10 Amazing Co-Parents That Show Traditional Family Structures Aren't The Only Way

While the kids may be raised between different homes, these blended families show there is even more love to go around.

Images of the American nuclear family — husband, wife, son, daughter — have proliferated our media for what feels like forever. The messages tell us there is only one "right" family structure, but as all know, that is far from true. 

Family structures are as diverse as the people in them: families with same-sex parents, families with adopted or fostered children, families with a single parent or an unrelated guardian etc., etc., etc. 

Recently, one mom shard a Facebook post showing her appreciation for her daughter's "bonus mom," pointing out the joys of co-parenting and how special that kind of structure can be for the children in the family, and everyone else. Inspired by this post, we've rounded up some other unique families who show former and new partners can come together to raise their kids in loving environments. 

While the kids may be raised between different homes, these blended families show there is even more love to go around.


1. These co-parents who cheered on their daughter together.

Emilee Player posted a photo of her family at her 4-year-old daughter Maelyn Player's soccer game. On the sidelines stood Maelyn with her, mom, dad, stepmom, and stepdad all wearing coordinating T-Shirts with Maelyn's number on the back and their different parenting roles. Player said, "Because of us, I will never believe co-parenting can't work! I know through experience it can work! Choose to do what's best for your child and everything will just fall into place."

2. This mom who summed up "bonus mom love."

Mom Arlette Leveque wrote a thoughtful quote about how it doesn't matter how a child comes into your life, they are still a gift.

"Bonus Mom love. I did not give you the gift of life. Life gave me the gift of you," she write. 

3. This mom who encouraged everyone to find the happiness in little things.

Co-parenting can sometimes have its challenges, but when you stop and look around, you can appreciate what you have. Danielle Gorner realized this when her daughter was asking for nail polish at her house like she has at her dad's. When Gorner asked her ex to send over a photo of the nail polish, she was touched by how he had a cupboard full of bottles just for their daughter.

4. This mom who celebrated the "bonus mom" in her family.

Brittney Johnson wrote an open letter on Facebook about how thankful she was that her daughter, Payton, had a "bonus mom" — her ex's new partner, Kayla Imhoff. Johnson explained she is raising her daughter with strong female role models and Imhoff is a perfect example of this. She said, "Thank you, Kayla, for showing Payton how to chase her dreams, how to work hard, and stay up late to study for a test."

5. This mom who wrote a tribute to her ex.

Jessica Singleton wrote a touching note on Facebook about her ex, Jon Megason, about how he has been a wonderful co-parent to their son Pierson. She described him as a "diaper-bag-wearing, chocolate-milk-making, selfless, protective, generous, [and] accomplished" father.

6. This dad who explained why you should still do things for your ex.

Dad Billy Flynn highlighted how treating your ex with respect is an essential part of a co-parenting relationship. He explained, "I'm raising two little men. The example I set for how I treat their mom is going to significantly shape how they see and treat women and affect their perception of relationships."

7. This mom who realized the importance of co-parenting through her daughter's drawing.

After struggling with the pain of co-parenting after a split, Rosie Dutton's daughter drew a photo of her family, but sketched her dad with a sad face because she knew that he made her mom sad. It was this moment that Dutton realized how important it was to raise her daughter with her ex. Now, they have built up a better relationship and she wants others to know that it is worth it. She wrote on Facebook, "It makes it so much easier for everyone. We speak on the phone most days, share her achievements, laugh at her funny moments, and support each other in those tricky times, too."

8. This woman who shared the joy of her unconventional family.

Stepmom Shea Middleton explained how she had always envisioned having a "traditional" family, but she has discovered how beautiful hers can be with her partner and his son. "Unconventional can be hard ... really hard, but there are so many beautiful blessings I would have never had the opportunity to experience had I not taken a risk by falling in love with a man with 'baggage' (others words, not mine). But I couldn't imagine a life without either."

9. This mom who praised "the other woman."

Audrey Nicole wrote a Facebook post about "the other woman," her ex's new girlfriend. She highlighted how it's important to love more and hate less, and that a child having two moms can be fantastic. "A kid can have two moms because in my eyes, the more people that love her, I'm happy!!! I would never make her feel like an outsider. I'm extremely thankful for this girl," she said.

10. This family who showed the magic of co-parenting at Disney World.

Joseph Hawkey

Dad Joseph Hawkey, and stepmom, Brianna Hawkey, surprised 7-year-old Maddie with a trip to Disney World, but what they didn't tell her was that they also invited her mom, Tiffany Bankert, and her stepdad, Luke Bankert. Maddie was thrilled, and the family spent the day together wearing Disney-themed T-shirts with "#Co-parenting" on the back. The photos of their magical day ended up going viral.


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