When you have a baby they don’t give you a manual, no how-to book, there isn’t a checklist. As parents all we can do is try our best. We try to raise them to be respectable, hard-working, kind, knowledgeable, loving, honest and all around good people.
Then you throw in the mix divorce, which let’s be honest is far more common than it used to be. In my opinion it’s almost more common for kids to come from parents who are split than those that are still together. When you add divorce into the mix comes a whole other aspect to parenting. Co-parenting. It’s hard enough to raise a child in general, but now, you are raising a child with someone whom no longer lives with you.
My ex-husband and I have been divorced for a few years now and things seem to be going smoothly. We definitely have our obstacles. This Christmas is the first Christmas where our son, who is now 5, really understands more.
We have always on and off spent time together all three of us trying to show our son that while we aren’t always together we are still a family. For example: When I had our sons party I invited my ex-husband and his parents. Then, on the actual day of our sons birthday I decided to take him to Chuck-E-Cheeses. It was me, Dylan, Nana and Pops, Macee and then my ex-husband came. We also later that day took him to the park and to McDonald’s. We nearly spent the whole day together. While there were some definite moments that it felt a little “off” for me all I had to do was look at our son and see how happy he was.
On Black Friday my current husband and I went shopping (of course) and I decided while we were shopping that I should get a gift for Dylan to give to his Daddy (my ex-husband). I didn’t get anything too expensive, I think I spent somewhere between $10-$20 dollars.
So, last Wednesday my ex-husband was dropping off our son after their usual Wednesday night dinner and I had wrapped some presents during the day. One of them being the one for his Daddy. Dylan comes in and of course immediately notices all of the gifts. He starts asking, “Where is one for me? Nana? Pops? Macee? Mamaw?” and then came, “Where is one for Daddy?” With a smile on my face and a feeling of relief I pointed and showed him the one for his Daddy. He ran up to him and said, “Look Daddy that one right there is for you!”
For me it was a Mommy win and a co-parenting win for sure. I made Dylan feel like his Daddy is a part of it all. Which is very important for him.
I’m not saying you need to run out and buy a gift for your ex. I understand each situation is different. For us, I felt this was the best. It made our son happy. And that’s all I can ask for.