I think my heads right; I think I can write; let’s see.

Co-parenting is a challenge. I’ve written as much before. If you’re lucky enough not to be in such an arrangement, imagine trying to share something you love with someone you don’t. That pretty much sums it up.

You don’t see eye to eye becuase if you did, things would’ve worked out between you. Instead, you agree to come to an agreement over the most precious things in your life. Whilst not ideal, when it works, it works.

But what about when it doesn’t..

I had the rug pulled from under me recently which has caused me to take action. A text that told me Christmas plans were changing, as the cubs had asked for them to. It was due to be with me this year, mother invited of course. The text was to ‘run the idea past me’.

My objection by reply, was met by an ultimatum; that if all future Christmases were to be at hers then that’s how things will be. But I was welcome to join them. All heart.

As an individual, I like to respond, not to react. I try to distance myself from a knee-jerk, even with something as emotive as this. These are my children too and we have an arrangement; alternate Christmasses, with the other partner invited.

Here’s the connundrum; the weight of leverage of a loaded statement such as ‘it’s what they want’ should not be underestimated. However, when co-parenting, a child’s comments should not be weaponised. I think that this was the element that got to me the most.

Children in these arrangements will say things about the absent parent with some frequency but I feel that it is the present parent’s job to reinforce the position of the absent parent, in order to maintain some semblance of balance.

Perhaps I was niave.

What I noticed, was that as I distanced myself from the text, my physiology changed. I found myself at work, sitting at my desk but one million miles away. I had neck pain, which I realised had come from clenching my jaw so hard. I was holding my breath for long periods. Most worryingly, I had chest pain that lasted for about two days.

Immediately I took action and instigated some self-care.

Deep breathing was step one, follwed by visualisation. Every breath, as it went in, relaxed a muscle. Clean air worked into the tissues and removed the toxins.

The chest pains stopped.

I exercised more. Upped my cardio in order to become correctly fatigued, through excersion, rather than through stress. I took back control of my biggest asset; me.

I have drawn a line in the sand.

I deceided that if I did not take action now, I would forever be at the mercy of the another person. I took the decision to formalise arrangements. It wasn’t an easy decision and it’s far from perfect timing. In fact, Christmas funds have been diverted into mediation. But a single, deciding point kept coming back to me;

If not now, when?

BSD

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6 Comments

  1. When you have a contentious relationship with your children’s other parent (really, even if you have a good relationship), having a formal, legal agreement on visitation, holidays, support, living arrangements (this includes the parents ability to move or live with another person), savings for college, heath care responsibility, pretty much every single aspect of parenting is a must. All it takes is a single moment off misunderstanding, one wrong word, or new situation, to send all you may have agreed on into a tailspin if you don’t have that. Sometimes even when you have that legal agreement, you can have a massive upheaval as life moves forward and changes. As parents, our jobs are to do our best to raise our kids in the best way possible, protect them and teach them as they grow, but in doing that, you also have rights. The other parent can’t decide to change the rules in the middle of the game just because they decide they don’t like them. Even if they are using the kids as the reasoning. Most young kids are in no position to make a decision like this unless they are in their teens. Even then, so many do not have the emotional maturity to truly be able to make a sound decision like that. Good for you for taking a stand. It will be so worth it in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having been through all this from the female side but now looking back on all the mess, mistakes, chaos and stress, I would say you are doing a great job. I wish I had learnt to breathe and meditate then as I have now. One thing I did learn early on was to try and be the bigger person. Stepping back when things hurt us emotionally is so difficult especially ​when life seems so unfair, but it is the best thing to do, allowing yourself to rationally decide on the best way to move forward. Our children learn to make their own judgement​s as they grow up, and as long as they know you love them and have time for them then they will come to understand the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was very lucky, my children were always with me on Christmas eve and Christmas day then with their dad on boxing day for their 2nd Christmas day. We stuck with that all the way through but I imagine it was very difficult for him. I really hope you can sort things out but totally understand how hard it can be.

        Liked by 1 person

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