Well, I’m not sure where to start or what to say. My son is 10 1/2, and I’ve been a single mom since hours before his first birthday. All because my “picker” is broken, and his father and I are toxic. It was hard times of court dates between our domestic, and later establishing visitation, police department exchanges, a year of a no contact order, and finally figuring out to leave our adult toxicity behind, and coparent. It wasn’t easy by any means.
A little over a year later I dated my high school best friend. He literally lived across the street from me growing up in my high school days. Our math teacher was involved in his proposal. We were best friends for 18 years before we got married. All to end in less than 4 years.
Yeah…. My picker is broken.
My now ex- husband taught me how to coparent with my son’s father, which is why I included that part of my life. They say everyone comes into your life for a reason, season, or lifetime. I thought my husband was lifetime, and that proved different. So, he came for a reason: to teach me how to co-parent. For over a decade, I was “Aunt Becky” to my stepdaughter. I was at the hospital while her mom was in labor, I was always a part of her life. They taught me how to be a step parent, and how to co-parent. It wasn’t easy by any means. It took a very long time to separate the adult trauma and toxicity from how to unite as parents.
For the past 9 years we’ve actually been amazing at co-parenting. Through life changes, moves, and drama. No matter what we may have been disagreeing on, our son never knew it. Until now. 9 years later we’re about to update the parenting plan. 9 years later we can’t be adults and figure this out.
Before our son started kindergarten, we were in separate counties. Before registering him for kindergarten, we came together as parents and came up with our own parenting plan, and child support because we didn’t want to go back to court. We were adult enough to fight it out back then.
For the past 5 years, his father has not attended but one school awards program. He always had “to work”. He’s always been there for sports. Mainly the games because practicing was always during the work week.
Knowing we couldn’t do 50:50 custody split, I told him I wanted one weekend a month. The first weekend, and he had the rest. He got every spring break, any time he wanted in the summer, and we split Fall and Winter break’s because they’re 2 weeks long. He only took his weekends, his birthday week, Spring Break, and split others. We rotated Christmas, Thanksgiving, and 4th of July. We figured out our own child support. 3 years ago he agreed that I have him the majority of the time so I can claim him annually on taxes.
He paid towards school supplies, not even half for the monthly karate tuition, and nothing towards karate belt graduation every 3 months until a year ago. He’s the fun parent. He takes him places on weekends. He does the fun stuff. During the week we don’t have that opportunity. So, I’m the structure, scheduler, disciplinarian, and part time cool mom.
I allow him to have sleepovers during the school week. He’s a straight A student while balancing 2 sports. He’s been #1 draft pick for city league basketball since kindergarten. He made the school team in 4th grade, and already drafted for the school team for 5th. He’s due to get his black belt in karate this summer.
My son has received school awards for teachers choice, integrity, principals list, etc. Suddenly his father has a new wife that is actively involved as well. That’s amazing! His ex wife didn’t have much to go with him. It’s been believed because their son is special needs, and our son is typical. She rejected him out of jealousy. I pushed for our son to give the new wife a chance. That she’s not here to replace me. That she’s going to love him as much as the rest of us do.
Now, she doesn’t know how to stay in her lane, and because she wants to replace me suddenly his father wants 50:50 back. Well we don’t live in the same county. I would consider it if we lived in the same school district so our son still had the bus as an option for transportation. His father and stepmom have serious health conditions.
After several months of unnecessary fighting, we’re back to square one. After 9 years of doing our best at co-parenting, we are back to square one.
Word from the wise…. I don’t care how amazing the relationship is. I don’t care how much you both let slide. Keep a journal. Document everything. Every couple days, weeks, months, print those texts. Those agreements. Don’t be naive and think 9 years later you won’t be back in mediation, or potentially court.
Being a single mom is beyond rewarding, exhausting, and it truly takes a village. Being a boy mom is challenging at times, especially with a highly intelligent one. There are many times he initiates a conversation that would be expected by a teenager. He’s 10 1/2 and the teenage attitude has already started. He’s 5ft tall, 80 pounds, and thinks he’s stinking bulletproof.
I am beyond thankful having the majority of the last 5 years with him. We are open, honest, transparent, and no secrets in my house. I answer all of his questions regardless of difficulty. I reflect on his baby pictures, toddler, school age, and how he’s becoming his own person. I absolutely hate his hair style. I didn’t want to colour it blue, but I did. His dad didn’t want his other ear pierced, but I allowed it.
Don’t blink. You think you haven’t, and when they’re babies you’re excited for that next milestone. That next achievement of growth. Rolling over, crawling, walking, sleeping through the night, and before you know it they’re telling you “my body my decision” when they want their ear pierced. I made him wait 2 years for the first one. His dad wouldn’t agree to the other ear. He used his own money for the other ear. I just gave parental approval. Piercings grow over and aren’t as permanent as a tattoo, lol.
With todays world, my son has even questioned his sexuality. He came to me and asked me if he’s supposed to like boys. I asked a few questions, and we’ve been talking. Apparently he tried the conversation with his dad, and he allegedly said he wouldn’t accept him. I obviously became momma bear and confronted it, and suddenly his dad changed his mind.
Who knows what time will tell. All I can say is that being a single boy mom is beyond rewarding regardless of the speed bumps coparenting comes with. I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted children. I can say that I can’t imagine life without him. The sweetest times ever! The snuggles. The fights. The laughs. The sports. The awkward talks.
As a mom I can only say do your best to always be transparent, and build that trust as soon as possible. When my son was in 2nd grade he was sexually assaulted at school by another classmate. My relationship is close enough that I saw the signs something was wrong, but was in denial of what it was. I say this because I was raped in high school, and hoped any kid I ever had never experienced the same. My son suddenly started sleeping in my room, and finally I asked him what it would take to get him back to his bed. He never slept with me.
I assumed it was because we were living on our own for the first time, and struggling with my divorce. He said he wanted karate. I signed him up the next day. He came to me one night after a karate class of learning Integrity and said he didn’t want to lose his and told me what was going on at school. 2 years later he still hasn’t told his dad.
To see who my son is becoming, and how he has managed all of the trauma in his life…. Meeting him you’d never know. I’m blessed with the best kid ever and wouldn’t ask for anyone different. He doesn’t buck authority. He is apparently on his best behaviour everywhere, but home 🙂 That is all any parent can ask for.