Co-parenting doesn’t have to be over complicated. Use these 4 stress-saving tips to save your sanity and your co-parenting relationship!
Co-parenting can be tricky, you are adding a ton of emotions involved in an already stressful situation. Whether you’re post-divorce or post one-night-stand, here you are. Above all things, your baby is the one whose emotions, wants, and needs have to be put first. That’s what makes co-parenting so hard, like reaaally hard, actually it’s pretty much the ultimate test of patience. But there’s this little angel(s) that makes every single hair-pulling, teeth-clenching, tear inducing moment beyond worth it. So ultimately? SUCK IT UP AND GET ALONG, if at all possible. I call B.S. on any set of parents that doesn’t think their relationship has a HUGE effect on their children. Being cordial is NOT enough, this is a partnership whether you like it or not, so a true love and respect needs to be present between two parents regardless of the level of romantic involvement with one another.
It’s extremely hard to remain neutral when the emotions are running high and patience is wearing thin. TRUST ME. Ultimately though, you have too. It’s that simple. I could sugar coat the reality but depending on your partner, it won’t be easy and it won’t be pretty. I know some people who are GREAT parents but the worst co-parent due to stubbornness, forgiveness, and resentment. The best advice I can give is the most basic, treat others how you want to be treated, no matter what. Even if someone is being completely shitty to you, respond with grace and wisdom because YOU deserve to not let your peace be stolen by anyone.
Make the commitment to yourself to be the bigger person, but if that fails, here are the top three things that have helped me stay out of jail.
4 STRESS SAVING TIPS FOR CO-PARENTING
ANY lasting relationship is going to require a HUGE amount of grace and forgiveness in order to remain mutually beneficial and healthy. I’m gonna drop a few of my fave S.O.S. verses below that help remind me that just like my partner, I make mistakes often and am in need of CONSTANT grace. Everyone deserves that same grace from us, EVERYONE. I just remember that I’m a hot ass mess and yet Jesus still chooses me and loves me through every moment. He has equipped us to do the same.
2) KEEP PERSPECTIVE
I know we like to think that we’re amicable, mature people 24/7 but let me be the one to burst your bubble, YOU ARE NOT PERFECT. You get on your partner’s nerves just as much as they do yours. They’re going through their struggles just like you are going through yours. Our minds are tricky and perspective is extremely valuable. If you decide to choose joy regardless of the storm, you will, in Jesus name, you will! Because the truth is, we’re all just trying to figure out how to parent our child without screwing them up in the process. There really isn’t a better feeling than knowing you have a friend and support system in your co-parenting partner. Be that for them, even if they aren’t that for you. Set the standard for the relationship you want and they will follow suit, God willing. If anything, this will show your little(s) that it’s healthy to acknowledge your weaknesses.
3) STAY ACCOUNTABLE
In all situations, it’s VERY important to remain conscious of the only person’s actions that you can control, your own. Hold yourself and your co-parenting partner accountable for each person’s responsibilities. Do NOT victimize yourself, I know it’s hard when you’re constantly having to bite your tongue and be the bigger person. It’s like remembering not to scream when you constantly feel like you’re not being heard. It’s hard but necessary for healthy communication.
4) SET BOUNDARIES
Boundaries are an absolute must in any healthy relationship. A lot of issues arise because boundaries and expectations have not be clearly laid out for everyone. When people are on completely different pages, it’s inevitable that things will go awry. Be extremely clear in what you are/aren’t willing to accept from your partner and be open to the boundaries they set as well. For example, Mal’s dad is not on the pick-up list at school because he has made it clear he is not contributing towards daycare expenses. I could get upset about this but instead I adjusted my expectations to keep my peace. Be flexible but strong in your decisions.
At the end of the day, I know that some co-parenting relationships just simply can’t be salvaged. If abuse, danger, shame, blame, manipulation, etc are prevalent in your relationship, don’t force trying to remain amicable because in the end that will only hurt you and your child. At a certain point you have to cut your loses and just turn it over to God. Today, I’m a single mom in every sense of the word but these tips have kept my heart and mind at peace throughout this emotionally straining process. I’m not going to lie, it’s super frustrating having to be the bigger person constantly. Going through the same stuff gets old, real quick. But none of that matters when I see Malachi smile. He makes this journey more than worth it and I’m sure you all feel the same way about your little(s).
I pray life, understanding, grace, patience, and A LOT of love over your co-parent relationships. Remember these tips when you are overwhelmed with every thing that is occurring or feel like it just isn’t worth the hassle. In the moments when you want to give up, stop, drop, and P.U.S.H. (PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS)
Love you guys!
**S.O.S. verse- A verse that I reference in an spiritually dire situation