I don’t think motherhood has really changed the kind of person that I am. I still feel like myself, I just have a little guy that looks kinda like me that is with me at all times and depends on me for everything. Aside from that, I am the same person.
I really expected some kind of a transformation, and perhaps over time the changes will be obvious, but I feel no different from before I found out I was pregnant. Although, I do find that I am quicker to make better choices than lollygag and put things off, because time is really limited now.
I can say though that since becoming a parent, it has really made me stop and magnify the things in my life that I don’t really like about myself and want to change. Even though my son is really young, I know for a fact kids pick up the tiniest things. I can not help but think about the things I do that I don’t ever want any child of mine doing. I can’t help but think about the kind of person I want my son to be. You want your kids to be instilled with good virtues and not pick up nasty habits. One of the things about myself that I need to work on is forgiving. Forgiving others as well as myself. I need to learn to forgive myself.
I beat myself up about a lot about things. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a perfectionist, because I never do anything perfectly– perhaps the better way to word it is, I hate being wrong. Anyone that knows me well is probably nodding their head at that sentence. People don’t understand how much it bothers me to be wrong about anything or someone. As I’ve gotten older, I’m better at this– especially with my close friends. I’ll forsake being right because I don’t like arguing with my friends. While forgiving myself has gotten slightly easier, I know I still have a lot of work to do with that.
Ever since my son was born, I’ve beaten myself up every single day about his “father”–and I’m using that term really loosely here. I can see why some single parents can have such hatred for their child’s other parent, because I have never felt such hatred and disgust for another person before this. And I really hate myself for it.
I’m one of those people that believe who you surround yourself with is a reflection of you. And I just can’t believe I ever let someone in my life that doesn’t do anything for their child and thinks parenting is a choice. I can’t believe one day I have to explain this to my son. I have no words for this.
I know this scenario isn’t a new one or anything, but it’s just one of those things you think will never happen to you until it happens. And I’m having a hard time with it because while this whole situation disgusts me and is appalling, when I think about it– I’m not really surprised. Just because you expect someone to do the right thing, doesn’t mean they will.
The thing I’m having a hard time with is, in the very beginning, I knew I should have just not pursued this relationship. I just knew I shouldn’t have done it. I made so many excuses, ignored the red flags that I knew were there from the very first date. While I know it isn’t all my fault, I can’t help but tell myself that I knew this would happen over and over again.
I must say, I love my son, and I don’t regret him. That’s not what I’m mad about. I just wish things were different for my son, because one day he’ll ask about this period in his life and I don’t have a logical answer. I know there’s nothing I can do but forgive myself and move on, and I want to– but it’s like I’m staring in a tunnel and the light is so distant. I don’t want my son to see me this way. I don’t ever want to see my son beat himself up the way I do.
So I’m going to work on it. I don’t intend to be mad about this or at myself for forever, but I sure wish I was much better at forgiving myself right now, because I can see that this is going to be a very long road ahead of me.
Boom! Your piece just smacked me in the face with great clarity.
I’m a single mum too, not sure why I call myself this even though I’be been in my current relationship for quite a few years but I still do.
My daughter is 13 now and never had any dealings with her birth father, we were young and he’s never wanted to know. All we get is support via the csa which dwindles with each new child he creates and a teenager with a lack of real identity
Thanks for the honest and thought provoking piece. It’s hard to deal with what life throws our way. Hope you can give your son the life he deserves, regardless of the situation with his father.