Mom’s Thank-You Note to Her Ex’s Girlfriend Goes Viral: ‘I Learned She Wasn’t Trying to Take My Place’

Brittney Johnson and Payton
Brittney Johnson and her daughter Payton

When Brittney Johnson learned that another woman was tucking her 4-year-old daughter, Payton, into bed at night, she didn’t get jealous. Instead, the mom from Columbia, Missouri, wrote a thank-you note to her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend, Kayla Imhoff.

Payton and Kayla Imhoff
Brittney Johnson’s daughter Payton with ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend Kayla Imhoff

“To all of the other mothers out there who throw a fit when another woman treats your child as her own: why isn’t that exactly what you want?” Johnson, 27, began in a now viral Facebook post published Wednesday, July 12. “I prayed one night for the type of woman my daughter’s father would be with, knowing that she would be raised in two homes.”

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In Johnson’s tribute, she thanked the 22-year-old nursing student, for ordering Payton a pair of mini scrubs and for being the ultimate “bonus” mom to her only child. “Thank you Kayla for showing Payton how to chase her dreams, how to work hard and stay up late to study for a test,” wrote Johnson. “Thank you for making time to ride her bike with her and make her mac and cheese even in one of the most stressful times of your life.”

“If you’re coparenting 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 continued. “It takes a village, and I happen to love mine.”

Johnson’s post has been liked 81,000 times and shared nearly 42,000 times so far.

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Johnson, who split from Payton’s dad, Charlie, in 2012, recognizes that it’s normal to worried about being replaced. “I wondered if Payton would like Kayla more than she likes me,” she tells Us Weekly exclusively. “But that feeling went away pretty quickly when I learned that she wasn’t trying to take my place, but create her own place with Payton. We have never been in competition with each other. And that has made a huge difference in our relationship.”

Payton , Charlie and Kayla Imhoff
Payton with her dad Charlie and his new girlfriend Kayla Imhoff

When it comes to coparenting, Johnson has some advice for others who may find themselves in the same situation. “Kayla and I talk constantly. We agree on discipline and school and holiday schedules before we even introduce it to Payton,” Johnson tells Us. “Being consistent and working together makes for such a great transition between homes.” 

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