Friday, April 5, 2013

I coparent, do you?

A recent post, read it for yourself, by Jada Pinkett Smith got me to thinking about being a blended family. I usually tend to not consider the thoughts of some celebrities but Jada hit the nail on the head with this one. She and Will Smith have been married for 17 years and she's a fellow working mom. Her post intrigued me because I am part of a blended family. My ex husband and I both have remarried (I really would like to find a better word for "remarried", if you find one, let me know). He and his wife recently had a new baby, their second. My daughter, Hummingbird, is so excited to have a new sibling. 

Growing up, I never heard of the term "coparent" or "blended" family. Sure, I knew plenty of folks who remarried or who were even just shacking up. One or both of them had kids prior and probably even had some together. A lot of these relationships didn't appear to be healthy because usually the woman/wife did not have a high opinion of the her guy's ex. This would usually result in name calling, fighting, foolishness. 

My son's father and I never married, mostly shacked up. I never envisioned myself marrying him. That relationship ended when my son was two.  Yogli's biological dad died when Yogli turned three and soon after that I married my now ex husband. That was my first taste of a blended family. He didn't have any children and would now be a parent to Yogli. Previously, I heard him talk of his step-father, not in the most flattering words. Seems that no one I knew had a positive blended family relationship. Needless to say, that marriage ended. 

Once again single, I knew that meeting someone new would eventually mean interaction with my two kids. This could also possibly mean me eventually interacting with this man's kids, if he had any. Surprisingly, the guys I would meet didn't have any kids. This, too, could become an issue. When a man or woman who has no kids, meets a woman or man who has kids. This led me to begin to research on this blended family concept. My blended family research led me to something new, coparenting. I always wondered what it would be like once my ex husband and I remarried. Wondered what it would be like to have another woman in my kids lives. My journey from being divorced, single parent, remarried was a great one. Once divorced, I made sure to go through every single phase of grief. I wanted to make sure I was Mrs. Right instead of just looking for Mr. Right. I also made sure that I started living. Seems that I lost myself in that previous marriage. I started living not only for me but for my kids as well. 


So, coparenting...what is that? Wikipedia describes it as "a parenting situation where the parents are not in a marriage, cohabitation or romantic relationship with one another. In the United States the term coparenting is often used to describe the relationship between two separated or divorced parents attempting to parent their shared children". Check out this site for coparenting 101, coparenting 101. Shared parenting, huh? Sounds crazy, right? Well, not really, if ego isn't in the way. See, ex spouses can get along, if they remove pride. Pride says "there is no way I'm letting another woman be around my kids". While humility says "my kids get the opportunity to have even more people love them". After all, the bottom line is making sure the kids are alright. Now, I know what you're saying right now. "Tiffany has lost her mind! She has no clue what I've been through". Sure, it's hard when you think that your child loves another mother type figure. Wondering if it's even possible to love multiple people like that. True, maybe I don't but take a step back, think about the children. Of course, none of this can work if all parties involved aren't willing to put in the work. Can you coparent alone? Kinda sorta. Make sure that you always act in the best interest of the children. Easy, NO WAY!!! This is when you gotta dig deep, see the bigger picture. It is best for children to have both parents involved. 

This is a topic that can go on and on and on. Yep, I feel a coparenting series comin' on! Until then, tell me how you coparent or how you would like to coparent. 


  1. I have co-parent with my husbands children and it was not always pretty. But we got through it and not the boys are adults. We all get along and it has worked out. Baby momma drama was off the chain during that time. But after we all matured I can say it all work out for the good of the boys. Now they love and respect me. All parents speak and get along. Though they young adults there is still times that we have to interact.
    Living F.A.B.ulously on Purpose

  2. Glad you had a happy ending, Margaret. It's tough, and can be an emotionally time. I always ask myself "what's the worst thing that can happen?" Sounds like you guys made it work.