It’s been an interesting few months and I’d like to start with this.
I never wanted to be a mom, I didn’t much care for kids growing up. My mother ran a daycare and I found it quite annoying to be around children.
I was a kid when I had my oldest son. Something happened the day I found out I was pregnant, only an hour after landing my “dream” job, the one where I would travel the world. Something happened and I chose to have a baby. I chose the harder path, single, alone and a disappointment to my family.
You see I was running hard back then, from everything and mostly my pain. As I sat on the curb, staring at the water running through the gutter, talking it through with my best friend. I couldn’t choose anything but to have him and having him meant everything changed. I like to say he saved my life as, that running I was doing, it wasn’t a path that was going to end well.
That choice, the one to bring another life into this world, it had me dedicated. I went all in. As the outside world crashed in on me, I made a demand to be the best mother I could be. I failed and I continued anyway.
When I sat in front of my second husband that day, the one where I was clear, sure and knew I was done, I also knew that choice wasn’t going to be easy. I wasn’t leaving him because I didn’t love him, I truly did. In that moment, I was leaving him because everything I knew was a lie, everything I was ever sure of was no longer valid. He told me it was a lie, he told me a lot of things a wife never wants to hear from her husband. On that day though, the one I told him I was leaving, that came way too long after the day I chose to stay, there was a freedom in the hard choice, a kindness I had yet to see.
Staying meant letting go of even more of me than I already had. A friend of mine always says, people will tell you who they are, all you have to do is listen. I finally listened with my ears and stopped looking with my heart. I chose to leave my husband that day because of his choices and in my choice, I walked away owning the responsibility. Allowing for the whole world to blame me, for my kids to blame me.
My daughter just said to me the other day something about always talking the high road and I can’t write about it here as, I couldn’t actually hear the message. It wasn’t about roads for me, it’s never about that, it’s about something greater, something that creates greater. Looking at the choice that creates the most for the most people.
When I chose that day to leave my husband, I knew it would create more for my entire family, I knew that leaving was a greater choice than staying and not just for me. I didn’t know what it would look like and for a long while, maybe even up to this moment, it wasn’t the easy choice.
I created an exit plan to keep everything intact, staying friends, staying family and creating an environment for our children that was still loving and contributing. He didn’t play along, so I compromised. I gave because I didn’t give the first time. The first time I fought and I learned and I gained the awareness that many people never do. In the end it doesn’t matter who wins the fight and the only thing the fight contributes to the end is hurting the children. I chose not to fight, I gave in even when that left me standing on the side of the road, tears streaming down my face as my young boys headed off to Alaska, 3000 miles away, leaving me, for the first time in my adult life, alone. I chose not to fight and I had an expectation. An expectation that someday he would give into the plan and submit to friendship and co parenting. I even created the fantasy in my mind that it was true, that every time he played me, that it wasn’t manipulation, it was co-creation. ha! co- creation of a different kind.
I don’t actually care about any of that. I care about my kids having two parents that don’t put them in the middle and create a war to win the prize of best parent. He can have the award, that is not why I am in this.
I got the call, the one I had been waiting for, the one where he decided that he is the only parent and it’s my job to pay him, the one where he’s forgotten that he put the clause of no child support in the divorce, that he wanted no rules and boundaries so he could have what worked for him, till the day that no longer worked for him.
I thought it would tug at me a little more than it has. I thought it would hurt me, consume me and it hasn’t.
Twenty eight years ago I chose to be a mom. I didn’t make that choice lightly. It’s engrained in who I am. I didn’t allow my kids to go off to Alaska because I didn’t want them in my life daily, I didn’t choose not to fight with him because I was done being a mom.
It’s come about that he’d like full custody after finding that our shared custody actually makes him the paying parent if he files for child support. That didn’t bother me. It’s merely his story.
And I wanted to know what the boys would choose. So I just asked. I knew the youngest would say he missed living with me, he’s only been waiting for me to get settled and stayed after his summer visit to avoid the move. The older one though, he’s got his friends, the fast track school and he’s lived primarily with his dad for the last few years so I wasn’t sure.
I asked because I am fine if it creates more for them to stay with their dad, I am fine if he has them and I pay and I’d rather have them in my daily life.
What I didn’t see coming was; The older ones jumped in and totally have my back. The youngest one called me earlier and hinted to moving at the beginning of summer. The other one, he surprised me. Out of the blue with this:
I don’t know if they are aware of their dads plans, I don’t know what he’s said to them.
And at the end of the day you just can’t get it wrong. The fight doesn’t matter, the stories do not matter, the lies do not matter or anything else for that matter.
Twenty eight years ago I chose to be a mother, not out of duty or obligation, not to fulfill a void or because I had to. I chose to be a mother in that moment sitting on the curb with my best friend because I just couldn’t choose anything else. For my entire adult life, that’s been my thing, being a mom and that is the thing that shows up in the end, when the fight is over, the lies have all been told and there is nothing left except to BE.
I can hear my dad’s voice in my head, but sweetheart, will matter one hundred years from now?
No dad, I don’t believe it will….