We’re always impressed when we read about low-conflict, high-fun blended families. For one thing, if you’re personally involved in a more dramatic version of co-parenting, the stress-free kind can feel about as common as a unicorn strolling in and plopping down on the couch to watch Bachelor in Paradise with you. (Maybe even rarer than that.) And while there are plenty of ways in which divorce can be terribly hard on kids, it can also pave the way for newly formed families in which everybody’s happier.
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Hayley Booth, for one, is rocking that blended-family life. Her 4-year-old daughter, Rachel, calls her “Mommy” — and calls her stepmom “Mommy” as well.
Booth is unfazed by the shared title. She wrote about co-parenting with her current partner, her ex and her ex’s wife in an Aug. 16 Facebook post that’s now going viral.
“Often times I have people ask me how my ex, his wife, my husband and I co-parent so flawlessly,” Booth wrote. “My answer is always the same — we just love our daughter. Seriously, it’s just that simple.”
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We’d argue that this simple — and graceful — approach could very well be anything but simple to pull off. But this family is doing just that.
Booth continued, “No child deserves to be tossed around back and forth, used as a bargaining chip, or to be put in the middle of any adult drama. She didn’t choose to be born, and she certainly never chose for her parents to be divorced. Why would we make her life any harder by making her choose which set of parents to love?”
There are few moms who would cherish sharing the title of “Mommy” with a stepmother, but in this case, Booth says it’s just fine. In fact, she’s a big fan of her daughter’s stepmom, Dakota Pitman.
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“She IS her mommy,” Booth said. “She is there for her always, and she takes care of her, she plays with her, she teaches her life lessons and how she should behave, she gives her hugs and kisses goodnight, she does everything any mother would do… But most of all, she loves her like she is her very own.”
“I love her… She’s become one of my best friends and I rely on her for many things,” Booth said of Pitman. “She is one of the strongest people I know and I am thankful for her every day. Don’t tell me that peaceful coparenting isn’t possible, because it is. I know it is. Because I do it everyday.”
Booth’s remarkable post also featured a pic of Booth and Pitman walking Rachel to preschool together. It’s been liked 17,000 times and shared over 21,000 times — and no wonder. If this isn’t co-parenting goals, we don’t know what is.
However, Booth did admit that the transition was a tough one at first (proving she is in fact human).
“I was jealous at first… It’s really hard to let another woman into your child’s life. It took a little bit over a year to form the relationship we have now,” Booth told Us Weekly. “There were very rough times between all of us in the beginning. But it was like one morning we woke up and the skies had cleared and we were able to work through all the differences we had in the past.”
If this all seems like an impossible dream to you, rest easy; you’re not alone. Rachel’s many parents are definitely unique among divorced and remarried families. But they don’t have to be. In fact, this blended family even spends their weekends together at a local water park.
Booth said of their outings together: “When Rachel says ‘Mommy’ or ‘Daddy,’ we all laugh and ask her ‘Which one!?’
Actually, we’re not quite convinced these guys are human. They may be celestial beings after all. But we admire them nonetheless.