This was so hard! My fear this week has been trying to choose a winner of my Flatten Your Fear & Win a Flat Iron Contest.
“Will my daughter love my ex and his new family more than me?” by Pisces Hanna
As soul-crushing and vomit-inducing as it was to hear “I just never really loved you”, it was an even bigger test to see the one whose ring you wore on your finger slide so easily into a new relationship. A relationship that involved another (younger, blonder) single mom and her two kids.
The first time all three of us met, it wasn’t pretty. He and She huddled together on the couch, blowing smoke in my direction while they looked over my parenting plan, scowling. She told him that my plan was “bullshit” and that he shouldn’t agree to it. He nodded in agreement. It was official. I hated her.
That was 6 months ago. Since then, the three of us (and sometimes herex) have met with reasonable amounts of civility, and I’m quite proud of the fairly low amount of White Trashiness that has been involved in the exchange. Its still weird seeing her wear his T-Shirts; the ones I used to sleep in, and think about how smooth the transition from me to her was. Its almost like the life HE had with me and LB never even happened, and now there’s some blonde girl wearing his t-shirts.
Last weekend LB cried when I came to pick her up. For the first time, she didn’t want to leave “Daddy and Amber” That was the day my worst fear surfaced. It hit me like a dodge ball to the face. Questions started bombarding me.
What if this girl is more than just the next one to wear his T-shirt? What if their relationship lasts longer than ours did? What if the engagement that never followed through in my life, magically transports to HIS and HER reality? What if LB gets a half-sibling before I ever even start dating again? What if the family that her daddy has so neatly fit himself into becomes the family that LB wants to be apart of? What if that family becomes more important than me?
Read the rest of the post and her plans to conquer this fear here.
2nd Place Fear
“Am I failing as a parent?” by Insanity of Organized Chaos
I don’t even know her name but Goin’ Crazy wrote a heart wrenching post on her greatest fear – failing as a parent. She’s the single mom of two kids and it’s not easy. Here’s the portion of her post that really got me.
Being a parent is hard, being a single parent is twice as hard. No one hands you “Single Parenting for Dummies” as a parting gift for a failed relationship. No one gives you a cheat sheet on how to answer the kids’ hard questions. No one tells you how hard it will be just to find 5 minutes to cry so the kids will not see. No one tells you how often you will need that 5 minutes just to make it through another day. No one tells you how agonizing it is to hear your kids say that daddy doesn’t love them or care about them. No one tells you how hard it is to say “yes, he loves you very much and cares about you very much” and keep the anger and sadness out of your voice.
Part 1-Check. My soul has taken a small beating but I made it.
Part 2-How am I going to conquer this fear?
Surprisingly, this is the easy part….
They are my kids. That’s it. Nothing else.
Right on crazy woman! We just keep going – that’s it. We have to. Read the rest of the post here.
3rd Place Fear
“What if life crushes my daughter? by O Solo Mama
I absolutely love this comment by O Solo Mama. It’s something we all fear and she captured those feelings. What if life throws some major punches at our kids when they get older … how will we, as parents, find the strength to stand by and let life happen to our kids despite this fear. Here are my favorite pieces of her comment.
I have no fear of my daughter becoming a teen or giving me the “look” (at 11, it’s already happened) or wandering this world without me. But I do worry about something stupid killing her curiosity and drive. A bad or obsessive relationship that suddenly makes her forget about herself? Doesn’t look the obsessive type, but if it should happen, please, God, make it quick. . .with no long-term consequences. What about some nitwit telling her she doesn’t have the __________ make it in ____________? What if she tries and fails? What if she can’t get up again? What if I can’t do anything about it? What if, what if. . .
….Right now as I write this, my daughter is playing hide-and-seek with three friends. She is kneeling beside my computer table and just reached out to pat my leg, as if to say, “No one but you knows I’m here.” So there’s my fear in a nutshell! No one else knows this child like I do. Find the complete comment here.
Honorable Mention Fear
“Can I really make it work with my ex-husband?” by Single Working Mommy
This is an open and honest post in which Single Working Mommy pours her heart out about her fears of trying again with her ex-husband. Here’s an excerpt.
Son LOVES his dad. His dad desperately wants to be a part of his life. Should I be the person who stands in the way of that just because I can’t make a few compromises? But, then again, what if I agree to jump into this thing, and I CAN’T make the compromises? And I end up angry and bitter? What if I don’t *really* love SD? What if we just get back together now, to break up a few years later when Son actually knows the difference?
Each and every one of you. Seriously. I probably went through and re-read these comments and posts 10x. I really did not like having to choose a winner…but someone had to do it. Right? Read the rest of the post here.
More mentions and some entries that just floored me:
- Oakland Mama who wrote that several months after her split she still finds herself “thinking it would be better to be in that angry, passionless marriage than be alone.”
- Debbie who is trying to put the pieces of her life back together and finds herself having to start all over again at the age of 41.
- Lara who is worried she and her husband’s choice not to have children is the wrong one.
- Emily who says her worst fear is “That my sweet, sensitive, inquisitive two-year old, who thanks people for everything and gives a thousand hugs, will transform, I won’t be able to stop it, and one day I’ll come home to find that the hole in the wall to patch is from him, or that he’s drunk, or that he broke his hand from punching something other than the wall.”
- Mommy Pie who confessed that she can’t sleep in a room with empty shoes lying around (love that woman).
- Erin M. who is busting her butt going to school while working and raising her little one all one her own.
- Jessica who feels like she has been forced to give up her dream of becoming a lawyer because her husband is in the Airforce.
And to think – I haven’t even touched on the ways you all plan to conquer these fears! I loved each and every one of them and I thank you all so much for pouring your heart out. Many of you wrote that it helped – just to get it out there – I hope that’s true and that you come back to these a few months from now only to find that you’ve kicked your fears.
And thanks to Rachel Sarah for donating a copy of her awesome book Single Mom Seeking and Mary Pols for giving us a copy of her new book Accidentally on Purpose for the second and third place winners.
[Photo Credit: Sethbarnes.com]