An Open Letter To My Fellow Single Mothers (long, but stick with it to the end)

Subject: An Open Letter To My Fellow Single Mothers (long, but stick with it to the end)
From: A former single mother who has found love again and can speak from the other side....
Date: 7 Dec 2016

An open letter to the Drama Mamas- I mean my fellow Single and Formerly Single Mothers who are posting on social media,

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Right? Meaning you can leave it all behind and forget it ever happened. See, ladies, here’s the problem… despite the fact that it’s not a catchy tagline, what happens on the Internet, also happens to stay on the internet. Sure, you can delete a post or a picture, you can even deactivate an account. But somewhere, there will be a cashe or someone who took a screen shot and happened to catch your stuff in the process and it will exist. Forever. Not for a week or a couple years, even after the stress and drama has subsided, it will be there.

I get snarky and stressed. I do. I completely understand it. You are talking to a woman who twice dealt with her now-ex-husband attempting to or successfully cheating while she was going through a miscarriage. The second time was with a 3 month old baby to boot. You want to see snarky, I’ll see yours and raise you some. You want stressed? You got it! Did you know you can have post-partum depression from a miscarriage? Me neither! I do now. And you know what he was doing while I was dealing with my self-loathing, watching my body literally flush a dream down the toilet (sorry for that image), taking care of my sweet baby, working full-time, paying the bills, taking care of the house (ok, that went down the tubes, along with taking care of myself), etc etc. He was out drinking, hanging with friends, talking to girls online. He was being a man-child. A giant, moody teenager-attituded man-child.

I left for what ended up only being a weekend (with the then 1 year-old) and came back for a year. Then, he kicked us out. We got in a stupid argument over text and he told me to leave and that he wouldn’t be home until we were gone. So, I left. We went to my parents (with the now 2 year-old and the dog this time too) and I tried. I tried working, I tried talking. He told me he would do nothing until I came home. I said I would not bring my child back into that setting. I wanted to see a counselor, he finally agreed to see the pastor who married us. We went once. He would never commit to going again. During this time, he ran off to another state for a week, spending MY money (he was not working for a few months) on a flight to -ahem- “see” a girl he knew from school. One who he had been talking to since a month after we got married. And then there were the dating sites and hook-up sites… etc etc etc… blah blah blah

But I was still trying. No one outside of my immediate family and a few of my closest friends knew anything. Read that one more time. No one, without a need to know, knew ANYTHING. I didn’t take off my ring until four months after he kicked us out when he blamed me for the second miscarriage. The one which had destroyed me, hormonally and emotionally. I filed for divorce a few weeks later.

We went through a year of court. A year of mediation and mandatory agreements and lawyers and visitations. He went through a year of dating another girl (being told by mutual acquaintances that they saw him out looking “cozy” with someone, when they had no clue something was wrong was just lovely) I went through a year of finding a better paying, more stable job, getting tested for STD's just in case even though I had not fooled around, and trying to figure out what to do about the house that my name was on but I had no claim to (Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that? He kicked me and the baby out, then changed the locks on two separate occasions. And I could do nothing. Despite my name being primary on the deed and the mortgage, by not residing there for two months my lovely state deemed that I had “relinquished residency”). Finally, on a beautiful fall day, I received my decree.

The divorce was settled.

It was over.

That was when I signed onto Facebook and, for the first time ever said something about what I was going through. I changed my relationship status to ‘divorced’; no more words, just a status change. Lol that got quite a few surprised responses.

The point I’m trying to make is, I didn’t bash my ex. I still haven’t. I didn’t vent and post cryptic messages on social media. Yes, there were times when it would have felt soooooooooo good to burn him and one of his ‘lady-friends’ (at least girl he married, though they were together before we were divorced, is a sweet girl who seems to take good care of my son when he’s there) it wouldn’t help. And now, I can safely say that, if my son ever gets a hold of my posts, he will see nothing hurtful about his father.
See, that’s the part no one thinks about… as much as I would love for my ex to drop off the face of the earth (which he knows and we’ve actually kind of laughed about) he is still my kid’s father. And as the years go on, there’s a chance they’ll drift apart and have no relationship, but there’s also a chance that they’ll end up being super close. And you can make those messages as cryptic and un-naming as you want, they’ll know. They’ll do the math from the date, and they’ll have heard enough of the story to know exactly who you’re bashing. It would break my heart if years from now he had formed a tight bond with his father and then saw me bad mouthing him online. What if that damaged MY relationship with my child? What if it started to drive a wedge between us, all because I couldn’t grow up and keep it to myself and off the internet? I can’t imagine the hurt I’d suffer all over again if my choices, in the heat of the moment during a stressful time, made my child choose not to have a relationship with me.

Think ladies. And all of this can be flipped for the guys, too. Don’t bash your “baby-mamas” online either! But frankly, we girls need to be reined in far, FAR more often when it comes to this. Have your friends over and complain and vent. Talk to you parents, your pastors. Talk to whomever you need to talk to, but keep it OFF.THE.INTERNET!