The boys started hybrid learning this week. Of course I am feeling guilt about it. I should be keeping them home and safe. I shouldn’t be excited about returning to the office a few days a week. I should be able to just handle it all and not be exhausted and drained by mid-afternoon. I am not a super hero, damn it. I’m one person and I never signed up to be a homeschool teacher. When I got pregnant, it was always my plan to go back to work. I was not going to be a stay-at-home mom. Yes, there are child care options that assist with distance learning, but we quickly discovered that it was better for the kids if they had someone helping them with everything directly. So for the last year I sacrificed my mental and emotional health to do what was best for the boys. I’d do it all over again just the same, but fuck, I am tired. This pandemic is kicking my ass and I am ready for it to be done. I am grateful for the little steps toward normalcy, but actual “normal” cannot come quickly enough.
you are my safe space
you love me when I forget to love myself
you hold me and
see me and
we fit so well together
and everyday I am grateful
Every year begins the same. Big plans to do more of something and then you just don’t. Same story, different year. Here is my attempt to get back on track.
I have been wanting to write about this for a week or so now. For nearly 8 years I have been next to one or both of the boys as they fell asleep for bed time. I recently put the boys back into their own bedrooms. They had been sharing because we created an office/classroom out of the other room. Ethan was in desperate need of his own space, so I separated them. The first night in their bedrooms, neither of them wanted me to stay with them. It was so weird and, surprisingly, hard. I kept checking in on them and Ethan asked me about it. I apologized and said I just wasn’t used to it.
It’s the end of an era and the beginning of new one. The boys have grown up so much and sometimes I don’t realize that I am holding them back.
girl, I know that pain
I’ve heard the lies
I’ve seen history rewritten
I’ve felt that heart-pounding
when you learn
the person you trusted
the person you loved
threw away 18 years
girl, I know that pain
you know that pain
I hope he doesn’t do to you
what he did to me
what yours did to you
The reason I am reaching out is because I wanted to make sure you were aware of why he and I got divorced. I don’t know what he has told you about our relationship and marriage. In hindsight, I know now that we were and are not right for each other. We are too different. Unfortunately, we didn’t separate because of that realization. We separated because of his infidelity and lack of communication afterwards. He carried on a three month affair with a coworker. I basically had to rip that information out of him. I tried to reconcile with him but he always refused to talk to me and basically said I was just attacking him all the time. Eventually it became clear to me that he was no longer in love with me and did not want to work things out. So, I made him leave. Even though I still loved him, I didn’t want to be with someone who didn’t want me.
In reality, his relationships are no longer any of my business. As long as the boys are happy and being treated well by his partner, that’s what matters. However, I saw that you’ve just been cheated on. I know that pain and betrayal well. I wouldn’t wish it on anyway. It really fucks you up. It is my hope that he told you what he did to me in our marriage. If he did, that is really great. It means maybe he has grown and has learned from his previous mistakes. However, if you poured your heart out to him about your ex and the things he did to you, and he not once mentioned his own unfaithfulness…it just seems wrong.
I really want you both to work out. Despite all the shit he and I have been through, I do want him to be happy. I would just ask him myself if he told you about what happened to us, but the truth I is don’t trust him at all and I don’t think I ever will again. But, you are not me. He hasn’t betrayed you and I hope he has learned from the past and is open and honest about his life and mistakes.
My sweet boy is always telling me I am so beautiful and that he loves me. He always compliments pretty dresses and manicures. For class one day he was drawing a picture of me. He drew a big round body and says “because I’m fat.” When I separated from my ex-husband, I lost a good 40 pounds. Then came the pandemic, quarantine, and work from home. I’ve gained over half of the weight I lost back. I’ve been feeling upset about it and worried that my new partner would suddenly find me disgusting. But it occurred to me that my son still kept calling me beautiful even with the extra weight. The words to him weren’t mutually exclusive. Yes, I may be fat at the moment, but it doesn’t mean I’m not pretty, beautiful, or worthy of love.
Quarantine is slowly killing me. Not physically, but mentally. I’m not the only one either. Yesterday, another mom vented in a group chat about how frustrated and overwhelmed she was feeling again. That was not the first chat about feeling this way either. It was one of many and we’ve each taken turns letting our emotions out. We are lucky to have found a small group of other moms that we can vent to in a safe space without judgment, but some moms are not so lucky. Even with others to talk to, it feels incredibly lonely right now. The isolation, distance education, and trying to juggle a full-time job has taken an immense toll on my mental health. I feel heavy and burdened all the time. I cry, a lot. Some days, it feels like this will never end.
Even though it feels lonely, I am not really alone. I am grateful to have a partner who wants to help with the boys. My coworkers are super understanding of the struggle of working from home and being a teacher at the same time. Because I co-parent, I get some breaks during the week to try and reset. The boys have a caring grandma who also helps when she can and watches them too. But for some reason, it often makes me feel incredibly guilty. Instead of getting a break and feeling relaxed, I end up just feel guilty for the help. My boyfriend watch my youngest yesterday afternoon while I passed out for two hours. When I got up, all I could feel was guilt and panic. Even though he has told me many times before that he wants to help, in the back of my mind, I kept thinking my boys are not his kids. They are my responsibility. So the heaviness sets in. You are a shitty mom. You are not good enough. It shouldn’t be this hard. What is wrong with you?
Every day I am tired. Not I need more sleep tired, but drained tired. Exhausted tired. Not-sure-how-much-more-of-myself-I-can-give tired.
Your heart was meant to find mine.
Together we will start a new lifetime
in this little house I made a home.
Some days you will feel inadequate.
You will question whether you are good enough.
You will lack confidence.
You will wonder how you are supposed to
raise two little boys into two amazing men.
You will feel the weight pressed on your shoulders.
You will doubt your abilities.
But, know this.
It will pass.
Every mom questions her sanity.
But, you got this.
Momma, you got this.
I trust you.
I support you.
I know you.
I love you.