Every once in awhile it’s important to take stock of yourself. I mean really sit back and analyze the things that you do and say. Why should you do this? Well I’m glad you asked. Last time I talked a little bit about change and what the process behind that is.
You’re not going to like this but sometimes the most effective and efficient way to improve your co-parenting relationship is to change yourself. Yup that’s right change yourself. I appreciate those around me who challenge me to change and become a better friend, a better husband, a better father and a better co-parent. That’s right...my kids' mom helps me to become a better co-parent. She forces me to take a long hard look at myself, take stock of things that I could be doing better and resolve to make some changes.
You see, the fact of the matter is that I’m not the perfect co-parent… although I’m not sure that really exists. Thank God it doesn’t… that takes a lot of pressure off knowing that I don’t have to be perfect. But I could be better and our kids deserve better. So my resolve is to be better… and I encourage you to guess what? You got it! Be better. Many times the person who can best help you with that is the other co-parent. This takes hard work though. It means that when they tell you about yourself, you’ve really got to listen. Maybe you’re just at the point where there are still angry words between you all the time. Well, listen to how the things you do or say make her feel. When you’re done with that, listen some more.
I sat back and took stock of my co-parenting efforts recently and I suck. Well, okay, it’s not all that bad, but I could be a whole lot better. Don’t do what I’ve done. I’ve kept the other co-parent at arms length because I had hurt feelings. I treated our co-parenting relationship like a business relationship, one where I interacted as little as humanly possible, and was even proud of that (ugh, how juvenile).
What I should have been doing all this time is mending fences so that we could work better together. The more capable we are of communicating the more successful our co-parenting is going to be. A lot of our lack of communication is on me, so I’ve got to fix that. I need to get over myself and whatever crap I may be holding on to. Our kids are way more important than that and anything that I can do to improve our co-parenting approach I need to be doing.
So I’ll encourage you to do the same. Take a long deep look at yourself. How are you present with your kid(s)? How are your interactions with the other parent? What is your contribution? How are you making the people around you feel? Figure those things out and once you do I’m sure, like me, you’ll find lots of things to work on. That’ll distract you from whatever little things you might be holding on to, hopefully long enough to forget about them all together. From today on I’m going to make the effort to improve the communication between my other co-parent, it’s long overdue. Good luck with whatever it is you find that needs changing. Let’s be better together (okay that was corny)... but you get the point.