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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a difference between what you envision and what actually comes to be. I had a dream of independence that propelled me forward in this effort to free myself of a life I could no longer live, but the reality of the changes I am going through have me so lost and confused. I am living in a new house with a new job and no time for a social life. Stbx is crazy. He is willing to try anything to make me lose my footing and hopefully come back to him. My kids are sad and confused with their new daycare and custody schedule. My 4yo told me last night that she wants to live with her dad and visit me sometimes. Ouch. Yes, I guess I took my kids for granted, expecting them to stand by me regardless of my decision to leave their dad. I've been a SAHM to my girls until last month. I have lived for my babies, nurtured them, loved them more than life. Now I hardly see them and I feel waves of confusion washing over me when I try to figure out a new balance for our lives.

I thought I might date eventually, but I haven't shown anyone my body after children...who else could appreciate the miracle that changed the shape of me? I've never felt shame over my body until now. I guess I need to work the gym into my new hectic crazy schedule. Like I have the time.

I love my new house and my new job. I'm happy with the daycare I chose. But I'm walking on unfamiliar ground, wearing shoes that aren't broken in. My hands shake, even when I think I'm okay. The only thing that is consistant with my old life and the transformation to this one is my art studio. It was my refuge during that disintegration of my marriage. Now when I go up there to paint, the familiarity seems unfamiliar and scary and very heavy with sadness. I don't know if I can keep painting there.

I'm just trying to find a way to identify with myself and my new surroundings. With such a full schedule, you would think I wouldn't feel so empty. Anyone who understands where I'm coming from, please speak up. Tell me this too shall pass.
 

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5 years ago, I could have written your post. Little by little, as I got the hang of flying solo, I discovered I was doing just that...flying.

No longer was I being held back by the expectations, disappointments, frustrations, opinions of someone else. I could impart my values to my children, without having to temper them to avoid offending someone else.

I think what your children are craving is the consistancy they used to have. By and by you will develop a new consistancy...just be patient with yourselves and each other while you make the adjustment.

It's okay to start new traditions, even silly things like "every Friday night is front-room camp-out night". Little by little, your life will become your own creation, rather than something "broken".

I won't try to decieve you into believing that everything will be easy, or that there won't be some really frustrating moments, moments when you ask yourself whether you can go on, whether you really want to go on, whether it's worth it. But you are giving your children the example of a
strong mumma who made a better life for herself and for them, rather than swallowing whatever she was handed and smilingly pretending to like it...

And as far as your "after-baby" body goes: self-care and self-esteem are important, but you must remember that you have created life with that body; you are now a goddess. Whomever you choose to share your body with is lucky to be invited to enter such a hallowed place.

Sending you
:
 

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Just had to post a quick bit...I think that in a little more time, as the previous poster said, you'll really all settle, and the new traditions thing has been great for us. Not just fun things to do, but also fun places to go, or doing the things your ex might have held you back to do (camping, road trips, etc., all of which mine thought were too difficult with kids, BAH!!) Above all, though it is hard, I'd try not to express sadness over your childrens struggle...at least not in front of them. The more matter of fact you are, the better they will handle it.

About the after baby body...I so felt the same way you did, complicated by the fact that I'm still nursing my 2yo (not exactly popular in the wider world). And I started dating about 7 months ago, always feeling like I had to put all the info out there (lactating, etc.). Then I was sort of surprised a few days ago as a slowly growing connection between myself and this wonderful, caring man became impassioned...and he LOVED my mama body, milk and pudgy belly and scratchy legs and all. I've never felt so worshipped in my life...and lemme tell you, my respect for him is amazing as a result, whereas I now have a standarad anyone else will be judged against. Even though it's hard not to fall into self-doubt about our bodies, anyone who's truly worth us will appreciate the wonder. Just thought I'd put that out there
Now just to work out my mama schedule...but I know that patience will make it all come true
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm also still nursing my 2 year old...hadn't thought of that. It's okay. It isn't like I'm even considering dating right now. Obviously, if I'm having an identity crisis, I shouldn't become attached to anyone else or I'll just assume the identity of another relationship. Guess that's why they call it "rebound". (Not to mention crazy stbx would quickly drive them away.)

The only reason dating is even on my mind at all is because of the sudden onslaught of interested men (who need to back off...I'm not even divorced yet). I'm overwhelmed by the prospects. There are the male friends who now want to step up, the guys who I'd never consider but I was too nice to, my boss
: , an old friend I used to have a crush on years ago but now that he wants to take me out I'm afraid....the list goes on. My phone is ringing off the hook and thank goodness for caller id because I just don't want to talk to anyone right now. I feel like everyone has an agenda. And they do. Thank goodness for my female friends. I've had so many male friends for so long because I could...I was safely married. This is a whole new world.

There is a boy who I was really close to during the disintegration of my marriage. I really really really liked him. So much that now that I'm on my own I won't even call him. I don't think he'd be interested in the whole package. I was safely unavailable then. I guess I'm afraid to even try because I'm not at a point in my life where I can handle rejection.

sigh

The kids don't see my sadness about the changes. I haven't cried in front of them (which I was known to do while still living with their dad). When we have a rough morning getting ready for daycare, we load up into the jeep and take three deep breaths and talk about the happy things we plan to do that day. As far as stbx goes, I saw him last night and felt nothing. Nothing. Until he spoke and his ignorance embarrassed and angered me. He blames me for his alchoholism and claims that things will be different now that I'm gone. That he won't get drunk around the girls. I can't even describe the feeling I get around him. I want to get mad for wasting so much of my time staying there in that situation, in such an empty relationship, but then I think about why I stayed so long. I got to stay home with my girls while they were babies. That time, although hard, was precious to me. I don't regret my decision to stay then. Nor do I regret leaving now.

Was I ever in love with him? I see nothing in him that I could ever have been drawn to. He's a hollow person. Alchohol has drained his soul. I don't know if he can be saved.

I wish I could take the girls far away from here.
 

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I too was a sahm until we seperated. I too think it was worth it to be there for them while they were babies. I wouldn't have traded that for anything in the world. I loved just sitting in the driveway with chalk and singing songs. I miss that terribly too. But instead of looking at the future in such an unsure way it can be very exciting. You can be anything you want. You can do anything you want. All those things that kept you back are now free in front of you. You now have an opportunity to soar. It takes time to figure out where you want to go, and it will take time to get there. But trust in God that he has a plan and will guide your journey. Don't get caught up in the mundane day to day stuff, but look to your future with anticipation. You have been given the gift of being allowed to start all over and write anything you want in your future.

And men schmen. phooey. Focus on you and your future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm feeling a little better today. I like having the ability to do whatever I want whenever I want without having to get approval from anyone else. I got off work the other day and felt really unsure of what to do next. I ended up wandering into a salon and getting a much needed haircut, which improved my whole outlook on life. Every time I look in the mirror, I smile and flip my hair.


Yesterday was also a good day. I didn't have my girls (they were with dad) so I decided to go to the studio and work on my painting. Then I met some friends for a few games of pool and kicked butt (winning always makes me happy). I did some running around, visiting, then I went home and actually slept...something that hasn't come easy in awhile.

So, I'm seeing some improvement. I think part of it is taking the initiative to change the things in my life that I know need changing. Moving myself in a positive direction. Now I need to point myself to the gym... (I have a membership, prepaid, that I don't even use...what a slacker).

I am so used to having to get *his* approval for everything...it's pathetic. I found myself explaining to him today...totally unnecessary and I embarrassed myself just hearing myself speak. I called him to ask about child support payments. Then I started explaining that I needed regular payments so I could make payments on a car that I was buying from my best friend. Information that he absolutely didn't need to know. I don't need to explain what I spend my money on.

As soon as I can get past old habits and develop a new lifestyle, I just know I'm going to thrive.
 

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you are right. Just ask yourself, is this information he is capable of getting himself. Remember this is your life, you are in charge of your own destiny, and you don't have to answer to anyone anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hahahahahah....


Stbx thought he could change the locks on the house before I moved all of my things out. So I called the police dept and asked about my rights. They said we are still married and although I have another residence, as long as there isn't a protection order or restraining order, I am allowed to come and go as I please. They even offered me a police escort if I need one.

This pleases me. He will be out of town for the weekend, and I can legally break in and get the rest of my things with no hassle or consequence. I may even do some laundry while I'm there...
 

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What I have found is that the trick to being happy and living the life I want is all about my attitude. No matter what our circumstances, we will always find ourselves in situations that are unavoidable that are 'not what we want' or 'not where we thought we'd be'. But, if we can find a way to be as happy as possible about it, find the positive in the situation, etc. it makes a world of difference.

Like what you've done here....you may not want some of the external things that you can't really change at the moment, but focusing on the fact that you are independent, that you can make your own choices, etc. etc. will help you get through this time until you can do exactly what you want and that will be good too. You already sound like you're figuring that out! Keep it up!
 
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