The Truth about Co-Parenting

For many parents, the end of their romantic relationship can be detrimental to their co-parenting relationship.

Parents find themselves in constant and even increasing conflicts over their roles and responsibilities as parents and fail to remember some very important points when it comes to transitioning from their “together” life to their “parenting” life.

Co-Parents in conflict use a blame game towards each other in an attempt to win their parenting role as if it was a competition.

So let’s list a few points which will not need explaining:

  • Co-Parenting after a separation does not redefine what kind of parent you are, it will only, unfortunately for the child, reveal who you are as a person.
  • You are not a babysitter, you are parent. It’s not about taking turns to look after your child. It is about adapting you separated life at best so that your child can remain being parented by their parents in the least disruptive way.
  • You will get things right and you will get things wrong, no matter how good a parent you are and that will never change.
  • The best mom still isn’t a dad, and the best dad still isn’t a mom. If your child will be missing one parent from their life because they just don’t want to own their parental responsibility, just be you. Trying to fill in someone else’s role is not your responsibility.
  • The good parents need to be as much as possible part of the child’s life, as are the not so good parent. So yes, maybe your co-parent turns out to not be that amazing person after all, but they are half of your child. Pushing a parent away is only punishing your child.
  • Your child is not a shopping list. Yes it is important for co-parents to share and divide the financial responsibilities towards their child, but first and foremost it is about caring for your child. Try instead of: I pay for this and you pay that, to say, I care for this and you care for that.
  • Becoming a “working mother” is no harder than being a “working father”. You want fairness? Well, that sounds fair.
  • Becoming an involved and caring father is no harder than being an involved and caring mother. Keeping it fair all the way.
  • The law doesn’t raise children, Parents do. Love is not court ordered!

~ Nadia Thonnard