This post I wanted to be the first one I ever put on my blog. Its near and dear to my heart, and something that I think about often. My kids dad and I have been separated for over a year now. After a 7 year relationship, and 2 kids together, we decided to end things and go our separate ways. It was important to me that we maintained a happy, healthy friendship for the kids. I posted a picture to my Facebook wall of Mason’s first day of school about a month ago. The kids and their dad were all together smiling in front of the school right before Mason started his first day of JK. I had so many private messages from people asking how we got to this point. I will admit that at first It wasn’t like this, It took lots of adjusting, frustration, and lots of talking through things. My biggest fear was what kind of impact would it have on them? They are my whole entire world and I laid awake at night the first couple weeks wondering what kind of questions they would ask. I think its important to know, it hasn’t been perfect and smooth sailing from day one. Break ups are hard enough, but when you have not only one but two kids in the mix, its double as hard. Teagan was so young, she wasn’t even 1 yet, so she didn’t really realize what was going on, but Mason did. One of my best friends told me about this book, called Two Homes. Its written by Claire Masurel. If you are a Mama and your child is asking questions, read them this book. Mason was almost 3 when we separated, and It made all the difference.
“At Mommy’s house, Alex has a soft chair. At Daddy’s house, Alex has a rocking chair. In each home, Alex also has a special bedroom and lots of friends to play with. But whether Alex is with Mommy or with Daddy, one thing always stays the same – Alex is loved.”
My tip for anyone newly separated and trying to figure out this whole co-parenting thing, is always put the kids needs first. Communication is key. Set a schedule you both agree on. Make it fair. If their dad had a family event, or something big was happening that he wanted to take them to but It was happening on a day that I had them, i’d have no problem letting them go. I’ll have no problem admitting in the beginning I was bitter about this. I was spiteful over useless shit. I’ve gone through a lot of growth this passed year, things that used to bug me don’t anymore and I’m so proud of myself. Just because you are separated, you are still a family. In my opinion, and I might get some flack for saying this but its so important for the kids to still see their mom and dad can get along. Mason does hockey and Teagan does gymnastics so when they have their sports we either bring them together when we can, or once a month meet up at the park so the kids can play with both of us together. Even though they have Matt in their lives now and he’s so amazing with them, i think its really beneficial for them to see their mom and dad can set differences aside and take them to the park or to their sport together. “Co-parenting is not a competition of who can do it better, its a collaboration of two homes working together with the best interest of the kids at heart.” I’m still wingin’ this whole co-parenting thing, even though its almost been a year and a half, this whole thing is still a work in progress. It takes a great deal of respect for the other parent, and releasing the need to be in control of everything, knowing that you won’t always have your way, but one thing I know for SURE, is the love we share for the kids.