I had this vision in my head of what I would be as a co-parent to another person’s child. How I would handle being that “other parent” figure in their life. All of those visions appeared to be with little conflict and two mothers working together in a sense for the positive well being of their child. The issue is that I have been told on more than one occasion that I have a rare personality type. My co-parents and I get along fine. We don’t always agree, heck sometimes we probably don’t like each other but we do not ever allow our children to bear witness to that.
“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.
One of the biggest things that New Hampshire stresses, being that they are a PRO FAMILY state, is to work together. Overcome the reasons you are not together. Get over it. See for me, I was cheated on and well even to this day this particular ex swears he never cheated, I had proof and the girl he cheated with even spoke with me kindly about it. It took me a couple years to fully get over it but never did I place our daughter in the middle of my own personal feelings. Granted, there were situations I could have handled better but our daughter was never placed in the middle whereas I would threaten her to not see her Dad over my own personal issues with our break up over ten years ago.
Happy Parents, whether together or apart, make happy children. Every. Single. Time.
Thankfully with my ex husband and I there really wasn’t a huge drama fest. Neither of us cheated. Neither of us did anything wrong to each other. All too often its’ difficult to explain why we got divorced other than that we are great friends but two people who when living together and actually trying to have a relationship – don’t work. This makes co-parenting our boys super easy usually because we have a respect for each other. There is no drama and if he wants to take the boys extra so be it. It’s all about giving and taking.
I figured that when I met another man that he would have some established relationship with his ex, to the point that we all could get along and be civil. I would do what most co-parenting sites advise you to do; introduce yourself to the Mom of the children and talk kindly. Eliminate that motherly threat some feel about you taking “their spot” in their child’s life. That isn’t what moving on is about. Co-parenting isn’t about being competitive, who is better than the other.
I get that we are wired to be so damn competitive, but give it up when it comes to the kids. You don’t like your ex, they don’t like you. Who gives a crap. You had a child together so to me it’s pretty simple, grow up, suck it up and work together to compromise. The issue is that some parents just want that meal ticket a child provides to them, I have seen this very often. All too often. What’s even more sad is when the child doesn’t see it, at least right away. One thing that NH pushes in their Child Impact Seminar is that “you are not to put your ex down to your child, that is THEIR parent and THEY LOVE THEM. They have a right to LOVE both parents. If that other parent has a true flaw that screws with the children, those children will eventually see their own truth behind who their parents are.” The sad thing is that this can take well into adulthood before a child realizes what kind of parent they had.
When it comes to co-parenting on one is “right” except the children who need to be given a chance to grow as CHILDREN
All you can do is co-parent to the best of your abilities and stay positive because without that, what do you have? Working with a hostile, bitter, unhappy co-parent isn’t easy, but then again neither is parenting. So do your best to ensure that you are abiding by what you feel to be morally correct and move forward. Eventually the path will lead in the best-for-the-kids direction! Thank God my children do not have to deal with drama, for one – my body cannot handle drama, I literally get sick to my stomach with pains and can’t function properly and for two when co-parenting is a positive experience the children benefit fully from both parents and step parents in each household.
Spread the love, not the hate. Show your children what it means to be a respectful adult, so that they can grow up to be respectful adults too!