Co-parenting isn’t always easy. It takes patience, dedication, open communication, and a whole lot of love for the kids. Co-parenting after a divorce can become even more difficult when parents remarry or start dating again.
But, it’s not all bad. In fact, one mom shared a now-viral post of her blended family to help others understand what it can look like. She proves that as long as you put the kids first, a blended family is a beautiful thing.
Madison Holley says co-parenting her 3-year-old son, Cade, wasn’t the easiest thing she’s ever done.
After Madison split with her ex, Tyler Mcilveen, she said it was, “very hard mentally.” “We were in different places and I’m very headstrong, so it was hard for us to agree on things,” she explained.
It’s always difficult after a breakup and finding common ground can be difficult, but not impossible.
“When I met [my new partner] Cody, me and Tyler barely talked,” Holley said. “We didn’t want to even see each other. Cade used to message Tyler for me, believe it or not.”
When Tyler started dating someone new things began to change.
Six months after Madison met Cody, Tyler met someone himself. Tyler began dating Karin Grey. Madison gives Karin credit for helping to repair her relationship with Tyler. According to Madison, Karin made it possible for everyone to move in a positive direction.
“Meeting Karin was when we both became happy again. I think meeting new people who put our child first and respected that we had Cade together no matter what and us both being happy again helped,” Madison explained.
“She was the one who suggested we all sit down and put all our differences aside,” Madison elaborated, “Leave the past in the past and everything that hurt or upset any one of the four of us resolve right then and there, so that the future was nothing but positive and full of love from the four of us for Cade!”
After that, all four of the adults moved forward together. They even spent Easter together at Tyler’s home.
Karin wasn’t the only one who made this blended family possible.
Madison admits that her new partner, Cody was pretty instrumental in making things work. According to Madison, Cody is, “the calmest man I’ve ever met.”
That must help!
“The bottom line was we are all gonna be around each other forever as Cade grows up,” Madison said, “and we all wanted to be part of it, so for Cade we all need to do it together.”
A photo of Cody and Tyler holding hands with Cade and carrying Madison’s newborn went viral.
After Madison and Cody welcomed their son, Waylon, this photo captured how their blended family works. As she watched her fiance, ex, and Cade walk hand-in-hand out of the hospital Madison knew she needed to capture the moment. She took this photo and shared it on a Facebook group called, Love What Matters.
The response online has been hugely positive and the post has reached hundreds of thousands of people.
“Honestly, 90 percent of the people say things like, ‘That’s how it should be,’ and ‘Very proud of us,’ and ‘Mature to put the child first,'” Madison explained. “The odd people say negative things like, ‘I shouldn’t be friends with my ex,’ ‘It’s messed up,’ and some people just say things like, ‘I shoulda been married before having kids’ … but it doesn’t faze me.”
Madison doesn’t let the negative feedback get to her because she’s got her priorities straight.
“In my opinion a positive relationship with everyone the child is involved with is best,” she said. “So I’m glad the majority of the people agree, and I hope that by this photo going viral it can inspire people to put their past aside as long as both parents truly want what’s best for the child.”
Madison offers this co-parenting advice.
“Just put your differences aside and don’t let your past or the reason why you broke up effect the child in any way,” she explained. “Children sense stress and we are their role models and safe place, so the easier things are with everyone, the better for everyone.”
Some great advice from a great mom.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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