Kate Munn is a mother of three, publicist, wine and comedy enthusiast living on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Keep an eye out for her upcoming book with Buddy Miller Amputee Daddy.
Last month the woman next to me married my ex-husband and I couldn’t be more thrilled. This spectacular lady loves my children as much as I do; she is my biggest advocate and throws oodles of support my way on a daily basis. She is a true co-parent and I cannot believe how lucky my kids and I are to have her in our lives and part of our blended family.
Now no-one goes into a marriage expecting to get divorced but it happens. A lot. Mick and I got married in 2001, by 2006 we had three kids under 5, a mortgage for our house on the NSW Central Coast and a failing marriage. We hung on before finally separating in 2013.
I had been a stay-at-home mum for over 7 years before we had a role reversal in 2011 when I went back to work, commuting to Sydney for my fulltime job while Mick stayed at home with the kids. This meant when we separated, he took on the role as the primary caregiver and I moved to Sydney to be closer to work.
We found a new rhythm. I moved in with my new partner Brad in mid-2013 before Mick met Nicole again at a school reunion in 2015, they moved in together a while later. This woman I didn’t know was now living with and parenting MY children. I tried unsuccessfully to keep the jealousy at bay, thankfully it didn’t last long. Very early on in our relationship, Nicole and I exchanged phone numbers and made it clear to each other that we respected one another and would always put the kids first.
Here’s the thing. She is awesome, my kids love her, and she loves them. Over time our co-parenting role evolved. Mick works long hours as a truck driver, so Nicole took on the primary parent role for day-to-day living. She was in the trenches making school lunches, organizing afterschool activities and chasing the kids for school notes!
Parenting is HARD. It can be even more difficult with four parents across two households. We make it work though. They key is overcommunicating. We have a family calendar app where school events, doctor and dentist appointments are recorded, along with social events for the kids and any changes to our regular routine. When the kids are having struggles Nicole, Mick, Brad and I are straight on the phone or message our chat group to decide on a course of action and make sure we are all on the same page.
The kids are now 16,15 and 12. The two older kids have now moved to Sydney with me while our youngest remains up the coast. As far as they’re concerned, they have four parents; we all get together to celebrate their birthdays and other events. Earlier this year at a birthday dinner Nicole and I shared a bottle of vintage champagne and had a toast to each other. The only thing better than kids having one awesome mum is having two kind, smart, strong mother figures who support and cheer each other on. No child ever suffered because their parents were kind to each other and no Mum ever suffered from having a supportive co-parent.
We thank Kate Munn for this amazing story she shared to all of us.
You may also like to read: