Parenting after divorce challenges


Ever since I was a kid, I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to have a family. My mother was a teenager when she had me. I knew I did not want to follow in her footsteps. I knew I did not want to be a teenager mother, ever.

It was funny because it seemed like every woman in my family got pregnant so quickly and with ease. It took almost a year of trying before I got pregnant. Before I took the pregnancy test, I knew. I already was excited.

Ex was deployed right after my daughter was born. I did not have help, which was okay. I never really worried about how to be a mom as far as when do I feed her, how do I change a diaper, when do I take her to the doctor.

Never did I really imagine being a divorced mom. I never imagined raising my daughter in a broken home. I have to say she is doing amazing. She has been a straight A student since Kindergarten. She is very active in all of her activities and sports. She is a social butterfly. She does community service. She is wonderful.

But, being divorced and parenting does have its’ challenges. Not always being there with your child sucks. Missing out on memories sucks. Trying to sooth your upset child over the phone sucks. Trying to parent when your child is not there sucks.

So, last night’s challenge:

My daughter stayed after school because she had a football game later that evening. I assumed they would work on homework – my mistake. They’re junior high girls. They ate. They made a team spirit banner. They goofed off. They warmed up for the game.

My daughter did a wonderful job at the game. She looked very sharp and on point during all of her cheers. She was great and on time during the half-time dance. The squad built. My daughter is a base when they build. Her group was the only one allowed to do extensions during builds. They nailed it! I was so proud.

Ex came to the game. He did not acknowledge me – fine. I hate that we can’t be civil in front of our child, but he doesn’t want girlfriend to get jealous. (If we are at tumbling – no one around – he will sit next to me. He will talk. In the football stadium, there are too many people to spy on him for girlfriend.) Anyway, since he was at the game he took our daughter with him afterwards.

Of course, they went to girlfriend’s house for the night. I get a text from my daughter asking for help with her homework. The texting with homework help continued from 7:30 to 10p.m. At one point, I called her. She was typing up a paper and asking about the different parts – what needed to be including in the intro, body, conclusion. It was just easier to talk on the phone and explain rather than text it.

She answered the phone. Her voice cracked as soon as she said “Hello.” She was crying. She was stressed and frustrated. I couldn’t do much to help her. I talked to her. I calmed her down. I made her laugh. I got her pointed in the right direction for her paper. Finally, at 10p.m. I asked her if she needed more help (I have to wake up at 3a.m. for work). I felt bad going to bed knowing she was still up doing that paper. But she said she had the rest figured out.

Just another challenge of being divorced. It sucks at times, but we do what we have to.



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