Daddy thoughts Tag

Daddy Thoughts 22- Dreamt of arguing, listening

I just woke up from yet another dream that me and my teen were arguing about something. You see, I have some righteous (or so I think) concerns for my boy. One, bee a critical thinker. So, both me, my wife, and his mom often engage him in discussions about race, politics, class, gender, so many things. If I’m being honest though, part of it is because I grew up talking that way with my parents and I’m familiar wit it. I do truly hope that from his family het gets points of views that are different than what main stream movies, media, etc are saying. And I’ve told him I don’t want you to think like me, I want you to take what Im saying and form your own opinion. Having an informed opinion is important, i think.

Two. I really want him to know what it means to work hard and sometimes this desire overlooks the hard work he does do and the fact that the nature of work is changing. I’ve had him cleaning the bathroom, the living room, his room, doing his laundry, taking out the trash, I’ve given him jobs where he can earn money or pay me back for something I bought that he wanted. But sometimes, I can be a little too pushy and demanding. And I’m trying to do better. He sometimes bitches or moans at some extras I make him do and I have to remind myself I did too when I was a kid.

Three. I want him to choose a path forward (after high school) that he’s passionate about. I know at times he’d rather just play video games and stay in his room. And sometimes I forget what it was like to be a teenager and press upon him, adding to the pressure he must feel from all of us and all of it. I don’t want him to serve the system of exploiting people though. I’ve been very vocal about that. Be aware of this or that, challenge this or that. But even I get bored of hearing myself repeat things so I know he must.

I haven’t been complete drill sergeant or a stoic figure who expresses little emotion, comfort, or love. But I have to remind myself to not get too angry when he refuses, gets annoyed, pulls away, or resists; and tell him. Tell him I’m proud of him, that I care for him and that I love him. I want to dismiss the myth that all teenagers are jerks, because they’re not. I do believe they are going through a lot during those years. I remember hormones raging, feeling self conscious, afraid to speak up, and just wanting nothing more than to hang out with my friends, my guys, to laugh, have fun, and make and see dope art in the form of music, graffiti, djing, paintings, so many things. I remember short answers with my parents and just wanting my own space to be free of rules and responsibilities. So I get it. I have to confess that I have let my frustration at perceived inaction get to me at times, and I’m trying to listen. That is ultimately what my dream was about. Forcing him to do something, and instead listening to him tell me how and when he wanted to deal with it. The issue I was mad about was not big, his words were/are.

Ooh, my toddler is awake and she’s demanding attention. If you’re a parent who’s been there or afraid of going there, what are your thoughts or advice? Like when do they start eating breakfast again, lol.

Last Daddy Thoughts on Father’s rap songs
If you’r new here, this is a series I’ve been writing for several years off and on about being a dad, co-parent, struggles, triumphs, mistakes, and more human shit. I’m trying every day to be a better dad, husband, co-parent, and human.

Daddy Thoughts 21- Father’s Day Rap

Starting this one off with a new one- Skyzoo from brooklyn.

There are sooo many hip hop artists that mention their children but these are a few I actually remember.  I feel like, just with any music the song has to be dope. And second, it helps to have a positive message whether that is from a person to an absentee parent or a from a new parent to a baby or child. They all important. What about you? Which hip hop song about fatherhood comes to mind for you?

Classic from Bambu-Oakland/LA

Bru Lei from Sacramento!

Rico Pabon of “Prophets of Rage” -Oakland

Xzibit- LA


Classic from ED OG – Boston

The last joint I wrote about was called “Other Plans”

Daddy Thoughts 20 – Other plans

I think there was a saying that if you want to make god laugh, show her/him your plans. I’m probably getting that wrong. But it seems like this entire year has other plans for our plans. Sure some people may just be coasting along like nothing has happened but I think a good majority of the worlds population is adjusting, pivoting, changing, etc.

Take for example my baby girl who is now 20 months old. From the time she was born up until about the age of 1 I stayed home to care for her while Mama worked. Of course I still worked doing what I could at night, in between naps, etc. But she is a fully formed toddler now, asking for things, expressing happiness and discontent. She walks, runs, eats food and spits it out. I thought at the beginning of this year I’m about to make all kinds of new projects in addition to client work, but with childcare closed and our family distancing the time to create and work was cut in half. We’re blessed though, making it work. Me and Mama take turns from 8am-5pm. I’m on morning shift, Mama’s on afternoon. Trying to work and care for bebe girl has lead to some hilarious moments. Especially since we’re potty training. The other day I was answering emails, watching my girl like a hawk for any sign that she might go pee (she had no pants for the first 10 days), all the while making lunch for me and my wife.happened the other day. And as soon as I look away to turn down the stove, season that, she pooped. Haha, right in the middle of the kitchen. So I took a breath, cleaned her, the poop, the floor, my hands, and proceeded to make lunch.

But for my teen, I can’t imagine how hard it is. I talk to him regularly and ask him how he’s doing. I make sure to check on him and he’s in good hands with his Mami. But, leaving the normalcy of the last 12-13 years of seeing other children in school came to a screeching halt. Sure, there’s so much that happens nw days over text. I know kids message each other sometimes more than they see one another and that he plays video games and talks to friends via games. But, it is still quite anxiety inducing; this whole culture. I’m lucky he still opens up and shares what makes him happy. We’ve got a book club going on where we read together. And I try to honestly check out some of the things he shares with me even if I don’t understand. And despite all this, he’s still doing great on his assigned work. I’m just glad its not his graduating year, or the prom he’s missing. I do wish I could encourage him to have his friends over though. Maybe in a few months, I hope.

Me, I’m tired, horny, feeling a bit overwhelmed at times, hungry, contemplative, robotic, and blessed all at the same time. Give thanks that I still have a roof and that there are so many stepping up. Thats it for today.

Here’s the last Daddy Thought-Twist and Repeat

Daddy Thoughts 19- Twist and repeat

Happy New year to all you reading this and all my parents or caregivers of little ones. I regularly write 2-3 posts a year on parenting, fatherhood, co-parenting, mistakes, or triumphs. But last year was a blur of raising baby raising. My daughter is now over a year old and in childcare so I have a bit more time to get back to work. So here are a couple of observations going through the baby stages again.

Twist and bend!
I forgot how much you have to twist, turn, and bend to care for little people. Sometimes that is because they cannot move on their own and need your help to get that bottle, nipple, snack, or to burp. I started to remember that certain parts or sides of my body got a lot of use to hold my daughter and my son. When my son was born I actually started stretching regularly because my back got sore from picking him up or holding him. I’m better at it now, but I still feel it now with the new baby.

The other side of twisting and bending is the manipulation of your own body to catch them so they don’t fall. It’s the twist to get their shoes on or their diapers off. It’s also the movement and turning to feed them. It’s really funny to see them squirm and turn away when begin to do it. Then, its like bending and twisting to get them to eat. Some. Thing! How many of you are going through this or remember what it was like? I hope you and your body get some rest this year! If anything this teaches us to be flexible, no?

Repeat because kid is tuned out, eat chips for dinner, don’t notice me, littlest effort as possible
Ok with my teen there are a different set of challenges and I would wager to say that this ranges from kid to kid and in no way represents teens. What’s up with mine? He is excelling in school and shared a moment that made me proud. I’ll come back to that.

Repeat, force,
Lately the challenge has been repeating myself and getting him to listen. I think this is a really tough time because with my teen he’s big! But he’s still a kid so I have to remind him to do things like be quiet so his sister can nap, close the bathroom door so she doesn’t throw stuff into the toilet, etc. Beyond that its the normal stuff like washing dishes, greeting people, and the almighty screens. I have relaxed my rules on screens but I still feel like they still need guidance. It is so easy to spend an entire day staring at one as we as adults know this. It’s also easy to forget about real life friends, nature, going to events, and socializing. And I feel like I have to keep trying to reinforce this. Even if it means I am not his favorite person because I made him go outside.

What else? I’m noticing just how much responsibility and pressure is placed on girls and young women versus the freedom to chill and just play that boys have. This is a broad generalization but I see things my mom or family let me do like waiting to make plans, not cooking, or not planning. Planning is such a big one. So, while I don’t want to force him to do too much before he’s ready I am encouraging him to make plans ahead of time and trying to teach him to cook because he’d eat an entire bag of chips for dinner if I let him.

One things for sure, big brother loves little sister and she is fascinated by him.

That’s it. What parenting things are happening for you? Fails and triumphs welcome.
Daddy thoughts 18- Reset button 

Daddy thoughts 18 – Reset button

Hey readers, thanks for continuing to read my thoughts on fatherhood. I last left off at “Brand New Daughter” and have been thinking about how different things are this time around.

Starting over: 
As a new dad again I feel in some ways like I’m starting over. I have a lot of knowledge and experience but also so much to learn still and the feels rather humbling. I did not intend to have such a big break in between children but life had other plans. After my son’s mother and I split I realized I needed to date as an adult. I needed to go out and experience some things I hadn’t as a young father. When I had my son I was only 24 years old. I was a boy myself! Now I’m a grown man with a newborn and a teenager. And this time although I don’t own a home or have all of my finances worked out I feel like I know what to do.

Girl colors: 
My daughter’s personality is different from my son’s of course. He was often very serious as a baby unless you tickled him. And my daughter smiles all the time. One thing I’ve noticed again which I’m sorry to say is still such as thing is gendered colors. It is almost automatic to get clothes that are pink. Pink is a beautiful color but it sucks that this is the only marker that says female child. Why can’t boys wear pink? I dress my daughter in all sorts of colors and have asked many relatives not to buy her pink clothes. I . don’t hate the color. Just the idea that it means “girl” to folks. It’s funny, often times I dress her in grey’s and people will say “he’s” so handsome or cute. Sometimes I correct them, and sometimes I marvel at how engrained we all are. Me included.

New parental improvements: 
There are some new parental improvements that I see. For one, all of the clothes I remember had plain colors or one loud image on them like a car or a pony. Now, I see much more variety in children’s clothing. My wife and I have been blessed to get lots of hand me downs from friends, my god daughter, and other kids. And I see a huge improvement in kids clothing styles. Not only that, but diaper bags, bibs, place mats, etc all have gotten stylistically much better looking. The strollers are more hardcore. I remember the fancy off road strollers that you often see parents pushing and running with were astronomically expensive. There still are pricy strollers, but some of the advancements have been made more affordable. One thing tat is slightly better but still needs improvements are changing tables in men’s bathrooms. When my son was a baby I always had a tough time trying to find a changing table in the bathroom. Often , I’d find a corner and change him on the floor.

Staying home: 
Right now, I am the stay at home dad. I work as a freelancer so I would be at home anyway. But my wife went back to work and is the breadwinner for our family. I feel happy to be able to take care of my daughter and record her new tricks for Mama. But, I also wish I made more money so my wife could stay home with her. Either way, it has meant more than just caring for our daughter. It has meant trying to have dinner ready, wash the mountains of kid laundry, or clean up the whirlwind of our house. All stuff women have done for ages.

I’ve found that there are certain memories that come back to me about my son when he was a baby. The things he used to do. And so many times I cannot remember a certain thing he did or said and that frustrates the hell out of me. I wish my memory was better.

Anyways, thats it for now. Just some reflections on being a dad again. If you missed it, I got to speak with a dad on this podcast! Stay tuned….

Previous post: Brand new daughter

Daddy Thoughts 17 – Brand new daughter

“Fresh from god’s eye” -Ursula Rucker

I’ve always loved that line. I’m not religious and do not subscribe to any faith. I’m not even sure if I believe in a god, but I have definitely called upon someone or something before….

 Well, in parenting news. In addition to being the father of a 14 year old boy I now have a brand new baby girl. She is smiley, glorious, beautiful, soft, cuddly, and a piece of my heart breathing. My wife gave birth to her in September and we have both been just adjusting to our daughter’s every need. That means a lot less sleep of course and the slow down of the grind and hustle to really take time to smell her hands, hold them, and marvel at her presence. She indeed has a presence.

One question I have gotten a lot since she was born is if it is different from when my son was born. Of course it is. I mean, I feel the same and I feel very different. I was a baby when my son was born. My son’s mother and I split up when he was 3 and some how managed to co-parent this child since then. Not without hiccups, disagreements, or challenges at all. But he’s ok. My wife and I started our relationship over 6 years ago, got married 3 years ago, and now we have this beautiful little girl to be thankful for. We wished for her, wanted her, and prayed that she reach us safely. I feel so blessed that my wife and my daughter are safe and healthy. Baby girl is talking and cooing a lot. She is discovering things beyond a few feet in front of her and she is figuring out how to use her hands. She is amazing and it was extremely sweet to have her big brother meet and hold her (see photo).

A couple of thoughts with this one. Each child has a presence, and is so different. There are things I forgot about, and some things that are coming back to me very easily. One thing is for sure, I am so proud and happy to be her Daddy. I look forward to raising her with her Mama and introducing her to her family and community. I dislike the mountain of girls clothes with pink and having to have a bow or something pink for people to know she is a girl. Also, I wonder if that gender is what she will grow up to be. I can’t wait to take her to the park and run around. Me and my son did that all the time and I loved it!

That’s it for now.

Previous post: 8th grade feelings

Daddy Thoughts 16 – 8th grade grad feelings

It’s June 7th and I’m pulling my car out of our garage to drive my son to school. I almost hit a car passing by. The dude driving mugs both me and my son. I cautiously throw up my hand, as if to say “my bad” and it was my bad. My mind was going. I was super nervous and I just wanted to do my best to make the day go over as smoothly as possible. I don’t think that was quite what happened, but he graduated. We were there to witness it, to hug him, take photos, cry a little bit (I did) and to just marvel at the fact that he completed an experimental spanish immersion program starting in kindergarten nine years ago. Out of 40 families that started the journey (Black, White, Latino, Asian) only 12 stayed and finished. Now bilingual education is making an impact on parents of all types and there is a huge waiting list to get into my son’s Oakland Public School. We dressed up a bit and we all prepared mentally to celebrate him. There were lots of feelings. I had a lot of emotional moments throughout the week.

A couple of things. Every time my child has crossed a milestone I feel a sense of pride, joy, nervousness, and a wave of emotions that are hard to describe. Add to that, the fact that I am co-parenting him with his mother and my wife is very much involved. I get a lot of help from my mother and step father too. There are times when I marvel at this beautiful child who I watched go from a crib to an air plane. Each time he changes I am reminded of how beautiful and tough life is for all of us and the unfathomable forces we all have been supported by or have faced in order to still breathe at this moment. It is a universe, country, state, city, home, school, extra-curricular activities, parents, friends, teachers, strangers, and a village that raise us.

For the past two years me and his mother have worked out a co-parenting deal because we no longer live in the same state and city. He has been with me and my wife for two years straight, only visiting his mother on holiday breaks and summer. Now, the tables are about to turn. He’s going to live with his mom for two years and then he will visit us during breaks. This has been tough on him, but I’ll come back to that.

His mom was coming in for the graduation and while I think there are some very top notch communicating co-parents who are buddies, we are not. In fact, I think we have both tried to keep it strictly business. Grades, logistics, checking in about the kids growth, and definitely discussing and sometimes arguing about what is best for him and our feelings about this or that. We have an agreement on paper, but we make each other uncomfortable at times. So that was on my mind. Also, the relationship between my son’s mother and my wife is also not one of friends. Although, I have met co-parents who are, we are not there. We may never be. Because I talk to dads, moms, and ask questions I know it is possible to be very good friends with each other, and each other’s partners or significant others. We do our best.

I also had some dad duties to do as always. His school was having a dinner the night before graduation which entailed not only bringing food, but helping to create an art piece that would celebrate the 8th grade class. I don’t think I properly understood just how much hard work my parents endured for me or how much they sacrificed, juggled, and managed to make sure I was taken care of until I became a dad. And this week has been a lot of that, making sure I think and plan ahead to help celebrate him and his class mates. I love him and would do all of the planning, painting, ordering food, transporting of items, etc again. But, I’m glad that is done. Before this week, he also recently went on a camping trip. 4 days without me, his mom, my wife, grandparents,etc. Just teachers. At first he asked me to go with him on the trip. Then, as he started to feel more confident, he told me to stay behind. It made me kind of proud. Happy even, that he felt safe with his teachers and that he wanted to travel on his own.

I’m going to miss him when he’s gone. I have had him so I don’t yet know what its like to not have him. To not be able to cook him breakfast, walk to school, take him to this or that practice, to go to the library, make sure he knows his family, my friends, and is exposed to cool shit. Sure, he spends time with his grandmother and my step father regularly but I feel a deep sense of sadness when he’s gone for awhile. And, I have to remind myself of how he feels. How he is trying to connect with his mom over a smart phone. Its tough and at the end of two years I know he misses her a lot. I know I’m going to cry when I take him to the airport. So, that thought was there this week and will be with me until he goes.

Another nervous point was trying to organize a dinner with my wife, son, mom, step dad, and my son’s mother. It was tough, awkward, frustrating, and I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. I don’t want to put him through it, and neither me or my wife want to go through it. Co-parenting is hard. You have to be an adult. You have to communicate clearly. You have to put your child first and think what is going to be the best I can do for him, her, or them. Thinking of him, I just try my best to assure him that he is loved. That its ok to be nervous, (I think I’m more nervous than he was), and that I (we) are all extremely proud of him. He graduated with a 3.8 GPA (Amazing!) and had near straight A’s the whole year. He tested into a new high school (top 90%). And he is an awesome kid.

This week’s nervousness, butterflies, and frustration is fading away as he spends time with my mother and step father. Before he goes I get a chance to celebrate his birthday with my wife and our community and I’m grateful for that. High school is up next.

Daddy thoughts 15 – Me too/ Patriarchy

Ok, got to get some stuff off of my chest. My name
is Robert Liu-Trujillo. I’m a 38 year old cis-gender man, husband, father, and I’ve been writing about my experience as a Dad
/parent for several years now (My son is 13). The mistakes, the screw ups, the great times,
and more. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately , but that Junot article
recently made me think I should share this. I’ve spoken to my son about
consent, sex, and respecting women and this will be an on-going conversation. I
also spoke to my wife about the sadness this experience brings up for me and
for male dominance/ patriarchy that is in me and others. I am complicit and have played a part in it.

Ever since the “MeToo” movement started I have been reading
articles, testimonies, and experiences. I have been denouncing things on social
media here and there and having an on going conversation with my wife and my
son. I have been battling with the thought that I am not free from this
criticism. As much as I’d like to be forgiven (selfish) for behavior that is
what women are calling out, it is not about me. It’s
about changing how people treat one another, specifically how men and boys treat women an/or female identifying folks. Its about teaching
my son and the next generation that consent, respect, and standing up for women is hella important. And if young boys
don’t hear it from us they’ll think it doesn’t matter and that if the person in
question is not their girl,mom, or sister, they don’t matter.  This is about harassment by words,
touching, violent behavior with words or domestic abuse, rape, abuse of power,
and saying nothing when someone else does this.

So here are a couple of experiences.

As a boy, maybe 9 or 10, I listened to a much older group of
men (some family, some not) talk about a time when they were out drinking,
hanging out with girls. Partying, all that. They described getting so faded
that some of them passed out and some went home. Some of the girls stayed with
them at their spot or hotel (can’t remember) and some went home. One of the
dudes describes how the next morning a girl says to him “did you penetrate (&*%#) me last
night?”. He laughs, pauses and says no. She then says why is my vagina (&*$%^) sore
then?” and all the guys start laughing, cracking up. I don’t remember laughing. I was
trying to put two and two together because although I was taught about sex from
a very early age I hadn’t had any very few sexual experiences. I understood that this was wrong. I didn’t know if the girl in question was
his girlfriend or not, if they did that regularly or not, etc.  But that does not matter. I just
remember thinking, that’s fucked up. It sounds like rape. I wish I as a child
had the courage and the words to say “fuck that, that is wrong!.” But I just
stood there (Enabling or approving of behavior can be silent). I have not
heard another guy say this to me as an adult or an adolescent but I’m pretty
sure some guys have said this and this is a point where we can say, “NO, what you’re
saying or doing is wrong”. It ain’t about “if that was my sister, or mom, or
cousin I’d…..”. No it’s about all women. ALL women and female indentifying
people. All of them deserve to be treated with respect. Guys, what do you think about this? Be

Now, something I did as a 20 something. I once went home
with a young woman. We hung out, talked, and I told her I was attracted to her
and that I liked her. I was super nervous, she probably was too. She told me
she liked me as well. We kissed and made out. At the end of the night we had
sex, protected. We even had sex again on another day after this encounter. But,
in looking at what women and some men are saying about honest self-reflection,
and self-criticism I don’t think she enjoyed it. And I don’t mean, having an
orgasm (Guys often cum, she sometimes cum’s) . I mean, the first time she “allowed”
me to. And to be straight up I’ve heard a lot of women say that they have done
this too. Allowed. Either, because they felt pressured to, they feared for
their safety, embarrassed, or some other reason. Now, I did not threaten her
physically or verbally, or try to embarrass her but I think she felt pressured by me. The second time
we had sex (after that) she wanted to know what we “were” (relationship?) and was clearly
interested in more than just sex. I had just recently gotten out of a long
relationship and told her that after thinking about it; I enjoyed time with her
but just wanted to remain friends. And we did, we corresponded as friends
after. But, in thinking about
consent, reading body language, and just taking things slower for christ’s sake
I regret doing that. That’s some punk ass shit if I’m being honest with myself.
I did that. Guys, have you done this? Be honest. 
Edit: June 2018- I’ve since spoken to this young lady and apologized. She did not feel it was warranted or necessary, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wished I’d have taken things slower, done thing differently. 

Ever since the call outs began I found myself really happy
that it was happening and I also started to critique myself. How have I
contributed to this behavior women and female identifying folks are coming
forward with? How have I done something fucked up? How can I make it better? In
the past, if I did something knowingly I apologized to that person and tried to
right that wrong by reflecting on it and trying to change my behavior. But I’m asking
boys, guys, and myself to reflect on what women and female indentified folks
are saying. And inspect your own behavior, not only towards women but towards other men and boys (whole other part of this conversation) I believe the calls of Me Too
whether you believe they are serious or trivial are all relevant and that we as
guys, boys, or male identified persons need to be introspective. We need to
take it in and honestly think about it and how we may have contributed.

Women are speaking up and we
need to listen and we (I) need to unlearn any patriarchal, macho, male
dominant, dismissive behavior and teach both our sons, daughters, and gender non conforming kids to call it out. It is oppressive and unhealthy for people of all
genders and for the next generation. In speaking to guys or boys – I’m talking about self
proclaimed nice guys, jerks, allies, women haters, authors, husbands, boyfriends,
brothers, movie studio owners, rappers, actors, business men, students, to the
damn president of the United States. Are you paying attention? Can you call it
out in you and others? What has struck a cord with you?

Guys, there has been a lot of women who’ve come forward and shared a story. Who do you know who is male who has come
forward sharing theirs in some way who is a guy/male? I will read it and read it with my son. I think
we have only just begun to see the stories and that although it may be
uncomfortable it is necessary. And my next question is one many women have been asking, once folks have come
forward and shared all of it, how do we heal from this? Do we throw these men away? Do we call them in? Thoughts?

If you haven’t seen these films yet guys check em out and study them. I’m in them. We are in them.
-Beyond Beats and Rhymes
The Feminist on Block Y
-I also heard “The Mask you live in”  is a good flick too

Daddy Thoughts 14 – Memes & Time Away

The first time I think I ever heard of a “meme” was in 2010 or 2011. My house mate Marc-a great Dad explained them to me because I wasn’t familiar with them. I did not know how significant they would become either. Fast forward to 2017 and meme images are a ubiquitous part of social media so I see them all the time. I never post them myself but I do occasionally get a laugh out of them. My son however tells me “everything” is a meme. Corny songs from the 80’s are memes. Sound effects are memes. Youtuber’s or comedic actors are memes. And definitely photoshopped pictures with text using a popular image are memes. As an adult I sometimes forget how wide open the internet is, especially in social media formats. My son’s favorite is Youtube now since Vine has died. There is nothing profound to say except that his since of humor reminds me to laugh. To take a second and just find something, anything funny, to be goofy, and to chill out. There are certainly some songs I wish had stayed in the past (cue Rick Ashley), but it can be really funny. I do start to wonder how much all the isms like class, race, and gender play into what a young mind thinks is worthy. Also, what is deemed funny and what is not. Also, who has the where with all to make memes and who just consumes them?

So my son’s mother and I have a co-parenting deal where he spends school year with me right now, and holidays + summer’s with her. It is tough. I won’t go into all the details but I was thinking of how it is both difficult and helpful to have time away from your kid. On the one hand I get super sad when I walk past his room and don’t see him. Or strangely, when I am not hearing him make loud noises or ask me whats for dinner fifty times I miss him. But then, when I get over this feeling I also enjoy quiet, solitude, the space to work, and time with my wife. It is tough and a blessing. How many of you co-parent in the same city? State? Or in different states? I think it is essential to being a good parent that I as a parent don’t lose what made me an individual person before I became a parent. I think I can deeply love my child, miss them, and also enjoy time to myself. Thank god for grandparents and community. And….I think my kid enjoys time away from me too because he gets to spend it with his mother. And I’m thankful for that. If we don’t have time to recharge it can be really stressful for the kid and the parent/guardian.