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I think of the Same Love song by that band Macklemore when I think of how competitive and judgmental parenting has become. Formula feed and you are the worse parent in the world. Breastfeed and you are the best. Co-sleep and you are a horrible parent risking your child’s death. Put your child in a crib and well you are putting them at a risk for SIDS. Is there not a thing a parent can do that is right these days? Parents live in this fear of what they should put out there because too many people judge and are “better than” the other parent. This is insane people. What happened to neighbors helping neighbors, parents supporting parents? No wonder so may parents are feeling so depressed because they are judged for their every move. Our country has become more about “who’s better than who” than just “co exist and respect each other as individuals”.
Every parent has the Same Love for their child. Who cares if someone chooses to co-sleep, formula feed, give their kids food choices you don’t agree with – those are their children, not yours, deal with it. I am all for each parent educating other parents on rights versus wrongs. Educating on why some foods are truly not good for people or children. Share your personal opinions backed with facts and the other side could share their opinions backed by their own facts. It’s really as simple as; there is a truth behind every opinion you can share to defy what you are saying. When another parent is flat out putting their child in harms way, neglecting the, abusing them either emotionally or physically – okay step in.
If a child is happy. The parents are happy. Then why be such a meanie about it? I say kids are the meanest in this world to each other but lately I see adults acting just as mean to each other. It’s almost as though we have done lost our minds. Case in point; I have been an on and off again cigarette smoker for many years. I never smoke a cigarette in the home my children reside in. I have not smoked cigarettes in the vehicle with my children. These are healthy choices I have made for my children, who shouldn’t have to have lungs filled with crap just because I have an addiction I keep going back and forth with. With that being said, I try my best not to pass judgement on parents who do choose to smoke in households and cars with their own children. It’s not healthy but those are not my children. I am not the boss of other parents.
When my children ask me why other parents do things that I do not do, I simple say ” every parent is different. I choose to do or not do certain things while others will do those things and it’s okay because that is their life and their family. It’s not my job to judge nor tell others what to do with their children or life”. By having that mindset it has taught my children to judge less and accept more.
I think that as parents we all need to come together and celebrate the fact that we all have the Same Love for our children. That is what this world needs more of; love. So why not pat a parent on the back today and tell them you are happy that they are doing a great job, after all every parent does the best they know how and just hope something clicks with their children so that the children grow up to do their best as well!
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.
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!