Tips for Positive Coparenting

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family sitting together outside. coparenting. Des Moines MomWhen I met the girls’ mom I wasn’t sure how the conversation would proceed. Pleasantly surprised to say much better than anticipated. Being open to an honest conversation with candid opinions has put us on track for a positive coparenting relationship. 

Tips for Coparenting

After six years of a coparenting relationship I have some insights. These three components stand out to developing a positive relationship. 

  1. Communication 
  2. Flexibility 
  3. Understanding and patience 

1. Communication

This is of utmost importance for building a strong relationship. Communication can be difficult and uncomfortable depending on the reasoning behind the separation or divorce. Hurt feelings and pain behind the breakup of a family run deep. Try focusing on putting the child/ren first and only. Don’t allow raw emotions to override the reason for communication. 

Direct communication about the child’s needs or activities needs to be the focus. I take the lead on communication for day-to-day items. My husband only communicates with his ex when it pertains to a legal- or decree-related item. We choose to keep this balance for my sanity and the girls’ not being my biological children. By only communicating when necessary, it keeps the primary focus on the children. Neither party is “winning.” Instead the kids win with two loving and positive households. 

2. Flexibility

Understand that your needs or wants will always come second to another family unit. Due to the decree, holidays are no longer my own to plan. Christmas is now on Christmas Eve every other year. This aspect of coparenting has been difficult to navigate. But it means new traditions are made and celebrated. 

When the decision to divorce is made some families are able to have joint holidays. My husband and his ex put a stipulation to have birthday celebrations with both parents and the girls put into their decree.

Time for some honest stepmom feelings. This was difficult for me to handle. The first year I was not invited to these and it made me uncomfortable. Why would my husband and his ex want to have dinner together? I now completely understand. It was to focus on the birthday girl and show her that some normalcy could be achieved. We now do joint birthday dinners including both families and all their siblings together. 

3. Understanding and patience

Both families need to take time to understand the other side when disagreements arise. Because they will and do often. We all strive to do the best for our children. Remind yourself that you want them to be successful and achieve their goals. 

As time has passed, it has become easier to reach out and ask opinions from the other family. I take into account that what we decide affects another family unit. An example is extracurriculars where both girls are playing in different cities. We are now able to communicate and divide up the transporting. This has taken time and setting pride aside. We can’t be in two places at once. 

It is important to understand that a coparenting relationship will have ups and downs. A season of life may seem easier and then a bump happens. Keep persevering and working toward keeping the kids the priority. You never know what beautiful thing can come from a positive coparenting relationship. 

What tips do you have for coparenting?

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Elizabeth’s crazy clan includes Elizabeth Rain (2007), Sophia (2011), Will (2017) and Evie Grace (2019) and husband, Mike. You will read posts ranging from co-parenting, being a stepmom and mom simultaneously to mental health in moms. Please reach out to Elizabeth with any questions or stories of your own as she loves to engage with other moms. By sharing stories and listening to other moms’ happys, crappys, and sappys we better ourselves. Growth comes from having a group of moms that challenge you and empower you to be a better version of yourself each day.

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