Photos by LyssieLou Photography
As some of you know, Bo, is not my husband’s biological son. I was blessed with Bo when I was honestly at my lowest. I had just returned back home from college and felt very lost in who I was as a person. I was constantly searching for something to fill that void in my heart. As hard as that time was for me, it gave me one of my biggest blessings in my life, Bo. After Bo was about five months old, I moved back home to start a better path for myself and for him. Bo’s father and I were not meant to be in each others lives romantically. BUT I believe that both parents should be in their children’s live as long as they are responsible, trustworthy, and willing to make the right choices for that child. So Bo’s father and I tried to make a schedule that allowed both of us quality time with Bo throughout the week. Since Bo was born I’ve been a stay at home mom. After my split with his dad, I moved back home and started working for my family’s nonprofit organization, SLAMT1D. I did all my work from home so that I could be with Bo.
Now all of that already was such a big change. Moving back home with an infant and basically starting from scratch. It was scary but I had the best support system, my family and God. My family gave me the resources, a home, support, but God gave me my confidence back. He held me up when I literally felt like I had nothing. I was honestly so terrified of where my life was going. If you’ve read my previous post on how Jon and I became “us” you’ll remember that we started seeing each other soon after I moved back home and was dealing with all the changes. God placed Alyssa, my now sister in law, in my life when I needed a friend. And not just any friend, another young mother. Her friendship then helped blossom a healthy relationship with a Godly man. Jon helped me see how much God loved me through his own gentleness and understanding. My husband is one of the most amazing men I have ever met. He is caring, and forgiving, and understanding, and most of all loving. I was at my lowest when I flew down to visit him for the first time but he didn’t let me feel unlovable, or unforgiven. Jon treated me like a princess, he respected me as not only a woman but as a mother. Having Bo was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was a twenty- one year old, single mother, not knowing where my life was headed but I stayed true to myself and learned to love myself and believed in myself. I am far from perfect, but I was blessed with a beautiful son and a man who loves him as his own.
Now, if that wasn’t change enough… Marrying a soldier meant leaving my hometown and not being able to choose where we lived. Our new home was Virginia. Jon is based at Fort Myer, VA. My son’s father is still living in Vermont, which meant we had to find a happy medium that allowed Bo to spend some time in Vermont with his dad and time with Jon and I in Virginia. I had just spent almost everyday for the last two years with my son. And now I was going to be without him for a period of time. It almost made me feel like a failure as a mom. But as a parent, you need to make the best decision for your child, which means being selfless. Bo spends eleven nights in Vermont with his dad and the rest of the month with Jon and I in Virginia.
To you parents who coparent with someone you are not dating or married to, you are equally a parent. “Mom mode” is not turned off when your child is away from you. I can’t even tell you how many times I go in a store and I panic for a second thinking I’ve left Bo in the car. But no, he just isn’t with me. I see moms struggling to keep their kids sitting down in the grocery cart or telling them, “no, we aren’t getting that, put it back” for the upteenth time with the look of exhaustion. I yearn for that exhaustion. Yes, motherhood is hard and tiring and makes you want to have a glass of wine at 2 in the afternoon, but once you have days of quiet… you find yourself missing the chaos. You miss them wanting to be independent which just means cleaning up after them, you miss cooking for them, you miss hearing “mom. mom. mom. mom. mom.” You even miss having stains on your clothes… (OK, maybe that’s the only thing you don’t miss.) But seriously, being without your kids isn’t this amazing alone time vacation. The second you give birth, that child is a piece of you. And when they are away, a piece of you is missing. SO that being said, moms and dads, crying is completely acceptable. Because I cry often. But I smile often too. Not every situation is black and white, but loving your babies means doing what you believe is best for them. Try to find things that make you happy, that helps pass the time, or keeps you whole. I have put my energy into my fitness, getting to the gym, my marriage, spending that quality time with my hubby, doing activities you can’t with your children, like the movies! I pamper myself, paint my nails, do facemasks, take long showers- this doesn’t often happen with a two year old. And my personal favorite, eat junk food (THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHARE) while blasting rap music that has language you can’t listen to in front of little ears!
Life is seriously crazy and you never know what will happen, but enjoy the good times, try to see the positives in hard moments, and cry! Because, like I said… it’s OKAY to cry! But do something or watch something that makes you laugh after.