Creating a manageable co-parenting plan in the aftermath of divorce is often one of the most challenging aspects of the process. Co-parenting requires a high level of communication and dedication between ex-partners to work well, and this can be difficult.
There is more than one way to engage in a functioning co-parenting plan, and inventiveness can help the situation. Some families have found that “birdnesting” or “nesting” is a reasonable way to manage co-parenting. Nesting is when, according to Psychology Today, children stay in one residence and the parents rotate in and out like parent birds taking care of young in the nest.
How does it work?
Of course, the specifics depend on individual families. However, generally speaking, nesting will involve an “on-duty” and an “off-duty” parent. The on-duty parent is the one that is currently residing in the family home with the kids.
In some cases, the off-duty parent will live with other family or friends when they are not in the house. In longer-term nesting situations, sometimes the parents agree to maintain a separate apartment for the off-duty parent to live in.
What are the downsides?
Nesting requires very sophisticated communication, even more so than a typical co-parenting arrangement. You must work closely with your ex-spouse to maintain the family home financially and figure out off-duty living arrangements. Essentially, “nesting” parents still reside together, to a degree.
If you and your ex-spouse are not up to this level of communication, nesting may not be for you. Additionally, nesting is usually a temporary arrangement as the parents typically wish to set up their own independent living situations at some point.