Tonight I walked upstairs and as soon as I walked in my bedroom, I broke down. There, lying on my bed, was a pile of my daughter’s toys. We played with these toys earlier while her younger brother napped. After he woke up, we went downstairs and went about our day. I had completely forgotten about these toys. They were still on my bed because my children had been picked up by their father after dinner and we hadn’t gotten around to cleaning up.
As soon as I felt the feelings bubbling under the surface, I rushed to get in the shower. For some reason, I feel like the shower is a more appropriate place to cry. For one, it’s private. And two, I can hide how much I’m actually crying with the water.
So I sat in the shower, and cried. I clutched my chest because it felt like my heart was actually breaking. I cried because their childhood is split between two households. I cried because my divorce has forced me into the role of a part time parent. I cried because I did not grow and birth children to only spend fifty percent of the time with them.
Ever since I stepped into this single mom role, I am finding that I cry All. The. Time. I cry when I’m driving and look back to see the empty carseats. I cry when I drive past their daycare/preschool on days that are not my day to pick them up. I cry when I walk in their rooms at night to put laundry away and I’m reminded why they aren’t in their beds sleeping. I cry when my daughter tells me she wants to go back to her old home (“the home with mumma and daddy and my brother”). I cry when either of my children cry. I guarantee you that I can find some way every day that I feel like I’m not good enough as a single mom; and for that, I cry.
Every one of these reasons stem back to how I am reminded of how much of their lives I am going to miss out on. My daughter is almost four and has developed the most incredibly independent and loving and stubborn personality; and every single day she says and does the most hilarious things. My son just turned one and he is THIS (imagine me holding my finger and thumb super close together) close to walking! This week the kids are with their dad the majority of the time and my heart breaks thinking of everything I could be missing. What will my daughter say when her dad asks about her day at school? Will she try to parent her little brother like she does when she’s with me? Will my son finally gain the confidence to go forth and walk on his own? What new trick will he learn and start doing that I won’t find out about until it’s my time with them?
The hardest part about divorce is putting my personal feelings about my children’s father aside and putting what’s best for my children at the forefront of every decision I make. It may break my heart not being able to see them as often as I would like, but I have to do what’s best for them. And them spending time with their dad is just as important as spending time with me.
Any single moms out there? How to do you handle the time when your children are with their father?