Together Forever

When you decide to have a baby with someone, you create an unconscious lifetime bond with that person that ties you together forever. So when that relationship loses its shimmer how do we go about breaking that bond?

Well, perhaps we don’t anymore. I have started noticing a new kind of relationship that seems to be more common, perhaps even than the traditional marriage. A relationship that is first and foremost about co-parenting.

Co Parenting quote by some e-cards

I have a number of friends who have such arrangements with their ‘baby daddy’ for want of a better term. They got together, they had a child (or children) but then the relationship reached its finale. But there was no nastiness, no hideous affair, no abuse. Just a mutual acceptance that they were no longer in love. Or for some reason or another could no longer live together. But when children are involved, it’s much harder to go your separate ways. And so I’m noticing that they don’t.

There’s the lesbian couple that knowingly entered into a co-parenting relationship with their known-donor; spending time together as a three parent family, having Sunday roasts and days out. It’s such a lovely set-up that it feels perfectly natural.

Or the free-spirited mum for whom traditional relationships were never going to work but who spends weekends and holidays abroad with the father of her children. Not quite living together but making a family together nonetheless.

Then there’s a friend who underwent a very personal tragedy that saw her relationship tested to its limits and decided to let it go. While remaining incredibly close and spending happy times with the father of her children, despite forging ahead to find the strength she needed as a single mother without him and the memories he jogged that hurt too much.

And finally the couple that got together while young, found themselves to be parents but weren’t quite ready to commit to each other forever. Yet finances have forced their hand and their amicable relationship has enabled them to find a way to continue to live together while not quite being together. They share the parenting and give each other the support that even traditional relationships don’t necessarily.

Happy families all round, just not the traditional model we’re led to believe is our only option.

When I started looking into having a baby, co-parenting relationships with a known-donor were frequently alluded to but it wasn’t a model I could imagine. Yet, here I am, surrounded by perfect and wonderful examples of exactly that. Straight or gay, seemingly family life can go on even after a relationship fails(or begins!).

Of course, there are also the relationships that reached a bitter end that could not ever reach this compromise, but the vitriol cited as the norm for a break up may not actually be the norm anymore. I have always embraced diversity and can’t help but be heartened by this emerging family model. An end doesn’t have to be the end anymore and with maturity and care, it seems it really is possible to parent together forever.

Epic Mommy Adventures
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7 comments on “Together Forever
  1. I want to leave a reply to this, but I am not sure where this comment is going to take me, so if it makes no sense then just ignore it.

    I am all for diversity in every form. A family should not have to be a mum and a dad, or two mums, or two dads. It can be whatever works for you BUT I think it only works if everyone is happy.

    In life we have to make compromises and we rarely find ourselves where we imagined we would be. That is great, so long as it isn’t our happiness that is compromised. I couldn’t stay in a family set up just for my children. I still believe in a happy ever after no matter what form that takes and whilst my children will always be my priority, my own needs are pretty high up there too.

    Kudos to the people that make these set ups work. They are kind, loving and strong people, but I worry that some of them may be giving up on finding love again or on their own happy ending for the sake of keeping a family all in one place. I don’t think that there is one answer for all, but I know that if my relationship broke down, I would try whatever it takes to make sure my children grow up with stability, two parents that love them and parents that are able to make their own happy ever after.

  2. Bex I totally agree that you should not forego your happiness (or indeed stay with someone) for a co parenting arrangement, but the women I see are forging ahead with their lives, their careers, their fun, and yet managing to maintain the essence of the relationship that made them parents. I find it heartening that there can be happy endings as well as the much maligned vitriolic ones and that is what I’m celebrating. I’m not for one second suggesting that a co parenting relationship should exist in a bubble without the need for something more from elsewhere. But that is something that comes with time, and with the rebuilding of a relationship under new terms and new understanding.

    • Then I definitely think it is a positive thing. as it would provide the most continuity and stability for children. I think even in a happy relationship you are effectively co parenting as two individuals are bringing up a child, just inside a family unit. If you can maintain that ‘team’ even in the break down of a relationship then that is a fantastic thing. x

  3. I grew up wishing that my mother & father would separate. They didnt. My father is an alcoholic and every night he is drunk and I dont remember sleeping a good night sleep as a child. They are living together but there is so much hate now . #pocolo

  4. Anne says:

    I agree that there is no standard family model anymore, so many different options can work really well. I really feel for the children who have parents that just can’t get on because they are the ones that suffer. I will never understand parents who use their children as weapons against the other parent.

  5. What a very honest post. I think you are so very right on all of this. I wish I had a better and more trusting relationship with Grace’s dad – that said, if I did then we woul probably still be together! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x

  6. Relationships are very strange aren’t they, I am very lucky to have a brilliant husband who I love and who loves me and two gorgeous children, I know I am lucky and grateful for my family. I agree with you that families can come in all forms and what works for you all is the best, as you say whether it is together or apart. I also agree with Bex that happiness is very important. My parents were not happy together as I got older and stayed together until I went to uni, sometimes it was not fun to hear them arguing, they would have been happier apart. #pocolo

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