Updated: Jan 4
I’d done the single parent deal, and the “force it to work because we have a kid” situation. I’d made multiple attempts over the first 6 years of my son’s life to co-parent with his birth father, unsuccessfully. I was relieved when he decided to move to the states and lose contact.
When I met B, I was over the moon to share the journey of parenting with someone so deeply in touch with the complexity of relationships. He was kind and patient and emotional, receptive and open to trying new things, the three of us melded together and became a family quickly and effortlessly. So when we decided to expand our family, to grow to four, seeing eye-to-eye was the last thing I expected to be challenging.
All I’d ever wanted with my first child was someone equally passionate about raising him. I’d expected us to join passion forces and super-parent from the get-go. Yet suddenly, we were disagreeing on sleeping arrangements, how to parent our older child, and nitpicking one another about small mistakes and miscommunication. Staying on the same page shifted from something we’d never had to work for, to something we had to work for every. Single. Day.
The shift to four has been as smooth as it can possibly be, our daughter is healthy, our family genuinely thriving. But the communication, it takes work. It’s not surprising, with everything we have going on, but it’s so hard some days to not feel burnt out, exhausted from the effort it takes to see from his point of view, to stay compassionate and patient and fair. It’s hard not to become resentful and stubborn that it’s not all the way I want it to be. I just want to scream sometimes. “MY WAY! This way works, I don’t care what you think, I don’t care that it makes you uncomfortable!” And I know that’s not true.. I do care. I care so much. I care more about his thoughts and feelings and opinions on the matter than anyone! But with the hormones, and the doing it all alone the first time around, it’s hard not to isolate myself to doing it all alone again. It’s heartbreaking really.
But I’ll keep working at it. My partner deserves it. I do too. And especially our children. They deserve to experience both their parent’s input, to witness two people continually leaning into the discomfort of relearning how to parent themselves, and their children. I want them to feel inspired to do the work too, to keep showing up even when it’s not how you thought it’d look.