Blame it on the Cuervo

We put a lot of pressure on ex-spouses to get along as co-parents and sometimes (usually professionally) I'm faced with whether or not that's a fair request. We expect people who couldn't get along well enough to stay married to get along well enough to raise children together. I was talking to a friend the other day who was asking me just how she was supposed to co-parent with a person with whom she could barely have a civil conversation.

Here's what I know: getting along with your ex to raise your children well means neither giving in to that person all the time, nor does it mean getting to win every argument. It means keeping in mind that sometimes to win the war, you must lose some battles. The "war" in this case, means doing right by your kids. You may not like the other person now, but at some point you got along well enough with them to get it on with them. You can blame it on young love, you can blame it on a hot night in Miami, you can blame it on dumb luck, but blame or no blame, you have children and this person is their other parent.

Another thing to remember: kids are resilient. Your children can survive the break-up of your marriage- many have before them and many will after them. The question is: are they loved? If your children are loved, if they know you are supporting them even when you're not with them, if your children know that while the circumstances may not be perfect, they are as good as they can get right now- they will be ok. And you will also be ok. You will have arguments with your ex, you will not get along, but you will also both be there at recitals and soccer games and graduations and weddings. Try to remember that sometime, somewhere, somehow, things were not so bad. Try to remember that you are a good person and that losing one fight doesn't mean you are giving in forever. Try to remember that you are doing this for your kids. Try to remember that at some point you at least liked the other person well enough to want to get naked with them, and when all else fails, blame it on the Cuervo.

This is the life.

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