Happy humpday, everyone!
I wanted to take a moment or two out of my busy day to talk with you about coparenting and blended families. My family life is anything but traditional, but I love it all just the same. I have two children from my first marriage; Aine and Keagan. She is 10 and he is 5. Their dad and I broke up when Keagan was 2 months old. Their dad and I have come to develop a new relationship within which we coparent our children happily.
I spent a year and a half being single, dating casually, not looking for anything serious as a single parent who had the kids full time with the exception of every weekend to every-other weekend when they went to their dad’s. I joined a softball team looking to have some grown-up time and I met my current partner there, unknowingly. We hit it off well right from the get go. I was fortunate enough to not have to worry about the question “When should I introduce my new partner to my kids,” because it had already happened in a social setting as I took them with me to baseball.
The same goes for my partner; his son who was 9 at the time, met me because of baseball. We were in an exclusive relationship for a year and a half before we moved in together two years ago.
In the meantime, my ex and I were in mediation regarding the children to figure out what would be best for them. He moved to the same town as me and the mediator granted him 50% custody, which was a shock for both of us at the time, however, it is the new norm for BC. The kids took a long time to adjust to this arrangement and it took a lot of coaxing to get our youngest to go to his dad’s in the beginning, because he was attached to me and a week without me was a long, long time for a 3-year-old (nothing to do with not wanting to see their dad). He has since learned to love it and our daughter has learned to accept it. Time with both parents is important, especially when both parents want to be involved.
So my kids change which household they are at every week on Friday, although my ex and I do work together to accommodate special weekends, work schedules and so forth. We work together this way as it is best for the kids!
My partner has his son full time now while his ex pursues her education in a separate town and she comes to grab their son every other weekend and stays involved for school events, sports events, and so forth.
All in all, each set of parents involved in our story here are very involved in their children’s lives and we all work together to accommodate the children and the working, school, etc., lives of one another. With that said, learning the role of a stepparent as well as accepting another person’s role as a stepparent in my children’s life has been the biggest hurdle. I’d love to post more about that on a different day as it is a whole other topic that should be explored.
In essence, we coparent well through communications strictly about the kids and we don’t undermine each other’s authority. We encourage time with the other parent(s), compliment the other parent(s) to the kids, and never talk badly of the other parents.
I have my kids for one week on and one week off. My partner has his son full time with the exception of every other weekend. This means that every other weekend, we have time to ourselves, which I think is important for most couples, nevermind couples who share their children together. It’s a way to breathe with each other and put each other first. It also helps to create a safer space to discuss important topics about the kids without them potentially overhearing it.
That felt like a mouthful to get out! Any questions or comments? Leave a comment below or give me a shout on Twitter 🙂