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The Rewards of Co-Parenting

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Kate Meyers: Last weekend, my ex-mother-in-law was in town for a visit. We were talking together on the sideline of my daughter's soccer game, and she said, "I just want to tell you what an amazing job you and Lee have done with the girls, and what amazing girls they are."

Rewards of Co-parenting

I gave my daughters most of the credit, but I was very touched. I thanked my ex-mom-in-law and told her I felt lucky that my children have a loving grandma who comes to visit and goes to soccer games. These are heartfelt emotions on both sides. There is no drama, just appreciation.

Divorce can be hell, but co-parenting doesn't have to be. First, you have help. Second, the help you have comes in the form of a person who loves your children. My daughters know that I respect and care about their dad, and I ALWAYS support him. My standard answer to any grumbling is this: "Your dad is not perfect. Neither am I. We love you, but we don't know how to do that perfectly, either."

There is no bashing; just a sincere attempt at building a different kind of foundation -- one that is inherently imperfect. The rewards are massive. There is no tension at celebratory events. There is no adult drama raining down onto our childrens' already-complex worlds. A few years back, before my daughter Annie's bat mitzvah, she thanked me for getting along with her dad. She said, "I have friends whose parents can't even be in the same room, and I feel so lucky that you and dad aren't like that." Me too.

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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Christy May 21, 2010, 8:41 PM

I have that relationship with my es, also. Actually he just came over yesterday and we had a good talk about all that is going on in his family. I hugged him and told him that I loved him. And I do. Not the goo goo love that lovers feel. I love him for loving my daughter so much and being such a great Dad. I am so glad we have the relationship that we have. It wasn’t always roses but we worked through the bad stuff and now are better for it.

Taibah May 23, 2010, 4:38 AM

Kudos to both of you. It isn’t always easy, but it does matter that our children know they are loved by both of their parents, however imperfectly, *and* that they are free to love both without fear of losing anything. And, when you can find some way to live in peace with your child’s other parent, whether it’s as friends, “co-parenting colleagues or even do-no-harm parallel parents, it can make everyone’s life flow more smoothly.

tabletki na pryszcze April 3, 2011, 7:34 AM

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