Dual Life

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I sometimes feel like a schizophrenic. I'm not...at least I don't think I am...no, I'm not...seriously. But let me tell you why I sometimes feel like a shizophrenic (because I know you really give a shit). As stated in previous post, my ex (who shall be further more named Ex...creative huh?)and I share custody of our three children. By share I mean that they spend one week at my house, and one week at his house. Monday to Monday. So for two weeks out of each month, I essentially live the life of a thirty-something single woman. Sounds good to all you Mom's out there who are right now just wishing the ground would open up and swallow you whole because dammit if you have to listen to one more argument over a damn plastic toy you may just hang yourself in the backyard. I know. It does sound good, and it is.

It took me a long time to get to a place where I can openly admit it is good, to get over the feelings of guilt I had with regard to not being a full-time Mom. Though we like to believe we are a truly enlightened society living in the 21st century, when it comes to motherhood, we really aren't. Society frowns on a mother who does not have her children with her 7 days a week, and if said mother actually does this by choice, well let's just burn her at the stake and let the ashes scatter in the wind.

When Ex and I were in the process of seperating, the kids were 8, 6 and 2. We were breaking up because I could not be married to this man anymore. There was no abuse, he was not a raging alcoholic, there was no adultery. I was 26 years old, he was 29 and we were so freakin different that it was tearing me apart trying to stay married. Had I not gotten pregnant at 18 there is no doubt in my mind we would not have been together. When I told him I was leaving I assumed the kids would come with me and he would see them on weekends. One evening about two weeks prior to my moving out with the kids he said to me with tears in his eyes, "Dual Mom, I did not have children to be a part-time father".  I couldn't argue with him....he was right. I started questioning why I assumed the kids would automatically spend the majority of their time with me. Why did I assume I had that right? My kids love their father, as much as they love me. Why was it ok for me (and society) to expect that he would settle for being a part-time father?

So I agreed with him. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life but I agreed that I had no right to "take his kids away". I had no right to expect that he would willingly accept whatever crumbs of fatherhood, I , the mother, would willingly throw to him. There were no issues with his ability to father, he was (and remains) a good father. Yes, I birthed the little buggers, but did that automatically entitle me carte blanche to dictate how they would be raised? I tried, trust me, I tried desperately to justify to myself that as their mother, I had this right. But I couldn't, I couldn't justify it.

So instead I spent the next five years or so trying to justify it to society. Oh it pisses me off so much when I think of how I allowed this know-it-all, narrow minded, judgemental asses to make me feel so inferior, so wrong. Co-workers that would raise there eyebrows when I said the children were at their father's for the week. It made me less of a mother in their eyes, I could see it. I somehow loved my children less because I willingly agreed to allow their father to parent them equally. I have stopped justifying it. I no longer explain myself at all and let them think what they will, they do no matter what I say anyway. I don't care anymore and it has taken me a long time to get there. I don't care anymore because I have three children that are happy, social, smart, loving kids. I don't care anymore because my decision is validated by the glowing comments from their teachers, by the giggles  coming from Nora and a room full of her friends as they paint each others nails.

People that don't know shit shouldn't judge.

And on that note, I think we should all get together and put balloon boy's Dad in the balloon and set his ass off into the great blue yonder. Jesus the world is full of idiots.....

Nuff said.


TONI B. said...
October 27, 2009 at 6:27 PM

Wow... I love you already! haha This was a really great post (& you're really a good writer!) and I think you are such an awesome person for allowing him to be a full time dad and for various other reasons. I really wish my baby mama (bio mom of my step!) would read all of your post and take a few pointers from you :) You seem like a genuinely good person (from the few blogs that I have read) and that is very rare nowadays.

Jennifer said...
November 12, 2009 at 10:15 PM

I just found your blog and will read it through! I give you kudos!