Friday, April 6, 2012

When Co-Parenting Fails...


This week I was over on The Young Mommy Life talking about lessons that I've learned thus far in my 20's and how I'm applying them to my life. (If you haven't checked it out, feel free to do so.) One of the things that I spoke about is not co-parenting with Aiden's other parent. That's when I started receiving the messages about the benefits of children having both parents (like I don't know this already...)

When Aiden's other parent and I broke up, in my mind, I thought I was going to be the poster mom for "How to Make Co-parenting Work." I thought that I'd compose these amazingly inspiring posts that'll include tips on getting along with your ex, coordinating schedules so that the child can see and spend time with both parents, effectively communicate... the works. 

If you've been reading this blog, you know that no such posts have been written. Hopefully, though, you still get the inspiring posts. Hopefully. 

The thing is, Aiden's other parent and I are not co-parents. We don't coordinate anything and I make the decisions that have to do with all things Aiden. Co-parenting means when two parents work cooperatively. Simply put: that ain't us.

When I asked him to move out, he made the decision not to be around for Aiden's third birthday party (although he was invited). He made the decision not be around for holidays (although I tried to encourage him to visit). He made the decision not to clear his schedule on the days we agreed would be his days to take Aiden (although I gave him tips on child-friendly places he could take Aiden).

I'm not trying to make him look bad or make myself look good. I try not to write about him or our situation unless I can do so gracefully and with a clear mind. I'm simply stating facts. And simply put: I take care of Aiden. Without him. He hasn't been in Aiden's life at all for the past few months and before that (after we broke up), the time he spent with Aiden was few and far between. I'm okay with that now. I've made peace with the situation.

But then again, he's not my father. And so, I'm putting things in place so that Aiden will be able to deal with this loss or void (or whatever you'd want to call it) in an effective way. 

Co-parenting may be ideal, but when co-parenting fails, the only thing I can do is make peace with the situation, move forward, and teach Aiden that life is about making the best of what you have.

Aiden will have a good life. I will make sure of it. Heck, he already has a full and happy life. At 4-1/2-years-old the kid has traveled to several countries and states and learned about life outside of NYC. In NYC, his schedule is filled with joyous and enriching activities. In the fall, he'll be going to a great prep school that'll help shape him into a socially competent and model citizen. He's destined for greatness. And I'll be damned if I let someone come in and shit all over it. Simply put: he's my baby and it ain't going down like that. Rest your understanding on that. 

Oh, and Happy Easter!


17 comments:

  1. "I'm not trying to make him look bad or make myself look good. I try not to write about him or our situation unless I can do so gracefully and with a clear mind", you say.

    I think you're doing a pretty good job. It's what I try to do when I write about my ex, about when he loses his mind because I slept with another man. It's not always easy to come across as neutral, or graceful as you so adequately put, because he is simply the one making himself look bad, and there's really not much I can do about that. Of course I could choose not to write about it but I wouldn't be me if I kept it to myself and did not write about my experiences with men, whether good or bad.

    Anyway, as I said, I think you're doing a pretty good job. Even a post in which you described what he did to you, like strangling you, you managed to tell it in a way that was... well... graceful.

    As for Aiden, although I don't have children of my own there is this girl I know very well who got pregnant unplanned. The father of the child broke up with her not long after. At first he made an effort to see his child, and he was welcome, but as time passed he stopped calling or visiting and in the end he disappeared all together. Now the child is being raised by the girl and her loving family, and he is living a rich and full life just like Aiden, and he is doing pretty well in school and life in general. Without playing the blame game, I think you've tried your best to engage Aiden's father in parenthood and you can't do much about it if he doesn't want to. What I'm trying to say is that it's not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the child has other people who love him and take care of him and raise him the best they can. Just like that girl's child.

    Anyway, happy Easter! :)

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    Replies
    1. Sabrina... thanks so much for those kind words! I completely understand where you're coming from because you try to simply state what was/what happened and THEIR actions make them look one way or another. So... I "get it." I totally agree with you -- if he's choosing not to engage in parenthood, his loss. Aiden will have people surrounding him who love and look out for him, and that's the next best thing.

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  2. Sigh. I grew up in a situation where because my mother did not want to be with my dad, he decided he did not want to be in our lives. I'm 33 and have not seen my father since I was 3 years old and that was passing him in the street by accident. I am told I saw him more when I was under 1 years old... he came by with gifts but then it just stopped. It breaks my heart that the relationship between two adults affects the relationship with an adult and their child. I always resented my father and now... that I am a mother I just don't UNDERSTAND him. How do you not want to be part of the life of a person you had a hand in creating. I want to have EVERYTHING to do with my daughter come hell or high water.
    My mother did not compromise herself to be with him for my sake and she did not force co-parenting on him since he didn't want it. She did her thing and was the best mother she could be. Not to toot my own horn (actually I am tooting my mothers) but now I stand, lawyer, business owner, mother and I say ... she did a damn good job.

    HAPPY EASTER

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    Replies
    1. Ummm... hell yeah she did. You should be proud of her. And she should be proud of you! Hugs all around!

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  3. Girl, i feel u. All you have ever done is tell the truth on your blog, and try to be as objective and gracious as you possibly can. If anything is making ole' boy look bad, it's not anything you've written about him. It's his actions.
    When i've met Aiden in person and look at him in his pictures, he is smiling and laughing and obviously happy and well-adjusted. And that is all that matters.

    xoxo

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  4. Girl you are so strong! That's all you can do..be the WONDERFUL parent you are to Aiden and move on..It's the other parent's loss...

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  5. I'm glad you've made peace with it because that's all you can do to move on and do what's best for your son. If he doesn't want to be a part of his own flesh and blood's life, that is truly his loss. Yes, your son may feel some loss, too, of wondering where his father is, but at least he knows he can depend on YOU and YOU will always be there for him!

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  6. I think u handled this post with grace and as objectively as you could.the way Aiden's absentee father is reminds me ALOT of Liam's father.It is just disgusting! I don't care what happens,I can never go a day without seeing, talking or being near my son. Sometimes us mommies are the only ones willing to be there through it all for our little ones. my job is one I take seriously. Be blessed and happy Easter.

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  7. You are definitely a mama lion and Aiden is one lucky dude to have such a strong mama!

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  8. You're amazing MAMA, I look up to that! And I'm glad we both have Aiden's ;)

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  9. Really like your blog!
    A wonderful post!

    Have you got an account in instagram?
    If yes, write me your name!

    ReplyDelete
  10. i know it's trite, but it really is true that saying that families come in all different shapes and sizes, and you and aiden are perfectly perfect as your family of two.

    happy easter!

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  11. OMG Alicia GET OUT OF MY LIFE THIS WEEK!!! I'm making some decisions as we speak *blog* that touch on almost ALL your points. I think you've handled it well and Aiden is thriving so score for womanhood AND mommyhood, THEY ARE OUR BABIES AND IT'S NOT GOING DOWN LIKE THAT!!

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  12. I must say where do I begin?? I don't know exactly where I was when I came across your blog, but I thank God for placing you and your website in my path. I can't tell you how much I have come to find myself visiting your blog more often than not. I have found myself in my twenties a married mom of one child in my twenties, to a a married mom, solo parent in my thirties as I am not a mom to two girls, while separated from my husband. In limbo, figuring out just what to do and how to do it, and how I need to begin the process of starting my life all over again, this time with children in tow.

    Alicia, I must say, take it one day at a time, do your best and let God take care of the rest. I know He's got your back, He's got you covered, I'm sure of that.

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