Co-parenting with someone who is unresponsive and unreliable is incredibly frustrating and hard. Often I feel like I just don't know what to do. It's no longer even a question of how can I make it better because the other party just doesn't care. The other party neglects responsibility to our child because he knows I will pick up the slack. He works hard at his job-insanely hard-because to him, that's his primary responsibility. But part of being a parent is communicating and planning time with your child. This does not happen.
I have examples I can readily give of this, but I want to avoid bashing here. I just am here to say that it's frustrating and sometimes I just feel like I am at my wits end with him. He doesn't participate in basic co-parenting things.
Co-parenting struggles are deep and wide, which create some of the most infuriating frustrations that I find require a change in perspective. Everything in life can undergo a change in perspective towards the good. I try to do this with these issues instead of letting the negative environment it creates to take root in my heart.
He wont meet me half way, he wont meet me anywhere at all, figuratively speaking. He wont give an inch and he wont do a single thing to co-parent in a responsible or effective manner with me. Zero, zilch, nada. Infuriating and unfair Yes. I am stuck picking up his slack and holding my own work at a detriment because of it. Must I do something about it? I must try. Will it work? Probably not. You can't force someone to do anything, even basic, obvious, simple things.
This is the reality, and it is infuriating. But I reframe my perspective out of grace for my son. And I remind myself of language I have once used before, that has recently been forgotten. Language that has helped me before in parenting out of a place of joy, rather out of a place of feeling burnt out.
"I get to." I get to care for my son. I get to be there most every single night. I get to zip up his jacket and hear about his days. I get to. Reframing my language from "I have to" to "I get to" harkens the blessing that it is to be his mom and be able to do the responsibilities that come with it.
While it is incredibly unfair that other half of this co-parenting team negates his basic responsibility, I have to think about it in the same terms in what I gain with my son rather than all the ways it is wrong and unfair of how his father behaves and does not handle things.
It's hard. It's not easy. It's not fair. But it could be so much worse. It really could. We are blessed even in this. And when his dad isn't present for his days (due to work) and doesn't plan ahead or take responsibility for his time with his child, I must remind myself that this means I get to have pizza night with my son. I get to care and love him.
It's a tough situation, but I do my best. I just want to see positive co-parenting, and I know that's just not going to happen, and that is frustrating. Does this co-parenting issue impede on my work and my own life? In every way. And it's not fair. But regardless of that, in the midst of this, I remind myself that I get to love and give to my son all the more. How will I choose to be towards his father? I am still figuring that out. But I'll tell you what, as much as I can, it will not be out of a place of anger, strife, or resentment. It will just be out of what is right.
Prayers from my friends are always appreciated. :)