O is for Other parents.
Here is the quick rundown of how our family is indeed a family.
Mr. Sexy had Marie with his first wife who is no longer around which gives us full custody (it’s a long and never ending story).
I had Michael with my college boyfriend and we currently split custody down the middle. He is married to his high school sweetheart and they have one child together.
Denai is the product of Mr. Sexy and I. Nuff said.
There are lots and lots of Other parents we get to deal with.
Michael’s dad and step-mom: It’s really hard to co-parent when the “co” in the relationship feels nonexistent. Michael’s dad is a good guy but he lacks when it comes to communicating. At least with me. When I send him a text message I expect a response at some point, particularly when I’m asking a question. Days will go by with nada from him. He rarely answers my phone calls, much less calls me back. The four of us have been able to sit down together at a restaurant which is an amazing feat for anybody in this situation. We talk about Michael and brainstorm on how we can parent as similarly as possible. Then later I get a text that says they think our ideas were no good. It’s frustrating when someone says one thing to your face then seems to change their mind the minute you walk out the door. This may not happen every time we get together but it happens often enough so that it feels like it happens every time.
I don’t know much about Michael’s step-mom. Her and I are actually a lot alike which is comical. We are both blondes and could be considered a bit bitchy and have aggressive personalities. Interestingly, however, she tends to take a step back in the parenting arena with Michael. At least that’s how it appears when I’m in the room. Who knows what happens at home. On one hand it’s nice that she doesn’t have an overstated opinion since it’s a tense situation. On the other hand I wish she would have an opinion because frankly, she is his parent as much as the rest of us. Michael calls her “mom” even. At least I think he does. So she better damn well have an opinion about how to handle his tantrums and crappy attitude because she is in an important person in his life!
Grandparents: Mr. Sexy’s family lives a two-day drive away and we are hoping to visit this summer (fingers crossed)! We just moved away from my family but only by about an hour’s drive. Grandparents have a very important role in the lives’ of our kids although I do believe they should be the instigators. With everything happening at home I can hardly remember where I put my keys let alone worrying about whether the grandparents have called that week or not.
Then we have the friends or strangers who see it as their duty to parent kids that aren’t there own. If they were babysitting or something, well of course they get to make those judgements. But otherwise this type of “parenting” ruffles my feathers just a bit. And sometimes a lot. It’s a fine line to walk – especially with friends. When do you say something – if you bring it up at all? How do you mention it without sounding rude or making it uncomfortable? And then after the conversation, that friend has to figure out where the line is drawn on this topic. Of course if somebody sees my kid running with scissors or playing with a lighter I want ANYONE to stop this. Other than that, however, the line seems very thin and easy to cross over. I’m very flippity-floppity on the subject.
So, these are my experiences and thoughts on a few types of other parents.
What are your experiences with other parents? Was it welcomed or just a pain in the ass? There is no judgement here!