There is a constant struggle in the decision to stay comfortable, stay financially secure, stay rooted in an environment that you and your children have come to know as everyday life. But what if the parent relationship — the marriage, the fiancé, the boyfriend, the co-parenting relationship — you have come to know is not what you have always wished. Yeah, the struggle stinks. The idea of taking children out of the only home they have ever known. The Cinderella story. But you know what else stinks? Feeling trapped. Feeling like you have the strength as a woman and as a mother to want more for your children. To want them to experience a healthy home life, witness two parents who are solidly in love and have solid ideas on how those children are going to be raised.
Let’s be real; you can’t win. You can’t be all things to all people. Some days there are regrets, thoughts of wishing that you just left everything alone. “I could have just figured out how to be happy. I could have made it work. It doesn’t matter that trust has been breached. No one is perfect. He is the man, and he’s supposed to have more freedom. It’s socially acceptable to be the guy who comes home after everyone is in bed, asleep, every night. Everyone in our circle has this life.” Yes, those thoughts happen.
But you know what else happens? The second you become a mother, some inherent sense of mama bear/lion/creature of protection is born. Never to be lost again. That mama bear decides she has children who are never going to see her weak. They are never going to witness a life and situation where their mother has allowed the security of relationship to come before the happiness of everyone involved.
And so, for me, it was just a decision. I woke up one day and decided that was the day that I was going to allow my strength, independence, opinion, self-esteem, and character to direct my life and not the assurance of being a trophy companion. The day I walked away, I didn’t have a job, I probably had $200 in my pocket….aka not enough to go sign a lease on an apartment. But I did it anyway. I had a 2-year-old daughter, a 9-month-old son and a car. In my eyes, transportation was enough to “leave.” I didn’t leave scorned, I didn’t throw things or slam cabinet doors in the kitchen and complain that life wasn’t good enough. I merely took a deep breath, packed our things and walked away. It was the moment in my life I stopped planning anything. I realized that anyone can do what I did. Literally, anyone. We figure it out. We make it work. We are mothers. Wasn’t that what we were created to do?
I have other friends, mothers, unhappy mother friends who ask how I did it, how I left a situation that seemingly was so satisfactory. I have friends who have been unhappy for long periods of time and just don’t have the strength or courage to take a deep breath, pack their things, and walk away. I hope to inspire mama bears/lions/creatures of protection to take back their power as women, for their children.