3 Truths About Co-Parenting

Okay so this post is really about explaining things to people who think when you are divorced and you have children that you can get along. Let me start by saying that you can… IF both parties are willing. What some people want you to do or can’t accept is that if one parent is rude and disrespectful how you can co-parent in an acrimonious situation?

I read this beautiful story circulating on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and like many of you, I was in awe. Such a beautiful woman and beautiful child. They obviously liked each other.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Flovewhatreallymatters%2Fposts%2F1298954150126980&width=500

I thought…how wonderful. How perfect. How grown-up and mature. Let me recap in case you missed it. This woman was giving praise to her ex’s girlfriend. That is amazing! We should all give praise where praise is due. However, I think what the statement does is generalize. The assumption that it is the woman’s fault “Why do all these moms act so spiteful and jealous towards the other women? NO ONE said it was easy trying to be a mother to a kid you didn’t have.” or “Ladies, grow up and focus on being a good mom. Love more hate less!”

Umm, that’s over generalizing. Many women aren’t spiteful or jealous towards the other woman. That’s a myth perpetuated by a man whose ego is bigger than his d*ck. Many women are just tired of the revolving door of relationships, the BS from their ex or the shenanigans that the new woman is playing.

I’ve known countless situations of friends, family and fellow bloggers who’ve endured enough BS to last two lifetimes from their ex even though they are not together anymore. Co-parenting is hard and it starts with two adults being able to do so. If you both can’t be adult, you can’t co-parent. Simple truth you need to accept.

Many people expect you to put up with BS from the other parent regardless of the fact that ya’ll aren’t together. They then try to spin it as in the best interest of the child.Let me ask you this…if your ex was abusive towards you in any way shape or form should you continue to endure it because it is in the best interest of the child?

captureIf your ex has mental health issues that threaten the welfare of the child should you just endure it? If your ex has a revolving door of women or men around your children should you just ignore that fact? You get the picture right?

I’ve often said that there are three sides to every story….his, hers and the truth and that the truth is somewhere in the middle. You can’t assume that the reason people don’t get along is because the women are being spiteful and jealous. Hell, people don’t like you for any reason and they don’t know you.

What I will say is that in order to have a happy and healthy co-parenting situation like the one above you need at a minimum the following three things:

  1. Two mature adults. It seems easy right? But, let’s be clear. Not everyone is mature enough to co-parent after a relationship ends. Not just women, but men too. In order to do what is in the best interest of the child it takes two people willing to put their own issues aside to do what’s best for their child. Maturity is a process. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean that you’re being mature. Focus on the bigger picture.
  2. Respect. Like Aretha Franklin sang “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” is needed in order for you to have a co-parenting relationship. If there is no respect, how can you have a healthy co-parenting relationship much less get to like or know your ex’s new partner? You can’t. I mean if you can count on your hands how many times you’ve been cussed out by your ex in the last 12 months and you’re not together anymore, how could you get to know the new woman or man? Many people don’t stay around talking to people that disrespect them.
  3. Open Communication. The thing about co-parenting is that sometimes you need to be able to discuss things without blaming and vindictive behavior. It goes back to number 1. When you can’t discuss things without getting into arguments, the question becomes what is the issue? If we can’t talk, we can’t co-parent. We parallel parent and hope for the best. Is it ideal? Nope, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do for your sanity.

Co-parenting is not a one situation fits all item. You can’t expect something from nothing. You can’t expect people to co-parent effectively if you’re missing just the basics I’ve mentioned above. I’ve learned that some of the biggest barriers to co-parenting can be men too. Not just women.

Children grow up. They see and learn things. They pay attention to behaviors and they draw their own conclusions. I wish that every situation and relationship could be as glamorous as above, but many times it can’t. In those situations, I just pray that the parents are being the best parents possible and that the child understands that he/she is loved by both.

Being Comfortable in the Present

This is a follow-up to my post Do You Still Love? where I discussed how Mr. C stated that when we got married he wouldn’t want me to go out with men that I’ve ever smashed. The comments were coming in and I have to tell you that I was happy you commented and surprised that many people felt like Mr. C in that you should let the past be in the past.

It’s funny because people would have thought that I would be upset over it and maybe when I was younger I would have. But, he said that he wouldn’t want me to go out with them. Not be their friends, deny their calls or texts or emails. Just don’t go out with them. Is that really so hard not to do if we get married?

No, it’s not. He wasn’t trying to change me or control my friendships with men. He was saying that when we crossed into that threshold of marriage that he wanted to ensure that our bond was in tact by letting the past be the past. He wasn’t telling me to end relationships, just adjust them for the sake of our union.

When I took a step back and realized what he was saying, I realized that I could do that. It wasn’t difficult. It didn’t require a huge sacrifice. I wasn’t giving up anything. I was respecting his feelings. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Be respectful of others wishes.

I have a wonderful man who loves and respects me each and every day. He makes me feel as though I am the smartest and most beautiful woman around. Having that and appreciating what and who he is makes me realize that there is nothing more important than being comfortable in the present.

I am where I am supposed to be. At this moment in time with this great man who didn’t ask me to give up friendships but to not hang out with men that I’ve smashed with in my past. And you know what? I’m good with that.

Motivational Monday Moment – 11/28/16

Today’s the last Monday in November. My Motivational Monday Moment is about perseverance.  Let’s talk about perseverance.

perseverance (n)

1.steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc.,especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

2.Theology. continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.

Perseverance is one of the hardest things we can do. How many times have we been going through things and felt like giving up? How many times did you feel like you couldn’t take no more and you just wanted all the pain and BS to end?

perseverance-1

If you’re like me, you’ve experienced some rough situations and times in your life and you wondered how the heck you would make it. But you did. You persevered in spite of your circumstances and situations. You kept running.perseverance

That’s what you have to do. You have to keep running your race. I know you’re tired. I know you feel as though you can’t go on.

I know that you think you’re in the pits of hell and I can’t possibly imagine what you’re going through, but trust me I do. I understand. I feel your pain. I feel your heartache. I feel your desperation.

perserverance

I’ve been there. But, I want you to know that you can beat this. You can get through this. You just need to run on!

Keep running!

Don’t stop!

Don’t give up!

Your breakthrough is on the horizon. I will walk beside you. I will be there to comfort and encourage you. We will be stronger together if we are persistent to finish this race.

You can persevere my friend.

 

Day 7: Seven Days of Thankfulness

Today is Thanksgiving and my last day of thankfulness. What am I thankful for today? Each and everyone of you.

Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for following me. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for engaging me.

Thank you for friendships that have developed and questions answered. I wish each and everyone of you a very Happy Thanksgiving! May your stomachs be full of food, your hearts full of love and your mouth full of laughter. 

Celebrate and love each other.

4ba982148bd6d28a7476d360abd4ef46

Day 6: Seven Days of Thankfulness

I’m thankful for sisterhood. Sisterhood is the one thing that I can truly count on. Some women go and some women stay, but I tell you that when you find a sister/friend that knows and loves you….you change. For the better.

You grow and discover that there is strength in numbers. Sisters bond with you. They help you through both the good and bad times. They talk you off the ledge when you feel like you’re losing your mind. They encourage you when they sense your anxiety. They cook for you when you’ve had surgery. They love you.

That’s it.

They love you. Not for what you can do for them, but for who you are. They build you up and not tear you down. They show solidarity for you when you are going through things. They become a fence when BS threatens to implode all over your face.

Sisterhood is amazing. I’m thankful for my sisters. I’m thankful for the women that God has placed in my life.

Day 5: Seven Days of Thankfulness

I’m thankful for discernment.

111616

I haven’t always been able to judge well. I’ve trusted people that I shouldn’t have. I’ve allowed people in my life who shouldn’t have been there. I was young. I was naive. I didn’t know how to discern what it was that God wanted me to do.

But, I tell you that something happened when I turned 40. I trusted in the Master’s Plan for my life. I started to follow my inner voice and be able to discern what was His will and what was my will.

I began to grow. I began to watch my life manifest right before my eyes. Things started happening and chains started being broken. People started to leave. I began to feel alone. I cried out for God to help me and He sent people in my life that showed up and showed out. He shook my foundation and allowed some roots to stay planted where they were.

He was moving me in a different direction.

When I realized that it was God and that He was cleansing me from those who weren’t allowed to go to the next level with me I started to feel the power of His presence. Sense that He was ordering my steps. I bridled my tongue and endured some foolishness because I heard him clearly say that my destiny has been determined and you can’t afford to lose your way.

See, He knows what he is doing in my life and that there are folks in my life that are trying to distract me. My destiny is too important to give up for anything. Whew! I tell you that when I realized that it was He who was moving me in another direction, I adjusted the sails and set course for better days.

Discernment. I’m so thankful for that gift. I’m able to realize what is worth it and what isn’t. I won’t go back.

 

Day 4: Seven Days of Thankfulness

My Monday Motivational Moment is wrapped up into my seven days of thankfulness. I am thankful for moments. I know you’re probably wondering, what moments, so let me break it down for you.

Moments that happen in our lives are meant to reveal things to us. Some good and some bad. But, it is in those moments that we discover who we really are and who someone really is. Things are revealed like a curtain being pulled back and us finding out that there is no real wizard. We see things and people for who they are.

I’m thankful for those moments. They have helped shaped me. I continue to discover new things both good and bad about myself and those I interact with, but I tell you that it is in those moments that I grow stronger. There is strength in discovering the truth about people and situations.

Moments matter. Enjoy them. Cherish them. Understand them. I am thankful for those moments that defined who I am and what I’m meant to be.