I get so many questions regarding how I co-parent with my daughter’s biological father. Before I start, I’ll give a little background. My daughter’s father and I dated for almost three years. We were newly 19 years old and had barely made it half way through our freshmen year at college when we found out our little girl would soon become part of our lives. Like any relationship we had ups and downs but we cared for each other. We struggled with the thought of becoming parents at such a young age. Our parents were mad, disappointed, and worried for us but also supported us keeping her and helped us as much as they could.

Throughout the pregnancy Aurora’s father and I struggled to come to terms on what roles we would be playing in her life financially and emotionally. We fought over what priorities should come first. We had a lot of sacrifices to make and a lot of maturing to do. Within time we both started realizing when shit was hitting the fan, we couldn’t find a balance together. We struggled to work in a relationship but tried to work it out for our little baby girl on the way. We moved into an apartment together shortly after she was born hoping it would help us work better as parents and in our relationship but it only put more strain on it. He moved out and I was living alone with my baby girl. He visited her a lot but she had to stay with me 24/7 because she was still breastfeeding. We still stayed in constant communication with one another. We talked at length about how we would be civil and respectful for our daughter. It goes without saying that there were fights, tons of fights. We had to work HARD to get to the point that we are at now. There were nights where I would wake up in a full on panic attack. I couldn’t breathe or stop crying. I felt selfish for not being with her father. I felt like I had taken something away from her that she deserved. I felt like a terrible mother who wasn’t strong enough to work through a relationship that just wasn’t working. I grew up with my parents married and had no idea how it would impact my daughter having her parents separated. But what kind of mother could I be if I was unhappy all the time? Everyone deserves to be happy, right?

With our daughter now three years old, we have yet to go to court and can usually resolve most things ourselves. We created a parenting plan that worked for both of our schedules. He has her for two days and then I have her for two days. We are both present on her birthday and holidays. We take family Santa pictures every year. Photos of her father and I are in her room and around our house so she never forgets that we did love one another and still care for each other. She’ll never grow up thinking I hate her dad or that he isn’t involved in her life or that she was a mistake that derailed our lives. We are extremely blessed with our circumstances and the people around us who have helped us. It comes down to how you want your child to view you now and in the future and how mature you choose to be about a situation. I don’t claim to be amazing at co-parenting by any means. I’ve struggled and we still do. It’s a constant learning process. Her father is an amazing man and father. His love for her is evident in his actions and words. We both want what’s best for her and want to see her succeed and be loved. Her father and I may not be in a relationship together but we share our immense love for her and that’s what makes it work.

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