If I thought parenting with my ex was hard when we were married, it was only because I had no idea how hard it would be to co-parent with him after we got divorced. Co-parenting is hard AF. Co-parenting with a narcissist is an exercise in patience and perseverance. However, there are so many co-parenting moments that prove you're a badass mom.
I didn't always feel like a badass, though. The times my kids' bio dad didn't show up or call, and made my babies cry tears of disappointment and ask me to explain why (as if I knew how his mind worked), and the moments when he egged me on or pushed my most sensitive buttons? Yeah, they were nothing short of heartbreaking and difficult. Co-parenting is not for the faint of heart.
What it has taught me over time is that I am capable of putting my kids first and that I don't have to do anything else. It's pretty amazing to remember that you are no longer married to this person who is making your life difficult, and to learn that you are capable of managing conflict and navigating the bumps in the road that happen when you are forced to compromise and co-parent with someone you don't love (or even like). Badass. Seriously, badass.
Life will seem unfair at times, but I promise that you will learn some serious coping skills and, if you are lucky, find some confidence in yourself and your parenting and the ability to ignore their bullsh*t. I try to be a grey rock, showing no emotion and not giving them ammunition. Even if you aren't that lucky, though, co-parenting will teach you to pick your battles (aim for long-term wins), stand up for yourself and your kids, and set boundaries.