In a now-viral note written to her ex's new girlfriend, Brittney Johnson said that she "prayed one night for the type of woman my daughter's father would be with." Her prayers were answered, she wrote, in Kayla Imhoff.
"Kayla has been a gift of so much more than I could have hoped for," Johnson wrote. "She started nursing school and Payton has been infatuated ever since. So Kayla ordered a pair of mini scrubs for her to match.
Thank you Kayla for showing Payton how to chase her dreams, how to work hard and stay up late to study for a test. Thank you for still making time to ride her bike with her and make her mac and cheese even in one of the stressful times of your life. You're a true role model and an amazing bonus mom and we are so proud of you!"
Although Johnson tells Refinery29 that their co-parenting relationship developed naturally, she says that she, Imhoff, and her ex, Charlie, have had many conversations about what it means for Payton for them all to be so close.
"We built trust with each other and got to know each other and became close friends, but have definitely had those conversations to say that we are glad Payton gets to grow up with more family and more love because of our blended family," she says.
Kayla feels the same way. "In this world today kids are suffering as it is," she tells Refinery29. "Why make it any worse than it already is? Show them you all get along so the child can grow into a happy and safe individual."
Let's be honest — not everyone can have such an incredible relationship with their ex or the people they date. Some relationships do not end amicably and an ex sometimes chooses to bring toxic people into their, and their kid's, lives. In those situations, it's not always possible to be happy about your kid's bonus parent — and that's totally valid.
But Johnson encourages other parents to embrace the extra people in their kids' lives, if they are good co-parents like Kayla, rather than being jealous that someone else is spending quality time with their child.
"If you're co-parenting, and seeing your child doing things like this doesn't bring a smile to your face, reconsider what's truly best for your child," she wrote. "Payton has more people to love her this way, and what more could a mother ever want for her child? Being best friends with me AND being best friends with Kayla, is exactly where P deserves to be.
It takes a village, and I happen to love mine."
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