Co-parenting for Dummies- Like Myself

One of the things a divorced single mom has to contend with is co-parenting. In layman’s terms, it means sharing custody of your kid with your ex. In pepperrific terms, it means sacrificing a fun Barbie-primping session with my daughter on a rainy Saturday for a day spent counting the hours until her dad brings her back.

More than spending time with both parents, co-parenting involves sharing in the responsibility of raising the kid. It’s not simply a case of enjoying roller coaster rides and endless cotton candy with mom one weekend, and catching a movie with dad the next. Co-parenting needs both parents to make sound decisions on both the little and big things in the kid’s life. It means both parents being concerned and aware of the kid’s little spats with one of the boys in school. Both mom and dad become active teachers, guiding the kid through this hard knock life.

In my book, co-parenting has been a struggle, more than anything. My selfish self hates the idea of not having my daughter with me on certain days. The clock and calendar become my constant companions as I wait for the day when my daughter gets back from a weekend with her dad. I try to pass the time by doing mundane things, eagerly building momentum within, as I prepare for the moment when I am once more reunited with my daughter.

But then again, my daughter does benefit from the time she gets to spend with her dad. She realizes that although her mom and dad no longer live together, they still are able to shower her with a profuse amount of love- enough to last her a lifetime.

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About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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Comments

  1. tara says:

    Just so you know. You are not in any way, shape or form a single mother. You are a part time mom with plenty of time of for fun . Do not kid yourself. You have plenty of time for yourself and you have alimony. Just be quiet and count your blessings.

  2. Marie says:

    I am pretty sure it is tough to be separate from your kid, even a couple of hours. But it’s great when parents are still in good terms and ready to do their best for their children, so they can enjoy precious time with both.
    I see so many divorced couple around me not getting on well and using their child as a mean of pressure for the other, that when I read lines like this it gives me hope, some care about their children.
    Have a great day. marie

  3. Cari says:

    I think it’s totally normal to feel that selfishness when your child is not with you. I keep myself as busy as possible.

    I think it’s wonderful that you and your Ex are able to actually “parent” together, so many people struggle with that, and it only ends up hurting the kids in the long run.

    Are you currently writing a book, or have written one? Spill it.

  4. Ria C says:

    It’s a healthy way for your daughter to also spend her time with her dad. Although, sometimes, I think it’s a human nature to be a bit protective of our young that we tend to not let go. It must be tough to go through that but it’s a lot tougher for the kid to not see one of his/her parent too.

    You know what sis, you’re doing a great job raising her and even when she’s not with you, I’m sure she knows and feels by now how much you love her. No one can break that bond and love between yourself and your kiddo.

    Hugs,
    Ria C

    It’s My Party
    Home is Where the Heart Is
    Red Lips and Pinky Toes
    The Travel Bug
    Handmade with LOVE

  5. “She realizes that although her mom and dad no longer live together, they still are able to shower her with a profuse amount of love- enough to last her a lifetime.” that is indeed the bright side of it all.

  6. I know unsolicited advice is seldom heeded and I know that it’s usually given more for the benefit of the giver than the receiver. I’m not denying that because I am struggling with something similar to you and I know I need to change it.

    You might want to change the mentality you have when your daughter’s away. This will kill you in the end and it can even put a big strain on the super sensitive co-parenting arrangement as it can build resentment.

    Your daughter is not miserable when she’s away from you so why are you miserable? Mundane activities aren’t going to do anything for you. Get out there and do things you love to do for YOU. One of the best tips I found was when you can’t really think of things you like to do (without your daughter) think of the things you liked to do when YOU were a kid. And do those.

    Your daughter would not want you to be miserable at home. It’s not fair to you or to her. I know it’s kind of a paradox because as a mom you love your child so very much but that time that you get to yourself is PRECIOUS. Single moms and not single moms kill for that kind of time.

    Personally, this is something I’m forcing myself to change. It is wreaking havoc on me and I’m making an effort to get out there and enjoy myself when I get a weekend to myself. It gives you the chance to enjoy your adulthood, to re-energize, to find fulfillment in more ways than you can imagine.

  7. Pepper, I’d feel the same way if I were on your shoes. Would even probably be unreasonable to everybody and get overpowered by my selfishness as a mom wanting all my daughter’s time but you are pulling it off so well. And I must say I admire the way you and your ex are handling this situation. I know many divorced couples and normally the mom is left with ALL the responsibilities and/or there’s just too many chaos when it comes to who does what, etc.

    Spanish Pinay

  8. Kay says:

    I don’t need to deal with this … the Dad has long abandoned us.

  9. Erin Patrick says:

    Pepper,
    I know to well the trials and heartaches of being a single mom. I remember every time I put them on a plane, I would stand in the airport and cry. I surrounded myself with the best circle of girlfriends. They supported me, encouraged me and lifted me up when I was weak. They also made sure that I had lots of fun!!! I hope that you have a circle of friends to do the same for you! I’m visiting from voiceBoks where we are a wonderful community where you can receive lots of encouragement. It is so great that you are writing about it. You will find out that you are stronger than you think and that you have lots of great advice to give others going through the same thing!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin
    http://www.mynuggetsoftruth.blogspot.com

    • Pepper says:

      thanks very much Erin! That’s the problem with me, I seldom get to see my girlfriends. They seem to be too busy with their own lives. IT’s good that you told me about this comment, as I found it in my spam folder! whew! :)

  10. carina says:

    it is really hard to be separated from your child a day. i really admire the courage you have being in such situation.
    btw, thank you for your comments on my posts :)

  11. MTLD says:

    I can so relate to this. I hate having to “share” my son. But as we all know it’s a good thing that both parents are involved. Sometimes I just want to sit in my room and cry. Sometimes I do that. Then my sister brings me back to reality. There are times when the worst part is when he comes home. I feel jealous when he looks for his dad or asks if he can go back to his dad’s house…It’s horrible! I hate feeling like I have to compete, when in my heart I know I don’t need to. Everyone says when he’s older he will thank me but sometimes I want that appreciation now. Being a mom is tough. Being a single mom is tougher. Moms aren’t given enough credit! Haha

    • Pepper says:

      Yes, I always feel it’s a competition between me and my daughter’s dad. I also feel jealous when she tells me things they did together over the weekend. It’s good to know I’m normal :)

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