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Letting Go of Baby Mama Drama: Unfiltered Advice for Co-Parenting Success

by | Nov 5, 2023 | Divorce and Life After, Kids and Parenting, Life in General

Let’s cut to the chase – baby mama drama is real. It’s messy, and emotional, and can leave everyone involved feeling like they’re caught in a never-ending shitstorm. From insignificant arguments about trivial matters to outrageous acts of sabotage, it’s like we’re living in a soap opera. Not only do the adults suffer, the kids suffer more, leaving lifelong scars and cause for future therapy and divorce as adults.

But here’s the thing; it doesn’t have to be that way. In this no-nonsense blog post, I will delve into the core of this issue, highlighting its ugliness and the disgraceful individuals who fuel it.

I didn’t sugarcoat it, and I didn’t hold back so if you have an ego problem or need to be coddled, this is not the post for you. But if you or someone you know is over the baby-mama drama bullshit, then keep reading. It’s time to break free from the drama and allow your children to adjust to the new normal of two homes and move on with your life without being a bitter and controlling asshole.

Before we get started, I understand that drama can go both ways, as there are men out there who are guilty of the same selfish behavior. However, given that statistically, women are the more spiteful ones and I am a woman myself, I am coming from this perspective. However, feel free to swap gender roles as necessary.

Now, let’s dive in and have a brutally honest conversation about this, shall we?

What is my experience with co-parenting?

Since 2017, my ex-husband and I have been co-parenting our three children with a 50/50 split. We were high school sweethearts and were together for 27 years, so naturally adjusting to the life of divorce felt impossible for me at first. Co-parenting wasn’t always easy for us, as we faced a tumultuous ride of emotions while dealing with a high-conflict situation for almost two years. It was tough to see my children sad, angry, confused, and struggling. The whole thing sucked ass!

Until one day, I decided to take real control of the situation and turn it all around. And let me tell you, it has been a game-changer. Embracing cooperation has not only eased the stress but has also created a whole new world of possibilities for everyone involved, most importantly, my children. 

I made the decision on my own after a small intervention from one of my mentors and started the cooperative process until eventually, my ex-husband joined me in creating a cooperative and conscious co-parenting relationship.

Despite not being friends, my ex and I have managed to establish a respectful dynamic between us. We avoid spending holidays together, discussing personal topics, or micromanaging each other. Our conversations are as needed only, sometimes going weeks in between. To be honest, if we didn’t have children, we probably wouldn’t communicate at all. However, we can attend one-time events for our children with grace, dignity, and love for them. We ensure that we don’t make asses of ourselves and we avoid damaging our children any more than we already have.

The Harsh Truth.

To put it bluntly: Drama in general is usually a result of a severe shortage of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and basic interpersonal skills. It’s like this bizarre illusion of control, deeply entangled with our wounds and insecurities, that keeps us hooked in a toxic cycle.

Many of us, whether we’re freshly in the middle of it or have been stuck there for years, are in a shocking state of denial. We’re so oblivious to the destruction we’re causing—to ourselves and, even worse, to our flesh and blood. We’re so blinded by our fears, self-righteousness, and obstinacy that we can’t see the colossal idiocy of our actions and the heavy fallout they bring to our children…for many years to come.

Why Exes Can’t Let Go.

Many exes can’t let go because of their insecurities and lack of personal growth and EQ. They might fear losing control, worry about being replaced by both the ex and their children, being left out, or struggle with unresolved feelings. They may feel intense jealousy when a new partner enters causing them to act petty, immature, and downright malicious. Recognizing these insecurities is the first step towards breaking free from the drama.

It’s Not Always Just One Parent.

Of course, it’s crucial to understand that the reactions and responses of each parent play a significant role in perpetuating or quelling the drama. In some cases, the drama is evident through overt confrontations and disputes, while in others, it simmers beneath the surface, covertly, creating tension and discomfort with backhanded comments and digs, both verbally and through text.

Regardless of the form it takes, the reactions of both parents can either escalate or de-escalate the situation. If one parent continually provokes arguments, manipulations, or games, it can provoke the other parent’s insecurities and defensive responses, which, in turn, fuels the flames of drama. If the other parent continues to entertain the games, they are only enabling and allowing the dysfunction and are just as responsible for the drama.

To break free from this cycle, at least one parent needs to commit to a cooperative approach, focusing on the children’s well-being rather than being in control, personal vendettas, or being right. Ultimately, it works better for both parents to recognize their own roles in the drama and strive for a more harmonious co-parenting relationship that serves the best interests of the children.

So There is A New Person….Get The F@ck Over it!

I get it. Another parental figure around our kids can stir feelings of jealousy, anger, and even rage, especially for us mothers and especially if you still have feelings for your ex. But this comes with the territory of co-parenting. You have a choice; resist or accept. What you resist will always persist.

Try and embrace the idea of your ex’s new partner joining your children’s lives. Their presence can enrich your children’s growth and development. By being confident in your role as a parent, you allow your children to form new, positive relationships that complement your own. Trust yourself and avoid letting insecurities or jealousy overshadow your children’s experiences. They are watching and learning from our behaviors. Secure parents raise secure children, even in divorce and break-ups. Don’t add to the complications.

Instead, have open communication with your ex about how the new partner fits into your children’s lives while accepting that you don’t get to control the situation and you are going to have to share your kids with them. Even if you don’t like it. That’s life. Make sure everyone’s priority is your children’s well-being and accept their presence. This creates a harmonious co-parenting environment where both parents and their partners contribute positively to your children’s upbringing.

My Lesson.

I remember when I was navigating the new challenges of co-parenting and my ex-husband introduced his first new partner to our children. Initially, I felt immense dislike towards her, not only because she was with my ex, (it was weird at first) but mostly because she was with my kids. I wanted to be the one who was always with them. However, I soon realized that this was an inevitable part of the process, a consequence of not being together with their father and I was never going back to that!

Once I let go of control and my ego, I had a powerful realization. No matter who my ex brought into my kids’ lives, whether she was practically Mary Fucking-Poppins herself, she could never replace me as their mother. Even if my kids adored her, I knew deep down that I was a damn good mom and I feel confident and secure in my relationships with each of my children. I may not be perfect, but nobody can take away my love and dedication to my children or their love for me.

In fact, I now welcome anyone else who cares about my children as a bonus, an extra layer of support for them. Instead of feeling threatened or resentful, I embrace the idea that my kids have even more people in their lives who care about them and whom they can go to. 

As a working mom, I appreciate being able to ask my co-parenting step-mom for help when needed. Having her support makes a big difference for me AND my child. I prefer a no-drama approach, as it’s much easier and less stressful for everyone involved.

Besides, as fantastic as we are as moms, our kids can’t and won’t come to us for everything – that’s a simple fact of parenting. Therefore, having additional people who love and support them is truly empowering for all of us.

Listen, mama, it’s high time to snap out of it and face the brutal truth. You can stop the drama right now.

Here are some BadAss Matriarch skills to adopt that can have a positive and lasting change.

Skill 1: Recognize Your Own Insecurities

Before you can tackle the drama, it’s essential to recognize and address your own insecurities. Many times, baby mama drama arises from personal issues and unresolved feelings. Do some soul-searching and figure out what’s causing your insecurity. Whether it’s fear of abandonment, jealousy, or resentment, acknowledge it and work on yourself first. Coaching can help.

Skill 2: Communicate Like Adults

No more screaming matches, aggressive texts, or childish games. It’s time to communicate like adults. Keep conversations focused on the children and their well-being and ONLY pertinent topics such as serious health issues or school issues. What they watch on TV or what they eat at the other’s house is no longer your concern or business, so let it go. Use neutral language and show respect for your ex’s perspective, even if you don’t agree. Remember, effective communication is the key to successful co-parenting.

Skill 3: Establish Clear Boundaries

Set boundaries for your co-parenting relationship. Clearly define each parent’s role and responsibilities using a legal and detailed parenting plan. Don’t try to control any aspect of your ex’s life; it’s counterproductive and will only lead to more drama and inner struggle. Respect each other’s privacy and personal space as well as their time with their children. Intruding or inserting yourself into that time is not only selfish and hurtful, it prolongs the moving-on process for yourself and the children.

Skill 4: Prioritize the Children

Your children are the innocent bystanders in this drama. Keep their best interests at the forefront of your decisions. Not just with talk but with your actions. Justifying drama is not prioritizing the children. Understand that your children need both parents in their lives, and depriving them of one or interfering with their relationship with the other parent is unfair and harmful. It is important to understand that engaging in toxic behaviors with your children’s other parent can have long-lasting effects on them. This can lead to resentment towards one or both parents and almost promise future relationship issues of their own when they become adults. 

Skill 5: Let Go of the Past

It’s time to stop living in the past. Holding onto grudges and past mistakes or hopes of reconciliation only fuels the drama. Let go of the past and focus on building a healthier co-parenting relationship. Forgiveness is a powerful tool for personal growth and healing.

 

Skill 6: Be Flexible

Life can throw us curveballs, especially when it comes to co-parenting. That’s why being flexible is crucial. Whether it’s adjusting custody arrangements or dealing with unexpected situations, being adaptable can eliminate tension and create smoother transitions for our children. But it doesn’t stop there – when we choose to cooperate and get along, we not only build a stronger support system but also open the door to asking for help when we need it.

I’ve had those days when I’m scrambling to pick up the kids from school. Thankfully, I can rely on my ex and his new partner for assistance. They might say no, and that’s okay. The important thing is that I can ask without fear of judgment or negativity. It’s truly liberating to have a safe space to turn to when I need a helping hand.

Skill 7: Seek Professional Help

If the drama is unbearable, consider seeking professional help. IT IS NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS BUT IN FACT, IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH & EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE. A skilled therapist, divorce recovery coach, or mediator can provide valuable guidance and tools for effective co-parenting.

Parenting Coordinators, co-parenting apps, or other experienced third parties can help with communication between high-conflict parents. They eliminate the bullshit bickering and fighting between parties and focus on the parenting plan and the children’s best interests while holding each party accountable. Don’t let pride or stubbornness prevent you from seeking assistance and finally having peace.

But what if that is not enough?

 

Sometimes you have to get forceful.

We can’t control what others do, but we can control how we respond and what we tolerate. In situations where one parent consistently disregards boundaries and shows little respect for the well-being of their children, utilizing the legal system may become a necessary step. It sucks royally and takes up a lot of time, energy, resources and money. But sometimes it’s the means to an end. 

It’s crucial to remember that laws and court orders are there to provide a framework for co-parenting when cooperation breaks down. If you find yourself dealing with a co-parent who continually crosses boundaries and places the children at risk, seeking legal intervention can help enforce the necessary boundaries and protections.

In cases involving parents with low emotional intelligence and a persistent disregard for boundaries, the legal system can be a valuable tool to protect your children and yourself and maintain a stable and secure environment for them. 

While it’s not a step to be taken lightly, sometimes it’s necessary to ensure that your children’s boundaries and well-being are respected, even when the other parent seems unwilling to do so.

In Conclusion:

Baby mama drama is detrimental to everyone involved, especially the children. Letting go of control, addressing insecurities, and focusing on the well-being of your kids can help you break free from the cycle of drama. It’s time to put your children first and create a healthier, drama-free co-parenting relationship. Remember, it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. So, take a deep breath, let go of the drama, and give your children the stable, loving environment they deserve.

The choice is yours: be a badass matriarch or just an asshole mom.

 

Hello!

I am Jen,

As a dedicated life coach specializing in co-parenting, divorce, and single motherhood, I bring a unique blend of professional expertise and personal experience to my coaching practice. I am deeply committed to helping women not only survive divorce but also thrive as they transition into their roles as single mothers. I provide tailored coaching to assist my clients in developing effective co-parenting strategies, fostering healthy communication, and creating nurturing environments for their children.

I am also the author of the best-selling book “I am Amazing: From Invisible to Invincible”. My self-help memoir offers hope and inspiration for anyone who has felt overwhelmed by life and their struggles with mental health. With raw honesty and vulnerability, I provide an intimate look at my journey from victim to victorious.

 

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