10 Co-Parenting Moments That Prove You're A Badass Mom

Ad failed to load

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.

Ad failed to load

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.

Ad failed to load

When Your Co-Parent Epically Fails


There have been times when co-parenting hasn't worked. I have learned to work things out behind the scenes and not let conflict impact my kids more than it has to. They deserve all the drama-free days, and they don't need to know that their parents can't get along for their sake.

When You Disagree About Something Important

When neither of you is able or willing to change your mind or your plans, and you are the bigger person? Badass. When you don't compromise, and you refer back to your custody agreement and remind them that you are supposed to be making decisions for the kids? Equally badass.

When They Push Your Buttons


It's so hard to remind myself that it doesn't matter what my ex thinks of me, does, or says anymore, as long as it doesn't impact my kids' safety, health, or happiness. All of their little digs about my new husband and family can flow right off my back like I am a badass stone in a river.

Ad failed to load

When You Are Tempted To Make Excuses For Them

There are so many times when I am tempted to lie to my kids about why their bio dad isn't capable of being their dad, and while I haven't told them the gory details, I do try to be honest. I tell them things like, "I don't know why your dad cancelled his visit, but it doesn't change how he feels about you." Just the facts.

When Your Kids Say They Like Your Co-Parent Better


I never thought this would happen, but one night my daughter didn't want to go to bed and said those very words. It took some serious badassery to not take those harsh words personally and to realize that, a) of course she likes him better, she only sees him once in a while and he takes her out for lunch and to the museum, and b) someday, they'll realize what love really is and all of the ways I have given parenting them my all.

When You Have To Call Them

I have serious anxiety about talking on the phone. It's so weird. I can testify in front of Congress and appear on the news with no nervousness, but calling people (especially my ex) on the phone makes me want to puke. Facing your fears head-on is so badass.

Ad failed to load

When You Confront Them


There have been times I have had to call, text, email, invoice and even sue my ex to get him to be a source of support and stability for our kids. It's frightening, but I have learned to have confidence and to fight for what my kids deserve, which is pretty damn badass.

When You Admit That You Are Wrong Or That You Made A Mistake

No one likes to admit when they are wrong, especially to their ex, but sometimes even the most badass co-parents run late or forget a meet-up time or find themselves making a decision out of spite instead of what's best for the kids. Being honest is totally badass.

When You Pick Up The Pieces

Courtesy of Steph Montgomery

These are some of the hardest moments. When your ex doesn't show and you have to change your plans for the weekend and cheer up your devastated kids. Many dance parties, trips to Grandma and Grandpa's House, movie nights, and epic snuggle-fests have been born out of these disappointments.

Ad failed to load

When You Parent Your Kids Totally Differently Now That You Aren't With Them

Becoming a single parent made me a way better mom. I was accountable only to myself and worked hard to give my kids the life they deserved. Now that I am re-married, we work equally hard to give our kids the stability, consistency, and attention that wasn't possible in my previous marriage. Learning to be a better parent, especially by having to co-parent with your ex is so totally badass.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

5 Parenting Habits That Increase Your Chances Of Successfully Potty-Training Your Child

From starting solids to learning to walk, every childhood milestone presents its own unique set of challenges — but this is especially true of potty training. Indeed, the very thought strikes fear into the heart of many a toddler parent, particularly…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Getting Pregnant Might Mean Losing The Plus-Size Body I Love

For the last two years, I haven’t been my body’s biggest champion. I’ve gained 50 pounds. The stress of helping a parent get sober, a house purchase, and a new job got the best of me. But now, at 36, with talks between my husband and I about having a…
By Loren Kleinman

7 Hilarious Differences Between Having A Baby In Your 20s Vs Your 30s

I was 24 when I had my daughter. And even though that pregnancy was neither expected nor pleasant, I was optimistic. Sure, I guess your 20s are "supposed" to be about finding yourself, finishing college, starting your career, and navigating less-than…
By Candace Ganger

Babies "R" Us Was The First Place I Went When I Found Out I Would Be A Mom

For years I struggled to have a baby, and the sight of toys and layettes made my heart hurt. For me, Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us were a complete no-go zone, a reminder of everything I was missing out on. My mom would walk the long way around Target…
By Becky Bracken

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger