I am a newly single mom, trying to navigate through all of the “stuff” that comes with going through a divorce and establishing a workable co-parenting agreement. It can be difficult at times, and I was recently made aware by someone outside of my situation that my emotional connection to the situation is still strong. I find myself upset about things on higher levels than I should be, I have been irritable, listless, melancholic, and a myriad of other things.
I’m supposed to be happy. Yet, there are days when I just want to curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out. There are so many positive things going on for me, and I swear I try my best to focus on those things. But every now and then, the darkness grips me and negativity takes over.
I’m a woman in a non-traditional role. I don’t see my son every day. I see him about 3 weekends a month. With my new job and the responsibilities that come with that, as well as my overwhelming need for “space” and time to get myself together physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually post-divorce, I gave over primary care of my son to his father and his extended family. I’ve grappled with this since agreeing to it because, as one can imagine, the feelings of being a “bad mom”, feelings of selfishness, questioning if I will be forgotten all come up from time to time.
Why do we, as women, feel like we have to take on the primary responsibility of raising our children? And why do we, as society, look down more upon women who take the secondary role than men? It’s like we accept, or in some cases expect, men to not be equal parents, so when they leave or take the secondary role, it doesn’t seem to phase us. But when a woman does it, there is little sympathy or understanding.
I’m doing what’s best, in my opinion, for my son, and most importantly, for myself. If I’m not well… I can’t be a good mother. I just need some time, alone, for me to get it all together.
And I have to forgive myself for feeling negative or selfish about it.