As a follow up to my recent Inspirational U panel experience, I’ve decided to write a full post. I’ve dithered about it for ages but always decided against it (for various reasons), but I figure as I’ve briefly “broken the silence” on a panel which means I've finally won the internal battle with myself I may as well write it all down.
They say people come into our lives for a reason or a season... And mini-me's Dad is one of those people, I know that even though we're no longer a couple he's here to stay. And not just in the "we have a child together so we can be amicable" way but as a friend, supporter, confidante and occasional pain in the arse, I’m sure he’d say the same about me...
When we separated we both decided that we didn’t want our daughter to have a part time parent and have done everything we can to ensure that hasn’t been the case.
It hasn’t always been easy especially in the early days where emotions from a break up can lead to anger and resentment, but we always put her needs first and did the best we could to get over ourselves, eventually settling into the rhythm that we have today.
We do parent things together, we do parent things individually and we do family things together. We spend Christmas together there's no "your place this year and my place next". We decide what to do for her birthday and do it together. If his family have an event we all go, if my family have an event we all go. We share the school run, afterschool activities, weekends, dinners, cinema trips, sleepovers. She spends a few days a week with me and a few days with him, we’re both pretty flexible and we’ll work it out dependant on our schedules. Her friends and cousins spend as much time with him as they do with me, for us and our inner circle it’s normal. Her Dad is her family, making him mine and my family’s family, which in turn makes me his family’s, family, family’s, family, family fairy (I’ve confused myself, but you get it) LOL!
We are so very amicable people are never sure if we’re together or not, which unfortunately isn’t ever a hit with potential new partners. Most people don't get it, I've stopped trying to explain, parents with an amicable relationship are seen as an anomaly and unfortunately even a threat to some. They're used to angst and arguments and hard feelings and anger, they know how to deal with that. Don't get me wrong it isn't always all sweetness and light but generally our main focus is making decisions that work for us and the little girl that we chose to bring into the world.
Someone who doesn’t understand how important it is for our daughter to have 2 present and amicable parents isn’t someone that either of us wants in our lives or her life. Questions such as “but why did you ALL have to go to the cinema? Why couldn’t you take her by yourself?” Or “why do you need to spend Christmas with his/her family?” are like red flags to be honest. Why shouldn’t she spend Christmas with both her parents if it’s possible?
It works for us and it definitely works for her. As friends we're good. Mostly. 97.999% of the time. LOL. And as Parents we’re bloody amazing! We're honest with each other and sometimes feelings get hurt and sometimes someone needs a timeout for a few days (usually me). But during that 97.999%, we support each other, critique each other and annoy the shit out of each other, but mostly we are #parentingtheshitoutoflife and raising an amazing daughter.
It's unconventional and it isn't for everyone but we have a happy well rounded little girl, who gets to spend time with both her parents whenever and however the hell she likes!