No Matter What

Today Jayne Kearney wrote a thoughtful post regarding her feelings as her daughter starts to find new friendships.  It is a really honest and beautiful read. 

I read this post thinking it would not resonate with me because 1. my boys are teenagers and 2. I don’t have girls.  I was wrong.  Very wrong.  This post gave me a lot to think about.  It reminded me how I felt when my boys were young and loved me more than any other woman on earth and how the thought of this not being the case made me feel.

It reminded me how I felt when my ex husband found a new woman a few months after I left him.  It reminded me how he and his parents tried to make her their “new” mother.  My heart broke in two so many times.  Prior to leaving him, my children had never spent a night away from me.  Now, 50% of the time, they lived with their father, and this other woman.  My little boys were 5 and 7. 

I made this choice.  I had to suck it up and live with it.  Ultimately I knew I had made the right decision.  That’s not to say I didn’t question myself.  Often.

A particularly sad moment that has been forever burned into my mind, is the day I went to watch soccer on my “no children” weekend.  I just needed to see my babies.  They were all together as a family and she was cuddling them and acting like their mum.  They only let the boys come over to say hello to me for a brief moment before they called them back.   My boys happily ran back into her arms.  I felt at that moment that I had lost the two most precious people in my life.  I didn’t even wait until I reached the car before I started sobbing.  I drove home barely being able to see the road in front of me.  I don’t think I really cared whether or not I made it home.

This was the most heartbreaking and soul shattering experience I have ever felt, far worse than anything else I have faced in my life. 

I spent the remainder of that weekend crying and alone.  My heart was truly broken.  On Monday afternoon my boys came back to me and nothing had changed for them.  They were the same as when they left.   I, however, had been changed, and as a mum, I would never feel the same again.

Fast forward 10 years … my boys and I are extremely close and they live with me 90% of the time and have done so for the past few years.   Despite there being many moments where my heart broke, I eventually learned over this time that I am, and will only ever be, the one person they call mum.  Despite the many attempts to change this fact, my boys love me for who I am and what I stand for and nothing will ever change that.

A key moment where I knew that my boys weren’t lost to me was about 5 years ago when my now fiance and I moved in together.  My boys were adamant we didn’t get married.  When I eventually got them to tell me why, the reason both astounded me and filled me with elation.    They said that if I marry Mike my surname would change.  Their dad and his partner would marry and her surname would become the same as theirs.  People would then think that I wasn’t their mother and she was.   I had never thought of this.  It was devastating for them to have this happen.  That’s when I knew, that if you are a loving mother, no one can ever take your place, no matter what. 

I survived that dreadful period of my life and I know the bond between my boys and I is so strong that nothing will ever break it.  Ever.

I used to wonder if I would be jealous of their girlfriends, and perhaps had I not been through the experience of feeling like I’d lost them, I might have.  I’ve loved their girlfriends.  I’ve loved having girls in the house.  I’ve loved watching my boys fall in love and treat their girlfriends like princesses (I especially love that).  

What I haven’t loved is when they break up.  I feel their heartbreak.  I want to take their hearts and put them back to together.  The pain is immense for me as their mother.  I feel it for them.  I feel it for their girlfriends.  I cry their tears.  

The good news is, the pain is shortlived.  They get over these heartbreaks quicker than I do.  I’m still mourning the loss of a girl I liked and they bring me home another to fall in love with.  I’m not sure I am cut out for teenage love.

The one thing I’ve learned over my life is that my children will love other people and will at times love that other person more intensely than me.  That’s how it’s meant to be.  Underpinning everything is a love that will always be there.  I am their comfort place.  I am the hug that will always be waiting for them.  I am the constant, undying, unwavering love that will be there to support them no matter what life has in store for them.  No.  Matter.  What.

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About Annieb25

A mum to 2 teenage boys, would be writer, thirsty for knowledge, Radio Solution solver on Radio 1116 4BC and so much more!!
This entry was posted in Divorce, Family, My Boys, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to No Matter What

  1. lamourdemere says:

    I have 2 boys (toddler and baby) and you have described some of the biggest fears I have for the future – I know a great deal of heartbreak lies ahead and I’m treasuring this time. But I’m also ridiculously excited to discover the children and then men they will become. And I am now comforted by your post that I will always be, if no longer the centre of their worlds, the ‘constant, undying, unwavering love’ so you beautifully describe.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Wow your blog is lovely. I feel like I can touch the love you have for your boys. You will always be the centre of their world – there will just be a short period of time where they will pretend you aren’t.

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  3. emlykd says:

    Wow annie.. This post is beautiful, heartfelt and honest.. You take the reader on the journey with you… Thanku…

  4. Thank you for this post Annie. As a mum of a boy (4), who spends time with his father and the ‘other’ woman, the thoughts you had posted here had also crossed my mind. Your post has made me feel so much better.

  5. Thea says:

    Oh boy, Annie. It’s like you’re writing my future. Mine are only 5 & 2 and I am so sorry you had to go through the heartbreak of your small children having to spend so much time apart from you and in the arms of someone else. That sounds like an absolute nightmare to me.
    The teenage years frighten me. I feel like I’m cut out to be the mum of small children, I don’t know how I’ll go when they are bigger.
    I totally understand where you’re coming from with this post. xx

    • Annieb25 says:

      You will grow with them and things that seem nightmarish now will be bearable as you grow together. There have been some heartbreaking moments for me but at the core of it all is the love between a mother and her child. Nurture and nourish that and everything works out.

  6. lisanreynolds says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Annie, I’m sure there are many other mums out there who will take comfort in reading this. Your boys are very lucky to have you 🙂

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you for your comment – it would make me very happy if my thoughts give others comfort. I am also very lucky to have my boys. x

  7. Annie, that is a beautiful post. My little girl is only 20 months and I see that look in her eyes, the one where she thinks I am the best person in the world. I know that will change, but I’m soaking it up now.

    I think all we can ever hope for is to build a strong relationship with our kids so that they know we’re always there when they need us. And it sounds like you have done that with your boys. xx

    • Annieb25 says:

      I think you have totally summed it up in your last paragraph. We just need to be there for them. Thank you. xxx

  8. Patty says:

    Another beautiful post Annie, did you MEAN to make me cry about your soccer story so early on a Monday? lol {{{hugs}}}

    Our children are destined to break our hearts, make us proud and stir feelings of a mother lioness – no exceptions. My 2 sons are now *almost 21, and 23. I was feeling sorry for myself yesterday thinking – as I lay sick in bed – what the hell have I ever done with my life that was worthwhile (yes, there’s the obvious list of making men happy, lol) and then I stopped and thought: I had my two sons, and have educated them brilliantly.

    It is enough, for me, that they simply exist and the world is better off for them being here.

    Thea, you will grow too as a mother; keep up with them, if not stay one step ahead. All will be well. Don’t be their friend, be their mum, that’s truly what they need.

    All will be well. Their needs don’t change that much. They need sleep/food/laughter/hugs/reassurance/friends/hard work/goals/opportunity/books/art/music/sleep and food.

    Annie, for the day your heart broke at soccer, I embrace you. To all other mother’s reading this, I salute you. Toughest, bestest job in the world. IN. THE. WORLD.

  9. Bern says:

    Wow. I always used to say if my husband left me, I reckon I would be OK. Sure, it would hurt, but I would keep going. What I couldn’t handle is another women having anything to do with my children. You are such a wonderful, strong woman Annie.

    I have just watch my friend leave her husband and start the juggle of child time. She thinks (in her head) that the break up would be so much easier if her husband just found another women. But I think she would find it very difficult. Such a shite situation. No one really wins at the time, but she, like you, had to do what was right for her.

    Not sure what I’m rambling on about here, just thanks for such a heartfelt and honest piece.
    Bern x

    • Annieb25 says:

      I totally know what you are saying Bern. At first I thought it would be good if he found someone else quickly – didn’t take into account the dynamics of that with the kids. It sure is tough, but it is possible to come out the other end and have it all reasonably ok. I’m sure we are all scarred and life would have turned out much different had I stayed – but I’m betting that the life we have now is 100 times better than the life we would have had. Even the boys agree with this now. They surely didn’t for the first few years. Lol now I’m rambling. Ax

  10. Seraphim says:

    Reading this post first thing Monday morning has been a wonderful reminder to embrace and enjoy the love of my children as much as I can. Like you say they will love others more than me at times. But like Donne I think said, they’ll end where they begin with me, their mum.
    Thank you for sharing your amazing, heart breaking story Annie. xxxx

    • Annieb25 says:

      A mum will always have a special place in the heart of their child. This I know. Thank you for visiting my blog and your beautiful comment. xx

  11. Kristin says:

    Oh Annie, I’m sitting here crying after reading your post. I’m am currently going through a divorce. I’ve decided to leave my husband after eight years. My kids are 5 and 7.

    I can imagine a scenario like this playing out. I’m quite certain my husband will immediately take up with someone else, that has always been his way. It will take me much longer. He is keeping the big house. I’m moving out into a smaller place.

    I am confident that no one will ever take my place as their mother, but I can only imagine what it will be like to see them with another woman, as part of another family. I’m sure it will cut to the quick. I still haven’t wrapped my head around the idea that I will only have them half the time. That seems just to much to bear.

    But as you said, this is the choice we’ve made. I still believe it’s the best choice, the only choice really. Thanks for your beautiful post.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you for your beautiful comment and for sharing your story. Yes there are some tough times ahead, but you know you have made the right choice and when you know that things work out. Just stay true to yourself and love your kids as only a mother can. No one can take your place. Ever. Hugs to you. xx

  12. indydreaming says:

    Annie – to have inspired you to write this incredible piece is an amazingly honour – I feel so humbled. Bravo to you, your heart, your boys, your words. Love is always ftw (as the kids these days say ;-)) Your strength and sweeteness are beautiful qualities that shine through loudly in your work. xxxxx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you Jayne for the inspiration. You are inspirational and a beautiful person to boot. As the kids say … you are FTW 🙂

  13. MrsDesperate says:

    Oh, I can so relate to your journey … inspiring to know you have made it through and the bond is closer than ever.

    • Annieb25 says:

      It is a tough journey at times, but one I’m glad I took. Good luck with your journey. Thank you for reading and commenting. xxx

  14. Katrina says:

    Oh Annie I had a lump in my throat when you mentioned the way you felt at the soccer match… awful feeling I am sure. BUT you are a great Mum and those boys do love you more thann anything in the world. Even though there is another lady around, when the going get’s tough I bet it is you they turn too!

    • Annieb25 says:

      I still get a lump in my throat when I remember that day. I’m not sure I’m a great mum, but they do know I love them no matter what and that I’ll always be here for them. I’m still a mum in learning – I don’t think we ever fully master it!

  15. I wonder about all this. Wonder how any of us ever bears to let them go. But that’s the job, isn’t it? Roots and wings. Sounds like you’ve got it down pat, Annie. Thanks for sharing – and giving me hope that maybe I’ll work it out one day, too.

    • Annieb25 says:

      I know what you mean. Its becoming much clearer the older they and I get. I have found that throughout the entire parenting process I have worried how hard/sad each stage will be and when that stage finally arrives it doesn’t seem quite as daunting. Like when they are 3 and u can’t imagine them starting school and how hard it will be to give them to someone else to look after. Once it happens u just roll with it. All stages are like that. xx

  16. Kylie L says:

    Oh, beautiful stuff…. and I salute you and am astonished and impressed by you for all you’ve had to go through. Thank you for that wonderful slice of your life- I am SO glad it has had such a happy ending. xxx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you for that lovely comment. I’m not sure I deserve a salute, but I’ll take it anyway. Life is definitely one hell of a journey. Glad I signed up for the ride. xx

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