Respectful Co-Parenting: 5 Things To Know

A friend once told me, "Not even infidelity tests a marriage like being new parents." Not knowing both sides, thankfully, I can only imagine it's true because after becomging parents, I went from having a beautiful, loving, respectful marriage, to one that was riddled with resentment, bickering, tears, and at times, full on yelling. The stress of being new parents, responsible for the most precious little miracle was a lot to handle, for both of us. Then, we did the worst thing possible; stopped communicating. 

Oh, if I could turn back time...

Since I can't turn back time to help my marriage navigate respectful co-parenting, I can, hopefully, help you and your parenting partner through the struggle. The following are my top five tips for respectful co-parenting. 

  1. Communicate 

When I say communicate, screaming and yelling are not going to cut it, ever. Trust me.  No matter how mad or upset you may be, you've got to keep your cool and talk through the issue, otherwise, the issue will never get resolved. 

Communication is key in the early days to understand each other’s ideas and methods for parenting, and learning to calmly and respectfully talk through the differences.

  1. Be Respectful

I’m not sure why this one was so difficult for me since before baby, I had so much respect and admiration for my very strong and talented husband. Then, I had our son.

For some reason, my inner know-it-all Princess bitch took over my ability to listen and be respectful of my husband's parenting methods. I was constantly critiquing everything he did. Even basic stuff like, holding, handling, changing, feeding, swaddling, bathing... I was constantly standing over him.  I was a maniac. I see that now. (Sorry, Baby, I love you!)

Being respectful of each other from the beginning is beyond beneficial to your marital- relationship, co-parenting rhythm and baby's well-being.   

3. Trust Each Other 

This one was so hard for me to grasp. I was so sure NO ONE could care for my baby as well as me, not even his father. I was afraid to leave him alone for too long or trust him to follow my long list of dos and dont's and stick to baby's routine. Oh what an asshole I was. 

I hurt my husband’s feelings so many times by not showing him that I trusted him to do what was best for his son.  Every time I would leave the house or let him do the something, I would give him a huge speech about how and when it should be done. This was so damning to our relationship.  

Have a little faith in each other. It'll make life so much easier.

  1. Take Turns

Taking turns is such a wonderful way for both parents to test out their own parenting methods, and bond with their baby. Ideally, without the other parent standing over them the whole time. Or, really, any of the time.   

My husband and I now take turns with diapers, playtime, bath time and my all time favorite, getting up in the morning.  A friend of mine taught me to take turns getting up with the baby, especially on the weekends. This way both parents get to sleep in one day.  

Taking turns helps engage both parents in daily life, including meals, chores, bedtime, before school care. Plus, sharing responsibilities gives one parent a break and it lets your child(ren) have an equal amout of time with each parent. What's more, NO lopsided resentment can fester! Which, is a HUGE cause of co-parenting fights

  1. Be Patient

You both are new parents. Which, is scary AF. Neither one of you have done this before, so be patient with one another.  Raising a child is so far from easy, it’s scary! Neither one of you knows everything, nor the best way to do everything.  It is essential that a great team be patient with each other, and of course the ever changing needs of the baby.

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit