Ask The Swag Gal: August 11th, 2010

Hey Swagsters,

For this week’s “Ask the Swag Gal,” we have a sticky situation. Let’s encourage our fellow Swagster to get what she wants but with as much honesty and as little damage as possible.

Dear TSGal,

Recently my boyfriend and I came to the conclusion we’d live in separate homes and date other people. We have lived together over seven years and have a five-year old daughter. We came to this agreement civilly and without any bickering so it was a good decision for everyone, even our daughter.

However, with school starting this week we are both at odds over who gets to take our daughter to her first day of ‘real’ school. What should I do? I don’t want to miss out on watching her walk up the school steps for the first time but I also acknowledge that I am about to face a custody battle and lots of time spent in court debating when I can and cannot see my daughter. I want to keep this transition going as smoothly as possible. Do you think it would be best if I just sat this one out in hopes of gaining a healthier relationship in the long run or do you think I should fight to be there?

Single Mom

Dear Single Mom,

This is a tough one. Not just because it’s your daughter’s first day of school but because you are also now single for the first time and feeling pretty vulnerable. However, you sound like a strong and reasonable woman. You should sit down and chat with your ex, maybe the whole family could meet somewhere – McDonald’s, a local breakfast café, or an extended family members home – prior to school that first morning and share a big breakfast. After the breakfast you could both ride in the same car and drop her at the school together, return to the meet up spot and go on about your day.

This way you are both equal participants in getting her all set and ready for her first day of school.

Fighting is never an excellent solution, so just talk to him and acknowledge his love and respect for your daughter as well as the peaceful transition between the two of you so far. Explain to him that you want to maintain these open lines of communication because you have at least another 13 years of school-related events that neither of you are going to want to miss, so it would behoove both of you to start by collaborating joint support on her first day of school so that her last day is just as amazing. I am sure you can garner his support in this matter. Be fearless and loving, as you always have been.

Good Luck!