Originally published in Oct. 19, 2019
Families come in all shapes and sizes, but sometimes the most beautiful ones are not the kind you’d expect. 20-year-old Madison Holley’s blended family captivated the Internet after she posted a photo of her fiancé and ex-boyfriend with her son and newest baby boy.
Her photo that went viral featured her ex Tyler Mcilveen, 27, holding their 3-year-old son, Cade, and Madison’s fiancé, Cody Pietz, with their newborn son Waylon.
Holley took a photograph 24 hours after her childbirth as they all left the hospital together. The post garnered more than 46,000 shares and 148,000 reactions, and the comment section flooded with people sharing about families of their own.
After a devastating break-up, Madison Holley had no idea she would ever be in touch with her ex-boyfriend. Right after Madison’s son Cade turned 2, she and her ex Tyler Mcilveen separated after almost three years together.
“He’s always been a really good father, but I think emotionally we were in different places,” Madison said in an interview with Good Morning America.
Madison and Tyler raised their son Cade even after they parted ways. It was Tyler’s current girlfriend, Karin Gray, 22, who encourage the two to build a newfound relationship for Cade’s benefit.
“She’s the reason why everybody turned out the way it did. She helped us all be civil. She helped me to be able to speak to Tyler again after we broke up.” Holley said in an interview with ABC.
Gray played a significant role in the blended family’s budding relationship. She invited Tyler, Madison, and Cody over Easter and helped the three about their co-parenting strategies.
“She cares so much for her boys. I love the new family I have acquired despite our rough start, and I hope Tyler and I have kids that we can all get together as a family.” Karin told GMA.
Behind the harmonious relationship of Holley’s beautiful blended family, she had to face the rough path of co-parenting with Tyler.
After spending Easter together, the ex-couple is now in good terms as they brave the new challenges of parenting.
“Just because a relationship doesn’t work out between two people DOES NOT mean the relationship with the child shouldn’t. I would never take that away. Every child needs a mother, and father figure and my son Cade just happens to get extra love.”
Netizens swooned and loved Madison’s exemplary attitude towards parenting and building a civil relationship with Tyler.
The photo she posted captured Tyler and Cody’s love for her sons. Ever since the post went viral, Holley has heard about wonderful stories about fellow blended families.
Co-parenting can be challenging and often stressful than one would expect. But Holley emphasized the value of communication in every approach.
“Basically, communication is the biggest thing. We’re honest with everything about Cade, and that’s really it.”
Holley’s blended family is a great example of how co-parenting can be easier with the right mindset and support system—especially when you put the children’s happiness and welfare as top priorities.