I’m thirty years old and still going through growing pains. Go figure.
The first blog that I ever posted was about my personal experience with co-parenting. At the time, my child’s father and I were not equipped with the tools to navigate a healthy romantic relationship; much less a successful co-parenting one.
We butted heads quite often because there was so much discord and misplaced emotions between us. We never really dealt with the negative feelings associated with our breakup and as a result, that toxic energy began to spill onto our child.
That wasn’t ok.
Bub’s dad and I both came from a place of brokenness. You can’t be broken and try to raise a whole child. Unfortunately, generational curses played a big part in our self-destruction. The cycle of verbally abusive behavior, addictions, ignorance and weaknesses was never destroyed and instead began to manifest through both of our actions. No matter how we tried to justify it, we had to hold ourselves accountable for the damage that we were inflicting not only on each other, but on our child as well.
The mutual love that we shared for our son made us want to get it right. His childhood doesn’t get a do-over and we didn’t want him going through life bearing any unnecessary burdens due to his parents not being able to pull their shit together.
We both had to do some soul searching and allow ourselves to become vulnerable. We had an honest conversation with one another and realized that although we still loved each other and wanted to be together…we didn’t necessarily like each other. We also had to accept the fact that in order to grow together, we both required time apart. It was the only way that we could begin the healing process. Living our lives without each other allowed us to work on ourselves and made us both see that even though we were fully capable of thriving independently, we’d much rather do it as a couple.
Once all of this was brought to the forefront, the next step for us was relationship counseling. I’m so grateful that we made the decision to talk to a Christian therapist about our problems rather than opting to continue drowning in dysfunction. Counseling has helped us a lot. When two people come into a relationship with completely different backgrounds and world views, there’s bound to be conflict; especially when raising a child is added to the equation. Not only were we on two separate pages, but we weren’t even speaking the same language.
No home built on a shaky foundation has a solid future and honestly, ours was some shit. Our communication skills sucked. I personally had to learn that my son’s dad was not my enemy. Often, when there’s a conflict, disagreement or misunderstanding, it’s so easy to be combative and derail from the main point. Instead of staying focused and addressing the problem, anger is usually placed on the individual. Our counselor reminded us that love is not self-serving. At the end of the day, it should always be a “me and you vs. the problem” situation and not a “me vs. you” battle. In order for us to work, we both have to be equally yoked not only as partners but also as parents.
Of course, this journey is not easy. It’s difficult for me to blog about something so publicly, when I’m still trying to process it privately. More often than not, I tend to tread the thin line between transparency and oversharing. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that it’s possible to remain authentic while still maintaining a sense of privacy. I’m in no place to offer advice, but hopefully by me speaking my truth, it will resonate with someone else who may be struggling with some the same feelings.
Parenthood is challenging. It’s a roller coaster full of ups and downs, highs and lows and this is just a part of our ride. Neither one of us are perfect and we’re bound to make some mistakes but when it comes to our family, we’re determined to make it work. To be continued…