Cross post from Coparenting101 – Deesha and Sherry feeling their way through co-parenting

by Carolyn on August 7, 2009

coparenting101.org

coparenting101.org

I really love the website coparenting101.  It was founded by Mike and Deesha;  a divorced couple who are not only setting the standard for co-parenting but are gracious enough to share their journey through it’s trials, tribulations and successes alike on their website.  Now I have rather strong opinions about co-parenting and putting the needs of children of divorce before the wants of divorced parents.  But sometimes when talking to people and reading stories I begin to question if my vision for co-parenting is even possible.

But then I see read about Deesha, Mike and Sherry.  Three co-parents who are committed to putting their children before any hurt feelings or personal issues.  It is awe inspiring.  Something to be admired and emulated.

To give you some background on this post, Deesha’s feelings had been hurt when her children expressed some disappointment in spending the evening with her as opposed to their father.  She wrote about it on her blog.  Please feel free to read that post too.  It is amazing how she chose not to interfere with her children’s feelings and instead took the time to understand her own.  In response to her post, her ex-husband’s wife wrote her this email.  Oh yes.  A mother and step mother communicating with each other in an open and honest way.  It’s amazing.  Enjoy:

Sherry’s also feeling her way through co-parenting

coparenting101crosspost

Yesterday, I (Deesha) wrote about working through my bruised feelings after my kids groaned at the reminder that they were staying with me, and not their father on “my” night (Tuesday).  What I didn’t write was that at the onset of our separation in 2005, the girls were with me Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, in addition to every other weekend.   Then, a few years ago, the girls began staying with Mike on Monday nights, and this spring, they started staying with him on Wednesday nights as well.  As I explained in yesterday’s post, because I am a freelance writer and work from home, the girls still end up being with me more than they are with Mike–and they still missed him in the evenings.  Hence the addition of Monday and Wednesday nights.

Well, in her email to me in response to yesterday’s post, our children’s stepmom, Sherry, reflected on her reaction to the Monday night change.  I asked her if I could share her email here, and she agreed.

Deesha,

Your post puts so many things into perspective for me. I remember when Taylor first talked about having the extra night, Monday night. Michael and I knew that it would affect (while we were just dating) our relationship in the sense of adult alone time. I expressed to him how much I loved…needed…our child-free time. Time where we didn’t have to gauge our words, and I didn’t have to compete for space on his lap. We could watch TV, or eat ice-cream for dinner without chastisement from the little people. I admit that in my initial reaction, I was being selfish.Taylor needs her time with her dad. So does Peyton.

Michael talked initially about adding an extra night during the week, but wanted to hear what Taylor had to say. When they (Michael and Taylor) were out to dinner, I  met up with them after their talk, and Michael explained to me what the “best decision for everyone” was: that the girls would have an additional evening with Michael–Monday nights.

Again, my knee-jerk reaction was to say, “Really? Best for everyone?” How, when everyone wasn’t a part of the conversation? It didn’t matter because apparently everyone that needed to be apart of the conversation was.

After dinner, I went back to my apartment and did some serious thinking. Thinking about what it was truly going to mean being a part of a healthy, blended family. Was I really ready to continue being the girlfriend of a committed, divorced father? Was I ready to potentially walk into a marriage with a man that knew he’d always be a father, no matter if he’d ever be a husband, banker or friend?

I thought and prayed and finally came to a decision. I called him and told him that I supported the decision 100%.

These are still the times in the girls’ lives where their dad is their ultimate hero. Taylor questions, but she still revers; Peyton defies, but still worships. This is the time when Michael’s presence will help shape and mold the girls’ minds and hearts regarding the kind of man that they will someday marry.

And you know what? Michael misses them too. He loves playing Tickle Monster with them, listening to Peyton’s day or Taylor’s thoughts and opinions on a topic. He needs this time with them as much as they need it with him because he knows that there will come a time when they’ll question with less reverence, and the symbol at their altar of worship won’t be him. I realized that while I loved this wonderful man, I loved his children too. And true love is sacrifice. I don’t have any children, and so the sacrifice for love’s sake is new to me, but it’s great! The girls love me because they know that I will set aside my feelings (whatever they are) and make decisions for the betterment of the whole.

One last thing:  Holla at your girl on one of your child-free nights.  I’m serious about that drink!

Sherry

******

I read so many blogs where step mothers are calling birth mothers names and spew animosity.  I also read  blogs of birth mothers who are unwilling to even communicate with step mothers; feeling somehow that they aren’t worth being included in the co-parenting picture.  Isn’t it nice to see a healthy co-parenting relationship between two women who feel empowered to express themselves to each other and who clearly love these two lucky children.  Thank you Deesha and Sherry.   It was a privilege to have this view into your lives.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 deesha August 9, 2009 at 8:43 am

Thank you for the re-post and kind words! And we look forward to sharing your insights and experiences with our readers to!!
.-= deesha´s last blog ..You said it: “Co-parents sharing a hotel room is inappropriate” =-.

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2 Myrna Murdoch August 23, 2009 at 3:30 pm

I have worked many years advocating for legislation that will mandate joint custody on a national level. How refreshing to see and read of a family who truly lives ” the best interest of the children”.
aloha, Myrna B. Murdoch
CEO Children’s Rights Council

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3 Carolyn August 23, 2009 at 9:19 pm

I couldn’t agree more and that’s why I reposted it. The folks over at coparenting101.org are amazing. They set a fine example of how good it can be if both parents can approach co-parenting without all the bitterness and anger we see so often.

Thanks for stopping by Myrna. I went over to your site too – very nice! I hope to hear from you again.

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