Normally I don't write a post like this, but it's time to talk about it. Co-Parenting can suck. Big time. We're all trying to do our best for the sake of the kids, why can't the ex, right? It feels like literally everything they do is done to upset you. There's no consideration for how difficult their actions make the lives of others around them. I'm not even talking about the kids! I'm talking teachers, doctors, anyone that has contact with your children and you as parents.
Here are some of the issues I've heard come up:
- Refusing to give paperwork from the school to the other parent resulting in talking to the teacher to create 2 different sets of paperwork
- Making decisions at medical care providers without consulting with the other parent
- Signing children up for extra-curricular activities without consulting the other parent (and there are practices/games on their days)
It's frustrating. No, I take that back. It starts out as frustrating, but when it continues for months and sometimes years - it's infuriating!
There are 2 ways to handle this. One way is to constantly fight back with your ex in an effort to try and get them to do what you know is right. The other is to move on, give up the fight with them because they've shown you what they're willing to do in an effort to co-parent, and work with others on your own (e.g. the teachers, coaches, medical professionals) - which is nothing.
There comes a point where you make the best of the situation instead of continuing to fight for what may never happen. For some of us, it's safe to say never. This is when some of you may choose parallel parenting over co-parenting, and that's not the worst thing in the world! There comes a point where you have to take care of you.
How do you avoid the constant conflict? You send love even when you're given conflict, anger, and bitterness. You work on gratitude. You accept the reality of the situation and resolve to think of all that you're grateful for whenever the frustrating situation comes up - and you know it will continue to come up. You focus on the life you're providing for your children and how happy you and your kids are. You remember that this is temporary and that you'll have a life with your kids based on what THEY want rather than what's court ordered or what your ex wants.
After awhile, and believe me it can feel like a long time, you'll stop being quite so frustrated when your ex does what your ex does best - make you want to pull your hair out. You'll have a plan in place for handling it and you'll sigh, handle it, grab a glass of wine and move on. The other benefits of sending love and of focusing on gratitude instead of the frustration that comes with a parent that refuses to work with you is that you and your life become lighter. You become happier. Your life becomes what you want it to be because you're focused on the good you have instead of the bad. Your children will notice a difference between the homes and you'll feel different in your everyday life.
It's not even a little bit easy, and it's in no way fair at all, but it's what you and I and many others have been given, so let's make the best of it together. Comment below with what your