Co-parenting is not easy. When parents have to juggle competing personalities and splitting a child's time, it can be tempting to give into toxicity. But now, a viral video of a wedding involving a blended family shows an amazing example of co-parenting done right. That's right, this bride's co-parenting vows will warm your cold, cold heart, and make you believe that having more parents in the mix actually just means more love to go around.
24-year-old Katie Musser recently married Jeremy Wade, and while many aspects of the ceremony hewed to the traditional, Musser did something a little different with her vows. Musser is stepmom to Wade's 4-year-old son Landon, and she wanted to express the gratitude she felt for having not only Landon, but Landon's mother and stepfather, in her life. In a video posted to the Facebook page Love What Matters, Musser surprised her guests when it came time to read her vows by turning to her husband's ex-wife Casey and Casey's husband Tyler, and addressing them, saying:
First I want to thank you for accepting me as your friend and allowing me to be a part of Landon's life. I promise to be an amazing mother to your son. I will guide, teach, and love him every single day. I promise to respect, work, listen, and communicate together as co-parents. I will love you guys no matter what comes our way. We are one family always.
Then, Musser had a moment with adorable little Landon, holding his hand and saying:
I love you more than you will ever know. I've had the privilege of knowing you since the beginning. I've loved watching you grow and I will for the rest of my life. I'm so happy that I now officially get to be your bonus mom. I promise to protect you, hold you when you need it... stand by you, listen to you, and love you every day. I promise to love daddy with all my heart. I promise to be a best friend to mommy and your daddy Tyler. We will be one big family that I promise you will have for the rest of your life. I love you so much.
It's a beautiful and touching moment (as evidenced by the sniffles in the background of the video), and it speaks strongly to the power of love in the face of complicated circumstances.
As Musser wrote in a longer Facebook post on her own page, this close co-parenting relationship didn't come easily. Musser began dating Wade when Landon was very young and, for a while, she and Casey "hated" each other. Rumors and accusations flew constantly, until one day, Musser realized that she didn't like who she had become. So she reached out to Casey and slowly, the two of them began the process of learning to trust one another, for Landon's sake.
Because that's who ultimately matters the most in any co-parenting situation — the child. Children are freaking sponges. A child caught up in a stressful co-parenting situation can be greatly affected by the constant fighting. But if parents are able to turn a potentially fraught situation into an opportunity to surround a child with more love, to become "one big family," as Musser said in her vows, what a blessing that is for the kid in the center of it all.
According to Musser, she and Casey moved beyond simply tolerating one another, and became close friends. As she wrote in her post,
Not everyone gets the luxury of having a relationship like we formed. But it’s possible to get along, communicate, and give the same rules/love/respect on both sides for your child/children. Go against the norm. BE that CHANGE.
Kudos to this whole big, blended family for showing that love really can conquer all.
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