The Heart of Co-Parenting
My worst fear of co-parenting.
I was called….”Bitter.”
Every emotion of rage, disappointment, sadness, and guilt overcame me.
Why was this my worst fear? Well, you see. A bad break up happened and I was distraught to say the least. We did the cohabitate dance for a bit before I finally made a decision. I wrestled with myself internally for so long about whether to stay or leave. Prayed to God to make it plain and clear. It was literally the hardest decision I had to make because before myself, all I could think of was the impact it could have on my daughter.
Ultimately, I had to choose me.
But, this isn’t about the breakup. It’s about the emotions that can come with a bad break up when there is a child involved. It’s about how to still lead with love and maturity to set aside whatever mess you left so your child will not feel “stuck in the middle”.
Sounds easy, right? Not always. In a situation as unique as mines, of course emotions are overwhelming on both sides regardless of who’s fault it was for the break up because now you’re both about to embark on a new journey called co-parenting. And worse than being called “bitter”, neither party involved wants to be made to feel as if they aren’t being a good parent to the child.
This is where you have to really learn how to separate the break-up from leading with a new heart for the sake of co-parenting.
Healing and grief are not linear.
I went through a phase of “We will be just fine”. You know, feeling like you will be good with or without. Although, I felt like that I never let it interfere with my daughter seeing her father because that would just be down right unfair to her.
Communication, though, that’s another story..
Our communication in the beginning was steady for about five minutes and shot straight to hell after that. Just being honest. As easy though as it is to blame someone else when things don’t go right, it is even harder to deal with emotional trauma and still have to see one another. Although, I knew I made the best decision for myself. I had to acknowledge the fact I had emotions there that I needed to pray and work through. It is okay to feel hurt, angry, and dare I say, “bitter”.
Bitter has such a negative connotation around it when the context is unknown.
As a matter of fact, it is okay to even own that word. Bitter. When people are hurt there are a lot of things to work through internally. Like forgiving yourself. You’re not letting your child down for having to choose yourself, because at the end of the day your child deserves a happy parent. Not a perfect one.
In the midst of working out your internal battles (and theirs), you may have an unfavorable moment for whatever reason. You may be a little upset that you were left to have to figure it all out, or feel like you’re all alone when you thought you had a true partnership, or simply feeling like you’re not respected as a mother. Of course, you may be a little bitter and that’s okay. But, it’s not okay to stay there.
You have a life to live according to God’s calling for you.
You want to see the best outcome for your child. You should also want to see the best outcome for yourself. It takes maturity to realize that the two of you simply just weren’t meant to be. Moving forward means your choosing to look within yourself and find God. It is then you make the choice to lead with your heart.
Co-parenting is more than figuring out a schedule, finances, and all the in-between. You have to choose to sometimes realize you may be wrong, or may not have the best solution sometimes, and you must choose to allow one another to have autonomy when it comes to parenting the child. Unless, of course, safety or health is threatened. Also, remembering that before the both of you crossed paths, that you were on your own respected journeys and to simply not judge each other
Choose to invest in yourself again. Enjoy your independence and continue to build a better life now. Show your little one that the road doesn’t end here. You’re just taking a scenic route.