**Co-Parenting Innovation: ‘Nesting’ Post-Divorce for Shared Family Time**

Parenting Journey: Embracing the Concept of ‘Nesting’

Essay by Cordelia Newlin


The concept of ‘bird’s nest’ custody arrangements has significantly minimized disruptions for my daughters, offering them stability during a challenging time.

When my ex-husband and I made the difficult decision to part ways, our primary concern revolved around the well-being of our beloved daughters. Understanding the impact of such a transition on our girls, who are the center of our universe, was paramount. Despite the end of our marital relationship, we were steadfast in our commitment to ensuring minimal disruptions for our children.

Having experienced multiple relocations by the ages of seven and nine, our daughters had already encountered significant changes in their young lives. The last move from Malaysia to Mexico had a profound effect on them as they transitioned into adolescence. In response to their emotional needs, we made a solemn vow to provide them with stability until they completed their high school education. This promise was solidified by relocating my mother to a nearby residence in Mexico, reinforcing our commitment to a single, stable environment for our daughters.

The process of divorce brought forth a myriad of challenges, from custody arrangements to financial considerations and logistical details. Having dedicated the past thirteen years to nurturing and educating our daughters, I had temporarily paused my career to prioritize their well-being. Both my ex-husband and I desired shared custody, recognizing the importance of maintaining a strong bond with our children. Opting for a 50-50 custody split, we faced the financial implications of maintaining two households while ensuring a smooth transition for our daughters.

The prospect of frequent transitions between two homes posed a logistical and emotional challenge for our family. Concerned about the potential impact on our daughters, we sought an alternative that would provide them with stability and continuity. The concept of ‘nesting,’ where the children remain in the family home while the parents alternate residences, emerged as a practical solution.

Embracing the Nesting Concept

Embracing the nesting arrangement, we prioritized our daughters’ comfort and familiarity by allowing them to remain in the family home they had known for years. This approach eliminated the need for them to adapt to new living environments regularly, ensuring a seamless transition between parental stays without uprooting their sense of home.

While my ex-husband resided in a nearby rental property, I chose to live with my mother during my non-custodial periods. This arrangement not only provided financial stability but also facilitated caregiving for my mother, who required additional support. Despite initial challenges, the nesting arrangement proved to be a practical and cost-effective solution, enabling me to focus on both my children and my extended family’s needs.

Establishing effective communication channels was essential in navigating the complexities of co-parenting. From coordinating schedules to addressing household responsibilities, we recognized the importance of open dialogue and mutual respect. Regular video calls and shared agendas facilitated decision-making and ensured that crucial matters were addressed promptly.

As we adapted to the nesting arrangement, we encountered challenges that necessitated flexibility and understanding. Acknowledging the demands of my ex-husband’s work commitments, I extended my stay to provide additional support for our daughters. Through ongoing discussions and a shared commitment to our children’s well-being, we overcame obstacles and strengthened our co-parenting partnership.

Lessons Learned and Future Outlook

Approaching our two-year nesting anniversary, we reflect on the journey with gratitude and resilience. Effective communication, flexibility, and a shared focus on our daughters’ needs have been instrumental in making the arrangement successful. While initial challenges required structured communication, we have transitioned to a more fluid approach, addressing issues as they arise with empathy and understanding.

Navigating the complexities of nesting has underscored the importance of proactive planning, mutual respect, and a shared commitment to our children’s happiness. As we look towards the future, we remain dedicated to fostering a supportive co-parenting relationship built on trust, communication, and a deep-rooted love for our family.