Avoiding Baby Mama or Baby Daddy Drama with your Ex
Witnessing parental drama is unfair to your child
Breaking up with someone and staying civil is hard enough when it’s just between the two of you, but when a child is involved, it can be a bit dicey. Having spent the past decade as a parent working with an ex to raise a child, these steps have made it easier to focus on what matters most — our child.
Get rid of that label.
Stop referring to your child’s parent as your “baby mama” or “baby daddy”. View them as the other party involved in the creation of your little one. If the child is over the age of two, that term is definitely inappropriate. Who’s still a baby?
Communicate with your ex.
Do not use your child as a walkie-talkie. Using your child as a go between can lead to disaster. Children often play sides when it comes to wanting things from their parents. Miscommunication can develop if a message is misconstrued whether intentionally or unintentionally. It’s best if you two do the talking directly.
I would take this a step further by saying don’t pry information out of your child. If Your ex intended for you to know his or her business, you would have heard it from the horse’s mouth. No child needs the third degree about what mommy or daddy is up to in his or her private life.
Keep it simple and straightforward.
Express what your needs or concerns for your child are while being specific and concise. Over doing things and indulging in longer than necessary conversations leave you open to disagreements and ill-feelings. These are not beneficial to the child and hamper the possibility of an amicable relationship with your ex.
I often allowed myself to be reeled in, falling prey to his pounce. He’d jump at the chance to “get my goat” as the saying goes. I felt set up, so I learned to eliminate those opportunities for him to upset me. If I didn’t allow him an invitation to lose his temper, I wouldn’t lose mine.
Don’t lead your ex on.
Speak only of the child. If your own personal matters must be discussed, it should be done solely due to scheduling concerns related to the child. As long as you are not doing anything that could cause harm to your child, your personal life is your own and your ex should no longer be a part of it. That is why he or she is called your ex.
Folks get jealous and want too much personal information that shouldn’t concern them if it doesn’t affect your child.
Don’t be petty.
Do not bash the other parent in the presence of your child. You don’t have to be the best of buds, but you should at least be civil. A child can pick up on any animosity you hold for his or her mommy or daddy and will likely resent you for being the meanie.
If your ex is a schmuck, your child will learn that on his or her own. You don’t have to rub in the fact that you may not have picked the best mate with whom to co-parent. Given enough time, your child will determine who is the problem parent. It just might be you.
Make it work for both parents.
Establish schedules for visitations, attending sporting events, extra curricular activities, and doctor and dental visits. Whether it is court appointed or set by the two of you, it can be made flexible to suit all involved.
Try not to over react if schedules need tweaking. If someone is abusing your flexibility that’s a whole other issue. You’ll have to address that matter, nipping it in the bud.
Keep your new boo out of it.
Avoid getting your new partner involved in matters between you and your ex. If you are strictly about business with your ex, your new mate should feel no insecurity and therefore no need to interfere with the parental system you’ve set up with your ex.
The catch with this step is that your ex has to be respectful and do the same with his or her new partner.
Everyone has a place.
If you are taking the next step in the relationship with your new partner, assure your ex that no one will be taking his or her place. Make it certain that you have chosen someone who understands the importance of your child’s relationship with the other parent, and make it known you’re not looking for a replacement.
If this seems tough, just remember that you wouldn’t want to be replaced by a new mommy or daddy yourself.
Stick to your guns.
Being too lax can lead to your ex taking advantage of you. Don’t be bullied, you’re an adult, you’re a parent and what you say matters too.
People can be unpredictable. One moment everything may be cool, and in the next, your ex might not want to be reasonable. He or she might not have a desire to get along. Just keep your composure and retrace your steps because your child is worth it.
TO HAVE CONTINUED SUCCESS IN AVOIDING THE DRAMA, SIMPLY RETRACE THE AFOREMENTIONED STEPS…