Archive for February, 2010
Like many other women, my dance with divorce began with an endless supply of unwanted (and unwarranted) drama. Even after a year of couples counseling, it became too much for me to handle. My head swirled and spun in a fog of confusion as I tried to figure out if it was “Too Good to Leave or Too Bad to Stay” (a MUST read for anyone in this stage!). When I finally felt confident enough in my decision to leave, I came to one of the most difficult steps of the dance – actually telling my ex I was done. Unfortunately, many times that can mark the beginning of a rough, lifelong road ahead.
Yes, these last few years have been rough. Yes, things may have been much easier had I dug that hole and hibernated like a bear in winter, like I wanted to so many times. Yet, given the chance to redo it all, I would not change a single thing. Working through my troubled marriage, seeking counseling and making important decisions about my life, and my son’s future, were necessary steps I needed to take to overcome some of my own issues. I would not be the person I am today had I not driven down that bumpy road.
Every now and then I will catch myself wondering what life would be like had I taken a different turn, down another road. Where would I be if I hadn’t gone into work that day and met my ex? Wouldn’t life be simpler if I didn’t have this Single Mama Drama to deal with? Then I stop and think of my little man. I remember how much he has changed my life for the better. I reflect on how much I have grown by being his Single Mama and instead of getting angry or frustrated with life, I smile.
I am glad I was never offered a glimpse into my future. I’m afraid I would’ve done things differently in order to avoid all the heartache. Looking back, I am thankful for every speed bump, every dangerous curve and treacherous bump along that road. Even though it may not feel like it at times, it IS worth the pain.
I agree with Garth Brooks.
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the danceYes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I’d have had to miss the dance
I don’t want to think about where I would be now if I had sat this one out.
If you could go back and time to do things differently, would you?
If someone gave you a crystal ball and showed you how your life would turn out, would you look?
Like a typical Grandmother, my mom is always complaining about not having enough pictures of her grandson. Now that we have digital cameras and photo sharing sites on the internet, who needs boxes of actual printed photos cluttering up much needed cabinet space? In an effort to be the good daughter, I thought that professional pictures would be a wonderful gift for ol’ Grandma. So, I hired a photographer to follow us around our favorite park.
Our photos came out great (Thanks Crystal!), and Grandma loved them of course, but the beautiful images captured much more than just our typical day at the park. They actually caught the unique, unbreakable bond shared between me and my little guy. A bond that deepens with every spontaneous hug or “I love you”, with every grab for my hand as we walk across the street and with each look of amazement when he learns something new.
My little guy and I are a team and we work and play together as one. We like to celebrate our success with High-Fives and shouts of “Good Teamwork!”, which can be seen anytime throughout our day: a flawless on-time morning, an efficient yet speedy clean up session or a great game of tag at the park.
My little man is my Number One. He always comes first, no matter what. He knows my world revolves around him, yet still understands - and respects – the Head Coach calls the shots.
This may come as a surprise, but I feel that my little guy would benefit more in life if we kept our team a two-some. Not to say that I don’t want to get remarried someday (maybe) but if I do, I think I am done having kids. I made the decision awhile back when my ex-husband moved in with his new girlfriend and her daughter. Luckily I have a decent relationship with my ex and his girlfriend, so the decision wasn’t made out of spite or jealousy.
My decision came out of pure love for my little man. I just tried to put myself in my son’s shoes; going back and forth between homes when his brother(s) and/or sister(s) got to stay put. I know I would feel like a visitor, or a temporary member of everyone’s little family. I decided that he may need someone to be there for him 100% and receive their full undivided attention. Due to his living situation, he may need to feel that he is the center of someone’s world, somewhere. So, I decided that someone and somewhere will be when he’s with me.
Awesome Little Team
I have been struggling with this decision for a while, especially now that I am in a serious relationship. I often wondered if I was being irrational, since everyone seemed so shocked to hear the reasoning that lead to my conclusion. I felt like I was all alone in a big yellow raft, floating in the ocean of single motherhood.
That was until I read a story about an Awesome Little Team.
I recently found Lauren’s blog, mylifeincomplete.com, among the sea of Single Mom links. Reading through her life experiences, I came across a post “Awesome Little Team” that brought me to tears. Literally. It was about her little awesome team and her decision to keep it a two-some.
I don’t know what it is about human nature that makes us search for others in similar situations and why we get such comfort knowing we are not alone. Whatever it is, I thank it for leading me to Lauren’s post. Thanks to her story, I now feel confident in my skills as a mother and my decision to keep another awesome little team intact.
Quality vs. Quantity
When it comes to friendship, I go for quality, not quantity. I feel it’s much more important to have a few, really close friends than it is to have 165 Facebook acquaintances. Friendship, to me, is about having people in your life that you love, trust and can be completely honest with – no matter the topic. True friendship is sharing, with no hesitation, your outfit is not flattering or your latest date is a complete tool. Unlike a similar relationship between family members, friends are people you actually choose to associate with, instead of being forced to deal with your whole life.
I have two best friends, well - three if you include my boyfriend, that transcend the meaning of friendship. Not only are they the most genuine and caring people I have ever come across in my life, they are also very entertaining. These two women really have it all; beauty, brains, a great sense of humor and respect/empathy for others. I have known each of them for the last 20 years, so in a sense, they are more sisters than friends.
With our Without You
I often wonder where I would be in life if our paths’ never crossed. I would definitely be a completely different person, as these two helped shape me into the woman I’ve become. They have held me up during some very difficult times, when all I wanted to do was fall into a deep dark hole never to return. They have been there beside me, through good decisions and bad, playing devil’s advocate and head cheerleader. My life would not be the same without these amazing women (…and my son & boyfriend of course!!).
I find it difficult to imagine anything ever coming between the phenomenal bond I share with my two bffs. We’ve already been through so much, especially in just the last couple of years… birth, divorce, loss of a parent. What could possibly change that now?
Changing of the Tides
I know that many women experience a change in friendships after marriage or having children. They find that they can no longer relate to their friends that are sans husband and/or child. Their circle of friends seems to shift with the changing tides, from shopping and cocktails to mom’s groups and double-date nights.
My question is…Does it really need to be that way?
Am I the odd one for still having the exact same meaningful friendships now that I am a mom and divorcee than when I was single and baby-free?
I would love to hear your thoughts!
How have your friendships changed, if at all, after being married, divorced or becoming a mom?
The Cougar Stamp
Dating is such an interesting experience. There is the awkwardness of getting to know one another, the meeting of friends and family and of course, the all alluring establishment of titles. With dating, you can go through the whole uneasy process, date for a whole year or two, then all of a sudden come to uncover certain things about the other person that are complete and total deal breakers!
Wouldn’t courtship be much easier if we were all required to carry Dating Passports? All of our baggage would be nicely printed inside these handy little booklets, for any prospective suitor to view before the first date. Instead of stamps from various Customs Administrations lining each page, you would have things like “Ex Still on Pedestal” or “Fear of Heights and Committment.” Rich men that only dated much younger Barbie Doll replicas would be stamped with “Heph” and any woman over the age of 29 that ever dated a man in his twenties, would have the word “COUGAR” stamped on the very front page.
From Hilarious to Respect
In my 20′s, I thought the term ‘Cougar’ was pretty hilarious. I felt the word did a pretty accurate job of portraying most of the older women we saw participating in the nightlife scene.
The women were obviously older and overly dressed up. Their wardrobe normally consisted of items that were just a bit out of style. They hung out in the higher class bars and restaurants and always seemed to have the look of desperation hiding behind all their makeup.
Now that I am in my 30′s, I have a whole different outlook on the term Cougar. As a member of a their age bracket, I have a new respect for those women I saw ten years ago, having a night out on the town with their girls.
Yes, a number of them may have been out on the prowl, in desperate hopes of finding a man…but I now know (from experience) the majority were probably just out having fun with their girlfriends.
Watching my single girlfriends become the Cougar in question, also changed my feelings for the term. My girlfriends are beautiful and fun-loving women that are just out to have a good time. Their amazing qualities have a tendency to attract attention from younger men whenever we go out. They have dated a few of the guys, here and there. Not because they were preying on the helpless but just because the two of them enjoyed each other’s company, in whatever capacity that was… wink, wink.
On the prowl?
Instead of seeing her as a predator out to pounce on the less experienced, I see the Cougar as a fun-loving woman who is just young at heart!
Though she may not appear as youthful as the fresh-faced co-ed sitting at the next table, the Cougar definitely has more personality, spirit and experience that attracts the younger man and keeps him around, wanting more.
They next time you see a Cougar Couple walking down the street, remember that younger guy was able to get beyond the year the woman graduated high school to see her inner youth….(and I bet he is benefitting from that in many different ways, if you know what I mean )
To all you single moms and single ladies out there in your 30′s, don’t let the term Cougar get you down! Think of it as a compliment. It not only means you are HOT for your age…but it means you don’t act your age either! Which will always keep you young….at heart.