I’m the type of single mom who usually expects the unexpected and prepares herself for the worst, especially when dealing with my ex. He’s hurt me more times than I can count with his disregard for my feelings and his lack of respect for me as the mother of his child.
I try my hardest not to let his actions affect me as I know they are often his way of maintaining some control, but there are times like today when I’m so completely blindsided by his bullshit that I find myself having a meltdown.
Today was the annual Mother’s Day plant sale at my son’s school. It’s become tradition for his father or I to give him money to purchase flowers as gifts.
Last year he came home with some for me, some for my mom and a cute pot of pansies for himself and I expected him to return with the same today. Only when he stepped off the bus he had an extra pot… which he proudly announced was a Mother’s Day gift he’d picked out for his father’s live-in girlfriend.
My heart dropped and my ego bruised as the words flew out of his smiling little mouth.
The thought never crossed my mind that he might purchase a Mother’s Day gift for the other woman. In my mind she is not his mother, step mother or any type of maternal figure because she has only been in his life for the last six months and is not engaged or married to (that I know of) my ex.
Last time I checked she didn’t try to push my son out of her vagina or earn a scar from an emergency c-section that saved his life.
To me she is just his father’s girlfriend.
She’s the woman who cowers in the car when she and my ex come to pick my son up from the bus stop three days a week.
She’s a playmate that lives with them and sometimes cooks my son chocolate chips pancakes and burnt bacon.
So when I discovered my ex had insisted our son buy her a gift for Mother’s Day because “she is his stepmom technically” and “he thought it would be nice” and that my ex had also recently explained to our son that this woman was his stepmom without my knowledge, I lost my shit.
In my fit of crazy I felt as if she was trying to take Mother’s Day away from me.
I lost my shit because this hurt me more than anything he had ever done in the past. Maybe it was because he never once thought about how “being nice” to his girlfriend on Mother’s Day might make me, the actual mother of his child, feel.
Maybe it’s because he likes to throw the fact that they are a family and I am alone in my face any chance he gets.
Maybe it’s because I felt threatened after he had already made me feel like less of a mother last week.
Maybe it’s because I was caught off guard.
Or maybe it’s just because he’s clearly a selfish asshole.
For whatever reason I had a really hard time today as I tried to process my thoughts and feelings about my son having a stepmother now. I went from horribly sad to insanely irate and back again at least a dozen times.
Somewhere in the midst of my emotional turmoil I realized I needed to stop making this about me and start making it about my son.
No matter how I feel she is in my son’s life and my pain and anger can not change that.
He likes the other woman ( I can’t bring myself to say he loves her just yet. I have my limits.) and she obviously cares for him too. I can tell by the way he talks about her. Since she has come into his father’s life there has been more stability while he’s there. Three days a week he is getting to experience “family” in a way I’m unable to provide for him.
Between his life with me and his life with his father there is no doubt he is growing into a very happy and well rounded little boy, and that’s a great thing.
And while she may now have the word mom in her title, I know in my heart my son only has mom eyes for me.
* * * * * *
Tonight we laid down in his bed and I told him a story.
“I love you Mommy” he whispered as he snuggled up in my arms and fell asleep.
I’m the only one who will ever give him that kind of comfort.
I decided my ex’s girlfriend can have Mother’s Day. She and my ex can pretend she’s his mother all they want. I don’t have to play pretend. Because I get to be his mother EVERYDAY.