The aftermath.

by mssinglemama on January 2, 2011

It has been 9 days now. During each I have remained completely composed in front of Benjamin. I have been calm, engaged and present to play with him, talk to him and just be with him.

Tomorrow it’s back to school and work. To our new reality.

After I write this post I’ll be writing a note to Benjamin’s teachers explaining the situation.

The situation.

He left and I didn’t stop him.

He left after I trusted him with everything and believed, for the second time in my life, that it would be forever.

He left after promising to be Benjamin’s father.

But I didn’t stop him. And he had to leave because he knew in his heart it wasn’t right to stay, no matter how ill-timed his decision.

The shock has worn off and in its place there is anger mixed with a lovely peppering of fear and a dash of disdain. I am sure these emotions will pass. I just wonder what will be left in their place. I’m fearful that I’ll build up another wall, an even higher one this time, and never let another man around my child. I’m also thinking that I may be destined to be single forever. Relationships, clearly, don’t suit me. I love being single, why tamper with that? Why not just be happy and stay single this time?

Oh, men. Why are some of you so irresistible? Don’t answer that.

But seriously, not all of us find true love with another mate in life. I’m lucky enough to be madly in love with my work, with my own business and to have Benjamin. Do I really need a trifecta? The risk seems too great. I know, it’s still early but these are my thoughts.

—–

John stopped by this week for his official good-bye. Benjamin’s only question was, “will we still be able to play baseball?”

“Yes,” said John as he choked back tears, “we’ll still be able to play baseball. And I want you to take care of your Mommy. You’re the man of the house now.”

“Okay, Dad – I mean, John Bear.”

That’s the most heartbreaking of all for me. When Benjamin calls him Dad and then corrects himself. It happens about once a day. It’s all so fresh, John’s things are still here and some of his furniture. So when he’s jumping on the couch and I’m telling him to stop, “My Dad, I mean John Bear let’s me.”

Blindsided. Completely. I am just hoping the cosmos forgive my mistake and leave Benjamin unscathed. If any of you have been through this with a four year old before, I would appreciate any advice you may have.

With the exception of the last three months, Benjamin and I have always been living alone so he seems to be bouncing right back. And, I can’t tell if this will stick but he actually says he’s happy John Bear won’t be with us anymore. That surprised me, but now with the dust settling and my 20/20 hindsight creeping in I see an unhappy John trying to discipline Benjamin. And Benjamin wasn’t accepting it very well.

So, who knows – maybe everything will be okay.

It’s just too early to tell.

We have also had house guests this entire week. Awesome friends, aunts, uncles and one grandma. Plenty of company and a tremendous amount of love and support.

One thing I learned the first time I found myself alone with a child was this–always, always ask for help and ask for it often. Speaking of help, your response, my sweet readers and friends, has been absolutely off the charts. I can’t tell you how much every one of your comments has meant to me.

What would I do without all of you?

You’re like my cheering section and I feel like we’re all connected in this battle to re-define single motherhood. We’re modern single mothers and one thing is certain, our story has never been told this way before. And that is truly awesome.

No matter how it ends.

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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy January 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Your feelings are normal and to be expected. I’m just sad you have to feel them and that all this has happened.

Benjamin is going to be just fine. My thoughts are that you deserve to live happily single with Benjamin or with a man who is there for you both 100%. Nothing less.

You did the right thing in my eyes. Keep that gorgeous chin up and make 2011 a year to remember.

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Poppy January 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm

If I may? Please remind Benjamin that he is NOT the man of the house and he does not have to take care of his mother. I think that is a pressure such a young child can do without. Reassure him that YOU are the parent and perfectly capable of caring and loving him. Because you are.

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Thrifty Vintage Chic January 3, 2011 at 12:39 am

love you … and love what everyone has already said here. hugs.

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Ms. Single Mama January 3, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Don’t worry. I think those words didn’t even resonate with him. I’m not sure he even knew what John meant. Benjamin hasn’t brought it up since, the man of the house thing, so I won’t remind him.

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Different Poppy January 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Just wanted to point out that I wrote a comment under your last post (that you responsed to) but that this post is a different Poppy. Who knew it was such a popular name? I’ll find a new moniker.

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Poppy January 7, 2011 at 12:11 am

Sorry differentpoppy! My real name is so common it is not funny so have been using Poppy (fave flower) for some time.

kelley January 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm

this is my first time posting but I have been reading your blog for awhile. Hang in there. I totally understand how you are feeling. As a single mom of 2 teens, I can so related to all the ups & downs of being a single Mom.

Yes we must stick togetgher & encourage each other. We have a story to tell and slowly but surely we are getting it out there.

K

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Theresa January 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm

It will get easier! I promise! I have been a single mom, twice now, as well. My kids kind of did the same thing after the breakup. I think that they are sometimes happy to have their mom all to themselves again. They get over things alot easier then we do. Allow yourself time to cry, grieve, etc. Don’t fill up your time so much that it all gets swept under the rug. :) Then move on! :) Keep writing! It makes me feel so ‘normal’ to know that someone else is going through the same things. Keep your chin up, kid! ;)

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Debbie January 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Since you asked for advice…many people say things to children like, “take care of your mom” and “you’re the man of the house now.” I heard it a lot in my work when a father died and left surviving children with a newly single mother. It may seem like an innocent remark but it can set up an unrealistic expectation for a child to fill an adult role. You may have NO intention of doing that…and John Bear probably did not either…but it may be something you want to consider addressing.

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Erin January 2, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Your courage and clarity are inspiring as always.

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Erin January 2, 2011 at 10:24 pm

My daughter was four when her father left our lives. Now, two years later, she is doing remarkably well. It’s truly amazing how quickly kids can bounce back and how little they remember from just a few short years ago. I hope Benjamin will have a similar experience and primarily remember the good things from this time in his life.

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Jennifer Stropoli January 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I’m truly sorry. I’m divorced many years. My son was born December 1997. He is now 13 and I am still single. He does not know his birth dad. I left when he was a baby to protect him and me. I’ve had plenty of boyfriends and a second husband but none of them were right. I left all of them. The shoe just didn’t quite fit. You can sense it in your belly. Finally after one big blow in June of 2009 I am now taking control and choosing truly to make it on my own for myself and my child. Besides working full-time, I attend school full-time. I’m working toward a degree in advertising and marketing. I still have hope that one day I will meet my best friend and he will also be my son’s friend. My son occasionally, well, he has a hole in his heart and wants me to meet someone. He wishes to have a man in his life. He has his grandfather and his uncle but he wants a man in his and my life. I told him it will happen someday until then we push on and stay positive. Back to the June 2009 moment – I hooked up with an old friend, a friend I trusted and grew up with. He is older than me and was always ‘in love’ with me and protective of me as I grew up. We lost track for many years and reconnected on facebook. It moved quickly as far as he was vouching his love for me, wanted me and Nicholas to move in…..I kept saying are you sure, are you sure. Eventually, I was saying are you sure because I’m gonna let go and let myself feel this. Everything he was saying was everything I wanted to hear, everything I dreamed of. I thought finally I get my family for myself and my son. Plus this man would get his family that he dreamed of too. It was a win win situation. Then I asked one more time before I was going to fall over the cliff into this situation and he said yes once more. Then one night on the phone I could sense something was wrong, I pushed him to be honest, I prodded him to be honest – he was finally honest. He doesn’t want to do it. MFer! Mind you I moved my son upstate to live with my parents so that I could pay off debt and save a little before moving us both to Pennsylvania to be with him. Lo and behold almost 2 years later my son still lives with his grandparents, as I stated above I am still in school and we talk everyday, I see him every weekend, holiday, vacation. You name it I’m right there for my son. We both struggle with the seperation but I”m strong and have target I’m shooting for and I’m raising him to be strong. We talk about our feelings, since he is young we have a very open and honest relationship, and cry together. My son is a good well adjusted boy because even though it’s been tough all these 13 years I keep going. I fall down, I cry (a lot) but I suck it up, wipe my face and move forward. Reevaluate, readjust.
I probably have trust issues. It’s hard to trust when so often men have said things they shouldn’t and too soon but I’m still optimistic that one day the right one will say it and mean it.
You sound strong like me. You will make it. Stay focused and stay close to your son. Raise him to be honest and never do or say anything he can’t back up. However, he shouldn’t take no non-sense either. But I’m sure you get my point.

Peace, love, and happiness.

Jennifer

http://changewhatitis.com/
http://itswhatisaid.wordpress.com/

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T January 2, 2011 at 10:27 pm

My oldest was 4 when her dad and I split up. She was my rock when I couldn’t take it. She regressed a little and was having potty issues again but that quickly passed. She also would get angry or sad at times that she was being disciplined and ask for him. That passed too.

Allow your feelings. Of course, blogging it will help.

And secondly, STOP thinking you made a MISTAKE. You did what you thought was best and you were happy. That is NEVER a mistake.

Hang in there.

xxoo

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Diana Mulkern January 2, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Destined to be alone. I often feel the exact same way! My kids fill me up with so much happiness I agree why mess with it. The only worry there is one day they will all be grown and then what will I do? Benjamin is blessed to have a Mom who cares so much about him and that he is ok but dont forget about you and make sure you are ok also. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog! Take care. Another single Mom is thinking of you here in Ohio!

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Jennifer January 2, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I am a TWICE divorced Mom myself and one thing you said that sticks with me that tells me all will end well, Benjamin’s response was ” he was glad that John was not going to be there.” That take courage on a child part. When I told my oldest daughter (I have 2, one from each marriage) that I was getting a divorce, she lowered her head and told me “it’s ok Mom, I never wanted you to marry him anyway and we were fine before and we will be fine again! I am here to tell you, even though she was just a young child, SHE WAS RIGHT! So if Benjamin feels in his hear that it is good that he will not be there, then it will all turn out alright. I am proof of that! Chin up, remember that you are beautiful no matter what and all will work out!

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Nicole January 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm

My boyfriend and I are still together but we no longer live together.
We have been together longer than my son’s biological father has actually been in his life so to my son my boyfriend is dad.
Last year we made the decision to finally move in together, and this summer we decided to relocate together.
We gave up our lease, shipped off our belongings and then he changed his mind.
It wasn’t the right time, he wasn’t ready.

I didn’t know what to do at the time, and I still don’t know what I’m doing (although we are still together – just 9 hours away from one another) and I’m hoping that leaving without him was the right one.
My son is closer to his dad and both sides of the family and he’s home with me all day while I work instead of being at daycare all day.
But at the end of the day, every single night he cries for my boyfriend. When he gets hurt, he wants Jamie to make it better, when he’s upset at something he wants to call Jamie and tell him (he still comes to me for all of those things also, it’s just amazing to me how often the first person he thinks of is him.)
Times like that make it hard to believe that you’re doing the right thing but after he made that decision I didn’t want my son to become more attached to him than he already, clearly, is.
I didn’t want to make it harder on him.
So while we make sure that we are in it for the long haul and he gets his career settled we are just going with the flow.

It’s been two months since I moved and I’d love to say things are easier now, and maybe it’s just because I’ve spent the Holidays without him, but they aren’t.

But, time heals.

And there is comfort in knowing when you’ve made the best decision.

I know it’s cliche but everything happens for a reason – remember when/where & how you met John Bear? And all the risks you’ve taken in life since then. He was by your side, cheering you on and being there along the way when you needed him. If he hadn’t been would you still have discovered all of the wonderful things about yourself that you have?

You are successful and wonderful and people come in and out of our lives all the time. When it hurts the way it does right now you know that it’s a good hurt, right? The kind of hurt that happens when you feel like you’re losing something that meant so much to you and that was such a positive impact on your life.

It’s great that you’re holding it together for Ben but don’t forget that sometimes you need to let yourself fall apart, for you.
Let yourself cry, it’s therapy for your soul – and who doesn’t need that every now and again?

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Ona January 2, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Don’t give up on love. oxox

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Nikki January 2, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Wow. It seems…it ’tis the season… you’re the third single mama (including myself) whose relationship has ended in the past couple weeks. My heart is broken for 3…for 7, actually… 3 mamas and 4 kids. Perhaps there are more. I hope not.

I was thinking today how in the world does anybody ever survive heartbreak. I’d rather have my body torn apart and sew back together than to endure it again. But somehow…even in the middle of all the pain and agony, I know there is hope. God creates in us a resiliency…a newer strength and fortitude and a better understanding of who we are in the process of tearing down and building back up. And because of the strength He’s given us, our children will receive that as well. I just have to trust that He will fill in the gaps and bring the right people into my daughter’s life that will help heal the hurts. The same for your little fella.

Single motherhood seems the most trecherous terrain to travel… Because of the risks we have to make, though, I’m confident the scenery from our vantage point is a lot more colorful than ‘traditional’ family portraits. I choose to savor the colorful scenery, even if it is hard to take in sometimes…because I know in the bigger picture scheme of things, that it is what is making me a woman of strength and character; all of us.

The pills swallowed are bitter and jagged…but it can’t be this way forever. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

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mommybella January 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm

i would like to have the same positivity that you have. I have been so, so down that I have fears of never being able to pull myself back up again. I hope to have that one day

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sk January 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm

I became a widow when my daughter was three and at that time I decided that I would stay single and raise her. Our childrens’ childhoods are so short, and I wanted to ensure that I was able to raise her without any extra emotional pain that a relationship of mine may bring her. She is now eleven and I figure that before I know it, she will be off in college and then, I will have the time to do what I want, and at that time I may possibly consider a relationship. Sure, there are times when I miss the male companionship, when I have wished for the possibility of another child, but I sure do enjoy my angel and am so thankful for the gift of her life. She only has one childhood and I wantto do the best I can as her mother. The decision to stay single is not for everyone, but for me, it has been a good choice for our family of two. I don’t regret a thing about it and am so immensely enjoying the life that we have.

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chgarnetdragon January 2, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Hang in there and take it easy on yourself. Everything works itself out and Benjamin will be fine. You are his foundation so take care of yourself and you will make the right decisions when it comes to taking care of him.

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mommybella January 2, 2011 at 11:01 pm

we are and have to be each other’s support system. We are the only ones who truely know how hard this is.
Today when I was crying after another crappy phone call with my ex..(how he always wants me to work our(mine and my son’s) entire life around him)
I was in tears, but knowing that there are women who know how painful this stuff is comforts me. I mean I don’t want others to go thru the same, but knowing that I’m not alone feels good.

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lisa January 2, 2011 at 11:08 pm

YOu write so eloquently. I am glad you have surrounded yourself with love. I will be honest–your posts on JOhn’s and discipline –his approach always seemed harsh to me, like he didn’t have any understanding of children and development and how they express their frustrations and emotions. I was surprised he wanted to discipline him–like one of those people who think I know the way and if it were my child such and such would never happen. ANyway, that is a tangent. My sister is going through something similar–it takes time to heal, give yourself that.
Applaud yourself for being aware of your needs. John seems to be very out of touch with his.

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Cat January 2, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I second Poppy’s comment. Sounds like you’re doing a great job taking care of Benjamin, and doing the best you can with yourself. I can only imagine how heartbreaking some of Benjamin’s comments have been… but as previous commentors have said, time will heal.

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Lara January 2, 2011 at 11:36 pm

I think it is possible to see the beauty in the shards – even if we bleed a bit sifting through them. Perhaps you won’t find that soul mate, but there is an equal chance you will. And maybe, just maybe John Bear’s walking away opens a window for that chance that would have been closed otherwise. As for Benjamin, four year olds are remarkably resilient. What breaks them is the fighting and acrimony, which you don’t seem to have. He’ll be fine. He has you, after all, and that is really what he has always needed.

And you’ll be fine, too. Some day you won’t feel as abandoned and angry and hurt as you do today. Give yourself time – and permission – to grieve and to process.

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Andrea January 3, 2011 at 12:22 am

Love the way you write. I actually laughed out loud when I heard you describe your current feelings of anger and a “lovely peppering of fear”. Only because I think so many of us have been there and haven’t been able to express it in words in such a heartfelt, yet slightly humorous way!

Your charging ahead, making a new dream and future for you and Benjamin. Good luck with your work week!

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Kristi January 3, 2011 at 1:07 am

It is nice to find a place where others understand being a single mom. My biggest challenge is sharing my three year old son with my ex husband’s mistress/now girlfriend. She always wanted to have children and could not, so now treats my son like her own. I know I should be happy that he is being treated well while at his father’s house, but I feel such jealously towards her that it affects me throughout the time my son is away from me. I know I need to get past this, just not sure how?

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Ona January 3, 2011 at 9:40 am

Hi Kristi,
I went thru this. My ex’s mistress/turned wife is a kindergarten teacher and on top of having to share them, my kids really liked her. I shifted my perception – I realized that no matter how much fun, gifts, and activities they could lavish on my daughters, NO ONE could ever take my place. A child’s mother is irreplaceable. So be grateful that your son is safe and happy when he is away from you and use that time to create a life of your own.

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terri January 3, 2011 at 1:52 am

A, I know you have so many at the ready for support and love, but I just wanted to tell you that you and the little guy have been on my heart all weekend long.

It is true that you are both going to be just fine, and Benjamin will have many more good feelings about this time of his life than bad.

(I want to echo another and repeat that it will be a possible misstep to apply the “man of the house” label, though.)

Lots of healing vibes to you, and kudos also for being courageous enough to do the RIGHT thing – not the thing that felt the best.
<3t

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JJ January 3, 2011 at 3:38 am

You are an amazing woman and this too will pass. Its so hard when were in the thick of things to know that eventually the anger and hurt will pass – and to be honest I think its good to be with what ever you’re feeling, because a breakup in a roller coaster. Have you read “Spiritual Divorce” by Debbie Ford? Im just part way in and its pretty amazing (however you know so much of it already – I can tell from following your blog).
Kids are amazing and resilient. My Step daughter watched her Parents split when she was 4 and her father just left me for another woman earlier this year. I see her all the time (I love her to pieces) and I can tell she is doing well because everyone still loves her even though no one is still together.

The upside (hate to say it that way) is that Benjamin will get used to life being unpredictable – and you know what? Life is unpredictable. However – he always has you to depend on and love him and that will always be and will never change.

Sister single mama, spend some time grieving. Cry, scream, laugh, yell… sleep. Regroup and remember all the great things you have said about taking care of yourself and when your ready – and someday you will be – you will take the lessons you learned from your time with John and put them to use else where. And Im guessing in the coming months as you peel back the protective layers of your relationship you will find gold in the gifts you get to take away….
Hugs to you both…. my breakup is still very fresh and I feel your pain.

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Maui January 3, 2011 at 4:24 am

My father’s son and I recently broke up, right after my bday, a short 4 days away from xmas. I left, he didn’t come after us. he just let us go just like that. No xmas greeting to my son, nothing.

He doesn’t support my son financially, whatsoever. But I want them to spend time together because i don’t want my son to grow up without a father. But I’m angry. He doesn’t deserve to be with my son, he shows no interest whatsoever.

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Stac January 3, 2011 at 11:24 am

Sometimes (not always) but sometimes growing up without a father is better than growing up with the one you have. This is my personal experience, and not the truth for everyone. My son’s father likes to pop up and disappear. The next time he pops up he better have a lawyer.

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Maui January 3, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Thanks for the insight. But do you even still allow him to spend time with your son even if he does pop up and disappear?

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Stac January 4, 2011 at 6:20 am

I did. But not again. It causes too much pain. And when he does pop up he’s usually addicted to something and doesn’t have an appropriate place for visits so they happen at my house. He hasn’t come to see his son since May. In July we were at a downtown art night….he walked right passed us like we didn’t exist. In August, in a restuarant with his Mother and new child he apparently had when he had been MIA for 2 years before….again walked passed us like we didn’t exist. The first time my boy cried for days, luckily the second time he didn’t notice and I got him out of there before he did.

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Stac January 4, 2011 at 6:24 am

That’s why I said next time he pops up he better have a lawyer.

Maui January 7, 2011 at 4:23 am

I can’t imagine that…i would punch my ex in the face if he’d just walk right past my son …seriously…i feel for you…i wouldn’t know how to control my anger if that happened to me…thank God my ex lives in another city…

Momma Sunshine January 3, 2011 at 6:20 am

Hang in there, sweetie. You’re in the belly of the beast right now, and it’s going to take some time to get your life back – and that’s perfectly okay.

What happened with John Bear wasn’t a mistake…it was simply another life experience. You took a chance – you extended yourself, and loved, and it didn’t work out. All this means is that the next time around you’ll be all that more wiser and stronger because of all of this.

Don’t question yourself and make decisions about the kind of person you are or aren’t right now, and whether you’re suited for relationships or if you damaged your son or any such thing. You’re still very much in the hurting phase…you’re not in a place to decide anything. Time heals all wounds…and some day you’re going to feel a whole lot differently than you do now. In the meantime…give yourself time and opportunity to heal. It may take some time, but you WILL get better.

**hugs**

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Heather January 3, 2011 at 7:28 am

You and Benjamin ARE going to be okay. Yes, John left anyway despite all of the promises he made….and yes, you let him go. But, that was all the way it was supposed to be in the end. Right now it is difficult to see that (I’m still in total shock as one of your loyal readers.), but I have to believe that this is the best thing for you and your kiddo. Your courage is amazing. Hold onto that and the deep down belief that you ARE doing what is right…right for all of you.

You are all in my thoughts. Know that a Dayton single mama is on your side.

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Elizabeth January 3, 2011 at 10:09 am

It seems that every time you open yourself up to a significant relationship you have had the good fortune of being able to add a beautiful piece to the puzzle that makes you a happy, more fulfilled individual. Granted, you went into the relationships looking for a true and lasting love and that doesn’t seem to be why those particular relationships were sent your way…but look what you gained! Benjamin!! Cement Marketing!! In both instances you started something tangible with the man…an adventure, if you will, but ended up shouldering it solo. However, looking how fulfilling and life changing the results of these relationships have been. Without these relationships that lead you to do things like start a business with your boyfriend (that thankfully he stepped out of) that has ended up being the reason you are in a financially stable place right now…well, things could just be really different.

So don’t close yourself off. Sure, it may be a while before you’re ready! But instead of thinking if the pieces of your heart that you’ve lost, think of the pieces of your heart you’ve gained. I believe the latter is much larger. Who knows what possibilites are in the future!!

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Kate January 3, 2011 at 10:16 am

Another thing I thought I’d share with you. This Declaration of Deserving sits framed right by desk and every time I read it I feel inspired and hopeful. As a single momma who just moved in with her boyfriend and his two kids, I can completely understand the shock, the devastation and the anger that would accompany discovering someone is not who you thought (or were led to believe) they were.

“If you don’t believe you have the right to be here, there will never be enough space for your true self to show up. If you think you need to earn your actual desires, you’re putting miles, years, between you and fulfillment. So many of us don’t even give ourselves permission to want what we want. This is the great tragedy of a malnourished spirit.”

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Amanda January 3, 2011 at 10:18 am

I have a 3 year old (soon to be 4 year old) little girl. Her biological father has never been present in her life. When she was 6 months old, I thought I met the guy I was destined to be with forever. That was October 2007. In October 2008, he proposed to me. Looking back, I too realize that I pushed for this. I wanted to be married, I wanted to move in together, and I wanted him to be daddy.

He wasn’t ready. Sure he proposed, we moved into a house together, and he has been daddy for the last 2.5 years. He is all my daughter has ever known as far as a male figure in her life.

In July 2010, he decided he didn’t want to be a family anymore. He took the totally wrong approach to the matter, in my opinion. He cheated on me. He told me he couldn’t think of another way to let me go, so he thought if he cheated and broke my trust I would be the one to let him go. And he was right. (While I’m sad for your break up, I am glad it didn’t happen the way mine did.) My break up was ugly. I forced him out quickly. I tore him out of my daughters life, thinking it was the best thing for her. She has seen him a handful of times since July 2010. As of early November, she hasn’t seen him at all.

She still cries for him when she is overly tired, or when mommy is being “mean” aka she has to go to time out. But she’s fine majority of the time. We continue to be our own little family. We have our day to day, our weekends, she has her grandma, her Uncle B, her school friends. She has me, and I have her. I have my family and my friends. Just as you do, and you realize this.

This is the worst time, the “day after” feeling. But it will pass, and your emotions will calm, and one day – the thoughts will flow through your mind without the pain/paralyzing fear/disdain. The pain dulls, then finally subsides completely, almost. Life happens, there are no mistakes in life, just lessons.

With time, Benjamin will be okay. Just as you will my dear. Once again, it’s time to focus on you and that handsome little man of yours. You will do just fine, just as I have now, and you have done before.

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Heather January 3, 2011 at 10:32 am

This is an amazing book that has been incredibly helpful to me and a few friends:

http://www.amazon.com/Wisdom-Broken-Heart-Uncommon-Healing/dp/B0048ELF8K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1294066460&sr=1-1

The author also has a wonderful blog (http://www.susanpiver.com/wordpress/) with lots of great, unconventional (Buddhist inspired) ideas about broken hearts and relationships.

As wonderful as it is to “protect” our children from the hurt we are feeling, we are also doing them a grave disservice. Children are highly intuitive, they know when we are hurting and when we are hiding those feelings. Unfortunately, in our attempt to protect them from our strong feelings, they ultimately learn that is how you are suppose to deal with your pain, sadness, anger… to hide, deny and repress. That was definitely the lesson I learned from my own mother.

When my exboyfriend broke up with me after 2 years together (6 months living together), I tried to ‘protect’ my then 4.5 year old son from my sadness and anger… to maintain my composure.

But, after 3 weeks of such composure, my son’s therapist told me to stop hiding my emotions from him because he knew but was very confused and scared, which was coming out as anger and OCD-like behaviors. She told me to not show him the full-force of my powerful emotions, but to talk to him about how I was genuinely feeling and that is was OK to feel that way… AND I would be OK, as everything changes with time. That discussion allowed him to express his own strong feelings about the breakup. We both had a great cry together, to which he replied afterwards, “I like that, mama. I feel better now.”

That was one of my greatest teachable moments with my son. A moment that has allowed my son to not fear either his own, or someone else’s, strong emotions and a great lesson in “this too shall pass.”

Just be really gentle with yourself during this difficult time. It’s not easy.

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heather January 3, 2011 at 10:39 am

I think for me, the thing I most needed to do for my kids was just let their words fall where they may and not try to fix the emotional stuff for them. Tread lightly with allowing JB to still do all the familiar things (baseball) in the Dad role if that is clearly not a long-term goal of his. Just because B asks for things, doesn’t mean it’s what he needs. Four year olds ask for a lot of things. Better to face the sadness than allow for reconciliation fantasies to get a foothold.

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nina January 3, 2011 at 10:50 am

Being single is actually pretty cool. Like you say, you love it, why mess with it? I’m not trying to minimize the pain of what you’re going through now; we all know how much that sucks, and I feel for you & Benjamin both. But there are lots of advantages to staying independent. Whatever your path relationship-wise, I have a feeling you’ll be doing lots of great things and having much success.

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Stac January 3, 2011 at 11:43 am

I have to take issue with some of the stuff being said about pushing these men into moving relationships forward. They are grown men, capable at any point of saying “whoa, let’s back up”. Relationships end for various reasons, and in most cases responsiblity is with both parties (in most cases, I’m not talking about the really terrilbe cases involving abuse and cheating). As women, we can’t sit here and say a relationship ending or going on too long is our fault for pushing it forward. Again, grown men should be able to at least not propose if they don’t want too.

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charity January 3, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Agreed, wholeheartedly. Well said.

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Cass January 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Deanna, does it feel good to kick someone when they are down? Does that make you feel like a better person? Of course, she doesn’t share every minute detail of her life. Who does? Whether on a blog or in real life? We can only know our own story. And never anyone else’s.

Who are you? and why are you so angry? Why would you add to someone’s obvious pain? That seems a lot more sinister and dark than anything expressed on this blog.

I’m sorry for your loss, MSSM. It sucks, frankly, but we can all see how strong you are.

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littlemansmom January 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Honey…..all I have to say is <>….and I’m sorry I’ve been MIA and missed being on the board to support you sooner….

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Whoa January 3, 2011 at 1:06 pm

This is just one of those things that you can’t deal with alone. Maybe it isn’t the right way, but its worked for me time and time again – and I’d do it again in the future.
Fill your life up. Fill up Benjamins life with as many positive things as you can grab hold of. Hold your head high – around him – do not be afraid to TELL him you are sad, and thats ok to be sad, try not to let him see you falter. (Even if you do – don’t hate yourself for it).
The worst thing that so many of us try to do is allow our kids to believe that we are perfect. We are not. My parents were most definitely not perfect. I grew up with more step-parents and step-siblings (in and out like a revolving door) than anyone should have to deal with. Luckily – it did NOT teach me to HOLD BACK LOVE.
Show your beautiful smile – believe that this is temporary – hug your son, play with him. Do not be afraid to do things or meet people. Renew his memories of you out in public or with friends WITHOUT John-Bear. Benjamin needs to know that being ‘Alone’ does not mean being ‘Lonely’.
You said before that you are more prepared now – you’ve been a single mom before. At the risk of sounding harsh – Mothers (like me, you, and countless others) who have children and are not with their fathers? Will ALWAYS be single mothers. Even if we remarry.
You and Benjamin – you two will share a life that others might step into, might want to join. Its your dynamic. You two will overcome challenges together – and he’ll be stronger for it when he’s grown. He’ll be ok. He will. Remember to take care of you.

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Jill B January 3, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Hey, thanks for the advice/reminder to ask for help. We all need to hear that, and be reminded often.

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A.E. January 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Your experience has really shaken my world, because I seemed to be following your footsteps just a few months behind. I met my current boyfriend a few months after you met John, and the whole progression of the relationship has nearly mirrored yours. Coincidence – but your breakup puts things in perspective. Mostly, we’re so unbelievably vulnerable to the torment of relationships when children are involved. We become older, jaded, or just armed with an arsenal of experience. But children love with their entire beings and trust completely. They should have the luxury of taking it all for granted.

My son was 4 when I divorced, and it was hard on him. I took him to a “play therapist” to give him a safe environment to talk and play his emotions. It helped me to know that i was doing *something* anything to try to get him through unscathed. Anyway, the therapist is in Columbus, OH — Megan Webster. She’s good at what she does. My little guy was not “unscathed.” He hurts. Some life lessons are just learned too young. But we continue on, and we do what we have to do to make sure that smiles and laughter are a part of every day.

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A.E. January 3, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Hey one more thing – can I recommend a book? A quick read, but I think good timing for you. Cowboys are My Weakness by Pam Houston.

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Glenda January 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Thinking of you and Benjamin. Stay strong. Don’t give up on love. This relationship with John made you stronger and wiser.

My heart breaks thinking of Ben saying “my dad – oh John”
Hopefully he won’t remember too much of this aftermath.

And it’s not so much as John leaving… the dog?! Wasn’t that Ben’s companion the past 3 mos? ughhh so sad.

Sending you hugs!

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soon2bsinglemom January 3, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Just wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking of you and Benjamin. I have no advice to offer since my divorce was finalized exactly two weeks ago and I’m not really sure what I’m doing half the time…but stay strong. I know you will.

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Sheila January 3, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I’m sorry you are going through this again. It is so painful, but I believe it will be better for both you and Benjamin

Is therapy just out of the question?

One thing I don’t understand – and I’m not saying this as a criticism – but why did John go through with buying a house with you if he was so unhappy?
Keep strong!

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Glenda January 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm

that’s a good question… seems he was going through the motions as if that was what A expected from him?!

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May January 4, 2011 at 12:41 am

I was so patiently awaiting this post and I am so glad to read that you haven’t fallen into a desperate, hopeless character – I am a new 22 yr old single mommy to a 3 yr old and, also find myself feeling that being single for next 20 years wouldn’t be so terrible. Love your thoughts, thank you for sharing and helping all us other mommys remember we’re not in this alone.

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Steve January 4, 2011 at 12:47 am

I was in John Bear’s shoes at one point. I was dating a single mother who really liked me. It’s hard to say ‘no’ when all you want to do is help. It’s hard to walk away when there are two persons’ feelings on the line. I wanted desperately to do the ‘right’ thing, but the correct thing was to walk away. Single moms, the only thing I can tell you is to wait, wait, wait, and wait some more before introducing your child to your new boyfriend. It takes six months to get to know someone. Perhaps 7 months should be the waiting period. Not being introduced to a mother’s child makes it easier for a nice guy like John Bear (or me) to leave, and it might have prevented heartbreak.

As for you, MsSingleMama, keep your head up. Yes, mistakes were made. But you liked John Bear, right? It’s natural to go after what you want, especially when he seems to want it as well. Now your instincts will be keener the next time around with regards to whether or not the guy wants it. You’re an attractive gal in many senses of the word. Keep being honest with yourself and others, and don’t be afraid to be the one to pull the plug on the next relationship. Go on many dates with many guys – one may stand out.

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Steve January 4, 2011 at 12:56 am

Sorry, I just thought of something else…

Why was John Bear auditioning for the role of ‘Dad’? Do you realize that’s a HUGE new role for him? Why not ‘uncle’?

You understand that the last thing a single guy wants is to become a new dad right away, right? Uncle is much more fun.

If the guy is single, let him know that your child is your responsibility, and not his. And back that up with actions. This is no time to be lazy. This is no time for ask for help.

There’s a double whammy brewing here, daters. If the child’s dad is in his life, how would he feel knowing the child calls another man ‘Dad’? C’mon, single mothers. You can’t make progress by alienating a child’s father.

Looking back, John Bear didn’t want to discipline Benjamin. No kidding. That’s for dads, not uncles. Let a child’s relationship with a new father figure grow with time. The guy you’re dating is likely to be more interested in YOU than your kid, and that’s OK.

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Nicole January 5, 2011 at 11:30 am

Not every dating single parent is looking for a new parent for their child so they don’t HAVE to be dad, but I think “uncle” is a little confusing to throw into the mix.
Shouldn’t “this is my mom’s boyfriend” and “this is my dad’s girlfriend” etc. be enough?

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Nicole January 5, 2011 at 11:28 am

Personally I don’t want to be with someone for seven months before finding out that he can’t handle/doesn’t life/isn’t interested in my son.
It’s all fine in theory but it’s completely different to deal with it in reality.

I understand your point, I truly do, but if I’m investing that kind of time into a relationship and a person I want to make sure that I’m not going to be breaking my own heart 6, 7 or 8 months down the line if he decides that dating someone with a child is too much for them.

I’m not saying they should jump right in and start doing play dates and sleepovers either but I think a gradual transition and meeting sooner, rather than later, is what’s best.

But that’s just my opinion and something that I’ve observed with a lot of close friends.

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Steve January 6, 2011 at 12:02 am

I don’t understand your point… You said, “… if I’m investing that kind of time into a relationship and a person I want to make sure that I’m not going to be breaking my own heart 6, 7 or 8 months down the line if he decides that dating someone with a child is too much for them…”

Do you mean that the person you’re dating owes you something after 6-8 months of your “investment”?

I am suggesting that many relationships die a natural death after about 5-7 months. If the relationship dies during that time period, or before, I don’t see the sense in a child being involved in any way. In my experience, I often start to get very annoyed about about 6 months. This is because underlying problems exist between me and the girl I’m dating. I might get upset about something trivial, but underlying it is a gross lack of compatibility. At about 6 months is where MsSingleMama says John Bear first tried to break up. She could not let go, and this may have appealed to his knight-in-shining-armor self image (it has appealed to mine in the past).

By the way, MsSingleMama, this is NO TIME FOR YOU TO QUIT this blog. Too many people are getting too much out of it. Also, due to this experience, you are wiser than you were 10 days ago. Yes, it took a crushing blow to have that wisdom, but isn’t there a price to pay for everything?!?

Keep your chin up. You’re cute. Guys like that. You have a great sense of style. I honestly wish I could run across a gal like you.

Try dating guys with a kid. Being a parent changes your approach to kids and to dating. It really makes you stop playing games, and play more for keeps. This perspective is not present in guys with no kids.

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J.R. Reed January 4, 2011 at 10:54 am

Wow. I can’t apologize for my gender as a whole, but know that if I could, I would. I’m sure it feels like you got kicked in the girl parts and that people wiser than I have already told you things probably worked out for the best and that you will get over this eventually. But it doesn’t make it any easier for either of you right now. *Big hug*

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Jen January 4, 2011 at 11:14 am

I am so sorry for you and Benjamin. I started reading your blog around the time you and John started dating. I had just started dating someone myself, and so I naturally compared my relationship to yours. I admit to feeling a bit jealous that you seemed so swept away, and then envious but also surprised that you were getting married and buying a home together. It seemed so fast. While my guy has been perfect from day 1 and still is, I can’t imagine us living together. On the one hand I want it desperately, on the other, I know our relationship is about him and me, and I want to protect that. Of course his relationship with my girls is central to the success of things, I have to keep the two separate. And my girls are wary. I had dated someone else and stayed too long because even though I was not happy, I thought it worked for the girls.

I was on a plane over Cleveland just three days ago and thought of you as I looked down from the plane at the beautiful rolling landscape. I hadn’t read the blog since before Christmas and so I thought how lucky she is to have found and created another family. I have to say I was also holding my breath for you, hoping against hope that you and John would make it. It’s not that I didn’t think you guys could have made it, I don’t really know you so how could I make that call, rather it’s this sense I have that things end. I wish I felt differently; and as I write this I wonder if I’ll make it with my guy, I hope so, it’s scary but so worth it right now. I hope time will heal this wound and that one day there will be someone who is as happy with you as you are with them.

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Lydia January 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I have been threw this myself. My daughter was 3 and half my mother was dying in my home and i was her #1 care giver. After a 8 month relationship with a man whom i thought was “the one” i quickly relalized he was not. He was not happy and at the time i thought i was happy but in hindsight I wasn’t. How can you be if the one you love isn’t really in love with you? We had many conversations about the break up. When she asked if he was going to come back I told her no. even though it hurt her and me to hear it out loud honesty is always the best. He also said that he would come around and be part of her life but I quickly realized that wasn’t a good idea because when he would leave she would get so upset and beg him to stay. So one day I sat down and really thought about what is the best decision. I gave “Mr. wrong” a call and asked him how realistic this set up was for us? How would he fell is in the next relationship with the new “Miss Right” had issues with him still having contact with his ex and her child? He then was honest and told me that he did have a new gf and that there was issues with it. So I just ended it there. I told him that its just best if we have a clean break. After a while when she would ask when she was going to see him I would just say that hes been very busy working but that her and I could go and do what ever she was planning in her little mind to do with Mr wrong. Its been a year now and she never asks for him anymore. Kids are so resilient. She helped me really to get over this. I used this as a learning experience. I don’t bring anyone around My daughter until I see its definitely going somewhere. And when I do see it is keep the time being spent together very minimal. I wish you luck. Even though you don’t need it being that you are a beautiful, success, smart women that stands on her on two feet.
Ps- Pls continue with the advice you have helped me sooooo many times. We are all human and this life is nothing but a continues learning experience.
Your friend/fan
Lydia

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Donnajean January 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Steve…..You’re a very wise man! Truer words could not have been written. Although it seems like the right thing to do, including young children into a relationship so early is not smart. Steve is right, what is the deal with putting the title of Dad on a guy you’re dating? Uncle is so much smarter…easier.
Think about the difficult time you have ending a relationship; all those emotions that you’re not even sure how to deal with them. Think of the kid, who thinks he may have lost yet another “father”. Whadday suppose he’s dealing with? He can’t even begin to process those feelings – how can he, when you can’t do it for yourself. Play therapy is a good idea. A safe place for a child to explore those feelings of hurt and abandment that surely he must be feeling.

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Joelle January 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I’m not a single mom, but have followed your blog for awhile. I’m so sorry this has happened to you and Benjamin. But look at all you have done during your time with John Bear. you started your own business…you found office space, and are actually growing your business and can pay a mortgage yourself! You left apt living and have given Benjamin a home. I truly believe people come into our lives for different reasons and even though JB is not hear to stay, you have gained a whole lot and for that you should be proud. you also learned that you can love again, which is never ever a mistake.

I love Steve’s insight…it’s interesting to hear an honest opinion coming from a guy. I think it’d be good to have an occasional guest blogger from a man’s perpective that has dated a single mom, or married one. Just interesting I think to hear how guys really feel about it.

I have no doubt you will get over this, and someday, when the time is right, find true love. You are a strong, independent woman!

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nymama January 4, 2011 at 7:38 pm

You know, I have always felt like we are on a similar journey. My son is also 4 and a half (missing 2 front teeth). Watching as my son grows up, Benjamin’s photos always resemble a similar phase. So guess what, here’s another parallel- first big relationship after leaving my husband. Thought he was ‘the one,’ then, Christmas night, it became clear to me that our relationship will end too (what timing). We had our big talk Christmas night. Things aren’t completely over yet, but they are on the out. It is all so difficult. But you know- like you said, I look back to when it was just me and my boy. Our time together was a lot different. Sometimes, when a man comes into the picture- your attention gets divided. Now, you will have so much more time, energy and love with which to shower Benjamin. Now that he is approaching 5, think about how much more he will appreciate and remember the road trips, outings, and movie nights just him and mom. Nothing is more precious than a child. Keep looking forward with Benjamin! (And you know, your superfluous love is going to carry him forward. He knows he has a strong, caring, loving mother who makes him a priority. Just like you, he is going to get through this.)

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Dawn January 4, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I can only see how the stars aligned perfectly for you even though it does not feel like it at all. There was once a video of you two speaking in the car that I remember, and he said something that diminished your good feelings about your leaf necklaces. Or maybe I just thought that because of my own baggage. But right then I remember a feeling that washed over me that he was not so right for you. Competitive men do not last long with spirited women.

Naturally Benjamin stands to gain quite a lot from a mama so vested in living life making mistakes and so able to change things at her command. You have an independent spirit that cannot, will not be dimmed. Your life and work are very meaningful to you and everyone here has been gifted by you being you.

The value of following our hearts at every cross road is the true measure of success and beauty of love. You win the prize.

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Angela January 4, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Nice to see a guy’s point of view in this pond of many single mama’s. Thanks Steve, for providing your insight. I have to say your words are words of wisdom indeed.

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Renae Moose January 4, 2011 at 11:17 pm

I am completely baffled by the existence of your website, and oh-so-very relieved to know that I am not alone in this uncharted teritory single working motherhood! As for Benjamin, it sounds like you’ve done a damn good job creating a stable life for him. As for John, he may not recognize it now, but someday he will realize what he’s missing! Thank you for having the nerve to write your story for the world to see!

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Karissa January 5, 2011 at 12:04 am

Stunned. Really. And so so sorry. Loving hugs from Canada.

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Ember January 5, 2011 at 5:55 am

I hope you and your son are holding up well…

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M January 5, 2011 at 11:29 am

Thinking of u and Ben! BTW, I second Joelle’s idea about guest male bloggers and their own experiences with single moms.

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ali January 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I find it incredibly sad that several comments here ooze judgment. It’s perfectly fine to have an opinion or express what works in an individual situation and encourage a discourse, but the undertones of “what were you thinking?” are unfair. Hindsight is a very, very tricky thing and each relationship is infinitely different. What works for one adult couple won’t necessarily work for another and what works for one child won’t necessarily work for another.

I’ve done this single parent thing 12 years now and I don’t see any correlation between any of my relationships ultimate failing/succeeding based on when my kid did or didn’t meet the guy, it was/is just what made sense for the parties involved/where we all were at the time.

On another note…what is in the name “dad,” aside from what we prescribe it to be? I have a dad, my son has a dad. The way that my son, or you, or I would define that terminology to anyone would be vastly different based on our own personal experience(s). I would guess, also, that my son’s dad’s other two children would also give a very different definition to what they perceive their “dad” to be…same guy, just radically differing parenting situations.

My point is that I think it’s pretty unfair for a parent to prescribe for their children what the kid’s definition of that word should look like. If you allow the child to be okay with their own experience of “dad” (or mom, uncle, grandpa, whatever) as it rings true for THEM, in their life, it’s a whole lot harder to sit around and prescribe for your kid feelings that they really might not be having at all.

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Ruby January 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for a while and have felt so encouraged from your posts about your life being a single mother; although I am only a single college girl, which I have learned so much from. The chronicles of you and John Bear had been so heart warming and triumphant seeming! It’s only natural for the announcement of the break up to shock all of us. However! I thank you and admire your courage for this step in your life; for the best of everyone involved, for being selfless though it’s what your heart desired so much, and for this courage and honesty here in your blog about the hidden conflicts that came to light.

We are still here, growing, crying, laughing, and cheering you; and each other on, learning from the success and mistakes, so here’s a big (air) hug to both you and Benjamin!

We are so proud of you,
and will be here for you when thoughts circles on and on
way past midnight,
on that new post :) ))

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Solo-Dad January 5, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Life is messy at times. As adults, we know this. But it sure is hard when we watch our little ones learn these painful lessons. My heart goes out to him..and to you.

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Mamato4 January 6, 2011 at 1:45 am

My heart goes out to you and especially to Benjamin. I’ve followed your blog for a couple years now and watched you both grow into strong people. My oldest is a 4yr old boy too and I loved reading aboutyour Mama/son adventures together. My hubby is military and prepping for deployment. He’s gone alot on various trainings and when he’s home his schedule varies. It’s hard for my son, who like all kids *needs* routine. Whenever there is that transition between Daddy being home/being gone, my son gets SUPER emotional. Anything can set him off. He has a tantrum, screams, and shows he’s hurt, angry and upset. I know this needs to be channeled, being careful not to invalidate his feelings by telling him to stop or punishing him. (Caveat: if he hits his sibling or is destructive, he does get punished, but not for having a tantrum.) I try to channel and validate by 1) having him hit his pillow 2) having him scream outside on the front porch since that’s an “outside voice” 3) staying calm, but firm and leading him by the hand to one of these sources of channeling 4) letting him have his meltdown, but in his room. Sometimes I stay, sometimes I give him space for a bit and then come back. 5) holding him, and affirming what I understand he’s trying to communicate. “I see you are hurt/angry/dissappointed, etc. I understand. I know you feel this way b/c of xyz.” If I did have to punish destructive -throwing toys- or behavior causing injury to siblings, I also reinforce it here too, while he’s calmed down and I’m holding him after I validate his emotions. “I know you feel this way, but you know you cannot hit your sister. You hurt her and that’s why you got a time out. If you want to hit, you can hit your pillow.” This has really helped my son deal with all the deployment stuff. He knows what is expected, the rules make him feel secure – things are the same as when Daddy is here, we try to keep our daily schedule the same as possible too with meals, naps and bedtimes at the same times.

I would stay open to play therapy as well. Just because Benjamin may not vocalize his frustration or hurt doesn’t mean he isn’t feeling it. Please don’t take this as a criticism, what should have been done, but maybe something to consider for the future… I was raised with the belief of having the commitment first before the life. (ie, marriage before living together) I know this might grate on your own beliefs but it’s worth considering doing in this order next time for Benjamin’s benefit, as I’m sure the physical separation of John Bear living elsewhere for him is hard too. I tend to lean on the side of preventative measures, so that’s my 2c.

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Nakia | nakiaandkaleb.com January 6, 2011 at 2:02 am

I really am sorry that things worked out the way they have. However, I am a true believer in the mantra that everything happens for a reason. Going for the “trifecta” is not a bad thing. Definitely a risk, but in life worth having isn’t? (I totally sounded like my mom right there, lol). Companionship is something we all need/want/crave. We want to be loved. We want someone to come home to and share our day with. Don’t give up. John wasn’t the one for you, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t someone who is.

Kids are resilient. Benjamin is still young. He’ll bounce back perfectly. It may take some time but everything will be fine.

Lots of virtual hugs for you and Benjamin.

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Halee January 6, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Hi, I have just started reading your blog so obv quite shocked at this turn of events. So sorry to hear it. I am a single mother of a 12 year old girl and pretty much have been her whole life. I’ve had several relationships but like you, wonder if I’m just destined to be alone! But I’ve just accepted whatever will be will be, and I’m not cynical. I’m open, but getting on with my life. I wish you all the beat and look forward to reading about your healing :)

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Savored Life January 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I was shocked when I read this & your last post. Many have offered the same words I have, so there’s no need for the redundancy. I was listening to an old podcast of This American Life {“Liars”} last week and while I could empathathize with many aspects (re: dr. D), the part that resonated most was a comment one of the girls made: “…I was lying too. I was lyingto myself.” Like you, I saw the signs early on, but chose to ignore them. I wanted The Family. I compromised so many things…LYING to myself. I commend you for owning it. For John Bear to own it too. It was probably EATING at/KILLING him. And when you love someone, you WANT them to be happy. And yeah, it’s not all about being HAPPY all of the time, because there isn’t such a thing. There is the feeling of it not being “right”. When it’s right, the hard times come and you work through them and that’s what makes you stronger.

Ok, blah blah blah over. In the end, Benjamin will be fine. You will too. Keep your chin up and your heart open. You never know what’s around the corner.

((hugs))

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Tinderbox January 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm

MsSingleMama said:
…now with the dust settling and my 20/20 hindsight creeping in I see an unhappy John trying to discipline Benjamin. And Benjamin wasn’t accepting it very well.

This may have been one of the significant factors in JB’s dissatisfaction. Stepparents have little to no power when it comes to disciplining. The mother may instinctively become over-protective rather than support the discipline, and there is also the biological father to contend with. Even in amicable divorces it’s not always easy to get everyone on the same page, and children can end up playing the parties against each other to get what they want. The stepdad is expected to, in essence, become a surrogate father and help raise another man’s child and yet does not have the final say that the original father in an intact home would have. This is incredibly frustrating for a conscientious man.

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new orleans hurricane evacuee January 20, 2011 at 9:03 am

u talk tooo much get to the point ,,no wonder ur man left u

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Malindanajones May 17, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Interesting, my baby daddy’s name is John Bear also. Too bad he has nothing to do with his son.

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