Co-Parenting Sucks ... I Quit!
I’ve come to the unfortunate realization that co-parenting is an abstract notion, a fanciful dream and quite frankly, in my case, a waste of time. And I'm not just saying that because my ex is a jerk...well, actually maybe I am. But it is really hard to co-parent when two people are not on the same page--ergo the divorce. Duh!
The whole premise of co-parenting requires two mature people working toward a common goal. And let's face it, if one or both of you had that level of emotional intelligence you probably wouldn't be divorced or otherwise not together.
The other problem with the concept of co-parenting is that it assumes that both parents are equally good at parenting and deserve an equal say, and a full "co" in the parenting. But let’s face it that’s just not always true. And I’m not downing Dads, because I know several situations (even in my own family) where the father does a much better parenting job than mom. And that’s exactly my point. Instead of a unrealistic assumption that both parents deserve equal parenting time, parenting post-divorce should be a meritocracy—you get what you deserve.
I mean, in my case, my ex-husband is great at recreation and entertainment. He’s a big kid and my children love that. But they shouldn’t be subjected to unhealthy meals (read the SPAM post), and little to no regard for their cultural exposure, school issues or general health because of it.
Ergo, he deserves play time. I don’t think that requires all weekend.
Lately, I’ve been having those “how did I ever marry him” moments as it relates to the children. The problem is, I’ve been holding on to this fantasy of an idealistic co-parenting relationship—where he actually puts the children ahead of his own convenience. I had a co-parenting dream that one day me and my partner (working on that) and the ex and his girlfriend would all sit down for a family dinner, and my children would see their full support network and everyone would get along and have BBQs and parties together. The end.
I’ve offered to arrange the dinner for the sake of the children, but he hasn't agreed yet. In fact, he pretty much won’t agree to anything I suggest that's in the best interest of the kids.
So I’m giving up. When we first separated, I would send him a detailed monthly calendar with school functions, doctor appointments, important dates and other kid info. I would mail him a copy and email it to him. Yes, I was an enabler, thankyouverymuch. Until, he had the nerve to ask me to also fax it!!
Five years later, I’m still trying to include him on all the decisions even though legally I have full decision-making power and he’s 3,000 miles away.
Last week, after another ridiculous argument, I quit. It is no longer my job to make you or help you be an involved parent. My job is to raise my beautiful babies as best I can.
I’m taking the co out of my co-parenting, and I dare you to make me put it back.
Does co-parenting suck or score for you?