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.
We have been programmed to think skinny and young is the only measure of beauty. That's kind of crazy since my opportunity or desire to be with a twenty-year-old is near zero. I'm looking for a mom, who's happy and radiant, and in her forties or early fifties. And I'm prepared to meet her halfway between the perfect body and working on it. We are in this for the long haul. And I guess, as over 50-ish people, we will always be "working on it."
I could not have negotiated a free weekend while I was married. I mean, I could've, but it would've been a real stretch for both of us. Today... Well, divorced,…
The SPO, or Standard Possession Order is what 90% of most co-parents will agree to. It's not 50/50, but over time, the courts have determined it is the easiest schedule for fractured families to adhere to. I'm not always sure I shouldn't have fought a little bit for something more equitable, but this is what we've got.
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.
But it's the kids who stand to lose the most from this imbalanced systemic approach. Dad is more than money. And mom is capable of making just as much money (let's table the fair pay discussion for the moment) as the dad. These old roles no longer fit the educated and compassionate couple. But the road to a good and healthy co-parenting plan is not a well-worn path.
And at that moment, I also felt the joy of my father's love upon me. He might have left the planet 15 years ago, but his love is still within me. And each time I can really hear and connect with my own kids, my heart lights up with a little bit more healing of my 5-year-old self, my wounded little boy.
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.