• Cat_writes

Divorce done well

I started this blog around a year ago, so I'm not 40 anymore. The passing of my birthday and that of my ex-husband (and my children's father) have inspired me to finally write something about the realities of life as a single parent and co-parent. That can't be done in one post but one thing I want to write about is some of the positive things we do as co-parents - I don't think enough gets shared about how life is post-divorce and how people handle the parts of life that are different to the future you had planned.

Some of this stuff, honestly, I think we do pretty well. It's kind of a weird thing to be proud of - divorce comes from a failed marriage, after all - but the truth is that you can all come out the other side happy, functional and, dare I say it, treating each other better than you did while you lived under the same roof. One thing we've always done since splitting up is plan birthday presents and cards for the other parent, with our children, to emphasise to them that we care about the other parent, and they are deserving of our attention on their birthday.

This is definitely something I think really benefits children who don't live with both parents. They get to experience the joy of planning and giving presents, and it's easier to keep everything a surprise, because the gifts can be hidden in a completely separate house! Birthdays are not a time to keep a score of wrongs, or to focus on whether or not you think your ex 'deserves' a present from you - they're a time to put the kids first and let them experience the happiness of giving to a parent they love. One day they will hopefully do this under their own steam, but until then, it's essentially up to you to facilitate. Yes, it can seem a bit ironic that you still have to think of ideas of what to buy for someone you've dated, married AND divorced, but that is co-parenting for you. You can't just kick someone out of your life once you have kids together.

Plus if you're on good enough terms with your ex to plan co-parenting arrangements to suit you both, you have a built-in baby-sitter for any celebrating you might want to do that isn't appropriate for the demographic of Paw Patrol...!

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