Mom's Photo of Ex & Fiancé Leaving Hospital With Her Newborn Is Co-Parenting Done Right

Madison Holley

co-parenting photo
Madison Holley

Anyone's who's been through it knows that co-parenting is easier said than done -- especially when both spouses move on and find new partners. However, one mom's viral post is proving that co-parenting with a blended family is more than possible. In fact, it can be beautiful, so long as everyone agrees to work on it for the sake of the kids. And this week, it has the internet cheering.

  • Madison Holley admits that co-parenting her now 3-year-old son, Cade, with her ex wasn't always easy.

    Cade and Waylon
    Madison Holley

    The Ontario, Canada, mom tells CafeMom that when she first broke up with her ex, Tyler Mcilveen, it was "very hard mentally." 

    "We were in different places and I’m very headstrong, so it was hard for us to agree on things," she recalls. 

    Of course, seeing eye-to-eye when a relationship ends is always a struggle, but that doesn't always mean things can't be mended.

    "When I met [my new partner] Cody, me and Tyler barely talked," Holley admits. "We didn’t want to even see each other. Cody used to message Tyler for me, believe it or not." 

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  • But eventually, a major turning point came when Tyler started dating someone new himself.

    Karen and Cade
    Madison Holley

    Six months after Holley began dating her now fiancé, Cody Pietz, Tyler met his girlfriend, Karin Gray. It's Karin who Holley credits with repairing their relationship and making it possible for everyone to move forward.

    "Meeting Karin was when we both became happy again. I think meeting new people who put our child first and respected that we had Cade together no matter what and us both being happy again helped," Holley says.

    "She was the one who suggested we all sit down and put all our differences aside," Holley continues. "Leave the past in the past and everything that hurt or upset any one of the four of us resolve right then and there, so that the future was nothing but positive and full of love from the four of us for Cade!"

    Holley says the four of them -- Tyler, Cody, Karin, and herself -- all reached a compromise, with everyone talking civilly and leaving the table on good terms. 

    "After that we had an Easter dinner together at Tyler’s," she recalls. And, to her surprise, she and Karin even became good friends on their own.

  • Holley adds that she got pretty lucky with her new partner too. Cody was dedicated to making things work, which made all the difference.

    Madison Holley
    Madison Holley

    According to Holley, Cody "is the calmest man I have ever met," which helps keep the peace. But at the end of the day, their co-parenting agreement works because all four people involved have agreed it's important -- for Cade's sake and for their own.

    "The bottom line was we are all gonna be around each other forever as Cade grows up," Holley says, "and we all wanted to be part of it, so for Cade we all need to do it together."

  • A photo of both Cody and Tyler walking hand-in-hand with Cade is gaining fans, and it shows just how far the family has come.

    Co-parenting photo
    Madison Holley

    It was taken shortly after Holley and Cody welcomed their new son, Waylon, on August 2. Remarkably, Tyler was there right by their side as they took Cade and the new baby home from the hospital, and as the foursome walked out of the hospital, hand-in-hand, Holley couldn't pass up the chance to capture it. She snapped a quick photo of the touching moment and shared it on Facebook with Love What Matters last week, where it quickly went viral.

    Holley says that the response to her photo has been overwhelmingly positive online.

    "Honestly, 90 percent of the people say things like, 'That’s how it should be,' and 'Very proud of us,' and 'Mature to put the child first,'" she says. "The odd people say negative things like, 'I shouldn’t be friends with my ex,' 'It’s messed up,' and some people just say things like, 'I shoulda been married before having kids' ... but it doesn’t faze me."

    Instead, she chooses to be grateful that her photo has touched and inspired the amount of people that it has.

    "In my opinion a positive relationship with everyone the child is involved with is best," she says. "So I’m glad the majority of the people agree, and I hope that by this photo going viral it can inspire people to put their past aside as long as both parents truly want what’s best for the child."

    Holley has some advice for those who may be struggling to co-parent: "Just put your differences aside and don’t let your past or the reason why you broke up effect the child in any way," she says. "Children sense stress and we are their role models and safe place, so the easier things are with everyone, the better for everyone."