Cards for Humanity…Or At Least for Struggling Co-Parents
Divorce is hard. But it’s not just the emotional rollercoaster and the adversarial headbutting in court — even after all that is over, you wake up the morning after and you face the task of reconfiguring your life. That’s difficult enough when you’re only taking care of yourself…if you have a child or three, the challenge grows exponentially.
It gets even worse if your ex is a pain in the hindquarters. But even when they’re fundamentally a good person, the hurt and anger and the fractured lines of communication make it a profound challenge to work with them. There’s so much you’re feeling, and so few really decent ways to communicate those feelings.
Enter two exes, Ken and Wanda Bass. Wanda wanted something that would succinctly tell her ex-husband that she was willing to talk about the details of co-parenting even though she was still hurt. Ken wanted something that could show his ex-wife that he still supported her relationship with their two sons, even though his relationship with her was (rightfully) over and done.
In a truly miraculous display of cooperation that shows you don’t have to be in love to be a functional team, the two decided to address their problem in the most American way possible: they started a business together. Today, XCards produces greeting cards for a niche — but large– market: exes who are willing to put the divorce behind them and accept their new role as separated co-parents of children they both love.
XCards sells Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, birthday, and other cards that are designed to enable, encourage, and mend co-parenting relationships. (Mostly. There are also cards that express sentiments that are less fuzzy, such as the one reading “I know I never expressed myself the way I should have when we were together…” and containing nothing on the inside except a life-sized graphic of an upraised middle finger. But then, I know ex-couples for whom that would be something they could bond over!)
Personally, I would like to see an option to select the gender of the recipient. It’s a little disappointing that a card reading “He needs you…for your advice when he has a problem…for the affection of your touch…he needs you because you’re his father,” can be found in both “He needs you” and “She needs you,” but can’t be found in “…because you’re his mother.” But all things considered, given that XCards is the only business even trying to help the exes of the world communicate, it’s a small complaint.
Co-parents have a relationship that, like any other, requires trust and communication to build. If you’re searching for the right words to say what you need to say, check out the XCards. Whether you find exactly the right sentiment or not, you’ll almost certainly find a solid dose of inspiration. If nothing else, that middle finger is always there for you.
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