Mom, how come you’re fine being alone in the house (after my break-up)?
My first response was that of a joke “honestly, I’m use to it… been through this twice: three times a charm (with the same person)!” We both laughed, “true” was her response.
She said “oh no, I’ll be going crazy, you’re like nothing!”
After the brief humor (like what’s life without humor?) I stated that I am OK being alone. Happiness starts from within and as long as I am happy within, then being alone is just a state of mind and besides I’m not alone – I have the world at my finger tips! I further stated that while I may appear fine at the moment, my heart does experience sadness at times. But I do know that the universe knows exactly what it’s doing and at the end of the day, we can’t fight against the inevitable. What’s not meant to be will not be! Period!
She looked at me in dismay (I think she thought I was probably gonna loose it) and said “wow”! I just said, “it’s all good, I’m good and life goes on!” And that was the end of that conversation.
But I made a mistake! I did not ask her how she felt! This wasn’t only about me, this was about her and anyone else who may have been impacted by my relationship.
We’re always so quick to say that it doesn’t matter how anyone else feels, it’s your shoes that you walk in and it’s your relationship. While that may be all true, I’ve learned to realize that in fact our relationships affect other people and particularly our children (no matter the age).
You see, she had to learn to care for and see her mom with someone who is not her dad. She had to learn to trust and to respect this person who has entered not only her mother’s life but in default, her life as well.
When she first heard of the break-up the first thing she said was “I learned to care for someone then he’s gone!”. At the moment, all I can said say was that I was sorry and that she had my full permission to always stay in touch, if that is what she desired. There is no malice.
As mothers and parents we have a big responsibility. It’s not just to provide Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but also to nurture our children, to teach them right from wrong, to give them responsibilities, to love them, to forgive them, to be there when they most need you because truly the love a parent has for a child is unconditional; but what I feel one of the biggest responsibilities that we don’t often think about is that of modeling good behavior. No matter their age, our children look at us to see how we respond to difficult situations, to see how we act out when we are hurt or angry, and lastly they watch our every move – as if they were playing chess with us, ready to check our ass when we say or do something against what we’ve told/taught them! You know it’s true! If you’re a parent then most likely you’ve heard them say “but you do it!”
In the case with my daughter, it doesn’t mean that I only show her this strong exterior all the time. There’s been plenty of times where I’ve cried in front of her for one reason or another. Where I’ve had to handle tough situations or maybe it was her and something she may have done or said. But my point here is to tell and SHOW her that a break-up, no matter how hurtful or debilitating it can be, regardless of who’s fault it is, it’s always important to remain rational. At the end of the day, what will being irrational get you? You may say some comfort, even if it’s for a brief couple of minutes, but truth be told the pain will stay there until you heal, forgive and accept what no longer is. Healing cannot begin if you’re still angry, and that’s a fact! So why waste your time!
At the moment I was feeling great, there were no feelings creeping up but I can sense she was nervous, not knowing what to expect from her mom who just broke up with a man she deeply cared for. Allz I can tell her was that at the moment I was fine and that I have a lot of great days and when moments of sadness creep up, I allow myself to have them but I don’t sit there! I can’t and I won’t! Been there and done that and it’s gotten me no where. I’ve realized that life is too short and we must appreciate each day we have – so I leave it in Gods hands!
She quickly relaxed and I can see she was ok with my being ok!
I later spoke to her to check in, to apologize to her for not asking how she was doing and letting her know that although this is my break-up, I recognize that my break-up can affect other people and that I did not want to make the same mistake as I have in the past by thinking it’s no one else’s business. That if she needs to talk about it, I am here to listen.
Her response “it just effects me if it effects you, thats why i asked if you were okay. Im always here for you to talk to also , i know its easy to b poker face but dont feel alone ever .. youll find what youre looking for and deserve. Love you 😘” (my 21 year old)
As it is our first instinct to take care of our children when they are hurt, I believe they too feel the same exact way. They want to protect you, fix you, and sometimes stay away from you because they don’t want to see you hurt or don’t know how to deal.
Either way, we owe it to our children to let them know that we are here for them as well. That while break-ups are never easy regardless of the situation, we must handle it with integrity and humility, respect for one’s self and the other person (if applicable! Hey, sometimes you just need to let that shit go and never ever look back – I’m sorry!) and we must continue to live life to the fullest!
Trust that the universe knows exactly what it is doing! 💪🏽 pa’lante!!