There is an abundance of co-parenting guides out there.  I have a fair few lined up on my bookshelf.  I have even read a couple of them.  The advice is similar.  Co-parenting success is when you put the child first.  Co-parenting success is when you are respectful to your co-parent. Co-parenting success is when you communicate effectively. All of this sounds sensible in principle, but what does co-parenting success actually look like in practice? I have a friend who invites…

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“People are too complicated to have simple labels” wrote Philip Pullman in The Amber Spyglass.  This isn’t the first time that an author has managed, quite succinctly, to summarise my exact feelings. Children are too complicated to have simple labels. My ex is worried.  He is worried about our son, Cygnet, because Cygnet is “quiet”. Cygnet is “shy”.  What I think my ex is really worried about is that Cygnet is inheriting what my ex perceives to be his parents’…

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A single, and guilty mum.  That’s me. I juggle a lot.  Before I go on about how busy I am I should say that this is my choice.  Okay, the options aren’t vast.  I have to work to pay the mortgage, the bills and to feed and clothe us.  You could also argue that I chose to become a single mum.  I was the one who left.  Again the alternative wasn’t great.  Spend the rest of your life in a…

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I haven’t written about co-parenting recently.  I’d like to be able to report that all is going swimmingly, that we are working well together and that we are doing what is best for our child.  That’s the goal obviously, but then this is real life, and as we all know, real life doesn’t like to follow a smooth path. Real life seems to object to a plan. It’s been nearly two years since we separated and we have been living…

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Something happened to my son last weekend when he was with his dad.  I don’t know exactly what happened, but I do know that my son has been more reserved, hesitant, nervous and clingy ever since. My son is just over two and hasn’t got the language to tell me.  My ex hasn’t got the courage to tell me.  I could tell straight away that something had happened.  My ex delivered my son home as usual.  I gave my son…

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Co-parenting with my ex was never going to be easy:  if he were willing to see other points of view; if we shared at least some of the same life values; if he were able to listen, we would probably be co-parenting as a married couple rather than co-parenting as separated parents. Life doesn’t feel fair when you are co-parenting with a narcissist. A narcissist believes that rules are for others – he doesn’t need to follow them.  My ex…

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Co-parenting can be tough, monumentally tough. First,  there are the inconsistencies in our parenting approach: daddy lets Cygnet eat lollipops; kick a ball in the house; not brush his teeth; takes him swimming when he has green snot coming out of his nose; lets him have a three hour nap in the afternoon when he is due to return to mummy in the evening.  The three hour-long afternoon nap saga is a particular irritant for me at the moment.  Cygnet is…

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I am a bad mother. I’m feeling rubbish about myself today.  Cygnet was snotty this morning.  In fact he was more than a bit snotty, green bogies were flying everywhere, his eyes were gunky and tired, he was under the weather, he was feeling sorry for himself and he needed a day at home sitting on the sofa reading books and watching Thomas the Tank Engine on the iPad (we watch the old style one where Ringo Star does the…

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I have found out a bit more about the stepmother. She is 43, so seven years older than me (my ex is 45).  She has a boy and a girl of 5 and 6.  She is  currently going through an acrimonious divorce.  She left her husband;  I don’t know why.  She works. Her mother looks after her children while she is at work and she pays her mother for the childcare.  In many respects we have a lot in common. …

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Despite the fact that we’ve only been living apart for six months, I wasn’t at all surprised when my ex told me that he had met someone else.  I felt no jealousy or emotion.  I left him and it was the best decision I ever made. But, I am not ready for a stepmother to enter our co-parenting relationship.  Cygnet, now 17 months, has endured a lot of change in his short life, and I don’t believe that he is…

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