2016 · single mom

no pissing in the sandbox: the tale of a co-parenting win

I’d be telling one big, fat lie if I told you that my journey into the world of co-parenting was easy – but is it ever? After years of no contact, and now 18-months of a parenting plan and separation agreement, J and I are finally in the homestretch of an almost-five-year divorce.

Let me just say that again: five years.

Although we’ve mostly managed to avoid the big blow-out fights with angry words and petty actions, it’s been a tense time for me as I try to navigate our way of co-parenting. I’ve read the blogs and the books; I’ve talked to the experts and the I’ve been theres and at the end of the day, it’s been less about finding the answers and more about making this crazy situation work for us.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve flexed muscles and had pissing contests: who is busier?; who has more to cope with?; who’s going to feel the brunt of this or that? It’s been a cycle of pissing in the sandbox and ruining it for everyone and it was only hurting us. We went too far in one direction and too far in another; we broke our own hearts as we reminded ourselves that it’s over – it was broken. And that hurt.

Sometimes I don’t know if it will ever stop hurting.

And then, with that hurt, the muscles would come out again as resentment replaced misguided hope that maybe, just maybe, we’d moved past it. Maybe, just maybe, we were figuring shit out.

This weekend, I finally saw the culmination of much effort on both our parts come to fruition with a handful of texts sent over just a few moments. Last week, I was sure I’d be out of BlogJam Atlantic by 2:30-  I’d be home by 3pm for sure.

Then I realized I was wrong. Math is hard; time just flies! And, after weeks of ruling Sunday-drop-offs with an iron fist, I had to swallow my pride and ask for flexibility and a helping hand.

co-parenting-win-imashleymi-single-mom-divorce

There was a time when sending that text would have equaled devastation. There was a time when the drop-off couldn’t be negotiated, the pick-up would be pushed out and I’d feel trapped. There is much to be said about feeling supported by your co-parent. 

As we prepared to say goodbye to J, he let me know he’d coordinated childcare for our son during an upcoming PD day to take the stress off my plate. I mentioned some possible travel and he told me not to worry; he’d take care of it. It’s the first time in many, many years that I’ve felt like I’m not parenting alone.

And it’s the best feeling in the world.

 

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