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5 Reasons to Stay on Good Terms With Your Ex

If you've ever been separated or divorced with kids, maintaining a healthy relationship with your ex is essential to a hell- and hate-free life. But it isn't always easy. There's a reason you're no longer married to this person, despite sharing DNA with an adorable living, breathing creature.

There may be many reasons in fact, but it all boils to a single head: You were married to a dick. You couldn't stand another shared breath in the same space with this person and now your innocent child has to bounce between you two asshats.

But you gotta keep the boat rocking smooth so you don't turn into the Exorcist, especially when you receive that text message, yet again, that they're running "just a few minutes late" for pick up or can't make child support.

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Maybe the whole experience simply calcifies memory until it dries up like the once fluffy egg-filled linings of our collective uteri. This is the good news. Slowly, over time, you may soften, because holding on to rage, pain, guilt, shame and regret causes cancer. Don't quote me. I'm no MD. But I am a doctor of how to handle two baby daddies.

And there's a LOT of planning, coordinating and communicating with them involved. If I invented an app for all that I have to do with them on a daily basis I'd be rich. (Please don't steal my idea, I'm working on it). It's a mental Power Point spreadsheet of daily coordination, and frankly the only administrative job I'm qualified for. From my years of experience handling baby daddies, I know good and well why it's imperative to keep things positive. Here are my top five reasons.

1. The children

Your mind must swing back to your kid if you get all outta whack.

Duh, I know. As obvious as this is, it's easy to forget in the heat of a "You gotta be fucking kidding moment." If I had an AHA moment for every YGBFKM moment, I'd be co-hosting Super Soul Sundays with Oprah by now. So, always, your mind must swing back to your kid if you get all outta whack. Or if you're feeling the need to whack the ex off.

2. You

Yes, everyone is always focused on the kids and how you did the right thing for the kid, blah, blah, blah. But don't forget you. This means don't be ashamed to embrace how being on good terms is always a benefit to you. Because you have been through hell sister, and mommy deserves a little love.

This also means timely child support. If you are new to the game, your ex will make you feel like shit on the first of every month when you need to remind them one, two, 10 times that it's due. They will be passive-aggressive in subtle ways to gnaw at the self-esteem you are now just getting back on Tinder. They may make you feel like it's a favor they are doing, or that it's a pay off, or you are "living on handouts." It's all bullshit. It's called the law, people. You want this transaction to be as light as possible so that it can benefit you. Because when you are on bad terms, they will drop some psychic shit on your soul that you do not need, missy. So keep it cool, and you'll have an automatic barrier from potential negative energy once a month. And you thought your period made you feel bad.

3. The holidays

This is one of the hardest times of year and I suggest really working on compassion, gratitude and forgiveness around somewhere in October. Have you experienced Halloween watching your kid dressed up like a cat and high on sugar? There's nothing worse. If you are on "yah, we cool" terms with your ex, then you can all caravan together. If you are, "Yah, we're totally down!" that means new girlfriends, boyfriends or spouses are all in on the action. I have been doing this for years because "We all cool and we all down." Both daddies and I all go rock out with our costumes and work the trick or treating like a bunch of banshees. Let's not get started on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah and New Year's. And Boxing Day.

4. Benefits to faking it

You just might feel a real shift from heavy negative vibes to something lighter and less morose.

Even if you don't feel like you're on good terms, if you "act as if" or "fake it 'til you make it" you just might feel a real shift from heavy negative vibes to something lighter and less morose. Faking it will create a new emotional map, new neural brain connections to elicit happiness and well ... change your life. Once again, I'm no scientist, but I swear I read this scrolling through Facebook in the shower once and it totally stuck. Maybe it was an #instaquote? Oh, who cares. It's clearly true. Try it.

5. Rage makes wrinkles inside and out and it's not pretty

It's all about you now. And you need to look and feel and look your best. The weight (gain) from not clearing things up with your ex can weigh so heavily on your soul that you will shrivel in all the wrong places. Your hips will get bigger but your heart will shrink into a pluot pit. This creates a downward pull on the face, eyes, nose and mouth. The only good part about a harrowing divorce is that, while expensive, it comes with a free diet. But once you move past this phase and have gained the weight back, making up for six months of accidental starvation, you need to watch out for what anger does to your looks. Did you see Demi after she and Ash got divorced? It didn't look or smell pretty, even though there was incense involved. You gottta release the bad karma because it ages you in a way Botox cannot repair.

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For the most part I practice what I preach and my kids see me having lot of laughs and fun with their dads. I do my best to model that just because we are not together it does not automatically mean the opposite of love.

I also keep a mantra to remember the good stuff and let go of the bad stuff. I have two amazing kids that were hell-bent on materializing into this world, and for that, I am grateful to their dads. And if you're as crazy as me, you'll let your ex know this every now and then. You'll thank them. Out of the blue. Whenever.

Try it and feel the warmth. Try as best as you can to keep alive even the tiniest flicker of this magical connection that only you two have, and you'll reap the benefits of a healthy co-parenting environment. And who knows? You just may get Thanksgiving two years in a row.

Image via Getty Images

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