What has Co-Parenting Taught You?

The top TWO things Co-Parenting has taught me:

.1 Good things can come from a difficult situation.  Let's face it, I would have probably never talked to my ex again - if we didn't have kids.  Way simpler and way less work.  But in the dust of our marriage ending, co-parenting has forced a different sort-of relationship to bloom.  It has expanded what I thought I was capable of and what I thought my ex was capable of.  We've grown as individuals and as parents, after years of negotiating and balancing everyones' schedules - as annoying as that is sometimes!

.2 My communication skills could be improved :)  Cause when nearly everything is in writing over email or txt, for reference, it’s easy to see where something could be misinterpreted or just not written clearly enough.  And you want to make sure you express yourself without ruffling any feathers, if that's not actually your intention.  So, communication skills become fine tuned like...

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Stop Searching – You are the One You’ve Been Waiting For

I was on a retreat a month ago that changed my life forever.

It was called ‘Seduction of Spirit’ and is put on by the Chopra Center, which was founded by Deepak Chopra.  

I’ve been a HUGE fan of Deepak Chopra for over 20 years – I still vividly remember the first book I ever read of his, it was called How to Know God, and while it blew my mind at the time, it also rung so deeply true to me.  Like when your soul knows it to be true, it resonates.

And ever since, I’ve kept reading his books when they interest me and I’ve seen him speak a few times when he’s come to Ottawa.

I have a Civil Engineering degree, so I’ve got a naturally scientific mind and I’ve always loved the way he blends science with spirit & mind/body concepts. 

ANYWAYS, this retreat was primarily a meditation retreat – with lots of doses of yoga and talks with different mind/body teachers and researchers.  It was also in Sunny...

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Seeing Beyond the Shitty Situation

Let’s face it – as your marriage ends and you start your new life as a family with two homes, the shitty situation seems enormous, almost unmanageable, and whether or not you can actually climb over a shit pile that huge appears doubtful a lot of the time.

It’s true.

And for a long while you may not even be able to tell which way is up and which way is down, and if you’ve made any progress out of all this shit at all.

It sucks.  It really fucking sucks.

So, what can you do?

Believe it or not, you have choices. 

What will you do? 

I hope you’ll see beyond the shit.  To your version of a great life. 

Where you have someone to unconditionally love you and be your cheerleader in life.  To raising well adjusted and resilient kids.  Having the freedom to travel and vacation more often.  Those are just a few of mine :) 

Let that dream be your fuel, when you don’t think you have anything left in the tank.

And...

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Co-Parenting in Action: The story of the Printer

This photo is of my ex’s printer, in my front entrance.  The story of how it got there is why I am so grateful for my ex and his willingness to co-parent as reasonably and lovingly as possible, for the sake of the kids.

Last week, one of my daughter’s came home from school and announced that she had a project she HAD TO FINISH that night.  To complete the project she needed to print off a few things. 

Doh.  My printer has been out of ink for AGES.  So, printing anything off wasn’t going to be as easy as pie.

So, I tell her this, and she immediately says – we can just go to Daddy’s place and print the pictures off there.

:)  Not wanting to put words into my ex’s mouth (..like presuming he’d say no and that we should just go out to buy new printer cartridges), I figure I’ll txt him and see if this is possible.  Cause I figured it probably was the easiest way to get things printed. 

Since he...

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Divorce: The ultimate gender balance!

If all else fails and your marriage has to end, then let’s at least make the most of a bad situation and ensure a healthy gender balance going forward.  Might as well start as you want to go on!

I mean, who really wants to look after their kids solo - 24/7 - until they are off to college/university?  Not me.  I mean not if I have any choice in the matter.  I kiss the feet of single moms and dads out there, which is an incredibly hard gig.

No martyrs necessary.

Who cares if you think you can make a better meal than your ex.  Or can play a better game of baseball with them.  True fact: the kids certainly don’t care.

What they do care about is both of their parents being in their lives.  In a meaningful way.

Even on the odd time, when my ex and I don’t alternate weekends, we do two or three weekends with the kids in a row, because the other is travelling.  During these times, one or more of the kids always mentions that they...

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You Need a Community to get through the Worst of Times!

I just had the worst Christmas of my life!!

But wow, am I ever brimming with gratitude for my community in a much deeper way than I’ve ever felt it before!  And I thought I was a pretty grateful and appreciative person before.

To back up a bit, my boyfriend got a sudden and life threatening illness just days before Christmas, while I was out of town visiting with my family on the East Coast.  So, I flew back for several days, until I knew for sure he wasn’t going to die or need to be amputated, and then flew back out East to spend a few days with my kids and get a bit of a ‘normal’ Christmas in.  And then we drove back to Ottawa early, so I could get back to ensuring my boyfriend would make a full recovery.

What a nightmare.

He was coming down with a bit of a flu or something seemingly typical before Christmas, but wow.  He ended up spending just over a week in the ICU and then another 2 weeks in the hospital recovering, and now he’s...

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What's your Divorce End Game?

How do you intend to live the rest of your life after Separation/Divorce'?

Write it down.  In detail.  Let's get real here.

I imagine your response is similar to what mine was, I just want to be happy, I want to be a good parent, and have good relationships with the people I love - especially my kids.  I want my relationship with my ex to have a flow and ease to it.  All great stuff!

Now close your eyes and in your mind's eye - really see it happening, imagine your life the way you want it to be, as if it's happening right now.  Who would be in your life?  How would you act towards others?

How would it feel?

Please, really do the visualization.  It's so powerful. 

It only needs to be for 5 mins or so!  You know you're onto something when you can feel your body physically responding to the visualization - like happy tingling and just an overall positive feeling building in your body.

Continue on with the visualization daily or weekly or...

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To all Separated/Divorced Mom’s out there: Your Kids need their Dad

Last week, a friend’s brother committed suicide.  He was going through a hard divorce and he had very limited access to his kids, because his ex requested full custody.  He had little community resources at his disposal.  Eventually, he could see no way out except one.  He isn’t the first and he probably won’t be the last.

What a devastating blow to his children who love him immensely.

So, here I am, asking all mother’s everywhere, who may be considering Separation/Divorce or who are in the midst of mediation or court.  Please.  Think of your children first.  And when thinking of your children, remember that the two people your children love most in the world are: you and their dad.

And having been in your shoes, I understand full well that you and their dad probably aren’t seeing eye to eye on much these days.  And that you feel as though you know how to care for your children far better than he does.

However,...

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How Charlottesville demands we up our Parenting game

We can do better.

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA this past week have really fueled my fire.  It has got me thinking really, really deeply.  And just to be clear, I live in Canada, but I’d be naive to think that hatred and violence could never happen here for similar reasons.

Racism is so evil.  Hating someone based on nothing but their race is impossible for me to understand.  Religious persecution is evil.  Sexism.  Patriarchy.  To see someone as less than you.  Seeing yourself as more entitled.

With that backdrop, how do we even begin to start a discussion?  Where’s the common ground?  How can we get to a point where each side can truly see the other, to understand the other, to see each other with compassion and as fellow human beings?

It feels too big a mountain.  Too hard.

Unsolvable.

And when I think of my children.  It all scares me to the core.

Is this the world we want to give to our...

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Year end Kids' Show: with you, your ex, both new partners & the kids!

What a circus parenting is sometimes – except none of the adults are laughing, when they are all at an event for their child/step child and just trying to make sure it's all cordial.

It can literally feel like a circus I’m sure.  When you’re all together, it can feel like you are competing to get (and keep) your kids’ attention.  Cause somehow, your worth as a parent is gauged by whether or not your child wants to hang out with you more, when they have the option of hanging out with any parent they want!  You know you’ve thought it and felt the pang of hurt when they choose your ex! :)

Now I’m not there yet, I’m dating a great man but haven’t introduced the kids.  My ex is keeping a low dating profile, so I’m not sure where he’s at exactly, but certainly no one new has been introduced to the kids on his side either.

However, last week, I did find myself at my girls’ gymnastics finale –...

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