It is a challenge at times to be a work at home mom and it's even more of a challenge when your relationship with your ex is difficult and tumultuous. However, there are things you can do to improve your relationship with your ex. Working toward a more peaceful and productive relationship with your ex will make your life easier in all respects and will, more importantly, benefit your children. Improving your relationship with your ex will take effort, self-discipline, and sometimes even restraint, but will be worth every step you take.
Step 1: Identify What You Want
It is easier said than done at times, but it is important to be able to identify your needs in a business-like manner. Allowing negative emotion to take over is not productive in any aspect. Identifying your needs and what is in the best interest of the children will bring you closer to a working relationship with your ex instead of an adversarial relationship. It's best to suggest that your ex identify his needs as well so you can negotiate and come to agreement about how to manage your relationship.
Step 2: Use the Mediation Process
If you come to points of impasse, there are some very competent mediation programs that will help both you and your ex clarify what is reasonable and fair. When you have a neutral third party involved, it can alleviate the emotion and help you build a healthier parenting relationship that works for both parties. When you go through mediation and come to an agreement, a foundation is built so there is no need for argument about who gets what or where the kids are supposed to be at what time. A solid and agreed upon parenting plan is necessary and allows each of you the comfort of knowing what to expect. It also provides children with structure and security.
Step 3: Exhibit Good Intention
Improving your relationship with your ex requires you to operate from a place of good intention. When you harbor ill will toward your ex, for whatever reason, negativity will rule. This will become apparent during interactions and it will be difficult for your children.
Step 4: Practice Forgiveness
One way to start improving your relationship with your ex, or anyone else, is to practice forgiveness. This is also something that is sometimes easier said than done but is beneficial to all. Sometimes it is a matter of allowing the appropriate amount of time to pass so feelings become less intense. Sometimes it is a matter of making a sacrifice for the good of all. In the end, when you are able to forgive and move on, your relationship will improve for the better and you will be a healthier person.
The bottom line is working toward a relationship that is in the best interest of your children. A positive relationship with your ex will make working, coping and parenting easier and will provide your children with role modeling they can emulate.