‘Why can’t Dad stay with us AND you?’ We’re learning to parent together, now that we aren’t together.’: Ex-couple ‘peacefully’ co-parent, ‘Two happy homes are better than one sad one’

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“If you’re right at the start of co-parenting after separating or ending your marriage, you may be feeling like absolute sh*t.

The first few weeks of ‘sharing’ my kids with their dad were awful. I couldn’t sleep. I cried excessively. I felt guilty.

A year ago, the idea of going 1 or 2 nights without seeing my kids would have been insane to me.

I’ve never not been with them.

We also weren’t really in a good place communication wise. It’s still not perfect, but we are learning how to parent together now that we aren’t together.

We are further along now that months have passed and the dust has settled. Initially, the kids didn’t want to go when it was their days with dad. They were confused about why dad couldn’t stay and be with them—and me.

Those first few times were awful. It’s so weird for it to suddenly be normal to not have my kids every single day and night.

But months later, it’s finally more peaceful. The kids are enjoying quality over quantity. Quality time with their dad, and quality time with their mom.

It was hard, but now when they are gone, I actually recharge. Catch up. Reflect and appreciate my life. It’s not what I planned, but it’s worked out this way. I am glad my kids are in peaceful homes now.

Two happy homes are much more fulfilling than one sad one.

It’s almost like I’m finally rested from the emotional drainage I went through. For years, I questioned if I should stay or go.

At first, it is really hard to ‘share’ your children, especially with a son who has special needs. I’d happily keep him 100% of the time, not because I love him more, but because he needs me more. But thankfully, Rory has two parents who love him. I can’t keep him all to myself.

It does get better. You do heal. They see the better in life they now have. They feel the peace just as much as you do.

Don’t fight a brick wall if you’ve thrown yourself at it over and over.

Build a door and get through to the other side. I’m so glad I did.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lucy Watts. You can follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Lucy:

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‘Today social media attacked autism. It mocked, insulted, and made fun of people like my boy.’: Mom to son with autism responds to ‘ugly’ TikTok challenge

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