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.
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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.
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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