I was sitting there, on a normal, err.. my new normal, day. My boyfriend sitting beside me. The sun is shining. The world still spinning and carrying on like normal, and it dawned on me.
It all started because I was irritated with my boyfriend over a parenting difference. We hadn't seen eye to eye on it for awhile, yet I had stood firm in my beliefs and allowed myself to live in this fantasy... that everything I worked for... believed in... could somehow STILL carry on.
I got a divorce... which is hard enough, and I didn't want it, but I accepted it. I knew it was for the best for US, but what about the product of us... our child.
Since the day he was born, our son has been worn close to my bosom, nursing in sweet milk and comfort, minky cradling his bottom, and a peaceful loving family bed. Then it all crashed down around me.
What happens when two crunchy parents divorce?
I had been a stay at home mom for years. We had plans of self weaning, potty training when ADAM, our son, was ready, gentle parenting and no spanking, unschooling/homeschooling, breathing in the world and teaching love and compassion. So when we looked at each other... tears in our eyes... we were both silently asking... now what?
I held on... for as long as I could... then the visitations started. My first night away from my son, and I cried myself to sleep in a cold bed with breasts aching to nurture my son. The family bed was broken along with my heart. The news the next day was Adam spent his night the same, along with my ex. Everything in me... every instinct was screaming at me that this was wrong, but I carried on in silence. Swallowing my tears and pushing. When the job search started... so did daycare...sitters... when I found myself with a mountain of laundry and no dinner on the table and the sun long set, I broke down and bought a package of disposable diapers. Adam pulled and contested the paper/plastic prison around his bottom. The house work slipped behind, days blurred together and 3 months in came hamburger helper for the first time. The kids and I ate in silence and I felt like a failure.....
Still through all of that it wasn't until that afternoon, sitting beside my boyfriend, that reality came crashing down around me. So much time had passed by this point that I was moving through the motions and thought I had reached a point of acceptance. It was in that moment that I realized I could never be the mom I envisioned the day Adam was born...when he came into this world in dark, silent, peace.... into his father's arms.
Adam still nurses.... but he goes days on end when he's miles away from me. Days on end where I can only reminisce of his soft skin against mine, playing with my hair as he nurses. I would find myself waking up in a dead panic at night, searching for him, thinking I could hear his screams...for me... and yet my eyes adjust to the dark empty room.... his stuffed bunny sitting so bereaved.. the air so silent that it sounds like the walls are screaming. Nights like this I lie wide awake, thinking.. analyzing.. what more I could have done to save my marriage... for Adam.
Two days from now I start my job. This fall Adam begins traditional school. I can't stay home with him.. I can't afford it. I have every intention of homeschooling him in addition, but I know there will be times when I just can't... that dinner won't be organic and when I'm just too exhausted to read that second story before bedtime.
I am thankful for my boyfriend, who keeps me grounded through all of this. He reminds me that there is still love in mainstream, and there can be a balance. That doing my best IS okay. That my love for my kids is not based on a lifestyle. I am thankful I got 2 full years of attachment parenting with Adam before the divorce. Some moms are forced back to work within weeks of birth... some who never experience the love in a nursing child... the joy of pulling fresh sun dried diapers from the clothes line... of making everything from scratch and....love. I still wear my tattoo on my arm proudly. I still encourage moms to breastfeed, babywear , cloth diaper and attachment parent. I am blessed for the time I had. I am blessed to have had the experience. I will never look at life the same.
My love is still infinite for my children. My love is undying. Sometimes your best is all you can do... and that's okay too.