The day I became a mother — otherwise known as my son’s birthday — is today. He’s 15. I haven’t had a good week with my Ex-husband, and my episodic depression is rearing its ugly head, so I’m a little more pensive than usual. I think back to my fears when I was pregnant that first time. I’d read too many magazines and seen too many articles, not unlike what we all see today online, about how having children takes the spontaneity out of life, that romance dwindles. I was an employment attorney at the time so I dealt daily with glass ceiling issues and the “Mommy Track” — so while I was ridiculously happy about having this planned child, I was also afraid that it would ruin my career, finances, body, sex life, and marriage. Maybe I was just being a nervous mother-to-be after having been child-free for so long, maybe it was just the pregnancy mania. Maybe somewhere deep inside I had reason to be insecure. Never in my wildest nightmares, however, would I have imagined not having a birthday dinner with my son on his birthday because it is Daddy’s day for that. That was never part of the plan.
So now, I wait. I had to tell the Ex that I got a cake so that he wouldn’t beat me to the punch. (It wasn’t supposed to be like this). And the boy will be so tired from having had school, sports and straight with his Dad; he probably won’t have much time for me anyway. Still, I’ll go through the tradition of a cake and small gifts. I’ll have his friends over another time. I made a Happy Birthday poster last night. One of the sisters helped decorate it. I don’t always do things like that, but I’m feeling so vulnerable these days, and I’m noticing that we don’t celebrate things enough, especially since the separation and especially since the move to smaller digs. So I made a poster. I wanted to find a newborn picture of him to attach. It was a little bittersweet to see those pics of me, the Ex and the newborn baby boy. We were so happy. We had no idea what we were doing. We had no idea what was down the road.
But now I sit. I grew him in my belly, I birthed him, I nursed him. Yet my rights are determined by a mutually agreed upon (ha!) court order. Damn. Told you I was feeling a little blue. But I’m alone now. I’m allowed. I’ll pull it together for the little celebration. In case you’re wondering, the Ex and I have, in the past, shared some holidays/celebrations, but it stopped working, it really never did. Why that is the case is beyond the scope of this post. So now it is what it is. I am, of course, thankful for a healthy, happy first-born. He changed my life. He’s a good kid.
So Happy Birthday, Boy. But this is more than his birthday, it is the anniversary of the day I became a mother, and all that that implies.
Just Me With . . . a birthday cake.
I know this is an old post, but I found your blog this week when I googled “ex husband getting married” and I am going through this soon. My little girl is turning 6 this month and her birthday falls on a daddy day. 😦 Hate it, not the way our life was supposed to be…
Yes, it is an old post, and things are different now, yet still the same. Whether an event falls on a “Daddy Day” causes a lot of turmoil in our house. And I continue to shake my head, thinking this is not the way I thought I’d raise my kids. Sometimes I want to scream it out loud, and envy the kids who can schedule things or accept invitations and only have to ask one parent, and not consult a court order. I envy kids who can have their evenings, their Saturday nights and don’t have to wait to do homework until after their visit. I envy parents who can say — “No, you can’t leave this house until you [insert chore]” because I have to let my kids leave, and when they come back they have to cram everything on the days they are home and I can’t always let dishes or trash sit until their return. It’s ass backwards now, my kids leave to visit their dad and give me chores to do in their absence — “Could you get XYZ from the store for me for a project/party/sports thing at school while I’m gone? ” And most of the time I have to, because it will be too late for them to do it when they come home. The stress of maintaining the schedule an active teen is hard enough, but add a visitation order that was reached under adversarial conditions? Awful. And missing family or social events because of the calendar, events that only come up once a year or once in a lifetime. Oh, I should stop. I don’t want you to feel worse. It’s just not the way we thought it would be. That’s all.