Mommy thoughts: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure” – Marianne Williamson
Before diving into our break for this month, we’d like to take a moment to thank guest blogger Shakiela Hurt, who is returning for a 2nd time. The author of the entry “Co-Parenting,” is a Detroit based mommy of 3 who also runs a motherhood & lifestyle blog! Shakiela is also a doula and aspires to be as transparent as possible to all women, no matter their age or ethnicity. Long term goals of hers include becoming a nurse Midwife, having her own practice, and traveling the world as a motivational speaker to women.
She’s all about love, transparency, and solutions.
More about her can be found on Thekietolife.net or on Instagram @kietolife! It has been an honor to partner with this mommy & we are so thankful for the time she has dedicated to Mommy’sBreak Inc.
“Co” meaning joint, mutual, or common. Co-parenting hasn’t been a walk in the park for me personally, but I find the best advice for it being successful as possible is clear communication, mutual respect, and grace.
What I mean by clear communication, is not assuming that the other parent understands anything other than exactly what you say. If Saturday drops are at 8pm but you’re running late, SAY EXACTLY THAT! Because consider that they could just so happen to be having car trouble or getting a ride to the pick up/drop off. Another example of clear communication is letting the opposite parent know if something happens with the child(ren) in your care. Sharing information like this even if it’s behavioral, as soon as possible, can save so many co-parenting hiccups. I hesitate to mention stepparents and spouses because truthfully, I don’t feel that they are the ones you are co-parenting with. Even with there being a chance of these individuals caring for your child(ren), keeping communication between parents prevents things from getting too sticky. For best case scenarios, I believe all communication should be with the person you mutually share a child with except in specific cases that make it mandatory to communicate with others.
With respect and grace, I mean treat each-other like human beings. We all are human, we have feelings, and have lives outside of our children. Respect should be given ALWAYS. Respect also means privacy and speaking to each other in decent manners. Like we parent the same child(ren) and it is our joint duty to be sure the child(ren) are healthy and properly taken care of. This consists of clothing, food, mental health, discipline, sickness, support in sports, and more. We all know with co-parenting, sometimes things get tense, especially in cases where one parent feels they carry a majority of the parental duties alone. So why make it an even more difficult journey?
As a woman who has been a wife and stepmother, as well as now being divorced and ex-husband remarried, co-parenting is still no walk in the damn park for me. I put my own feelings aside about anyone involved other than the children because it’s best this way. It narrows my vision. If anything, other than love is being shared or shown I can easily dismiss it. Lots of times as humans we are so emotional, carrying emotions from the relationship or lack thereof into co-parenting and that’s what we call a very rocky road. Using children as pawns because you’re upset with the mutual parent is not okay.
I reached out to a few black fathers and this was what they had to say about coparenting:
“The most important thing is to remove personal feelings. Letting go of issues you’ve had with one another and if the children are not being harmed. Sometimes we get into “I don’t want you around mommy or daddy because I don’t like who they’re with” but that’s when you must trust them as a parent and know they have the kids’ best interest at heart. All of that is childlike. Cut the umbilical cord to your past relationship/situation ship with the other parent”
“Coparenting for me is a walk in the park. From the beginning we made it work by removing all past relationship feelings from the situation. Don’t let the past relationship dictate what kind of dad you’re going to be. I like to keep the conversation to a minimum. I keep my personal life mine and hers, hers. Most of our communication comes from if we’re doing day early pick-ups or drop offs. Clothing, hair, toy conversations. If were on vacation I’ll send pictures, but I don’t respond to anything after the pictures are sent. People can have a healthy coparenting relationship.”
With all of the things it takes to be a parent, then co-parent and merging two households, there is no way to have time to worry about the other parent’s personal life. If you have any energy or time for that; that’s time taken away from the children. The children are all that matter! First and foremost!
Most of all, just remember to give each other some grace. There is no blueprint to being a parent. We all learn as we go and we are all human. Remember that when dealing with one another. I think a healthy co-parenting shift is on the horizon.
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