Giving Back to YOU: Why Celebrating Your Co-Parenting Wins is the Ultimate Gift to Yourself

December 21st


Giving back to you

When was the last time you celebrated yourself? Many people spend the last few weeks of the year running around, buying gifts, or doing kind things to express their appreciation for others. But what have you done for YOU lately? Celebrating your “wins” provides a much-needed boost that can sustain and motivate you as you deal with the daily challenges of co-parenting. Let this week’s blog be your reminder: you deserve love and acknowledgment, too! Read on as we explore why this is so important and how you can do it without feeling like you’re adding yet another item to your to-do list.


  • Co-parenting is hard, exhausting work at times. Co-parents often get so caught up in meeting their children’s needs and cheering them on that they forget to care for and recognize themselves.
  • Celebrating your wins is essential for your well-being and can make you a better co-parent. Recognizing your strengths and accomplishments helps shift you from a negative to a positive mindset and can motivate you to reach your goals.
  • The meaning of a “co-parenting win” can be different for every parenting partner. Even small steps toward healthy, positive co-parenting count!
  • Take inventory of all that you have done as a co-parent and find ways to recognize your successes. You may surprise yourself with all you’ve accomplished once you’ve laid them out before you.

Why Positivity Feels Problematic for Co-Parents:

Are you your child’s biggest cheerleader? Most co-parents take on this role without blinking an eye. After all, positive parenting, widely known today as a highly effective method of childrearing, relies heavily on parental encouragement and acknowledgment of good behavior. Adopting this approach isn’t always easy to do with our children, and it can be even more challenging when it comes to ourselves. Here’s why:

  • Negativity bias: Research has identified the human brain’s prejudicial tendency toward negativity.  This negativity bias means that our instincts lead us to give more weight to “bad” things, focusing on them to the exclusion of the good that may be happening around us.
  • Productivity culture: Do you feel the pressure to go, go, go, and do, do, do? Societal pressure to be "productive" often makes it hard for us to stop, relax, and celebrate what’s happening in the moment. Instead, this culture of productivity pushes us forward to the next item on our to-do list. This tendency can be especially pronounced during the holidays!
  • Limited resources: Co-parenting requires lots of mental, emotional, and physical energy. It also consumes time and money. At the end of the day, parenting partners may feel like they have nothing left to give themselves.
  • Discomfort: If talking about your accomplishments or taking time for yourself makes you uncomfortable, you’re not alone! These concepts weren’t common practice in previous generations, and many adults today have internalized them as unfavorable. Recognizing personal success feels akin to “bragging,” while self-care feels “selfish.”

More than Just a “Pat on the Back”: The Power of Positivity

You’ll be amazed at the transformative power of positivity in your co-parenting. Celebrating your parenting “wins” can:

Co-parents working together
  • Boost confidence and motivation: Your body releases feel-good chemicals when you complete tasks. You can amplify the positive impact even further by acknowledging and highlighting those successes. Over time, you’ll begin associating the behavior with the reward, which can motivate and generate momentum.
  • Improve your relationship with your parenting partner: That positive energy we mentioned can carry over into your interactions with your parenting partner, which may help you get along better. You can also stimulate goodwill when you acknowledge your co-parent’s wins, and even better when you celebrate your successes together!
  • Model healthy habits for your child:. Your child learns so much through your example. Reveling in your “wins” models appropriate self-talk, confidence, and positivity. These skills will boost your child’s resilience and can be especially helpful if your child struggles with self-esteem or appreciating the good things in life.

Getting the Party Started:

Celebrating your co-parenting successes requires you to get outside your comfort zone and shift your mindset- two tasks that sometimes seem uncomfortable. If you’re wondering how to get started, don’t fret; Koh-Parenting’s got you covered! Here are some ideas:

Define a “co-parenting win” on your terms.
Throughout this post, we intentionally refrained from precisely defining a “co-parenting win” because this is up to YOU! Consider any positive step a success, whether big or small. Don’t hold yourself back by waiting until you’ve tackled the most difficult things on your to-do list or by minimizing what you’ve done already.
In the interest of getting you started, here are some examples:
  • You and your co-parent attending your child’s game/performance/conference/etc. together, peacefully;
  • Your child enjoying more one-on-one time with each parent
  • Taking a new class/joining a group/socializing more with other adults (when your child isn’t in your care)
  • Keeping you and your child healthy through the first half of the school year
  • Setting a boundary with your co-parent and sticking to it (for ex., only contacting you for child-related matters)
Write them down
Sometimes, putting pen to paper can break through mental blocks. Take a moment to reflect and inventory your accomplishments- over the past few days, weeks, months, or even years. You can also record these moments in real time (by noting them on your phone or writing them down as they happen). You may be pleasantly surprised at the enormity of it all once you see them all laid out before you. The act of identifying the positives also trains your brain to get better at recognizing them more easily in the future.
Establish a ritual:
Acknowledging your successes shouldn’t be a one-time thing. You can ensure the practice continues by intentionally integrating it into your routine. Schedule specific times to reward yourself. For example, you can plan to do your favorite self-care activity at the end of every month. You could also incorporate recognition or gratitude into other activities; for example, if you journal, make a point to note one positive thing about yourself in each entry. Or, make it a family affair! If you hold family meetings, you could save time on the agenda for each member to share the highlights of their week.
Get festive:
The holiday season is a great excuse to have some fun (whatever “fun” means to you). You could consider throwing a “celebrate your wins” party to recognize the best parts of the past 12 months and start the next on a positive note. Alternatively, you could simply enjoy a special meal with your child and co-parent and express gratitude and appreciation for your family.
Create a visual reminder of your goals and achievements:
Turn intangible concepts into tangible ones so that they feel more real and more attainable. For example, you could create a vision board of your hopes and dreams or make a scrapbook with pictures, documents (i.e.: certificates or diplomas), or other mementos that capture your favorite moments. You could also keep a memory box with objects that trigger warm feelings (love letters, notes of appreciation, favorite photos, etc.) to revisit whenever you need motivation or a mood boost.
Invest in your future:
Fully embracing all that is wonderful and accomplished about you means acknowledging your current successes and nurturing them into the future. Invest in your growth and development as a co-parent and as a person. Cultivate social connections that inspire and support you, address your health and longevity (like working with a therapist, nutritionist, or personal trainer), or further your knowledge and skills. KohParenting offers many free or low-cost resources and services to enhance your co-parenting: check out our Learning Guides and website to get started. You deserve to achieve your co-parenting dreams! .

You’re winning at Co-parenting. Make time to celebrate.

Many co-parents subscribe to the idea of putting their children first- and with good reason! But the great irony of all this parental sacrifice is that to be able to do it well, you must care for yourself, too! You have to meet your needs and build yourself up; after all, you can’t give to your child if your tank is consistently empty! Take a moment to celebrate you because you’re here, present, and committed to being the best co-parent you can be. Give yourself a shout-out and let us know: what are your co-parenting wins? And remember, KohParenting is always here to be your cheerleader and supporter in your co-parenting journey.

Join our community where you can stay informed on what's happening in the world of co-parenting and learn more about what we do.

By Koh-Parenting Services LLC

Leave a Reply

Latest Posts

We’ve Just Separated; Now What?” Series, Part II: Defining the New Relationship

What happens to the dynamic between two people when a relationship ends? After a breakup, many people completely remove [...]

January 19, 2024 READ
divorced parents
We’ve Just Separated; Now What?” Series, Part I: What is Co-Parenting?

Are you stepping into 2024 as a newly minted co-parent? You’re not alone: statistically, the first Monday after New Ye[...]

January 4, 2024 READ
Holiday shopping guide
KohParenting’s Top 3 Holiday Spending Pitfalls, Solved!

The ads are everywhere: ‘tis the season for spending! Retailers big and small all jump on the bandwagon at holiday tim[...]

December 7, 2023 READ
Thanksgiving and holiday stress
7 Ways Single Parents Can Manage Holiday Stress

Any parent knows that the holidays can be full of both magic and mayhem. For single-parent families, the period from Tha[...]

November 22, 2023 READ
World kindness week
Raising Kind Kids: World Kindness Week!

Kindness isn’t just a world; it’s a movement. Did you know that November 13th -19th is World Kindness Week? People f[...]

November 16, 2023 READ
Kohparenting celebrates 1 year's content
Celebrate With Us: A Year of the Best in Koh-Parenting Content

Co-parenting is one of the most challenging roles anyone could possibly undertake, and it’s important to celebrate all[...]

November 9, 2023 READ