Today is father’s day and I want to wish all the men out there who are father’s or play a fatherly role to a child, Happy Father’s Day! We salute and honor you for all that you do. I know it seems that no one recognizes you and all your contributions, but trust me they do. More importantly, the children recognize your importance.
Here’s a poem I wrote in honor of my son’s relationship with his dad. I wanted to share what I think that my 7-year-old thinks about his dad. The first person that held him. The first person that kissed him. The first person that changed his diaper. His dad.
I AM HIS
Always knows what to do
Protects me from the dark
Holds my hand always
Tells me he loves me everyday
Even when I can’t be near him I
Call to remind him of my voice
He smiles and laughs and says
“You know I will never forget” and I nod
But, there is something about my daddy
That makes me want to always check-in and
The small things that happened
Talk about my day
For this man whose eyes and smile are a reflection of my own
Loves without thought
Gives without concern
That he is raising a king
Enjoy your day loves!
Let’s have a talk shall we? As I’ve stated in prior posts, I’m in a state of transition..that from married to single. It’s been a long time since I was single and my first time as a single parent trying to have a co-parenting relationship. I will always love my ex for it was he who gave me our son, but I have to say something… this crap gets hard sometimes!
Not that I’m looking to fix a flat tire or repair my marriage, but co-parenting when we can’t seem to act like adults is hard as hell. Yep, I said “we” purposely. I’m not going to sit here and let you believe that I’ve got this all figured out and I’m the best person when it comes to disengaging my personal animosities and trying to co-parent effectively. I don’t.
Most of the time it is trial and error. Many errors, some good things and a lot of okay things happen. I think letting go of old wounds from our marriage is what is contributing to the bad head space we can find ourselves in. Why? Because we’re both headstrong individuals who have to be right. We both want to have the last word. We both hope that we don’t screw up our son.
Our son lives with his dad 50% of the time and with me 50% of the time. His needs come first. Regardless of what is going on in our lives, we put his needs first. Yes, he is six and yes he is aware that his mommy and daddy will not live together anymore. But, more than that he realizes that the two people who gave him life love him more than we ever thought possible.
The reason why I am calling this post “Woman to Woman” is because I needed to get something off my chest. If you are a woman dating my ex and plan on being around there are some things you should know. A list of how to deal with me and my desire to raise an incredibly wonderful little boy in two separate homes. Here you go:
- Never, ever listen to us argue. You see if my ex should get reckless and try to prove to you that I’m crazy and hold a personal conversation on the phone with me while you are riding in his car, be woman enough to tell him that it’s not acceptable. What we argue about should never concern you in your preliminary role.
- Just because I don’t know you doesn’t mean that I don’t do my research. I’m a protective mama cub. I only have one child and he means more to me than anything in my life. That being said who you are (your first and last name) matter to me.
- I don’t want him back. Nope, I don’t. I love my ex because he and I were together so long. We made memories. Some good, some bad, but in the end the greatest thing we ever did was have our son. I’m not trying to do it again. No matter what you hear.
- Understand that no one will ever take my place. Not that I think you believe that, but my ex said that to me. He actually said, “No one can ever take your place as our son’s mother.” Dude, I know this. I still have the incision where he was taken from me five weeks early. There is never a replacement for the original. I’m his mommy.
- What happens in my home is my business and vice versa. Unless my son volunteers information, I will never, ever question him about what occurs at his father’s house. It’s none of my business unless it affects his well-being. That being said, very little will ever affect his well-being (because his dad adores him) so I don’t care what happens at daddy’s house as long as he is being loved, fed, clothed and nurtured in the best way possible.
- Being a part of his dad’s life long term will mean that you will have to meet me. Understand that I bear no ill will or animosity towards you. I am a mother. I am a woman and I believe in the unity of all women. I encourage us to be civil and make the transition for my child seamless and positive. But, understand that you will have to do your part…know and accept that I will always want to do what is in the best interest of my son. No one is more qualified to make important decisions than his dad and I. No one.
One of the greatest things his dad did after we split was rush over to my house because our son had a nose bleed that wouldn’t stop. It was almost 20 minutes of blood gushing and him screaming. His dad called and he screamed, “I want my daddy”. His dad was in a movie and left and said, “I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” You know what? He was. Not because of me, but because his son needed him. That was pretty awesome and it made me realize one thing…his dad will move mountains for him and for that I am eternally thankful.
I am new to this co-parenting thing and no I didn’t expect to have it figured out, but I’m trying. His dad and I make a lot of stupid mistakes (mainly because we’re pig-headed) but we are trying. We will someday get this right, but I want the temporary (or permanent) women to know that there is no reason to be less than a woman when attaching yourself to the foolishness that may be us. We love our son and we will get it right (hopefully sooner rather than later) someday.
Over the last 18 months, I’ve had to utter those words more than 100 times. I felt like creating a T-shirt with “Yep, I’m Divorcing” on it so people would stop asking me. I am not a failure although my marriage failed. I am someone who tried in spite of who she is to make a marriage work when we couldn’t seem to get it together. I am a soon to be survivor of divorce. I am a soon to be ex-wife. I am a mother.
No matter how many ways you slice it, I am someone who loved a man, married him, gave him a son and then ended the same marriage. We couldn’t survive. We both made mistakes. I am equally responsible for the destruction of my marriage. I tried. I didn’t succeed. I still love him because he is the father of my son and he was the person I shared all of my fears, hopes and dreams with.
Nothing hurts like telling your friends and family that you’re divorcing. Even the pain of telling our son didn’t amount to the look of sadness in some folks eyes. We were supposed to make it. We were the model couple. We met in church as kids. Dated as young adults and married in the same church. We still go to the same church. Nothing changed except our address. We are still parents and we’re learning how to be friends.
Some days for me are good. Some are bad. The silence that was once deafening when I had to learn how to co-parent has lessened and I have found things that I like to do. I go to happy hours with my friends, dinner and wine festivals with my girls and the movies by myself. It is in the silence that I rediscovered my voice and I pray more. I realized I don’t like some things, love other things and tried new things. I’m learning how to be self-sufficient again. I am a work in progress.