How To Deal With Your Baby Daddy…A Year Later!

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One year ago today, I wrote How To Deal With Your Baby Daddy, which turned out to be a wild success.  It is still one of my most read posts. Many single and divorced moms AND dads reached out to me telling me how much they appreciated this guide to helping them deal with their child’s other parent.  I was amazed by how much the post had made an effect on those considering a co-parenting relationship.

How To Deal With Your Baby Daddy - One Year Later | Epic Mommy Adventures #singlemom #singleparenting #coparenting

A lot has changed in the past  year — I filed for child support, he filed for visitation, and our co-parenting relationship actually changed for the better because of it.

So I’ve decided to share some tips for those moms that have just started a co-parenting relationship or when co-parenting just doesn’t seem to be working…hope these tips help. Although I’ll be speaking from the perspective of having been in a co-parenting relationship for some time, please be aware that this can apply to any phase of your co-parenting.

1.  Leave the past in the past.

Now, this is probably the single most difficult thing for me to conquer. I couldn’t let go of all the things that my son’s father had put me through and I would see him from time to time and have a rush of anger and anxiety. But as horrible as a boyfriend he was to me is as good as a father he has become to Micah. Although Micah still dreads going there, he always returns home with tons of stories to tell me with joy and glee.

2. Be firm and consistent in your approach.

Just because a year has gone by, don’t think that things have changed. They are still the same – however, we have both learned to manage each other. He has learned that I’m not backing down and that Micah is my #1 priority and should be the same for him, and I have learned not to get on his case for every little thing that he says and does. Together we have learned: Continue to focus on the task at hand — raising your child — and things will move smoothly.

3. Respect each others parenting styles.

All parents do things differently. However, that doesn’t mean that the other parent should be criticized for their parenting style.  Always respect the other parent’s parenting style (in normal circumstances). Now, if your child returns home with a black eye or something crazy like that, then respect aside, you need to have, as I call it – “a come to Jesus talk”.  But if your child’s father wants to feed your child cupcakes for dinner (yes, this really happened!), just let it go. Let your child have some fun, as long as it doesn’t make them incredibly sick. Ok, I think you got the ghist – respect each other’s parenting styles to a limit.

4. Don’t be afraid to get the courts involved.

Taking my son’s father to court was definitely a tough decision for me. However, I knew that I would be unable to get any form of financial support, consistent parenting time, or respect from him without the courts being involved. If you have a similar situation, don’t dread having to get the courts involved. Remember – focus on the needs of your child, not the irritation from your child’s father.

5. Happy mama means happy child.

This is a tip that I’ve learned over these past few months.  Although I have heard numerous parents make this point, I didn’t believe it until I experienced it. Don’t make yourself miserable while your child is away. Enjoy some simple things in life – watch a movie, get your hair done, sleep in – you know, those things that you surely cannot do with your child around. You’ll feel relaxed and refreshed for when your child returns home. And most importantly, you’ll be able to tolerate seeing and talking to your child’s father when your child returns home. If your child’s father is anything like mine, you’ll completely understand what I mean when I say this.

6. Everything will be ok in time.

When I was in the midst of all the back and forth, frustration, yelling, angst, and headaches with my son’s father, I never thought it possible to see the end of the tunnel. I thought things would NEVER change. I didn’t believe that we would be where we are today. But surprisingly, co-parenting has been a success for at least the past 3 months. We have been progressing very well, and although there have been some unexpected hiccups, Micah is happy. Hey, that’s all that matters, right. So just know that there is a light to the end of the tunnel.

Well, I hope that these tips helped you even in a little way. I hope you embrace your potential co-parenting relationships and that you witness success.  I pray that you see the light at the end of the tunnel and things change. I hope that you find happiness, both for yourself and your child.

I hope you enjoyed reading these tips as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Please make sure to comment with any additional tips or ideas that I may expand upon in another post. Thanks!

 

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About Natasha

Hi, I'm Natasha! I'm a 30-something Program Manager and blogger at Epic Mommy Adventures. Most importantly, I'm a single mom to my adorable son, who drives me nuts in one moment and melts my heart in the next. I enjoy sharing our epic stories, giving advice to other single moms, and sharing my co-parenting woes. I also share blog hops, giveaways, product reviews, and so much more. Join the fun!

Comments

  1. I commend you. I do not have any biological children, but I help raise my ex-boyfriend’s son. Yes, I did say ex. The son was 6 mos old when we got together, and the biological mother is always in and out of the son’s life. I always only wanted to give him the best life possible. I feel like I do more for him than his parents do. My mom and I buy toys, clothes, school supplies, food, etc. I am struggling right now to pay for him to be in Christian school. I was taking him and picking him up from school until I had to MAKE his dad take him. I still pick him up and do homework with him. His dad doesn’t work and does nit assist me with school fees. He actually has the nerve to complain about using his gas to drop his own son at school. He is 5 yrs old and has to deal with his parents’ issues at such a young age. It gets frustrating at times, but I love that little boy as if he were my own. I just pray that God gives
    me strength to continue to do for him.
    http://pastriespumpsandpi.blogspot.com/

    • You are the one that should be commended, Tameka. You are doing what many others would never do – raising another person’s child. But I completely understand. I did the same thing when I was in a relationship with my son’s father. When we first got together, his ex-girlfriend was pregnant and once he was born, he spent more time with me than both of his parents combined. And I welcomed it. I love that little boy as though he is my own. Some distance has grown between us with the problems between his father and I but I am still excited every time I see him. It’s a beautiful thing that you are doing and I will pray for both you and for him. Thanks so much for your comment!

  2. Great tips!
    I’m so thankful to be co-hosting the Wake Up Wednesday blog hop with you!
    Angie

  3. So true! I love that you broke it down because so many people are so hostile towards their baby daddies/mommies. It never helps the child to see the anger.

    • Thanks! Even though it’s extremely difficult, it is important to be positive around the other parent, especially around your children. It’s not fair to the children to have be in the middle of it. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  4. As a step-parent, it is great that you have come to terms with the different styles and beliefs of the other parent. I wish that were so back in the 70s cause I had a baby momma that was down right mean when it came to using her kids as pawns……so sad. To tell your son his dog might be injured because he wanted one more week, and she Nevah, called back. I had the boy back when she wanted him back. The dog, was at her feet all along……..:(

  5. Hi Natasha, you sound like you have a good head on your shoulder and should be commended for co-parenting well. Your son will thank you later for this! I just wanted to pop on over and say that I’m happy to be co-hosting the party with you.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Marie! I try really hard to make sure that my son has the best – and that includes having both of his parents in his life! I’m so glad to be co-hosting with you! 🙂

  6. Another wise and insightful post, Natasha! I’m sure your advice will help many single parents. 😀 xx

  7. This is a great post, and so real. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m still trying to figure out my co-parenting relationship with my daughter’s father, and these two posts are really helpful.

    • Thank you for enjoying the post, Michelle! Co-parenting is definitely difficult to master – honestly, I’m still working on it with my son’s father. It’s a journey, and takes time and effort, but in the end, it is so important for our children. Wishing you the utmost best! Hope you have a great week! 🙂

  8. Hi Natasha
    It’s so helpful to hear of your experiences whilst developing your co parenting relationship. Mine continues to be up and down with my sons father. Can I ask how old micah was when his Dad started having him alone? My son is 18 months and I feel until he has a voice I just don’t trust his father to have him without me there. We have never been in a relationship and I feel he doesn’t have the experience to keep my son safe.

    • Micah was a little over 2 when he started to stay overnight with his father. Micah spent some days with him before that, but no overnight visits. I was also concerned about the same things – I felt that he should be of a certain age to let me know if anything happened especially with so many people being in and out of his father’s home on a regular basis. It will take time to build that trust, but you have to voice those fears and concerns to your child’s father. I would hope that he would be able to listen to them and reassure you that all will be well while your son is with him. Wishing you the utmost best! Hope you have a great week! xoxoxoxo

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