Problem: baby daddy/baby mama drama
First, recognize that there is a problem. Stop trying to rationalize whose fault it is and recognize that there are children watching. Whether or not you realize it, all of the children involved are watching and may be more aware of the drama than you think. Find a happy medium and stick to it. By doing this, you will show the children how to be an adult in a difficult situation. That doesn’t mean that you have to go along with everything and stay tight lipped about things that you are not in agreement with. Let’s discuss some steps that you can take.
1. Change the name of the game. Instead of calling them your baby daddy/momma or your baby daddy’s baby momma, try calling them co-parents. In reality, if you are raising children together you are all co-parenting.
2. Stop bad mouthing your co-parents around the kids. You are degrading the level of respect that the children have for your co-parent as well as the level of respect they have for you. Eventually they will grow up and understand all of the negative things you have said and they may look at you as the bad guy.
3. Make amends. If the relationship is over then let it go. Don’t hold on to negative feelings that stem from the times when you were in a relationship with your co-parent. It will only make you feel bad and in turn you will want your co-parent to feel bad and the cycle will continue with you hurting one another.
4. Say goodbye to the relationship. Although, you may still have some mixed feelings about the relationship and how it played out and how it ultimately ended, you have to say goodbye to the relationship so that you can move on and get back being your normal self. You know what I mean. When you get caught up in a negative break-up, you lose yourself a little. Sometimes you lose yourself a lot. You become a shell of your former self and all your thoughts are focused on a dead relationship. Say goodbye. Write a letter to the relationship. Buy it flowers and then bury it.
5. Focus on the children. When conversations begin to stray to the good old days or “what if” land, get the focus back on the children. There is no need for crying over spilled milk or dwelling in the past. Move on with your lives. And let each other go. It may be very hard at first but it is for the best. If it was meant to be then it would be.
6. Be friends. I know it sounds easier said than done but it’s worth a try. You don’t have to be best buddies but you do need to be able to get along respectfully with one another. That will make it easier to discuss issues about your children when you have differing views. Friends are more likely to cooperate and come to a compromise than enemies.
7. Mind your business. It is not your place to get all up and through your co-parents business about who is in between their sheets or who they are spending time with. The only time you need to be involved is if this person is posing some type of harm or negative influence on your children. Remember what I said before, the children will grow up and they will see for themselves what was dead wrong and what was right on point with both of their parents.
8. Get a life. Take advantage of your free time when the kids are with your co-parent. Stop doing drive by’s in the middle of the night to see who is over at your co-parent’s house. Go out. If your co-parent sees that you are actually not harping on them about how they are when they have the kids, they are more likely to just act right in the first place
9. Pay attention to your kids. Instead of grilling your kids about who was at daddy/mommies house, who called, who cooked, what was in the laundry, and who they were left with, focus on what they enjoyed and what they didn’t enjoy. Notice their mood. Did they really have a good time? Are they upset? This will allow you to be able to discuss the children with your co-parent instead of arguing over the household business. If you can tell your co-parent specifically how the visit affected the kids, the co-parent can correct what needs to be corrected on their own because they know exactly what happened in their own house.
10. Set rules and stick to them. If you have a bedtime at your house, be sure your co-parent will keep the same bedtime and explain to your co-parent that the routine you have at home is good for the children and that they thrive on knowing what comes next and that they have structure. If the kids are cranky when they don’t have a nap, let your co-parent know that when they are with them, that the kids will be easier to manage if they take a nap in the afternoon.
11. Take care of yourself. Don’t let yourself go because you are not with your co-parent. We all wanted a happy family but sometimes things just fall apart. You don’t have to go out of the way to make yourself look overdone but don’t allow your focus on your co-parent’s business be the reason why you look a mess all the time.
12. From Ex to Next. So your co-parent has moved on. So what. Get over it and don’t wish anything on their relationship that you didn’t want on your relationship you had together. Revenge always comes back to you so don’t go out of your way to make the next person miserable because you are bitter. You don’t have to like the person but you do have to respect them. Remember that they don’t know every detail of the relationship you had with your co-parent so they may not have a clue of the drama that could potentially unfold. Be cordial. Get to know them from the standpoint of another person who will possibly have a hand in raising your children. Wish them all well and go find your own NEXT.
Now that you have the steps necessary to free you from your baby daddy/baby mama drama it’s time to get to work. You are parents now and you must make the best out of the situation so that you can raise your children to be responsible enough not to get hemmed up in any baby daddy/baby momma drama. Always remember that your children are watching. If any of you were children of a broken home and had to deal with your parents and how they interacted with one another, draw on those memories. What would you have changed about the way your parents dealt with one another? What did you like about their relationship even though they were not together. Try to make the experience for your children the best situation ever. Give your children good memories. When they look back on your co-parenting years they ought to be able to say mom/dad, you handled that like a champion. Write down what you would like to hear from your kids about how you handled this drama. Once you have written that down, refer to it often and make it happen. Then as your children grow older, ask them questions so that you can find out if you did a good job or not.