Stepmom’s Facebook Photo Shows That Co-Parenting Can Be Done as a Well-Blended Family

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Co-parenting is hard with just two parents in the mix. When families expand and bring in new members, that’s great, but it also has the potential to complicate things. That’s why one stepmom’s Facebook photo of her family and their cool sports jerseys are going viral, because her little step-daughter has four grown-ups who love her a lot, and the way they’re making it work is relatable as heck.

Emilee Player of Columbus, Georgia, posted a photo of she and her husband supporting her four-year-old stepdaughter, Maelyn, at a soccer game along with Maelyn’s mother and her husband.  Maelyn stands in the middle, flanked by her mom and dad wearing jerseys that say “Mommy” and “Daddy.” Emilee’s shirt says “Step Mom,” and on the other end of the line is Maelyn’s stepfather, wearing a jersey that says “Step Dad.”

Everyone showing up in matching, custom-made jerseys like that speaks to a pretty great family dynamic. Not only was everyone on board to show up for the game, they all got together and got matching shirts, and wore them happily.

“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,” Emilee wrote.

The photo is really resonating with people. It’s been liked more than 34,000 times and shared more than 86,000 times.

Maelyn’s mother, Clara Cazeau, is the one who bought the shirts, and she was surprised by how much the photo took off. She says they take pictures like that every holiday, with Maelyn’s whole family. Cazeau and Maelyn’s father have been sharing custody for three years, and by being kind, reasonable people who put their child’s interests first, they’ve managed to make a great family for her.

Not every family can live a well-adjusted fairy tale like this–there’s always the cases where your partner’s ex steals your baby name two weeks before you’re due, or countless other cases where there’s insurmountable issues or drama. (The guy who had to take his ex to court to get his kids vaccinated because she thought a vegan diet would protect them from polio is probably never going to have an easy time with this.) But when everyone involved is committed to working together and trying to get along, a kid can really benefit from being surrounded by a big family that loves her.

Have you had any experience with having or being a step-parent? Let us know in the comments.