If you’re a single mom, you have Baby Daddy Drama. I say this jokingly, but it’s never easy raising a little human when you’re part of a broken team. Some split-up couples can communicate well, be friends, coparent, and go about their lives as if nothing has changed; others aren’t so lucky. For better or worse (or until your kid turns 18), you and your ex have to be in each other’s lives. You have no choice because you have an important job – raising your child(ren).
If you’re part of the “unlucky” group of single moms, here are some tips on how to coparent with less drama.
Keep your cool.
Never fight in front of your kid(s), and remember, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Children feel everything and they see it all too. Don’t be fooled: even when you think they aren’t watching, they are like ninjas and you don’t want to be caught off guard. When dealing with a difficult ex, be the bigger person. You may not see it now, but when your kids are older they will remember your cool composure and be thankful.
Your child is not the messenger.
Never, ever, ever (ever!) put your child in the position of “go-between.” They shouldn’t have to go back and forth between you and your Baddy Daddy to report every detail. Their only job is to be a kid, have fun, and go to school. Putting this unneeded stress on a child will lead to a visit with a child psychologist. You don’t want your child to have issues! Also, when your child becomes your messenger, they might resent you as you are making them do something they don’t want to do.
Take a time-out.
It’s ok to get mad and frustrated. So scream at the wall, punch your pillow, cry in the shower – do whatever you need to do, but do so in private. There shouldn’t be anyone around – just you and a glass of wine. Take a time-out for yourself, breathe, and say, “WOOH-SAH!” Taking a step back will help you think clearly and let go. You can’t change everything and that’s ok!
Communication is key.
At the end of the day, you have to communicate with the father of your child. It doesn’t matter if you’re best friends, enemies, or somewhere in between. You have to remember that the only person affected when you don’t communicate is your child.
If you are both unable to talk things out without killing each other, or you rather avoid the hassle, there are great apps you can use, like the free Talking Parents, which keeps a record of all electronic communication between parents. Another option is Our Family Wizard. For $99 a year, this coparenting app helps parents schedule visitations and allows you to share vital information regarding your child(ren). Both programs are available for iPhone and Android and can be used to co-parent your kid(s) with less drama or stress. In the end, that’s what’s best for your child.