So, it doesn’t work out. For whatever reason, you find yourself divorced with children to think about. What does life look like post-divorce? What do you tell the children?
Luckily, my children were young when their father and I decided to split up. It was a relatively amicable split where I suddenly became a part-time mom. And that hurt me terribly.
I made peace that I was no longer in a relationship, but how could I only see my kids less than half of the time?
I made them with my body. I was there for every feeding during the newborn stage. I knew every scrape they got on the playground and I certainly knew about every tantrum they had. How was I to let these things go?
I miss putting them to bed every night. I miss seeing their little faces each morning. I miss hearing what kind of day they had at school each day. I missed needing a break from them. I miss… them.
So much guilt floods my emotions. Did I make the right decision? Yes, their father and I no longer needed to be together. They would have seen a loveless marriage and I didn’t want that for them; however, what kind of effect would divorce have on them? Would they remember all the effort that was put into the time in which I did get to see them?
I have to believe I did the right thing by splitting with their father and doing what was best for our family. I wanted them to see a mother that was brave enough to go for what she wanted, rather than settle for mediocrity. I have to believe they will understand one day why things ended the way they did. Why? Because if I didn’t believe these things, I think my heart wouldn’t be able to handle the guilt that comes from divorce. The guilt of what I had done changed the trajectory of their lives.
I have made a life of part-time momming.
I still get to see them and hear about their day at school. I still get to watch them sleep. I still get to see all the tantrums. But just less than I used to. And that is OK.
I’ve utilized my extra time to throw myself into my career, go back to school, try yoga, and focus on my recovery. These are all things I wouldn’t be able to do as much if I had my kids full-time. And that is also OK.
While the heartbreak of divorce and seeing my kids part-time has had a great impact on me, I still feel blessed I get to see them at all. There are lots of parents out there that don’t get to see their kids as much as I do and I feel for them. I am thankful for the time I do get, to watch them grow up and become sassy, smart, independent and funny little kids. (They get the sass from their mom.)
Ultimately, I am happy with the way things turned out; however, it is OK to reflect on the decisions I’ve made and how they’ve impacted my children. And how they’ve impacted me. I hope they will always know their mommy loves them, no matter what decision I’ve made. And that is all I can do.