The Struggle of Coparenting

Ariadna, Mónica i Sergi

You’re not in a relationship.

…and it’s still complicated.

I can hear the collective sigh of frustration.  I know.  I get it.  Coparenting is tough.  But it’s also so very important for your kids!  The other day, I found myself clicking through random articles on the web.  I came across one about the “Best Arrangement for Kids of Divorced Parents.”  Being ever so curious, I opened it.  The article just said what we’ve all heard a hundred times before:  it’s important to have both parents in the picture.

Well of course it is!  That’s easy to say for a researcher with no kids, or for a parent in the perfect relationship.  But what about the rest of us?

The article conveniently left out the fact that coparenting is difficult.  It’s hard to deal with the other parent sometimes.  It’s hard to be flexible, to be understanding.  It’s tough to agree on the same rules and the same schedule.  Every time you drop him off or pick him up, it’s important to make sure you both know the child is the most important part of the relationship.

I’ve been pretty lucky, both of us are in the picture, and we both get a long pretty well, for my son’s sake.  It can still be difficult though, especially when you two don’t agree on something.  Try to remember that the little human in the carseat is still the most important thing to your world.  If you truly want what’s best for them, it’s important to try and make it work with both parents.

You may not think the other parent is amazing, but your kid probably still loves them, and they’re very lucky to have both parents in the picture.  Every time you drop them off, you’re teaching your child that family is important, even if you don’t get along.  You’re teaching your child respect and love.

If you have trouble (like me) try some of these tips for coparenting!

  • Try and have some consistency with rules, schedules, etc.
  • Focus on the kids, not on your feelings or frustrations.
  • Always treat the other parent with respect.  Never say anything bad about them in front of the kids.
  • Try to commit to honest, frequent conversation with the other parent.
  • Be flexible with your time.  If you want a few extra hours with the little one this week, make sure to return the favor.
  • Remember what’s most important, you kiddo!

Being a young mom and suffering from Depression

Being a mother and suffering from depression can be the hardest. Now being a young single mother and suffering from depression can be even more hard for you. I know from experience. There are times where you feel like being in a dark place where nobody bothers you at all. There are times when you don’t want to see or speak to anyone. Sometimes you may even feel like your world is ending and that nobody cares/loves you when in reality you have alot of people who do.

Depression is something you cannot control no matter how hard you try. All you can do is stare at your beautiful child and start asking yourself questions like “what have I done so wrong? Why can’t I be the best mother I can be?” when in reality you are the best mother you can be. No matter what you are going through please NEVER give up. We have to be strong for our kids and they need us. When you are feeling down Play with your child and look at their smile, that’s what’s going to motivate you even more to keep pushing forward.

Never let anyone say you can’t make it because you could. Never let your mistakes tell who you are. We are all human and will make mistakes our entire lives. Our children needs us more than anyone. There’s no pure love like a mother’s love❤💞.

Don’t Forget About You!

CalvinHobbesParenting

The number one thing people tell you about parenting?

Kids come first.

End of story.  No discussion, no questions.

Now, I don’t disagree with this advice, but there’s a fine distinction between the “kids come first”, and the “I have to do what’s best for my kids” approach.  The moment you do something for yourself, there are plenty of people ready to write you off as a selfish parent.  Don’t listen to them.  Listen to you kids.  Ask your kiddo, “Do you like it better when mom and dad are stressed out, or when we’re happy.”  Gee, I wonder what they’ll say.

Thankfully, people are starting to realize that if you want to raise happy, healthy kids, you have to be healthy and happy too!  This is important to remember, and I noticed it the most in this Proud to Parent program.  Every meeting, we go through a few questions at the beginning.  Guess which question is the hardest to answer….

“What have you done for yourself this week?”

This might seem like a strange question to ask, especially coming from the “drop everything for the kids” approach to parenting.  But it makes a lot of sense, and I think people need to remember that.  Any parent, no matter what age, will tell you that parenting is exhausting at times.  Parenting is a tough job, no doubt about it.  But it’s also so incredibly rewarding, and in order to get the most out of parenting, you have to be able to take a step back and reflect on it.

If you’re like me, it’s always hard to take time for yourself.  Between work, school, kids, and every other obligation I’m signed up for, “me-time” isn’t exactly a top priority.  You feel guilty, you can’t stop thinking about work tomorrow, or that exam coming up, you miss your kids.  But I’ve also started to see how important it is.  Trust me, if I’ve had time to hang out with a friend or relax and read a book, I have way more fun with my son.  Sleeping too; man does getting enough sleep help…

So don’t be afraid to help yourself help your kids.  If you need a break, that’s ok.  If you need a night out or time to yourself, don’t let anyone tell you you’re not entitled to that.  Parenting is a full time job, and full time jobs have vacation time for a reason.  Everybody needs a vacation, even if it’s just one night.  Trust me, taking a day to recharge, catch up with an old friend, do some yoga, take a nap, whatever, will pay back tenfold.  If taking a night to yourself lets you be able to relax and have fun with the kids all weekend, it’s totally worth it!

So let me ask, what have you done for yourself this week?

Balancing Life and Parenting

lifeI feel that due to all of the expenses and obligations in daily life a
lot of parents are not able to spend all of the time they would like
with their children. Having a child is a life-changing experience, and
supporting them is too. I have struggled daily with thoughts that I do
not spend enough time with my girls. Many times I feel ashamed of the
little time I spend with my daughters. Juggling work, school,
financial obligations, and just life in general has made it hard for
me to be with them at all times. Sometimes I feel like I am a bad
parent and I get emotional because I feel like I am missing so much
while at work. One of my fears was that they would forget about me, or
get closer to someone else and not want me. The most emotional thing
for me was that I did not get to see Genesis take her first steps when
she began walking. I wanted so bad to be there for that moment but it
wasn’t possible. I was very hard on myself about missing her “firsts”
but from that I have learned to better appreciate the time I can spend
with my girls.
I want Genesis and Samyrah to know that everything I do in my life is
for them and that I really do want to be a great mother to them. After
work I fly home and hug them tight. I miss them every day. I keep
pictures at my desk and it helps miss them a little less on some days.
Thinking negatively about me as a mother was not going to change the
time I spent with them, what I missed, or how they felt about me .I
may not be the perfect mother, but I strive to be the best mother I
can. Working and getting my college education is something I am hoping
they appreciate when they are old enough to understand. It is my way
of building a foundation for our future life.

Headless Chicken

218px-headlesschickenI have been sitting here staring at this screen on and off for the past hour trying to figure what I have to say about being a young parent. Clearly I have decided to start typing, but I still have no idea where to start. I know what I want to say. The problem is how do I tell my story without sounding like a crazy woman.

Here is my attempt…

Since becoming a young parent, I do not remember the last time I was not tired. Between work, school, and caring for my son, I feel like a chicken with its head cut off running around aimlessly. With that being said, I have never been happier in my life. I smile so hard that my face hurts more than my exhausted brain. The best part of my day used to be falling asleep to Netflix. Now, the best part of my day is when Caleb is asleep and his diaper is full. I pray that he doesn’t wake up while I am changing him because I have so much work to do, but by the time I’m done and I look up at him and he’s awake. My first thought is, “Just great!” Then he looks into my eyes and he smiles at me and I can’t help but smile back. I feel like giving up EVERY SINGLE DAY, but his smiles gives me the push that I need to keep going. I laugh when I should cry, I watch him sleep when I have a million other thing I should be doing, and while people thought becoming a young parent meant my life was over, but I have never felt more alive.

To all the other chickens with your heads cut off, I can’t tell you how things will work out for you because I am still trying to figure that out for myself. What I can say is that you are not alone. Stay strong and be #proudtoparent !

Louisha

Hard working single mom’s

denise imageBeing a single mom is very hard, stressful, and depressing. Being a single mom and working is even more stressful and depressing. Work causes stress, and being a mom also causes stress so you feel so stressed out and don’t know what to do or where to go. You get so desperate that you feel like you are all alone and don’t have anyone to help you or cheer you up. You feel like your not a good parent because you have to work enough hours to get enough money to pay bills and take care of your child. I am here to tell you that you’re doing a GREAT job and keep up the good work!!

I know exactly how you feel because I am going through it myself. I am a young single hard working mom. I am my daughters mother and father. Alot of times I get out of work so tired that I just want to lay down and sleep my life away, but then reality hits me that I am not able to do that because I have to take care of my daughter first and put her to sleep before I can get some rest. Most of the times I feel like I’m stuck in between these four walls and can’t get out. But then I think of all the help I get from my family and how lucky I am to have that help.

Never feel alone. There’s always someone out there willing to hear you and give you advice. Never feel like you are not good enough, because you are. Keep working hard even if you feel like giving up because “Hard work pays off”. Give all the love you can to your child because they need to feel it. Never give up, strive to do better in life for you and your child because in the future that child will thank you for never giving up on them.

Getting My Daughter Ready for School

Summer vacation is just about over and it’s time for me to face the bitter truth: I have to get my daughter ready for the school year. It’s a process and it definitely isn’t easy, but in the long run, it makes your life as a parent so much easier.

My first tip is to focus on getting your child on a school schedule a week or two before school starts. Since most kids aren’t going to bed as early and their days aren’t as structured throughout the summer, transitioning into the school year schedule can be tough. If your child is going to bed late, start by putting them to bed 30 minutes earlier each day until you get to the time you want them to fall asleep during the school year. So if your child is going to bed at 10, put him or her to bed at 9:30 the first day, 9 the next day, 8:30 the next day, 8:00 the next day, and earlier if you need to.

To help figure out what time your kid should be in bed, keep in mind children under the age of 3 need at least 12-14 hours of sleep and children over the age of 3 need at least 10-12 hours of sleep.

My daughter is 7 years old and entering the 2nd grade so I like to tuck her into bed no later than 8:00 PM so I can make sure she gets at least 11 hours of sleep. Being in elementary school is tough and their little brains have a lot of work to do. Making sure she gets enough sleep helps her excel and focus the next day.

For moms who work or go to school, it can sometimes feel like the only time you get with your children is during the few hours in the evening. I know how that feels because I get home at 6:00 and she goes to bed at 8:00. There are a couple of ways I keep our relationship strong throughout the school year and maximize our time together:

  1. I let her help me plan the dinner menu for the week every Sunday. We sit down and write out what we will eat everyday so we don’t waste time on weekdays trying to come to an agreement. My daughter feels so proud when she sees that our dinner plan was designed by her and rarely complains about dinner anymore.
  2. My daughter likes cooking so when it’s time to make dinner, I give her some responsibilities to help me with in the kitchen. But if your kid is too small or not interested in cooking, it’s an awesome time for them to be in the kitchen working on an art project or “pretend” cooking some awesome concoction.
  3. I read with her every night and tuck her into bed. It’s important that she reads and I enjoy being a part of that. And since she loves reading with me, it’s an awesome way to encourage her to get into bed. We read after pajamas are on, teeth are brushed, and her little body is under the covers.

Now I realize this will not work for every parent and child but I thought I’d share what works for me. Do you have any back-to-school tips for young parents?

How to Stop Stressing

Some think that the end is just the end, but really it’s a start to a new beginning. Stress is a very common thing and boy does it have your mind going! And stressing over the little things is even worse. Stressing is waste of strength. I say don’t stress it, just use it to open a new door and when you start doing that you’ll see that you was stressing over was nothing. You can do anything or turn any situation around if you but your mind to it here’s a few tips to help you.

1) Try to think of whatever you’re stressing about as a positive.

2) Try to think of was to fix the problem or preventing it from happening again this way you know what to when or if this lil problem comes up again.

3) Write it out. Some people who stress tend to think a lot I feel the only way to get rid of it or to easy it is to write it out because as soon as you start writing you’ll forget you are and by the time you are done you probably have written a book LOL.

I hope I have helped you and maybe you will try some of these or come up with some of you own. I would love to hear how you choose to de-stress.

Breaking Up? I mean down.

Ever wonder why break ups aren’t called break downs? Let’s be real! Nine times out of ten you’re sitting in your bed with a gallon of ice cream, a box of tissues, and the Lifetime channel on.

Now some break ups are fairly simple. Assuming that you probably never really loved him/her in the first place. And that you’d rather be throwing back shots with some random guy at UNOs. On the other hand, some break ups will be mutual. That’s when you both agree to breaking up and you’ll most likely end up being friends…WITH BENEFITS!

My advice is that if you want to break up with your significant other, don’t wait six months to do it! Just get it done and be honest!

When there are children involved in a break up, it’s important to always be careful about what you say in front of your child. You never want to give your child a bad impression on the other parent or yourself. If you can, evenly split responsibility and spend time as a family so your child doesn’t feel the separation.

Are you thinking of breaking up and don’t know how? Check out this flyer on choosing the best way to communicate -> U R Breaking Up?