I have never discussed my co-parenting situation on social media or on Stockpiling Moms. I never really thought I would. For the last 8 years, I have been told by many friends and educators I need to write a book called Co-Parenting 101.
My boys’ father and I have always worked together well and have worked hard to set good examples for our boys. Now I will say there is nothing perfect, but we have put in a lot of work in to being patient, understanding, and working well together.
Things to Remember in Co-Parenting 101
- It is not your children’s fault so never make them feel like it is.
- NEVER talk about the other parent in a negative way in front of the children. I have seen several cases where this has totally backfired. You may think they will get upset with the other parent, but it is possible they will be more upset with you.
- Always treat the other parent the way you want to be treated. Do not ask them to do things you know you would not want to do.
- It may be your scheduled time but remember it is your children’s time too! There have been moments the boys have not felt good and they just want their Momma. Their Dad has always been understanding of that. I always try to give him a little extra time when they are well.
- ALWAYS do what is best for the child. In the long run it will be what is best for you too!
- Less mess less stress!
- ALWAYS put the kids first. Love your children more than you love being mad at the other parent. Anger solves nothing.
- Remember you separated from the other parent the children did not!
- Do not let the kids play you! Always put up a united front! Our kids do not get by with anything. We will call the other parent and ask if something does not seem right. We catch them every time!
- When the other partner remarries things may be tense at first. Give it a chance. Every circumstance is different. I personally do most communication with their father. They are our children, but the stepparents are invited to anything and have the right to make decisions with us. It was hard at first, but we all have a say so. We all must live with the kids so everyone’s opinion counts!
Recommendations for Co-Parenting 101
- If your kids are little it is really an adjustment. Our kids were young. We decided to always pick up the boys. This prevented them from thinking we were leaving them, instead they left us. It was like they were going on an adventure. Now they are teenagers and they could care less.
- Have a family e-mail. This is so important and takes a lot of stress out of co-parenting. EVERY single thing that has to do with the boys goes to the same family email address. All school, health, extracurricular activities, anything that has to do with them. No one can say they did not get the message. It is written out for all to see. Do not forget to use the Google calendar for appointments, sports, and changes of schedule.
- Be consistent with the schedule. It is hard for kids to flip back and forth.
- First right of refusal. If one parent has something to do offer the co-parent the extra time before getting a sitter or other family to watch them. DO NOT bad mouth the other parent if they already have plans. We do not even tell the kids that offer is out there. The most important thing is you do not want to hurt your children.
- We always split their birthdays and have them the full day on our birthdays.
- Be kind on Holidays. Their Dad’s family always has Christmas Eve and my family usually has Christmas Eve Morning. We split the day. Kids are not young long. We want them to celebrate with all their family. If this is just too hard you can split or do every other holiday.
- Communicate with each other on education. It can be 10x the work for a teacher and you if you don’t. Consolidate questions and use the family email.
- Let the kids go on adventures with the other parent! I travel a lot with Stockpiling Moms and I love to take the kids! Their Dad has never said no! He wants them to have all the opportunities they can. Don't be selfish, they are not young long!
Check out other Family Articles on Stockpiling Moms
Shelley is a boy mom, marine wife, and is blessed with an amazing family. She loves sharing recipes, travel reviews and tips that focus on helping busy families make memories.