Co-Parenting in St. Louis (When Your Ex Is Miles Away)

Co-parenting can be tricky for everyone involved. Add to that the barrier of miles and distance when living in two different cities, and it can be quite difficult to manage. It takes a lot of communication, fortitude and planning, but it is not impossible. Co-parenting can work even when you are miles apart.
 
Let’s take my situation for instance.

I moved from the east coast 10 years ago to the St. Louis area, coming back to my hometown to set up a better life for my 8-year-old son and I. After many hours of discussing it with my ex, it was decided that I would take my son with me to St. Louis and we would make sure to take turns visiting each other at least twice a year. In between visits, we would each exchange phone call duties. Of course I had the burden of the everyday parenting, but my co-parent was only a phone call away.

We have made it work for years because we keep our child first. That is the most important part of co-parenting. We don’t always agree, but we make sure to talk it out and communicate so we can come to a decision or compromise.
 
Through doing this, I have learned patience, humility, and how important it is for both of us to be involved in our son’s life.
 
There are also little things you can do as co-parents to make things jive and be cohesive. Most schools have the ability to send notices and report cards to two separate addresses, so both of you are always in the loop. Many pediatricians will also take the time to speak with the non-custodial parent on the phone and give them briefs about their child’s health.
 
Being creative is another way to co-parent positively and effectively. Early on, we purchased a video camera to capture our son’s moments and share recitals, concerts, birthdays and events. Online photo books make it easy to share the captured moments.
 
Keeping your child in the loop as you both co-parent also does wonders. When your child sees that despite the distance, you are still a team, it makes them feel more at ease about the situation.
 
Co-parenting is not easy, and with adding many miles and distance between you and the children, it can add a lot of friction and drama. But with a lot of love and care, it can be done, and done well.
 
Do you have any distance co-parenting tips you’d like to share?

By Danyelle Little, co-parenting blogger for SmartParenting

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