1. Elect a Go-Between

 In the old days African-Americans, or Americans of any race for that matter, rarely took their problems to court.  Community elders were appointed and when they spoke that was the end of the conversation.  If you are looking to build a happy and healthy co-parenting environment, you need to find an elder that both of you are comfortable with to assist in your communication efforts.   Oftentimes, relationships disintegrate due two issues money and difference in raising children.  But, your elders have been there and done that.  So finding someone that both of you trust (and it’s vital that both of you trust the person) can be a great asset to your already divided family.

2. Mama and Papa Emails

 Sometimes talking gets in the way.  If you’ve already identified communications issues in the months leading up to the birth your child, or are recognizing them as you are adjusting to life with a newborn it may be least stressful to communicate in writing rather than verbal altercations.  Communicating in writing gives time to be deliberate about conveying your needs and desires in the relationship.  BUT do not use texting.  While texting is appropriate for daily, light conversation like “Do you have the babies bottle,” when the relationship is already tense the back and forth instant nature of texting can make a situation go from bad to worse.  But, emailing is the new love letter and give you an opportunity to consider his feelings as well as perceived reactions.

3. Kid Bank Account

 Many parental relationships breakdown due to issues surrounding money.  And most of those issues stem from one parent believing money allocated for the raising and rearing of the child is being used as disposable income for the other parent.  Rather than handing over control of your mate’s pockets to the court system, allow him the opportunity to put money in an account that can be used for the child’s needs.  He can receive a monthly statement of how  the money is spent.  However, be sure he understands that you having a bus pass, putting gas in your car or even having boots for the winter are a part of your new lifestyle that includes raising kids.  Junior doesn’t want to see his mom with holes in her boots.

4.  Mommy/ Daddy Mentors 

 If you have time before your baby is born or even while you are going through turmoil electing mommy and daddy mentors to assist the two of you in your quarrels is one of the best ways to avoid family division.  Just remember, you don’t need to approve of his mentor and he doesn’t need to approve of yours.  The mentor simply needs to be an adult who has a lifestyle you admire.  Specifically, she should probably be married, have children, be financially stable and be able to be honest with you.  One of the biggest issues, African-American mommys deal with is not having support in the younger years of child-rearing.  We really need it though.  Many of us were raised by single parents and may not know exactly what to do when rifts occur between us and our child’s other parent.  So a mommy, or daddy for your mate, whose lived through it and come out on top can be a real asset.

Cynthia Mendoza

Hello. Welcome to BrownMamas.com a blog for Black moms looking to thrive while raising kids in this hectic world and the headquarters for Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a Pittsburgh support group for Black moms. Here I write about raising my three boys, living in and loving Pittsburgh, dating my husband, gardening and all kinds of other stuff. Thanks for visiting. Stay long & come often!

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