Divorce is never an easy thing, but it can be especially hard when the couple has a child. While not all parents are able to get over whatever it was that broke them up in order to parent their kid(s) together, it is always nice to see couples who have split being able to come together for their child — especially when the family also includes new stepparents.
Joseph Hawkey and Tiffany Bankert's daughter Maddie has one of these special kinds of families. Hawkey and Bakert, along with their new spouses, surprised Maddie with a trip to Disneyland recently, where they all wore custom shirts to celebrate their special dynamic.
Maddie's stepmom, Brianna Hawkey, shared a photo of the family's shirts on Facebook, with an important message about co-parenting. "A child cannot have too many people who love them and want to help them succeed," she wrote.
It's a version of the "It takes a village" trope that is often mentioned when a baby is born, and seems to be working out well for the Hawkey-Bakert family.
The parenting foursome planned this trip together, according to Good Housekeeping, and kept it secret that Maddie's mom and her husband, Luke Bankert, would be joining them. The Hawkeys walked Maddie up to the gate at Magic Kingdom, where her mom and stepdad were waiting.
Their shirts, which label their parenting roles on the front, show how committed the couples are to raising Maddie together with "#Co-parenting" on the back of each parent's shirt. The back of Maddie's shirt says, "#BestDayEver."
"We were hoping to show others it is possible to get along and enjoy a trip with everyone together," Joe Hawkey told Good Housekeeping. And this isn't a rare thing for this family. They told GH that they make it a point to all get together at least once a month.
"Maddie is super excited whenever we all do things together, and she knows we all love her," Brianna Hawkey told GH. "With all of us working together, she doesn't feel like she ever has to pick a side."
This seems like the best-case-scenario for any divorced couple who has kids, but with the internet being the internet, even something so positive is sometimes met with negative comments.
When another co-parenting group posted a similar photo recently, they were hit with plenty of negative comments from people who think that if the mom and dad still loved each other so much that they should have stayed together. But not every couple who gets a divorce does so because they can't stand being around each other. Sometimes, a couple just falls out of love and it's completely possible that people who used to be married can still be great friends.
Whatever the situation with this family is, we're glad to know that Maddie is growing up with all four of her parents there to make sure she has the #BestDayEver.
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