Co-parenting: Being stuck raising your kids with someone you hate until they turn 18.
A lot of time though, people have that mindset. Some people think that co-parenting relationships like Alicia, Swizz, and Moshanda and Jada, Will, and Sheree are just fairy tales. I hear horror stories about co-parenting relationships and I honestly don’t get it. In my opinion, co-parenting is what you make it and shouldn’t be that hard.
First and foremost, I know there are some situations where one parent is just difficult for no reason. Situations where no matter how hard someone tries to keep the peace, the other parent just isn’t budging. I have not experienced that, but I know my situation could and would have been much worse if I ever made the decision to go about things differently. And, I feel like even if you are in one of those bad situations, you still are in control of the way YOU handle it.
I take pride in the type of “baby mama” I am.
And I use that term very loosely.
We have all heard stories about women (and men) being so petty and nasty for no reason. Making everybody’s life a living hell. That just isn’t in my blood. In most stories that I hear, things could be so much different if people would grow up and stop being selfish. I don’t always like every decision my kids’ father makes (and I am sure he could say the same), but I always choose my peace first (after my kids of course), which eliminates sooooo many problems. It took work, continues to take work, and not every day is perfect, but honneeyyy
A little history
Long story short (I always say that lol) my kids’ father and I dated off and on for about 5 years and in between had our beautiful baby boys. Neither one of us wanted to split at first because we really wanted our family to stay together, but we were forcing it and eventually got to a point where we couldn’t force it anymore. When we finally decided to call it quits, for me, it was one of the most painful things I have ever dealt with. The hardest part was seeing how it affected our kids. One of them would literally lay in the hallway every, single, night and SCREAM “I WANT MY DADDY!” And daddy wasn’t there. He was still in their life, but they were used to us being in the same home. The other became so angry all the time. He couldn’t really articulate his feelings, but I knew he was angry because the transition was hard for him and he didn’t understand. I felt so bad for causing that pain. I was always strong in front of them but behind closed doors…
Luckily, I had just started seeing a therapist a couple months before we separated for personal reasons, so I had an outlet that really helped me get through. I was able to grieve in a healthy way, and support my children positively. I learned how to explain things to them and how to comfort them the best I could.
But believe me, the first few months were rough
On top of having to get used to being a family in two separate homes, their dad ended up getting in another relationship pretty quickly. He also started to bring her around the boys right away. As you can imagine, that was a really hard transition for me, and the boys. We had to learn how to get used to our new family dynamics AND someone else being in the picture. I knew that time would come, but I wasn’t ready for it so soon.
Some women (and men) refuse to let their children be around the new “step-parent”, if you will. They even go as far as to not let their children be with the other parent if they don’t get their way. That was never me. Did I feel like he brought her around too soon? Yes, at that time I did. However,I knew there was no need to be extra about the situation. I could have been bitter, angry, and made things difficult, but I knew that would not only impact me, but my children as well. On top of that, at the end of the day I trusted their father. I knew he loved his children more than anything and would not intentionally put them in harm’s way. I knew he would not have some random person around them if he did not feel they were worthy. I knew he was ultimately a grown man and would do what he wanted to do anyway, so any energy I put into trying to stop him would be wasted. Most importantly, I knew that his kids needed him just as much as they needed me. I decided to let go and let God. (And, I ended up liking her a lot)
So here we are today
I know not every situation is like ours, but the point I am trying to make is that co-parenting relationships are not always going to be easy. There may, and will, be bumps in the road. You play a big role in the outcome based on how you choose to handle it. Although things are not perfect, four years later we have a solid co-parenting relationship. VERY minimal drama, no court system involved, and very strong communication. And let me just add: I do not walk the walk alone. Their dad truly puts in the work to make sure things continue to go the way they are. We joke and say we should write a book about co-parenting all the time. Not because we are perfect, but because we are two young adults out here in the world just trying to keep the peace for the sake of our children and have learned lessons along the way. We feel people can relate.
Like I said in another blog having my children grow up in separate homes was never my desire, but when I made the decision to let God be in control, the blessings literally would not stop flowing, and they still don’t. I truly do believe that because I choose to handle things the way I do, God blesses me.
For anyone that is struggling to navigate through the co-parenting world: 1) Trust God. 2) Put your children and your peace first. 3) Understand that there are only certain things you can control, and another person is not one of them. Even if things are bad, you are in control of you. Do everything you can to have YOUR peace so you can be the best parent you can be for your children. Plus, karma is real and alive honey. So if someone is doing wrong by you or your children, they’ll get theirs. Co-parenting is what you make it. In the words of J Cole, choose wisely.
Until next time.