Posts Tagged ‘coparent’

Co-Parenting 101: Finding Your Own Tribe

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My guest post on The Cubicle Chick

Over the past seven years, I’ve gone through the ultimate lows while engaged in a high conflict co-parenting relationship. Feelings of inadequacy, isolation, depression, and severe anxiety have plagued me the majority of the time. I only exacerbated the situation by shutting down physically and emotionally, at times feeling unable to process all that I was going through myself. A ball of fury at most times, ready to explode or break down at any moment; my emotional sanity drowning. Not able to process the feelings myself, I refused to talk with anyone about what I was going through and how it was affecting me. Scared that if I were to open my mouth and share my truth I wouldn’t be understood.

When you have to literally fight for your child, have to fight for what they deserve, in front of a stranger in a robe, it changes you. When you look at the father of your child and realize you don’t know him and never did, when he reminds you of your own deadbeat dad – it changes the person you are. I guess it only changes you if you let it. My experiences have hardened my already dense exterior. They don’t understand. They can’t understand. They don’t know my ex. They don’t know my struggle. This is what I told myself over and over and over again.

I grew up with a fierce sense of independence, which hasn’t made it comfortable for me to ask for help or open up to anyone. Even with my core group of friends, I found myself opening up and then instantly regretting it. Afraid that they’ll see too much of my mess. Afraid that I’ve exposed too much of myself. Afraid not of their reaction, but my inability to move past my own grief of a failed relationship. Grief that my daughter’s father will never be what she needs.

I didn’t value having a tribe for a long time. That fierce sense of independence got the best of me – I could do it all on my own. Or so I thought. I struggled for awhile finding my tribe – worried that my instincts were off and I would trust the wrong people, again. Finding your tribe and people you can open up too isn’t easy. I needed to find my tribe because I realized I couldn’t continue attempting to be a good mother or good friend without having emotional support, especially when I was in and out of court with my ex.

Read the rest of “Co-Parenting 101: Finding Your Own Tribe” over on The Cubicle Chick!



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[Co-Parenting Matters] Talking To Your Child About Your Ex

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As much as I have grown thorough my experience co-parenting over the past six years there are still much for me to learn.

I admit, I can be quite stubborn and there are certain things I will not budge on, and this causes severe tension between my co-parent and I. It’s fair to  say I hold quite a bit of anger towards him, which is quite unhealthy and has affected both my personal and professional life. Most importantly it’s affected how I communicate about him with our daughter.

I have the ferocity and strength of a mama bear protecting her cub when it comes to my daughter. And over the years I’ve felt the need to protect her…from her own father. Her little heart can only take so many letdowns and she shouldn’t cry over him and his broken promises. I internalize all of how she feels, and at times I feel like a ball of rage. At times feeling absolutely unable to console her or to make our overall situation any better.

When she talked about him, my body language changed, my eyes shifted and became just slivers. There was no conversation, she would talk and I would listen. But not really. One night while home watching the child he and I made sleep the night away, I wept. I wept for the man he wasn’t. I wept for her sorrows. I wept that I couldn’t protect her.

Read the remainder of my post over of The Young Mommy Life.



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Mommy: I have a Baby Sister

I’ve always had high expectations of myself. Being where I’m at has never been good enough. I’m insatiable. Perfectionist? No. Over achiever? Gosh yes. These expectations drastically increased once I became someone’s Mom. Increased again once I became a solo parent. I am still trying to understand my place as a single mother, co-parenting with someone I once loved. He and I were such an unexpected match, a beautiful disaster if you will. I craved him. And now, being in his presence embarrasses me. You live and you learn and you love and you fall out of love. But, when a child is created from that once blissful warm union things tend to get tricky…dangerous even.

I have no intention of being a nasty coparent, though I do admit that I am a ferocious emotional creature. This is who I am and I’ve accepted it and am working on reigning in my emotions. Motherhood has been nothing but an adventure that I’ve gladly strapped myself in for, lifted my hands in the air, and enjoyed. Co-parenting on the other hand…I greatly dislike it. It tends to bring out the worst in me (my fault), nothing nothing nothing could prepare me for what occurred early this year when my daughter came home and told me she had a baby sister.

Lil Mama: Mommy I have a baby sister.

Me: What? No you don’t, I’m not pregnant!

Lil Mama: No Mommy, Daddy has a baby. I have a baby sister.

Me: Whaatt? No, no, he doesn’t have another baby silly.

Lil Mama: Yes, yes he does, I met her!

Me: (silence)

I…I…broke down. Drowning, I felt I was drowning, gulping down mouthfuls of water. I was not prepared. I have not been able to stomach talking with my daughter about this new addition to her father’s family. Perhaps it’s because he and I are going head to head, perhaps it’s because I don’t want to accept it. This is someone I was in love with, shared a bed with, created a child with. Perhaps I’m not woman enough to get over my bitterness. But I am woman enough to admit I don’t know how to handle this situation. When she brings up this baby I am either silent or change the topic quick, fast, and in a hurry.

Digging deeper I think I’m trying to protect my daughter and myself. I’m not being selfish, but this isn’t just about my daughter, it’s about me as well. Because I am the one who once again has to clean up the mess. I have to answer the questions she asks. This new addition was sprung on her, no conversations were had, and I’m livid he wasn’t man enough to inform me so I could talk with her about it. I think a lot about what her views on her Father are, and men in general. I DON’T want her to think that his behavior is the norm – that this is what men are all about. But, how can I make her think any different when she adores him?

How can I protect her from men like her own Father?



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