Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On Single Motherhood -- When Quitting Becomes Winning

Father's Day is coming up, and as Aiden works on all different types of Father's Day art projects at school and ask me questions about our little family of two, I have to keep reminding myself WHY I'm single and that this single mom thing is okay...

I was sitting at Aiden's toddler table across from him. He was eating lunch and I was reading him a story. By then, I'd figure out that one of the best ways to keep the kid seated while eating was to read him some of his favorite stories.

It was a Saturday afternoon and just the night before, Aiden's otherparent and I were talking about our upcoming trip/ my friend's wedding in Hawaii. We were more so deciding if I still wanted him to come on the trip than anything else.

The domestic violence incident occurred weeks before and he was being seemingly nice and charming and "loving" -- all the things that classic abusers do oh so well during the fleeting "honeymoon" phase when they are trying to pretend as though nothing ever happened get back into their victim's good graces.

I'd already made up in my mind that it was time to end the relationship.

"So... can I still come to Hawaii with you guys?" he asked.
"Fine. Come to Hawaii, but when we get back, you have to leave."
"Where am I supposed to go? What am I supposed to do?" Seriously?!Isn't it too little too late for the guilt trip?
"Find someplace else to live." I blurted out.

I glanced over at Aiden. He didn't entirely understand the dialogue that was taking place between his parents, but he sensed that somethingwas up. His whole demeanor changed and he started to get increasingly fussy and irritated.

"So... you're just gonna give up?" the other parent asked.
"We're not good together. We're miserable." What I actually want to say is, "I'm miserable," but I was trying to reason.
"It's you! Nothing I do makes you happy. I'm trying really hard and it's not making you happy."

Whoa! Pause.

I wasn't having that discussion. Not again. I could have argued it -- again. I could have gotten defensive -- again. And I could have reminded him of his violent outbursts and temper tantrums -- again. But I didn't.

"You're right, " I said. "It is me. I'm not happy. With you. In this relationship."

Aiden finished the last of his lunch, although I'm sure more of it was on his table than in his stomach. I gathered his plate and cup, and headed towards the sink.

"It's over." I said with one last glance at the other parent.

The next week we all went to Hawaii together. I was a bridesmaid (always a bridesmaid...) and Aiden was a ring bearer in my friend's wedding.

[What a handsome little guy]
When we got back the following week, I politely requested that he not unpack his luggage, but simply pack the rest of his things and keep it moving. How does the Beyonce song go again? "To the left, to the left..."

And so he did.

And so the relationship ended. 

Kind of overdue. I mean, I probably should have faced the facts and called it quits weeks prior. But like I previously mentioned, that's not always how it works.

Everything happens on its own time, right?

Truth is, there were way too many downs and not nearly enough ups. I gave it my best shot -- and then some! But it didn't work. So I fold. And sometimes folding totally feels like wining when the stakes are too high and there's too much to loose (ie: my well-being). This was definitely one of those times. Sometimes you just gotta learn when to walk away...

I've definitely had my moments of "This is who I chose to be the father of my child?! This is who I picked?!" But that guilt does nothing but take away energy from me. Energy that deserves to be spent on taking care of Aiden and being positive and living a full -- and fulfilling -- life.

I picked the wrong guy. Maybe I had bad judgment back then. Maybe I wanted or needed to feel loved. Maybe I was too hungover to pick up on the red flags (hey... sh*t happens). Maybe I was too young. Maybe I was too naive...

That's just something that I'll have to live with, but I refuse to dwell on it. There are too many great things that I have yet to accomplish, too many lessons to learn, too many places to visit, too many people to help, too many hearts to touch. 

I have life to live!

So I don't dwell. I just embrace motherhood. Young motherhood, single motherhood, because be that as it may, it's still been pretty freakin' delicious. 


  1. Well said girl, well said. We have to live lives and love ourselves and our babies :-). That to me is true happiness!

  2. Learn from it and absolutely embrace motherhood!

  3. Omg..that was awesome. Keep your head up!

  4. Aiden has an AWESOME mommy who did the best thing for her family. Kudos to you, Mama.

    Love the new design, by the way.

  5. You did what was best for the family. Cheers to you! You are a great mother.

  6. So true that sometimes quitting is winning - it doesn't make you a failure. You were smart enough to realize what's best for you and your son. That is definitely winning!

  7. Well put. Sometimes we don't know why we're delt the hand that we have, but you have played your hand well. It's a great accomplishment when you can learn from a situation and move on.

    You should be celebrated for Mother's Day and Father's Day.

  8. *waving church fan* Awesome story, thanks for sharing your strength. Being a mother means sometimes we have to make difficult choices. In the end, it's what's best for you and your kid. That's all that matters.

  9. Well said! Hey you got your blog redone - love

    Xo Megan

  10. This is a fab read.. you did well Alicia, you knew what you wanted and you get it rolling. That takes guts, determination and courage. You my girl have all these quality. Your future man is one hell of a lucky guy :) Aiden will be so proud of you when he's big enough to understand.. hugs :)

    Come see my latest blog post:

  11. You put yourself and Aiden first, and that's the most important thing!!!
    Loved this piece!

  12. And let me tell you, you are rocking single mommyhood. Do your thing girl! Aiden has the best mother. I'm sure he brags about you! Thanks for being an inspiration to ALL mothers.


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