There's nothing easy about divorce or separation, especially when you have kids together. After separation, everyone from experts to armchair quarterbacks have advice for how to successfully co-parent. These pieces of advice usually fail to acknowledge your individual situation or history with this person that you divorced for very good reasons. So, honestly, some co-parenting suggestions are just for the damn birds, and even detrimental to surviving a situation like shared custody.
When I left my ex, I was so scared. Scared of being a single mom, scared of him, and scared of what people would think. I had always believed marriage was forever and that the end of our marriage meant that I had somehow "failed." I especially didn't want my decision to leave their father to ruin my kids' lives. At the same time, I knew it was the right decision and that we'd all be better off without him.
Although I have full custody of my kids, they do spend some time with their father. I hate those weekends. Hate them. And, I find myself having to give ground and give up little pieces of myself in order to get along well enough with my ex-husband so we can co-parent successfully. My husband has a completely different relationship with his ex-wife, with whom he shares 50/50 custody of their children.
I now understand that every divorce and co-parenting arrangement is a little different, and no advice is one size fits all. Quite frankly, most of it, while well-intentioned and ideal in a perfect world, is best ignored. Find what works best for you, your co-parent, and your children, and stick with it until it no longer makes sense to do so.