I was reading a blog piece today about a mother worrying how she would cope with co parenting, and what the outcome would be for her daughter in the future. Would co parenting be enough? It got me thinking about my own parenting journey, and what I would tell myself 4 years ago when I was worrying about those same things.
To me, any kind of parenting is “enough”. If you are doing your absolute best to make sure your child is loved, cared for and happy, you are doing enough. Whether you are a single parent, co parenting or raising your child with your other half.. It doesn’t matter, your child will still thrive in whatever environment they live in as long as they are provided with what they need. They will never feel sad about what they have missed out on, because in the end their “imperfect family” may just turn out to be the perfect family for them.
Before becoming a parent I had an idea of what it would be like in my head. I read books, took advice and was pretty confident with how I was going to parent. What I wasn’t prepared for was co parenting. Co parenting is a learn as you go, every situation is different kind of thing. Sometimes you feel like you’re walking through a dark tunnel not knowing which way to go, and sometimes you feel like you know exactly what to do. We can only learn and do our best to parent separately, there’s never a perfect method to make sure everything runs smoothly from the get go. It hasn’t always been an easy road for us, but over time I’ve learnt that parenting separately gets better, it gets easier, and you get through to other side of that dark, hazy tunnel eventually.
Co parenting can become something great if both parents are willing to put their child’s needs first. It’s always easy to focus on the negatives, but there are also so many positives to this situation. The positives are what I keep in the back of my mind for those hard days, these are just a few of them.
Double birthdays, double Christmas and double the love. Your child is surrounded by so much love. They are blessed with the best of both worlds, loved by immediate family, extended family and new family. The love they are showered with will always outweigh the negatives. I always see this as the biggest positive to come from our situation.
Co parenting allows a child to learn to be independent, resilient and open minded. Their normal may not be the same as everyone else’s, but it allows them to see the world in a way that is different to most.
You will appreciate your child so much more when they’re away from you. You will think about them non stop while they’re gone, but you will also enjoy every single moment with them knowing just how precious your time is. I miss my little girl every time she goes away, but I look forward to her coming home and I spend so much more time appreciating everything about her.
Consistency is everything. Your child will thrive when yougive them consistency. They will always feel safe, secure and understand exactly what is going on. Consistency has always been important to me. It has helped with things like having 2 seperate homes, 2 seperate parents and 2 seperate lifestyles.
The time spent away from your child will give you time to reflect and focus on YOU. In the begining I dreaded overnight visits, they eventually turned into weekend visits and I slowly started to appreciate these quiet times. I kept myself busy, found hobbies and became more than just “mum”. Now I enjoy time with my little boy and give him extra one on one time. He gets to bond with his dad and I in a way that he may not have under different circumstances.
Some of the best advice I was given when it came to co parenting was to think of your parenting situation and your child as a business. At first I thought it was a really harsh way to think about everything, but it made sense and it definitely helped keep emotions at bay. You want your business to grow, to thrive and be the best that it can be.. Just like your child. You need to make decisions that will benefit your child, and even though you may not agree with your business partner (the father ) you need to learn to compromise and work together in order for your business (child) to grow and be the best it can be.
Co parenting isn’t everyone’s fairytale ending, but it doesn’t mean it can’t become one. Our life is far from what I imagined it to be.. I didn’t start my parenting journey with a “perfect family”, but the family I have now is blended and full of love, and that to me is pretty perfect. I hope there are other Mama’s out there who are still holding onto hope of their own happy endings , no matter their situation.