I’ve always had high expectations of myself. Being where I’m at has never been good enough. I’m insatiable. Perfectionist? No. Over achiever? Gosh yes. These expectations drastically increased once I became someone’s Mom. Increased again once I became a solo parent. I am still trying to understand my place as a single mother, co-parenting with someone I once loved. He and I were such an unexpected match, a beautiful disaster if you will. I craved him. And now, being in his presence embarrasses me. You live and you learn and you love and you fall out of love. But, when a child is created from that once blissful warm union things tend to get tricky…dangerous even.
I have no intention of being a nasty coparent, though I do admit that I am a ferocious emotional creature. This is who I am and I’ve accepted it and am working on reigning in my emotions. Motherhood has been nothing but an adventure that I’ve gladly strapped myself in for, lifted my hands in the air, and enjoyed. Co-parenting on the other hand…I greatly dislike it. It tends to bring out the worst in me (my fault), nothing nothing nothing could prepare me for what occurred early this year when my daughter came home and told me she had a baby sister.
Lil Mama: Mommy I have a baby sister.
Me: What? No you don’t, I’m not pregnant!
Lil Mama: No Mommy, Daddy has a baby. I have a baby sister.
Me: Whaatt? No, no, he doesn’t have another baby silly.
Lil Mama: Yes, yes he does, I met her!
I…I…broke down. Drowning, I felt I was drowning, gulping down mouthfuls of water. I was not prepared. I have not been able to stomach talking with my daughter about this new addition to her father’s family. Perhaps it’s because he and I are going head to head, perhaps it’s because I don’t want to accept it. This is someone I was in love with, shared a bed with, created a child with. Perhaps I’m not woman enough to get over my bitterness. But I am woman enough to admit I don’t know how to handle this situation. When she brings up this baby I am either silent or change the topic quick, fast, and in a hurry.
Digging deeper I think I’m trying to protect my daughter and myself. I’m not being selfish, but this isn’t just about my daughter, it’s about me as well. Because I am the one who once again has to clean up the mess. I have to answer the questions she asks. This new addition was sprung on her, no conversations were had, and I’m livid he wasn’t man enough to inform me so I could talk with her about it. I think a lot about what her views on her Father are, and men in general. I DON’T want her to think that his behavior is the norm – that this is what men are all about. But, how can I make her think any different when she adores him?
How can I protect her from men like her own Father?