Actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her ex, Chris Martin recently returned from a holiday vacation in Antigua with their children. The pair, who “consciously uncoupled” in 2014 are seriously involved with other partners, yet the former family of four spent what appeared—on Instagram—to be an idyllic beach holiday together. Are they crazy or on to something important and do-able for the rest of us?
The mother of Apple, age 13 and Moses, age 11 told The Edit, “I wanted to turn my divorce into a positive. What if I didn’t blame the other person for anything, and held myself 100 percent accountable? What if I checked my own s—t at the door and put my children first? And reminded myself about the things about my ex-husband that I love, and fostered that friendship?”
The vacation was just one example of the pair’s priority to amicably co-parent their children. Of course, it definitely takes two to tango. In order to make this happen, both parents must be completely committed to not pulling shenanigans on the other and agreeing to agree. They must decide separately and together that divorce is difficult enough on children in a multitude of ways and that showing a united and amicable front is the ONLY way to mitigate anxiety and sadness for their kids.
On the flip side, a walk through the hallways and courtrooms across the country show us a very different picture. One where one or both parents are not checking their “own s—t at the door”, resulting in a protracted legal battle where the children lose. They lose every time. In reality, this doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing scenario. Most should put effort into finding a realistic middle ground. Start looking somewhere in between the Paltrow dream vacation and courtroom warfare (hopefully closer to the vacation), where the children come first.