It’s an option that isn’t for everyone, but for me it has worked out well.
I am mother to a son who is now 17 years old, and for his whole life I have co-parented with his father. The truth is my son was not planned, and I was young when I became a mother, but he was, is and always will be my greatest achievement in life.
I feel very fortunate that myself and my sons father have always got on well, and we both always work towards doing the best, or making decisions that are in the best interests of our son.
That doesn’t mean that we have agreed on everything, because we haven’t, but as there is no animosity or hostility we are able to come to a conclusion that doesn’t affect the well-being of our son.
My son and his father are very close, and speak to each other most days, in addition to my son staying with him at least one weekend a month (this used to be every other weekend when he was younger, but now he does his own thing!).
Co-parenting has been positive for my son and a positive experience for us as parents.
I believe us being in a romantic relationship could have ended in a negative situation for us and for my son as far as his parents are concerned. As myself and my sons father have remained friends while co-parenting our son, maintaining a positive relationship was easy.
There have occasionally been issues from outside parties, but I didn’t allow them to phase me or get in the way of the positive relationship and friendship that we had and still continue to have, despite our son nearly being an adult. Newcomers have had to deal with the fact that myself and my son were part of his life and were not going anywhere. I think some would have preferred us to be at each other’s throats; I suppose at least then they would know where he stood with me, and not be ‘confused’ by our friendship.
I also have a close friendship with my son’s paternal grandmother. I see her as my 2nd mother, and she calls me her daughter. This I believe has contributed to our success as well, as we have had support from both of our families.
Some people do not understand our situation, relationship, friendship, co-parenting – whatever you want to call it. I think some believe there is more to it than meets the eye – but it is what it is. 2 people who have a child together, who both parent that child and get along. Some see it as strange, but on the whole it has been positive.
I feel very fortunate to be in a positive co-parenting situation, as I could have easily been in a situation where I was a single parent, or in a negative relationship with my sons father, which would have been far harder to deal with for all involved.
Parenting is a hard task and there is no manual to tell you what to do. Communication is important to support the relationship in order for it to work well, communicate about how you feel or if you have any issues with anything. It’s always better to be honest. It may create a disagreement, but try to remain focused on what’s best for the child.
Our sons opinion:
I love the relationship that my parents have, as I get to see both of them equally, and they get on very well.
I feel very fortunate that it’s happened this way, as my parents can talk and be civil towards each other, even when it does not concern me.
I hope my parent’s relationship continues to remain positive as I get older and possibly go on have my own family in the future.
The post writer wishes to remain anonymous2