The situations I run into being the advisory panel for in this journey called life is co-parenting. Co-parenting is pretty straight forward to me and believe me I do not care so much for both guys I co-parent with every moment of our co-parenting lives, but I am sure they have those moments they feel the same about me. Honestly, co-parenting in general is all about give & take as well as coming back down to Earth from your own selfish cloud you live on, to be adults for your children. It’s a really simple practice called “common sense”, if you use common sense and realize that you and your ex are no longer in a relationship so all that matters is that the children are leading a positive life then co-parenting gets to be a breeze for all involved. If, on the other hand, you choose to be selfish, feel as if you are “owed” something by your ex and proceed to place the children in the middle of said “selfish ideas”, well then, your co-parenting journey shall be nothing like that in which others experience.
While the definition given by Merriam Webster’s Dictionary online does leave the definition of common sense open to perception, for the most part the idea of having common sense usually comes with having a level of adult maturity. I mean seriously, if you are a grown adult and still think the world revolves around you then you have something else coming to you. Wake up! Once you become a parent, the world revolves 100% around your children’s lives. You are now a Mom or a Dad and your life of doing whatever you want, when you want stopped that day you gave birth. It’s not that you cannot still live your own life and have your own time, I am simply saying that once you you become a parent that all other parts of your immature, non parent world cease to exist as frequently as they did before.
I am all for parents having a social life, I am all for both parents having a social life. You see there is a difference, one parent does not over ride the other parent, one parent is not in charge of the other parent in any co-parenting situation, heck even in a relationship things shouldn’t be like that. Co-parenting is just like having a normal give & take relationship – you both give a little and take a little to allow each other to be parents but also have their own life aside from parenting. This is called normal people. A normal co-parenting situation in my head plays out something like I have in place – every other weekend the kids go with their Dad’s. This makes sense, because we both work so weekends would ultimately be our only “private adult time” so that means we split up the weekends giving each other “weekend time” to be our own self and to be the parent. It’s fair. It’s give & take.
My kids also see their Dad’s twice a week. Sadly my ex husband works nights so while he is always open to seeing Aj when there is no school, he usually just ends up with our K-man twice a week in the mornings before preschool. My daughter goes to her Dad’s twice a week overnight and then every other weekend. I end up with no kids every other weekend, mind you, I end up with my boys every Friday because of the ex husband working nights but he takes them Saturday through Monday while my daughter goes with her Dad Friday evening through Monday. Again, give and take. To work around things and make it so our life is split as evenly and fairly as possible.
Life is not fair, but co-parenting can be somewhat fair. Each parent has needs to be met as an individual adult and as a parent. Those needs need to be realized by both parents, and respected by both parents. Everyone I know has complimented my kids, their Dad’s and me on how well we transition with this co-parenting. We all work so well together to do our best to ensure that each parent has their own separate life and if changes come up where things need to get rearranged, it’s give & take, they will rearrange their visits so I can take my business trips while I in turn would take the kids a little extra if they wanted me to because they did that for me.
I am blessed and so thankful that co-parenting has worked easy (for the most part) for me because my children have blossomed and become positive mini-me’s because of how well their father’s and I have tried to work to ensure our grudges against each other personally never fall into the life of co-parenting. It’s easy to have a positive co-parenting experience for your life too, if you are struggling, simply take some time to work hard to stand firm and separate what is co-parenting and what is personal life. What is a personal grudge and what is a real genuine parental issue needs to be separated too, for instance you all should discuss any parenting issues that come up with an open mind, remember kids play off of parents – they do this while living in same household with two parents, and let go of anything that is non-parent related.
If your kids are being tended to sufficiently and are not in harms way then who gives a crap what the other parent does on their time or their free time. That’s it in a nutshell. Simple. Easy. Positive Co-parenting. Positive Children.
Do you co-parent? Do you have friends who co-parent? If you have issues with this topic or your friends do please ask question in the comments section and I will formulate a blog post advice column to reply and hopefully assist co-parents around the world.