There’s no one right way of co-parenting, although there are certainly wrong ways. If mutual respect and the maturity to put children first aren’t on the table, then everyone suffers.
And that’s why it’s so nice to see examples of people making it work.
Audrey Loving and Corey Henry met and fell in love when they were just 18. They got engaged and had a daughter, named Riley.
But their relationship didn’t last.
Of course, when there’s a child involved, a relationship is forever in some sense.
Even though they now live far apart and Riley lives with her mom full-time, her dad does his best to stay involved in the little girl’s life.
That might not seem like a unique story, but what makes it special is Audrey Loving’s reaction to Henry’s dating life post-split.
Accepting the inevitable
When a couple splits up, regardless of whether children are involved, each adult has the right to move on with their love life. Sure, they may be jealousy and bitterness, but being able to grapple with those feelings without putting children in the middle is key.
Loving decided to use her former fiance’s new relationship with girlfriend Whitney to show their daughter how to accept a new family member.
The mom explained:
“I come from a blended family — I have stepsisters, half-sisters. Growing up, I heard the negative talk about the ‘other woman,’ and I didn’t want my kid to hear the same thing … It’s not fair. Kids are smart.”
More importantly (and requiring even more emotional maturity), she understood the kind of position Whitney was in as well.
“It’s awkward for her too — dating someone with a kid… I’m not interested in the baby mama drama … I welcomed her into my family with open arms,” she told Today.
Taking the high road
In a viral post from 2016, Loving wrote about the situation on her Facebook page, giving major props to Whitney and showing everyone just how adults should act.
“This is my daughter’s father’s girlfriend,” she began. “The sweetest thing ever! I’m super thankful for her because when she visits her dad she feeds her, takes care of her, buys her gifts, and basically takes care of her like her own.”
Already we’re loving that these two women have come together for the good of Riley.
“Why do all these moms act so spiteful and jealous towards the other women? NOONE said it was easy trying to be a mother to a kid you didn’t have. So when there is someone trying, don’t push them away! Because they DON’T need the drama they WILL leave and then you’re stuck with someone who is the evil step mom.
Yes they exist! I see them everywhere! A kid can have two moms because in my eyes the more people that love her I’m happy! I would never make her feel like an outsider; I’m extremely thankful for this girl.
Ladies, grow up and focus on being a good mom. Love more hate less!”
There’s are so many important lessons here, but Loving drew out one big one: “the more people that love your kid, the better.”
The less we use kids as pawns or pretend they can’t sense tension, the more we stunt their emotional growth and hamper their chances at successful relationships of their own someday.
After over half a million Facebook reactions and a quarter of a million shares, we hope the message got through to lots of parents out there.
A year later, Whitney and Riley’s dad were no longer together, but Loving posted a tribute to the woman who helped raise her daughter.
Be sure to scroll down below to see Loving’s original post and all the reactions to it.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.