Anyone who has ever co-parented with an ex knows how hard it can be. But the ability to come together and celebrate your children’s’ special moments as a nontraditional family is worth the effort.
Just ask Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman. The formerly married couple—who share daughters Olive and Frankie—recently reunited to celebrate little Frankie’s school “graduation” ceremony.
Will shared a photo from the event on his Instagram feed: In the photo, he and Drew are kissing their daughter on either cheek as he proudly displays Frankie’s graduation certificate. He went for a simple caption, writing “Graduate” below the photo.
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It probably meant the world for Frankie to have both parents there on her big day. For her part, Drew has always been outspoken about her approach to parenting alongside her ex. Shortly after she and Will split in 2016, the actress told Entertainment Tonight that the secret to co-parenting is making “constant plans.”
Experts agree, planning is key to making co-parenting work. As Edward Kruk, an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, wrote for Psychology Today, the “key to successful co-parenting is to focus on the needs of the children, particularly their need to maintain routine relationships with each parent and to be shielded from ongoing parental conflict. There is no one ‘best’ co-parenting plan that families should adopt and follow, as much depends on the unique circumstances and specific needs of family members.”
Drew’s situation is unique because she’s in the public eye, but on another level her new family dynamic is very relatable for many millennial mamas, because this is what modern parenting looks like for a lot of us.
During a 2017 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Drew summed it up: “It’s interesting, I saw this article the other day written about me—and I never see articles written about me—and it was like, ‘My Modern Family.’ And I was like, ‘I like that; that has a nice ring to it,” she said. “I so wanted to raise kids in this ultra-traditional way and do everything so the polar opposite of my experience.”
It sounds like this mama gets that parenting doesn’t always go according to plan, and that sometimes all you can do is roll with the punches. And isn’t that something we can all understand?
Kudos to this couple for making their modern family work so beautifully.