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A Coparenting Update

Eva Amurri colors with her kids in their playroom

Kyle and I have now been living in separate, permanent residences since early November, and we’ve been sharing time with the kids and learning our coparenting relationship.  Luckily, when it comes to parenting we are very much on the same page.  The “Parenting Plan” portion of our Mediated divorce was the easiest portion for us to work through, and we agree on what is best for the kids.  Getting in to a groove when it comes to two (and almost three!) small kids splitting physical time between parents is no easy feat though! I’ve been really proud of our progress.  

Eva Amurri gives a coparenting update after her divorce announcement
Eva Amurri colors with her kids in their playroom

Kyle had the kids for the first time at his apartment right around the holidays. It was extremely emotional for me to drop them off– not because they hadn’t spent time with just him before (they had, of course), but because it seemed like such a big milestone in the life of our divorce.  That first weekend “away” from me felt so big to me– sad and strange.  Kyle was really kind about it, and helped me through– sending me photos and videos of the kids nonstop.  I sobbed in the car on the drive home, and texted some girlfriends some very dramatic things about my heart being left behind in Brooklyn. LOL. But then, I got home, I listened to the silence in my house, drew a bath, and started feeling A LOT better.  I ended up taking it easy for two days and really resting– and by the time I got them back, I felt like a new woman and a better Mom.  Since I have the kids the majority of the time in our new arrangement, I do get pretty burnt out. Mornings and school prep every day alone, and bed and bath time every night alone can take it out of me, especially while pregnant.  It’s nice to have a little break sometimes to rest.  

Eva Amurri gives a coparenting update after her divorce announcement
Eva Amurri colors with her kids in their playroom

The kids have been doing really well with it also. Marlowe was a little anxious before the first overnight, and she had a momentary FaceTime meltdown while she was there, but overall they did great and had a really fun time with Dad.  I think as we settle more in to our new normal routine, things will even out beautifully and the kids will start to look forward to the change of scenery. 

Eva Amurri gives a coparenting update after her divorce announcement
Eva Amurri kisses daughter Marlowe while they color in their playroom

Daily communication is something we are also working on.  We try to FaceTime with Kyle (if possible) every day, and whenever they ask to speak to him, I call him.  It’s important to me that they know that he is always available to them and that I’m supportive of them having a beautiful relationship with him just as they have with me.  I also text Kyle updates and photos of big accomplishments or cute milestones and he’s always very appreciative of that.  I like the kids to know that he is aware of everything that they’re doing and experiencing.  There have been times when he hasn’t seen them in person for a few days when I notice them refusing FaceTime or being grouchy about a call.  I think this is pretty normal as they get used to a new schedule of visiting with their Dad, and not seeing him as often as they’d like, or exactly how they’d like.  Kyle, to his credit, has taken those moments in stride and been really understanding. If they’re not feeling communication one day, we just try again later or the next day and keep things moving.  

Eva Amurri gives a coparenting update after her divorce announcement

There are of course bumps in the road, or moments of frustration in this process.  I hope nobody thinks I have said or am saying that this has all been easy, simple, or smooth 100% of the time.  It hasn’t.  Of course if my relationship with Kyle were perfect, we would still be married! LOL. But I will say that it is both of our priorities that the kids are happy, healthy, and feel safe– and that their world is as full of love and support as possible.  When we have disagreements we always come back to that focus and re-evaluate.  We stay communicating, trying HARD to understand each other (even the things we don’t necessarily agree with) and to always respect each other– especially in the kids’ eyes.  We never, ever speak badly about each other in front of the kids, or put them in the middle.  At the end of the day, it’s just as hard work (I’m noticing) to have a healthy coparenting relationship as it is to have a healthy marriage.  Kyle and I have the rest of our lives to work on this evolving coparenting relationship between us– and I’m sure other people will inevitably be involved as well.  So far, I’m really proud of how we’ve been moving forward.  

I would love to hear from anybody else coparenting effectively and lovingly! Do you have any tips or tricks up your sleeve to share? Thank you!

Eva Amurri colors with her kids in their playroom

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Photographs by Julia Dags

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33 Comments

  1. Eva, I so appreciate you being transparent in all that you are going through. We don’t deserve that as your readers, and going through a separation and divorce myself (no kids), it’s been therapeutic to read. I think it helps to take away the shame from it (that you feel) when you hear someone else’s experience.

    01.15.20 Reply
  2. Coparenting is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Unfortunately I started when I just 18 years old. The past 16 years have been a whirlwind. We’ve had our ups & downs. But one thing is I always keep pushing forward. Never stop fighting for your kids best interest. I’ve always put my kid first. There’s been times when I just wanted to give up, and I’ve cried a number of times but as I’ve gotten older as well as my now teenager, he is thankful I’ve always been in his corner. Hang in there mama!

    01.15.20 Reply
  3. I’m a stepmom of 14 years. When my stepsons were young, our custody schedule was week on/week off. On Mondays, when they came back to our house, I was always sure to cheerfully ask about their week with their mom. I never wanted them to feel like their two homes were separate and secret from each other. I wanted them to know that it was okay to love both houses equally and that there was no competition between their parents. If they wanted to take an item from their room or a piece of clothing to their other house, that was absolutely fine, even if it was something I bought them. We always celebrated the upside of having two homes and one extra parent. I now have a five-year-old and just keep waiting for someone to come take him for the weekend! Kidding… kind of. 😳

    01.15.20 Reply
  4. Cristina says:

    I am sad to read your writing:
    “Obviously if my relationship with Kyle were perfect we’d still be together.”
    Perfection does not exist and is not a requirement for people to stay together.
    All relationships are highly imperfect.
    It is love and mutual commitment that allow people to stay together.
    I really like your blog creatively and you and your family are beautiful. I do feel sad that you try to present things too perfectly when the beauty of life and relationships is how wonderfully imperfect we are yet worthy because we are all enough.
    I send you love and strength.

    01.15.20 Reply
    • Just A Fan says:

      The following comment I have to add is from the view point of someone who has been in Eva’s shoes and may shed another perspective on it. I hope it does not come across as arguementative as that is not my intent. From what I have read Eva and Kyle tried hard to make things work and they decided what was best was to no longer be married as opposed to “it wasn’t perfect”. Speaking as a woman of divorce where I made the decision to end my marriage with a 15 month old child after efforts to work on it, sometimes what’s really best for everyone is to live separately. My mental heath would not have survived my marriage much longer and I did not want my child growing up in a household where he thought our behaviour towards one another was healthy or normal. In order to make it through some of those dark times there were many moments of trying to make light of the situation, “look at me now, divorced by X age”. Perhaps keeping it light is Eva’s way of surviving the transition as opposed to feeling the need to present things as perfect. That’s just my own perspective.

      01.15.20 Reply
  5. I’m a stepmom of 14 years. When my stepsons were young, our custody schedule was week on/week off. On Mondays, when they came back to our house, I was always sure to cheerfully ask about their week with their mom. I never wanted them to feel like their two homes were separate and secret from each other. I wanted them to know that it was okay to love both houses equally and that there was no competition between their parents. If they wanted to take an item from their room or a piece of clothing to their other house, that was absolutely fine, even if it was something I bought them. We always celebrated the upside of having two homes and one extra parent. I now have a five-year-old and just keep waiting for someone to come take him for the weekend! Kidding… kind of. 😳

    01.15.20 Reply
  6. Amy Estes says:

    I think you are super woman. That is all.

    01.15.20 Reply
    • Suzie says:

      You are a rockstar. And thanks, as always, for sharing it all.

      01.15.20 Reply
  7. Ellen says:

    I think your doing amazing. Two kids while pregnant going thru this change and yet you get up and literally face the world everyday. It must be exhausting! Remember to take care of yourself.

    01.15.20 Reply
  8. Hailey S says:

    As a child of divorce, I wish more parents had your mindset! I’m sure this has been an extremely difficult transition for not only your family but for you and I commend you on this beautiful perspective and outlook towards the future. Because you take such great care around their mental health, your kids will come out of this experience with empathy and compassion that will help make them fantastic humans!

    01.15.20 Reply
  9. Yes! This is all really great. My ex and I have a similar relationship and we worked very hard at it. Many people don’t understand it, they think we’re in a 3-way marriage or I’m still in love with him, or that it’s just plain weird. And it’s unfortunate. Because people would rather wish us ill intent and hate in our lives and for our children than love. We hope that through our blog/website and other open celebrities like you, that we can change that!!

    And yes Mama, doing it all on your own every hour of every day is really rough. I think you do have help with work and maybe sitters, which is so fortunate. Doing it all on your own is really really right and exhausting.

    I get some friends that tell me I have it easy because I get a break for the weekend, they don’t get that. Or their husband works so much they feel like single moms… And I can say without a doubt that neither of these statements are true. Unless you’re in the same does, it is not the same. Because at the end of the day, you have a husband who makes money and so you don’t need to worry about that. You have a husband you can call at any time and vent to, who loves you and is there for you. You know at the end of the day, you have a partner. Not only for your kids but for yourself. And that, is what truly is the defining piece.

    We have friends and family and even a great relationship with our exes, but we are still ultimately, alone. And at the end of a long day or extra long week, is the hardest part. And by the way, my “break” is usually spent working 14 hour days to catch up on time missed during the week…

    Anyway, you’re doing great. And please let me know if one day we can collab on an article or something. (I have big ideas for the future).

    01.15.20 Reply
  10. Beverly woods says:

    My ex and I did this Co parenting thing after 25 years of marriage my girls were 18 and 21 at the time. We took vacations together and did alit together the first 8 years. He even got a girlfriend that I included in everything ( she wasn’t as fabulous as me). So it was easy. My oldest on the other hand doesn’t like her and that’s when problems started. It hasn’t been easy but we are doing it. After 13 years divorced The older kids still want things good between parents. And the GF she’s still around. But thank god my girls are growing up and it’s getting easier. I always say besides Demi Moore and Bruce Willis. We were just as good as co parenting as they were. Btw your amazing. Beautiful and a beautiful man is out there waiting for you!!!!

    01.15.20 Reply
  11. Courtney says:

    Oh the joys of co parenting! For me my biggest struggle is that I never signed up to be a part time parent. Sometimes my weekends off are amazing and I look forward to my time alone without my daughter but other times even just seeing a fellow mom at the grocery store with the same age child as mine while she is with dad makes me burst into tears. There are days where I am envious of my friends who get their children full time, but we also have a unique dare I say advantage where time off forces us to prioritize ourselves and take time for us, in a way mothers who have their children 27/4 cannot do. (Not that one is better than we all regardless mamas and united in that .) It does get a little easier with time having time off! As for co parenting with an ex we seem to struggle the most with making sure we have boundaries while allowing him to available to our daughter it seems to be always evolving . At our divorce parenting class my biggest take away was to always sit together with your ex at the kids events! It’s the little things where you can show your children that no matter what you are still pillars of stench’s behind them! You’re doing a great job and I commend you for doing this so publicly and look forward to more coparenting / single parenting content since there really isn’t much out there, so this all helps me feel less alone too <3

    01.15.20 Reply
    • Lindsey says:

      I love this idea of divorced parents still sitting together at the kids events. Even if it’s tough for the parents… that would have meant the world to me growing up! Lovely idea. Your children are so fortunate 💗

      01.15.20 Reply
  12. Hayley says:

    Your kids are incredibly lucky. I’m the product of a really unpleasent divorce. My parents never got along – to the point where they couldn’t even remember why they were mad – they just made things difficult to be difficult well into my adulthood. I also have watched other really bad examples play out in my family of kids truly traumatized by divorce. Just keep trying, even when it’s hard. Try to never lose sight of not badmouthing Kyle in front of your kids and try to keep encouraging a strong relationship. If both of you do that and stay as consistant as you can, everyone will end up happier because of it. Plan to do things together as the four/five of you as often as that makes sense for your family. What I would have given to have my parents in the same room and able to have a normal conversation without arguing or putting the other down in some small way! Even just twice a year! 🙂 You’re doing really great and on days when it’s inevitably a little tough and dark remember, though it may not happen for a long time – but your kids will thank you for the thought, effort, love and care you and Kyle have put into this decision and transition!

    01.15.20 Reply
  13. Vickie M. says:

    You are such an incredible mama, and Kyle an incredible daddy! NObody is a perfect person.. but the fact that, after your disagreements, you have landed in a place of care for each other and love for your children, with clarity of mind and set priorities, is admirable!
    Sending all my love to your beautiful family ♥️

    01.15.20 Reply
  14. Mary G says:

    It’s wonderful that you live the one close to the other so your kids can swap places without having to travel long distances.Is it that you have them all the weekdays and their dad every weekend ? Or he might skip some weekends because of work and visit them on weekdays ? What would you do if you absolutely had to move to another town, 3 to four hours further ? It is so difficult.Personally, I have not filed for divorce besides the problems, partly because I would have to move to my hometown where I have my own house and I think that my son would miss his dad terribly and suffer tremendously by the constant travel back and forth.For an exhausted mother though ? Not having to take care of a husband and having the weekends free ? “It’s a kind of magic” 🎶🎶 Also, how will you take care of the two kids when the newborn arrive ? Will you take extra help and keep the same scedule or will Kyle get to keep the older kids more time and how is he supposed to spend time with the new baby ? I Suppose he will have to spend a lot of time with you too during the first months, you are really amazing for keeping a good relationship.❤❤

    01.15.20 Reply
  15. Kari says:

    I love hearing this! It’s not something I ever hope to go thru but reading this is reassuring that good things can come from this. Curious, and not of my business really, but how will adding in little man? Will Kyle stay closer to help with the overnight things? (Did I miss this blog post)

    01.15.20 Reply
  16. Erica says:

    I’m trying to figure out what co-parenting looks like with a newborn, as I’m due March 19th. Dad and I are no longer together and he clearly can’t take the baby as a newborn overnight.

    Do you have any advice?

    Thanks,
    Erica

    01.15.20 Reply
  17. Kulsoom Jafri says:

    It’s not easy, and is always evolving. We’ve been co parenting for over ten years now. Things were tough on both the kids and on me at first but then I did start to enjoy some time to myself on occasion. Teenage years were difficult. There were times my daughter would refuse to go to her dads and most times I wouldn’t push it nor would he. If the kids had a lot of hw or were too tired to go to their dad’s, many times I would tell him to come to the house, and I’d just hang out upstairs while he had time alone with them. My son is close to both of us, which I am happy about, my daughter had a harder time with the divorce, both because she was older, 7, at the time, and because I think she somehow empathized and worried about me, but they both are doing well now and see their dad regularly to the point when I moved states to be closer to my family, he moved a year later as well and changed jobs and states to be close to the kids. At the end of the day, you can’t protect them from all that comes with divorce, and it can be heavy at times, but you can mk sure that they know that they are loved by both of you. Good luck.

    01.15.20 Reply
  18. Jo says:

    I just want to say I’m so proud of your “conscious uncoupling” and ability to co-parent the way you both are. I am also a mom of a 6 year old who
    Has been separated for a year and will finalize my divorce in less than two weeks. My ex and I are so similar to you in how we look at our relationship and focus on our child in his growth, knowing he is loved, and always want him to feel safe. Bless you!!

    01.15.20 Reply
  19. Julie Augostino says:

    Hi Eva. What you are doing is fantastic! Keep going and keep putting those kiddos first but don’t forget about you. I know in my situation I was so worried about them seeing me cry or having a moment, but my therapist said that it’s ok to let them see you struggle a bit, as it humanizes you more in their eyes. My ex and I don’t agree on a lot of things, but not putting the kids in the middle was the most important thing. Also crying at drop off? Oh HELL yes I did that, for a long time. It didn’t get easier until it did and it’s ok to cry, get pissed, play Hole and scream in the car! There is mourning, there is loss, there is a shifting, but there is light as well and of course never ending love. Keep it up sister! ♥️

    01.15.20 Reply
  20. Emily says:

    Eva-
    I have a personal question for you, and i know it’s personal so i completely understand if you don’t want to answer! Anyway, if I’m not mistaken, you have your wedding date tattooed. What are your thoughts/plans for this, if any? Thanks and I’m wishing you and your babies nothing but sunbeams 🙂

    01.15.20 Reply
  21. Natasha says:

    Hi Eva just been reading your blog. Amazing. I have a few questions.. Do you think you and kyle would ever get back in the future?. Do you and kyle find it hard without each other?

    01.15.20 Reply
  22. Bridget says:

    You continue to exemplify grace as you and Kyle are going through this next chapter in your lives together with the kids. As you continue to navigate please share more on communication tips that DO and DO NOT work. Whether married or not I find communication is the hardest part of any evolving relationship. Thanks, Eva!! Much love!! xx

    01.15.20 Reply
  23. Ashley Lo says:

    Thank you for being so honest and real. The part about the facetime meltdown, well that’s real life! I can’t imagine how hard this must be navigating but you are handling it all wonderful!

    01.15.20 Reply
  24. Stephanie says:

    We are just getting started on our co-parenting journey (2 weeks in), and our arrangement is 50/50 custody. We each have two set weekdays and then we swap weekends- whomever doesn’t have them on the weekend (Saturday morning to Sunday before dinner) gets them Friday and Sunday night. It’s a lot of transition, but we never go more than two nights without seeing them. We got very lucky, and live two doors down from each other, so there wasn’t as big of a scenery change for the kids. This also affords us the opportunity to bring over forgotten blankies (we have a 3 and 5 year old) and other essential items on a moments notice. The co-parenting plan was never in question for us either, but I do wonder about the future when other people are involved in our lives. For now- it’s one day at a time, and learning to be at peace with part-time physical parenting. Thank you for sharing your journey. Your post on restoring your maiden name was the final push I needed to make e same decision.

    01.15.20 Reply
  25. Victoria Huber says:

    Thank you for your post a d keep us informed as best that you are able.

    Vicki
    Kankakee, Illinois

    01.16.20 Reply
  26. Glenda says:

    Wishing you the best! XO
    One day at a time.

    01.16.20 Reply
  27. Sanna says:

    Hi
    I’m just curious about why you guys decided that the kids should live with you most of the time and not 50/50?

    Have a great day!

    01.16.20 Reply
  28. Karen M says:

    Single mom of 2 now teenagers (18 and 14) and remember the early days of dropoff with my children who were similar ages. It was tough and I tried so hard not to let my emotions show. But then we fell into a rhythm and they looked forward to doing “Dad” fun things and I had the chance to do all the things I couldn’t as a full time mom…even if it was take out sushi and a non animated movie w/o interruptions! Best advice I got along the way was to send my children with a favorite nighttime book with a fun picture of me with them taped in the back. It was life changing….no more sad calls missing me (which were harder for me usually than for them!).

    01.16.20 Reply
  29. Melissa says:

    Wow is all I can say !! Your an amazing Mom !!
    Seriously you should be writing a book ! In your spear time lol
    Sending love and strength
    Melissa 💗

    01.16.20 Reply
  30. Steph says:

    Coparenting is a challenge. But if you love your kids more than you hate your ex-husband it won’t steer you wrong. My ex-husband and I look at our coparenting relationship like we are the greatest co-owners to the greatest corporation in the world. Our kids always come first. I would never badmouth him or speak negatively about him or his new relationship. Believe me there have been so many things that have hurt me, but they are half of him. so any negative words is hurting half of them. I love them too much to do that to them. My greatest words of advice would be to not fight or sweat the small stuff. Don’t take the bait if it’s dangling in front of your face. Do not fight or challenge the little stuff, because that can cause set backs in the big picture. My 11 year old said to me the other day, “ I love how you and dad are best friends. It makes me feel good. “. We are by NO means best friends. But my son thinks we are. He knows we respect each other as parents. I do not respect my ex’s life choices, but I did choose him to be their dad. So I hold to that feeling of loving the dad he is, when other thoughts of hurt come into my mind. Respect is key. Respecting and loving the kids.

    01.16.20 Reply