My name is Ruben, I became a dad when I was 22 and the mother of my child at the time was 18 and 19-years-old when she gave birth.
Me and the mother of my son, initially when we first had my son, and we started co-parenting it wasn’t too bad – I was very proactive, I’ve always been a dad that’s wanted to be involved as much as possible. So I lived in North London, she lived in South London. Literally I have my son every weekend without fail. My weekend was pretty much having my son and my weekday was pretty much working and I was comfortable with that.
However, as time went on and people’s relationship developed outside of our family unit, things start to change and recently for me, the relationship dynamic and co-parenting really broke down and I think it broke down simply because of communication really.
What you do notice is that, when I try to resolve or look for places to understand why this communication broke down, you tend to get this presumption that it may have broke down because of you. And like I said before, I’m very proactive, always wanted to be proactive and co-parenting unfortunately for me has kind of broken down.
It’s a bit difficult now because when both parties are not able to see past the initial feelings or emotion or whatever it may be, you lose sight of what the whole purpose is and that’s obviously for the child and then you start I guess being vindictive to each other and things of that nature. However, yeah, our co-parenting was really good.
Previously I had my son every week so all I knew was having my son on weekends. When I didn’t have that, I was kind of lost and in limbo with what to do with my time and when you don’t have your son, or child frequently enough, compared to what you did before, you have to occupy your time.
Now, my time’s been occupied with other things so now I think I’m comfortable with not having my son so frequently, as compared to before I didn’t know what to do. I feel like that’s a positive and negative because before I was willing to give all of my time to look after my child. Now I have had more freedom and I’ve utilised it.
Read more from other young parents and their experiences of co-parenting here.