It’s been a while since I’ve been able to speak about being a mother. When my relationship with my children’s father fell apart last summer, I felt like I had lost my family. I felt like a bad mother. I felt like I failed my children. I did everything I could to raise my children well and to make their father proud. We had “family hugs” every night and Friday night “family” movie time. For a while, the fact that we had a tumultuous relationship seemed to fade into the background, and I was convinced we had come around.
My parents separated when I was 18; I didn’t know a life that wasn’t a father-mother based “family” life, and so I could not imagine raising my children any other way. Being this type of “complete” family was a cozy feeling. It was Christmas morning presents and weekend trips to the mountains with singing car rides. It was barbecues and family fishing trips. It was cuddling up on the couch.
I felt that life as a single parent would always be lacking.
Of course, in my case, the perfect family dynamic was an illusion. Our relationship was never cozy and secure and having children did not change anything. As a matter of fact, it made the problem worse. Upon realizing that, I then began to regret who I chose as my partner. I felt tremendous guilt that I had let my children down by no longer being able to provide that nuclear family dynamic for them. I felt that life as a single parent would always be lacking.
I tried being a single mom for a year with my first son, and I was never able to shake the feeling that I had failed. So, I willingly took my partner back, even though the signs on the wall were glaring that this was the wrong decision. Maybe a second child would make it better and we could start over again? I fully immersed myself into my role as a partner and mother.
I was dead wrong.
Only this time there were innocent victims. And the environment became toxic for my children.
It got worse over the summer, and our relationship imploded in a way it never had before. Then I fell completely and utterly out of love with him. There was no turning back. Only this time there were innocent victims. And the environment became toxic for my children.
I couldn’t write for my mommy blog anymore; I had difficulty focusing on my mommy business. All of it seemed tied into the fact that I was a mom and had a family. How could I be a mother to this community without a partner? How could I set an example if my life was falling apart? How could I do this alone? Everyone else is thriving on Facebook with their awesome four person families, why not me?
After living in toxic sludge for years, I have finally come to realize that a healthy single parent home is the better option for my family.
One year later, I finally have the courage to write this. This is the calm after the storm. After living in toxic sludge for years, I have finally come to realize that a healthy single parent home is the better option for my family. The most important quest I am on as a mom is making my children feel loved. And I can do that more effectively in a peaceful environment where I am focusing on self-love. While having support is ideal, I have found other ways to build a sense of community with my kids. And we spend plenty of time getting cozy with just the three of us. I am building memories for them, and while it is not what I envisioned and hoped for, it is something new they will inevitably cherish. I am finally ok with being a single mom.