Parenting is hard – we know this, right? Like we are in charge of tiny humans. Not only to like clean their room and get dressed, but to have good hygiene and eat well also. AND THEN it’s our responsibility to teach them right and wrong, good from bad, and send them off into the world and hope we did a good enough job that they’ll survive. And hopefully do some good out there too. Whoa. You know, just all in a days work, no big deal.
What’s harder though . . . co-parenting – and I’m not really even like IN it in it yet, I don’t think. I have friends that are pros at this. They have joint birthday parties with BOTH parents and BOTH sides of the family. Whoa! They do family outings like with the new love interests even [bigger whoa inserted here]! I also have talked to several of these parties, on both sides of the “I want out” fence, and they have ALL said it took time, honestly like years in some cases. It took time for them to get over the hurt, it took time for their ex to get over the hurt, it just took time. I think sometimes I try to rush things, haha, if you’re my friend reading this you KNOW this isn’t a sometimes thing – I am impatient and want it now, whatever it is. 🤷🏼♀️
When you co-exist with someone you don’t always agree on the parenting style or moments that happen but you can SEE them, you can address them, talk about them, work out a plan together but when you’re co-parenting and NOT in the same home, this. is. not. possible. Maybe that’s a blessing. Maybe, as I type this I am realizing it’s a good thing I can’t SEE the other parenting style all the time. I can’t 100% control it, so why be privy to it. Glad I just had this epiphany. 🙌🏼
Sometimes these kids come to me acting a complete fool and I think in my head do you seriously act this way at your dad’s house, like for real?! I mean, I want to knock. them. out. I think they’re likely testing the waters, seeing what works here and there, and then also they are very likely allowed to do different things with different people. No different than home vs. school or grandma’s house, or whatever. But oh. my. gosh. It’s not something I can sit down with my significant other and discuss super easily with. It’s kind of hard. Awkward. Because then am I insulting or insinuating anything about the other house or showing a sign of distrust or whatever the case may be, a lot more thought has to go into a simple ‘since when did 3 1/2 become the new holy terror stage’ conversation.
The truth is we have to trust that even though we aren’t a duo in regards to a couple anymore, we are a duo when it comes to parenting, and that, that will NEVER change. Our kids, when they’re older and want to go to college or get big girl jobs, or married, or have babies will look to their parents for advice and information – that’s where we, WE, as a team come into play. Who knows that that team will look like in 10-15 years when they really start making some of these decisions, but it’s important that we work on that duo now.
I probably overshare and help too much or like am too nice when it comes to co-parenting. I mean, is that possible? Is it possible to be TOO nice? I don’t think so. At the end of the day I’m doing it for my girls. I’m ensuring their dad knows of all events, that even when they’re here or there they have the special shoes, or skates, or toys they want for the weekend. I text pictures of homework or party sheets, I attend every practice (even when it’s not my night) just because I want the kids to know I am there, I am their to support them even if they’re with Dad, I’m still their Mom and I don’t love them any less because they’re not there with me. Off on a little tangent here but I think that’s the hardest part of divorce. For me anyway, is losing time with my kids. Then, with that same aspect of losing time, it’s also the biggest blessing because we all know if mom is around, mom is doing it. ALL. 🤷🏼♀️
So, back to it, co-parenting. Whew. I have a lot to learn. WE have a lot to learn. I am really proud of where I am though. Almost 6 months ago I pretty much wanted the guy gone forever and I would have just taken over everything, but really, really what would that have done? Nothing! Sometimes I think it would be easier if he didn’t want anything to do with them/me. And then I think are you kidding me? How selfish would that be, and lonely (for me and them), and how exhausting for me!
And then I think never mind.