I know that there are divorced, separated, and other versions of co-parents who manage to have lovely, equal, 50/50 relationships and share completely in co-parenting their children. For most of us, however, that just is not the case. I wrote yesterday about how I still get occasionally angry about the realistic imperfections of my world as a single parent and thought we could take the discussion a step further. I know that we are not all full custodial parents here, but for those of us who are, or who have joint custody, it can be challenging and frustrating when the other parent does not seem to hold up his or her end of things.
50/50 looks darn good on paper and it ideally is in the best interest of the children. I know in my own divorce, I wanted to do what was best for the kids and my children’s father did not want to pay any sort of alimony or child support. The solution was that he agreed to absolute 50/50 custody and we were to share in all expenses, responsibility, etc. equally. Sounds ideal doesn’t it? Well, there are so many realities of parenting that just cannot be dictated by a court document or a parenting agreement.
I do not know what the solution of these inequities is (if I did, I could probably get rich sharing the secret), but I know that many of us wrestle with this reality. Some choose to go back to court and try to mandate more involvement, others of us continue to negotiate or try to force the other parent to step up to the plate. And, there are those of us who may get aggravated, but eventually realize that it just is never going to be either fair or equitable. For me, I finally decided that all I could do was try to be the best parent possible for my kids—they surely deserve better than they have gotten and while they do have an “involved” father, things are not ideal. Our kids will sort things out for themselves in the long run and as long as at least one person can be reliable, unconditional and available—I like to think they have an advantage.