Updated: Mar 14, 2020
Hey everyone - Welcome to the first video episode of Hardcore Parenting.
Among those who know my former husband and I, we have collected quite a tally of compliments on our Co Parenting. So today I’m going to share that story.
Ryan and I were together for 7 years. The first 5 were perfect. Our friends saw us as the couple that would be together forever. In those first 5 years we spent a shocking total of 29 nights apart. Ever. And we loved to brag about it. We had 2 fights - ever, in those first 5 years.
When our daughter was born, we lived that ‘new child’ high. But having a kid together changed us, both, a lot. Neither of us became worse people. We were lucky that’s not what happened. Our values, how we wanted to live our lives, and our dreams moving forward stopped jiving. Before becoming parents, we talked endlessly about they ‘type of people’ we wanted to be as parents. I’m happy to say that most of our idealized, Utopian discussions came to life in that aspect of our lives. Alas, who we were as ‘people’ outside of parenting really morphed. Not in a bad way, just different and unexpected.
So if you’ve been listening to how I’m speaking about the situation of us choosing not to be together anymore, you can get a sense of why our co parenting is so good. We don’t hate each other.
Of course the break up was hard. There were some very HARD feelings, on both sides. We have both admitted to how angry we’ve been with each other, and how irritated we have been at times, with the others behavior.
But here is the key. I’m not hiding it. It’s literally the secret concept that I wont keep a secret, because I want everyone to have it.
Treating my ex shitty, will not make him a better parent. Wait. Read it again. It’s really important.
Again - Treating my ex poorly, will not help him be a good parent.
I hope you caught that. It’s really simple - but seems like the most difficult thing on the planet for split parents to grasp.
If you treat your ex like garbage, insult them, get petty with them, emotionally blackmail them, yell at them or share negative energy with them AT ALL - you are actually creating an obstacle in the way of their path to be a good parent - or person.
Ask yourself why you would do that. Your kids get 2 parents. Why would you ever do anything, ever - that would cause their second parent, other than you, to be worse. Even if YOU don’t like them, don’t want to share a life with them - that is your child’s OTHER EVERYTHING. Why would you actively participate in behavior and activities that would ROB your child of a second ‘good parent?’ If they are already a ‘bad parent’ - fine. But why would YOU add to it?
This goes deeper than the golden rule. No one is ever responsible for someone else’s actions or reactions. But your actions and behavior have an EFFECT on others. You are responsible for being aware of that and making choices that put out into the world what you would like to see and receive back. If you are constantly punishing, limiting, insulting and being shitty with your ex, who is also your child’s parent - you are just adding to the pile of bad behavior, you see in them, that you hate. Including who they are as a parent.
When you feel like garbage as a person, you probably have a hard time parenting right?
Well so does your ex. When you do things that have a negative impact on them - they feel like shit, then go home and are a shitty parent - to your own kids that you love!
What. The. Fuck. Is wrong with you?!
My ex and I share videos and pictures of our daughter with each other while the other one has her. We update each other on when she’s had a shower or what she’s already eaten if we do a drop off switch. We ‘parent sit’ for each other willingly so each of us can make social events (and totally get more time with our daughter,) we get on the phone and talk about behavioral changes we see and how we can have consistent responses in our different homes. We actually take family vacations still. They aren’t easy or perfect, but our daughter loves them and we can find some pretty beautiful moments above civility.
And - we compliment each other on our parenting. We both love our daughter equally. And she is the amazing, bright, funny, wonderful little person she is - because of both of us. She exists - because of both of us. My ex is the 50% creator for what I love most in this world.
Not only that - being a good person to anyone - has the potential to make them a better person. I don’t want my ex to struggle and have a bad life. I don’t want him to feel like a bad parent. I don’t want him to be stressed out, or be irritable. I don’t want to share my daughter with someone who is unhappy.
If your ex has rage problems, or self esteem problems, or problems taking responsibility - do you want to be a person that increases their distress? If they aren’t currently a good parent...why would you ever participate in any behavior that makes them worse? Who your ex is, or could be is NOT your responsibility. But the energy you put out into the world and share with others IS.
Let go of your anger. Let go of your resentment. Let go of your petty, childish, immature dysfunction.
You don’t need tools on how to coparent well. You need tools to stop being as asshole.
Put your child above your broken heart. Being mean, manipulative, petty and cruel to your ex has a negative effect on their ability to be a better parent.
Being cooperative and civil with your ex has the potential to make them a great one.
Why wouldn’t you try that?