Co-parenting arrangements – what is normal?

Our co-parenting arrangements have changed. Cygnet used to spend one day each weekend with me and one day each weekend with his Daddy.  We had been operating this arrangement since we separated when Cygnet was 5 months old.  We have recently switched to alternate weekends whereby Cygnet spends one weekend with me and then the next weekend with his Daddy.

Really young children have short memories. When Cygnet was really young it was important to me that our co-parenting arrangements enabled Cygnet see both of his parents frequently but for shorter periods of time.  There was also a bit of self preservation in this arrangement.  I work full time.  I get home at 6pm.  Cygnet’s bedtime is 7pm and we have snatched and hurried time in the morning.   I knew that on an alternate weekend schedule I would really struggle during those long stretches of twelve days if I wasn’t able to spend quality time with Cygnet. 

co-parenting arrangements

Things are a bit easier now. I never manage to get Cygnet to bed by 7pm.  Bedtime is more like 8:30pm by which time I am gasping for my wine.  Although getting Cygnet into bed and asleep can be a bit of a battle we do at least get to spend some time together in the mornings before I take him to pre-school and in the evenings before he finally closes his eyes and drifts off to sleep.

I have found that the weekends without him actually pass quite quickly.  I drop him off at his father’s house at 6pm on a Friday night and then I am free.  There is a cocktail bar near me that does a half price glass of champagne before 8pm on a Friday night.  I quite often indulge in one (or two) as I catch up on some blogging.

Then over the weekend I have the chance to do things that you just cannot do with a three year old in tow.  I get my nails done.  I sit in coffee bars with a book or the newspaper.  Recently, I have spent my free weekends laying rubber floor tiles on my kitchen floor, or decorating my bathroom.  The home improvements will finish at some point, but I reckon I have at least three months worth of decorating weekends left at the moment.

At the beginning of the year I set myself the challenge of going to the theatre once a month and I am pleased to say that I am doing really well at sticking to my resolution.  I have seen some awesome plays this year –  The Ferryman was outstanding and a real tear jerker.  Common at The National Theatre was a little less good, but still worth it.

All in all, this co-parenting thing isn’t too bad at the moment. Our co-parenting arrangements are working.  My ex and I have had our challenging times and I can honestly say that I have learned more hard lessons in patience, diplomacy, negotiation, communication and influencing through dealing with my ex than I have ever learned in my professional life.  I have no doubt that there are obstacles on the road ahead, but for the moment, the journey is smooth.

P.S. If you liked this blog post you might like: Communicating with an ex as a co-parent;  Co-parenting milestones –  how to cope without your child and What does co-parenting success look like?  

My Random Musings
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Motherhood The Real Deal

18 Comments

    • thesingleswan
      November 27, 2017 / 10:50 pm

      Thank you Su. Pen x

  1. November 27, 2017 / 12:58 pm

    I’m so glad that you are able to take your weekends and do what you want to do! It’s so important that we as parents try to take time for ourselves and I also really glad to hear that your co-parenting arrangements are working out as well. From personal experience, I have also learned the art of negotiation and diplomacy through working with my ex as a co-parent. At least we now have these skills to take into our professional life if need be:) #anythinggoes
    Michelle Kellogg recently posted…My First Born Has Reached the Big 16!My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      November 27, 2017 / 10:50 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      Yes, you’re right. it is a shame that we can’t record these kills and how we attained them on our CVs. Oh well. Pen x

  2. November 27, 2017 / 1:43 pm

    I love this – I’m totally with you on the struggle of the night time routine!

    Enjoying time for yourself is exactly what’s needed, I reckon. It’s all too easy to become subsumed in the life of single parent without partaking in the things that adults with no other responsibilities do all the time. Your routine does sound great, and I love the idea of setting yourself the theatre challenge. I wonder what I could do myself to make sure I get out of the house when I’m alone, but which don’t involve arranging dates…

    • thesingleswan
      November 27, 2017 / 10:49 pm

      Yes, you’re absolutely right. I got a bit bored of the dates, so challenges were the answer to get me out of the flat of an evening. Pen x

  3. November 27, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    You area a prime example of making the best of a tough situation. You’ve got to work with what you’ve got and that’s what you’re doing. Good work. #AnythingGoes

    • thesingleswan
      November 27, 2017 / 10:48 pm

      Thank you Kirsty. Pen x

  4. November 28, 2017 / 3:50 am

    I loved your kitchen post, looks awesome! Through following your blog for quite a while now I have seen some of the struggles you have been through with co-parenting and in dealing with your ex so I am so glad things have settled and are running smoothly. Enjoy your champagne, well deserved! #mg
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…finding serenity at home #mg link upMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      November 29, 2017 / 10:08 pm

      Thank you Mac, that is really kind of you. Pen x

  5. November 28, 2017 / 6:57 am

    I’m so glad you are on good terms right now, I would imagine it makes the day to day arrangements work so much smoother. #AnythingGoes
    Heather Keet recently posted…The Autumn of Heather…My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      November 29, 2017 / 10:06 pm

      It does indeed. Thanks for your comment Heather. Pen x

  6. November 28, 2017 / 11:27 am

    You have found balance and peace in what I imagine to be a very difficult situation for all. That alone is amazing and deserves celebration — and it looks like you have that covered as well! <3 #mg
    Lisa Pomerantz recently posted…The well-worn path to the fridgeMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      November 29, 2017 / 10:05 pm

      Oh yes indeed. thanks for your comment Lisa. Pen x

  7. November 29, 2017 / 3:13 am

    Its great that you and your ex are able to work things out reasonably. This is something that unfortunately is in my future. I hope that we can also find some way to make it work #anythinggoes
    jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…Happening For A ReasonMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      November 29, 2017 / 10:05 pm

      Hi Jeremy,

      I am sure you will get there in the end. It has taken us a long time. Pen x

  8. November 30, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    I often wonder what it would be like to co parent – an unimaginable nightmare or a little bit of heaven – I guess it is neither and both, but I hope I never have to find out! I’m glad it’s turned out well for you, and you are able to use the time to do the things that you love.
    Thanks so much for linking to #coolmumclub

    • thesingleswan
      December 3, 2017 / 10:05 pm

      THank you Pen x

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