The response to my post yesterday was overwhelming to say the least. It made me realise that we all struggle when we become mums. It made me realise that there is a public perception of becoming a mum that is not always reality.
I was lucky. I was able to conceive. Easily. Too easily. I have no idea of the anguish of trying to conceive. I have never had to try. In that respect I am very lucky. I have many people close to me who aren’t so lucky. I don’t begin to know their pain. There is a saying that goes something like this – “If something comes too easily you don’t always appreciate it. However, if you have to fight for it, you cherish it.” I think for many things this is so true. I also think in my case, in regards to being a mother, it is also true.
The 22/9/00 was a turning point for me. Reading my diary I vividly remember sitting in a little park, near a little cove at Cremorne Point in Sydney. It was a stunning day and Sydney harbour was glistening. I was working for a Global IT Consulting Company and had a national role. This meant when the boys were with their dad I could travel to Sydney and work. Whilst tiring, it helped me survive the days when my children weren’t with me. For some reason I wasn’t working this day. I hadn’t written in months, but on this day I needed to write. I bought a little spiral bound note book and I started writing. I wrote for most of the day. Yesterday I told you some of what I wrote. Today I’ll share some more.
I gradually became more accepting of motherhood – the job itself became easier also. I don’t think I could say I ever truly LOVED being a mum. That is a really hard thing to admit to and it makes me sad to be that way. Maybe it’s not so much ‘being a mum’ that I don’t enjoy? Being a mum has given my life another dimension. Maybe what I don’t love is what you have to give up to be a mum. That is selfish I know. But when I dig deep, I also know that it is the truth. Now that I’ve said that, I can also think of the good things to being a mum. The feelings I wouldn’t feel if I wasn’t a mum. My boys give me more love than anyone else ever has. Ever.
What saddens me now I suppose is the fact that the unconditional, all encompassing love they once had for me is now being usurped by other forces. I feel a distance that I cannot bear.
If I think logically about this I can understand it and that is going to help me deal with it. Today is the first day in ten months that my thoughts seem to be aligning and I seem to be able to make sense of the darkness inside of me. I have to learn to let go. I’m holding on too tight. (Note from now. At different points in my life when I was in turmoil and pain I would be drawn to visit a pyschic. Earlier this day I did visit one in Cremorne who told me I had to let go of so many things. It wasn’t until I went away and sat down and started writing, that it all made sense.)
By leaving my marriage I have also given up part of my children. I have given up 50% of my role as primary care giver. Up until I left ten months ago, I put them to bed almost every night. I cooked their meals. I took them to school and pre school. I looked after them all night when they were sick. I was there for everything. Now I’m not. Another woman now does that 50% of the time. I feel like I am being knifed in the heart. I have to realise this WILL impact on my relationship with my boys. How could it not? I’m trying to keep the same relationship we had when I was with them all the time. I’m fighting to hold on to them and all the while I’m pushing them away. Oh my goodness, why haven’t I seen this before? Why am I only seeing it now?
This changes everything. My boys, my beautiful boys must have felt abandonment from me. I am their mum, I left them too. Even though I took them with me. I still leave them 50% of the time. Of course their love for me changes. They are not going to give me the same love they once did because everything is now different. I am no longer the centre of their world. I gave that right up. I guess realising this, at this very moment, hurts me very much. I’m shattered right now, but I’m also feeling like I’ve just freed something within me.
I can’t expect them to want to be with me as they once did. Haven’t I already shown them that myself? I did exactly the same thing to them. I left them. Whilst my love for them never changed, my actions did. To a 5 and a 7 year old I sent them the message that I no longer wanted to be their mummy all the time. I no longer wanted to be with them every day of their lives. That is exactly how they would have perceived it. They wouldn’t know that in my heart I still love them exactly the same. Kids of that age aren’t introspective. How could they possibly know. Kids only feel the things happening to them at that moment.
When a person walks away from a marriage when children are involved, it is such a big thing. I took it so seriously. It took me so long to make this decision. Even though I know I have made the right decision for me, and in the long term it will be the right thing for them, many people still see my decision as incredibly selfish and the wrong thing to do. I know right here and now that my kids would be happier if I was still living with their dad. However I know that in a few years time I would not be the kind of mother I know I can be now. Our lives would have deteriorated significantly. Unfortunately my boys can’t see this yet. Will they ever? I hope so. God I hope so.
To be continued ….
I could write this all down in one long post, but it is too overwhelming for me, and I think for whoever is reading. I hope breaking it up like this isn’t too frustrating for the lovely people who read my blog.