A mom's post about taking her daughter to school on the first day is going viral, but not for the reason you may think. Oklahoma-based Hayley Booth shared the special moment on Facebook not just to document the usual first-day experience, but also to show what successful co-parenting looks like. Indeed, her BTS photo also features her ex's new wife, Dakota Pittman, holding 4-year-old Rachel Elizabeth's hand as they walk into school.
The two co-parents raise Rachel along with her dad, Caleb Quattrone, and Booth's new husband. And guess what? Everyone is happy. In the moving post, Booth writes, "Often times I have people ask me how my ex, his wife, my husband and I co-parent so flawlessly. She says that her answer is always the same. "We just love our daughter. Seriously, it's just that simple."
The mom goes on to say how parents should never use their child as a pawn in their divorce drama, because it is difficult enough on kids. "Why would we make [our daughter's] life any harder by making her choose which set of parents to love?" Booth asks.
She then explains more about Pittman's relationship with Rachel. "My daughter calls her bonus mommy 'Mommy'.. and you know what? That's okay, because that's what she is to her, she IS her mommy. She is there for her always, she takes care of her, she plays with her, she teaches her life lessons and how she should behave, she gives her hugs and kisses goodnight, she does everything any mother would do.. But most of all she loves her like she is her own. It takes a very special woman to take a child that they didn't give birth to, under their wing and become their mother."
To moms who wouldn't allow their child to have such a close relationship with a step-mother, Booth says, "You're being selfish. If you are lucky enough for your ex to have a woman who loves YOUR child or children like their own, and one who helps raise them and shape them, why would you not allow them to call a woman they love mommy? Why would you put your child in the position to feel like they have to choose who they love?"
She adds that Pittman has become one of her best friends.
Ultimately Booth'a advice is: "Sometimes you just have to put the petty little things aside, to raise your child to be the amazing human being they are meant to be." She also writes, "Don't tell me that peaceful co-parenting isn't possible, because it is," and "It takes a village to raise a child, and I am beyond thankful for my village!"
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Booth tells Parents.com, "I've had positive and negative feed back [to the post, but] there's definitely more positive than negative." She says about her powerful post, "I think it's resonating with so many people because in this day an age divorce rates [and] single parenting are at an all-time high and in return there are more blended families than there have ever been. So many times you see mothers or fathers using the child against one another instead of working together for the betterment of the child."
She continues, "No child deserves to be a part of any conflict between their parents. And I think the world really needed something positive right now." Booth adds, "I really hope my post has reached the people who are struggling so hard to peacefully co-parent and aren't quite there yet. I hope it shows them that it is possible."