When you were married with kids, you were parenting the kids together, at least in theory. But divorce means your marriage wasn’t working, and it’s likely that one of the things that wasn’t working was your parenting together.
In one of the perverse little joys of divorce, you need these qualities more than ever now that you’re no longer married to the other parent. “Co-parenting” means trying to work together with someone you’re not married to in order to raise your kids. But this is really hard if your divorce involved a typical level of discord and distrust.
How do you start? Have an attitude that you should Always Say Yes. Can she change the time of pickup a bit? Can you switch days this week? Can you fill in unexpectedly? These logistical questions can set off an instant reaction of No because of the conflict of your divorce. You want to say no, you want to deny her anything she wants. Even if you can do it, you don’t want to, because to hell with her.
That’s a bad attitude, obviously. Instead, just think you should Always Say Yes. That doesn’t mean that you DO say yes all the time - it means that you should want to.
If you can make the change, fill in the gap, be flexible - do it. Your instinct should be to say Yes when it comes to co-parenting. If you have to say no, then go ahead, but this shouldn’t be what you want, it should just be the result of a real practical conflict. In that case, say no politely and Say Yes the next time you can.
You will benefit, your kids will benefit, your family will benefit. It’s not about her, it’s about you and the kids. Co-parenting starts with the attitude that you Always Say Yes.