There’s nothing like a quick looksie through facebook to help me appreciate how lucky I am to be in such a cooperative and successful co-parenting relationship like I am.
Four years ago I don’t think that sentence would have ever even crossed my mind.
I was stuck.
Resentful of The Dad and his ability to just walk away without so much as a glance back. His ability to write me off as a liar and a whore.
His suggestion that neither of us were required to be “stuck” in our situation.
I remember being 26 weeks pregnant, scared, unsure of what the fuck I was doing and just needing someone that understood.
You’d think that he would be that person and that although we didn’t want to be together we could, at the very least, work through it together.
Instead there was name calling, and hurt feelings.
Things were said that could never be taken back.
Instead he chose to live in denial and wait almost 2 years to confront the issue, and start to deal with it.
Never did I ever think I would come to be as close to peace with the situation as I feel today.
I joke with my friend K that I’m really bad at one night stands.
The first one I ever had ended up being a prince charming in disguise. I never would have guessed that 6 years later I would be in a long term relationship with him – or living with him.
The second was a little better. Although it still wasn’t really, technically, a one night stand.
After JME left, way back when we first met and weren’t dating at all, there was a guy in my program at the college that I hung out with and after a short discussion on the pros and cons, and a lot of flirting, we just went for it. It lasted longer than a night – even in a casual,friends with benefits, relationship I’m monogamous. I feel like that should be some kind of flaw or something.
Class, beer, Southpark, sex, crashing for the night and back to class in the morning.
That was how it worked and it worked for us.
When we were dating someone exclusively or sleeping with someone else all activities ceased with no hard feelings. We’re still on civil terms today.
The third was The Dad.
As you can see, that didn’t exactly turn out as a “one night stand” although I’m certain that was our intention.
It almost worked. Until we slept together again 8 months later and 42 weeks later I was blessed with the beautiful little dude asleep in the other room.
K thinks it’s funny. She can’t even count how many men she’s banged and here I am with 3, sort of, one night stands and 2 relationships.
My magic number is 5. I can literally count all of them on one hand – and she finds that funny.
He made me feel worthless.
Worst of all – he made me feel angry.
He sucked a lot of the joy out of my pregnancy.
Any time I felt like I was happy, or excited, I felt like I should be ashamed of it.
That being so young, single and unprepared meant that I wasn’t “allowed” to enjoy my pregnancy or my impending motherhood.
Anytime I got excited about something I quickly put myself in check.
The only time I would sit and enjoy feeling him rolling around and kicking was when I was absolutely alone.
I’m still angry at him for making me feel that way and taking that away from me.
Especially now under the circumstances life has presented me with again.
If I could go back I would relish every second of my pregnancy.
Appreciate it all.
Make the most of it. Make the best of it.
I wouldn’t let him ruin it.
But putting all of that aside, I don’t resent him like I did. I don’t feel as angry as I used to.
I don’t hate him.
Even after days like today, when he calls to tell me that A: he didn’t pay his child support last week (I already knew that) and that B: He’s coming to pick the little dude up and take him for a week (not going to lie, that one makes me a little mad. I expect to have a little more notice for things like this .)
So even now, after four and a half years of a whole lot of bullshit I don’t feel angry.
At least most days.
So when I see these young girls so jaded and angry with life, love and baby daddy drama I feel for them.
I want to reach out to them and tell them it gets better.
That these feelings don’t last forever.
That one day there is a mostly happily ever after.
You’ll move on.
You’ll fall in love.
You’ll feel happy.
It doesn’t have to be this way – so full of hate and frustration.
Four years ago I would be telling myself this but it wouldn’t have been with the same conviction I feel now.
I wouldn’t feel so sure about it.
I don’t feel it in a altruistic-happy-happy-everything-works-out-in-the-end-I’m-happy-because-I’ve-found-somebody-that-I-want-to-be-with kind of way. Fuck that shit.
I feel sure about it because I finally feel like I’ve come to a place where I’ve finally found me.
It’s made a world of difference in the way I see my life and my future.
A relationship isn’t an integral part of my happiness but I feel incredibly lucky knowing that I am open to sharing my life with a man that I love.
Even partner-less I am still able to face the world and feel the way I do.
I would be able to go day to day with a smile on my face and love in my heart.
What prompted this realization?
To be honest, I’m not sure.
I think it’s partly having my newsfeed filled with so much stress and anxiety from other single moms and single dads who seem so focused on finding someone that they’re losing themselves in the search.
I see brokenhearted women and lonely men and I just want to reach out to them.
Tell them it’s not as bad as it seems and that as cliche as it sounds, everything happens for a reason.
Everything is meant to be just as it is.
But you can’t wallow it. Make your relationship status the basis for your happiness in life.
It isn’t fair – not to themselves or their children.
Why are we so focused on the “single” part of single parenting?
I know it’s hard and it’s frustrating but it isn’t the be all and end all of your state of mind (as much as it may seem so some days!)
You can be happy.
Yeah, it’s hard work, and yes you can’t be happy every single day but who is?
Just keep your chin up.
Don’t let yourself live in misery.
The first guy you fall in love with after you decide to open your heart back up to the prospect of it might not work out.
You may get your heart broken again – but at least you know that if you try, again, it’s possible to find somebody.