Parenting already is a difficult task, but co-parenting, especially with an ex-partner, may prove to be even more complicated. Adapting to the reality of being a co-parent isn’t always easy and swift. It might take a while to come to terms with it, and you’d occasionally have to make sacrifices.
However, always bear in mind that it’s for the betterment of your child/children. You might have to make some compromises you don’t like. Being a co-parent comes with a heap load of stress. Luckily, this article will explain six ways on how to deal with stress.
1. Find a support system to vent your feelings.
The stress and mixed emotions that come with co-parenting can be very draining and infuriating. You will occasionally get mad at the co-parent for not doing things your way or in a way you like.
However, It’s important to understand you can’t be in control of everything. Keeping emotions pent up might lead to harboring ill feelings towards your co-parenting partner.
Thus, a support system to vent your emotions will provide you the soft cushion you need to release all the negativity. That support system could be a trusted friend, a therapist, or even a support group. It will make you feel less alone, and your support system can also serve as a voice of reason or advisor during misunderstandings.
You could also release accumulated stress by treating yourself to some white zinfandel wine. This wine is fantastic, and it contains many ingredients that help the body relax.
2. Effective communication is vital.
As a co-parent, you always have to be accessible to your co-parenting partner at all times. Communication is the most essential and fundamental part of good parenting. Treat your co-parent as a business partner and be civil with them.
Communicate effectively through a designated medium which you’d both agree on. Talk about everything involving your child, so you and your co-parenting partner can make the best decisions. Never forget they’re your partner in this, so don’t make decisions solely.
3. Create a schedule or calendar to go by.
Organizing and creating a parenting schedule goes a long way in ensuring both parents get to spend equal time with the child. This helps prevent a dispute over visitations and vacations. Plan, even for the unexpected. The schedules will make your life ten times easier as few circumstances would catch you unprepared.
4. Don’t view your co-parent as an enemy.
Any bad history or issues you might have with the co-parent should be left behind in the past so as to not affect your child. Don’t do anything spiteful to your ex-partner based on your sentiments alone.
Your children’s state of mind and wellbeing as a whole always come first. So, it would be best to avoid doing things because you want to prove a point to the other parent. Make decisions based on what’s best for your child/children.
Strive to have a healthy relationship with the co-parent. Misunderstandings are bound to happen when two individuals have to decide on the same thing but make sure it’s a peaceful and mature conversation that ensues. Having disputes or quarrels in front of your child/children should be avoided at all costs because there’s a high tendency it will reflect on their behavior.
5. Leave the kids out of grownup matters.
Keep the kids out of your issues, fights, and decision-making with your co-parent. It doesn’t matter if you’re upset at the co-parent, don’t get the child/children involved. They might be acting unreasonable, but never badmouth or demean them to your child or children. Consider their feelings towards this parent and don’t make a big deal out of minor situations.
6. Learn to be flexible.
There will be instances where your co-parent might want to switch scheduled parenting days with you due to some unforeseen events. Hence, you should try as much as possible to be flexible. It is essential to understand that not all you plan would follow the order you plan it, and that’s okay.
Above all else, you should put your child’s convenience above yours. Amidst all this planning, it is easy to neglect your child’s feelings altogether.
It would be best if you always had a contingency plan for times when you’re busy. Some of these include dropping your child off at a trusted relative or friend’s place.
Co-parenting can sometimes feel like an extra job, but it’s worth the work at the end of the day. Even though you might be busy with your child/children, care for yourself too. Take a time out once in a while to do something for yourself. Go out with friends, get a massage, go dancing – whatever it might be as long as it relieves your stress.
If you don’t relieve your stress and you allow it to accumulate, you would do more harm than good to both you and your child.