In the middle we’ll play. Divorce, single motherhood, and the honesty of a child.

Like most of my stories, this one starts in the middle. Someday, I’ll have the courage on this blog to write about my past life and how far I’ve come because of it, but for today, the middle is where we’ll play.

I’ve decided that the most difficult thing about being the mama in a broken family, is deciding the difference between truth and, well, untruth.

I could write you novels on the pain and emotion that comes from gossip, rumors, advice, assumptions, and lies that circle around the choice to get a divorce, and moreover, the choice to move on. But the emotional inflictions that come with that, is nothing compared to the truth asked of you when you least expect it, in your own home.

Since the day I chose a different life for the three of us girls, my goal has always been to lead an exemplary life for them. While I hide them from little truth, I protect them from the ugliness of it. But the questions are starting…

Questions like:

“Daddy won’t answer his phone, is he ok?
Does he miss me?
I think daddy wants to come our house for Christmas, can he?
Why didn’t daddy come to my school program?”

Of course, at this point, I respond with things like:

“Of course your daddy misses you.
Your daddy is just too busy right now, he’ll call as soon as he can.
Daddy probably found a job that keeps him from coming down too often, I’m sure he’ll make it when he can.”

But the problem I’m facing lately, is that I feel like I’m lying to my kids by making excuses for his absence. They’re walking around like little sponges, and while I may be telling them something to temporarily bandage the moment, they’re soaking in emotions and lacking phone calls, and weekends spent away. They eventually will face the music that’s playing, whether I’m ready or not.

Integrity in this brokenness is and will always be present. But as a mama (with her wildly supportive, protective support system) doing her best to preserve that, and protect her girls, it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever faced to not shield them entirely from the person hurting them most.

We all make mistakes. I’m not the perfect role model either. I’m just asking him to lead a life that he’d want his girls to someday find a man to model just that.

I want those girls to know that I did my very, very best to preserve what’s theirs for as long as possible. I want them to only have good memories of their daddy (ones that when he wants to, are really good!).

Thank everything, their little lives are surrounded by the world’s greatest, most incredible men. They have the best sort of examples in their little lives (men, that if I were to write novels on, would totally outnumber the novels about everything else…Brandon, Daddy, Grandpa(s), Uncle Ben, Darrell, Uncle Scooby, Gustin, and the list goes on, and on…), and even on my most bitter days, the gratefulness overwhelms and wins that battle.

I couldn’t ask for anything more, really.

Living, learning, sighing, and preparing for the next stage in our journey.


13 thoughts on “In the middle we’ll play. Divorce, single motherhood, and the honesty of a child.

  1. I got teary eyed reading this…

    It is sad that YOU have to make up excuses, for the girls, about why their daddy is not readily available at all times. I’m glad you are basically ‘covering for him’, for now. If his behavior continues, the girls will eventually realize, on their own, what is going on with their dad.

    Hugs and every bit of support to you and your wonderful family…. <3!

  2. You are doing the right thing for right now Naomi! And I agree with the above statement, they will eventually see for themselves what is going on. They will be old enough by that time to also see that you have done what you have done because you love them in the biggest way possible. Never fear dear, they will be amazing women like their mama and they will find amazing men because of who you surround them with. You are doing an awesome job and you will continue to do so! Love you girlie!

  3. Oh girl how I feel you–though mine is too young to ask and honestly has never known his daddy (only from a distance at the rodeo, store, or chance walk bys) I know that someday he will ask why his adopted daddy and I were married after he was born, why he had no daddy when he was born, why his real daddy didn’t want him……how do you do it? How do you try to shelter them from the hurt, the pain? Sometimes I think we as mothers probable project more hurt than they will really feel, because, well we’re the moms 🙂 BUT it’s truly something Iwish my son would not have to go through because of the choices of his father, BUT I know that my son will learn way beyond his years because of the struggles of not having his biological father be a part of his life and learning of that later in life….I can only hope that when he does track down his dad (which I will not prevent…it’s his right when he’s old enough…and I’ve kept every letter, our photo album etc. of our life together before he left us…..) I only hope that when he does track him down that his dad will be in a more positive better place and able to face the truth of walking away from the most amazing little boy ever….and I pray that my raising my son will allow him to show grace to his father….because let’s face it, that’s all we can do because ultimately God is the final and most powerful judge and his dad WILL have to answer for his choices….

    I feel for you and am and will continue to pray for you and your beautiful girls…and yes…their dad because he truly is missing out the most…by missing out on those precious precious girls!
    Love you!

  4. Well, I honestly have been dealing with this myself. I do the same thing for my kids. I don’t see it as lying, just protecting and preserving their innocence and love for their dad as long as possible. Let me tell you a brief story to let you know you are doing the right thing… when my parents divorced I was 17 (16 when they separated) and my mom did nothing but bash my dad. She told me he was manipulative, a liar, cheat, no good, etc. My dad never said a foul word about my mom….ever. In her doing this she managed to make my sister disown him (she is 3 and a half years older than I and was daddy’s little girl) and for me it did nothing but make me want to find out the truth about my dad. Well fast forward 8 years (after I became a mother myself) I was faced with the fact that my mom was actually the manipulator, liar, cheat, etc…. I turned to my dad (who was none of these things) and cried to him. Why didn’t he tell me, I asked…. his answer “For one, I was hoping you would never have to find out her ‘true’ colors and for two, would it have accomplished anything but make you feel resentment towards me?” Nope… I had to find it out on my own… one day your kids (and mine) will also figure it out and when they do it will be a day filled with many tears but such a rugged awakening for them that their gratitude to you will be so profound they will never forget it. You and I both have great men in their lives now… they may always hold out hope that their ‘real’ dad will come around but one day they will realize the ‘real’ dad was the one that tucked them in every night, hung Christmas lights on the house (despite a fear of heights), cared for them when they were sick, ate dinner with them every night and wrestled with them every evening (usually at bedtime so mom yells at him to quit riling up the kids before bed), etc….

    We’re doing the right thing. Keep up the good work!

  5. My dearest girl. I wish I could just fix the wrongs for the pretty girls that have so very much happiness to share. Knowing I can’t I’m saddened by the termole the puts you in and what it does to you and your love. I think that your on the right path, and as time goes on start putting a little more back on him. Maybe say when they ask how come dad doesn’t call back say I’m not sure but you should ask him when you get to talk or see him next. I think that no matter how much you dislike or are upset with the”dad” you should try to not say negitive things about him to the girls or around them. You being honest doesn’t mean be hatefull and we all know those moms who have used there children as pawns to get back at the “dads” for things that they didn’t like or thT happen to them. It takes a strong, and loving mom to do the right thing and stay as neutral as possible. I thank god the girls have so many positive role models in there lives. I’m proud as a mama can be that you are so strong and positive.

  6. you do the right thing by upholding their image of him. It is hard, possibly the hardest thing. but you are right to do it. you are strong and wise, and certainly your children will grow up to see clearly, and in that they will see the good you did for them. as my dad always says, keep your chin up. this was a beautiful, honest post.

    • That first sentence is what grabbed me. “You do the right thing by upholding THEIR image of him”, mostly because it reassures me that I’m preserving THEIR views, not what his actual choices are. Thank you SO much for that.

  7. Thank you for this story…. I too am a single mom with two kids. Only difference is I made him leave because his decisions where dangerous for the lives of my children. After reading your story I am seeing I am not the only one fighting this fight. I just tell my girls that we love daddy but daddy can not be here right now. Someday i will have to tell them why but for now this is all I say. Sigh… Know your not alone

  8. Wow,
    I have known your mom for a really long time and I can not tell you in words how this hits home. Life is so hard and there are certainly days that do zap your hero powers but I just want to let you know that your truly an amazing mom and I hope and pray that things will go good for you. Keep up the wonderful works and truly the best wishes this holiday season.


  9. I don’t know why I am just reading this one! But boy o boy did it ever hit home! For years I had been lying to my little Hannah. Her “donor” as I call him, sounds just like your ex. It broke my heart everytime he broke hers and then left ME to explain why. As she got older she started getting mad at ME because I would make excuses for him or whatever. She was mad at ME, she told me I was lying to her! So I stopped, I stopped lying to her. When he doesn’t show up and she asks why, I tell her “honey, I don’t know, you need to ask your dad” and then I hug her tighter than ever and tell her how much I LOVE HER! When he breaks her heart, I’m there to pick up the pieces but I never make excuses or try and soften the blow, I tell her she needs to ask her dad. It was so hard in the beginning because you want to protect your children, but I learned I can’t do that in this situation. I can’t protect her I can just be there to pick up the pieces. I will say, she has started to figure it out on her own. She said the other day “mommy I love you so much and thank you for always being there for me, you are always in the stands cheering me on.” That coming from a 7 year old! Totally warmed my heart!
    Much love to you and if you ever need to vent, I’m here! I’ve been dealing with this situation since Hannah was born…

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