11 Signs You Actually Like Co-Parenting, It's Just Hard AF

Ad failed to load

Prior to meeting my partner, I never wanted children. Even though I'd been in serious relationships before, I never envisioned myself raising a child with someone. I never wanted to be a mom or daydreamed about being pregnant or had baby names picked out. Then I met my partner and things changed. Suddenly, I knew I could be a parent because he'd be the one I was parenting with. That doesn't, however, make co-parenting easy. I've realized there are signs you actually like co-parenting, it's just hard AF; so hard that you wonder if you can continue to raise a child with someone else; so hard that you want to just quit parenthood altogether because, ugh, it's a lot of responsibility, you guys.

My partner and I aren't married, and don't plan on ever being married. While we live together and we're romantically involved, we still check the "single" box on our taxes. We come from very different backgrounds, different families, and even have different political beliefs (which has made this election cycle nothing if not interesting). Because we're not the same exact person, there are moments when co-parenting seems like a f*cking chore I absolutely do not want to do. Sometimes, I want to be the only one making the decisions because, well, I wouldn't have to come to an agreement with someone else. Sometimes, I want to be the one to spend time with my son — by myself — because then I would have his undivided attention and I could be the person to give him everything he needs.

Those moments and those feelings, as valid as they are, are also fleeting. It doesn't take long for the frustration to subside, perspective to come back into focus and for me to remember that I wouldn't want to parent with absolutely anyone else. I know that co-parenting can be challenging, but it's so worth it (when your co-parent isn't toxic or physically, emotionally or verbally abusive, of course). Just because something is difficult, doesn't mean it's not worth it. So, with that in mind, here are just a few signs that you really do like co-parenting, it's just really f*cking hard sometimes.

Ad failed to load

Your Arguments With Your Co-Parent Aren't Vindictive...


The majority if not all of the arguments I have with my parenting partner, aren't vindictive. We don't find things to nitpick and we don't look for reasons to be upset; we're genuinely arguing or disagreeing because we feel passionately about something and think that our point of view is valid and whatever we're failing to agree on is worth discussing.

...And Are Usually Necessary...

Is it fun to argue? Absolutely not. However, I would argue that there are moments when an argument is absolutely necessary.

For example, when my partner and I found out I was pregnant we started discussing how we were going to "baby proof" our apartment. I immediately said my partner needed to get rid of the gun he has in our closet. He disagreed, and pretty passionately. We don't feel the same way about guns or gun control, but we knew we needed to figure out what we were going to do about a firearm in our home and well before our baby arrived. So many of those discussions ended up being arguments, but we had to work through it to find a compromise we were both comfortable with.

...And Center Around Your Kid And What You Both Think Is Best For Them


Even when our arguments are the the most frustrating, I know they are necessary because they involve our son. Because we argue in a healthy way, and no one is being verbally abused or disrespected, I don't feel like the arguments we have about our son or our parenting are "bad" or signs that we are failing as co-parents. I know we both love him so much that we want to raise him to the best of our ability, and sometimes what we think is best can vary because we're two different people from two different backgrounds.

Ad failed to load

You Step On One Another's Toes Because You're Both Involved

If I'm being honest, I had to admit when there are moments that lead me to believe it would be much easier if I didn't have a parenting partner. Sometimes — sometimes — not having to check in with someone or make sure they're on board with a certain parenting decision would be, you know, nice. Of course, I tend to have that thought when I'm frustrated and my parenting partner and I aren't agreeing on something; I know that parenting my son on my own would be infinitely harder than trying to come to some kind of agreement with my partner.

Co-parenting can get a little "crowded," and make you feel like it would just be nice to be the only one responsible for your child. Then again, you start to think about what it would be like if you were the only one responsible for your child, and things get put back into perspective.

You Need Space Because You're "Touched Out," Not Because You No Longer Care About Your Partner


After my son was born and I was exhausted and co-sleeping and breastfeeding on demand and spending every second of every day in constant, physical contact with another human being, I needed my space. I didn't want anyone else to touch me, including my parenting partner.

At first he was offended, and thought that perhaps I didn't care about him anymore. People are always quick to tell you that your relationships are going to change once you've procreated, and because we aren't married people assumed (ugh) that, eventually, we would no longer be together and I would end up a single mother (as if that's a bad thing to "end up" being). However, once I explained to my partner that it wasn't him, at all, but the demands of motherhood and my need for bodily autonomy, we found ourselves on the same page. Sometimes a person just needs space and moments to themselves, mothers included.

Compromises Can Be Challenging, But You're Both Actively Trying To Compromise Anyway

There are plenty of moments when it would be easy for one or both of us to just throw our hands up in the air and concede the point to the other. When we're fighting for what we think is right when it comes to raising our son together, it can be challenging to "meet in the middle." In fact, I've realized in my two years as a co-parent, that there are moments when compromise is impossible (and something that, honestly, shouldn't happen). For example, a woman shouldn't be compromising when it comes to labor and delivery. She shouldn't be compromising when it comes to breastfeeding and what she decides she wants to do with her body.

However, the moments when I know we can compromise are moments my partner and I are dedicated to experiencing, even when they suck. Sure, we could both say we don't care and let the other one make all the decisions, but we are both parents and both share the responsibility of making the parenting decisions.

Ad failed to load

You Get A Little Jealous Of Your Parenting Partner When Your Kid Wants Them, And Not You...


I'm a human being, so there are moments when I get pretty jealous that my son wants his father, and not his mother. After all, I am the one who carried him inside my body for over 40 weeks, then pushed him outside of my body (which was painful, just FYI). Yes, sometimes it's nice that he wants dad (and not just for dad, as I want and deserve a break), but I usually feel a little tingle of resentment towards my partner when he's able to provide my son with something I can't.

...But It Makes You Happy That Your Kid Has Options

Still, I wouldn't want it any other way. My son has two loving, caring parents, and I know that not every child has that. He has options, and can run to either mom or dad when he needs or wants something.

You Respect Them Because Of How Great A Parent They Are...


I can't imagine a world where I don't love and respect my son's father, regardless of whether or not we're romantically involved for the rest of our lives. Short of him becoming physically, emotionally or verbally abusive, I will always have profound respect, admiration and love for him because he's the father of my son and he's raising him to be a wonderful human being.

Even when I am so incredibly pissed off at him, or frustrated with him. Even when I hate him (and it happens, trust me) I love him. I always want him to be happy, even when he's driving me insane, because he's a wonderful father. Is it always easy to co-parent with someone? Absolutely not. However, when you're co-parenting with someone who is a dedicated parent, the frustrating times are worth that person being part of your child's life (and yours, too).

Ad failed to load

..But You Know They're Also More Than Just A Parent

Just like I want my partner to see me as more than the mother of his child, I know I need to see my parenting partner as more than just the father of my child. He is still human being with other needs, thoughts and feelings that are in no way connected to our son. He's still a complex, multidimensional human being and parenthood hasn't erased the other parts of himself that are worth respecting.

No Matter How Frustrated You Get, You Couldn't Imagine Parenting Without Them


Even on our worst days, when we're not on the same page or seeing eye-to-eye or not feeling like the other one is doing their fair share, I can't imagine raising my son with anyone else. I can't imagine not having my parenting partner in my life, even when he's driving me insane. He can fill me with rage, but he is still my person and someone I am so happy to be raising my son with.

That's probably the one and only sign you really need to remind you that even when co-parenting is tough, it's something you're more than happy to do. It's not easy carrying such an important responsibility with someone else — especially someone who comes from a different background than you do or is, you know, just not you — but when the difficulty is worth it, you know you've found a wonderful parenting partner.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

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

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

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

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

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