The Next Chapter, Co-parenting….

Throughout the whole process of getting the divorce, it became more apparent that the hardest subject to tackle would be co-parenting. Our parenting styles have been very different from the beginning. He is more of the “enabling parent” while I am a bit stern. Our views on parenting clashed during the marriage so I wasn’t surprised by some of the events that transpired during our separation. I was surprised, however, by some of his actions, especially since I was the children’s sole nurturer throughout our entire relationship. I’ll give him credit, he’ll buy the children whatever they wanted. He went out to get it by any means necessary but as far as being there and being present, he really wasn’t into all of that, that was my “job”. Granted, I was the one who left the home and I also left the children in the home with him due to our problems, but I never disappeared out of my childrens’ lives. I knew that I had to leave for what I thought would be in the best interest of everyone. I didn’t want my children to see us fighting and when I asked him to leave, he refused. I felt as though I really did not have any choice. That decision turned out not to be the best decision I made. In that time, it didn’t take long for him to feel as though he was empowered and that I was no longer good enough or even capable of being a mother to my children. There were times where he would tell me that my children couldn’t come with me. I was in shock. He would often tell me that I left the kids. I had to let him know that I did not leave my children but I had left him. As I stated before, our kids were older and I did not want to uproot them from some of the normalcy they were used to. I went to live with my mom temporarily and her home was completely full and there wasn’t any room for my four children.

I’m not one to play the victim in all of this but there were some messed up events that took place. Some say I should have moved out and took the kids with me. While I do understand that, I feel as though no one can say what they would have done if they were in the same situation. I knew for sure he wouldn’t physically hurt our children; I wasn’t too sure if he would physically hurt me because he was becoming more and more aggressive with me. During this time, I felt like this was another way that he tried to control what was to happen in our lives and he took advantage of the situation. I will say that I did not let it go without a fight. That was one of the reasons why I went to jail. It’s only some much I could take and that day, I was pushed to my limit.

Now, back to this co-parenting situation. I knew we shared different views on parenting but I thought it would be easy to navigate through. I mean we both love our children, right? I was wrong to even think this part would be easy. Anyone that knows me knows that I am an easy going person. I don’t like confrontation or being in a negative space with anyone. My children’s father knows that as well. He also knows that I believed that we could agree on how we would co-parent our children. Instead, we had arguments about the smallest things. He even said to me that the way he raises the children in his house is his business and what I do with them in my house is my business. In most cases, that would be fine, however, when it comes to children, there has to be some form of consistency in rules and responsibilities that they must follow no matter whose house they were at. Of course he disagreed with me. Sometimes I think he disagreed just because he could. I can have a very valid point and he would disagree with it just because I mentioned it.

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