Seven Days

I never set out thinking I wanted to be a single mom. I don’t think most of us do. And yet, here I am. Eight years separated, and still sharing custody with my ex-husband. The goodbyes are still hard. I see them for a week, and then they spend a week with their father. Eight years. You’d think I’d have this down by now. No fucking way. It never gets easy. Some Mondays I cope better with the goodbyes, but it’s never “easy”. How could it be? I created these two individuals. They grew inside me for nine months. They are a part of me.

I always wanted children. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mother. I never dreamed it would take me five, long years of infertility before I finally conceived, but it happened. FINALLY. And to think that after six years of being a mother, I couldn’t stay in a marriage to a man I no longer loved, and who didn’t have the same parenting philosophies that I did. How in the world did I finally get to experience motherhood, only to have to leave my marriage and separate myself from my babies for half their lives?

I know I’m blessed. So many women can’t even conceive, despite their numerous attempts at IUI and IVF. I suppose I shouldn’t complain for one minute. I have two healthy, beautiful children. But it’s human nature to miss your babies. It’s human nature to want to be with them for all their ups and downs….to witness their accomplishments and failures….to kiss the scraped knees and hug the broken hearts goodbye.

Today has been especially difficult on me. I’ve had an amazing week with my children. My daughter and I are closer than ever, and have cried and talked for hours over being recently hurt by two people we truly care about. These trials and tribulations strengthen that parent/child bond. Now I have to go a week without hugging her, and reassuring her? I can text her or call her, but it’s not the same. It’s not the same at all.

Single parenting is THE most difficult challenge I have ever faced. Hands down. I want to be there for my son when he’s accomplished a new trick on his skim board, and not see a video of it after the fact. I want to witness my daughter catch wave after wave on her short board, and not see the pictures hours later. I want to be there to talk to them when they have questions, concerns or bad days. I want to be there to hang out with them when they can’t sleep at night, because of a bad dream or insomnia. I want to be there. Period.

Much of this post is really just my way of expressing my frustration. I feel hollow and empty when they’re gone. It’s as if a piece of my soul has been ripped out of me. They are my world. I think any mother can relate to that. And so, I face yet another long week without my children. Seven days seems like an eternity to me.

Some day, I hope the situation changes. But for now, I have to accept the situation for what it is. Seven days until I get to have my babies back by my side. Seven days.

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