Co-Parenting: How is it "supposed" to work?

Michael just got picked up to go to his dad’s house after two weeks here at home.  As I soaked in the tub earlier this morning I spent some time reflecting on how different the house was about to be.  There will be less screaming from Denai because Michael won’t be constantly pushing his boundaries with her.  There will be less emotional melt downs over the word, “no.”  The stairs will be free from the sleeping bags because Michael likes to ride down the stairs.

In one word: quiet

And then I wonder what it’s like at his other house.

I never have a good answer.

Why?  Because his other parents seem to try their hardest not to talk us – much less sit anywhere near us during a t-ball game.  Yup.  They always sat the farthest away from the field and would only approach Michael if Mr. Sexy and I weren’t immediately around.  In order for Michael to say hi during his games he had to run to where they were slowly putting their chairs in the bags – waiting for him.

I have one word for them:  Losers

I know it’s unkind to name call.  I know that they are good people and love Michael.  However their avoidance of Mr. Sexy and I does not go unnoticed.

Is this normal?

I have been trying really hard to figure out how to communicate and co-parent with Michael’s other parents.  Is this just not a reality I should expect or even hope for?  Are there any sets of parents who are able to co-parent and do it well?  

All I’m really looking for is open communication and a surface friendship.

Nothing deep.  I would like to sit next to them at a sporting event and watch our girls play together.  We adults don’t even have to talk.  But Michael would see his 4 parents getting along.

I would like to have dinner or even go out for just appetizers every few months just to keep communication lines open.

For me, to keep good will towards another whom I struggle to get along with, I need to see that person, talk to that person and smile with that person.  This can’t be done through texting.  Plus, Mr. Sexy and I always find stuff to talk about relating to Michael.  So conversation with all 4 parents shouldn’t be boring.

I would like Michael’s parents to ask me about his week.

 They don’t, however.  This tells me that 1) they don’t care or 2) they don’t see his time here as real.

 I also would like an answer when I ask about his week at their house, too.  But every time I hear the same line: “He was good, had a great time, no issues.”  But I want to know who he played with.  Did he practice riding his bike.  Does he have a new favorite whatever.  What kind of fights did he get into ( I say what kind because he always gets into fights.  Even though his other parents tell me “he was good.”).

  Basically, I want to know what his life is like.  Because I care.  And his other life that he lives at his dad’s house is real. 

 Plus, I think it’s strange and unnatural to not see or talk to my child for a week or longer and not have any idea what went on.

Today I asked Michael’s dad about getting together for dinner some time in the next few weeks.  I wasn’t surprised by his non-committal answer but it left me incredibly frustrated anyways.

“We have so much going on, I don’t see how we can do it any time soon.  Maybe in a few months.”  He asked if there was anything specific and we could just talk about it then.  And while there isn’t anything specific, I do have a few questions but they are for BOTH his parents.

I even asked him point blank if he thought getting together at all, ever, would be a good idea for our co-parenting relationship.  His answer was the same: “We are too busy right now.”  And that’s all I got.  I even said, “If you don’t want to get together ever for any reason then just tell me so I can figure out a different way to cope with this co-parenting relationship.”  Same response: too busy right now.

Again: Loser.  No back bone.  Zero ability to talk honestly.

I am thinking that I may have to accept where we are all at now and then…. give up?  Ummmm I don’t give up people!  So do I keep asking about getting together? (He even told me he doesn’t think they have time to get together at the park.  Does his other kid not play outside with other kids?!?!?!)

What does co-parenting look like?  Are my expectations too high (a common theme for me actually)

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8 thoughts on “Co-Parenting: How is it "supposed" to work?

  1. Well I have been divorced a few tines and have children with other spouses. Me and my Mr, sexy don't have kids together. I do t want to give my whole life story in a comment but I have not spoken to my daughter's father in years. Honestly I like it that way because I can not stand the site of him and everything he did to me to take my daughter from me. Whatever I want to know I depend on her. She is 16 now so I don't get much conversation. Now my 3 year old autistic son and his father..we talk but that is it. Of course Logan doesnt visit him often. He's seen him once since December and that was only for a few hours. He only texts on days he works because other days he's busy with his new family. Your word is perfect…losers!

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  2. My ex and I and our others sit next to each other and chat at our sons football games. We also text a few times a day and call each other every few days. I guess we just have a friendly relationship. My parents also got along well after they split. I guess my mom said it best “we were and still great friends but we just couldn't stand to live together.”

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  3. My mother made clean breaks from both my father and my step father. She had full custody of me (my step father did legally adopt me), so once they moved out: I never, ever to this day have seen either of them again. But there were issues — big ones in those mens' lives. So perhaps a different scenario. I am pretty sure my mom would have made a real effort at co-parenting had the situation been a safe and healthy one.
    It sounds to me like his father just couldn't be bothered. You MAKE time for the things that are important to you and that you consider high priority. It's as simple as that. I think you should definitely be absolutely direct. Because the “too busy” thing is frankly a lame ass excuse, and I would most definitely call him out on that shit. *pardon my french*
    Most people who I know, that make co-parenting work: it's because they WORK at it.

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  4. Wow. I can understand how that would all be really difficult and complicated! But for me and Michael's dad, it's just not that complicated. I don't hate him, I don't think he hates me. Our break up was amiccable. We were never married. We pretty young when all this happened. I just think it should be a really situation – as good as it can get in this kind of situation anyways! Thank you for your thoughts on the subject!

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  5. I really appreciate your last line: it takes WORK. And when only one side seems to be working, it's even more work! Oh well. Mr. Sexy doesn't like the idea of getting together with the other parents eiter becasue the fact is we aren't friends. But we both agree it can't hurt and can only help…if it ever happens

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