Category Archives: Mother’s Day

How I Found Out That My Ex-Husband Was Getting Married

We started dating in the tenth grade. See My High School Self, My Vampire Boyfriend. We married after I finished college (he didn’t finish). We eventually had five children, two at a time. We separated years ago, suddenly; it was not mutual, nor my choice.  A nasty and prolonged divorce became final in February. So, after more years than I care to mention, my high school sweetheart and I were finally, legally, broken up.

So, it’s Just Me With . . . my five kids in our little fixer (Ex-Hoarders) home. See Piss, Puke, and Porn. I keep a land line there because I have children, not all of whom have cell phones, and it is important to me to have another number, not affected by minutes or power outages or charging status, that I know will work. Like many people, though, my cell phone is the best way to contact me. Just in the last week or so I had told my ex-husband to please call my cell, rather than the house phone, because I don’t always get the messages right away or get up to answer it.

Two nights ago, I got a voicemail on my house phone from my ex-husband asking me to give him a call about dresses for the girls for his “marriage” in June.

Huh, what?

Let’s review, shall we?

My ex-husband had had the kids for an overnight over Mother’s Day weekend. We arranged for him to bring them back early Sunday so that I could spend Mother’s Day with my children. By my standards, Mother’s Day Sunday was a successful day. The kids did not fight much. They even played together outside and took videos of each other spinning on a swing. No tears, no drama.

Monday evening my ex-husband took the kids for his scheduled dinner time visit. Afterward, he dropped them off as usual. We settled in for watching a little Dancing With the Stars.

The landline rang. We let it ring. My cell phone did not ring. 

I remembered hours later that I had gotten a call and checked messages. I’d received a message from the diving coach. Oops need to return that call, I thought. Next, I heard the message from my Ex-husband, which bears repeating:

“Could you give me a call when you get a chance so we can talk about dresses for the girls for my marriage [in June ]?”

huh (Weird that he didn’t say “wedding” . . . but I digress . . . )

This was Monday night after their Saturday night visit and the redundant Monday dinner.   Since the kids had said nothing, I assumed that they did not know, and this was his way of telling me.

I was wrong.

When I returned his call the next day, he told me that he and his girlfriend told the kids on Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day. He added that he was surprised that THEY didn’t tell me when they got home.  Let the record reflect that the kids got home — on Mother’s Day.

hmm

So, to recap, summarize and conclude:

My ex-husband dropped the kids home on Mother’s Day assuming that they would inform me that he was getting married.  He thought that they would tell me this — ON MOTHER’S DAY!  This was his plan.   And when that plan failed, he left me a voicemail on a landline I don’t answer and that he had been requested not to use.

Happy Mother’s Day to me!

My wedding? (I don’t even remember how much that cost);

My divorce (oh around $35,000 and counting);

Announcement of the Ex’s Engagement? (PRICELESS!)

There’s really no good way to hear this news, but there are really bad ways to announce it, and this was one of them, well actually two: one failed attempt at getting the kids to tell me on Mother’s Day, and another stealth voice mail message about dresses on a phone I don’t answer.

But kudos to my kids who had enough sense not to rush in with this information on Mother’s Day. None of them said anything (and they don’t usually work well together) yet they must have sensed that Mother’s Day was not the day to tell me —  or perhaps they sensed correctly it was not their place to tell me.

Or maybe they thought I already knew?

Regardless, and putting my feelings about the marriage aside, I gotta give props to my kids. And hugs.

Just Me With . . . the best kids ever and a voice mail from my Ex — everything.

Oh, and by the way, he’ll be getting the dresses for the girls.

Postscript: Months later it was one of the kids who told me that the happy couple was expecting.

You know what they say about payback — see “Father’s Day Announcements To My Ex

For an earlier insensitive Mother’s Day celebration, see “Worst Mother’s Day Card Ever”

For a more uplifting Mother’s Day tribute, see “To My Best Friend On Mother’s Day

For a discussion on how I felt about the news, see “How Do I Feel About My Ex-Husband Getting Married”

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To My Best Friend on Mother’s Day

Best Friends from “Something Borrowed”

My best friend, my saviour, in many ways.  She’s my girl.  I really only see her a few times a year though we live close by. But she has my back.  We’ve known each other since we were kids.  We went to proms together, we were in each other’s weddings.   She’s still married, happily.  Her husband is a good guy, a physician, so is she.  As an OB/GYN, she assists women bringing babies into the world every day.  Sadly, she could never get pregnant.  Over the years she’s  regretted putting her career first  and wondered whether if she’d started trying sooner maybe something could have been done.  She has  felt intense guilt about  causing her husband to miss out of being a dad (tests showed it was her, and not him, who caused the infertility).  She’s watched her brother marry and have four kids (two by birth, two by adoption), she’s watched her husband’s sisters marry and have children with the assistance of infertility treatments.  She’s watched me pop out kids two at a time.  But despite medical intervention and years of trying, she never  got pregnant, not even once.  They decided not to adopt.   After years of suffering horribly from fibroids, she finally had a hysterectomy.    But damn if this woman isn’t a mother.  I’m not talking about how she’s the cool aunt to her nieces and nephews.  That’s true, but I’m talking about her being a mother — to me.

When my marriage fell apart,

this woman came to my house at 4am to pick me up off the floor,

this woman had me and my five kids over her house so we would not have to watch my husband move out and served us cookies and pizza while we cried,

this woman recruited her brother so they could both drive to pick me up  and  bring me and my car back home when I found myself on a hotel room floor, dangerously alone,

this woman never forgets to give me a gift — like a gift card to Victoria’s Secret or Home Depot — so that I can pamper myself when no one else will,

And, to this day, this woman has picked up the tab for the co-pays for my many therapy sessions, which have kept me out of the morgue.

And this woman, knew exactly what to say when my divorce became final.

This woman, who delivers babies all day long, but has no children of her own  —  is mothering me, someone  who is few months older than her (yeah — I’ll give her that, it’s the least I can do — ha ha!).

So Happy Mother’s Day to my Best Friend, who, by the way, is gorgeous!

Just Me With . . .  The Best Friend Ever!

See also:

How  I Found Out that My Ex-Husband Was Getting Married, a Mother’s Day Thing.

Worst Mother’s Day Card Ever

Worst Mother’s Day Card Ever

Mums for Moms

The Hallmark Holiday of Mother’s Day is fast approaching.   The advertisements for flowers and candy, and brunches and jewelry, are popping up more quickly than the weeds in my yard.   Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against honoring motherhood, sisterhood, and female nurturing.   It’s all good.  But I have long maintained that it works best for the mothers of adult children (preferably child-free) who are in the position to do things for their mom that their mom might actually want and in this way show appreciation for  everything their mother has done over the years —  the kind of appreciation you usually only understand after you’ve grown up.  Before my kids came, and back  when I had disposable income (sigh), I used to take my Mom to a fancy brunch in the city.  It was nice.

At the other end of the spectrum of motherhood, mothers of babies and small kids usually  love the home- and school-made cards and trinkets and hand prints of the little ones.  I know I did.  These new moms usually also hope their husband or significant other will give them “a day off” of mothering.  A little ironic.  Moms of  intact families often want to hear this from their men:

I’ll take the kids, I got this.  You do nothing, I mean NOTHING — no cleaning, no meals, no laundry.  We will bring you food.

That’s a beautiful thing, if someone can do that for a mom.    Of course, those newer mothers, if they are lucky enough to still have their  mother alive and close by, have to go to the mother thing for her, so it is not a day to stay in bed all day watching trash TV and surfing the net.

Single mothers of course, have a whole different thing going on.   They might have to haggle to even see their own children on Mother’s Day, depending on the calendar, the court order and the relationship with the Ex.   And, unless the kids are grown, any celebration must be engineered,  paid for, and cleaned up after —  by her.  A single mom might want a day off, too, but having the kids celebrate Mother’s Day elsewhere  . . . well, that’s not quite right, either.  And like the married mom, if the single mom has a mother, she has to do for her, too.   Conclusion? Different situations call for different celebrations.

But let me take you back to a time when I had a husband and either one or three babies.   Can’t remember.   I think just one, but it wasn’t  my first Mother’s Day.   My then husband (kinda like the sound of that . . . but I digress) went out and got me a card.   Kids weren’t old enough to do it on their own.   It was nice of him.   He didn’t always know how to do things like this.   He was brought up without a father so he had no role model in the home for how a husband should treat the mother of his children.  I don’t give him a pass because of this, it’s just a fact.  It’s a fact easily remedied by reading, looking at TV, or copying what he sees good husbands do.  It’s not that hard.

Another fact?  Attention to detail was never his strong suit.

Like I said, different situations, different celebrations . . .  even different cards.

Clearly my husband shopped in the wrong section of the Hallmark Cards display.

He got me a card that said,

“Happy Mother’s Day!  

        Our family is so much better . . . now that you’re in it.”   

Yep, that’s right folks, he got his wife, the mother of his children, a card for a  Stepmother.

Alrighty then.  I mean, damn, I think I was still nursing somebody at the time  . . . and I got a  Stepmother’s Mother’s Day Card.   And no, he didn’t accidentally mix up the card he bought for his own stepmother.   He had no stepmother.

He bought that card for me.

I read it.  I read it again.  I read it TO him.  He gave me one of those embarrassed laughs and apologized, but not profusely.   I kept that card for a time, but of course, did not display it.  I just couldn’t believe it.  I mean, damn.   I was a new mom, and it kinda hurt.  I do give him credit for getting me a card.  I know there are some guys who don’t do that for their wives.  I probably would have been mad if he’d done nothing.  But there are plenty of  men who do the right thing — with precision.   So many things would have been better.  Flowers, a single flower, even those nasty flowers that are sold on the highway — would have been better.  No words, no careless mistakes.

He took the time to get me a card.

Didn’t take the time to read it, though.

It was long ago  . . . but it still smarts a little bit.

Just Me With  . . . The Worst Mother’s Day Card  . . . Ever.

Postscript:  I thought this was the most insensitive thing he could have done on Mother’s Day.  I was wrong.  See “How I Found Out That My Ex-Husband Was Getting Married”