This is likely to step on a few toes, but is something that absolutely needs to be addressed: co-parenting and blended families.

When people think of co-parenting, many things come to mind—good and bad, of course. The fact is some relationships between co-parents can be amazing, and some can be an absolute nightmare.

You know what? That does not matter.

Co-parenting is about coming together in every possible way to make things right for your children.

The children did not decide their parents were going to get divorced. The children don’t have a say in how they feel about things. It’s up to us as adults to be the bigger people and an example to our kids.

RELATED: Divorce Made My Ex-Husband and Me Better Parents

My girls have a woman in their life who is their stepmom. Was it hard for me to accept this for a while? Absolutely. Does it hurt sometimes, even if it is not her fault? Absolutely. Of course I don’t want my babies to have another mom figure in their lives, but she loves them and treats them great. That’s what matters. It’s our job to protect our kids from terrible relationships or danger but not keep them from people who love them.

Another thing that looks different for every single situation in co-parenting is the holidays. Some parents have split schedules, some trade off, and some do them all together. This is up to each co-parenting family and their situation. It’s not anyone else’s job to stick their nose in.

My situation with my children means we all, for now at least, spend Christmas together. Each parent travels to the other for Christmas, alternating locations.

Is this sometimes uncomfortable? Yes. Is this awkward? Yes. Does this get us judged or told we’re crazy? All the time.

However, you know whose opinions matter? The girls’. The wonderful, amazing girls who can say all their parents love them. They can learn from our example that even if sometimes it’s hard, we made it work—for them. They know without a doubt they are the most important things to us. They know they are loved.

RELATED: Kids With Divorced Parents Will Be OK

You know what doesn’t matter? The past or the hurt feelings. The way it seems to others. The fact that a lot of people don’t understand. Any hurt feelings or jealousy any of the parents try to hide. The way we feel about each other.

All that matters is that, even if we fake it till we make it, our girls are loved.

I’m tired of seeing posts or hearing about parents who are ridiculed because they are kind to their children’s other parents. I’m tired of seeing the biological parent try to keep the child from a bonus parent who loves them or acts like they’re not important. Of course, it’s hard, but I’ll forever try to show my girls the love of Jesus and how much we love them as well.

If you’re a co-parent and you’re doing your best, the only thing that matters is you and your child(ren) being happy. Never forget that. Those children will grow up and know they were loved and learn from your example.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Kersten Cook

My name is Kersten. My husband and I live in small-town Nebraska. We have three beautiful girls together. Midna is 11, Bell is 8 and my bonus daughter Emberlin is 7. We also have three dachshunds. I started writing my Facebook blog and have been touched by the people I've touched. My goal is just to help other mamas not feel alone. 

Dear Co-Parents, From Your Child’s Teacher

In: Kids, Motherhood
Picture of classroom, color photo

Dear co-parents,  When you walk into my classroom for open house, conferences, or a meeting, I notice right away. I can sense the distance between you. I see the forced smile. The eyes that have cried a million tears. Where wedding rings once sat, I see pale indentations that time cannot seem to erase. I know how hard this all is. I know you had to plan where you would meet to walk in together and all of the logistics many take for granted. I know you wonder if I can tell. RELATED: Divorce is a Series of Unfortunate Events...

Keep Reading

Dear Child of Divorce, It’s Not Your Fault

In: Kids, Marriage
Two kids walking in field

It’s not your fault. None of it is. You are not to blame in any of this. How could you be? You are young and innocent and oh, so brave for traveling the road before you. You will learn lessons many don’t learn until well into their adult years. You will probably also have to fight many battles a child should never have to face. I just want you to remember—none of it is your fault.  Some people just aren’t meant to be together, and in your case, that’s your parents. I know it’s hard. RELATED: I Was Better Off...

Keep Reading

Divorce, Kids, Ex’s and Steps and How to Make it Through

In: Relationships
Divorce, Kids, Ex's and Steps and How to Make it Through

Divorce is hard. It’s especially hard when you have kids. I have two boys, ages eleven and thirteen, and I am divorced from their father. We divorced when the boys were very young- my thirteen-year-old barely remembers us together, and my eleven-year-old does not. After a very trying time in our marriage, family tragedies/deaths, and a miscarriage, neither my husband at the time nor I were ourselves. As individuals we were shattered, and as a couple, we were damaged beyond repair. I have and will always take most of the blame for our marriage falling apart. After I lost my...

Keep Reading