Let’s go back to our broken family and how it works with Alex and his wife.
One of the other things that I think is so clutch in our co-parenting dynamics is an unwritten surrender to the idea that we each have our own role, and there’s no guilt in sub-consciously delegating off responsibilities to other parents so long as you’re pulling your weight in your own role.
It actually makes parenting with another couple way easier than if Ben and I were on our own. In fact, we often talk about how we’re going to continue “using” them when Bode and Harley Love get older, despite the fact that Maya and Jonah will someday be off not “needing” all of us as much.
I mean, how am I going to remember to book their yearly physicals or know how to diagnose their symptoms when they’re sick? And, who’s going to keep me motivated to plan meals ahead of time and have snacks and sunscreen at athletic events? That’s just a fraction of what Liza does.
How am I going to do as good of a job as Alex dealing with teachers and staying on top of the kids assignments and upcoming exams? OMG, and what about when college planning time comes? There is no WAY I can do what he did for that. And, who’s going to be the worrier when the kids start going out with their friends at night and know how to deal with the party scene and know what exact kinds of trouble kids are getting into at that point? And, every kid needs a parent that they fear a little. Like the one that they think twice about when they’re about to really screw up royally. I was too naughty myself when I was a teenager to feel justified in punishing my own kids for doing something bad.
I think in the back of our minds we all know where we stand, and we’re confident enough with ourselves that we’re not in competition with each other. That’s when things get ugly, when parents start trying to compete with one another for anything: being the funner parent, the one that shows up at more events, the one that spoils the kids the most, the one that lets them use technology more than the others.
Parenting with another family has to be an all in one team effort, not a team against the other team effort.