Susan here with a rare look inside my private life as a divorced mother. I’m sharing this peek into how my ex-husband and I co-parent to help the #HowWeFamily TYLENOL® campaign empower all families –- regardless of shape, size or makeup.
We didn’t let divorce create a “broken home”.
Our home isn’t broken… it’s spread out into two physical homes that are both full of love.
Divorce obviously is not ideal. It’s basically the worst-case scenario. But when it happens, you can still try to make the best of it.
To be honest, I still hate actually saying the word… “divorced.”
It’s hard to not feel judged as soon as you say anything that reveals your marriage failed and you now fall into the “divorced” category.
So I try not to focus on that word. I don’t hide from it, but I don’t dwell on it either.
When I’m asked, I explain that I co-parent with my girls’ dad who lives a couple blocks away. We get along fine and work together to parent our girls.
Not every divorced couple is able to co-parent for various reasons… one parent may have to relocate, there may be abuse, or one parent may not be interested or able to parent.
But 5 years into co-parenting, I’ve come to feel that if it is at all possible to keep both parents highly involved, it’s for the best.
Being a single parent is hard and you need time to refuel. If you are able to share some of the parenting responsibilities, it’s a blessing.
A Surprising Teaching Opportunity
Co-parenting after divorce brings a unique parenting opportunity to demonstrate to your children real-life conflict resolution and forgiveness.
Your kids will watch how you and your ex share your time with them, handle disagreements and forgive each other.
If you can model a positive relationship even under difficult circumstances, they will learn powerful life lessons.
5 Ways to Stay Positive While Co-Parenting After Divorce
Here are five ways we’ve kept our co-parenting as positive as possible during and following our divorce.
If you ever find yourself facing separation or divorce, I hope these tips help you…
- Never say anything bad about the other parent to your children.
Never. Ever. Ever.
Bite your tongue. Vent to a trusted friend if you must. But never put down your children’s other parent in front of them.
This can feel almost impossible at times, but I believe the fact that my ex-husband and I both determined to never speak badly about each other to our girls has been key in their positive adjustment.
- Keep any divorce drama OFF of your social media channels.
There are so many reasons to not vent or even talk too much online about your separation, divorce and future dating relationships.
I live an extremely public life as a mom blogger, yet I’ve kept my marriage, divorce and relationships very private. I’ve felt more comfortable and felt it more respectful to the father of my children to keep that side of my life off of social media.
- Try to keep routines consistent but don’t fuss over details.
We were lucky that we both agreed on keeping the girls in the same school and neighbourhood after we separated. I stayed in our townhouse and their dad moved a couple blocks away.
We try to keep as many of their routines the same at both houses as possible, but there are differences and kids will tend to behave differently in two environments.
You won’t agree on every little thing, so try to not be picky about minor issues.
- Try to sincerely help each other to make schedules work.
If you both can try to be flexible and make schedule changes work, life is better for everyone.
If your partner doesn’t seem flexible at the start, try to still offer as much grace as you can. Times will arise when your partner needs a schedule change, so happily oblige… the time will come when you need a favour too.
- Forgive and forget.
Really. I mean it. Get over the past… it’s the past.
Whatever happened and who was to blame really does not matter now. Only the present and the future matter. Make the best of it.
It’s been almost 5 years since we split our home into two. My girls were 3 and 5 years old when we separated.
It was hard and scary for us all. But we’re doing well.
They’re now almost 8 and 10 years old I can honestly say they are happy and well adjusted.
I’m proud of how their father and I have forgiven each other and worked together to create a positive and loving childhood for our girls.
Co-parenting positively after divorce teaches our girls how to get along and resolve conflict. Forgive, forget, have fun and love life… it’s #HowWeFamily!
How Do YOU Do Family?
Every family is different and blessed in unique ways.
TYLENOL® and I would love to hear about your family. Join us by tweeting, posting or sharing a photo or video of what represents your family love and pride using the #HowWeFamily hashtag on Twitter or Instagram. You can also visit their website to learn more about this great campaign and see other #HowWeFamily stories.
TYLENOL®, a brand with a rich heritage in serving families, is celebrating all the ways that people family today through the #HowWeFamily campaign.
#HowWeFamily is a platform to empower all families – regardless of shape, size or makeup – to proclaim what makes their family unique, and in turn, proud. Through #HowWeFamily, TYLENOL® hopes to show that despite our differences, families today share the same fundamental values.
Meet My Girls On Instagram
I shared a quick video of me with Julia and Sophia on Instagram.
Click on the Instagram video below to watch it…
Then share a photo or video of your own on Instagram and/or Twitter using the #HowWeFamily hashtag.
When I count my blessings, the list always starts with my two sweet little girls. Our family may be small but it is overflowing with love. We are big on snuggles and silly games and, to be honest, a little slack on rules. I co-parent my girls with their father who lives a couple blocks away. We believe in showing our girls how we can work together and put parenting them as our number one goal – even if we don’t live in the same house. Teaching our girls how to get along, resolve conflicts, have fun and love life… it’s #HowWeFamily! @Tylenol and I would love for you to participate by tweeting, posting or sharing a photo or video of what represents your family love and pride using #HowWeFamily hashtag #CoParenting #FamilyLife #ad
Disclosure: I have received information and materials from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., the makers of TYLENOL®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.
Written by Susan Carraretto, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and Facebook.com/5minutesformom
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