Co-parenting is not for every set of parents raising a child separately. It really isn’t. You can’t force a positive and healthy co-parenting relationship if both parties aren’t willing to work together to make it work. If one party is not active and engaged, disrespectful or inappropriate – trust me, the healthy and positive co-parenting relationship will diminish very quickly. Instead it will become an unhealthy impact on your child’s life.
I have tried – Lord knows I’ve tried – to have a positive co-parenting relationship with Micah’s father. I encouraged it even when I knew he wouldn’t deliver on it. I continuously called him and let him know what was going on with Micah. I asked him numerous times (till I was blue in the face) to spend time with Micah beyond the 2-week visitation so they could get to know each other one-on-one. I dealt with the yoyo games – him showing up, then not showing up, then wanting to see Micah again, then disappearing once more. Even then, I welcomed him back into Micah’s life just so that they could have a positive relationship. I didn’t want Micah to grow up not knowing his father, especially with him being just a couple of minutes away. (If you haven’t read those co-parenting stories yet, check it out in my Co-Parenting Woes category.)
But NOW, I’m at the point where I can’t take it anymore. I don’t want to be bothered unless he is fully devoted to being a true co-parent and not just a show-up-when-I-want-to parent. I can’t deal with it anymore. I don’t want to see my child crying, begging me to stay, and yelling anymore whenever I mention Daddy or tell him that he has to go to his father’s house for the weekend. I’m tired of him making promises to Micah, then each time fail miserably and I have to pick up the pieces. I’m sick of it! So until he gets his act together, I’m just going to continue moving forward as I have been and doing my part to make Micah happy and full of joy.
The morale of this story…you cannot force a parent to be a true parent. You will not have a successful co-parenting relationship if both of you are not willing to work together and make compromises all in the best interests of your child. If you are pushing for it and the other parent is not, you will continuously be disappointed, frustrated, stressed – and really, who is that good for? Surely not you, and definitely not your child.
I had to learn this lesson the hard way, and I hope that this post will help to avoid you learning this concept the hard way as well. Here are some tips to end the baby daddy drama:
1. Stop bringing your emotions to a logic fight!
Stop calling that man harassing him about not being a father. Stop texting him late at night when you’re irritated saying “You do stuff for your other children, why not mine?” Stop laying out all of your feelings about how he hurt you and you don’t understand why he’s doing this to you. Stop! I have done this and I know there are many out there that have done the same thing. It’s one of those days where you’re tired and irritated and your child is driving you up a wall. Everyone gets that way sometimes, and it’s okay to feel that way sometimes.
But it’s a completely different thing to reach out to him and expose that moment of weakness and pain. Because he will just look at you as just that – weak. He will make every attempt to run all over you, especially if he’s that kind of person (my son’s father is!). Don’t show any sign of weakness because he will sniff it out and use it one day to throw up in your face.
If you want to put an end to the baby daddy drama and come to a positive co-parenting relationship one day, you have to put aside your emotions and start thinking clearly. You have to truly be ready for this – because instead of him being the problem, you may just find yourself being the problem.
2. Idle threats mean nothing – if you say it, mean it and stick to your guns.
If you say it, mean it. If you don’t mean it, then don’t say it. How many times have you told your baby daddy that you are going to take him for child support if he doesn’t get his act together? Did you tell him that he can no longer see his child? (I don’t agree with it fully, but I do understand the need to do it sometimes) Stop telling him that you’re going to do something and then falling for the crap when he convinces you otherwise. Say it and mean it…and finally stick to it. You will only continue to create more drama in your life if he believes that you are just giving idle threats.
3. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. is a must.
I have spoken to so many single moms who say that their baby daddies disrespect them at every chance they get. The biggest question is, “How can I get him to stop disrespecting me?” I’m going to give you a hard truth right now – he disrespects you because you allow him to.
Did he curse you out the last time you spoke? What did you do – listen to it? I live for hanging up the phone on someone who disrespects me, especially when it’s my son’s father. He will hear a click so fast if he even raises his voice at me. I’m not dealing with it. When you’re ready to talk to me like I’m a person, then we can talk. Until then, you will continue to hear a click.
Did he yell at you for doing something wrong? What did you do – agree? I could be dead wrong, but you’re not going to yell at me. I will accept my fault when you have calmed down. Until then, click!
Did he disrespect you in person in front of your child? Is this really how you want your child to see a man treat you? But that’s exactly what you’re presenting to your child. If you cannot take your child out of the situation, tell him very calmly that you will not accept him treating you or talking to you that way…and promptly WALK AWAY.
Did he threaten you the last time he saw you? Did he put his hands on you? Ladies, please, please, please put a temporary restraining order on him at your earliest convenience. Because if he did it once, he will do it again. And the next time, you may not be so lucky to walk away. I pray that if anyone is going through this, they immediately make their way to the police station. Protect yourself and your child from him – you don’t know what he’s capable of doing and you shouldn’t wait to find out.
Okay, I think this is a good point to call it a day…I have many more tips, but I wanted to give you something to absorb. I will be sharing a couple more tips next Friday. So make sure to stop by and check those out – I’m sure that you will enjoy them too!