Co-Parenting Inspiration

Inspiration for parenting can come from anywhere.  I’m a working mom and know that parenting is the toughest and most rewarding thing to do.  I was a family law attorney before I became a parent and I’m always thinking about how something I’ve heard about or read about applies to family law or divorce because of the kids.  Helping parents redefine their family and make the transition as best they can ultimately helps the kids and that is really important to me.

By now, most of us have heard of Diana Nyad’s journey swimming from Cuba to Florida.  She tried several times over several years to complete that swim and she did – finally.  But she didn’t do it without some very difficult issues to overcome, a lot of trial and error and her team.

I think this quote in the picture – which came up on her Twitter feed @diananyad  – can be some co-parenting inspiration.

–         You should never give up.  You would never give up parenting just because yesterday ended in drama and slammed doors, right?  So, don’t give up trying to successfully co-parent with your ex just because that last email had a tone or a word that was loaded with drama – whether it is one that you sent or one that you received.   When Diana Nyad planned to complete her swim she knew what she was going to encounter on the way because of her earlier attempts.  So, she planned to encounter jellyfish and sharks.  She knew that both of these unpleasant things could accompany her for a great part of her journey and she planned her methods to deal with them.  Do the same for your ex if you are co-parenting with a ‘shark’ or (sometimes) attack like a ‘jellyfish’ when it comes to co-parenting.  Tomorrow is a new day!

–         You’re never too old.  – Keep trying to co-parent.  Just because the last two years haven’t been smooth sailing doesn’t mean the next 10 until Sally turns 18 years old have to be the same way.  And, I know you know this, you will still have to deal with your ex after Sally turns 18 and graduates from high school.  What do you want that to look like?  Keep trying – you will never be too old!

–         It looks like a solitary sport….Wow, this is so true of parenting after divorce.  Hang in there and get a good team around you.  If you are having difficulty with the other parent, keep trying to be an example of co-parenting and work your plan.  Stay focused and keep your team informed.  They’ll talk you through the rough days and help you cool down after a strenuous ‘co-parent work out’.

I hope you found some co-parenting inspiration.  To quote Dory the fish from Finding Nemo – (and I haven’t met a parent who doesn’t know this quote) – “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming”.

Jill O’Connell


You can reach Jill O’Connell at O’Connell Law Firm, 940-497-5454. And, she can be found on Twitter @OConnellLawFirm.