Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Seven years later...

So much is better than it was. So much progress has been made over the last 7 years that it feels like I've been hit in the stomach when I'm reminded of the loss of no longer being the matriarch of a nuclear family.

When I was growing up, my parents had friends that had started off as neighbors, but even after both our families moved, we got together on a regular basis. The kids hung out together while the parents played. It's too late for my kids ever to have friends like that; friends that they'll have from before kindergarten to the time they graduate. Still, they have cousins. That'll have to do.

When my friends share stories about their significant others, I can't share mine. Even the good ones. It just makes everyone uncomfortable. So it's better to minimize the discomfort and keep it to myself.

Even if I met someone tomorrow (and no, I don't want to, but for argument's sake), they will already have missed too much to be able to fully appreciate all that my girls have been and how that shapes them into who they are today. Their own father has missed too much that, even if he gets out 100% rehabilitated and is there for them every minute from now on (which I know won't be the case, but again, for argument's sake), he still couldn't ever make up for these last 7, incredibly formative years. I'm the only one who knows.

Most days, this is something that I can completely accept, and even embrace. Still, every now and then, in a vulnerable moment here and there, it hurts. Most days, I can feel strong and unaffected. Every now and then, I have to close the door and cry.

This post is not meant to generate sympathy or pity. It is simply a reminder that we can be okay for a really long time, and then sometimes, we just aren't. It's not anyone's fault, it's just the circumstances, it's just life. I don't doubt that this moment shall pass. And I know that there were still be other moments to come. It doesn't make me weak, it doesn't make me wrong. It's just something that still is, even 7 years later.


Anonymous said...

I think I can really relate to what you are speaking of in this post. I've had similar feelings as a single parent many times. 99% of the time I'm fine with the way everything in my life has turned out but that 1% can be so disappointing.

MindyMom said...

Yep, I can relate too. Every once in a while it just hits you. Bam! And there you are with those thoughts and feelings. You and I agree about how to process it; ackowledge it, feel it, and then move on.

Danielle said...

That is a hard concept to swallow sometimes.
I think about that too, but I do have long term friends with young kids and parents (almost too close for comfort) :)
I think that just having a few people to share with is sometimes ok!!
Feel it, it is ok. You are there and that is what matters!!

Debbie said...

I read this post a few days ago and it resonated so much that I could not even respond right away. I have been a solo mom since my son was 2. I divorced his father at that time when I suddenly found out that he was an addict, an adulterer, mentally ill and had committed crimes.

I know those days you talk about when you are totally OK with it. Sometimes I think I am lucky because it is just the two of us and in some ways it makes us closer. Other times I look at my son and am so very sad that he does not have another parent who loves him as much as I do. I get upset because he deserves that and he doesn't have it and I cannot fix it.

In regard to not meaning to generate sympathy, I hear ya! Getting it out is part of being real. It does not make one weak. In fact I think being able to admit and those weak moments, shows great strength. As you said they do pass and the do come back. Life is such a circular thing. You don't get over things, you get through them again and again and again, in different ways and in different times of our lives.

Thank you for sharing yourself in this post. My life is so unusual (as far as my family structure, etc) that I often feel that I am the only one out there feeling the way I do. I am grateful for finding your blog!

Bryn said...

Wow. Thank you such much for articulating exactly what I'm feeling! I've tried to explain it to friends (who are married) and to my soon-to-be-ex but they just don't get it!

No one else will ever know, love and appreciate my kids like I do, b/c no one else will ever be able to KNOW them like I do. Whoever it is, their father, or a future partner of mine, they will have missed all the millions of tiny details that are so important. Not only are my kids robbed of having more than just their mom (who's a given anyway) in awe of who they are, but I've been robbed of the bond that comes from sharing that w/ someone else.

I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one feeling this way.

Cat said...

I can relate... I'm OK with everything 90% of the time, but then something stupid happens and I'm not. I was in a coffeeshop the other day and saw a portrait of a father holding his child, and I started tearing up so much I had to leave. As much as my dad, brother, and former father in law might try to fill the father sized gap in my son's life, my ex's inability to parent and be present more than a little bit (he's institutionalized but they let him out for a few hours every other week for supervised visits) will have an impact.

And meeting someone... It would be so hard for someone to "catch up" and step into a coparenting role, even with a 20 month old.

You're definitely not weak or wrong- just recognizing something that exists for so many of us. Thank you.