Co-parenting and Expectations
"A father is only capable of giving what he has, and what he knows. A good father gives all of himself that is good." — Vincent Carrella.
The statement above goes for men and woman, I hear parents talking about their ex-spouses stating, "that they aren't stepping up to the plate."
Stop for one-second ~ have you thought that maybe this IS their best ~ let that sink in.
What they are offering is all they have, expecting more or something different only sets them up to fail, upsets your children and frustrates you. Accept them for who they are, what they are offering is the best it's going to get. Once you've acknowledged and accepted this fact, life will become a lot easier and you'll have a better understanding of how to handle certain moments.
Our culture is hung up on "being a good mom/dad", but really a great mom/dad knows what the other parent is capable of delivering and in doing so they are creating an ethereal balance. Parents have the ability to sacrifice, love, show understanding, parents who listen to their children's needs and wants will be able to successfully co-parent.
As parents, it's important to set one another up for success even if that means the other parents isn't delivering to your expectations. You have to remember it is your expectations that are being let down, not the child. If the situation is dire, there's constant schedule fluctuations, something that is shaking the structure of the family unit, communicate with your ex. Email or call them, don't text, texting shouldn't be done for important matters, have a conversation with you co-parent. Ask them how you can help, what basic necessities need to be met, communicate, it's for the sake of your child and it's in the best interest of the children. Just because your ex-was a horrible partner doesn't make them a terrible parent. Don't mistake what I'm saying and try to deal with a narcissistic ex, you won't get anywhere and they will never have an open and truthful dialogue with you. I'm talking about a well-rounded individual who is logical and rational.
Co-parenting takes time, it won't happen overnight but if you both work towards the same goal then it can be accomplished. Treat one another with respect, you are the child's parents, your children are one-half of you and your ex. Co-parenting is so much more than parenting a child together. It's a mutual understanding between two adults that you've agreed to be civil towards one another, you will not feel threatened by the other parent's actions or words, knowing that communication is vital and most importantly the bond that holds you two together is the love of your children. I didn't say the love for one another, I said the love of a child. This is the foundation of healthy co-parenting and most importantly you're dealing with an ex-partner that has a healthy mind who isn't easily swayed, this can make or break a co-parenting relationship. Remember this one golden rule, "love your child more than you hate your ex." If you can achieve this, you've overcome half the battle.