Someone is petty. No, seriously someone is petty, bitter, irrational or still in the relationship. Co-Parenting is not designed to be easy, to be frank, it was not the initial intent behind procreation. We were supposed to wait until we found our spouse and be fruitful. Nevertheless, we all have fallen short in the eyes of sin and it landed us here. (Well, landed me here to share with you what I have learned as a result of falling short in that department). Even for those who are married, the idea of forever (or at least until the kids are out of high school, if it's that bad) was the plan however, things happened so, yes, you landed in this same pot as me.
Let's Talk About This.
Once the relationship has dissipated, BOTH parties make a decision to move on and curate a co-parenting relationship that is not only healthy but convenient. BOOM there it is, CONVENIENCE that's the word that catches us up every time. We seek the path that gives us the convenience of the circumstances instead of a path that is fitting for our TRUE REALITY. In actuality guys, this is really about the children, it's not about us. This is where our first mistake slithers through the cracks creating a vine with many thorns.
We have ultimately compromised convenience, long before the issues rise to the surface like stubborn teenage acne. When we become parents, no matter what the situation is, we have significantly compromised the novelty of convenience and it is traded for, what's in the best interest of the child. Now, the caveat here is, of course we know mothers and fathers have to have a sense of identity and a life outside of the children but sticking with the context here, our footloose and fancy free life of all things that are in the best interest of ourselves has taken a rain check.
I am going to start this off with a big LOL because there is always one person or both parties that does an extraordinarily great job in the Petty Payments Department. Pettiness is the fruit of a broken and hurt soul/spirit. Your love card has been cancelled, your tears have declined so now, the hurt from brokenness has presented itself in the form of petty behaviors or tendencies. Now, we all have a little bit of Petty in us. Its natural! We will exemplify it with a spouse or at the office, it has nothing to do with intimacy but more so, how we behave in interpersonal relationships.
Don’t allow your petty actions to have the upperhand because eventually, it exposes your immaturity and it can lead to MORE things. Reflecting back, one time, I was soooo petty, I placed the babys tub on trunk of my daughters father's car and dropped her off to his mom. Hi! My name is Ericka and I displayed LACK OF MATURITY. I was clearly working at the Petty Parlor! Combat your behavior with keeping things simple. Don’t indulge in petty behaviors because it constantly adds strain to the situation, you NEVER get things accomplished.
Oh, You're Bitter, Bitter
One of you have displayed bitterness. In most cases, it's naturally the person that didn’t want the relationship to end or the one that has been broken down the most in the relationship. Despite your bitterness, you have to create a sense of peace with the situation. Your bitterness can be causing your child to display unfavorable behaviors at school and signs of unhappiness or sadness in the home. Your child deserves to see you and their other parent happy and thriving. Witnessing bitter behaviors can ultimately compromise your child's relationship with their other parent and that's not the move!
When the child begins to require discipline from both parents, your bitter characteristics may have rubbed off on the child's perception of the other parent. This in turn may have caused a level of disrespect that will backfire on the both of you. PLEASE conceal your bitter behavior. It's not worth it.
So, I guess you are not one for coming up with any solutions and you're criticizing every idea that is suggested. No wonder, why guys you are always at one another's throats and you STILL can’t create a schedule for drop offs and pick ups. OH YEAH, I’m taking it there. Yes, someone is not equipped to consider how to remedy anything instead, they are great with complaining.
When an individual exemplifies irrational behaviors you have a couple options...literally TWO. If you have patience you can wait until the person straightens up their act (this is where you implement what you will and will not allow and you hold that to be law and you are stern) or you involve the courts. Insert theatrical horror music here! Utilizing the rights you have through the courts is not a bad thing. It can humble both parties and create a schedule or agreement that is attainable. I’m not here to steer you in either way. I will say, you need to do what’s best for your situation. You need a solution that creates a sense of continuity and practicality. The courts may be the only MIDDLE man that makes things functional. Consider all of your options when someone isn’t rational because drama is bound to ensue.
Oh, You are still in the relationship…
This is a two fold situation. You can still be in the relationship while the other person has moved on. This basically means, you are holding on to the past. This actually could be the culprit to your bitter behavior and your irrational mentality. When you are in the relationship alone, you create an unhealthy environment for the child. It creates confusion and it prolongs your ability to move on. MOVE ON BRO. MOVE ON SIS. Remember, relationships don’t work when there is single occupancy.
On the other hand, you are still dipping. You know, the, “...neither one of us want to say goodbye” syndrome. Y’all got it BAD. You are swimming in murky waters and it leaves the children in severe limbo. It's the equivalent of teasing a dog with a juicy steak, just dangling it above their nose. Your child enjoys seeing both parents together however, you both know you will not be continuing on as a couple very soon. When you are done, its best to BE DONE. When you continue to dip, you will forever feel like you have unfinished business. It's not easy for anyone but you MUST LET GO!
Keep in mind, your goal is trying to create a co-parenting situation that works for your child and for your life, without the other person as a partner. Guys, its not working because you are not trying to take care of the business of the children, you are taking care of the business of the adults while the children are left to create their own interpretations of it all. Your co-parenting situation is teamwork. It's like being stuck in a group project with a classmate you don’t like. But guess what? You have to get the assignment done. Parenting is an assignment.
LETS ADDRESS THE EXTREME
The extreme is an individual that seems to be suffering from mental illness and has no concept of being a parent or even an adult for that matter. I am sure you may have gathered that you must count your losses and find ways to approach the situation with your child, in a way they understand. Therapy may be an option. Some people are simply lousy parents. Don’t waste your time. Don’t crucify yourself either. I am a product of having an absent father. I'm doing okay. Not perfect, but i'm surviving.
Create a Co-Parenting situation that’s healthy
Look, you don’t have to have a situation like my daughter’s father and I. TRUST ME, it takes time and its not what's needed to make your situation work seamlessly. However, you have to be ready to compromise guys. Its your new normal! Follow my acronym C.O.R.E. Cohesiveness, Optimistic, Respectful and Effort. It’s been proven and it's a no brainer that if the parent(s) aren’t happy or in a place of comfort, then they can’t parent at their optimum level. As parents we desire to do our best and give our children a childhood that was even better than ours. It will NOT BE PERFECT, no more than a marriage will never be perfect however, it can work. Put your pride and emotions to the side and get the job done. Believe me it gives you more time to date and find the love of your life...or spend time with that fine specimen in your life.