The 4 co-parenting secrets that made my whole family happy

Motherly love is omnipresent. He will feel it in his heart no matter where he is.

The 4 co-parenting secrets that made my whole family happy

This was never in the plan. But here you are. Parenting separately. How you got here doesn’t matter right now.

All that matters is to get this right.

Sharing custody means sharing a child. It means sharing a child’s life.

This can be messy.

This can be confusing.

This can be stressful.

This most definitely will be hard. But you are strong.

It is a unique situation, not uncommon. And there are ways you can make it easier for yourself and ultimately for your child.

Having gone through the mills of co-parenting separately for a number of years and having gone through the good, the bad and the ugly, I have learned a number of invaluable lessons.


They are lessons I didn’t ask for; lessons I didn’t think I needed, but lessons that I learned nonetheless.

I am rarely wise, but I want you to know this:

Put your child’s happiness above all.

Sometimes you got to let go of your principles. Sometimes you got to allow the rules to be bent. Sometimes plans will change. Sometimes what you want and what your child wants may not be the same. Sometimes what you need and what the child needs may not be the same. As long as the child is happy, nothing else matters. Put your ego back in its box. Focus on your child’s happiness.

Let go.

This was the hardest lesson by far. Especially when you are dealing with a younger child who may not articulate their needs and desires, their opinions and wishes; who may not communicate as effectively and relay messages clearly. Your heart will break many times, but you have got to understand and accept that there are things you cannot control. That there are things you have no influence on. You control 50% of raising this child. Make it count. The other half is outside of your control. Accept it, learn to trust and let go.

Intervene when you must.

Your child’s happiness is what you yearn for the most. Your own happiness depends on it. Because love. If there are circumstances that need intervention, make sure that you do. Intervene! Don’t let the child be the messenger or the go-between. Don’t let them do the parenting for you. You are the relentless advocate for your child’s happiness, creating stability and giving consistency, even in a co-parenting scenario. Don’t let your child down by ignoring signs of unhappiness and discontentment.

Treat your situation with ordinariness.

You are neither the first nor the last person who will co-parent a child into adulthood but you need to smooth your own path. The odds are pretty good that this will be a happy, balanced, fully functioning adult. Yes, the child has two homes. Two addresses. Two bedrooms. Two sets of clothes. Two sets of toys. Don’t get upset if he chooses the other parents’ address as his home address when asked where he lives. If you treat it with ordinariness, then so will your child.

At the start when my son was gone, my heart would break into a thousand pieces every time. It gets easier as he gets older. This life is now second nature to both him and me. My heart is still heavy every time he goes away. When he comes home, I hug him tight, my heart a little lighter and so full I could burst. When he comes home, it is always a very special welcome whether he was gone a day or a week. And some days I try so hard to not cry.

Not because he is home, but because I feel I am missing out.

Because everytime he comes back it seems he has gotten a little taller, a little wiser, a little more beautiful.

Because I know I am not there for all of his successes, and fails, his laughs and tears.

I miss out on 50% of him. I know he will only be home until he is gone again. Sometimes a day, sometimes a few days. And I get sad because his life is two lives. I get sad and I feel guilty because when he is gone I carry on with my life.

I look at his face as he chatters away about all his escapades, about school, about his friends, his books, and I stop myself for a moment:

Who am I to cry sad tears? Am I really missing out? This isn’t about me.

I am looking at a happy child. A well-rounded, well-balanced, content child.

I can see with my eyes and feel with my heart that my son is happy.

He is loved very much by everyone around him. He moves effortlessly back and forth between his two homes, has family and love wherever he goes.

I know you’re hurting, but mend your heart, mama. This is his life, too. A happy child is what matters. And a happy child needs a happy mother.

You may only have access half of the time but your impact will reach much further than half way. Make it count.

Motherly love is omnipresent. He will feel it in his heart no matter where he is.

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In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

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    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

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    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

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    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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