Parenting is a tough enough job when you’re doing a great job. Not to toot my own horn, but I feel like I have my shit together in that department. Add in a parent that sucks at parenting, and you’ve got your work cut out for you.
When you’ve moved to splitsville and you still have to be the only responsible adult, it’s even harder. Not so much on the day-to-day, but the constantly having to inform him/her of deadlines and events and birthday parties because they are unable to manage parenting. These “other” parents, you kind of want to deck them. Often. You find it completely ridiculous that they cannot figure out how to use a calendar. Or their email. Or, God forbid, a phone.
The one thing, as THE parent, that I can tell you, is that when your child grows up they will realize that you were the constant. The one with their shit together. And it will make a huge difference in your relationship. But until then, you just have to make sure the train doesn’t derail.
Keep a Calendar
…and then get them one. I buy an el-cheapo calendar for my ex every year for Christmas. I highlight his weeks, I put on all upcoming events, days off, sports, school functions, everything that impacts my little man. That gets rid of the excuses.
Set Up Email Rules
When I get an email from the coach, teacher, etc. it auto forwards to dad. He can never say he didn’t know.
Invite Open Communication
No matter how many times “ass-clown” comes to mind, just don’t verbalize it. Keep the lines of communication open by openly communicating. Let them know what your plans are, and tell them about the activities they want to be involved in.
Offer to Help
When you sign your kid up for something, let them know you’re willing to help on occasion with travel to practices or skills camps. This can foster the good will, and help ensure that your kid gets to participate in the activity they asked to be involved in.
Don’t Bad Mouth
Again, don’t verbalize the moments of ass-clown, jack-wagon, moron, idiot, fool, etc. that come to mind when you find out something that pisses you off. Simply apologize to your kid that they had to miss whatever, and move on. You don’t want to create that resentment.
Be Your Awesome Self
In the end, you can only control you. Be an awesome parent. Sing in the car. Play games. Go to the zoo. Attend mass together. Whatever it is, just keep doing it.
How do you deal with the other parent?