Parenting parents is exhausting. It’s also not your job. Children of divorced parents typically grow up to be pretty resilient and adaptable, which makes sense when you’re adapting between two homes, two sets of rules, etc. These children get so good at maneuvering between parents, that parents often forget how to maneuver between each other.
Parenting parents is exhausting. It’s also not your job.
Talk to each parent separately. Some parents are great at excuses, so talking to them may be best done in writing. Have clear examples (like graduation) of how their animosity has created hardships for you and then explain how important it is for each of them to be there and participate in your day. This may seem like a no brainer but sometimes you just have to shoot it straight, no matter how common sense an idea is.
If they are really difficult, you may want to enlist a close friend or relative as a kind of buffer. You can reinforce how important their participation is by finding a way for them to be included. For example, if your dad is walking you down the aisle, maybe your mom reads a poem at the reception. This will eliminate them feeling like one is a favorite.
It’s also important that you manage your expectations. These are your parents, and after all, you know what to expect. Despite best intentions it’s hard for people to change overnight. Change takes time and practice. Don’t look for any miracles. I know it would be a fairy tale if they could go to lunch, bury the hatchet and break bread together for your special day. But even if they wanted to, it would be hard to change their behaviors, especially with the pressure of everyone watching at the wedding.
Change takes time and practice. Don’t look for any miracles.
Do what you can, set them at different tables, maybe ask a family member to help run interception, and then enjoy your night. No one will blame you if you’re parents can’t keep their cool.