sadly, since becoming a mama, mother's days have been kinda stressful for me. i got used to the fact that mother's day, for me, was not the blissful day of celebration that it was for other moms. i had the best mom and awesome kids, but there was this pattern that happened every year, every holiday. jack is in the restaurant business and every year he works on holidays, including mother's day. these are some of his most profitable days. i signed on for this, knowing when i started a relationship with him that he would not be around on holidays, but we would always celebrate the holiday the next day. his working holidays was not the problem. the problem would begin when he'd go out AFTER work for several hours, drinking with these same
but he didn't come home after work. well, he did eventually, but i was toes up at 2:30 am.
i took the test at my friend's house the next day. 2 pink lines. +. i cried with joy, i cried with frustration, i was delighted, i was scared. i called my mom. i didn't let on too much about jack's shenanigans the night before because i didn't want her to be disappointed in him. eventually she recognized for herself those nuances in my marriage, perhaps subtleties she remembered from her own failed marriage to an addict. she never pried too much, but i knew that she knew and i felt ashamed for it.
for a fleeting moment, i thought of not having that baby. but i was 33 and in love and jack always made it up to me, showering me with attention and affection and wonderfulness that, for a long time, blinded me to the imbalance of our relationship. hearts flew out of my eyes for that man! he swept me off my feet and loved me so deeply and sometimes i think that no one will ever love me like that ever again! i discovered that having a life with jack would not only be magical, but heartbreaking at times. mother's days since that day in may 2000 have been spent not only without my husband, but have usually ended up with me being so pissed because he never came home after work before 2 am. he always made it up to me the next day with dinner and flowers and surprises, but there was always something that stayed with me...and the utter sadness that he never wanted to rush home to me after being gone for so many hours. in the beginning, i really thought that parenthood would make him want to come home sooner. for years, he accused me of wanting to "change" him. i never wanted to change him, i loved him so much. i just wanted him to want to be a husband and father more than he wanted to be a frat boy. unless i legally changed my name to captain morgan, he was never going to come home to me first!
so mother's day 2012 rolled around and it was my first mother's day without my mom. i'd had a real 'fuck you' attitude all week about mother's day. seriously, mother's day could totally suck it!! i'd lost my mom a few months earlier and i really couldn't give a shit about the day. jack told me to suck it up, that the girls were excited about their gifts they'd made for me and they wanted to make me happy, so i put on my game face and feigned glee. i'm glad i did and i had a wonderful day with my girls, knowing how important it was to them. but i was dying inside and missed my mom so much! that night after i got the girls in bed and settled down onto the couch, that same feeling crept in that i'd felt every year before. every mother's day. every easter. every christmas eve. i'd sit on that couch fretting, looking out the window, sick to my stomach with worry that he wasn't home and he wasn't answering his cell phone. was he still in a bar? did he get pulled over? was there an accident? why wouldn't he come home to me? and last year, knowing it was my first motherless mother's day, he made no effort to come home and spend the last minutes of the day with me when he got off work at 10:30 and when he staggered into our bedroom at nearly 3 am, i knew i was done. i asked him to move out the next day. he dug in his heels for another six months before he finally left. bless his heart, he really tried his best to win back my love, but it was too late. he would never stop drinking, even at the expense of losing our family. so sad.
teaching my girls that staying married is the only thing that matters, even if it means being eternally disrespected, is not my idea of good parenting. teaching my girls that getting divorced for no solid reason is not good parenting. pushing a good father out of my girls lives because of anger or pride is not good parenting.
freeing myself from constant worry and teaching my girls that it's never ok to be disrespected in a relationship is my idea of good parenting. realizing that my situation was not healthy for any of us and would surely have some negative consequences for my girls and then doing something about it is my idea of good parenting. understanding that people are human and that they make mistakes, then teaching that to my girls is my idea of good parenting.
jack harryhill was the love of my life and i will always wonder how things might have been if he'd chosen to not drink to keep us together. i did not sign on for single mom-ness!! as hard as this last year has been, it has also been a year of extraordinary growth. there is peace and calmness in my life and in my house. my relationship with my girls is different...better, more grounded. i know my mom would be proud of me. she traveled this same road, raising a child on her own, scared to death of the future. i often feel the pangs of loneliness that obviously accompany a divorce, but i welcome that feeling ANY DAY over the feeling of worrying about the safety of my husband and the security of our family. the fretting became too much, too often! i never slept well and i could see the constant worrying starting to age me and ain't nobody got time for that!
my girls are my little loves and they are what keep me blissful and looking forward to whatever life wants to throw my way. i am excited to see what the future brings. i'm keeping my house that i've worked so hard for 12 years to beautify, the only home my girls have over known. i have such awesome friends who are always there for me, a job that i love and i have yoga! oh yoga! yoga has really saved me from going nuts! i'm starting to teach more, which is so awesome! and i get to teach at yoga pearl, my 2nd home, a sacred space where i have not only changed so much physically, but i have learned to get out of my head and into my body. i have experienced such profound growth on my mat and gained a beautiful family within my yoga community. i am grateful for all that i have and excited for my future and for the first time ever, at a time when i would normally be totally freaking out, i feel calmness and peace and no regret.
happy mother's day indeed!