BITTERSWEET CO-PARENTING TRUTHS

It’s something I could never have prepared for, a family dynamic I never imagined would be mine. A constant contrast between love and hate – forever searching for the middle ground. I’ve found it to be one of the hardest things I’ve experienced to date. I know some people who co-parent are best-friends say it wasn’t without it’s battles, it’s a struggle, it’s a process and an ongoing challenge. Becoming best friends from a state thought of as irreparable is undoubtedly a process, a process I’m regularly questioning the reality of.

I promised to always put my daughter first but at times, hurt and anger control what happens, making me see red and wishing he never had a place in my world. But all it takes is one look into her eyes and I’m reminded she needs her daddy in her life; It’s her right and not even mummy has the right to decide. Though, it’s far from simple being able to detach my pain from their soul tie and let them forge their own bond without our mess in the way. And though at times it may burn to remember what he’s done to me, I know in my heart and soul that she is his world and he loves her deeply.

We have had our moments of success, communicating and engaging positively. Spending time as a family embracing our new circumstance, appreciating each-other for what we essentially gave each-other – everlasting true love. But it never took us long to crash and burn time and time again leaving us back at square one. Breaking boundaries was our first fuck up, God knows why we kept finding our bodies wrapped around each-other. Half convenience half whatever love was left over are the only things I can think of. However, Co-parenting with benefits is simply non-existent, it just maximises the complications. 

Instead of stabilising the foundation we had left in order to co-parent, our resentment for one another took away the focus from what was truly important, each time becoming more detrimental. Those moments of stress have been so debilitating it’s made me sick, leaving me physically and mentally out of sync, triggering my UC (Ulcerative Colitis) to flare up. Through the midst of it all I’ve lost my sanity, each and every time taking me months to find my feet again and feel peace within. The thought of us not amending our relationship out of the love we have for our Myla will forever be a missing piece to my puzzle.

I’ve found it’s all too easy pointing fingers, passing blame and remembering the darker days. Why is it easier to drown in the pain and hold onto the anger?! The urge to spite them back and be level has done more damage than good. Energy wasted on proving what they have or haven’t done. Hours trying to understand the reasoning behind their actions, to end up with an endless list that does nothing but wind you up. Days spent reminding myself that I’m the better parent and he’s just part time so could never be my equal. Meaningless emails sent hoping they’ll for once see your perspective. Focused on their every flaw that made me hate them. Part of me may hate to admit this but this way of living hasn’t freed my soul, instead has made me a prisoner and kept me from my freedom.

The reality is everyone’s at a loss. A child needs both their parents, they lose out when the adults act like children. Our innocent babies, left on the back bench compromising a healthy development – I’m stressed but she’s the one that suffers. It’s a sense of security and safety that allows a child to thrive, but growing without unity between the parents doesn’t give such reassurance. It’s easier said than done putting your issues aside and coming together as the family you are, but part of giving them a childhood they don’t need to recover from is making sacrifices and putting them first. So, as long as her father remains an active part of her life and I’m confident she’s safe in his hands and loved unconditionally, I could be hurting and mad by everything his done, but not even I can come between them.

Whether her father and I find peace and the strength to reconstruct our friendship at least, or not, I’ll never be ashamed to tell my baby how much I once loved her father and she was meant to be. And just because we didn’t work out doesn’t mean we love her any less, Mummy and Daddy will forever love you like no other. We may not always see eye to eye but never question if it’s you, you’ll never be the reason or responsible for the obstacles we face. And last but not least, I’m an imperfect being so I’ll ask for forgiveness when I’ve not stuck to my word and acted on emotion. I still have my picture framed – happy, pregnant and in love with her dad, it’s up in our room so she never forgets where she came from: Love. For as long as I live, I’ll make sure she always remembers she never has to jump ship or pick a side because regardless of our history, we’re all soul tied.

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