I was once 22 and already a wife and mother, while my friends were single, partying, finishing college, and at a totally different place in life than me. One by one I watched them fall to the wayside as we had less and less in common. What I learned: the good ones came back when we were back in the same place. And not only did they come back, they apologized for leaving in the first place. The others? I don't miss.
I need to remember that it has taken me 11 years to adjust to the absolute craziness of being a parent, and I did it one child at a time. Each baby step was hard, but it was a natural process that developed gracefully over time.
I need to remember that I lost myself to parenthood and marriage. I forgot that I loved music and exercise and friends and laughter, and that I was full of anger and rage and resentment most of the time, and didn't understand why until I found myself again through the divorce. Finding myself again and holding onto it was the most important thing I ever did for myself and everyone around me, and is what I now want for those around me whom I love, more than anything.
I need to remember that even after 3 kids and 11 years of parenthood, I am still completely and utterly overwhelmed by schedules and functions and planning and providing and balancing. As a VETERAN.
I need to remember how hard it is to look at my life and realize that as a parent, I cannot do all that I want to do and please everyone around me.
Because my sweetheart has only a few months experience with it. And as great of a job as I think I did with the transitions over the years, he is showing me how it's done. I am so proud to call him my man, and we are so lucky to have him in our lives. Someone who cares so much about the people in his life-that is hard to come by.
Imagine going from having no children to three, from having the same lifestyle as your friends to completely the opposite, having the pressure to bond and nurture a relationship with your three possibly future stepchildren. He's doing it like a pro with class and love and I am so very proud of him.