Families are unique and each environment is completely independent of the family next door, down the street, or on the other side of the world. I grew up with a single Mum who worked full time and saw my Dad about three or four times a year, I had friends who traveled and split their time 50%/50% with both parents. Each journey and chapter is completely different but if you put the core needs of the baby/child at the center of your decisions you’ll always have a happy outcome. Here at PacaPod we celebrate our differences but also appreciate it is not an easy journey but one that we must talk about, we have rounded up a few suggestions that we thought you might find helpful if you are new to co-parenting or a few years in, if you have your own stories please do share them with us and our community.
Communication can be extremely challenging and often you can feel powerless to change the negative patterns, however, this new chapter can be a perfect time and a great example to your children. It is not an easy thing to do but try not to communicate through your child, use technology to your benefit. Try to share the positives and look for opportunities to talk about your child’s successes. To keep your communication at its most effective, consider having regular meetings to review your upcoming schedule and feelings.
There are so many milestones through a baby’s and toddler’s life. It can sometimes be difficult to share all these moments, however, if you utilize electronics to your benefit you can share these special times. You might find it easier to discuss in advance how you might like to be kept up to date about each one, it will mean when the time comes either parent is not disappointed, this is where communication comes into play yet again!
Where possible allow your children to make choices on their daily routine, for example, if there is an animal in the household where possible allow the child to choose where the pet will live and if the pet needs to travel with the toddler from location to location just allow this to happen, it won’t last forever :)
Where possible try to agree in advance how to deal with the more challenging moments in your daily routine, ie sleep routines, feeding, and when the time comes homework and ‘bad’ behaviour. It will make a big difference if you can agree on these core values in advance but try not to let it bother you if everything is not enforced as you would have done it, i.e if the kids have a different bedtime when they spend time with the other parent, let it go. It’s fine to have household rules but remember that they only apply to your household!
Keep a weekly/monthly calendar, it can be a great way to organise your schedule for the big milestones of the year, holidays, festivities e.t.c Ideally if you can use an online calendar that you can both access. Yet again use technology to your benefit, you could also use the same platform to share photos and videos of the important milestones. Also be flexible where you can, for example, if your ex always took them swimming on a weekend, it might make sense to work that into the schedule even if it means giving up some of your time with them.
Finally, remember this is new to all of you so be kind to yourself!