I broke a commandment, damnit! Or a whole bunch of them. While I was hanging around at Coparenting101, I noticed these: (These were written by Lynn Nelson, Public Education Director, Institute on Race and Poverty, University of Minnesotapublished in Minnesota Parent, May 1995).
10 COMMANDMENTS OF CO-PARENTING
1. Resolve conflicts without putting kids in the middle. Major suckage at this one.
2. Respect the other parent. Does talking behind Stanley’s back count?
3. Observe appropriate boundaries. CHECK
4. Communicate regularly with the other parent. CHECK
5. Demonstrate positive conflict resolution. Does purse brick count?
6. Share with your co-parent what you need from him or her to do a good job of parenting. CHECK. Sent Stanley an email last week re: lack of penis and need for him to be positive male role model for The Boy.
7. Don’t allow all of the parenting tasks to fall to one parent. You suck Stanley.
8. Be consistent – to the extent possible – in disciplining, feeding and caring for your child. CHECK
9. Help your children recognize the other parent with appropriate gifts or cards. Ya, right.
10. Don’t punish your in-laws by keeping your kids from them after a divorce. They are not in this country and rarely visit. Also they are Spock-type people so this is no issue, but I would gladly let them be with the kids.
(Lynn Ingrid Nelson and Paul Blanco are the committed co-parents of 7-year-old son, Nicholas.University of Minnesota Children Youth and Family Consortium. Permission is granted to create and distribute copies of this document for noncommercial purposes provided that the author and CYFC receive acknowledgment and this notice is included. )
I see that I am breaking a whole lot of these and need to do better. Especially the first one. That whole notion of ‘not putting kids in the middle of conflict’ is sooooo hard!!
I feel terrible and resolve to never, ever do it again.
I don’t want my son to grow up with Stanley as a role model for every behavior. Like for instance, on Sunday when Stanley was passed out sleeping on the sofa and I came in with the groceries, I hauled all the bags in by myself. He kind of opened one eye half way and saw me, I know he did, but he didn’t get up to help. Then on Monday, when the kids were off for President’s Day, I had lower back pain. Hauling groceries = lower back tweak. Because I was mad at Stanley, I yelled at The Boy when he didn’t help me lift a heavy bucket of laundry detergent.Something resembling this might have tumbled out of my mouth, “I want you to grow up being the sort of man that HELPS when he sees a woman lifting something heavy or coming in with a pile of groceries! I want you to be the type of man that would never sit on the sofa while a woman was doing manual labor!”
The boy is staring at me like,
|“what the heck are you talking about, you crazy woman??”|
And the immature part of me (which is almost as large as my ass) wanted to quip, “because that is what your daddy did and look how that turned out!” But I didn’t. I drew the line there! Regardless, I see lots of room for improvement. I don’t like Stanley. He is a lazy beer monkey but can be a good dad. So, I resolve to try harder not to fuss about him to the children.But I will continue to talk about him behind his back. Because it makes me feel better. It helps me cope with my anger and increases the possibility that this bird nesting thing will last longer.
Oops I did it again