The four co-parenting secrets and techniques that made my entire household glad
That was never planned. But here you are. Parenthood separate. How you got here doesn’t matter at the moment.
All that matters is getting this right.
Sharing custody means sharing a child. It means sharing a child’s life.
It can be messy.
This can be confusing.
This can be stressful.
It will definitely be difficult. But you are strong
It’s a unique situation, not uncommon. And there are ways you can make it easier for yourself and ultimately your child.
After going through the mills of shared parenting for several years, going through the good, the bad, and the ugly, I learned a number of invaluable lessons.
They are lessons that I have not asked for; Lessons I didn’t think I needed, but lessons I learned anyway.
I am rarely wise, but I want you to know:
Put your child’s happiness above all else.
Sometimes you have to let go of your principles. Sometimes you have to allow the rules to be bent. Sometimes plans change. Sometimes what you want and what your child wants are not the same thing. Sometimes what you need and what the child needs are not the same thing. As long as the child is happy, nothing else matters. Put your ego back in its box. Focus on your child’s happiness.
That was by far the hardest lesson. Especially when you are dealing with a younger child who may not be articulating their needs and wants, opinions and wants; who may not communicate as effectively and convey messages clearly. Your heart will break many times, but you need to understand and accept that there are things that you cannot control. That there are things that you have no control over. You control 50% of this child’s upbringing. Make it count. The other half is out of your control. Accept it, learn to trust and let go.
Intervene if you have to.
Your child’s happiness is what you long for the most. Your own happiness depends on it. Because love. If there are circumstances that warrant intervention, make sure you do. Intervention! Don’t let the child be the messenger or the mediator. Don’t let them do the upbringing for you. You are the tireless advocate for your child’s happiness, creating stability and giving constancy, even in a shared parenting scenario. Don’t let your child down by ignoring signs of dissatisfaction and dissatisfaction.
Treat your situation with habituality.
You are not the first or last person to help raise a child into adulthood, but you have to pave your own path. Chances are pretty good that this will turn out to be a happy, balanced, fully functional adult. Yes, the child has two houses. Two addresses. Two bedrooms. Two sets of clothes. Two sets of toys. Don’t worry if, when asked about his place of residence, he chooses the address of the other parents as his home address. If you treat it habitually, so will your child.
In the beginning, when my son was gone, my heart broke into a thousand pieces every time. It gets easier as he gets older. This life is now second nature to both him and me. My heart is still heavy when he goes away. When he comes home I hug him tightly, my heart is a little lighter and so full that I could burst. When he comes home it’s always a very special welcome, whether he’s been away for a day or a week. And some days I try so hard not to cry.
Not because he’s at home, but because I feel like I’m missing out.
Because every time he comes back, he seems to have become a little bigger, a little wiser, a little more beautiful.
Because I know that I’m not there for all of his successes and failures, his laughter and his tears.
I miss 50% of him. I know he’ll only be home until he’s gone. Sometimes a day, sometimes a few days. And I get sad because his life is two lives. I get sad and feel guilty because when he’s gone I’ll get on with my life.
I look him in the face while he talks about all his antics, about school, about his friends, his books and pause for a moment:
Who am I to cry sad tears Am I really missing something? This is not about me.
I am looking to a happy child. A well-rounded, balanced, satisfied child.
I can see with my eyes and feel with my heart that my son is happy.
He is very much loved by everyone around him. He moves back and forth between his two homes with ease, having family and love wherever he goes.
I know you are hurt, but save your heart mom. That is his life too. What matters is a happy child. And a happy child needs a happy mother.
You may only have access half the time, but your impact will go much further than half the time. Make it count.
Mother’s love is omnipresent. He will feel it in his heart no matter where he is.