What I wish I would have known about co-parenting ...
It has been over a year since I published the post 5 tips for healthy co-parenting and I have learned so much about what goes into truly having a healthy co-parenting relationship. This year has been a year of lessons learned and constantly improving my co-parenting relationship. I believe when it comes to having a healthy co-parenting relationship it is important to always put your child first. With my son having a pretty hectic weekly schedule with therapy, and extracurricular activities his dad and I work really hard to ensure he still gets equal time with both parents. Although it doesn't always work out like that the thing about co-parenting is being okay to try things and if they don't work out revisit the drawing board and try something else. I listed the overall top things I wish I would have known after a year of co-parenting below.
1. Communication is key
This is pretty self explanatory, it was true when I first started this journey and is still true till this day. This is the number one factor in co-parenting. Although you have situations where communication is very little or non-existent. You must always remember that you can only control your actions and what you do. As long as you continue to try, in my experience, the other co-parent will too. Especially if you truly keep your child's needs first!
2. It's not going to be 50/50
First, I would like to say that this is okay. This is a process. It is okay to work on getting to a point where you and your co-parent share the responsibilities for your child equally. But after speaking with several mamas in most cases mothers take on a load of day to day duties with their child, rather it is taking them to doctor appointments, dropping the kids off at school, or sports activities as moms our schedules can be a bit overwhelming while also working full time. This can sometimes cause resentment to the other co-parent due to feeling like they are getting the short end of the stick. In this case, it is better to accept what you can fix about this situation and the things that are out of your control and find a workaround that suits you both/
3. Ensure you both are on the same page about your child
Let's face it... each co-parenting relationship will be different based on the situation and how involved each parent is. So you might not always be able to have a monthly sit down/conversation or activity you do with your child together but ensuring that you are on a somewhat similar page when it comes to what you want for your child is imperative. This pertains to their weekly schedule, morning & nighttime routines, who you want around your child and the list goes on. I encourage mamas to make a list of the important things that are non-negotiable for their child and arrange to meet or have a conversation about those things. Do this as often as needed and always allow grace and understanding to each other.
4. Respecting each other's boundaries
A year later and this is still an important part of healthy co-parenting. You can't control who your ex dates or when they choose to introduce them to your kid. But you can establish guidelines that you both agree to, to ensure that you both are comfortable. Although your co-parent can choose to respect or disrespect those boundaries, my hopes is that both parties can see the benefit of establishing and respecting boundaries. The focus is to always put your child's needs first.
According to psych central, you can implement boundaries in several ways:
Name your limits.
Tune into your feelings.
Give yourself permission.
I have realized on this journey that learning to pause and take a moment before responding to anything will save you time, energy and a headache when it comes to communicating with your co-parent.
5. Practice self-love
Loving yourself is essential to a healthy co-parenting relationship. Once you start to heal and love yourself and do the internal work you will be able to move on from the situation and create a healthy environment for your child. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Stop caring what other people think and for the love of all things good and evil don't be afraid to let go of toxic people in your life. These three tips alone have allowed me to grow in areas that I never thought I could grow and also take a piece of me back that I thought I had lost. While going on this journey of life rather it's co-parenting or relationships with friends and family, the most important thing is to remove everything from your life that is not helping you grow. Once you do this, you will have room in your life for things to flow that will. Check out these 13 habits of self-love every woman should have!
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