Why a great co-parenting arrangement is beneficial to everyone involved
8 January 2012
Today I would like to explore why having a great co-parenting arrangement in place is so important and beneficial to everyone involved.
I often wonder how could some relationships turn to total warfare between parents. We start out as loving each other and liking things about each other. We go out of our way to make the other person happy, we have children together ….. and then something goes wrong. We fall out of love. What was once love turns to hate, what was once doing something for the other turns to obstruction in every possible way and everyone gets hurt in the process. It does not need to be that way if we just stop and think about it long enough.
If you “drop the rope” there is no warfare
My ex once said to me “drop the rope”. It took me a while to fully comprehend what it really meant. Basically it refers to the game of tug of war which is a sport that directly pits two teams against each other in a test of strength. In this context, if one partner “drops the rope” then the other partner has no-one to fight with.
I stopped long enough to realise that he hasn’t really changed who he was when we first met, nor have I changed – we just became embittered by what was no more.
I slowly learned to “drop the rope” and by doing so I felt much happier within myself which in turn of course benefitted Little Miss M. I was always careful not to let my disappointment, anger or fear out on her and once I completely embraced the idea the overall mood improved dramatically. So then, once I managed to accept the break-up of our relationship, I was able to discuss co-parenting arrangements amicably and quickly realised that sharing Little Miss M on an even basis gives us time to “recharge your batteries” – so to speak.
In fact the benefits are tremendous. Some are pretty obvious benefits such as:
- she still gets to see her mum and her dad regularly;
- there is no, or very little tension around her and in her world all she sees is that her mum and her dad love her very much;
- we get time out without having to feel guilty or selfish;
- there is still flexibility within the arrangement;
- it allows us to date other people without having to involve our child or anyone else too soon;
- you get to sleep in once in a while! (not easy with Miss M waking up at 5:30am most days).
The less obvious benefit and possibly a very underrated one at that is:
- our child(ren) learn different things from both of us; or the same thing in a different way, expanding their horizon;
- they are more balanced and the observed behaviour is one that is amicable.
I fully realise that not everybody is able to come to terms with a break-up without the help of mediators but if there is one message I would like to pass on today it would simply be “drop the rope!”
… it is what it is…