Ah dear readers, I’ll bet you thought I abandoned you, didn’t you? Well fear not, all is not lost, just give me a moment to blow the dust off my blog and we shall get right back on task.
I’ve been busy. Obviously. I started a new job that I absolutely love. It’s a job working minimum wage in retail. So basically, I am a grown woman starting over in the work force. Low man on the totem pole once again. I am working a job with people much younger than myself (mostly). And I love it. I am doing the things that I am good at once again. Customer service and sales. This is something I excel at and something I enjoy doing. While the weekly take home is often disappointing and frustrating to someone trying to get back on their feet, as my sweetheart reminds me, it’s a place to start.
I have had so much on my mind lately, so many things to share with you. My brain has been a buzzing hive full of thought and I fear that if I shared it all with you in one post you’d probably pass out halfway through it and fall asleep. So, I’m going to try and post a few things over the next few days.
It’s spring, and spring is well on it’s way to summer. In all of this renewal of life and regrowth around me, I find myself caught up in it as well. I am starting a new chapter of my life, and so are my kiddos, and the scary thing is we are doing it apart from each other. It is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Although with each passing day it gets less terrifying as I find a new normal for myself and my wee ones.
This winter I had to make a very tough decision. I was faced with losing my job and due to that, my place to live. I brushed off my resume and began looking for a work in a much different work environment than I had left it six years earlier. I found myself quite suddenly, at the age of 34, facing the reality that I could not support myself and my three kids. I knew I was looking at government assistance. It’s a very sobering thing to be looking welfare straight in the face. Over the years, through decisions I have made as well as the decisions made as a couple in my two marriages, I managed to screw myself out of the chance to better myself. I was going to lose my job and my home and have to go on welfare.
Ultimately, I knew if that happened I would lose my kids as well. I knew the type of life afforded by living on the system and I knew I was going to lose my kiddos to their dads and I just couldn’t bear the thought of not having my kids in my daily life! I would do what I had to do! We would go on welfare and someday things would get better. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that welfare is a safety net, I think it’s more like a trap. Once you are in the system it is nearly impossible to get out. I was discussing the inevitability of all of this with a friend when they asked if that was really such a bad thing after all, if my kids went to live with their respective dads.
This person may as well have punched me in the gut. What do you mean? Don’t you know I’m the mom? Don’t you know that it is always better for the kids to be with their mom? Haven’t you heard about all the dead beat fathers? Don’t you get that kids are supposed to be with mom? I’m a single mother! Give up my kids? It’s just not done! What would the other moms say? What would my family say? What would society say?
I was so appalled at this suggestion I literally had nothing to say, but to sputter those retorts in my head. And then I realized something. Something that was very hard for me to admit. I can’t provide for my kids in the way they need me to right now. Their dads can. Yes, I have heard about dead beat dads, but neither of my two ex husbands are dead beat dads in anyway shape or form. And yes, society seems to think being with mom is best, but the more I looked at my situation, the more I realized how selfish it would be for me to insist on my kids staying with me. I have always been one of those women who has tsk-tsk’d mom’s who “give up” their children, and I’ve always had the mama bear mentality that you will take my children over my dead body! That is until the day I dropped the boys off at their dad’s and I stood on the doormat in the living room setting down their over night stuff and looking at their home.
My boys tumbled in, little balls of energy, and started playing. I thought about how their grandparents were only a few houses up the road. I though about this being the house they were born in, both of them in that very living room. I thought about my ex husband’s steady job and his ability to afford his home and provide for them. I thought about our current schedule and how the boys were always traveling back and forth to his house or mine. I thought about the tension in my own home due to the financial stress. I thought about the lack of stability and all the back and forth traveling they did. I thought about my own family, five hours away and very quickly disintegrating with my mother passing away soon. I thought about how very soon, we would lose our home and have to move into god knows what.
And at that moment I realized that their father could provide all the things that I couldn’t. He could provide stability and a real family life. And I knew, the importance of being with mom paled in the knowledge of that. I knew that my choice was not really a choice, not if I wanted to do right by my kiddos.
So my wee uns, my babies, when you are grown, and you my dear OBG already are a woman now, when you all look back on these dark days, I hope you see that I made the choice I did to give you something that I couldn’t at this point in my life, and to hopefully create the ability for me to do so in the future. I hope you understand this was done for you because I love you and want the very best for you and it was a bitter pill for me to swallow knowing that I didn’t have the ability to give you that. I hope, in years to come, that you do not judge me to harshly. And most importantly, I hope you never question my love for you or how deep and unfathomable that love is. Even when we are apart I carry you with me in every breath I take, in every beat of my heart. You are there. I love you OBG, Bean, and Bear.