Our Co-Parenting Reality
Who tells you what to do?
I wanted to write this post when I first started my blog in January. I am so glad that I didn’t. My feelings even 6 months ago were totally different to what they are now. It does get easier and it does find its own course.
Like most people in this situation I never wanted to bring Ottilie up in a Co-Parenting environment. However life takes its own course and you just have to make the best of the hand your dealt. When Myself and Ottilies Dad first separated I remember feeling totally overwhelmed with the situation. Having no clue where to start with the co-parenting arrangements. I read hundreds of blogs and forums and rang numerous ‘helplines’ to get some advice.
I found all to be so contradictory and only make it harder for me to understand. At the beginning Ottilies dad put a lot of pressure to see her and the more he asked the more anxious about it all I felt. I would wake up nightly in a sweat after having another nightmare about him kidnapping her on one of his visits. I know looking back it seems totally crazy to have even thought that but at the time It was all I could think.
As Ottilie wasn’t much older then 6 months when we decided to start the co-parenting she was still totally dependant on her Mum. I cannot tell you how relieved I was that Ottilie stayed so strong during her time away from me..
It took a good few months to find a routine that worked for all three of us, Ottilie, Her dad and Myself. A lot of people gave advice but none of it seemed to work. We decided to ‘Wing it’ and make arrangements week to week.
Letting the Storm calm…
For us the week to week arrangements worked the best. As Ottilie was still so little we had to create a schedule that fitted around her ever changing routine. Agreeing to set days/times weekly also didn’t work for her dads shift work. Our priority was to ensure that Ottilie didn’t have much time in the car or missing naps. Having this as a common goal helped us to not only create a easy changeover for Ottilie from Mum to Dad but to also give Mum&Dad a chance to put our differences aside and concentrate only on Ottilie and her needs.
Some weeks people would ask how it was going and I could tell them how brilliantly it was working. Other weeks I would be asked the same question and just end up crying. The truth is I found it incredibly difficult not to let my emotions and anger get in the way of a easy co-parenting routine.
Its all about her
I still shed a tear almost a year later every time I drop her off to her Dad. It may seem dramatic to some but for me I am leaving part of my heart every time. I know she has a lovely time and its good for her to maintain that contact with him. They see each other twice a week, times and days depend on our schedule and his. Sometimes we plan further ahead depending on special occasions like birthdays or holidays.
I would advise anyone in the same situation to go with your gut and do whats best for the child/children and not what is ‘advised’ by people on the end of a phone.