Things my co-parent and I say and practice to stay on track:
4. “I’m finding it difficult to talk about this” - moving our relationship from the personal to the professional taught us to put boundaries in place. But sometimes she will bring up something that makes me uncomfortable.
For example, phone calls to rant, talk about the day, or of very personal nature like romantic relationships are not acceptable.
If I feel something gets too personal for my liking, I simply say I am not feeling safe or that I’m triggered by it. I communicate my boundary clearly.
5. “I am feeling …x” – Women understand emotions. Many times, after a big argument, when I did finally disclose how I feel about things, my co-parent understood me.
I’ve struggled and still aware of my difficulty in doing this, especially when I‘m feeling anger. I’ve learned to claim my anger as my own.
Instead of: “She/You made me angry” I’m now diverting to: “I am feeling angry”. I then proceed to breath, sit with, interview, and release the emotion.
She’s got nothing to do with it. I take responsibility for my emotions.
6. “Is this a good time to talk?” - Waiting for the right time to bring things up was something she taught me. I am much more aware now that she needs to be in the right head space to listen.
If she’s not feeling well, busy, overworked, talks about something else, it’s not a good time to discuss my “burning” issue.
Now, I treat it like I would with a co-worker.
Imagine coming by their office asking: “Are you free to talk”? or just waiting for the right time.
7. This brings us to: “If you don’t do this in the workplace, don’t do it to your co-parent” – Keeping a professional relationship helps define what is acceptable and what’s not.
There’s no way a co-worker is going to shout at me, ignore me or use emotional blackmail.
Co-parenting is the same. It’s a professional relationship.
We’re both here to make our daughter thrive.
We can’t quit and the position is for life.
Now, let’s make a cup of tea, have a meeting and see how we can reach our targets!