Unfortunately, for one reason or another, many marriages end in divorce. When children are involved, the break up of such a union becomes more complicated.
Ex spouses find ways to navigate custody and co-parent. But when the individuals find a new spouse, who then becomes a stepparent to your child, this can complicate matters further.
It's all about love
One mother's Facebook post about this very subject recently went viral. Hayley Booth stated, "Often times I have people ask me how my ex, his wife, my husband and I co-parent so flawlessly. My answer is always the same- We just love our daughter. Seriously, it's just that simple."
"If you are lucky enough for your ex to have a woman who loves YOUR child or children like their own, and one who helps raise them and shape them, why would you not allow them to call a woman they love mommy? Why would you put your child in the position to feel like they have to choose who they love?" she stated.
Don't make kids deal with your adult problems
Too often, children get caught in the middle of their parents' problems. Children are not miniature adults. Nor are they tools for manipulating your ex. Children need to be shown healthy relationships and how people can get along even when they may not like each other. Don't treat children like pawns to get what you want. It's not fair to them, and it's not healthy for anyone.
Like Booth did, you can find ways to create an environment where your child does not have to choose a side or choose who to love. Let them form healthy relationships with all their parents and decide how to love each one. Some kids may be more accepting, while others may resist changes at first or long term. As long as everyone involved is acting out of love, what more can you ask for?
Blended families, stepfamilies and single parenting aren't easy to navigate. Even marriages take a lot of work and compromise to figure out parenting together. But if everyone is seeking what's best for the child or children first, it will all fall into place eventually. Co-parenting does work, though you may need to compromise on some things, especially things that aren't all that important. Focus on loving your child and letting them love in return.
Wendy is a regular contributor for familyshare.com and does media reviews. Website: https://survivorshopeandhealing.wordpress.com/ for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: https://wendyejessen.wordpress.com Twitter: @WendyJessen