What no one tells you about co-parenting...

Co-parenting has been the hardest thing EVER!
There is tons of ups and downs and bumps along the way.

I had to start this at a VERY young age and I wouldn't wish this on anyone!
I got pregnant at 17 and had my son at age 18.

I always dreamed that we would have the perfect family, eventually get married, and just live happily ever after.
But that only happens in fairy tales, right?
Well some people beat the statistics but we didn't.

Our relationship after Rylan was born was very rocky. I mean we were young, just had a baby, and we were no way prepared for this. We decided it was best to go our separate ways and move on. That's when it all started.

Filing for child support, battling for visitations, court appearances, and so much more.
I was a single mom, still living at my moms, and just trying to make ends meet without my mom having to help. That's the last thing I wanted her to do, but I am so thankful that she was here for us thru this crazy time.

I started by filing child support. I needed help. No mother should ever have to support a child on her own. I was trying to work a full time job and with that came daycare expenses; which is VERY expensive, not even adding in all the necessities. Diapers, formula, wipes, clothing, etc.

When I set up child support we had to go to mediation. We went, and couldn't agree on anything! We were too young and just thinking about ourselves and not what would be best for Rylan.
So the next step was going to court. 

Filing child support not only set up the payment requirements for the non-custodial parent but also gave them visitations.
The judge set up the common visitation rights at our court hearing. Rylan's dad would have him every 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend , the whole month of July, and we would alternate holidays every year.

As soon as the visitations went into effect I was so frustrated with the whole process. I didn't want to give up my time, and when he was with his dad I didn't know what to do with my time.

That next year was such a struggle. Many arguments, and going back and forth to court numerous times for his dad not paying his child support. Trying to cope with his dad dating other people and bring them around our son was the hardest.

It wasn't until I met my husband in October 2011, that I saw both sides of the mom and dad trying to get thru this thing called co-parenting.

He had a son of his own and he was going thru the exact same thing as me, except from the dad side. He was the one fighting for his time, paying child support. 
It really opened my eyes.

It's been almost 8 years and things have gotten a little better communication wise, but we still have a lot to overcome. It will get better, I have faith, it's just going to take a bit. We finally are not having to go thru his mom to communicate and can have a civil conversation. Now if we can do the same for my husband and his ex-wife. But that's a whole other story for a later date.

The most important thing when going thru this is to make the child your #1! Keep the conversations about the child, and do NOT talk bad about the other parent, especially in front of the child. 

For the parent's going thru this or has been thru this, what works best for you? I would love to know!

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