Thursday, August 23, 2012

College Bound...Co-Parents and Travel

There are many single mothers out there who have young adults who graduated from HS this past June, and are now headed to college. What happens when it's time to get your child to college and you are co-parenting with a past mate? What if you are single, in a live-in relationship with someone else, or just in a relationship? What if your baby daddy is now married, in a relationship or in a live-in one - how does that affect you both as parents as you make preparations to get your young adult to college when there is travel involved?

Well, I'm a single mother and recently experienced traveling with my child's father as we made an eight to nine hour drive to get our son to college. I don't drive, he does, so in my mind there would be no question about how my child would get to school when he has a father that drives and with a car. I never even gave thought to the fact that we would have to be on the road for such a long period of time, and have to drive back together - just the two of us. We get along well and we are at a good place at this time, so I figured the trip would be cool; we would have some laughs, shed some tears as we left our child to start his next phase in life - and be on our way back.

All of the aforementioned happened, but on the way down there was some tension as a conversation came up about a conflict that we experienced years ago during a time when he was not always present in his child's life, and sadly not being the best dad he could be. And in the midst of that conflict was his then girlfriend, now wife. Oh, and did I mention that his car was in the shop and he had to use his wife's car to drive our son back to school...I found this out when he arrived to pick us up. What I also found out is that she didn't know I was going. He said he felt it was easier and best not to let her know that. He asked me if I was married what I would have done, my reply was "If I was married, me and my mate would be driving down meeting you there, we would all be going together; or you and I would be going like we are now, it would be automatic and definitely not an issue." He also said "well you know how women are, they always think that something may go on with the baby momma," I was shocked as hell to hear a statement like that! Especially because my son's father and I have not been together for over 15 years; so why would his wife even have a thought like that when it came to us. It was not a good feeling, all I could say was "who would think that a mother would not be going to take her only child to start his/her first year as they move-in for college." The tension was short lived, and we continued on - made it there safely and right on time.

During the move-in we were good, but at one point he did get on my nerves and I felt like he was looking to try and start with me; I was already very emotional, as I would soon be leaving my one and only child on campus more than eight hours away from home:(

In that instance I just thought about how men always try to make it seem like their Baby Momma is insensitive, the one with the problem, loud or less than...pick one. Or when they over compensate by talking about their significant other, as if to put them on a pedestal. I'm always happy for anyone who finds love, and exhibits a significant level of growth through time and maturity. But in the end, you know what your experience was, and the choices that your past mate made which contributed to your not wanting to continue in a relationship with him.

My advice to me, celebrate the beautiful gift from God that the two of you created, acknowledge the progress made as co-parents, love unconditionally and always smile. Remember the role that you played in getting your child to where he or she is at that moment, and celebrate your strength as a single mom!

Peace and Always Love,
Team Baby Momma #22

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Thank you,
Team Baby Momma