ou might just be getting the swing of this co-parenting thing. Maybe you’ve figured out that it can actually be pretty great, for both you and your kids. Despite the challenges, the upsides are plentiful. Just in case you need a reminder, here are some of our favorites:
When things got tough in your prior relationship, you may have put a happy face on for your kids. Unless you’re an incredibly gifted actor, they could likely tell that your enthusiasm was forced at times. As the weight lifts, post-divorce, you rediscover happiness on your own terms. The best part: your kids get to watch. When you’ve found what makes you happy, it’s easier for them to be comfortable and happy, too. You get to be a model.
Re-imagining your role via co-parenting can be incredibly fruitful. You’re forced to think about your relationship with your child anew: how have you best connected in the past? What is the absolute best way to spend time with them in the present? Of course you’d love to be with your child full time, but a co-parenting schedule can force you to prioritize the activities that you find worthwhile. You value your time with them even more, making it easier to be “in the moment”.
Many of us saw parents or loved ones endure decades of difficult marriage, where anything but “sticking it out” was unthinkable. On the contrary, your child has the chance to see that relationships can evolve and parents can separate, for the good of all. By remaining friendly and civil with your co-parent (and using Onward to avoid any arguments about money!), you can put your child’s best interests first. They will watch you solve problems, create happiness, and learn from it.
It’s likely that a kind of a self-reinvention took place, perhaps even prior to your divorce. You began to think about the interests, outlets, hobbies, and even personality traits that make you uniquely you, yet had faded during your prior relationship. Going back to #1: divorce forces you to reassess what makes you happy. With a new co-parenting schedule, you might just have more time to chase those things once more.
During the divorce process, you likely had to draw from a well of strength you didn’t think you had. Now on the other side of it, you know what you’re capable of and are free to be more courageous about everything else in your life. Instead of feeling stuck and fearful, you’re free and fully capable of finding happiness. So go onward!