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September 22, 2010

I Am a Strong, Fabulous, Dedicated, Disappointed & Frustrated Single Mom

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/i_am_a_strong_fabulous_dedicated_disappointed_frustrated_single_mom_2010092/

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My marriage started to unravel almost immediately after my son was born.  It was a heartbreaking time for me but leaving was the best decision I ever made.  When my son was only a few months old, I left and filed for divorce.  That was over 14 years ago and I have never once regretted my choice.

My ex-husband has been remarried for years.  I could write an entire blog about the relationship between me and his wife but it would undoubtedly result in a lawsuit so I will be quiet, and simply say that I am grateful she loves my child and know she is doing the best she can.

The relationship between me and them is very strained.  We just can’t seem to get along and it’s a shame because I actually like them.  My son looks exactly like his dad, and there are moments when he says something, or looks at me a certain way, and I could swear I was looking at his dad.

For the entire time that I have been blessed to be the mother of this delicious young man, his father has never told me I was a good mother, or thanked me for all I have done to raise this child.  Not one time.  Not one thank you.  Not one acknowledgement that I am a good mother.

It is disappointing and hurtful.  I used to wait for him to say something kind but gave up about ten years ago.  Sadly, when I stopped waiting for him to acknowledge me, I became resentful and that resentment is what now fuels the fire that causes so many problems between us.

I provided my child with 10 years of a private Jewish Day School education with no financial help from his dad.  I raised him with a solid Jewish identity on my own, even though his dad is Jewish.  I sacrificed to give our son everything we agreed we wanted for him when we were married.

I think the issue is that I can remember a time when I loved him.  I can look at my son and see all the good things about him in our child.  He does not, or perhaps is not allowed, to remember a time when we loved each other.  It’s a very sad thing for me, and more so for my son.

When I met the father of my child it was love at first sight.  I thought he was really wonderful and unlike anyone I had ever dated.  We fell fast, were engaged after a few months and married a year later.  When I married him I thought we would grow old together and be married forever.

I look at him now and cannot imagine our being married.  We have become different people and I’m not sure if that’s how it would have been for us, or if our being apart allowed for our differences to be more clear.  The bottom line is that I loved him, and allow myself to remember.

My life would be so much easier if we got along.  My son’s life would be infinitely better if we got along.  My ex-husband might have more hair if we got along.  While I don’t wait around for him to say something nice anymore, I am still hopeful that one day things will be better.

It’s heartbreaking that we are in this place.  We have a child who is the perfect mix of him and I, and for reasons that I don’t understand, I am not acknowledged by my ex-husband, or his wife, as being anything more than a woman they tolerate, who takes care of a child they love.

When my ex-husband reads this, and I imagine it will get to him, I hope he not only reads it, but gets it.  I want him to tell me that I have done a great job.  I want him to thank me for all my hard work and sacrifices.  I want him to realize that he and I should be doing this together.

We don’t need to be best friends, celebrate holidays together, or pretend to be something we’re not.  What we are should do however, is parent our child together.  Regardless of what is happening separate of each other, he and I, along with our boy, are a family.

I love my son more than I dislike his dad and stepmother.  My goal is now, as it has always been, is to be a good mother, and I rock at it.  My son is perfection and I take credit for it.  I would love to turn a new page and try to fix a relationship that is broken.

I know that I don’t need validation from others to know that I am a good person or a good mother.  The reality however, is that I am human and at the end of the day just a girl, who wants the man that she once loved to tell say thank you, and I am not going to apologize for that.

Life is complicated and there are a million things to worry about.  I manage to get through each day with a smile on my face because I am blessed to be a mom of a great boy.  Will there ever be a time when his dad and I can be friends and raise this child together?  I’m keeping the faith.

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