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What is coParenting anyway?

The definition of coParenting as told by the coParenter community, its cofounders, and the coParenter team.
(3 minutes 23 seconds read)

What is coParenting anyway?

What is coParenting? coParenter asked our community, our co-founders, and our team exactly what coParenting is … beyond the everyday definitions. The answers we received are amazing and very real. Here are just a few.

coParenting is not losing your mind when your kids arrive home from time at their mom’s with a suitcase full of dirty clothes.

coParenting is keeping calm when your coParent is late. Again.

coParenting is two or more people raising kids together. It’s step-parents. Moms and dads. Aunts and uncles. Two dads. Two moms. It is all of these people, under one roof. Or on different coasts. Or in two different homes in the same city. coParenting is family.

coParenting is sharing the parenting load. It is taking equal responsibility for the humans you’re raising. It is showing up and making hard parenting decisions. It is leaning in when you’re tired and cranky and can’t stand the thought of chatting with your ex about anything, let alone whether or not the kids are going to play soccer this fall.

It is taking your son for a few extra days because one coParent has the flu. And stopping by the store for some chicken soup on the way.

coParenting IS communicaton. It is sharing school reports and doctor visit updates. It is mentioning the dirty laundry in the calmest way possible.

coParenting is helping your daughter get a birthday gift for your ex because you know it makes THEM happy. It might feel like it’s going to kill you to do so, but coParenting takes the high road. Even when you don’t want to.

coParenting is being flexible. It is trading weekends because that free trip to Disneyland your ex won at work will mean the world to your kids.

coParenting is rising above YOUR hurt. YOUR pain. And YOUR anger. And not trash talking your ex in front of your 10-year-old, even though maybe you want to scream from the rooftops how very pissed off you still are about it all.

coParenting isn’t always rainbows and unicorns and singing campfire songs together. Especially when one coParent has a mental health or addiction issue. Or is just kind of a selfish jerk most of the time.

coParenting is trying your best. It is getting help when you need it. It is not being afraid to say “I can’t handle this issue on my own and need a professional who can give me some guidance.”

coParenting is work. It is perseverance. It is being the bigger person. It is about packing away your anger so you can make the best decisions possible for your children. It is saving all those difficult feelings for a venting session with your best friend, your sister, or your therapist instead.

coParenting is maturity, perspective, and commitment – three things that aren’t always readily available when you’re parenting with an ex, or someone you were never with in the first place. But you do it anyway because you know it is what’s best for your kids.

coParenting starts with you. It’s making the choice to lead by example because you know your kids are watching. They’re counting on you to teach them how to navigate this big, bad, crazy, beautiful world.

coParenting is about kids. It’s about making sure that when parents break up, kids know they’re still safe and loved and have two (and often more) people in this world they can count on.

 coParenting can be really really hard. It can be emotionally draining. It can even feel like the exact opposite of how you want to act when your ex is getting under your skin. Or when you’re still sad. Or when you didn’t want a divorce or separation in the first place.

But really, coParenting isn’t about you. It’s about them. When people coParent, kids thrive. And when kids thrive, families do too.

Are you a coParent? How have you gotten through some of the challenges of coParenting? We’d love to hear what coParenting is to you. Send your stories to