You want to be involved with your kids, but parenting with your ex sounds terrible. The two of you really want nothing to do with one another.
Remember that a toxic atmosphere is not good for the kids. If you're really going to put them first, you need to focus on trying to find ways to work together. It may be hard, but you can do it for them. Below are a few tips that will help.
- Make it your goal from the very beginning. Don't be resentful. If you start out with the right mindset, you're more likely to succeed.
- Don't involve outside opinions. This makes things chaotic. Don't worry about what your friends say or what a new partner says. Work with your ex directly.
- Remember the good times. Yes, the way the relationship ended wasn't great, but it was good once. Your ex was a good parent. Focus on these things. Just because you're not married doesn't mean you can't both be good parents.
- Have a schedule. Know where you both stand when it comes to picking the kids up from school, for instance. Having a set schedule limits fights and miscommunications.
- At the same time, be flexible. Understand that life isn't perfect. You may need to change the schedule, or your ex may. Allow it. Embrace it.
- Don't resent new relationships. You're not just co-parenting for the next year. You're in this for the long haul. Your ex may start dating or get married. You may too. Don't fight the involvement that the new people have in the kids' lives.
As you use these tips, remember your parental rights and be sure you understand what legal options you have to make things go smoothly.
Source: Huffington Post, "9 Ways to Co-Parent Like a Grown-Up," Emma Bathie, accessed Dec. 15, 2017