The Big C.

Co-parenting. When I dreamed of becoming a mama this wasn’t a concept that I imagined would be incorporated into my parenting journey however; it’s become a huge part of my reality. And honestly, I’m just trying to make this shit work..

My child’s father and I were together for three years before he was born. We got engaged when I was five months pregnant and we booked the venue, hired a wedding planner and set the date for our nuptials six months later. Things fell apart though; and despite us desperately trying to work it out, by the time my son’s first birthday rolled around we were done.

Like any relationship that comes to an end, it was tough. What made it even tougher was trying to figure out how to successfully navigate the waters of raising a small child in a stable environment, even though he was now the product of a “broken” home. There have been many tears, disagreements, arguments, text wars and straight up cursing each other the hell out over the past year and frankly; it’s been exhausting.

One issue that we struggle with is defining what exactly the world of “co-parenting” entails. In my mind, I’ve created this fantasy where mommy and daddy can peacefully coexist and take our baby on trips, family outings and create memories… all while not being in a “relationship.” My ex has a completely different outlook. The other day he told me “If we’re not together there’s no need in pretending to be a family.” I responded, “We are a family. Just not in the traditional sense.”

 So where is the middle ground? And how the hell do we get to it?

I know that this is just the beginning. Our child is only a year old and we haven’t even reached the point where dating other people and bringing possible step parents into the mix is a part of our reality. I honestly don’t even know if either of us are mentally prepared for that yet. But when it comes.. pray for us.

Obviously, no one plans on falling in love, building a relationship and starting a family only to see it fail. But shit happens. And it sucks. When a child is involved you’ve got to keep going though. You’ve got to move forward, pick up the pieces and create a new normal.. or at least try to.

Whether we accept it or not, we’re now life partners in this thing called parenthood. And who knows what the future holds? Things could change in an instant. But for now, I’m learning to love him differently and I pray for our relationship daily.

I’ll be the first to admit that this journey is not easy but if you love your child enough, shouldn’t it be worth it? In the words of Fergie, “we have a forever project together.” We might as well find a way to make it work.

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Hi! I'm Jo. Mom. Blogger. Addicted to iced coffee and Amazon Prime.

23 thoughts on “The Big C.

  1. I’m currently going thu the same thing. Well minus the engagement, my child’s father & I were together off and on (more on than off) for 8 years before we had our daughter . Now she’s three & things aren’t working out for us which is very unfortunate because I want my family together & so does he. However, right now our relationship is toxic. Co-parenting is hard very hard but we work it out. She knows & understands that mommy & daddy are not together. It pains me when she asks if daddy can stay at our house forever, she seems so much more happier when we do things together as a family!! What’s meant to be will eventually be !!!

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    1. It’s so tough! I’m glad that you guys are finding a way to make it work though. I thought that it would be easier if my son were a little older because he’d understand more but I never even considered the fact that he’d start asking questions! My heart would break if he asked me if daddy could stay and I had to tell him why he couldn’t. Keep being strong mama! Parenting is hard work. I pray that everything works out for you guys!

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  2. Almost 10 years into coparenting and we still have our bumps but we make it work. Amaya splits time between my house and her dads. She has a stepmother “bonus mom” and has had one for 7, 8 years now…. that was an adjustment to say the least… but as long as both parents and any other bonus parents are all loving the child and putting him/her first that’s really all that matters.

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    1. Agreed! I’m glad it’s working out for you guys. I think learning how to put our egos aside and focus on what’s really important is a major step. I’m determined though. We’re gonna make this work!

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  3. I love this Jo! One thing that has been difficult for us as coparents is who pays for what, when, and trying not to step on toes as to not make the other coparents uncomfortable. It’s a work in progress. Some days we all get a long and then some days we don’t. However, as long as we do what’s right for the kids…then nothing else matters. I’ll keep you all in my prayers and please say a few for me!

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    1. Thanks, E! I always admired how you were able to adjust from being an independent single woman to a stepmom and wife so effortlessly. I’m sure that there have been bumps in the road but you make it look so easy! I look up to you girl! Thanks for the prayers and you know you’ve got mine too. ❤

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  4. Thanks for sharing your story Jo! I’m not yet a mother but I am a product of a blended family. When my parents got married and had me, my mom had 2 other children and my dad had 5. So I understand the importance of successful co-parenting, as it has allowed me to grow up in a loving environment with my siblings. I frequently thank the mothers of my siblings for loving me like I was one their own. I believe successful co-parenting has had a positive impact on my life.

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    1. Hi Tiffany! I think it’s beautiful that you had such a positive childhood experience with your blended family. Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t get that so you’re so blessed! Coparenting is so tricky because so many emotions are involved but like you said, it can have such a positive impact on the child if it’s done right! Kudos to your parents for figuring it out. Maybe I need to talk to them lol! Thank you for sharing. ❤️

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  5. My kid is 10 and i wouldn’t do I️t this way ever again I am still experiencing tough times here and there but when the child is put first we do what we have to do

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    1. Thanks for commenting Oya! You’ve been at this for ten years now so I consider you a vet lol! Unfortunately, there is no manual for coparenting so we kinda just have to wing it, follow our heart, and pray that we’re not ruining our child in the long run lol. Skyla is an amazing young lady and I’d like to think that all parties involved contributed to that in some way. I know it can be stressful but to see you handle it the way that you do sets a wonderful example for me and so many other new moms. Keep going babe. 😘

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  6. Product of a blended family and stepmom to three beautiful children 😊 I love my family although tough times still exist even as a grown up (when I come to town, who’s house do I stay at and for how long?). And certainly the co-parenting thing isn’t always easy either. But I tell my kids the same thing I learned to realize about my own parents: you are lucky because you have so many people who love you, who want the best for you, who want to be there for you. Now as our family is going to expand again (very exciting) I remind myself that the heart is not a pie to be divided, but a living thing that continues to expand and grow as more love comes into it. Sending warmth and strength your way 😊

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    1. What a beautiful testimony! You certainly are surrounded by blessings and your positive outlook is amazing! I love to hear stories of families that make LOVE work. Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. Congrats on your expanding family (that is VERY exciting!! Yay!) and thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog. Have a wonderful Sunday!

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  7. I used to think I’d mirror what my mother and father had in a marriage, and as parents. Life, however comes at you SO fast you can’t even comprehend the situation you’ve gotten yourself into, let alone navigate it. I am a bit envious of co-parenting relationships that I see working, because I’d at least want something close to that. Co-parenting for me consists of a monthly direct deposit, and possibly an e-mail or missed FaceTime call. I moved on from anger a long time ago, and always plan to be honest with my little about her father. But you can’t make someone be a dad, and what she lacks with her bio dad my partner more than makes up for as her bonus. I’ll always leave the door open for him to become an active part of her life, but I’m not going to force it. That’ll be for her to decide when she’s able.

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    1. Brit. Listen. Life comes at you SO fast ok?! Lol, it’s crazy. It’s so disappointing when the other party doesn’t come through and handle their responsibilities as a parent but I am so happy to hear that your partner is doing that and more. I always said that if for whatever reason my son’s dad made the decision to walk away I would always keep the door open for him to come back and do what’s right by our child. I guess it’s a catch 22 though because you don’t want him walking in and out of your baby’s life either. I’ll definitely keep you and your beautiful daughter in my prayers. Sending good vibes your way. Keep doing a kickass job mama!

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  8. I enjoyed reading this piece. I am a step mother, and to hear the side of a biological mothers concerns about co-parenting gave me a new insight.
    However, in my situation the biological mother is less than willing to co-parent. Recently, since the back and fourth between court has come to an end, she has been a lot easier to communicate with.
    Thank you for the refreshing outlook.

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    1. Thanks for reading and for being open to receive my perspective. It sucks when one parent doesn’t want to cooperate. I’ve experienced that as well and will probably blog about it at some point. I’m glad things are moving in the right direction for your family. Good luck to you all!

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  9. Great blog Jo.. I really enjoyed every part of it and I definitely can relate. I would love to be able to just coparent but that isn’t in my cards yet I guess. I’m still having conversations with a boy not a man. I can’t force their father to grow up, oh but when it happens, I’ll be here and hopefully it won’t be too late in my children’s eyes…
    YOU ARE A STRONG and INCREDIBLE MOTHER!! Keep it up. One thing I will say is GOD WONT GIVE YOU SOMETHING YOU CANT HANDLE…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kelsey! You are a great mama as well. I know it’s hard having to handle everything on your own when the other party refuses to step up and be mature but just remember to keep your babies first. They’re blessed to have a strong mother like you in their corner.

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