“No child deserves to be tossed around back and forth, used as a bargaining chip, or to be put in the middle of any adult drama. She didn’t choose to be born, and she certainly never chose for her parents to get divorced” — writes Hayley Booth, a US mom, in a letter that has gone viral in the internet for all the right reasons. Hayley, who is a divorcee, visibly loves her daughter to the moon and back, and beyond.
However, what makes the story too good to be true is her relationship with her ex-husband’s current wife. They are best friends, not only by words but also by deeds. And this friendship has now given the world new lessons in co-parenting. “It takes a very special woman to take a child that they didn’t give birth to, under their wing and become their mother,” she mentions in the letter.
In India, the idea of co-parenting is probably still in its nascent stage. We see divorced partners amicably parenting their kids, or step mothers, fathers raising the step children as their own.
Thanks to movies and movie stars, co-parenting is a concept we are getting friendlier with, Ranvir Shorey and Konkona Sen Sharma being the latest examples. Down south, we’ve also seen Amala Akkineni always being there for her step child Naga Chaitanya.
However, a harmonious relationship between the ex-partner and current partner is still a rare scene. City-based psychologist Dr Radhika Acharya says, as much as it might sound awe-inspiring, it takes a lot of things to fall into place for such a situation to happen, not just in India, elsewhere too.
“Issues of insecurity and jealousy can spring up anytime. Hence, it takes a great deal of conscious effort involving emotional maturity and deeper understanding to do something like this — especially in a typical middle-class Indian family,” she concludes.
The odds are definitely many, but, “…sometimes you just have to put the petty little things aside, to raise your child to be the amazing human being they are meant to be,” as Hayley Booth rightly points out.