Co-Parenting – Understanding & Accepting

Splitting from a partner you’ve had kids with can be a nightmare and though not convenient, you may have to let them see the kids. Co-parenting is a common occurrence in today’s world. Here I share my experience with co-parenting and the best way I’ve found of dealing with it.

Having to co-parent is hard sometimes. Whether you get along with the children’s Dad or not, you have to be civil for the kids sake.

When I first split from Faith and Wyatt’s Dad, I found it really hard to get past the things he did and I didn’t think he deserved to have the children because he didn’t bother with them when they lived with him (I raised them both on my own whilst he played on his video games and slept through the day).

When Liam came into the picture the children’s Dad was then determined to be involved in their lives. It was undoubtedly difficult to let my babies see him because they have always been with me.

I felt like a piece of me was missing but I put my feelings aside and began by allocating a few hours with him at a time on the weekend to see the kids. I came around to the idea but he then wanted them over night. The panic and questions emerged.

‘Will he cope?’ 

‘What if he doesn’t watch the kids properly?’ 

‘What if the kids hurt themselves?’ 

If i’m honest it took me a while to agree. I believed he wasn’t able to look after them properly and the thought of it just terrified me. I may have come across as a selfish Mum, but this co-parenting was new to me, I had to share.


Staying Out The First Time

I finally gave in and thought I’d give it a go. I packed their little bags with tears running from my eyes all ready for them to pursue confinement at his place for one night.

He came to pick them up. At this point in time we weren’t getting along too well, so letting my little babies go with someone I really disliked was not my happiest of intents.

That entire weekend dragged. I was in shambles not knowing what to do with myself (I wasn’t used to being childless).

When they returned home the following day, myself in tears, I ran at them for the biggest hug I’d ever given them as if I hadn’t seem them for weeks. They soon expressed how much of a great time they had that weekend (It really pissed me off, but I had to think it wasn’t about my feelings anymore). I had to do this for the children.


Getting Used To The Idea

We finally made an agreement that they could go to stay with him every weekend. Doing this was advantageous, but there were certainly some bumps in the road.

We had certain rules in the household that the children must follow, but when the kids returned after the weekend at their Dads, their behaviours had contrasted from before (he was spoiling them). I soon understood there was more to this co-parenting than I originally thought (we actually had to communicate with each other!)

At the time, that was far from something I wanted to do. I’ve never known anybody to get on my nerves so much just by being in my presence, so it took me a good while to rein in my discontent and speak to him so we could all get on the same page regarding the children.

When we first discussed the rules with him, he did not look amused (he didn’t like Liam). He proclaimed that Liam wasn’t to have a say in the children. I believed that he did – he was helping me raise the children on a daily basis which he didn’t actually have to do, in doing so becoming a father figure to the kids.

After many arguments and disagreements, he soon realised I wasn’t going to give in (I can be stubborn when it suits me).


Things Started To Get Easier

Co-parenting wasn’t perfect but it was definitely getting better. We introduced the idea of sending the kids to their Dads over the holidays too, sharing them equally and he was finally on the same page as us regarding the rules.

He soon consummated the idea Liam was there to stay.


Moving Away

When we decided to move away, the children’s Dad wasn’t fond of the idea but Liam and I told him what was happening and that he would still see the kids over half term holidays. He agreed to it so the kids go to visit him every 6 weeks or so (the kids are off to his for a week today. Peace and quiet at last!).

Co-parenting is tough, and there has to be communication between both parties otherwise it just won’t work. Respecting the rules is a must and making sure you are both on the same page when raising the children certainly helps to create a smooth, civil environment for the kids to be happy within.

I know it can be really hard putting your own feelings aside especially if you don’t get along with the other parent, but to suck it up and let him be apart of their lives is the best thing for the kids and in the end they will respect you for it.

 

If you have had any similar experiences with co-parenting or just wish to discuss about this topic, please drop a comment in the comments section below!

 

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Author: Zoe

Hi! I'm Zoe Williams. I am a mum of 4 children and I am in a happy relationship with my partner Liam. I like reading, writing and various other activities. I like spending time with the kids and now I am here to blog about it.

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