Coparenting is the worst relationship I’ve ever been in

When I thought single parenting was hard, I was parenting by myself. Since I’ve started this coparenting business it’s an entire production in its entirety to put on (basically) by myself. It’s like having a family and not having one too–there’s an entire other parent to consider (even when I don’t want to), schedules, and basically just finding a way to raise a kid that doesn’t suck while wading through a situation that fucking sucks. To be blunt.

It seems that every time I get used to things there’s a new lever or issue that must be dealt with so apparently there will never be any “getting comfortable” here. My recent issue is how to love your coparent enough (as a parent) when you don’t love them as a human.

I don’t know much about love, I learn something new almost every day, but this adventure is a lot like a child in itself. You teach it by being an example of what you want, and when that doesn’t work you tell it flat out (with a string of 4 lettered words if you’re me). It’s a lot like a relationship, also, except a really shitty one with thousands of boundaries and booby traps, but the work is close to the same thing.

Personally, I would like to never speak until my kid asks me to, but this could be practice for me. I guess. So here it is; a list of ways to love me parentally, for the sake of the readers I still have.

My love language is words of affirmation. If you haven’t read the book, read it wtf is wrong with you! That means I could give less than a fuck when you silently do things to prove your love. I will not see it, like at all, and I’ll assume you don’t love me because you haven’t said it. It takes literally no effort to say “Hey you’re a great mom” or “thanks for always making sure our son is good”. Zero effort.

Coupled with that one is number 2, consistency. When you say things to me, mean them and mean them 100% of the time. Not just to keep things good with me, but because they’re true all the time. This is my biggest thing because I don’t like surprises or change. Don’t be one thing to me and something else around other people.

Consider me. Even though we don’t have a traditional family, this is still my family, and I regard it as such. When I make decisions I consider how it will impact all of us, not just my son and I though that is “actually” my family. Sometimes you have to stop and put yourself in my shoes and think of how you would feel if the situation was reversed. This can’t really be a “I do what I want” situation because our child is the same child no matter what day of the week it is. Hell, he doesn’t even know what a visitation schedule is.

Understand. You have to get why sometimes I need to hate you, sometimes I need to not respond and sometimes I just need time to think about things without being goaded into decisions. There is a ton of stress that comes with single parenting and coparenting alike, the last thing I need is you adding more to my plate. Sometimes (all the time) I need my space.

Teach me to love you. Don’t just expect me to jump when you say jump, or to be who I was 2 years ago or even 1 year ago. I adapt to situations presented to me in a way that protects me from being hurt simply because I am not as effective as a mother when I am hurt. It’s not your job to act like a boyfriend because I’m single, but it is your job to support me on parenting things. If I send you a picture, I don’t need a lecture or a lesson, I just need someone to share things with.

Even on the day I get married I will never belong to anyone but my children. Don’t get possessive. I do a good job of not putting “my” in front of anything I call you, and you should do the same. I understand it’s still a bit of an instinct to protect us, or to want to simply because of him, but I’ve had this on my own for years, if I needed a man to protect me I would have one.

and lastly, for the love of all things holy STOP CALLING ME YOUR BABY MAMA. It is the trashiest term I have ever heard and I am far from trashy. Also, if you would stop making/calling me crazy I would stop acting crazy.

If there’s one thing I know about boys and their mamas it’s that you don’t cross mama. I am the most important woman in his life (forever, future wife, don’t get confused) and the way you treat me is how he will treat women. You treat me the way you would want a man to treat your mother–the same lesson I have and will continue giving him, it’s not how you treat the woman you love that defines you as a man, it’s how you treat all women.

Coparenting is the longest, most important relationship you seriously can not ever end, no matter how hard you try. Tell me, guys, what would you like to see change in your coparenting relationship?

Until the next meltdown, SSM

I said no.

I’ve typically tried to stay away from personal and emotional writing, which is why I haven’t been here, but yesterday things got really bad and I’ve got stuff to say.

I have tried my best to leave the past where it is, and it’s beyond difficult when someone brings it up in a cavalier manner–if its something I struggle with every day, its not something I’m going to LOL about and keep going. Duh.

It’s bad enough I explain this story (briefly, anyway) to literally EVERYONE. I think if people didn’t ask questions I wouldn’t be as intensely affected as I am, but they do. They ask. When I meet new guys they ask. When I make friends, they ask. Strangers in the store, his doctor, the kids on my cheerleading team. When I say everyone, I mean everyone. But last night after work I laid in bed and I realized something–I chose this. I said no. And no matter how badly I thought I wanted things to work out after my boy was born I was always holding back. I may have loved the idea of things working out, but I can’t ever remember loving him after my son was born.

The one time I can remember things being really really good for a long period of time was right before they got bad. I really thought I wanted to finally be his girlfriend and not his “baby mama” but when he asked I said no. I had valid reasons for why I said no and I didn’t do it just to be mean–I really wasn’t ready. And that’s when things got terrible.

It’s things like this I can’t forget but I believe he has, the little things. The moments in between the good and bad, those are the ones that make the story. I said no. I chose to be here either subconsciously or because I literally knew it would be this way. Before there was ever a choice to be made, I had made it. It obviously had nothing to do with the way the first 2 years of my son’s life went, but that’s a benchmark for me. The moment I stood up and stopped doing as I was told was a glimpse into who I would be today. It’s a really powerful feeling, knowing that you made it. Knowing that I made sure my son was and still is unaffected by my choice.

There are plenty of things I want to change about my life, but what I learned watching my mother go through the same thing is that sometimes dads have it easier. Look around–it’s still a man’s world. Men still make more, and these days they’re more revered than mothers. Specifically mothers like me with a story overshadowed by rumors and lies.

I found a copy of that text in this old box I have, and I think I need to frame it. It was the first time I wasn’t afraid to say no to him. It doesn’t matter where I would be monetarily if we had stayed together and I didn’t move back home, it matters that I would be unhappy. It matters that I wouldn’t have reached my full potential as a mother or as a woman. This matters. Every in-between moment does. Yesterday’s breakdown does. Even though my son is unaffected because he doesn’t remember being left, I do. I remember. I remember worrying more about whether or not my son would see his dad than how I was going to afford gas and diapers and baby clothes he refused to help me get.

I have tried so hard to let this be, but look at me now. I am afraid to love anyone else. I’m afraid to care, to reach my full potential as a wife to a man that truly deserves me because of it. I suppose it’s easy for him, I apologized for my wrongdoing years ago directly after it happened, but I will never praise him for coming around now. He didn’t save me or my son, he was who I needed saving from. He didn’t break my heart or betray me by “leaving” me, I had already made that choice, he did it by leaving my son. To me, it doesn’t matter if he’s here now when I’ll always worry when he will leave again. It doesn’t matter how many times he says he won’t–I’ve heard that before.

See, there are some things that you break and can’t fix, like glass. There are some things so fragile that once you break them so many times there’s no coming back. That’s what I need my boy to learn from this. He won’t be impacted by everything that I am, but he already knows something is amiss. He’s known since he was a baby and our emotions were more synced than they are now. I stood by bd through hell and high water, I moved home to work so he could “live his life” and play ball, an act of genuine love from me and instead of being grateful and helping he literally watched me struggle and may have offered help for the text message’s sake but never came through. That’s how I know I made the right choice. That’s how I know I made the right decision, when we had the conversation that he wasn’t ready months later after we had been living together and everything but he wanted things to stay the same. I was right. I was right when I chose to date other people.

Not many understand or even know that story but there’s one thing I and everyone else agree on–I am better off because I said no. I may not have met the right man yet, but with every mistake I make dating I get closer. Closer to the person that’s going to look at me and truly see who I am and not what I can give him. And when I find him, I will thank God for taking me through the worst of times and the worst of men to  get to the one that sees how far I have come as a woman and mother and motivates me to go further. He will go the extra mile for me as I did for bd back then. I can’t wait to live a life where my success is just as important as the man who loves me versus the one that “loves” me.

It’s true I may have forgiven him, but forgetting? That’s a whole other story.

Tech-mama Reviews: PowerBeats Wireless 2

POWERBEATS WIRELESS 2 REVIEW

I know, I know. I’m super late on this one, but I swear this is purposeful!

I’ve been searching for the perfect headphones for working out, right? That’s what it’s going to take to get my lazy behind in the gym. Enter the PowerBeats Wireless 2 ($199, Apple.com), I’ve heard good and bad things about Beats by Dre or Apple or whomever they are “by” these days, but I want to start getting back into working out so I saved (like a responsible adult, I know right!) and bought a white pair, a la Olivia Pope. It’s only right I do a SSM style review! Continue reading