Well, the move happened this weekend, even during the nasty rain/snow/sleet storm we had on Saturday. Because of the storm, not all of Jakes stuff could go. His clothes and the important toys and the crabs went with him. He'll have to take the rest of it next weekend.
I cried. Not a lot. And not while Jakes was still here. I told him I loved him and I would miss him. I will see him on Friday for the entire weekend.
After he left, I got Teddy out and crawled into bed for a good cry. Teddy has been with me since before I was born. He's a little worse for wear but I keep him in a bag in my closet for the hard days or nights. He knows all my secrets, holds all my tears and is there when I need a hug.
As I lay in bed crying, I was also thinking of my failure as a mother. You have all been so wonderfully supportive in my decision and in reminding me that I have not failed. Part of me agrees with that but there is another part, my heart, that needs to find a way to make peace with that fact. I am hoping to do that here today.
I had a very hard time accepting that I didn't fail at my marriage. With counseling, I was able to accept that while the marriage failed, it wasn't completely my failure. With Kate's help, I was able to change my thinking about the failure of the marriage. And to realize that the divorce was for the better for myself and Jakes. So, I have to change my thinking about this situation with Jakes.
My vision of the "right" family make-up comes from my own growing up. Two parents in the home, kids, everyone getting along. Most of the kids I grew up with had both parents in the home, no divorces and sharing of the kids.
I had reconciled myself to being a single mom, sort of. I was going to make the best of it anyway. Being without my ex was better for me, the mental abuse was no longer there. Jakes was still seeing his father on weekends and holidays.
These days, the roles of parents are completely different from the "traditional" roles that I grew up seeing. There are step-parents, stay-at-home-moms and increasingly more stay-at-home-dads. More and more fathers are stepping up to be more involved in their children's lives, they see parenting as part of their identity, just as women see being a mother as part of their identities.
When I was growing up, I never imagined that I would have kids of my own. I was never a "kid" person, I babysat my cousins and that was a good reminder of why I didn't want kids of my own. When I decided to get pregnant with Jakes, it was because my mom was dying and I hoped she would get to see her first grandchild. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret my decision to bring Jakes into this world. I love him with all my being and soul.
I am going to change how I think of motherhood. Maybe my current belief that the child always belongs with the mother is outdated and wrong for my child. There is a good possibility that I was not meant to be the traditional mother. The mother that participates as room mother at school and goes on all the field trips. I know I could never be happy as a stay at home mom. Maybe with my temperament and Jakes special needs, I will be a better mother to him when I am not his full time mother.
Its time to think outside the "traditional" box. Its time to embrace my new role in Jakes life and make the best of it. If I can make the best of it, he stands a better chance of success as well.