What It’s Like Raising A Child With An Ex
When people think of divorce, they think of the finances, they think of the emotional implications, and they think of how it will affect their children. What they may not think about is the fact that they will never truly be rid of their ex. Once you have a child with someone, you’re tied together forever. And not just in a mild way—you need to communicate almost as regularly as if you were still married because, if you’re going to be good parents, you need to keep each other up to date on everything happening with your kid. If you’re one of those very lucky couples, then you might have one of those truly amicable divorces in which both people want it, and nobody screwed anybody over. But for the rest of you, here’s what it’s like to raise a child with an ex.
Your kids will want you back together
Your children will constantly ask you if you and your ex are going to get back together. They’ll guilt you into thinking you did the wrong thing by getting a divorce. They really will do things a-la “Parent Trap.”
Your kids will tell your ex about your boyfriend
Your kids will go over to your ex’s place and tell him all about the guy you’re dating. And your kid knows things you don’t even know he knows—like about the handcuffs he found in your night stand. He’ll tell your ex that.
Your kids will tell you about your ex’s girlfriend
Your kids will tell you about your ex’s girlfriends, too, and you will not want that information. But you can’t tell your kids that, because then you’ll make them feel like they can’t open up to you.
Your ex will judge everyone you date
Your ex will judge everyone you date. He won’t think anyone is good enough to be around your kid. If your boyfriend so much as teachers your child one word of French, your ex will accuse him of trying to shape your child.
Two men you’ve had sex with will hang out
Like, all of the time. They have to! There will be birthday parties and other events where you want both men. So two men who’ve been inside of you will stand around, drinking beer, pretending everything’s cool.
You have to get along in person
You can’t argue in front of your kids—it’s very frustrating. So you have to get really good acting in front of your little one, and biting your tongue.
And argue over text
You’ll spend a lot of time fighting over text or email, or slipping outside to argue over the phone. It will feel like you have a secret relationship with your ex because of all the correspondence.
Your relationship dynamics are still alive
All of the reasons you didn’t work as a couple are still there, and they will be the reasons you don’t get along as parents. But now that you aren’t together, you don’t have as much sway over your ex’s ways, which is infuriating.
Healing takes way longer
Healing takes space, but you don’t get space from your ex when you have to co-parent a child. So healing can take years longer than it would for someone who didn’t have a kid with their ex.
Sometimes you’ll want to get back together
Sometimes, you’ll have those magical moments in which you make an incredible parenting decision together, bond overseeing your child thrive, and wonder if you should get back together. Then you’ll start fighting again.
You’ll both keep secrets from each other
There will be a lot of holes in conversation; talking to your ex can feel like a chess game. You both have information about your lives you hide from each other for fear of judgment or anger.
You want to be the favorite parent
You don’t want to admit it, but you totally want to be the favorite parent. And you ask your child leading questions to get him to say you’re his favorite parent.
Finances get tricky
Should your ex pay for more of your child’s tuition because he makes more money? Is it okay if your boyfriend pays for your kid’s piano lessons?
If you have kids with somebody else
Your ex will feel strange because his child now has siblings, but he didn’t have any say in it. Plus, now you have a third parent (your new baby daddy) parenting the kid you have with your ex.
You’ll want to hover over your ex
You’ll want to know what he’s doing with your child at every second. It was hard enough to keep tabs on them when you were together; it feels near impossible now that you’re broken up.