Motherhood, Parenting

Co-parenting after divorce is bloody tough

Carla McConnell by Carla McConnell
October 19th, 2016

Drew Barrymore has talked about how she makes co-parenting her two daughters work with her ex Will Kopelman. Drew has said that making constant plans and still prioritising their family is the key to Will and her bringing up their two daughters Olive and Frankie after divorce.

Drew told Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet that , “families are many different definitions in this day and age.” When asked about her new family dynamic Drew said; “I think plans. Constant plans. We, as a family, have three dates for this Halloween.”

As a single mum also co-parenting two young girls with my ex I think Drew has completely nailed it. Breaking up with the father of my children was bloody tough but the golden rule we have used to make the transition easier for our girls is to prioritise ‘family time’ and constantly be in communication about their welfare.

Drew barrymore with ex Will Kopelman

Drew Barrymore with ex Will Kopelman.

It hasn’t always been easy. I worked so hard to put aside any anger I felt, and if I felt angry I would work through it by myself knowing that if I put that anger on my ex that it definitely wouldn’t be the best thing for my girls. I’m lucky that he also chose to do the same. In that post break-up grief we started to form new traditions and one of them was that we always spent birthdays and special occasions together as a family.

I feel like we communicate and make plans more now than we did when we were together. Not living in the same house and having separate lives mean constant communication is required so that we can spend time together and work through any issues that may crop up. At first it was diffcult and a bit strained as we worked through our break-up separately but I can honestly say two and half years down the track, family time is something all of us value and look forward to.

Families are many different definitions in this day and age.

My daughters may not grow up seeing their two parents in a relationship but they do get to grow up watching their parents interact with kindness and respect, and know that their welfare is still our number one priority. I’m actually really proud of what we have managed to achieve.

Will and Drew should also be really proud at nailing co-parenting only months after announcing their divorce. Relationships end for lots of different reasons but keeping your shit together for the sake of your kids is definitely worth it.

 Do you have any tips for co-parenting after a break up?

Sarah Harris talked about growing up with a single mum during our chat with her On the Couch. You can listen below, then head here to subscribe to our pod.