Fair Co-Parenting


What the hell is ‘fair Co-Parenting’?
 It’s a term a lot of parents seem to throw around and for me the answer to that is where both parties have an equally active involvement in the upbringing and duties of their children. I think this is something I struggle with the most. Firstly, because the whole concept of Co-Parenting doesn’t fit with my situation at all. I’m not in a situation where splitting the day-to-day duties evenly is an option.
I’m not turning this into a post about how I do everything for my son and how I never have a break and blah blah blah… but I do. I don’t live with/near my sons’ father so naturally all the responsibilities fall on me. Because I’m so used to doing everything I find it really hard to let my sons father take charge when he’s around. I’m constantly sticking my oar in and asking a barrage of questions like “Has he eaten? What was it? Ooh he shouldn’t have had that.. How much did he eat? Can you smell that? Are you sure it’s just a fart? Just check his bum bum anyway.. When’s the last time you changed his bum? Did you put on his bum bum cream? Good good.. Is he warm enough? Check his toes does he need his slippers on?”. I know that was a bore to read. Imagine hearing it week in, week out!

I think his dad thinks I do it to undermine him and make him look like an inadequate father but I’m not. I genuinely can’t help it, it’s like a disease. I’m probably going overboard a bit aren’t I? Or is it just my motherly instincts? Maybe there’s a little separation anxiety in there too.. Imagine having the same routine day in day out everyday (it’s my job to keep this little person alive – if I don’t do it, well…) then suddenly you have half a day to yourself. You don’t have anything to do. But that routine is still etched in your brain. I think what makes it worse is the fact that my son suffers from asthma, allergies and always seems to pick up some bug, so I’m forever concerned about his wellbeing and what he’s eating/drinking.

Another issue with Co-Parenting is FOMO (fear of missing out) mixed with a dash of entitlement. You see, (and I can be very vocal about this, trust me) because all the responsibilities fall on me I feel entitled to be there for all of the major occasions in my sons life (birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, bonfire night... you get the point…). Why wouldn’t I be? I’m the one who’s there for him through it all. Every runny nose, every shitty nappy, every doctors/hospital trip. Lets not forget the numerous times I’ve narrowly avoided his projectiles. I don’t get to just swan in for the easy parts. I’m not saying that his dad isn’t entitled to be there on those days too (I don’t exclude him, he’s welcome to join us and believe me he feels equally entitled if not more so) but I feel like I’ve put in my motherhood miles. I just get dibs.

Let me give you an example. Christmas is coming up (I don’t know if you noticed). I want our son to spend Christmas South of the river with my family. He, North of the river with his. We can both sit there till we’re blue in the face and argue about who’s more deserving but truthfully, I am. I’m not saying I’m going to take every Christmas but while he’s young and is starting to understand and enjoy the festive season I don’t want to miss out.

Can Co-Parenting ever be fair?
*Plays the worlds smallest violin* For the foreseeable future it looks like I’m going to continue taking on all of the responsibilities yet I’m expected to smile and wave goodbye to my son for special occasions, inwardly crying whilst watching him trot away as my FOMO kicks in. The widespread opinion of Co-parenting is that it’s the healthiest option for your children but in reality it comes with its difficulties. I’m not sure if ill ever come to terms with the ‘responsibilities : Occasion entitlement’ ratio but for my sons sake I might have to.

Mama Knicks Top Tips for Co-Parenting:
·       Communication – You need to be able to compromise and be cooperative. Your end game is the same – raising a happy and healthy respectable child. If you’re not happy about something then talk it out (the keyword being talk. Not argue) rather than letting the tension build.

·       Compassion – Help to understand each other and be as flexible as possible, it’ll benefit both of you in the long run.

·       Check your ego at the door – Grudges, entitlement, FOMO, resentment. Forget all of that, all that matters is your child.
And yes, I need to start taking my own advice *eye rolls* 



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