After my last relationship ended in divorce, I decided that the next man I’d be with should be the exact opposite of my ex husband. Enter man-of-my-dreams. He was carefree, light hearted, easy going, and didn’t take life too seriously.
MOMD enjoyed having a good time and hated to plan anything out. Money wasn’t important to him. “This is it”, I often thought to myself. “how was I so lucky to nab him?”
Fast forward three years. I’m carrying the mortgage and every bill on our home due to his credit issues. Been paying them all since he went back to school 2.5 years ago. The getting married thing? No money sweetheart.
The financial burden wasn’t the only thing I was carrying. I also carried our son. And he has the nerve to wonder why I got so serious. One of us had to grow up.
Decisions are a million times harder to make now that I have a mini-me. And the standards bar has inched up higher. I feel torn in half. Do I stay in this relationship for my own selfish reasons of wanting to see my son every morning?
And that appears to be the only reason to stay. I don’t want this to be his example of what a relationship should be. I most certainly don’t want him to think this is the way a man behaves and how he treats the woman he loves. I want him to see a good example of how a couple argues.
The two halves of my being are at war, tearing each other to shreds. The pitiful side is pleading, “just go with the flow, be a dutiful girlfriend, clean the house, do the laundry, cook the dinner.”. The bitch side responds, “not fucking likely. When have we ever been the submissive type?”
And really. Is this pitiful poor me bullshit worth it? There are bigger problems in the world. Like babies starving. And people killing each other. And patterned pants are back in style.
I immediately made a new career move to a position with less travel. In all honesty I had become burned out in my position, but I kept pushing myself for the upcoming travel. I’d make it to my Barcelona trip and then set a new goal of staying on until the Dubai trip. And of course being on the road provided me space from my home life.
As my belly grew I watched wistfully as my new coworkers planned their trips to Paris, Vienna, and Miami Beach, while I planned my trips to the OB and my nursery design. I told myself clipping my wings would be worth it. And for the most part, it has been. I’m still trying to control that itch inside, the one that tells me to get back on the road. But I know it’s not my child that I’d be running from.
I knew that being grounded would cause me to turn an eye inward, toward my home life, to see that this was not going to be happily ever after.
A year ago at this time I was a high flying business woman specializing in conventions for a medical device company. I took pride in my platinum airline and hotel status. I enjoyed bouncing around from city to city, using my job to explore the world. Oh these boots? I picked them up in Barcelona. You like my suit? I got that in a little shop in Paris. My bag? A George, Gina, and Lucy from Dusseldorf, Germany. Bet you didn’t know Dusseldorf is the fashion capital of the world.
And then one little test changed it all. “Impossible”, I had thought. “Anything is possible”, the Clear Blue Easy test might as well have countered.
That response turned my world upside down. In that moment, I chose to clip my wings.
Lucky. I should consider myself lucky. I have a beautiful baby boy. I should be at the high point in my life.
Except, I’m not.
Instead, I’m thinking of my mother, how she will never get to enjoy the time with her grandson. How she will never hear him call her “grandma”, or take him for the weekend to build forts out of couch cushions, or catch fireflies and toads in canning jars after the sun has gone down. She won’t make her amazing alphabet pancakes that I remember growing up.
And it’s not just him she’s missing out on. She’s missing out on her oldest daughter’s greatest journey, that of motherhood. She won’t be able to impart all the wisdom, she won’t be there for me to say “wow mom, this truly is a thankless job and I’m sorry I wasn’t more appreciative of you”. She will never get that final vindication after years of eye rolling.
With that off my chest, I need to be grateful. I was able to give her that amazing gift while she was still here, of watching my pregnant belly grow (and grow and grow) and getting to meet her perfect grandson.