‘Always put them first’
Heading into my second year as a single mummy I’m promising myself it’s going to be a good one. Taking time to work on my business and myself is at the top of my priorities so I wanted to put this out there now so that I can finally start a fresh with my two babies in tow. New year new me as they say plus it’s been on my mind to really show you ladies who I am, my business is about motherhood and I wanted to add some realness to it.
This isn’t a sob story or even a poor me one nor is it in any way to get back at my ex this is my story of becoming a single mummy to two small children and not by choice, answering their forever ending questions on why we aren’t living with daddy anymore or why our living arrangements aren’t the same as some of their school friends.
We all parent in different ways and all of our situations are different, being amicable and not wasting any of my positive energy was how I handled what was thrown at me.
My peace is more important and they don’t deserve my energy.
I don’t have any regrets, I wouldn’t change a thing, I believe you learn as you go.
If this in anyway helps any other mother who is faced with such trauma on how to start again and pick yourself up then I’m glad.
18 months ago I was left heart broken and believed my world had completely fell apart, little did I know that my world was still very much together and that although the next 18 months were some of the most challenging and emotional to date they have also been some of the most rewarding and eye opening months of my life.
When I choose to marry and have children with my ex I believed that would be it.
I come from a family where my parents are still together, bought up in a catholic household so divorce was never in my vocabulary.
Both Harlie and Teddy are very different and have been since birth Harlie slept through and was very much the perfect ‘child’ Teddy reduced me to tears on a regular basis and didn’t sleep through till he was two years old. I was completely exhausted, sleep deprivation is hell, this is when my husband choose to go elsewhere rather than being by my side helping and supporting me.
Yes I changed physically and mentally it was challenging and I’m only human....Ted was two years old when I found out that my ex had his affair. Now although I could go into details I won’t, I saw and read things no wife or mother should ever have too see and it will stay with me forever however the worst part about his whole affair was although I hold evidence of it, he denied and denies it, they both did and do and although they are still together apparently it’s just coincidence (not quite sure who he is trying to convince, me or himself) therefore with no acknowledgment I have yet to receive an apology, however unless his apology is as loud as his disrespect was, then I don’t want it.
It made me think very differently as I now wasn’t just dealing with him being my ex but he was also a compulsive liar that I share my two children with.
I made the decision to put the kids first, well it wasn’t really a decision it was my job as their mummy they didn’t ask for this and were as innocent as I was to have this dumped on them.
The first lot of questions came when just before Harlies 4th birthday I had to sit them both down and explain that daddy would no longer becoming to Disneyland for her birthday like we had planned as now daddy had to ‘work’ they were gutted I could see in their faces.
We had always made sure that everything we did involved us always being together as a family and now here I was taking them to one of the most magical places on earth without him being able to experience it with them.
I hated him for this and deep down I will never forgive him. He will never know how hard that was for me and them and the look on their sad little faces will stay with me forever.
Harlie would say to me....’ But mummy can’t daddy just go to work another day?’ or ‘couldn’t daddy just tell work it’s my birthday?’ I just wanted to scream ‘Your daddy isn’t coming because he’s thought about nobody but himself!!’ But I didn’t I held it together and just apologised to her over and over again on behalf of him, telling her that daddy wishes he could be there. That was actually 3 weeks after I found out so I didn’t have the strength to allow him to come even though he asked if he still could. Till this day I’m glad I made the decision for him not to come pretty sure I would of been arrested for murder if he had of.
That was the first thing that proved to me that I would protect them from his bullshit for as long as I could.
The past 18 months have been fine we work together as a team for both Harlie and Teddy and so far it has worked. I didn’t want Harlie and Teddy to meet the woman he had an affair with as they constantly still ask me questions on why mummy and daddy aren’t living together, this showed me that they aren’t emotionally ready to be introduced to someone and have their lives distrupted again so soon, Teddy especially will always say a prayer asking for a big house so that we can all live together it breaks me every time, not because I’m still in love with his daddy, because I can honestly tell you I’m not, but because I just want to protect them from their sad thoughts and I just pray that my answers do reassure them that we both love them so much.
Dinners out and trips to all their favourite places were once hard to do on my own because they would always ask...’mummy next time can daddy come?’
We would have the odd family days out together for the sake of the kids and they would always end well. Friends would ask me how I did it without wanting to punch him. Well the truth is I’m not quite sure how I did it but if it made Harlie and Teddy happy to see us communicating well then I was happy.
Bedtime was and still is a time they like to chat away about everything and anything.
I remember a time they both spoke about going bowling and Teddy told Harlie how rubbish she was and how good me and him were, he asked me if daddy was good at bowling and when I said he wasn’t..(as he genuinely isn’t and would of told Ted the same) he got really defensive and started telling me his daddy was good at everything...I looked at his little face and just nodded, kids are so innocent and even if I wanted to shout out some home truths about his daddy it would have only damaged my relationship with my little boy I make a conscious effort to never talk bad about my ex in front of them and I have never slated him as a daddy although some of his choices I disagree with he is still very much part of their lives and I wouldn’t want it any other way and he knows this.
18 months after the first grenade he set off into our lives he dropped another one of course by text message as he must of forgot how to pick up the phone and ring me or even ask for us to meet and have a chat, but anyways this grenade hit me hard he was going to become a daddy again. Of course it was on the cards but for me this was far too soon...(also he dropped this on me a week or so before Christmas this year )(2018)very considerate of him)....my reasons? Our children are not even aware he has a girlfriend and now not only was I faced in explaining this to the kids but I also had to drop in that they were going to have a little brother or sister.
Messages back and forth between us some diplomatic ones some not so nice....long story short... a lot was said from us both.
It was time for me to take back control. Yet again he had dropped a bomb off in our lives and yet again I was picking up the pieces he had shown me he was irresponsible and now I could no longer trust him not to introduce them without my say so.
I sat Harlie and Teddy down and began to explain to them that daddy had found a princess and that they would soon have a brother or sister I explained this in such a fun way I almost believed I was excited about it too! I thought if they could see that mummy was happy then they would be too. I told them that mummy was very happy for daddy and they sat and smiled they asked a few more questions and that was it.
I’m very proud of how they handled the news.
I sent a message to my ex explaining that I had sat both Harlie and Teddy down and told them, of course he was furious I had done it without him there....however I looked at it like this, I wasn’t going to be bullied into it, I didn’t want it yet again to all be on his terms I took back control as their mummy as my right. He had thrown me in at the deep end and expected me to drown well not this time. I had given him permission to introduce them to her as I didn’t want to have to prolong the inevitable. I was proud of myself for being the bigger person.
I asked my ex to make sure that the relationship between our children and her was a good one I didn’t want Harlie or Teddy to feel uncomfortable in anyway.
(I might of dropped in a ‘because if she puts a foot wrong with them she will have me to deal with’) comment too somewhere.
I’m only human
After all this I still allowed him to spend Christmas Eve with us this year. I must be nuts either that or I just couldn’t careless about his situation.
He can’t hurt me anymore.
Both Harlie and Teddy are doing well in school and in their activities so I can only assume they haven’t suffered any negative effects and I must be doing something right.
People split up all the time and I believe it’s not that, that can have a negative effect on a child’s upbringing but how you deal with the situation afterwards that matters the most.
My children believe that mummy and daddy are ‘Best friends’ and this is how I’d like to keep it.
They will one day inevitabley ask questions and it will be upto them to make their own judgements.
I get asked if I want revenge....as far as I see it I’ve already got my revenge, I told him that when the kids are old enough to know what he did he will see the disappointment in their eyes and that will be enough for me as far as she is concerned my revenge is for her to keep him she is welcome to my old life.
I make no apology in how I choose to repair what he tried to break.
My kids are loved from both sides and the more I think about it the more I realise that’s all that’s important.
I have a blank canvas now and can’t wait for my new life to start ❤️
You’re stronger than you think mummies keep doing you.
Love Lisa xx
Learning to forgive someone who isn't even sorry takes strength mummies remember that.