'Teen Mom' Maci Bookout Reveals Her Single Mom Secrets

Maci Bookout BentleyAccording to the statistics, more than 12 million households are headed up by a single parent these days, 84 percent of which are single moms. These days one of the most famous of those single moms is Maci Bookout, star of MTV's Teen Mom and more recently Being Maci, a special that updated fans on what she's up to these days.

No longer in a relationship with Ryan Edwards, her one-time fiance and father of 4-year-old son Bentley, the reality star has had her ups and downs, most of them very publicly. But these days she and Ryan are co-parenting happily! And she shared some surprising secrets behind how they make it work -- even when they're dating other people -- with The Stir. Check out what Maci had to say about her former fiance and why she's still co-sleeping with her 4-year-old:

On what Bentley is up to these days:

He's up to everything. He [just] started pre-K, so he's really excited about that. He's obviously been riding his dirt bike and his bicycle. He learned how to swim this summer without any life jacket or any floaties or anything.

He's been doing a lot of cool stuff, and it's really fun to see him grow into his own personality and be his own person.

On how single parenting led to co-sleeping with her 4-year-old:

He's still sleeping with me, which is crazy because when he was first born, as soon as he was 3 months old, I got him sleeping in his crib. It was a lot of work to get that done, and he did sleep by himself for a long time, but since it's just kind of been me and him for the past year, I don't know.

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I feel like if I made him sleep in his own room, I think that he would actually be fine with it, but I'm being selfish.

I think he'll be fine when we're ready, well, when I'm ready. I might just be a little selfish on this for a little while.

On why Bentley likes having his parents split up:

He actually deals with it well now. There was a tough time there for a little while when Kyle and I split up and it was just me and Bentley. I think that's when it kind of hit him that things are different and that he doesn't have his Mommy and his Dad in the same house -- especially going to school and seeing the other kids being picked up by their Mom and their Dad sometimes and the other kids talking about their parents.

He did have a rough year that year, but now he appreciates it more because he gets two of everything. He gets to have two Christmases and two birthday parties and two of every single toy because he's here with me and then with Ryan.

I think now he's learning to kind of appreciate it and think of it in a positive way rather than a negative thing.

That's all me and Ryan have been trying to do, show him that he gets two of everything, two awesome families or one big family, however he wants to think about it.

On Ryan as a parent:

He's come a long way, and I know that he knows it. You can definitely see it in Bentley and Ryan's relationship now and how much it's grown in the past year and a half.

On how she and Ryan manage to co-parent:

I think the biggest thing we've learned and really started doing the past eight or nine months is that we are the parents. My parents aren't parenting him; his parents aren't parenting him. Even if we do have a serious boyfriend or girlfriend, and they do need to be good influences and good role models for Bentley, but WE are the mom and the dad.

The decisions need to be made between us and not necessarily everyone else that is around. Since we've kind of caught on to that and learned to communicate with each other, rather than letting everyone else's opinions get involved, it's made it a lot easier on us, and I think it's made it a lot easier on Bentley too.

On how Ryan deals with her boyfriend, Taylor:

He's fine with it. He and Taylor have met and they get along great, and I think that we both just understood that whatever person is with me, my boyfriend, and whoever he decides to get in a serious relationship with -- that person has to obviously respect their boundaries for their role in Bentley's life, but at the same time, they're going to have to step up and be the second parent, considering that I can't be there all the time and Ryan can't be there all the time.

We both just have understood that and that's our goal, to find people that can respect the situation that they're in and also step up to the plate with what their responsibilities are.

On the chance of a reunion with Ryan:

Most people can have their first love, and when things don't work out, they just go their separate ways and that's the end of it. But with Ryan and me, we just happen to have a child, so we're going to have to deal with each other forever.

But as a couple or getting married or anything like that, that's not anything either one of us is interested in. We just weren't meant to be together like that.

Do you co-parent like Maci? What are your single mom secrets?

 

Image via MTV

child custody, celeb moms, teen mom

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nonmember avatar Mia

 


I couldn't believe Bentley's lack of independence. She doesn't even let Bentley attempt to dress himself or make the choice to sleep in his own bed. I'm sorry, but kids should be able to dress themselves by the time they turn 4 and should be out of their parent's bed by 2 years. I understand with breastfeeding up until about 18 months, but other than that I just am not a fan. At 3/4 they should be able to fall asleep without any sort of constant assistance from mom and dad. They shouldn't need to be nursed, or cuddled, or rocked to sleep. A parent should be able to go through their routine, turn on a night light, leave the room, and the child should fall asleep. The longer she continues that the harder it is going to be for her to break. I don't believe for a second that "he could switch at any time". Maci made him food, picked out his clothes, dressed him, carried him into his carseat. Maci did everything for him. And you know Ryan's mom does the exact same thing when he's over there. Coddling is a CLASSIC commodity of single mothers and only children. Children of single mothers are far more likely to be coddled than those of children living with both parents. They have a natural want to baby and obsess over their child, but it is so detrimental. I find it all funny and ironic because Maci is raising him to be EXACTLY like Ryan. Ryan said he had a bottle until he was 2 so I doubt he was dressing himself and going to bed by himself a year later

Lucie Searle Maldonado Simerson

I see not much wrong she tried to put him in him own room and he fought it and all the other stuff it's just his age it will work out and they are moody and crancky at that age he will grow out of it

nonmember avatar Shelli

I have a 4 year old boy and he still sleeps with me from time to time - probably more than I would like to admit. There is NOTHING wrong wtih wanting to spend time with your child at night while they are going to sleep since you haven't seen them all day. As far as getting him dressed and making him food - He's 4. The mornings are not always easy and you do what you have to do to get out the door. I feel like people judge every little thing parents do now if it is not "the way I was raised.." - Who cares. He seems to be a normal 4 year old boy that is healthly and happy. I think she is doing a GREAT job!

Vegas... Vegas0036

Mia, super glad you are on here to tell all of us single moms what we SHOULD and SHOULD NOT be doing.  I assume you have been deemed perfection? 


Until you walk in MY shoes or Macy's shoes or anyone else's...actually, you won't ever BE me.  So just shush.  You are fine to have an opinion, but you flat out said what IS and ISN'T right.  Don't.  Just don't. devil

nonmember avatar Kammy

Mia, not everyone's situations are the same therefore every child is different. Grow up and get some education! Co sleeping is a nurturing way to bond with your child and keep your child to feel secure, it is used in lots of cultures around the world. If you think about it, it is very inhumane to force your little 2 year old to fall asleep in a room by themselves with nothing to soothe them into sleep.Open your mind, you used the word SHOULD so many times it shows your ignorance.

nonmember avatar Gina

Mia, there is nothing wrong with a single mom having their children co-sleep. What happens if there is a break in or a fire (or some other kind of disaster) and your child is in a separate room or across the house and you aren't able to get to them? My sister-in-law (who is married) makes sure that her 3 year old and her 7 month old sleep in the room with her because there have been multiple attempts to break in to her house, and it is just safer to have them with her.

And what? You expect a four year old to make food using a stove or hot water? Or to dress himself appropriately for extremely cold or hot weather? I feel sorry for whatever children you have, they will have to be adults sooner than they should be. If you don't want the responsibility of actually being a mom and taking care of another human being, than don't have kids!

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