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Co-parenting a baby after divorce

Tennessee parents expecting a child are often happily awaiting the day their little ones come into their lives. However, even the joy a baby brings cannot fix a broken marriage, and some couples may find that they end up divorcing, while their child is still a baby. When this happens, how does it affect their ability to effectively parent?

First, some parents may feel distress that their baby will not grow up in a "normal," two-parent household. But, this is not such an unusual thing. Divorced parents or parents who are no longer in a relationship with one another raise around 50 percent of the children in the United States.

In addition, a parent may be concerned about their ex's ability to take care of the baby. It is important, however, to have some trust that your ex is just as capable of taking care of the baby. Even though they might not agree on everything, parents should try to be supportive of each other.

Parents may also be sad to miss some of their child's "firsts," such as their first word or first step. However, this is inevitable. Parents can help each other by sharing photos, videos and information of the important "firsts" that the other parent may have missed.

This leads to another fact of parenting a baby after divorce -- each parent will need to interact with each other on a regular basis. This can be difficult, especially if a parent still has negative feelings about his or her ex. Details regarding the child's life need to be shared, so that each party can effectively parent their baby. Try not to fight in front of the baby, as this can make the baby upset.

After a divorce, a parent with a baby might remarry. This could make the other parent fearful that the stepparent will replace them in their baby's heart. But, as long as a parent has a strong bond with their child, the child will have a strong bond with them.

In the end, by following their parenting plan, staying cordial and working together, parents of babies can effectively co-parent, even if they have divorced. It may be difficult, but it is possible, and it is often in the best interests of the child as well.

Source: The Good Men Project, "What Life After Divorce With A Baby Is REALLY Like," Karen Finn, Aug. 19, 2017

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