriage we are parents, first.

Baldwin goes on to say, “We BOTH need to be there, we BOTH deserve quality time and quality memories with him. Neither of us blame one another for the direction our relationship took. We do not place blame on one another, and we certainly don’t place blame in the presence of our son.”

For Baldwin, a family portrait signifies the hard work a healthy co-parenting relationship takes. “We still have a family portrait taken, and I still pay good money to have the images printed, framed, and placed in our son’s bedroom; he may not grow up with parents who live in the same house… but he will grow up to see respect, kindness, empathy, compassion, perseverance, flexibility, and even sacrifice being modeled by both of his parents and he will know it is possible to fall out of love but never fall apart,” Baldwin explains.

The reality, of course, is that divorce looks different for everyone. The reasons for a divorce are as nuanced as how each individual handles their departure from the marriage. Someone may not be at a point where they can take pictures with an ex, but when children are involved, their well-being should take center stage.

Baldwin says, “Kids may not always listen to what you say, but they will watch what you do, and that can make all the difference.”

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