Monday, January 21, 2008

Co-Parenting Bloggers? Anyone? Anyone?

I've been having a hard time with my kids you might say. And when I'm having a hard time there is always one place I know to turn...Doctor Google. Doctor Google always has a plethora of advice, good, bad and ugly. But what Doctor Google lacks in discriminating taste, she (yes, she's a female Doc, deal with it) makes up for in volume and accessibility. But alas, since my divorce she's been failing me more and more often.

The point is, the amount of resources out there as help for people in co-parenting situations is miserable. Most of it comes in the form of lectures about how to handle the co-parenting plan when the divorce is going on, and step-parents patting themselves on the back for putting up with the biological parent not living in their home. There is nothing that I can find that offers any kind of support forum for people who are co-parenting. There is nothing that I can find about learning how to be an effective disciplinarian in a situation where you are desperately missing your child half the time, and dealing with an entitled brat the other half of the time. Nothing that I can find about maintaining your sanity when your ex makes your children start calling his girlfriend their step mother. Not much out there to support those of us doing this strange and very difficult work "for the kids."

Well, I'm sitting here looking at Doctor Google saying, "You know, somebody should do something about that." It wasn't Doctor Google at all, but some ghost from the past who sounded like a housewife said, "Um, you know you ARE somebody, right?"

So right now, as of this moment, I'm looking for bloggers who are also co-parents. I'm looking for people just starting off in the co-parent adventure, and people who have done it for years, moms or dads although I'd rather not it be "steps." And even though I respect them greatly, this really isn't about the parents doing it largely on their own. I'm looking very specifically at dealing with the issues of sharing parenting responsibilities with someone else. I suppose co-parents who were never married or significantly involved too, even though I don't have a lot of experience where the "other" parent is significantly involved in the child's life in those. And while we all know the children are of the utmost importance (that is why we make these choices, isn't it?) I want this blog to be about parents caring for themselves too.

What blog? Oh that's why I'm looking. I want to make a resource for co-parents. I like the blog format because it is personal and inviting, but I think it will need various contributors because a) I couldn't find enough fodder for a useful blog all myself, and b) I won't learn anything if I'm only blathering on about my own experiences and c) there is power in numbers.

So if you know a co-parenting blogger, are a co-parenting blogger, know of anyone who might know a co-parenting blogger, tell them to drop me a line here in my comments. I will email them back ASAP.

10 comments:

Karly said...

I think the Google "big brother" may be watching. When I am bored, I sometimes read the blog recommendations in Google Reader to see if there is anything new to add to my subscriptions. Maybe it suggested this one because of the title of your blog entry, but it looks intriguing. She is a single parent to 3 and a freelance writer...with a co-parenting entry as her most recent.

http://belknapkids.blogspot.com/

Hmmm, maybe the Google Gods are making a connection...or the FSM. Whatever.

Tenna Draper said...

Yeh, there's a group--it's called Parents without Partners, and it's all about what you're looking at. Co-parenting...

I used to be a member. They're international, I think. If you don't have a group locally, check on google--there's got to be a group somewhere, and if not, perhaps you could look into starting one for all the others, including yourself, who are going through this mess.

This wisdom at 11:30PM, and I've got to go to work in the morning.
Gnite.

MadMad said...

I think this sounds like a great idea! (I don't have any link ideas, though!)

LaDonna said...

Well, sweetie, I guess I'm not much help in this area. Sorry about that. But since Dr. Google is failing you, I tried Dr. Live. Found a bunch of resources for "co-parenting" and "parenting after divorce", but nothing in the way of blogs.

And since you know I haven't learned how to keep my mouth shut, I'm just going to say...

He makes them call HER their STEP-MOTHER?????? Oh, Ei, that would send me right over the edge. Last I heard, she wasn't his wife. What kind of message is he sending the boys that this woman, who may or may not be permanently a part of their life, should be addressed with a title with that much importance. Step or not, it's got the word "MOTHER" in it, and just cuz she's his latest flavor of the week (or month or whatever) doesn't give her the right to be their "MOTHER" in any way shape or form!

*breathing now* Sorry for that little rant. I feel better now :)

Luv ya girl!

shauna said...

That was nice of Karly to recommend my blog. And thanks for dropping by! I'm so new at this I don't have much to say. And I have to admit--the thing that frightens me the most about the co-parenting thing is introducing significant others into our "family." The ex and I get along great right now, but as soon as he has a girlfriend he wants the kids to call mommy, things are going to get ugly. I've warned him about as much. We've agreed that no one can replace the other, but we all know how quickly that can change when people start seeing others. Sorry I'm no help with this. But I'll keep watching your blog because it sounds like you may have a bit more experience with this than I do. It's always nice to find another blogger that can relate.

Guardian Angel said...

Hi! I am a father of 2,I am a also a part time blogger. I love to blog about effective parenting tips because I want to learn more. I hope my blog will pass your taste. Thanks.

Tenna Draper said...

I wanted to add a note to my earlier thoughts...

Way back in the day, b4 I got remarried, I dated a guy who was also in Parents without Partners--he had a daughter, I had a son. It seemed a perfect arrangement.

One day his daughter and I were shopping about in the clothing area. She had mentioned a couple of times to me that she wanted another new brazziere. I didn't give it a ton of thought, just pushed the cart around to the section of the store, and had her try on a few, figuring that she'd been through all this before, so why hassle with it.

Her father was miffed at me though, and told me in no uncertain terms that I should have left the matter to her mother.

Looking back on this episode, since at the time, I was miffed right back and told him "she came to me, I don't see what the problem is, and if MOM has an issue with it, she and I will discuss it, but if she comes to me, when clearly YOU haven't told her that I'm not somebody she can come to if she has an issue or a need, then if she asks, I'm gonna help in whatever way I can. I am not usurping MOM's position, but simply helping out!"

Too many parents take this "I'M THE MOM AND I'LL MAKE THE DECISIONS" a little bit too seriously. Kids will do whatever they think they can "get away with", and if that means asking dad's girlfriend for a brazziere, don't hold it against the girlfriend.

Discipline, however, is another matter entirely, of course, and will cause issues--no matter WHAT the lines of communication are. I don't think it's appropriate to call someone "step-mom" if there's no marriage, but again, it depends on what the child is comfortable with--not what YOU are comfortable with--get my meaning?

Carolie said...

I'm not a co-parenting blogger, just the child of divorced parents who co-parented us three. I don't fit what you're asking for, Ei, but I'd love to participate, if I can help in any way!

On another note, I've tagged you for a meme (I know, I know, please forgive me!) Please visit http://wordmagix.blogspot.com/ to participate.

Michael said...

You mentioned that you wanted more resources for co-parenting. I understand your preference for the blog format, but you might want to consider an alternative. I have been a co-parent for more than a decade, and my kids had other challenges as well. Nothing came *close* to being as helpful to me as the parenting e-lists that I was on (man of them were yahoogroups-- very easy to set up). The format allows for a much more immediate and dialogical interation than anything else I've seen, on or off the Internet.

Jill Davis Doughtie said...

My stepkids' mom and I blog together about raising kids in two houses. We're at http://thedhx.com

Yes, I did.


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