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.