I am a recently divorced mother of two. My son turned five years old the day before my divorce was finalized and my daughter will be three years old in October. I was married for just shy of eight years to a man I had been with since I was 19 years old. For the last year of my marriage, I struggled with my own self-identity. I often questioned my decisions and struggled to find my inspiration to achieve my goals. I still struggle. It has been less than 3 weeks since my divorce was finalized and a month 2 months since I made the decision to throw in the towel.
Deciding to end my marriage is the hardest decision I have ever made. I feel as if the last decade of being with the father of my children has made me who I am today. It has made me stronger and more independent. My children, I have discovered, have been my inspiration for the last five years. They are the reason I get up in the morning, the reason I go to work, and the reason I decided to go back to school full time at 29 years old. My daughter is specifically the reason why I decided divorce was the only option. I did not want her to ever feel that the relationship I had was appropriate for her. He is not a bad father, but he was not a compatible, supportive partner that I needed. I want her to be with someone one day that compliments her as a person and is a supportive partner. I also wanted my son to see value a person’s worth and know that a family is about being a team. We both love are children very much, but just do not belong together.
My responsibility in life is to build a strong foundation for my family. I want them to know the importance of love, family, education, communication and indecency. My job as a mother is to lead by example. By finishing college, working full-time, and showing them what self-respect and self-love looks like, I am being a great influence on their lives. When I have them with me I never bash their father, I actually do the opposite. I talk about him in a positive way. I want them to know that even though I am cannot be with him, he is still an important person in my life. I can only hope he does the same.
Being a parent has completely changed my life. It is my biggest challenge and my greatest accomplishment. It helps me establish goals and stick to them. It is easier to break promises and give up when you do not purpose. When I feel like depression is sneaking up or on weeks I do not have my children, I always think about ways to make them proud of their mother. I want them to not remember me being stressed out about homework assignments or tension between their father and me. That is why I do homework while they sleep, speak highly of their dad even when I’m hurting, and show them love and affection at all opportunities.