When Gold Coast mum Nerida’s two-year-old daughter, Clara, was finding it difficult spending time at her father’s house, the separated couple decided to explore an unusual idea to make it easier.
Nerida, 24, and her high school sweetheart Liam, 26, realised they had different expectations about life and parenting soon after Clara was born and decided to separate and co-parent instead.
“He wanted to go out partying and for Clara to go to the grandparents. I wanted to jump into the whole being a parent, do the mum groups and find mum friends. He wanted to have the child and keep the young lifestyle.
So, we realised we were not compatible living together. It was an easy split. We knew it was time,” she recalled.
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However, when Clara was two she began to spend weekends with Liam and often got quite upset.
“She started having tantrums at his place, not wanting to go so we started chatting about how we could make weekends easier for her,” Nerida said.
A few ideas were tossed around, including getting a pet. Then Nerida mentioned how having a sister made it easier for her when her parents separated.
“It got to the point where we said, ‘What would it look like if we had another child together?'
I wanted more kids anyway, and I didn’t have anyone in my life and wasn’t looking for anyone. I didn’t want men coming into the house.
It was a very long conversation. It took about 12 months,” she explained.
Once the decision to have a second baby was made, they began talking about how much involvement Liam would have, particularly in the first couple of years.