For most couples deciding to start a family together, the idea that we might outgrow the relationship and break up is the farthest thing from our minds. And yet, 1 in 3 marriages in Australia end in divorce – that’s a lot of separated parents, trying to get this parenting thing right.
Trying to co-parent after a break up is one of the toughest things parents will ever go through. With emotions running high after a recent split, it can be hard to let go of the hurt feelings and embrace the changed circumstances, continuing to work together amicably in parenting the children.
Co-parenting after divorce without the animosity
But some couples are doing things differently, and in doing so, changing the perception that co-parenting after a divorce or relationship breakdown has to be difficult or fraught with frustration, anger and miscommunication. The ‘family unit’ has evolved dramatically over the years, changing from the classic ‘nuclear’ family that was the norm in years gone past – usually including mum, dad, children, sometimes pets and occasionally a nanny – opening up the way towards a much broader spectrum of what ‘normal’ families look like.
One mum’s praise for her former partner
This couple from Chipley in Florida, US are proving that a marriage breakdown need not mean any of those things. In fact, it can mean the growth of an altogether different kind of family – one in which the family unit is still strong, despite the parents going their separate ways.
On March 7, Jessica Singleton posted a heartwarming post to her Facebook account about her former partner and father of her children, and it has gone viral for all the right reasons, highlighting how separated co-parenting can be done right. Over 130,000 shares later, and the whole world is praising their approach.
Read Jessica’s full post here:
“More valuable than gold”
She begins her post by praising her children’s father for his ongoing contribution to their family: “This is my ex. This right here is more valuable than gold. This is a man who doesn’t pay a dime through the state because when my son needs new clothes, I just call him.”
She goes on to share how Dad is always available when she or the kids needs him: “One who takes his son in 10 min notice far often than he should because I have too much to get done or just need a nap. This is a man who listens to me cry because I’m stressed out.”
This wonder-dad even urges his son to accept their mother’s new boyfriend: “This is a man who tells his son not to forget mommy’s boyfriend when he lists his favorite people off the top of his head..”
Co-parenting done right
It is so refreshing to see a couple who are doing everything they can to remain a strong family unit, despite their private struggles as a couple. Here is a dad who understands that putting the children first includes putting their mother high on his list of priorities, even though she is no longer his partner.
I am always so glad to hear of these stories, since it is a matter that is close to my heart. I too co-parent my two children with their father, after we ended our relationship three years ago. In fact, we’ve even moved back in together for the short term, as it makes sense both financially and emotionally for our family at this time. Both of our families are still very close despite our break up, and each of us is always invited to any family gathering. Birthdays, Christmas and Easter are always celebrated together, and we still work together on all aspects of parenting and running our household. We just do it without being in a relationship together. This is working brilliantly for us and our kids, although we all understand that this may not be a long-term solution. But while it is working for us, we are happy just the way we are.
The more we see the many different kinds of ‘family unit’, the more open-minded we can all be about how to parent children ‘right’.
Are you co-parenting amicably with your ex? Let us know how it’s all going for you and the ways that you work together to keep your family happy and secure.