After a New Mexico divorce, there are a lot of major changes to adjust to, and one of them is co-parenting. From heightened emotions to scheduling and finances, co-parenting can become complicated quickly, and that’s never a good thing. Consistently being stressed and in conflict will benefit no one, and neither you nor your kids will be able to adjust to shared parenting if you’re often in panic mode. Luckily, there are things you can do to help make the best of the co-parenting arrangement and create a system that works for you.
Keep Your Children at the Center
Keeping your kids at the center of everything should be the number-one guiding point for your co-parenting. When you and your co-parent are able to agree on that, it will make things easier, especially when it comes to approaching disagreements, discussions and interactions.
Remember You’re on the Same Team
Divorce can create the feeling that you and your ex are on different teams, but with co-parenting, you need to turn that around based on the united ground of the health and happiness of your kids. Consider your co-parenting relationship as a partnership rather than being on opposite sides of the fence. When you start looking at this as if you and your ex are on the same team, you’ll be able to focus interactions more on the children and their needs instead of being distracted by conflict between you and your ex.
As long as you can safely do so, go ahead and assume your co-parent does value what is in your child’s best interests. This doesn’t mean that once you do, there will never be any conflict or personality clashes. No partnership comes without challenges, and you’re both human. However, when you always believe that you and your co-parent are trying to reach the same goal, it will make honest and open communication much easier to maintain.
Keep Your Ego in Check
It may be easier said than done, but sometimes you’ll have to check your ego at the door. When you can leave your ego out of discussions about your kids with your co-parent, you will have a much better shot at productive conversations and a smoother co-parent relationship. This is because when you or your co-parent’s emotional needs are placed over those of your kids, the situation can devolve into a back-and-forth battle with an atmosphere of disrespect and distrust.
The hardest part here is recognizing when your ego is becoming the focus of your efforts. Honesty is essential in healthy co-parent relationships, and that includes being honest with yourself about your actions and your motivations for those actions.
Don’t Put Things Off
Procrastination is always the wrong way to go, as anyone who has waited until the last minute to do something can tell you! With co-parenting, pushing off tough discussions can make an already stressful situation worse. Since avoiding conflict isn’t how you solve it, get into the habit of addressing the tougher subjects in your co-parenting relationship. Spend time on your parenting plan and give it your full attention. If parts of it end up not working later, address that as soon as you can instead of letting that tension build.
The tips above are simple enough, but they’re not necessarily easy. However, the sooner you put them into practice, the faster you and your co-parent can build a healthier co-parenting relationship. Parenting across two households can be challenging at times, but building your fundamentals early will allow you to cross whatever bridge you come to without taking the focus off of your children.