Co-Parenting is hard. It's harder when your ex refuses to work with you. There are times when you feel like throwing in the towel. There are many days when you wonder why it's worth it. There are days when you don't feel like putting in the effort, right? It goes unnoticed and doesn't seem to make a difference anyway.
If you've felt that way, this post is for you. In this post, I hope to give you the motivation you need to continue co-parenting, even if your ex is making you want to pull your hair out and give up. Before I get started, though, let me preface this by saying that even if you end up parallel parenting with your ex, showing your children that you encourage a relationship with your ex, showing your children that you manage any anger you might feel, showing your children that you've moved on and aren't letting the divorce keep you down is a lesson that many parents don't realize is just as big as the others. When you read this post, remember, even if co-parenting is taking a long time to achieve - the other lessons you're teaching are just as important.
Think about what you've told your children about bullies. If your child is being bullied, what do you tell your kids to do? Do you tell them to ignore it? Do you tell them to find other friends? Do you encourage them to make the best of it because the bully is just that - a bully? In working to co-parent with a difficult person, studies continue to show that your children understand more than we as parents give them credit for. Your kids are watching how you handle this and are learning from it.
Years from now, as your children grow and start to handle their own difficult, unfair life situations; they'll respect what you've gone through and remember the lessons they learned (whether you meant to teach them or not).
Besides the fact that you are teaching lessons to your kids about how to handle difficult people and situations in life, you're also creating relationships with your kids that will last a lifetime. If you haven't seen the videos and articles, please go and search for them, but they're there. Click here to read a letter from a child to his parent's after a divorce. What do you imagine would happen if the parents spoke bad about each other? What if the child felt like they couldn't happily tell their parent about the fun they had with their other parent? This is what happens.
The children who grow up watching their parent hold onto the anger, the children who grow up without the ability to openly talk about everything with their parents, can end up with a little bit of resentment towards their parents. In their minds, many of these children are wondering, "Why can't they put the anger aside for me? The divorce is over, why is the fighting still continuing?"
Besides the fact that co-parenting is what works best for children, your work towards co-parenting - as difficult, time-consuming, and energy-draining as it is - is teaching your children a greater lesson in the fact that you are putting their needs first, that you aren't allowing yourself to be bullied, nor are you allowing yourself to become a bully. You are teaching your children to respect others even when they don't deserve it, and most importantly, you're giving your children a safe, happy environment where they are able to openly talk to you about anything - including your ex - and what that does to your relationship in the long-run outweighs any difficulty you're having now.
If you're ready to keep going on your co-parenting journey, there's a course ready for you. Click on the button below to access it. If you're still feeling deflated and ready to throw in the towel to be there for your kids, comment below so I can support you.