A year into raising the kids as separate parents have proved to be a challenge. There’s so much I could touch on; from the lessons life taught me about relationships and marriage, right down to knowing how to care for yourself while also being mindful enough to provide for your children.
Managing and taking care of a family was admittedly, challenging enough when I shared a house with my ex. But when all the settlements have been made and the verdict has been passed, things got a lot more complicated.
I love my kids. They’re one of the reasons why I do what I do with each passing day. It’s also the reason why, despite what my ex and I were going through, I packed my differences in a box; all in a bid to make sure my two children grow up as normally as they can. You know, in spite of all that’s happened between me and their father.
Every divorcee who’s currently on the co-parenting train has their own personal journey to tell; right along with the challenges they encountered through it.
Divorce and child custody is a messy affair, involving professional attorneys and psychologists, and experts all dedicated to helping couples (like me and my ex) through this roller coaster.
For me, the issues lay primarily on time management, and a consistent way to communicate and keep track of our children’s schedules.
Not for the first time, I am grateful that we live in an age where some needs are easily met with the use of technology. I’m sure I wasn’t the only parent who faced a lot of issues in the earlier days of co-parenting, trying to manage schedules and set-up routines so my children would get to spend time with mom or dad.
In my year-long journey so far, I am guilty of trying out various apps that all claimed to make co-parenting easier. But I’m glad I did so because now I have this to share.
However, I would be the first to say that using a mobile app doesn’t minimize the inevitable times where you or your ex would lose your temper. It doesn’t change your life drastically — as if there’s a fairy godmother hiding in the app you installed on your smartphone.
But I will say that it makes the process a little less stressful. And in doing so, the two of you can efficiently enjoy the time you spend with your kids.
Aside from the interface, I love Cozi the best. Regardless of the living situation, it’s really good for family life. The in-app calendar synchronizes with Google, Outlook, and Apple.
I’m using the free version. It has an in-app grocery list, meal planner, and a shared to-do list. And with the Journal function, I can upload my favorite pictures. My ten-year-old loves messing with this one. He writes entries under the photographs.
But there are in-app purchases you can avail. For instance, you can upgrade to the Gold version if you’re down to pay $30 a year for functions like Contacts and Birthdays.
The main feature for 2houses is the customizable custody calendar. It lets you make last-minute changes to whatever you have scheduled for the day. Your requests for a schedule change can be approved by your co-parent.
There’s also an option to offer alternate days or times — which is handy dandy for steering clear of an argument via a call or a lengthy text conversation.
2houses is also good for managing shared expenses and displays the current balance so you can implement some budgeting if you want. And much like Cozi, you can also sync it with emails.
The downside is that it’s free for the first 14 days. And then you need to pay for it for $13 a month.
This app is all about upholding solid communication between co-parents. How, you might ask?
Aside from a shared calendar along with the ability to upload attachments within the app, it also keeps a record of communication. Each message is timestamped, and you can’t change it. That’s unlike most social media platforms’ messaging functions, where you’re allowed to edit messages even after you’ve sent them.
There’s also a ‘seen’ function, and the record of communication can be shared with legal settings — like mediators, counselors, or attorneys.
WeParent is all about the holistic view of co-parenting. It’s clear that it was developed with the intention to accommodate co-parents who live separately from one another, and who are having a bit of trouble communicating with one another.
There are events, custody schedule, document sharing, and expenses that you can manage in-app.
WeParent’s founder, Elena Krasnoperova Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University says this:
“–in creating our app, I based it on extensive psychological research on the impact of divorce on kids. Our goal is to reduce stress and conflict in divorced parents’ relationships, allowing them to focus their energies on what really matters – raising healthy, happy kids.”
AppClose is a free app. It has similar functions to the aforementioned apps — like a shared calendar, in-app messaging, and expense and reimbursement tracking. It has unique features that involves reaching even people who aren’t fond of using apps. You can receive notifications and will see the response automatically recorded within the app.
Co-parenting will never be easy. It’s a reality we have to live with. But while an app will never truly solve the problems that inevitably crop up, we can, at least, appreciate the help it offers in sorting out complicated schedules and wrinkles in time management.