With Mother’s Day around the corner I have questions circling in my mind, one being: What does it take to be a mother? What should be celebrated? To be a mother, I think it takes strength, dedication, and obnoxious amounts of coffee. The celebration of motherhood can be compiled into one singular gift, an event, a day of remembrance, and sometimes it just becomes a regular, daily appreciation in some cases. Anyone who has shared the responsibility of raising a child knows the wearing exhaustion that comes with the night’s watch from birth, the complete dependency, to the tedious teaching and guiding that time brings, and we all want to be acknowledged and appreciated.

Celebrating Mother’s Day or Father’s Day can be tricky with separated families.  I am separated, myself, and I’m wondering how other parents share days dedicated to a specific parent. We may find it difficult to be supportive of someone that we have differences with, but in my experience, I’ve found that it’s important to remember the “give and take” that comes with co-parenting together. I realize it can be challenging to separate your emotions and deal with the situation at hand, but I try to keep in mind that I’m not the only parent of my children and I have to share them with someone I once loved. Our children’s’ needs and emotions have priority over anything that their father and I may be experiencing, and sometimes we just have to set all of our emotions aside and be selfless for them. It is much easier to achieve goals as a parenting team versus a bickering, disagreeing pair of parents that resembles life during marriage. Show your children positivity towards one another and try to recognize each other’s accomplishments. Afterall, we are both rooting for Team: Our Kids, and we should act like it. I’ve found if you try to keep a focus on having healthy experiences for your kids, life begins to feel easier with co-parenting.

Ultimately, the way we parent is our choice. We can choose to get along, work together as a team, be supportive of one another, and practice the art of give and take with the goal of raising happy kids as a result of our efforts. Aim to make every Mother’s Day and Father’s Day a celebration of how you have achieved another year of co-parenting with a happy child (or children) in tow.