What is #notmyweekend

Once you are separated or divorced, if you have kids, comes along the time sharing; a situation hard for everyone involved, specially for your kids. For you, is a hard pill to swallow, but you have to find a way to make it easier for your kids and keep your best attitude to help them move forward in the best way possible.

For me was really hard, I was a stay at home mom for the past 10 years, I was with my girls at all times, all the time. Getting accustomed to not having them around all the time was a huge hit for me. I was so used to the mother role, that I was not even sure what other person was inside of me; I knew somehow that being on my own every other week would push me to find out who that stranger was.

I was afraid of what I was going to find out, I was just a wife and a mom, end of the story. There was nothing else that would give me an identity at that point, I guess I put every other aspect of myself on the back burner to see my family grow. It is possible that I forgot that I was part of that family too, and that my contribution as an individual was important too.

Not only I did not want to lose my family, I had no desire to find out who that person inside me was anymore, I left her behind so long ago. I needed to understand that I didn't have full control of anything, that my girls were not only mine, they have a father that from now on will be more active in their education and growing process. I would have to learn how to co parent, I dreaded just the sound of the word. I did not have any confidence in his ability to handle them on a regular basis, after all, he never fully did, But I also understood that he was their father and that, as well as me, he loves them as much as I do. I needed to see that he would be a father with the tools he had, and that he will do what he thought was best, and while in his house it will be his rules and I did not have a saying on it; that was out of my control, it was killing me!

And then the first weekend without my girls started, I was devastated, I barely got out of bed, I just ran on a Saturday morning since I was training for a half marathon; but the rest of the weekend I spent it alone in my house with the tv on. I knew it was wrong, I knew that I could not live my life like that, I knew that my live could not be paused when my girls were not around; I needed to address the fact that there was more to me than being a mother, plus I was no longer a wife, I needed to find out who I was, rediscover myself.

I started from where I was, by putting more interest on my running and my half marathon training; I also understood that this person I was going to find was who I really was and that being a mother was just a dimension of it. I was terrified, I was this mother and wife for so long that I had no idea who I was anymore. I was in isolation, I barely socialized with the people around me, I guess it was just my immediate family and no one else.

The first choice I made was to get close t the people on my everyday life; I started volunteering at my girls school; that was amazing on so many levels, I felt so useful, like I could add value. I also discovered two new friends that brought the word support to a whole new level. I felt so much better, I was finding out I was fun to be around, insightful; I noticed that I had this strength that I never saw. I started laughing again. Even though my situation, I wanted to feel happy again. And then I knew that I had a long way to go, that there were so many issues to address; I knew that the only way to walk thru all this was with a smile, and that was my choice to make.

At that point, I understood that the outcome of all this was depending on the choices I would make from then on, I realized that my happiness not only came from within, but was tied to how I chose to live, problems and obstacles and all. I chose to be understanding, and kind, even with those that did not deserved it, I didn't do it for them, I did it for me, for my peace of mind.

That's how I started to learn how to let go. Let go of my controlling ways, I started to learn how to even share time with my ex and the girls, just to give my girls a steady ground and the comfort that even if we were no longer a couple, they had a family.

So how #notmyweekend became my thing? I started learning about boundaries, somehow I understood that when my girls were not with me I was not the one running the show, was my co parent's turn. One day at a party that we were all attending, and yes we were all at the party and the girls were staying with dad, I was sitting with some friends and one of them told me how one of the girls was jumping out somewhere, and out of nowhere I just said, "hashtag not my weekend!" Past the laughter that exploded at the moment, I noticed what a huge change was taking place inside me; I was learning how to let go, I was learning how not to overstep on my co parent's responsibilities, I was learning that it was ok to have fun and let your hair down. And from that day on #notmyweekend became for me a symbol of the new person I was getting to know, a sign that everything was going to be ok no matter how hard things could get.

Thru my divorce I discovered I am a teacher, a writer and a loving mother.  I want my story to inspire you and fill you up with hope so you too can get to the other side of the tunnel.


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