There are a few lucky souls who have a copacetic divorce, but for the rest of us, there is usually some type of drama involved. When you’ve got children, you’ve still got to deal with your ex and learn co-parenting after divorce peacefully. Or at least you can play the grown-up part with composure and even grace.
With 1.2 million divorces every year in the United States, there are going to be a lot of single mommas out there. You are not alone and can see more single mother stats here. You’re also not the only one with divorce drama. It’s painful, even if you are the one filing the papers first. There are going to be hurt feelings, and when this happens, defenses go up.
Co-Parenting After Divorce When There’s Resistance From Your Ex
Your ex wants what they want. The same goes for you. And a lot of times your ex wants to spend more time with the kids. He might also want to make you miserable by not giving you what you want.
When it comes to co-parenting after a divorce, it’s wise to be the bigger person
Don’t talk smack about your ex in front of your kids no matter how rotten they behave.
Your five year old may seem like a more mature than that person (who used to act like a human) who is currently acting like a lunatic. Holding your tongue in front of the little ones is best. That person who could be committed is still their daddy.
Your good behavior is for the kids— and your sanity. And it could even create a blissful after divorce relationship down the road (even if you can’t imagine having a regular conversation with him yet).
Some people might think co-parenting with rules is the only way to go. But…
This could make you roll your eyes back in your head. You probably think your ex will never follow any rules. Or behave like a grown up. Ever. But if there is, or soon will be a judge involved in your divorce, you can place your Benjamins down on the betting table that there’s going to be some type of parenting schedule. Which is kind of like having rules when you were in middle school
So, stick to the co-parenting schedule if your ex is a high drama person
Or even if they are into any kind of drama for that matter.
If you have a co-parenting calendar with your ex and you’re both acting like adults flexibility is an excellent thing to have in your life. Sometimes things pop up. You might have a date and want your ex to cover you on Friday night.
Or your ex might have his yearly fishing trip with his best friends from college. When one person or the other does things just to get back at their ex, it hurts everyone involved.
If you’re the person causing problems by not bending (within reason of course), your kids will know that you’re the problem
And if your ex is the one who won’t swap a day, or take your kids to soccer practice when you’re driving Uber to pay for hockey cleats, your kids will also know this (no matter how young they are). They’ll feel the conflict in the air.
Do you want to know one of the best pieces of advice for co-parenting after divorce?
Of course, you do! It was one of the wisest things I learned from my therapist. She told me, “you don’t have to be friends, just be friendly.”
That’s it. When you see them be business friendly if you need to be that way. If there is any kind of drama with your ex, don’t participate. If they become enraged, hateful or have any other adverse actions, hang up the phone. Don’t respond to their nasty text message. Get in your car and drive away. Then go take care of yourself so you can be the best mom for your kids. There are joys to being single, but sometimes there are rough patches to get there.
Lots of Love,
Dina Colada is a contributing author at Secure Single LLC. You can connect with her at DinaColada.com for loads of dating advice and profile makeovers or on Instagram.