There are a lot of details to work out. And rushing into that process while throwing your kids and current family structure under the bus is not a good idea.
Co-parenting is the process of becoming a partner with the other parent of your children. It begins the minute you discuss having children. The co-parenting agreement should span a lifetime, including what happens in the case of divorce. Start at 50/50 shared parenting? Agree to 50/50 shared parenting in divorce. Become great co-parents. Equals. Allies. Focused on your children and how you can support each other in the difficult journey ahead.
- A Healthy Co-Parenting Plan: Hope for the Recently Divorced Parent
- Present Tense: Co-Parenting Disconnected
- I Am Not the Problem in the Co-parenting Relationship, We Are
- Would You Damage Your Co-Parent’s Livelihood If You Could?
- Understanding My Co-parent’s Malfunction: My Easy Indifference
- I Wish You Well, and Absolutely Nothing Else: Re-forgiving a Co-parent
- Becoming a Healthier Co-parent by Releasing Your Ex
- What Went Down: Divorce is Not Kind. Co-parenting is a Myth.
- Co-parenting Struggles: Withholding the Joy of Your Kids
Even if your ex decides not to co-parent collaboratively with you, they are co-parenting, but in a negative way. You want what’s best for your children. You want a good co-parenting relationship. You want your kids to love you both. Weaponizing co-parenting is a toxic move. Stay positive. If you can’t co-parent nicely, then co-parent without negative inputs.
It only takes ONE PARENT to hold a positive post-divorce relationship. The enlightened parent can lessen the conflict at every stage of co-parenting. When I learned that positive only was the track I was on with my ex-wife, my co-parenting success was no longer tied to her poor behavior.
There are not fewer things to coordinate when you become a single parent, in fact, there are more. The things you once traded equitably, now fall 100% in your lap when it is your parenting time. This new cadence can be jarring, frustrating, and make for some upset campers on all sides unless you plan ahead and go 100% Positive.
There is no time like the present to flip your anger into absurd, cackling, fake laughter. It's a known fact that your physical body doesn't really know the difference between real laughter and fake laughter. So if you give a big ol' Pee Wee Herman laugh, your body really thinks you are laughing. The endorphins and physical joy comes back into your system, fires up the happy side of your brain, and can bring you part of the way back to center.
So much of co-parenting is about negotiation and compromise. We no longer have the same loving emotional ties to our former partners. We no longer have to make their urgency and priorities our own.
There will be time for anger. There will be moments when anger is the only way you can find to stand up for what you believe to be right. But the rest is up to you.
In divorce, when you lose everything, what you still have is your kids. And while you are deep into the recovery of your own feelings, paying attention and parenting from a place of wholeness is critical.