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My Take on Co-Parenting
It’s over! After months of trying to fix their problems, that couple you labeled as relationship goals, have decided to call it quits. The breakup is respectable therefore there are no hard feelings or ill will towards one another. However, there is one small situation that needs to be figured out…they have a child together. “How is this going to work???” They both think to themselves. They both have questions and concerns about how the future will play out. He’s been a great father thus far and she doesn’t see that changing. Buuuuttt she knows of plenty of situations where a man was a good father up until the relationship ended then transformed into a deadbeat. (Was it really a transformation or was he just putting on?? Maybe another topic). She doesn’t see this happening but none of those other women saw it happening to them either. So, it would be foolish to think the thought wasn’t in the back of her mind. She has been a great mother from day one as well, and he knows this. However, the same way she knows of situations where dudes switched up, he knows of some situations where women have switched up after a breakup.
What are they going to do??? How will things play out??? Only one way to find out…communicate. What needs to be understood first is that regardless of how good or bad they were in the past with communicating there is child involved now and any lack of communication only hurts/affects the child. So, they discuss and go over some things and finally they settle on wanting to try co-parenting. Co-parenting is a great decision when done the right way.
Obviously, I have kids and I co-parent (how else would I write this? *add sarcasm). I have two children with two women…a 9-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl. My son has been staying with me for the past year and I must give his mom her credit. For her to stay 6 hours away she comes to see her boy very often. With that said, the co-parenting situation between my son’s mom and I is completely different than the one that my daughter’s mom and I have since her mom stays in town.
Like I said, co-parenting is a great decision when done the right way. What is the ‘right way’? Your way? My way??? Their way?? There is no clear-cut right way for any two people to co-parent because the right way for you may not work out so well for the next person and vice versa. The right way is whatever works best between you and the mother or father of your child. To figure that out of course you both should be on good terms or cordial when it comes to the child to say the least.
The arrangement that I have with my daughter’s mom is basically a 2-2-3 format. 1 Week I have my daughter Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat, and Sun and then we rotate so the next week I only have her on Wed and Thur. So basically, it works out that we both have her for half the month…15 days a piece and we are kid free every other weekend. Pretty dope schedule to me. The three main reasons this works for us is because for one, WE AREN’T PETTY WITH EACH OTHER (anymore lol). The second reason being we don’t stay far from one another, it takes me all of two minutes to get to her crib from mine. The third reason being we’ve accepted we have different parenting styles. For instance her mom may give her a bed time and stick to it. When she’s with me and I give her a bed time and end up letting her stay up 30 minutes past it watching kids play with play-doh on YouTube SMH (those of you with kids or that are around kids a lot know exactly what I’m talking about). Basically, we don’t criticize one another’s parenting yet we still hold each other to a certain standard. We got there by communicating and being on the same page. Again, who is to say that this way is right or wrong?? It works for us and that’s all that matters.
Every time people especially women find out how often I get my daughter they just have this look of amazement. I take it they aren’t used to many men being that involved with their kids outside of getting them on the weekend. Which brings me to my next point. In my opinion, I feel like parents should be with and around their children as much as possible. I know everyone isn’t always able to see and spend time with their child due to situations (work, transportation, living arrangements, the child may already be in grade school, money tight etc.). But outside of that there is no way in hell that I would be ok with only seeing and getting my child on the weekend yet we stay in the same city or town. There are still times when I get my daughter on a day that WASN’T my day just because.
All in all, nothing is going to be perfect. Figuring out exactly how you want things to be can be a bit of a challenge at first because there are so many things to take into consideration. Things like travel. Do you guys work the same shifts of different shifts? How will it be handled when the next day is a holiday and school or daycare is closed and you’re scheduled to work but it’s your day with the child (one time I had to call out and I swear I felt like a single mom smh smh). Real life situations for sure. But you are both adults and I’m positive that between the two of you, something will be figured one way or another. Be great out here. Our kids want and need both parents in their life.
-Chillin N Livin