Like it or not I was about to be thrown into that world of single motherhood. I had never planned on doing this all by myself. I always expected to have my husband right there by my side for every monumental step our first-born would take. Unfortunately, the more and more Jesse was sucked into this illusion of Lauren being the perfect woman for him, the less and less time he had for me and Jayden. Needless to say this was not how I ever imagined our first year of parenthood to be like. Jesse was absent for much of the most important developmental time in Jayden’s life. I wasn’t able to tell Jesse all the exciting new things our son was doing when he returned home at night because he was never around. Watching Jayden sit up for the first time, crawling, and watching him take his first steps… all the monumental events I witnessed on my own.
Looking back I can’t help but think that I truly missed out on some amazing things during Jayden’s first year. This shouldn’t have been the way I spent my first year as a new mom. Because of all the hurt and deceit, I believe I was robbed of the joy of these special moments that I should have been more excited about. I felt like a terrible mother because I wasn’t able to give Jayden all he should have received in his first year of life. It’s hard for me to relate to most of my friends who are entering this exciting stage in their lives of being a “first time mom” because for me, this was the lowest point in my life.
Unfortunately, I also still have some deep hurt… I very much need healing from the fact that I’ll never be able to get back my very first Mother’s Day. (I know it sounds petty that I'm not over it yet) Instead I’m stuck with the one that was filled with tears, heartache and being completely alone. That day will forever be burned into my memory. No card, no help, no “you’re a great mom,” not even a text. Instead Jesse was off living single with his “new friend.” I never understood why they couldn’t take one second to think about what day it was. I wonder if they even cared that this was my very first Mother's Days (the only one I will ever get) and that it would be one of the worst days in my life. But alas, these are things that will never be uncovered.
Alright, Time Out.
There is a part of me that has this overwhelming fear that my husband will now be judged for how he might parent today. I can tell you that he is NOTHING like he was back then. He is an involved, loving, supportive, enthusiastic father who is completely and madly in love with his children and wife. He has been there for every step in Jayden’s life after this affair ended, and he has been there every step of the way for all of Ian’s monumental moments in life as well. I’m excited that I finally have a partner with whom I can cheer our children on when something great happens. And I’m blessed that I have his shoulder to cry on when I feel the job is just too hard. I’m in awe of the husband and father he has become.
And just in case you were wondering about how my second Mother’s Day was… though I was fearful of those terrible feeling returning, that day was nothing like the first. He loved on me, affirmed me as a mom and wrote me this amazing card that told me how much he loves and appreciates me. But for some reason each Mother's day I'm still fearful of the same. It takes time... and I know I still have more healing to go.
Also, a year later a very close friend of ours (who knew of our situation and is not one to idly hand out compliments) one day leaned over to me while we were sitting in his family's backyard and said, “He’s a really good dad, Lyryn.” After something like an affair hits your life and change starts happening with the repentant person you want others to notice changes as much as you do. You want to feel like you aren’t the only one seeing this. It was such confirmation and affirmation that our life was finally coming together. I will never forget our friend's compliment. That statement meant more to me than he will ever understand.
To all you single parents out there, I can never truly understand what you’ve gone through or what struggles you deal with on a daily basis. However, I can tell you that for a short time in my life I did have a glimpse into your world and found a new appreciation for all you do and still accomplish all on your own. I commend all the single parents out there! Hold on, He is going to make you so much stronger in all of this.