Markus Paterson on Co-Parenting: It Takes Two
Markus Paterson was 22 when his son, Jude, was born. The actor shares the lessons he’s learned in raising and co-parenting a child.
Navigating parenthood for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience— more so when you’re a young couple. But what if you’re both young, first-time parents, and in the limelight? Such was the situation that actor Markus Paterson faced when he and then-partner, actress Janella Salvador, learned they were going to have their son Jude.
Handling first-time jitters
“It was exciting but also nerve-wracking because we didn’t know what to expect,” Markus Paterson reflects on the first time they learned they were expecting. “Bata pa kasi kaming dalawa, because we’re the same age,” he shares. “So when the news came, we were shocked.”
Despite the surprise, he recalls feeling a strange sense of excitement at the prospect. “We couldn’t wipe the smile off our faces the entire time we were talking about it, even if the stuff we were talking about was like, ‘Who were we going to tell? Who’s going to react and how? How the world was going to react?’” he shares.
However, uncertainty loomed, especially since it was both Markus and Janella’s first foray into parenthood. It was the type of thing you couldn’t prepare for, no matter how many books or videos on the topic you consumed.
For Markus, the fears set in the day after his son Jude was born. “We started to think about our jobs and what we were going to do, when am I going back to the Philippines to work again, what about the income, how’s his education going to be, where would he study — all the regular fears — and that was only the day after he was born,” he remembers.
“Now he’s three years old, and those are still the same questions that are going through my head,” he adds.
Maintaining open lines and mutual respect
“For me and Janella, we’re both learning the same things at the same time. Jude is really a great teacher if you think about it,” he shares. “Because there are different types of co-parents. Some deal with a lot of unnecessary stress when it comes to their kids. We’re not that. The only time we ever feel stressed is when Jude is sick or if he has to go to the hospital.”
Constant communication has made parenting Jude relatively stress-free, he shares. “It felt so effortless, to be honest, because we never really have any issues in scheduling. She’s always a message away, and likewise with me,” Markus says. “We don’t harbor any cold or ill feelings towards each other. We talk a lot about Jude; we always put him first. And if I’m free, I can take him for a week. If she’s free and I’m working, she’ll take him. It’s pretty much that simple with us and for that, I am grateful.”
Markus shares that he and Janella ensure a real partnership in their co-parenting relationship, especially when it comes to consistency in routines and discipline. While co-parenting dynamics can have its challenges, eliminating the guesswork through open communication makes it more manageable.
At the end of the day, co-parenting is all about showing up best for your child, Markus reflects.
“All of the values that made the person I am today is what I’m trying to put into Jude, and I’m sure Janella’s doing the same thing. We are both just doing our best.”
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More on co-parenting?
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Mikaela Lagdameo Shares a Co-Parenting Truth: “What Matters is We Show Up for Our Children.”