Please take the time to read my heart. You've perhaps been on one of these sides.
Do you know how many times I've been asked "where are your kids" when seen without them?
To which my response is, "they're with their dad today/this weekend".
OK, NO BIG DEAL, right. But then comes the dreaded comments... "Wow,that must be so nice" or "aren't you lucky", "oh,what I would do with free time", and other comments in which I force a smile to save embarrassing you as I can see it probably comes from a bit of exhaustion and having a lot on your plate with a tad bit of jealousy.
Let me be straight with you.
I am not having it easier than you!
My new season of my children having time with their father is NOT me living up a life that looks like freedom in comparison.
It hurts! I honestly hurt that I now have to share time and days with their parent because of a divorce.
Like today for instance: It's my daughter,Promise's birthday. It's her weekend with dad. I'll see her at dinner time on a Sunday night before schools starts. It hurts to not wake her up today and cuddling her as I sing "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" in a sing song voice and make her a birthday breakfast with perhaps a party in afternoon.
Do you know what a divorce looks like? Do you know how much pain comes with it? Do you know how much it can drastically turn everyone involved lives upside down? Do you know how many times I've cried because my children were away because seeing their father can only happen separately from when their with mom? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to co parent? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to have to let go of so much? Do you know how much guilt hits you over and over that you have to throw down in order to live for the day!? Do you know how much finances are affected, it's not like I'm recently living up a life of traveling.
Do you know how many events or holidays or birthdays come up that I can't share with my children anymore?
It's been a long road, and unfortunately it's going to be an even longer road than I've walked already.
As of this week our schedule has changed more with sharing time with our children. Which means I see them even less. Now add on that school is starting tomorrow and it robs me of more time to be with some of them. It's a sting that may never go away for a mom who loves her children and love equals time for me, my love language is quality time! Counting on the calendar and seeing how many days a month they are with me and then their dad may seem equal time for each but that means I can see half a month glaring at me that I won't get to see them (my 4 younger ones), my oldest now that summer is ending ... Even less.
That means when you see me without my children, I'm hurting on the inside while coping on the outside. It means I've had to learn how to let go of so much in order to breath and function.
It usually means when they're not with me I'm trying to fit work in (hard to do around that schedule), catch up with a mountain of housework/errands, or spending time with my teenage son or Leslie's daughters,etc ...because I want my time I do get with them to be that of QUALITY. It means that I less frequently take time with my children for granted.
This is difficult on the children too.
I never brought my children into the world thinking this would be what life looks like. It seems like divorce wouldn't be as hard if the children were all much older instead. But that's not our reality.
But I have to focus on the time I am given.
So please instead of commenting about what you see as my new found freedom, just say "you're doing great momma", "man I love your kids too", "I know you can't wait to see them again", or something else that shows empathy or encouragement.
That is all.