This post is part of our True Life series where Tampa Bay area moms are sharing real trials & tribulations they have gone through as mothers, as wives, and as women.
The lightbulb glows bright…glaringly bright…you can’t help but see it….your marriage is over.
You are paralyzed with anxiety. What will this do to your future? Your kids? What’s the better lesson to teach? To stoically survive your marriage that you and everyone who cares about you knows is lifeless and loveless? Or to stand tall and strong and show your kids that relationships are ever evolving and can take many forms; that you can redefine them as you grow and change? At the end of the day, you know what you have to do. You have to leave. You are officially a home wrecker. You are tearing your own family apart; the one you prayed for from the time you were six. A husband, a wife, two kids, and a dog on a perfectly manicured lawn with a little picket fence. It’s the dream, right? Well, it was until it wasn’t.
So you gather all the strength you never thought you’d ever have, and you file for divorce. Your prayers are answered and it’s over quickly. You and your very bestest girlfriend (who is simultaneously abandoning Satan as a life partner) go out and get your freedom tattoos! You have your kids, your house, your job, and your life! You are ready to conquer the world…until the world actually presents itself in all its stark reality.
And there it is. You have a mortgage, a job, your boss to manage, a team to manage, a water bill, alimony, child support, insurance payments, car payments. You diffuse every tantrum and whine (and not the good kind of wine), every skinned knee and life lesson, every new pair of shoes, every practice, game, and recital, and every breakfast, lunch, and dinner…and oh how you HATE to make lunches!!!
You hold all your emotions as best you can. You run and go boxing and get drinks with your girlfriends in an attempt to hang on to your sanity. You attempt tree pose to the sound of artificial rain at 11:00 at night in the hopes that you will one day sleep again.
And then it happens.
One afternoon, you break. The next thing you know you are sitting on the floor of the shower surrounded by rusty match box cars and mis-placed Barbie heads sobbing as quietly as you can while the hottest water you can stand water rains down.
What have you done? Was the totally boring, loveless life you had so bad? How in the world are you going to raise these babies all by yourself? How are you going to find the money to straighten those terrifically crooked (and yet somehow adorable) front teeth? How are you ever going to stop crying? Fear and doubt are drowning out every positive, resilient thought you ever had.
And then, through all the noise, you hear those little voices….your girl wants you to draw her a heart in the steam and asks you if you love her as much as she loves you (a gazillion plus infinity times two to be exact). Your boy comes running in to show you the floating library he’s just built in Minecraft. It’s made out of sod and diamonds and suspended by a hot air balloon – how cool is that?
Snap out of it, Mom. Take an enormous breath (or seven) and stand up. Today’s Pity Party is officially over. Dry yourself off, throw on yet another pair of yoga pants, and get to it. Those that matter the most need you. Those that matter the most want you. And no matter your pain, you will be their super hero.
And being tonight’s super hero may be as simple as allowing one munchkin a box of mac and cheese and the other a bowl clam chowder while you enjoy a glass (and make that a big glass) of wine. Sounds like a perfect family dinner for today.
Breathe in…and back out…and repeat…and smile. You’ve got this, Mom.
You’ve totally got this.