This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Coparenting issues(9 Posts)
I am a 31 year old single woman looking at coparenting.
I think that I may have found a suitable coparent. He lives quite close and we get on pretty well. We also seem able to communicate which seems very important to me.
I have been wanting children for years and years and been aware of mumsnet for a long time with (unfortunately) no reason to post before now.
I came to see what advice and support I could get from other mum's (hopefully) to be who are in a similar position but I cannot find any posts about coparenting.
Am I looking in the wrong place or has it not been discussed much?
Can you explain why you'd rather coparent than source a sperm donor? Serious question
This was asked and I cannot figure out how to reply to a comment individually.
I want my child or perhaps children to have a relationship with both their parents and know how much they were wanted. I am close to my dad and would want the same possibly for any child/children I have. It may be easier for me to just get a donor but I am trying to think of my child/children in the future.
You say: "I think that I may have found a suitable coparent. He lives quite close and we get on pretty well. We also seem able to communicate which seems very important to me."
I believe it is very important to know what he thinks of it. Why he wants to be a co-parent with you but not to be in a relationship with you?
It’s an interesting prospect you are considering.
I don’t have personal experience, but I can tell you about my good friend who made the decision to have a child with a friend 5-6 years ago. Against everyone’s warnings that it will not work and he will lose interest and will leave her on her own with the baby, it all went very well. Throughout the pregnancy, they met every week for a day to discuss things and have just for a general catch up. He attended every midwife visit and every course, they carried out a lot of research, and choose prams, cots and car chairs together. When the baby arrived, he took paternity leave and temporally moved in with her and helped with everything for the first few moths. After that they split nights equally, 50/50, and never had any problems with the arrangements such as; who will have the baby for weekend. He didn't once say; “Sorry but I can not have my child this weekend.” It never changed.
Their parents met each other and over the years their friends also blended. They went to family holidays together and attended baby groups. Visited nurseries and schools and did everything together for their baby. Family events such as Easter, Christmas and everyone’s birthdays, were attended together with the baby. His family and friends came to her house for BBQs and she went to his parent's summerhouse for long weekends with him, their baby and his family. When she needed a babysitter for a night, he stayed in her house (in the guest room, never slept together) They did not kiss, did not have sex and always had separate bedrooms when spending holidays together. And that year after year. We all were amazed and used to tease them that they are more of a family than most married couples. But they were very adamant that it is only co-parenting and a friendship. It was just perfect for years.
Then one day when their child was 4 years old, she admitted that there is a downside she never thought about before. This co-parenting destroyed all her chances of having a boyfriend. Guys she met, couldn’t accept that she is co-parenting with someone. Over the three years, whenever she met someone and explained her situation with her baby’s dad, they disappeared. Couple of guys tried to stay around, but soon got upset and said they can not deal with them communicating daily and having him at every family event. She started to hide her situation from dates and avoid talking about it, but then guys got suspicious and stated to accuse her of lying to them and thinking that she is in a relationship with her baby’s dad.
Then to add insult to injury – he got a girlfriend. First, she was happy to hear about it, because she hoped it will help her in future- next boyfriend will see that they both have partners. Also, the girlfriend did not have children of her own, she did not plan to have any (So my friend thought she has no need to worry that their child will be second best after GFs own children)
Then it was Christmas and that year Baby’s dad warned her that his dad is too unwell to travel to spend Christmas with all of them as he had done previous years. They agreed that on Christmas Eve their child will be with mum(her) in her parents’ house and he(dad) will be with his girlfriend. With horror she found out via Facebook that He went and celebrated Christmas with his parents and his GF but not her. She was heartbroken.Then she had to hear from everyone how nice the GF is with their child and how much her child likes her and even loves her. She was very upset that all three of them turned up for drop offs and she had witness her child hugging another woman and waving to her and talking about her.
She hates this development very much. Its two years in now and she is more and more upset that the child she wanted so much and loved so much, is now shared with someone else and she has no saying over it. Her own child invited that other woman to the birthday party. She couldn’t say “NO” because the invite came from her child. She had to stand in the middle of the party on her own, no partner and watch those two talking to quests and singing “Happy Birthday to her child” next to her, mother. Everything seems to happen without consulting with her anymore. They are buying a new bed for her child because the old one is too small, but she has no clue what kind of bed? Is it safe? Is it new or second hand? Does my child like it? Nothing. She wants to be as involved as she used to be. She wants to talk to dad about everyday things, discuss her fears and feelings, her job problems, her troubles with her family. He used to be that support as a co-parent. Now everything they are talking about gets shared with his GF. She became to hate that woman, who came and ruined everything. They don’t go on holidays together any more. They don’t spend weekends at the beach house or a holiday camp, as they used to. He stopped all those things and when she is trying to explain that to dad and asking to carry on as they used to, he's answer is that they never agreed that they have to stay single for rest of their life because of co-parenting.
Everything that use to be her life collapsed and the worse thing is - her child is suddenly happy without her presence. Its so painful that she's just crying every time when its dads contact time. Before the GF arrived, she used to enjoy her weekends off, going out, having drinks with friends, dates, spa. Now she doesn’t want to do any of those things. She wish she could stop those weekends with dad. Her heart is broken because her child is only 50% her child and 50% of time with dad that other woman.
It all started so well and was perfect for years. But she never considered how she would feel when she must start sharing her child with another woman. It is unbearable! Its nothing they discussed or imagined before getting pregnant and nothing she thought it will be. It just pain and feel of loss, there are people now in the mixture she don't want to have. She has been seeing a councilor and lately her GP recommended anxiety pills. She can not sleep when her child is at dads house, because there is another woman there instead of her. She went from happy co-parent to very upset and angry co-parent and She feels like she gave a birth to a child so another woman can have a family.
See @Annaminna that's actually what would put me off Cparenting... I wouldn't (as part of a traditional couple) gave opted for ant situation where I wasn't with DC all the time. Other factors mean we're not together but given my shit experience of coparentimg with an idiot I couldn't recommend?
Having read Annaminna's story, I suggest that you find out about the man's extended family and his relationship with them. Have read too many stories of MN of people doing what their family want rather than what their spouse and they want.
On tv, when people use a friend to co-parent with, they go to a lawyer and sign a co-parenting agreement where they discuss what ifs like what happens if one parent is seriously ill/dies? How to resolve disputes? If one parent is religious and the other not or both are different religions then what faith is the child raised in?
Your friend though @Annaminna put too much of her personal responsibility on the coparent. She had a relationship with them in everything except intimacy. That's not natural, to be that involved to me, from the way you e described it. She chose to scupper any relationship by putting him first- he wasn't willing to do the same and has found an actual partner. She needs to talk to someone about the new normal- it was inevitable but obviously she didn't see it coming. He should have had the balls ti tell her that it would change, and for that he has been weak, but a relationship between two single coparenters, versus a coparent in a coupe will always be vastly different.
Its not the point that she was too involved with him. That what co-parenting meant to be. It all worked for years and years. Everyone was happy. Everybody loved that arrangement.
And the main thing is: he did agree that it is a good idea . He only changed all his views when he got together with his GF.
Yes, they did discuss about the future with new partners before baby arrived and revisited that topic in later years . And it was discussed and agreed that the new partner will be an addition to the family unit. Extended family as it is called. They always imagined, that in the future, they will have holidays together: two couples and their son. Why to spend money for two separate holidays and loose valuable time and experience? When mum is in holidays with the child, dad will miss out that valuable time, isn't he? Why can not they all be friends and spend time together to maximize time spend with their child? They become a family that day, when new life was created. Nontraditional and modern, using two separate addresses but a family nerveless.
Even his (dad’s) family started to act differently: They don't ask them both to visit at the same weekend anymore- as they used to for all those previous years. Now she is invited over on one weekend, he and his GF will visit on different weekend. Everything changes and people can not see it’s not that co-parenting any more they agreed when they decided to have this baby.
I am trying to show you, that even the best co-parenting can turn into dust when one of the co-parents finds love and another co-parenting suddenly isn’t priority in his life any more. He will change all his views, he will change your agreements and he will just forget you without it been your fault. You will be abandoned and it’s gone. Nothing is certain. Even written agreements because court will tell you that he is spending 50% time with child he don’t have to involve mother and they just don’t care that your arrangements were different when you decided to have that baby. You have no protection against being abandoned by another co-parent any point of your life.
Please login first.