She Got The Stain Out

It sucks.
There isn’t any other why to describe it.
I think a big part of it is maturity.
Growing as a person.
Learning that you have to accept that even if you’re their Mom other people will be a part of their lives.
We might not always like those people, but that isn’t our choice.
When we have kids, a big part of parenting is being able to make the choice in regards to who and what they are exposed to.
When you get divorced though, you lose a lot of, we’ll say power for lack of a better word.
You can’t be there 24/7.
You can’t choose your exes new partners.
You can’t tell them who they can bring around.
You lose a lot of control.
That was probably, if I’m being completely honest, one of, if not the hardest thing for me.
Having to let go some.
Being forced to allow this man who I am no longer with and that I no longer trust, determine who and what my children are exposed to when I’m not there.

And that my friend is exactly why you should wait to have children until you are positive that you love, trust and respect your parenting partner and you always will till death do you both experience.

She got the stain out of his shorts.
It’s so simple. The stain is gone.
It’s so complex though…
It touches on so many feelings, emotions, nerves…
On the exterior and even a little inside I was thankful.
That’s great, awesome, clean, stain free shorts. Yay for future step moms all over the world.
Why does it sting too though?

Because she got the stain out.
She did.
Not me.
Not Mom.
Not the one that has done the laundry for the past year when we didn’t see them.
A year of absence and after one weekend of showing up she got the damn stain out.
I wanted to throw up.
I think if I would have been alone I probably would have.
It wasn’t about the stain. It was deeper. Deeper and so stupid to say out loud but let me try to explain why it was so much deeper than a blue stain in some white shorts.
Take out the fact that we haven’t seen them in a year and this was the first weekend back.
This woman lives with my children’s’ father. She does his laundry, she cooks his meals, she cleans his house.
Not me.
Not anymore.
I don’t want to do any of those things for him, don’t get me wrong. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting a little when you think about the “new” person doing it. That’s already a pill that is super hard to swallow. Once you are able to cough it down with some water though, it makes life a lot easier. I coughed it down awhile ago. I don’t want that life and she does so I hope she’s super happy living it. The thing is, I couldn’t get that stupid stain out. I couldn’t get it. I could not get the blue stain out and she could.
Swallow that one sister.

“Mom she got the stain out. She uses different stuff than you do.”

This woman has never made sense to me. She hasn’t reached out to me after months of him not seeing the kids. I thought as a mom she should have. She wouldn’t communicate with me, wouldn’t look at me, wouldn’t speak to me. I have never thought much of her because I always believed that the woman had a responsibility to step in and make things right when they were very much wrong. Especially when it involved kids.
So last week when I couldn’t get him I tried her. She answered. Not super friendly or anything but she did.
For a brief moment I thought to myself “Well now who will I blame? She was nice….”
I have never been told a bad thing about her from the kids.
They have never said anything except that she doesn’t really seem to know the entire story.
She got the stain out.
She can’t help that she doesn’t have the whole story. That’s on him.
She may have very well been told that I’m this or that and she didn’t want to insert herself into our “drama”.
That isn’t my personality, especially when it comes to my kids but maybe it’s hers.
Maybe that’s what works for them and what did not work for us.

So I found myself in a moment that seemed to stand still again…
She got the stain out.
To my right is anger, smart ass remarks and let’s be real, jealousy.
To my left is thankfulness, relief that I don’t have to see the stain anymore, happiness at the fact that it takes a village and maybe, just maybe, our village is going to start functioning somewhat normally (finally!)…

Thank you.
Thank you Future Step Mom to my children for doing that. Thank you for taking the time from your weekend to soak my baby’s shorts or scrub them or whatever you did that I just have not been able to. Thank you for caring about them enough to make that effort. Thank you for treating their clothes as if they were your own children’s. Thank you for washing them period. Thank you for making sure that after a year of not seeing their Dad they were comfortable. Thank you for answering my texts and for having him do the same. Thank you for understanding that I was in knots sending them for the first time again and for respecting that, even if it was just an act.
And finally, thank you for being there for my whole world this weekend when I was not. My kids will always love me as their Mom. I will always be their Mom. I know you get that. Thank you for loving them when I am not there. For feeding them, for making sure they take baths and brush their teeth, for hugging them goodbye and saying that you can’t wait until you see them again and for meaning it. Thank you for helping me to show my kids that love is not black and white.
Regardless of why or how we all feel the way we do, what is most important is the kids. Yours as well. Thank you for taking the steps this past weekend that need to be taken for all of us to finally heal and move forward.

Thank you for getting the blue stain out of the white shorts.

-S

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