The Crib: Collective Co-Parenting and The Post-Separation Parental Perspective
"The Crib is a segment that provides a space to nurture positive energy around the daily struggles that surround the identity and the core concepts of the non traditional, modern day family. A platform to encourage Step-Parents, to reassure those who are single and dating with kids, to discuss and dismantle the stereotypes of Single Parents, to demonstrate and shed light on the positive dynamics of Co-Parents, and to build bridges between Blended Families. "
Welcome to the Crib. The original intention and direction for this specific blog segment started deep inside me almost 8-9 years ago. My son has his father's last name, and from the time i was pregnant, and at every one of my son's doctor's appointments ever since, they refer to me as "Mrs. *insert his last name here*" I used to get upset and correct them with a smile, in my oh so natural condescending Megan fashion. But, after a while i got tired so i just started nodding and responding. It was then that i realized that we live in a society that has a completely distorted and almost non existent view of Co-parenting. Most people either see parents as happily married with kids, or apart and hating each other, barely speaking. So when BOTH parents show up to the doctors appointments, naturally, they don't ask any questions about referring to me as the Mrs. I don't take it as an insult anymore, nothing is wrong with being married, after all marriage IS the ultimate goal. However, I just find it upsetting that we've created a community that enables the idea of assuming that people can't get along and raise kids in a successful environment unless they're together as a couple, instead of encouraging a more positive outlook on the reality of Co-parenting. Trust me. Over the past 10 years, we have BEEN there. We've done the child support. We've both been unemployed. We've been to court. We've done the lawyers. He's gotten married. Had kids. Over the years we have both said and done many hurtful and hateful things to each other. Been there, done that. And the entire time, we both knew we had the common sense to maintain a civil relationship much better than the one we had. Because we have in the past. As people, but more importantly, as parents.....we knew we were better than that. Now, mind you, we're not best friends, we don't go have drinks together, we don't hang out.....we're cool, we but don't have to be super close. At our last court appearance, the judge ordered us to take parenting classes, separately. Four hours, every Sunday afternoon, for about a month and a half. I already knew this was a ridiculous idea, we did not need parenting classes, we just needed to communicate and behave like adults...but it was court ordered, so I'm just gonna suck it up, and sit here and take the L. They did the whole "go around the table and introduce yourself" thing, which gave it a nice, warm rehab-ish feeling:) Lol...and there i was....twiddling my thumbs, sitting in a classroom full of adults like an episode of "Community" gone way left, when i had my aha moment. I was just there because legally i had to be here, but i started to notice that there were people there who actually needed to be there. The things that were common sense to me, wasn't close to common sense to many of my other classmates, and that saddened me:( because, i mean..why?? I was sad that there were so many adults, from all races and all walks of life, who now have children, and were never given the basic resources to learn the simplicities of things such as communication, and conflict resolution. And how these social patterns are going to trickle down to their kids. Our kids. I was sad that the traditional labeling of parenting has overshadowed the ever evolving and ambidextrous role that many families are becoming every day.
Common said, "..we think we in love cause we could spend a day together? I'm talking about spending the rest of our lives, there's too many black women that can say they're mothers but can't say that they're wives." But......whether you like it or not, it happens. Because, simply.....some things just don't work out, period.... and unfortunately sometimes we may not realize it until its too late. But what happens after, determines everything. That doesn't mean that you don't continue to strive for a husband, or a wife, and a successful marriage...and that doesn't mean that you settle and let your circumstances define you. For some reason, people think that if you accept the reality of divorce, and single parenting, that somehow you're encouraging it. There are people who have no idea what it feels like to be raised by divorced parents, nor have they been through any major separation, or custody battles, but they will swear they are professionals on your particular situation. There are people who will try to tear you down for maintaining a decent relationship with your ex after all the drama you went through, and what they would do if it was "their child". But, it's not. And knowing that, I wanted to create a place that redeveloped the theory of parenting into a more unique, individual, and well-rounded realistic experience. A platform to encourage Step-Parents, to reassure those who are single and dating with kids, to discuss and dismantle the stereotypes of Single Parents, to demonstrate and shed light on the positive dynamics of Co-Parents, and to build bridges between Blended Families, in an effort to prove that separation and divorce are not the worst thing to ever happen to you, it's not the end of the world, and contrary to popular belief, with the right resources, the right state of mind, and the right support, everybody really can get along.