Untying the Knots | Episode 10 | What Can a Blended Family Sound Like

Dawn Smith and Kristen Files, partners at Atlanta-based family law firm Smith & Files, host “Untying the Knots.” Season 1 offers practical advice and resources to families navigating crisis and covers such themes as co-parenting, intimate partner violence, myths about marriage and divorce, support systems, and financial safety after divorce. The 10-episode series launched July 1 with new episodes weekly through September 2 and includes special guests Chief Judge Christopher Brasher, Chief Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Stolarski, and Historian and Marriage Expert Stephanie Coontz.

Below is a transcript of Episode 10 | What Can a Blended Family Sound Like.

“Untying the Knots” is available on all streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts. To learn more, visit www.smithfileslaw.com/podcast.

DS: Dawn Smith | KF: Kristen Files | WM: Wendell Matthews | FW: Frank White

DS I’m Dawn Smith.
KF And I’m Kristen Files.
DS This is Untying the Knots, a podcast about family crisis…
KF … and what it takes to survive the tangles and strengthen the ties.
DS Welcome to Untying the Knots — for our final episode of season one. And a very special episode it is, Kristen!
KF Drumroll, please!
DS Was this your idea?
KF It wasn’t, no, because I usually have really good ideas. The verdict is still out on whether this qualifies. But we’ll see, we’ll see. We’ll let the listeners be the judge.
DS Well, you know, does the fact that my palms are sweating mean anything?
KF Probably. Same. Mine are too.
DS So we’ve got some really, really special guests today — a guest, on my side, that if you had told me 16 years [ago] that he would be on this episode, I would have told you that you had lost your mind and we’re living in an alternate reality.
KF Exactly. And on my side, I feel the same way. It’s all about that getting-to-the-other-side and realizing, “Oh, I didn’t realize there would be another side to this tunnel.”
DS So if you haven’t guessed, our special guest are…
KF Our exes! They’re here. Our co-parents. There actually is another person that we parent with.
DS But we are honored and, quite frankly, while nervous, I’m also really excited. It’s nice to have this place to be able to tell the story and talk about it on the other side and reflect back.
KF The fact that our exes are willing to come on to our podcast and, you know, step into this vulnerable space, I think it’s a testament to how much work all of us have put into wanting this to work. So I’m excited. I’m excited for the banter. I’m excited to just see how this is gonna go, but also nervous.
DS I’m kind of excited to see your ex.
KF [laughs]
DS Because, while I know you really well, and I’ve heard about him, I’ve never seen him!
KF I know! I feel the same. It’s like, peering into your life in a different way. I’ve heard all this stuff, but this is definitely gonna put some pieces together: a face with the name and with some of the stories that I know. The topic for today is communing and gathering. And I just really feel like this is such a perfect ending to this season, because it’s the culmination of everything that we’ve been talking about, like co-parenting, the do’s and don’ts, having support systems. We’re all gonna be able to talk about what that’s looked like in our individual journeys because I might have an opinion on some things I thought I did the “do’s” correctly. It’s all about the journey — how we got here to be at a place where we can commune together as a family.
DS And it feels like it’s also about the destination — that getting to the point where we can commune and gather together as a family was part of the journey. And I think it’s us landing in a place where major family events and holidays, and even just hanging out during COVID, you know, that was kind of the final destination for us and, I know for my boys, was the most meaningful. They love it.
KF I get that. I feel the same way when my daughter sees both of her parents in the same place at the same time enjoying each other and it’s pleasant. I relish those moments, and I know that she does, too. It’s such an important gift for me to be able to witness that. It isn’t anything that I witnessed growing up or had in my life, and it’s something that I want for my daughter. I couldn’t be a part of that gift if he wasn’t on board.
DS But I do want to say up front that this was a destination for both of us, I think, Kristen. And if you were not there, and certainly, early in the process, you would be such the exception to the rule. So I don’t want you to feel bad if you’re not there yet.
KF Oh, no, honey, this was a journey. I tell clients often that this is such a marathon. It’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint. What your family and the comfortability that everyone has in this new space looks like on day one is going to look much different — hopefully! — by day 101. My daughter’s 14 and this is over a decade of figuring it out. And that’s a long time. It’s just an ever-evolving process that you have to really allow yourself to grow with.
DS And early in the process, I do talk to clients and people that are going through this about the fact of “No, certainly you’re not going to celebrate it together,” but also, “Don’t become so entrenched in that holiday needing to work a certain way.” You know, Kristen, you and I say all the time  — because people will fight over who gets to see Susie on her birthday, right — and all the time we say to people, “Susie wants to celebrate two three or four birthdays.”
KF I’m sure Susie will not be sad about having multiple birthday parties.
DS Not at all! And so they you know to get out of “But it must be this way, I must have him or her on her birthday” or “I must always have Christmas morning or the first night of Hanukkah.” That I do think that early in the process you need to begin to adjust your expectations and acknowledge that you’re going to have new family traditions, and it’s going to look a new way. But I also want to say, the first Christmas when my three-year-old and my infant walked out of that door was very hard.
KF Oh, that was so hard. I actually am envisioning myself — I can see myself — that Christmas, the first Christmas I didn’t have her physically with me.
DS Oh, god that just gave me chills. It was really hard. But there was only one first Christmas. And I got through it. I stumbled and made so many mistakes along the way. In fact, in talking to Frank about coming on, he reminded me that I forbade him from coming to my youngest child’s first birthday party. And here we are, 17 years later, in a very different place, where there was a lot of room for growth. So if you, listener, are not there, that’s okay. We made mistakes. You’re going to hear about our mistakes today. But you’re also going to hear about the growth and the journey. And, you know, we’re not even at the destination. We’re just at one stop along the way. Because I’m probably closer to my children having children and that being the next major life event.
KF Oh, wow, that’s so true. That’s what we were talking about living in the gray. Learning and allowing yourself to live in the gray, which is easier said than done. But I know that I have been so benefited by it. I believe we all have, my family. Which is crazy, because I now consider my ex a part of my family even though we’re not in the same house, and I never thought that was going to be the case. So here we are.
DS Are you ready?
KF I’m as ready as I’ll ever be done. I guess. I’m not ready, but I’m ready.
DS You can do it, girl.
KF Thank you. And you can do it, too. We’ve done the hard work already. This should be the easy part.
DS This is the celebration. Let’s go!
DS Wendell! It is so nice to meet you.
WM So nice to meet you, too.
DS I have heard so much about you.
KF Frank, it’s really nice to meet you. I’ve heard lots of great things about you too.
FW Same here, same here. It’s really nice to meet you, too.
KF Where are you? Your lighting looks so good.
WM I’m actually at this equestrian estate. We’re quarantining out here for our anniversary because we’re supposed to get married this weekend. It’s my fiancé’s family that we’re coming to visit. Kristen knows her well. They’re good friends, this our ninth anniversary but we’re all supposed to get married this weekend. And we had to reschedule the wedding. And so she has some close like family that own this estate.
DS Wendell, you are quarantining at an equestrian estate. Kristen, why didn’t you tell us this about Wendell? Well, this is the first time learning of it, with you today, folks! I’m learning about it now in real time. So– [laughs]
FW If I find out that you guys paid to send him there, I’m hanging up.
DS That’s great, because one of the things, Wendell, that we do, or have done and all the past episodes, is sort of talk about our lives and our co-parenting relationship. And one of Kristen’s stories was about a wedding dress. Right, Kristen?
KF Yeah, it was about — Awilda had asked me how I felt about going shopping with her and Sydney for Sydney’s dress for the wedding, or outfit for the wedding. And I was like, “Sure, that would be really sweet.” And so I referenced that in one of our episodes, just like getting to a place where that’s the type of relationship we have because, you know, it didn’t start there. But it was a journey there. And now it’s like, “Yeah, of course. I would love to do that.”
WM Yeah. It’s very uncommon. And I’m extremely grateful that Kristen has been open to that aspect of our process because it’s created so many more positive memories than negative ones for all of us as, as Sidney and we’ve all grown together. Most situations when you get a question like that, it’s like, “Why’d you ask me that? Like, why would I do that? No.” So, you know, that I think is, is unconventional. And it probably shouldn’t be. And I think part of moving the needle and creating the change that you want to see is making those uncomfortable choices in your own life, and then you can share it with others like you guys are doing right now.
DS We brought you on here to ultimately talk to us and our listeners about our communal celebrations and what we all have gotten to, but we didn’t start out there. You know, Frank, you and I, it was 17 years ago, so we’ve had a lot of time to work on it. And in thinking of working up to where we are now, we’ve had lots of memories. And, you know, we’ve been talking about good and bad co-parenting and I have some real memories of things that you know, one, were you were incredibly gracious and did such a nice job. And then one where I was horrible… and there are more where I was horrible.
FW [laughs]
DS I want to give one of them — and you may have your own and, you know, this is not scripted at all but — the one that comes to mind is when you took our young boys, and you went away for a week, when the boys were maybe five and three, I don’t know. And they had never been away from me that long. And of course I was really nervous about it, and I consulted some people that work with kids and ways to make it better. And I sent with them a bag of little bitty presents, like nothing, like a cute eraser or something and wrapped each one up. And, on each one, it would say how many days left until they got to see me.
KF [laughs] Oh my God!
DS Because you know, the younger one wasn’t able — didn’t have a concept of time. But the family lawyer in me that has that memory, just so you know, now hears that as, “What was that trying to do to his vacation? Was not trying to taint his vacation?” Which, I can say there were times when my motivation was not good. But my motivation was — I promise y’all, it was good, but I didn’t think about that it may interrupt his vacation.
KF “Three more days till I’m back with Mom!”
FW [laughs]
DS But, Frank, you were so gracious. You did it.
KF What’s your memory of that, Frank? Do you remember that?
FW I didn’t have a specific memory of it until she brought it up. But now that she mentions it, I do remember it. And, I mean, I hope it’s comforting to hear that I didn’t take it that way at the time, or, at least, I don’t remember feeling about it that way at the time. I knew it was for the boys. And, you know, that was always paramount to me is that anything that benefited them was okay with me. And I just don’t remember it being that much of an intrusion on our day. I get that you’re looking back on it in a very different way than you did at the time. But it, it wasn’t a problem. And you know, maybe the fact that it wasn’t an intrusion is why, if you hadn’t brought it up, I probably never would have thought about it again.
DS Thank you. See, he’s still gracious.
FW I think some of it is just I probably have a faulty memory as I’m getting older. But I don’t like to dwell on things in the past that’re not particularly productive or healthy to think about.
KF So I think that’s a good point that there’s going to be all types of things that you do and you look back and it’s like, “That’s cringy. I shouldn’t have done that.” But I think when the bigger picture is, like, you all have a good relationship and your kids are healthy and they love you and I feel like that’s what you remember. That little stuff kind of falls by the wayside if you’re focusing on the right thing.
DS Hey Wendell was Kristen ever imposing herself into your vacations like apparently Dawn was doing?
KF You know I’m like really not a controlling person at all. So I mean, I don’t know how he could possibly have a memory– [laughs]
WM I mean, you know, I think that the cool thing about Kristen and I’s [sic] set up was always that we both valued time with Sydney and time for ourselves probably equally — just having that balance. And so it’s always felt like whenever it was, you know, my time to take it away somewhere or something like that, Kristen welcomed it. And anytime it was her time to take Sid away and do something, I welcomed it. I think there was one time where I got it — I felt a little something because she took Sid to Disney World, and I always wanted to do it. And it made me feel so bad that we couldn’t do that together. And then it made me feel, like, bad — competitively speaking — cuz she had beat me to being able to do it. And, you know, now, what’s the point in me taking her to Disney World? I’ve just kind of lost that opportunity, you know? And so then I just felt bad about all of those selfish feelings because it’s like, “Yo, my daughter got to go to Disney World. And she’s with the best mom in the world.” You know what I mean? Like you can’t beat that. You know what I mean?
KF Oh, wow. Absolutely. Since we’re all telling cringy stories. It’s — the story I was thinking about from my own cringe-worthy moment and you’re gonna remember this Wendell. I didn’t even prime you for this. But I remember blowing a gasket when we went through this phase where at my house I bought whole wheat bread… at my house [laughs].
DS What kind of bread do you eat, Wendell?
WM I eat honey wheat, Dawn! None of that multigrain — none of that multigrain, hard nuts whatever is in there.
DS That seed stuff!
WM Mystery hard stuff in my bread? No, I don’t need that.
KF I do because it’s healthy. And, you know, Sidney went through this phase where it was like, “I won’t eat whole wheat bread, I’m not gonna eat the whole wheat noodles that you buy because Dad buys the regular noodles and he buys honey wheat bread.” I was just furious! And then one day, Wendell comes over. And we’ve, like, never had a conversation about whole wheat bread or honey wheat bread. I’m listening to myself. I hear how ridiculous this sounds. I’m being transparent for our listeners. We know we’ve never had a conversation about whole wheat or regular pasta. And he comes over, trying to be nice thinking he’s helping with a loaf of honey wheat bread, and just comes in and puts it into my refrigerator one day when he’s dropping Sidney back off. And I’m like, “Did he just put honey bread into my refrigerator?! at my house?! I buy it eat whole wheat bread!” I was like, “You are undermining me! Now Sidney’s not gonna want to eat it, you’re encouraging her to, like, not pay attention to what I say!” Like, I was just zero to 135.
DS And the point is that when you look back on that, right — I get it, you’re in it, and you were so mad, and you want to control it so badly.
KF And I look back and I’m like, you know — now I just buy honey wheat bread. And it’s not really — it didn’t have to be World War Three. But that comes from a place of, like, underlying emotions when you’re co-parenting that we’ve talked about being, even triggered as a co-parent, on an emotional level, by something maybe your ex does, or whatever, that is completely not related to exactly what’s happening, but some underlying emotion — because we’re human beings and we’re interacting with each other. And like now, looking back, you know, Wendell, thanks for bringing the honey wheat bread. Like, it’s fine. I’m over it now.
WM It’s so interesting, in those moments, though, because the disconnect becomes so apparent when, like, a gesture like that symbolizes so much more because whatever is assigned to it is reflective of all this different accumulated emotion from past events. And on my side, as she said — yeah, I’m listening. I’m, I’m reflecting on it. I remember she’s, she’s just she’s saying, “You know, we never talked about it before and here he comes with a loaf of bread and just puts it in my fridge.” And I’m thinking about what my process was at the time. And I’m like, “Look, I’m not about to make no big deal with her about this bread. Sid has already mentioned to me, probably, you know, 45 46, a hundred times.” Who knows? “You know, instead of talking about it, I’ll just bring the solution over.” It was really, you know, whatever act I was going to do probably would have caused that outcome. I thought I was doing the best I could in terms of trying to make it not as invasive or upsetting to her, and it blew up anyway. And I think that that’s guaranteed to happen until the two parents improve their communication and sift through all those undertones because too much weight gets assigned to innocent gestures on both sides. You know?
DS So, Frank, I so agree with what Wendell said, and I think it’s important for our listeners to know that, you know, you and I started off co-parenting and it was really hard. It was hard because it was fraught with emotion with the grown-ups. Right? What do you remember about that, those early days?
FW I remember it being tremendously difficult and a combination of sad and awkward and trying to always put them first and trying to navigate things with you in ways that they wouldn’t notice, or that I thought they wouldn’t notice. I’m sure they probably did, because I think kids are incredibly intuitive, and they notice everything. It was, you know, it was like a minefield. I guess the thing that — if people listening to this can take anything away from this conversation — it’s that no matter how bad it is right now, and no matter how hopeless you might feel, sitting here, all these years later, I have trouble even remembering what that felt like, because we’ve come so far. So when you ask me the question, “Do you remember what it was like?” I do, but I have to sort of search my memory for that. Because we’ve, you know, we’re just so far beyond that. But yeah, it was terribly difficult. I was always mindful of how you were feeling and I did a lot of things that I have tremendous regret about today. As Wendell said earlier on in the conversation, I just feel so fortunate and thankful at where we are today, but there was definitely a time when I never could have imagined that we were ever going to get there.
DS Never. It is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.
FW I agree. I agree.
WM Frank, I’m curious, can you identify a moment or an experience or a turn of events that helped you experience a shift from thinking there is no way that you can get to this place of healthy communication and mutual support and that kind of stuff. Can you identify any moment where you felt like that shift happened where suddenly there was hope, and you actually could see a fruitful, prosperous outcome for your relationship?
FW Yeah, that’s a great question. And I haven’t thought about it, but there are a couple of things. I mean, number one, obviously, is just the passage of time. But I remember two other things as being sort of bright line moments. One was — and I don’t remember why we were both at the school one day — and it had been hard for a while. And I remember that we were both leaving some sort of school function or meeting with a teacher or something and Dawn asked me to sit down on a bench — just out on the sidewalk after we had finished. And we just apologize to each other. You know, to her credit, she’s the one who initiated it. Without even knowing that I needed to do it, it meant so much. And I don’t think we ever communicated in a negative way after that, with the exception of just little minor instances where we had, you know, disagreements about specific issues, but that changed everything. And then the other one, quite honestly, was when she met her current husband. And when she realized, which I don’t think, you know, everybody knew this except for Dawn, is that she was going to find another amazing guy to love and to be loved by and to love our kids and to be you know, to be a co-parent in a different way. And we all knew that would happen, but I think for a while she didn’t believe it would. And so when it did, she just brightened. And everything suddenly was very much easier than it had been before.
DS I think, personally, the freedom that I felt — it’s a lot of effort to stay mad and sad, and it binds you up in chains. But you know, you can’t unlock those chains until you’re ready to unlock them. Thankfully, it sort of coincided for the two of us. The only thing that I would add is that, as the needs for our children changed — and one of them, at various times, had greater levels of anxiety and depression — and there’s nothing like me and Frank on being on the same page and talking through and trying to figure something out when it comes to those boys. At every level. So, eventually, they start developing, right, and they have different needs. And then when discipline and middle school and high school happen, we were like, “Okay, we may disagree about some of this stuff, but they ain’t gonna see it. We’re gonna talk about it offline together.” And then we were a united front. As members of that team, as importantly, are our spouses Robin and Elizabeth, who — the heroes in our story are our spouses. It’s exceptional. You know, Elizabeth walked into this family of Frank’s — married Frank — is like, “Oh, by the way, we celebrate Christmas together.” Thanks for making me cry, Frank.
KF No, I think that’s so important. And that’s something you know, in an earlier episode, we talked about breaking down myths about what family has to look like and the myth that a happy, successful family has to look like the nuclear version that we see on TV, with two parents and children in the same house. And all of our stories, but particularly what you’re talking about by describing Elizabeth and Robin as the heroes of the story, is such a good debunker to that myth. Like, that is not what family has to look like. The agenda that society pushes in terms of what a happy family has to look like.
DS Yeah, and so the same question back at you window. Was there a time where maybe things got a little easier? Or?
WM Hmm, I’d say that the first thing is it’s hard to pinpoint a time or a moment. First, I have to preface all that by saying that, Kristen and I, we never separated because of a lack of love for each other. Right? And I think that that’s been the key to our commitment to compromise, and our commitment to communication, and our commitment to willingness to work with the process and figure it out together. But it’s really the fact that like, I’ve never stopped loving Kristen as a person that’s made me committed to honoring and talking to her when she’s upset about stuff, and hoping for the best for us, and doing whatever she thinks we need to do for our kid and, and all that stuff. And, and any of the tough times that we run into where we butt heads, it’s always very short-lived for me internally because of how much I love her. And then when it comes to integrating another person into my life, which is leading me to that shift that I was talking about, when it comes to integrating another person into my life, or her integrating someone into hers, it’s important to both of us that whoever we’re with embraces the fact that we love each other. It’s not like we both just love our kid. We both actually love each other and we care about each other and we’re friends. That’s crucial to our chemistry as co-parents, you know, it’s one thing to have a shared value for this shared interest. It’s another thing to share in that shared value and common interest and also love your co-parent. The short of it is part of promoting and encouraging that shift is actually being excited about your ex finding a new partner. I was almost brought to tears when Frank mentioned the shift that occurred within you, Dawn, when you knew that you were actually being loved appropriately. You know, you know what I mean? And the fact that Frank was fully behind that, he didn’t feel no bitterness or resentment, any of that kind of stuff. It changes the whole ballgame in terms of the trajectory of your relationship because that guy, your husband now, he can’t take anything away from what you and Frank have. And he knows that, and that’s part of the collective buy-in that’s necessary in order for this unconventional family setup to work.
KF I think this is a great segue to talking about what our families look like now and how we come together. One thing we wanted to talk about in this episode is community gathering: gathering together for holidays and for events as this new picture of a family. One thing that has been so meaningful to me and, I think, very meaningful to Sidney is the decision that we make to have FaceTime on Christmas mornings, so that the person who wasn’t physically with our daughter would still be a part of the experience of watching her open her gifts on Christmas morning and see the other family that she was with. Just, like, how powerful that is! And that’s our own new community that we built where I’m virtually spending time with your mom and your sister and brother and your new fiancé. And vice versa. When she’s with me you’re spending time with my family but having that moment together even though we’re not physically together anymore.
WM You know, real family finds a way. You overcome the obstacles, you figure something out, you make whatever changes you need to keep things together, to keep the family together, to keep it as a unit, to maintain the relationship, to be consistently present. Our entire lives as co-parents have been a constant board game when it comes to, like, just strategizing how we’re going to navigate the next step and how we’re going to make it so it’s balanced, equal and everybody’s involved.
KF I think, at the end of the day, like, there’s something to be said about a kid being in the same room with their parents and it feeling easy and light, and its fun. I think that every child wants that. That’s something I longed for in my childhood that I didn’t have. And maybe I didn’t even realize I was longing for it at the time. But now in retrospect…
DS I think, Frank, why don’t you tell folks what we do for holidays.
FW Everybody who hears about this, I think, thinks it’s insane. But our Christmas dinners are the two of us, our two boys, our respective spouses, my youngest son with my current wife. Frequently, all of our mothers. One year, your dad as well.
KF That’s awesome.
FW Obviously, everything was always motivated by what would make the boys the happiest and it definitely did. And you could see it, but over the years, it’s become like the highlight of my holiday.
DS Yeah, it’s so much fun. Recently. It’s been in the last two or three years where We all had a family dinner at your house together. It wasn’t like a holiday or anything. And our youngest son said, “We need to do this once a month.” You remember that?
FW Yeah. [laughs]
KF You know, that’s a thumbs up! Like, “Yo, something we’re doing is right!” Because the energy they’re sensing is like, “This is all good. This is okay.” You know? “I like it in this space with you all.” And that’s really what you want to create for your kids. And that requires a lot of hard work and emotional journey internally as well.
WM It’s okay to love your ex. It’s okay to hug your ex. It’s okay to appreciate it and, and let that love be apparent and visible to your child. It’s important to do it. I mean, we, we’ve been committed to, in each of her rooms — at her room at Kristen’s house and her in my house — we both have pictures of me and Kristen together, you know smiling, happy, hugging back when we were together. You know? That’s so crucial to her — and even now — she was born out of love. You know what I mean? I just think that sometimes love gets put into this idealistic utopic box. And the reality is it works. It’s like medicine, it’s natural. It works every day, all the time. You got to make it real. You have to be intentional about practicing it. And then you have to believe in its aftereffects. The bottom line is you and Frank have gotten to where you guys have gotten, because that’s the natural progression of what love does. You know, it transforms, it heals, it forgives. And now you guys are all sitting at the same table and your family has only grown. And so love is abundant! You know what I mean?
DS Preach it, Wendell, preach it! So, Wendell and Frank, I want to really acknowledge and honor the type of men that you are and your willingness to be on here and be transparent, and honest, and vulnerable. I think it’s hard. I mean, I think it’s a big ask: “Hey, go on a podcast with your exes and you know and see what happens.” And I’m honored that you all did it. And I think it’s a testament to how you feel about all of our children and our raising them up together. And I want to thank you.
KF I’m so happy this was the last episode. I really am. I think it’s such a perfect way to end this season. And also a perfect way to open the window a little bit into who we are, like, in a more tangible way. I think we’ve been sharing stories all season about things from our lives but this was seeing that manifest in real time. Because, you know, a lot of that stuff we were talking about, it was just coming up on the fly. It wasn’t, like, planned or anything so…
DS I feel like the seasons been wonderful. You, the listener, and our guests have covered so much ground — you know, diverse ground, but Important ground in the lives of families that are working at disengaging, and to end it with the very people that we untangled the knot with and to get their perspective on how we’re doing it now was so instructive to me, made me so grateful to not be there anymore but to feel even stronger. And what I tell people is to hold out the hope. I mean, I think Frank said it, you know, “You may feel like you could never get here, but we didn’t feel that way 17 years ago, either.”
KF Absolutely. This was not my expectation.
DS And I think is an overarching reason why it was so important is, you know, Kristen and I having been kids who experienced some trauma as a result of our parents untying the knot and then raising children who have their own experiences of those difficult times, we are committed to helping the listeners come to the problem in a more educated and thoughtful way, so that they can help lessen some of the trauma. It doesn’t mean — it’s sad, it’s hard. You know, we can’t take that away from anybody and we shouldn’t. That’s part of how we experience life. But if we can help people pause and approach it in a manner that does the least amount of damage to kids, who are ultimately the people who are going to be citizens running society, then I think that’s what we’re all about. I want to thank all of our guests who gave us their time, many of them in the midst of a global pandemic, to bring their expertise and their thoughtfulness to some really important topics. And we were blessed to have some of the very best and brightest come talk to us here.
KF I am just appreciative of our listeners walking along this road with us. This road started in one of our offices, talking about our experiences, and our cases, and why all of this even matters. And it is blossomed into this story, this whole season of episodes dedicated to understanding family and navigating it and accepting the ups and the downs. So I’m so excited that we had so many people on this road with us this season. And I hope that those same people and more will come back as we start season two.
DS So thank you for listening. Remember this when you have friends who may be going through these hard times. Remember Untying the Knots and join us again for the next season when we’ll work hard on dealing with families in crisis.
DS The app Our Family Wizard is a useful tool for communicating and organizing with your co-parent. Check Our Family Wizard out in the App Store. Divorce Magazine has some great articles on how to navigate the holiday season. Their website is divorcemag.com.
KF If you would like to know more about the topic we discussed today, you can find show notes and resources on our website, which will be linked in the episode description
DS Untying the Knots is a production made in partnership with FRQNCY Media. I’m your host Dawn Smith.
KF And I’m Kristen Files. Enna Garkusha is our producer.
DS Episode research is by Jessica Olivier, Becca Godwin and Vincent Mitchell.
KF We are recording in Atlanta, Georgia, during the pandemic.
DS We want to thank all essential workers and those who are doing their best to keep us healthy and safe.