Indiana Mom Shares Why She and Her Son’s Dad Make Positive Co-Parenting a Priority
No Drama Mama
I make it my life mission to avoid drama as much as possible. In fact, if we are Facebook friends and you are posting a lot about political stuff or vaguebooking or are putting your dirty laundry out there all the time, there's a good (pretty much 100%) chance that I've hidden you from my timeline. You stress me out and I'm not here for that! I still love ya but I don't need to see your negativity every day. #notsorry
Anyway, I do take notice and appreciate when my friends post really positive stuff on a regular basis. Case in point - my friend, Kim Meier.
Three Shirt Samm
So, a little bit about Kim. She married my buddy Samm a few years ago. Samm is pretty much the nicest guy in the whole world - and he also has, like, three shirts that he rotates. They are always clean - you just always see him in one of the three shirts until they disintegrate and he puts a new shirt into rotation. Honestly, it's one of the quirky things we love about him. When Samm met Kim, we all instantly liked her because she was down-to-earth, sweet, and appreciated Samm's quirks as much as we did.
When Samm and Kim met, she had a little boy named Trayce. And, Samm and Trayce instantly formed a bond. So, what did Trayce's dad think about all this?
Two Moms + Two Dads = One Happy Family
I remember going to one of Trayce's birthday parties at the rollerskating rink and seeing Samm, and Kim, and Trayce's dad, Kyle, and bonus mom, Brittany, all working together to make his day really special. I took note because I also know co-parents who can't stand each other and make it miserable for each other, their child, and honestly the rest of us because have to tiptoe around them all the time and deal with the fallout. But Kim and Trayce's dad made co-parenting look easy.
What's even cooler is that Kim regularly shares the awesome things Trayce's dad does on Facebook.
See that truck? This is co-parenting. Trayce learned today that he didn't make the Robotics team at school - something he has talked about doing since Kindergarten. To say he was heart-broken is an understatement. Knowing he was going to be upset, Kyle Stanton picked him up from the bus stop even though today isn't "his" day. He was there because Trayce needed him. Not only that, but he also drives home my daughter from the bus stop on days that are "his" days so that she doesn't have to walk home alone.
How Do They Do It?
Now obviously, there are a lot of factors at play when it comes to being successful at co-parenting. And let's be honest, there is a reason why you aren't with that person and feelings and emotions can run high. But at the end of the day, it's not really about you and what you feel. I asked Kim to be very candid about how she and Kyle make it work and why they think it's important to co-parent in this way.
"We separated when Trayce was 3-months-old. We knew that the only thing he would know was us being apart and we wanted to make that as positive of an experience as possible. We decided that no matter what, we would always do what's best for him and that meant working together. We also knew that when the time came to bring another adult into his life that they had to understand and support that and we were both lucky to find partners who not only supported it but did everything they could to make it work."
"There will always be things that we disagree on, but because we maintain communication it's easy to discuss. You have to make a conscious effort to be flexible and always ask, 'Does this really matter? And Is this best for him?' And most importantly, it takes both parents to be willing to not only set aside differences but to embrace them and accept them."
She even gave the Stantons a special shout-out on Father's Day.
Parenting is hard, but for a lot of people, co-parenting is impossible. But that's because they're not doing it with this guy. From the little things like sending pictures every single day when he was little or dropping off something at 6 am or being able to sit together at ball games, to the big things like running to the emergency room at 1 in the morning, this guy has been there. Happy Father's Day, Kyle Stanton! Trayce (and Lincoln and River) are so lucky to have you! *I know today's about the dad's, but let's not give him all the credit - it wouldn't be this easy without Brittany Stanton!
Help is Available for Co-Parenting
If you are having trouble navigating co-parenting, you definitely aren't alone. But there are resources that can help. Our friends at the Parenting Time Center in Evansville offer Cooperative Parenting Classes to help families navigate their child's needs and discuss them in a healthy way.
Trayce is awfully lucky to have not one, not two, but four awesome parents to have a part in raising him. And he's also lucky to have a pack of younger siblings. I'll leave you with his little sister Alanah and her array of hilarious facial expressions.
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