Britney Dearest: How I Handle Long Distance Co-Parenting With My Daughter's Biological Father

/ Saturday, June 13, 2015

How I Handle Long Distance Co-Parenting With My Daughter's Biological Father

co-parent, co-parenting, long distance, blended family, step child, step parent


If you follow me on Instagram then you may have noticed that one of my children is not like the others... My son's are biracial, and I hear all the time that they take more after their [white] father, while my daughter is my pretty brown-skinned twin. She's, obviously, not biracial. Her biological father is Black; "Brown," says my kids, and, of course, I'm Black, "Brown," says my kids.

For the past two summers, my daughter has spent three weeks in Texas with her biological dad and family and she's actually on her way there now!

Oh the emotions I'm feeling while typing this!

My daughter's father was raised in Texas, and has been back and forth between Missouri (my home) and Texas up until about five years ago when he and his family moved back to Texas to make a permanent home.

My daughter was three or four at the time. He wanted her to visit him, but I wasn't comfortable with her being hours away for weeks at a time so he would come into town every few months or so, staying with his mother-in-law, and our daughter would stay with them. I promised him that when she turned six and if she was comfortable with it, she could spend up to a month with him in Texas during the summer. I kept my promise.

A couple of days ago I was asked how I'm able to allow my daughter to go out of town for so long without me and I gave a brief explanation at the time, but that question is what led me to write this post, so to answer the question in it's entirety...


co-parent, co-parenting, long distance, blended family, step child, step parent
Earlier this week.
  • I maintain positive communication with her father and his wife. They even text me photos of Phoenix with her siblings. Things haven't always been good between us, but they are now and have been for years so that most definitely makes the communication easier.
  • I support my daughter and her other family's relationship. It's important to me that she is as close to her dad and his side of the family as she is with my family. They're good people. He's a good dad and she loves her step-mom. He and his wife do a good job at supporting her and keeping in contact.
  • I try to avoid being a "worry-wart". I reassure myself that she's in good hands.
  • I pray for the safety of my daughter as well as her parents and siblings.
  • I emphasize the importance of speaking up if she's ever in an uncomfortable situation. She has issues with anxiety so I also tell her to stay close to her step-mom or dad if she's ever nervous or uncomfortable, especially out in public. She knows how to call 911 in case of an emergency. She knows "stranger danger" strategies.

co-parent, co-parenting, long distance, blended family, step child, step parent

  • Phoenix knows my number by heart and she knows that she can call me at any time, no matter the time.  I also give her the numbers of my parents just in case she wants to call them.
  • We video chat/Facetime. She was with them for spring break this year. She called me and we, no, she talked to me until about 1:30 a.m. I was dozing off and begging her to let me off the phone while she was begging me to stay on. I smile when I think back on it.
  • Not only does she visit with them during the summer, I also allow my daughter to stay with her dad and/or her step-mom and siblings when they come in town to visit their families throughout the year. It's usually for a few days to a week.
  • The week before she leaves, my husband and I spend more time with her than usual and she visits my parents. Sunday we spent time with my dad and bonus-mom, Wednesday we went to a local water park, Thursday, the zoo, she spent the night with my mom and bonus-dad, and while the boys are staying the weekend at my moms, Phoenix and I went out for smoothies and had a movie night together last night, just her and I :-)

The most difficult thing about long distance co-parenting, for me, is being away from her for so long. I imagine it's tough for her dad too, because I'm sure he would prefer to see her on a daily or weekly basis and attend her school events, but he does the best he can considering our situation.


I understand that not all non-custodial parents are responsible and fit and custodial parents may not be comfortable allowing their child(ren) to make out-of-state visits with them. In that case, parents should research child custody laws in their area and fill out a petition for custody form to modify child custody. Before that's completed, the parent would need solid proof as to why child custody should be modified. It's a long process, but the safety of your child is worth it. Speak to a lawyer in your area or refer to Legal Zoom for more detailed information.


Other than that, whether the co-parents get along or not, as long as both parents love the child and want to spend time with the child, there needs to be a verbal or {preferably} written agreement and schedule for visitation.


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Thanks for reading!

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8 comments:

  1. You are the real MVP. But she's in good hands. 😊 Let go, let God.

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  2. We're on the other side. My step daughter only spends Summers and holidays with us and it rough especially for my kids who love their big sister. Co parenting is not eDy and like you our situation hasn't always been the greatest but we've managed to put our adult issues to the side.

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    Replies
    1. Well that's good. At the end of the day, it's all about the kids and what's best for them. They need to see their parents getting along.

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  3. That was a great read, thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Monique and thank you for reading! :-)

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  4. Wow, love reading such great story of co-parenting. You are doing the right thing for your daughter and getting her bio father involved in her life is such an awesome thing.

    Keep doing the best that you can to keep the communication going. I am sure she'll thank you for it one day.

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  5. I'm late to this post, but I just found it on Pinterest in a time when I really needed some guidance. I just wanted to say you really helped me tonight. I have two older daughters who's biological father lives in Texas, where as I live in Iowa. They have only gone to stay with him once for three weeks this past summer and it was pretty easy to stay busy. While I missed them no doubt, I had a toddler and summer is an easy time to keep my mind off them being gone. However, this time they will be gone for three weeks around Christmas and I think that is what is making this so hard! We are pretty much stuck in the house and all of the traditions that will be broken are really bothering me. It will be hard sure, but reading this post has really helped put my mind at ease a bit, so thank you. I know I am doing the right thing.

    I guess this turned out longer than I meant for it to, apologies. Thanks for being inspiring. :)

    ReplyDelete

About Me

Hi! I'm Britney. I'm a wife and a mother to 3 children + 1 fur baby. I write about everything family, home, and DIY related. I'm slightly obsessed with home decor Instagram accounts and DIY blogs. Junk food is my peace. Read more

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