There are few things that make me lose my shit. I am truly a fairly sane and put together person whom others actually seek out for advice; believe it or not. Still, fear is a nasty beast and, when it comes to my daughter being raised mutually by another woman – I am afraid of a lot of things: fear of being left out; fear of missing mother-daughter “firsts”; fear of my daughter being mistreated emotionally; fear of not being a good role model; fear of other moms labeling me a “deadbeat” mom because they don’t understand I DO support her bonus mom sharing and handling some experiences; fear of being left out; fear of being left out; fear of being left out. Get it?
I do need to be absolutely clear that my daughter being mistreated by her bonus mom is a completely irrational fear, but it was a fear, and I want to be authentic. If I’m not authentic in an anonymous blog, what’s the point?? I also don’t walk around exposing my fears or being in a constant state of fear. I talk about it to a very small core group of people. I do NOT allow it to impact my daughter’s life. That would be selfish and wrong. So when my ex’s wife started taking her for haircuts without speaking with me about it..I let it go. I didn’t want to be a dick. I wanted to be secure and confident and be the kind of mom that didn’t care if others started having an opinion about why I wasn’t the one taking her for haircuts.
In the meantime, I was building a story in my head. The story started with another mom friend of mine that happens to be the “bonus mom” in her situation. SHE always took her stepdaughter for hair cuts, but whenever she spoke of it, she made it out as if she took her stepdaughter because her own mother was “too lazy” and “too cheap” to take her herself. Hopefully, this helps you see why I went crazy pants. I kept hearing other people’s words and thoughts. I also crowd sourced my core group of girlfriends and, of course, they sided with me..because they are awesome. We texted back and forth comments like, “How dare she?” and “Control freak” and “Who does she think she is?”
Pretty mature right??
All of this together was giving me a split personality. The voice over my left shoulder was saying that it looked bad and I was a lame, lazy mom and who does she think she is? The voice over my right shoulder reminded me that I wanted my daughter (and her step mother) to have things THEY did together. I want my daughter to be happy and loved and feel connected to the people she spends the most time with in her daily life. That left shoulder voice made up every reason for why bonus mom was dumb in this situation. I mean who takes a nine year old to get their hair cut once every five weeks?!?
Some crazy kind of control freak, duh. What the hell???
When I was young, I was lucky to have a professional cut four times a year, if not less!!! She was obviously trying to judge me and make me feel inadequate right?? I even seized the moment when my daughter stated she didn’t like her haircut and felt it was too short as ammunition to weasel my way into making her bonus mom feel bad and that she overstepped.
I saw a window on that one, and I took it and it worked.
I took my fears and turned them against this woman that was trying to do something nice..something important to her for my daughter.
What a jerk. So what changed?
Perspective. Learning how to deal with fear. Learning to be a better communicator. Do I still think a haircut every five weeks is a little overkill? Yes. Yes, I do; but obviously I am a hippy of some sort who has a completely different perspective on the issue. As long as my daughter is feeling good about herself and enjoying these moments, I am learning to keep my mouth shut, swallow my pride, and let it be.
I can give them these moments. Bottom line, she is loved. Thank God for that.
The First Mom (an ongoing series)