Lifestyle Parenting

5 GOOD Things About Joint Child Custody and Co-Parenting

Everyone talks about how terrible divorce is, how hard it is on the kids, and how much it sucks to split child custody.

 

african american mixed cute kids

 

It’s true, splitting custody with another parent is tough. As I begin to wrap my head around this whole no-longer-married-live-alone-share-kids life that i’m living, I realize that there are actually a few good things to say about the whole ordeal. Sure, I would prefer living a normal family life, with a husband and kids under one roof. When there’s no other choice, take a minute to acclimate yourself and find a bright side to the storm.

 

5 Good Things About Joint Child Custody

 

1. A realistic shared parenting experience – Normally, one would think that a married couple, with children, or a dual-parent household, would be helpful with splitting responsibilities and running it together. Two is always better than one, right? Well, in my case, there was only one person who did the day to day. I’m talking cooking, vacuuming, mopping, laundry, grocery shopping, repairs/maintenance, purchasing of clothing and shoes, finances, carting of kids to/from school, practices, events, bathing of kids, bed time stories, putting kids to bed, all other child rearing duties from infant on up, and whatever I left out (phew!). I can firmly say that I took care of 80% of it. I’d get home from work, which, by the way, was inhabited by 1.5 adults all day long (one was my mother in law, the other half was my husband, he worked part time from home), and still have every single duty to take care of. While before, most of it was considered my responsibility, now I can say, “you figure it out”.

2. Closer, more meaningful interactions – Now that I have less time with my kids, I make sure to be 100% involved and present when they’re with me. I miss them so much after not having them with me for a week, so I am all in. I put my work aside, set my phone down, and make myself fully available. We have playing at the park until the sun goes down, taking nature walks outside, reading, playing games, making bracelets on the Rainbow Loom, and taking short family trips, Disneyland was the most recent. Quality time with my children is priceless.

3. My child-rearing temper has chilled – There are so many times where I have been close to losing it, blowing up, exploding, you know that deal. When I was stressed in my marriage, everything was a trigger. Unfortunately, it would trickle down to the kids, where if I had to ask them to do something more than once, all hell would break loose. I’d go off on them, yell my lungs out, and feel like there were fumes coming from my ears. I’d catch myself, and feel oh so terrible about it. Now, my patience has been restored. None of the little crap bothers me. Spilled something? Oops, let’s clean it up. Didn’t listen to me the first five or so times? Still not ok, but there are no fumes.

4. A little ME time – Taking time to do something for myself was very far, few and between, until now. I had two jobs, two kids, a husband and a household to manage, it was a lot of work! Now that I have a smaller home and two kids, but only serve as a part-time mom, I have more time to figure out what I want to do for myself. I’m still busy, don’t get me wrong, but it does take a load off. It feels good to have a night where I don’t have to quickly get dinner on the table, the kids bathed, homework done, and off to bed, before I can actually breathe. I can watch tv. I can reinvent my social life.

5. Everyone is generally HAPPY – No more arguments, no more split family trips. No more bad vibes. Instead of the unhappiness, instead of trying to keep the family together for the sake of, what I thought was, a complete household, we’re now full of positive. The negativity has been released and we are all set free! A weight is lifted off of my shoulders, the dark feeling I had inside is beginning to subside. My kids enjoy seeing both mom and dad, it’s becoming a known routine. And were HAPPY with it. *cue Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ song*

 

Kids wearing Carter's Christmas Winter Pajamas

 

I am so happy that I am able to continue a strong relationship with both of my kids. I I also think that it helps the relationship I have with their father, we are forced to communicate no matter what. Holidays will be another story, hope all goes well. Thank goodness for silver linings.

 

How do you deal with joint child custody?

 

9 Comments

  • I love it. I am happy that you are copping so quickly. It gets better with time. Me and my sons father are now able to take vacation time when needed even if it is my week or hi week. Just a advance notice and we usually can adjust our schedules. Stress can lead to. Many things…anger, frustration, sickeness nd much more. At the end of the day we all strive for the best stress free lifeas possible. I wish you the best i cant wait totto read an article on dating. 🙂

  • What a BEAUTIFUL post! You have listed the positive perfectly. I think sometimes people stay together for the “family unit” (as you mentioned), but honestly having parents happy, whether together or apart, reflects on the kids.

    I am so happy that you have found happiness now 🙂

  • I love your post. My husband and I have been together 14 and married 11 years. This past February we decided the best think for him to do was get his own place. I was there through the whole process. From signing the lease to buying the new furniture. Our daughters do not seem to be affected by the change, which is great. My husband is military so they are use to his absence. However the first thought of the change worried me. But I feel a lot more at ease. Like you Deanna, I do and did everything all day long. From waking up to not going to bed till 12 am. He is very financially supportive of us, so that is a blessing. We just needed our space and hopefully things will work out. We are not divorced, but separated. I love reading your post because sometimes you think your the only one going thru it, when in reality your not, millions of others are !! Best of luck to you !

  • My son is for 4…my sons father and I broke up after 6 years when he was 1. I have been through many stages of emotions through co parenting. What I realized is now a lot of the emotion of the situation is gone. Now it’s all selfless and what’s best for our son which is a relief. Every thing you said is what I love and appreciate about co-parenting, that and not having someone crawl in my bed in the middle of the night lol….my sons father has been in a relationship now for 7 months and she has a daughter my sons age. What I struggle with now is them creating memories that I am not a part of him. Even his father might take him to see something or do something I wanted to do and it’s hard to expect that they have a life together that you are no longer apart of. As long as you continue to put the children first the holidays will run more smoothly. Just always remind yourself even when they aren’t with you there is no one else in the world they would want to call mommy, and the same for daddy. It will be a consistent battle BELIEVE ME, but there are also a lot of moments of peace and acceptance.

  • You are certainly taking the right approach and it will be noticed by your ex as well and especially the kids! Good luck Deanna, hope to see you again real soon!

  • I completely agree!!!

    Yes, I’d rather have a traditional family life, but you have to look at the good in every situation.

    There are benefits… and another one I’ve found is that you can demonstrate to your children how you can still work together and get along enough to co-parent. I think it’s a good way to show kids conflict resolution in action.

  • Deanna, Well said. Hubby and I don’t have children, but I clearly understand what your struggles and challenges were/are because you articulate your thoughts and emotions clearly and concisely. Taking pen to paper is not easy, but you do so very well. You’re on track to becoming the person and mommy you were meant to be. As Tavis Smiley says each evening “And, As Always, Keep the Faith”.

    Hugs,
    Bertha

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