We’re heading into year two of this already. The every other weekend thing. In the very beginning, it was awful. As in, there were weekends I wouldn’t even get out of bed. I didn’t want to get dressed, or go anywhere, or do anything. I just wanted to lay in bed and wonder if my babies missed me. I wondered what they were doing; what I was missing out on; if they cried for me and I wasn’t there.
So many times I’ve heard people say things like how nice it must be to get a break, or have a night “off” to go out. But for me, there was no break. When they’re home, there might be days that they drive me totally crazy. You know, those days when they just don’t stop whining, crying, or fighting. If you aren’t co-parenting, you might have fantasized about being able to ship them off to dads for a night during those crazy days. But let me tell you… the whining, the crying, and the fighting, is so much better than the silence. The silence made me crazier than any other crazy day.
As time passed, I realized I couldn’t sit around all weekend and wait for 6:00 on Sunday. I had to keep myself busy. I would jam pack my weekends with plans. The busier I was, the quicker the weekend went by. And it helped. But I still missed my babies. I had been a stay at home mom since my oldest was born. I was literally with them 24 hours a day their entire lives. My life was them. I was not meant to be away from the lives I created. So, no, I wasn’t excited when they left. When they weren’t here, my life stopped. When you see photos of newly divorced moms out to dinner with friends, or attending concerts, and having a blast… I can guarantee you that in that first year, those smiles were hiding the tears that would fall when they came home to an empty house.
Personally, I am beyond happy. I’ve met my soulmate, who is absolutely amazing in every way. I am so in love, he treats me like a queen, we’ve had another beautiful daughter, we have built a beautiful home; my life is better than it has ever been. But, I still miss my babies.
As even more time has passed, we’re getting used to this new normal. It’s gotten better. I know they’re having fun, and are taken care of, and love the time they have with their dad, too. But, it will never be ideal. The ability to go to a girls night out on a Friday, doesn’t compare to having to split Christmas Day. A night of peace and quiet, doesn’t compare to having to see photos of your child’s “other” birthday party on Facebook. Last Thanksgiving, I cried my eyes out in a parking lot when we met their dad. Last 4th of July, I stayed home. This Thanksgiving, I think I’ll be okay. We’ve realized that holidays aren’t defined by their dates. That we can celebrate our traditions the day before, or the day after, and it is still just as wonderful… as long as we are with each other.
But one thing that doesn’t help, is hearing how good I must have it. How you wish you could have two weekends to yourself. How it must be so nice to be able to get everything done with no kids home. How I’m lucky that their father wants to be in their life, because some moms have to do it all alone. Yes, I’ve been able to get some house projects done without interruption, but I can promise you, I’d rather be interrupted.
I’m not asking for sympathy. Yes, I knew this was what getting a divorce meant. And I’m not complaining. I do love my life. I just wanted other moms to know they aren’t alone. You aren’t the only one laying in bed with the blinds closed. You aren’t the only one feeling empty. It is normal and it will get better. Get up, and get out of bed.
And to those who have no idea what this feels like: before you imagine the serendipitous bliss a co-parenting mother must be living, remember one thing… the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. A mother always misses her babies.