Few and far between as my posts are, I do try to make it on a schedule. However, I am learning the hard way that to keep a schedule for somethings is next to impossible. Of course, I understand that if this were as important to me as I once believed it was, this would not be an issue. It is all a matter of sacrifice for what it is that is important to you. Being bluntly honest, I make no money from this, as of yet anyway (and it may never be that I do), so it takes a back burner to my current form of employment so I have to get up early and sometimes work late. I have a daughter which comes before any and everything else in my life. For all you non-parents out there, having kids keeps you pretty busy as a rule and that’s when you are married and two of you are working on all of it together. I am working towards getting things in line for a divorce and that means I only have my little one part of the time. As fancy as the idea that it means I should have more free time it means I have less. I have to schedule my life around my visits with the wee one. When I do have her in all of her essentially five year old glory, she is so full of life and energy and wants all my attention that my writing takes a back burner to her.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the topic for today. What does it mean to be a parent and what does it mean to be a part time parent? Being a parent is never part time, that’s the first answer. Even if you have your child only part of the time, you still spend your full time thinking about or worrying about the spawn of your loins. To be a parent is to sacrifice those things you want or think you need over the needs and often desires of your child. I have sacrificed much for my lovely wonderful daughter. I would trade nothing in this world for her or my time with her. She is the most precious thing I have in my life and could not imagine a world in which I had to give her up. Hell it’s rough enough giving her up part of the time.
Sometimes I wonder what it is I would do if she was not in my life or more to the point, if she had never come in to my life. I thank God every day for every moment I get with her. I may not do it out loud or even consciously but I do it none the less. Nothing is so precious as the beautiful smiling face looking up at me and going, “Daddy, your fart stinks. EW!” (Yes, have your laugh but I’m being serious). I have given up much in the past five years for her and would (will) continue to do so for this wonderful light of joy.
Bear all this in mind as I also tell you that, when you are in a situation like mine, you have to be able to take care of the little one that depends on you. Being separated and walking to the divorce track made things much harder for me. I won’t go in to details but let me just put it like this: My finances are in the pot because I tried for a year (of separation) to be the better person and I paid well more than I should have for the bills that are only mine in name now. I finally had to do (in some cases anyway) what was necessary to ensure that I could be the father I need to be. Other times, I did what I thought was best for the situation and it has caused some tension between mommy dearest and myself. One thing I am very thankful for is the fact that we both are doing our best to not let this spill out on to the little one. She didn’t ask for any of this and I have to stop thinking about it or I become irrationally angry.
No matter what, this is going to damage her and spill on to her at least a little. She now gets to be one of the many who has separate lives with mommy and daddy. I never wanted this and it breaks my heart. What makes my heart hurt worse is this was the best path to take for her to not be damaged worse. She is young enough that she won’t really remember most of this struggle and for that I am increasingly thankful. She has come through the past year (plus) fairly unscathed by this and she knows that we both love her. If she only knew the nights I went to bed crying because I had hurt her by failing at my marriage, I am sure she would be worse off. That’s what it means to be a parent though, in this regard. You hide your own hurt (of these types) from your loved little bit because for them to see it causes further aches and pains that you would never wish upon them. You cover your wounds and wait for the bed time to come so that you can let it out in silence away from them.
Sometimes, I talk to friends, others I do not. It’s a hard road to travel when life leads you down a path like this one. Somewhere, in your heart, you have to know and believe this is better for you and for them than anything else. Call it a form of faith if you will and it would be accurate. I know that if I did not truly believe that (as hard of a struggle as that is at times) then I would not be able to recover from this emotional earthquake that I am rolling around in. I am trying to pick myself up and dust myself off. At times, I feel like I’m just getting my feet under me when the ground rumbles again. So all this is what is running around in the old head attic tonight and thus it is what you get to read about.