Our story is an open book ready to be shared with those who think they are at it alone.
There isn't much written on the matter well, beacuse it's a sensitive issue. Every time you are about to just put it all out there, something is waved over your head (like a threat) or because most of the times you hope that in avoiding the horrible truth you will will it to be better. But the truth is this, you divorced your ex because you didn't get along and so it's likely you wont get along during your course as co-parents (which, by the way, doesn't end at 18).
Sure there are those exceptional occassions where the exes get along so well that they still spend time with eachother, new husband, new wife, new children, all in tow but that's not the reality for the most of us. Heck, there are even circumstances where one parent is such a disaster that they are no where to be found, the present parent claiming that it's tougher on the kids this way bc, well, that whole absent parent thing can really screw with your head, I not disagreeing. But...no one talks about the shit show that is trying to get along with your ex, who is your ex for many reasons, for the benefit of the children all the while your children are torn from limb to limb as pawns in the game of "civilty and getting along". Sure they are blessed with the love of 2 plus parents but lets get real here, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and it couldnt ring more truth than here.
Co-parenting sucks, period. There is nothing awesome or even remotely nice about it. Imagine your life is a constant group project where you walk on egg shells, ask for permission (even though you're doing all the work but because you need that "Team" grade thing), have to report setbacks and progress, have to put up with someone purposely looking for errors in your work to prove their worth, assigning responsibilities and scheduling dates only to have to put up with whining or slack or kickback because, well, that's how group projects go. Only when you complain or share a frustration with people not in that class, people sympathize with you knowing how much group projects SUCK. Not in the co-parenting project. Nope. Instead you get crap like, "just get over it", "why can't you guys just make it work", "seriously how long has it been", "think positive", "you could make it work you're just not trying" or, my personal favorite, "you just like the drama".
Ok, so back to the group project analogy...Imagine that you were paired with a team that sucked so freaking hard you asked your teacher/professor/God to do anything and everything to change your group and so they did but every class assignment, test and project after that you were paired with them again and again, and again and again and this time there was no "get out of jail free card" but rather your teacher told you, "just get over it", "why can't you guys just make it work", "seriously how long has it been", "think positive", "you could make it work you're just not trying" or, my personal favorite, "you just like the drama". Ok, now take away silly things like grades and points and add in family trips, holidays, special occassions, birthdays, expenses, curfews/discipline (you know, child rearing, the stuff the "mean" parent gets stuck with while the other one gets to be the "cool" parent but who is actually working against mean parent by pointing out how difficult mean parent is and how so cool they are but, then calling mean parent to make sure they are doing their job bc they don't want the kid to be a fuck up but they don't want to lose their connection with said kid). Are you still pushing for that A, would you settle for a C+ because you can't drop out of this class (well, I guess, technically you could which, quite honestly probably makes you the not so great parent where walking away from it all would truly alleviate the other parent so, just go, it wasn't a graded assignment anyways).
This is the part where some of you are thinking, ugh, bitter ex-wife momma drama. Think outside the box people. But who am I kidding? Life has taught me enough times to know that people don't really care about other people's problems so this isn't for you. This is for those of you that know the frustration of living the life of the songless co-parent. Those that have suffered restless nights wondering if their kids are safe or being cared for as they would be at home while at their "other home". Those trying to find the balance between setting boundaries and fostering a blended family. Those tossing and turning wondering am I being too strict, too inquisitive, too demanding, too paranoid, too overbearing, too forgiving, too hopeful, too stupid, too bitchy, too easy, too complicated, too yielding. For the ones that don't take the credit and bite their tongues. For those that show up and make vague excuses for the noshow parent. Heck, for those that say it how it is. For all the ones in between that sprinkle the truth here and there, just enough to instill valuable lessons but not enough to jade.
I always wanted to be a parent. For as long as I can remember, I wanted 4 children, close in age and best of friends. When I became a parent, at the age of 19, I wasn't scared one bit because I knew I had it in me from the beginning. I went head first into everything parenting from laboring options to college scholarship opportunities with sights set for Ivy. But, co-parenting....no one prepares you for that one, even still there is a haze around it's reality. And truth is, it's a lot harder than unmediacted vaginal birth and it lasts a lot longer than 18yrs.
Multi-tasking over-thinker that is, as you can imagine, often running late.