By Christen A. Johnson
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) What is it like for moms in co-parenting relationships to help their child celebrate dad on Father’s Day? Columnist Christen Johnson takes a look.
When two parents separately manage the affairs of one child, or sometimes more, it presents challenges, typically ranging from not getting along with the ex-partner to feeling you’re handling the responsibilities of caring for the child by yourself.
One challenge could be figuring out the holidays, especially the ones like Father’s Day, when you’re supposed to celebrate the other parent.
So what’s it like for moms in co-parenting relationships to help their child celebrate dad on Father’s Day?
For Bianca Armstrong, 36, who’s been co-parenting with her ex for 15 years, it starts with “having an understanding” with both her 15-year-old daughter, Lynnette, and her daughter’s father.
“Lynnette likes to buy her dad things, so I tell her she has to earn the money because I’m not buying him anything,” she said. “I make her do a lot of chores. I always tell her it’s her responsibility to do for him and to care for him. I don’t give her any hints or anything. I just take her to go get it, whatever it should be.”
When it comes to the understanding with Lynnette’s father, Armstrong credits minimal, cut and dried communication and consistent weekend visits for their co-parenting success.
“He picks her up every weekend on Friday,” she said, “and when it comes to having conversations about what we need to do for Lynnette, we have a three-way text with all of us; whatever I say to him, we all get it. There’s no miscommunication. At times, his wife will be in the text, as well, so everyone has the information.”
Armstrong says she is not involved in any of the plans Lynnette and her dad’s family make for Father’s Day.