Connor Stewart and her ex's wife Katie Wilson are blended family goals. The two women, who look like sisters, vacation together, shop each other’s closets and are also business partners.
“Connor doesn't cook, so she ate dinner at our house three times last week,” Katie, 36, told TODAY Parents.
But the best friends in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, weren't always so tight. It's a story they tell on their shared TikTok account, where they make videos about co-parenting.
“I wanted nothing to do with her,” Connor, 30, revealed.
Connor and Blake Wilson split in 2017. They share daughter Presley. Katie, who has two children from a previous marriage, came into the picture shortly after. There was a contentious custody battle over Presley, and Connor only communicated with Katie and Blake through mediators.
At Presley's recitals, they sat as far away from each other as they could.
“There was so much hostility and hate,” Katie said. "We did our best to hide what was going on from Presley — but kids are smart, and they pick up on tension."
Katie would regularly extend offers to Connor. Did she want to grab coffee? Take the kids to a concert? But Connor wasn’t interested. She’d made up her mind about Katie.
“I just kept inviting her places. I refused to give up,” Katie said.
Finally, in 2021, Connor said yes. She and Presley, 8, joined Katie and her daughters, Ella, 12, and Parker, 10, in Minnesota, where Simone Biles was headlining a gymnastics tour.
Connor began to warm up to Katie during the drive from Sioux Falls to Minneapolis.
“She started eating my pretzels,” Katie said. “That’s when I knew we were going to be OK.”
They’ve been attached at the hip ever since. Connor models and runs social media for Katie’s clothing boutique and and they spend holidays together. At the end of the month, Connor will come to Katie’s house armed with doughnuts for first day of school photos.
Katie gets emotional when she talks about how her relationship with Presley has improved.
“Presley opens up to me now. I think in the beginning, she’d heard so much bad stuff about me… and she didn’t want to betray her mom,” Katie explained. “When I’d put her to bed, I’d say, ‘Love you, P,’ and she would never ever say it back. But now that Connor and I are getting along, she does.”
“We are all so much happier. It was 100% worth letting go of all the anger,” Connor added.
Blake couldn't agree more.
"Katie and Connor's friendship has definitely made life much easier for all of us," Blake told TODAY. "It doesn't feel like a shared custody situation; it feels more like just one big family."
"The worst thing about being divorced is how much you miss with your kids," Katie said. "That isn't the case for us anymore."