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Co-parenting: lessons learnt the hard way

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This blog is abut story telling, no specific topic just the honest truth about what I’ve experienced, how it has impacted my journey and can encourage yours.

So here goes….. Co-parenting (or whatever they call it),  that really half the times makes  parenting no less stressful, is a lesson in patience, kindness, wisdom and essentially all 9  fruits of the spirit.

Don’t you just love terminology?

I think it’s a good thing for both parents to be involved in a child’s life where possible. And would never dispute otherwise.

But let’s be honest adults once the relationship has broken down, especially if it was quite spectacular, recovering from it can be quite a challenge. It can take years and an abundance of maturity to work together and honestly speaking the child may get to 18 long before that ever happens.

I currently “co-parent” and 25% of the time I don’t have a problem sharing in the responsibility of raising our child. Dad is devoted and his daughter is number 1 in his life. The other 75% though is dread. It represents the time I spent dealing with the unorganised approach to anything or the hypochondriac tendencies.

Every decision, action and reaction is dramatised and I have to work twice as hard not to let this persons drama become my reality. Although I am no longer with the person, If I do not exercise caution, important aspects of my life can be negatively impacted because we share a child. And that does not work for me.

I want to share with you some of the lessons I have learnt over the years, in the hope that if you are in this position or this is about to become your reality, you recognise that:

You are no alone and it can get easy when you choose to control your actions and not the actions of the other party

  1. Set your boundaries and keep to them. Every heard of parent-child relationship?  As the parent you are consistent in making your point, even though the child is demanding something else. Co-parenting falls into the parent-child scenario, and the only way to ensure that your boundaries are observed is to set them and be consistent.
  2. Use wisdom and pick your battles wisely. You cannot force or make the other co-parent do things your way. And it is unhealthy to spend your time trying. Understand what is really important to you in terms of your parenting style and whether the outcome is for your benefit or the child’s.
  3. A response is not always needed. I am still learning this one. A text message does not always need a response.  And a not so sensible plan, that you can clearly see going south, with you left to pick up the pieces, does not always need a response. Trust me, save your thoughts for when a response truly matters.
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