I have been a single mum now for over 5 years. I have an OK relationship with Olivia’s dad but it has deteriorated from what it was somewhat. We communicate and are able to discuss things relating to Olivia in a grown up and mature fashion, having gone from being friends, to only talking through solicitors, to gradually getting back to this point. So it’s not really been an easy ride and at times, due to his now ex girlfriends, it has been downright awful. But she comes first and maintaining that relationship is always my number one priority.
I’d like to think that we can maintain this relationship for her as it will make things so much easier for us in the long run.
Below are some tips I use to help me keep things on an even keel for the 3 of us.
- Don’t discuss each other in front of children especially if it’s negative. Sounds easy right! Hmmm
- Plan ahead always arrange dates, times, childcare arrangements well in advance so you both know where you stand. This makes any changes to the schedule easier to negotiate.
- Always communicate when you are calm. If there is a certain issue that you are upset about try to leave discussing it until you are calmer. Screaming down the phone doesn’t help matters at all even when I am in the right, which is always!
- Keep up appearances. At some point you probably will have to interact in front of your kids and the last thing they need is to see any bitterness/hostility towards each other. Keep that for your girlfriends and a bottle of a few of wine.
- No matter how much you dislike them try to keep lines of communication open, even if just by text. Makes things so much easier. I recommend rewriting not just sending the first things that pop into your head, trust me it doesn’t always end well.
- Don’t discuss certain issues, like money, around little ears. Keep grown up talk to grown ups only. And remember if you can’t say anything nice……. say it when there is no one else listening.
- Remember you are the adults so act like that! I put a fake smile on grin and nod then say goodbye and close the door, my mind however is usually doing the complete opposite.
Using these little pointers have helped me in the past and hopefully will keep our relationship going in the future. Do you have any tips that you use or tricks for this situation? I would love to hear them.