Our family is a blended family. I have 3 children and my fiance has one. My children, up until recently when the two older ones got their own places, all lived with us. My step son is here part time. It works pretty good for the most part. The two youngest boys get along fantastic, keep each other occupied and generally have a great time together. Of course its not always easy to have a blended family or to co-parent with the exes.
So lets talk a little about the easy way to co-parent.
My ex and I - We split up, and like any split it was hard for a few months after to speak to each other with out letting the old demons creep in. Challenging to say the least. After a few months time, we sat down, had a talk. Decided what we wanted to do as parents, decided on a fair to both of us, amount of child support. An amount that would let me raise our son in a reasonable manner, but not make him go broke. Apologized for the past hurts and moved on. Was very easy.
In our current relationship we talk weekly when he comes to pick up our son, not usually about anything serious, just for a bit while he is here and our son is getting ready. Its nice and friendly. We joke around, laugh. It's good. After school functions we take our son out for dinner. Sometimes my fiance comes, some times his girlfriend comes, sometimes we all go together. Very easy.
When we go on vacation, my ex stays at the house to watch the dogs, when I used to plow snow at night, he would stay at the house with our son. EASY Needless to say, we get along really well. And why shouldn't we? The past is just that, the past. We let that stuff go, moved on and respect each others parenting styles and let it be what it is. Sometimes I hate what he does with our son on weekends, but it is not hurting him, so I leave it alone. It isn't worth a fight. if there is a problem we try to talk about it and resolve it. We have had a few bumps in our new relationship but we are trying and our son is super happy with that.
Then we have the hard way…
My fiance and his ex – They split up, it was good, They were friendly. Then I came into the picture and it was a little less friendly, but still tolerable. Then I found out he was supporting himself on his credit card because their account was still joined and she had access too everything. I asked him to stop that and pay his child support and alimony only. Things got pretty bad after that. Since she now hates me, everything has now become a fight.
If we ask her to make sure he is in a child seat when in the car, she fights with us (he is too small to not be in one) . We tried to talk with her about child support, and come up with a more accurate number to what it would take to raise their son, and were referred to a lawyer. If we ask her for any of her parenting time, she says no. If she asks us for anything and we say no, she takes it to the parenting coordinator or a lawyer. So hard. If we try and have an email conversation with her, she refers us to her lawyer. But yet she will turn around and expect us to have a nice conversation with her when she wants to talk about something. HARD We have again and again explained that we would love to do things the easy way.
Not only are they the easy way but really also the correct way. The way that makes the child the happiest. But after 5 years of asking for that we got another email today from the parenting coordinators, instead of directly from her. I am honestly starting to think she is crazy and this is going to be what we deal with for another ten years. Oh god, kill me now... So I know I say this blog isn't for giving advice but this time I need to give advice. Please, please, please do whatever you can to co-parent your children the easy way. It really is the best thing for them.
Get over your past hurts, move on from that, don't try to hurt your ex. Think of your ex as a friend, doesn't have to be a best friend, just a friend. Or if you can't get to that place, then a co worker. Treat them as you would a co worker. But don't try to hurt them, don't use the kids as pawns. After what we have been through with his ex, I am begging you, pleading with you, down on my knees asking you, try to make it work the easy way.
From The ten Sides of me