If there’s one phrase I have heard over and over again, both personally and professionally, it’s the phrase, “It’s not fair.” You know what? It’s not fair! I agree.
It’s not fair that many of us see our children a fraction of the time especially when their other parent isn’t with them. It isn’t fair that some children don’t see their other parent because that parent refuses to get involved.
It’s not fair that the parent who does the most homework with their children can have the least amount of time after school with their kids. It’s not fair that the person who makes the children feel the most at home sometimes has the least amount of placement.
It’s not fair that some have to pay more in child support than seems fair. It’s not fair that others receive less in child support than what feels fair. It’s not fair that expenses aren’t always shared the way they’re supposed to be.
It’s not fair that we have to pay a lawyer (not a counselor or social worker) to decide what’s in the best interests of our children. It’s not fair that this person gets to make life-altering decisions on behalf of our children after meeting them and their parents for a couple of hours in between meeting with other families.
It’s not fair that working with a high-conflict co-parent means that a Judge will make a final decision on behalf of our children, simply because one of their parent’s refuses to work together.
The list goes on and on. And I get it. It’s not fair.
In that entire list, do you notice that these are things that aren’t fair to us as parents? This is about to get worse before it gets better. It’s not fair for our children to have to see their parents part of the time. It’s not fair for our children to have to be put in between their parents, and worse, sometimes have to choose between them. It’s not fair that our kid’s lives are a giant financial transaction for some parents. It’s not fair that our children know first-hand what GAL’s, lawyers, and Family Court is all about. It’s especially not fair that they have just as much anxiety and stress over it as we do.
It’s not fair, but now what?
The answer is simple. Accept the reality and make the best of it. If there is nothing you can do to change it, then it’s time to accept it. Make the best of it by getting creative, knowing it’s temporary, and focusing on what’s important - our children! Their adolescence is a fraction of their lives. What if we all decided to focus on building the best relationship with our children that we can, work to raise them to be the best adults they can be (even if our co-parent’s have different ways of raising them), and celebrate every success they have. It still won’t be fair, but it’ll be much more manageable.
Co-parenting is so much harder than parenting. You still have to parent, but you have to try and do it with someone that will not work with you. Hang in there. I feel your pain as do many others. Accept the reality and let’s work together to make the best of it.
Comment below with how you make the best of your reality.