My blog has gone a bit quiet in the last couple of weeks. In fact it’s quite frustrating because my blog had the best week of its existence recently.
I won a blogging award, my page views were triple their norm and I celebrated my first blogiversary.
But at the moment when it comes to putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard I feel a little bit blocked. I want to be riding on my successes, but I feel like anything I publish here will not be honest at the moment.
There are things I want to write about, but I’m not really sure how to express them, and to be quite truthful I’m not sure if I’m ready to.
But as this is my place of expression, I feel like I owe it to myself to get it out, to expel it from my thoughts in the hope that it may resonate with, and maybe even help others. So here goes… a little piece of my life lately.
Recently, Jamie and I had to make the hard decision of going our separate ways.
It wasn’t something that happened over night, and in fact, behind the scenes it took months to lead up too and sort out.
We are still in a very raw place on our new journey, and even though we’re still such good friends, I think it’s going to take a lot of time and support from each other in order for us to get used to our new situation.
If my life in the last few years has taught me one thing, it’s that life is unexpected.
I never expected to fall pregnant, I never expected to change career paths or to change life goals. Plus if you told me a year ago that this year I would be stepping away from a person who I still love so dearly, I never would have believed you.
But my life is going down a new path at the moment and I’m now starting to roll with the tides instead of fight against them.
STAY TOGETHER FOR THE KIDS
There are many reasons why people stay together despite no longer being in happy relationships. It might be for financial reasons, for housing reasons, because separating means less time seeing your children, because it’s a lot of effort to explain to family members, or maybe because you quite simply don’t like change.
But when you get to the core of it, will you be happy staying together? Can you sustain this lifestyle? Will this make your children happy knowing that you’re both miserable?
It took Jamie and I a long time to realise that two happy parents that aren’t together, are better than two miserable parents that are.
For us our break up has been a combination of not having the same goals, not having any time together because of work and just generally not being in a happy relationship anymore.
It took a lot of courage for us to step out of our comfort zones and initiate the end, especially when that love for each other is still there.
Jamie and I were pretending for a long time that we were ok. We were very unhappy in our relationship and we were trying to fix things by pretending to be people that we quite simply aren’t. We were not being true to ourselves.
Jamie and I have always had different dreams and different goals. We thought that over time, after having Evie, that these would change, that we’d suddenly share the same vision.
Instead we ended up blocking each other from what we wanted to do and holding each other back. But for Evie’s sake, and because we’d built a life together, we decided to stick our relationship out.
The intention of staying together for the kids might seem like a very noble one, but ultimately it’s very unfair on yourself. How can you be expected to raise your children to the best of your ability, when you’re not happy?
We stayed at this pace for quite a long time, trying to find ways to change things, but always falling back into old habits.
One of the best pieces of advice that Jamie and I have been given so far is:
‘You, as yourself need to raise your daughter, not someone that you’re pretending to be, because one day she’s going to discover the person who you really are and not know who she’s talking to.’
Sometimes I find that people hold on to the idea of a ‘family unit’ and start to forget the bigger picture. A family is a group of people who love each other for who they are. Unfortunately for both us, we lost sight of who we really were and we became what we thought society expected us to be.
Jamie and I have had one hell of a journey over the past three years. We’ve been through so much so quickly, and more than most couples. We thought we could make it work because of our history and what we’ve already overcome, and because we did still love each other. But we came to a point in our relationship where we were both bitter and resentful.
Both Jamie and I come from a families where our parents are separated. All we ever wanted for ourselves, was to one day start a family with someone who we were going to stay with forever.
It’s a romantic notion for sure, but for a while, neither of us could see that we were sacrificing the life that we both wanted, purely so we could have what we thought was a happy family.
I never thought I’d have to write this, but between us Chloe and I felt that the best way to approach this post idea was together. We also thought that it would be nice if I had my own personal point of view within this post.
I have thought time and time again about how we SHOULD have done things, how things COULD have been different, but the fact is we didn’t do them and now we can’t go back. At the moment I’m done with looking back and I’m only looking forward.
The best thing I’ve taken away from this, and the first advice I’d give anyone in this sort of situation is to keep reminding yourself that there is a reason for being where you are and as hard as it is to focus on that reason when everything unfolds, it is important to not let your emotions get the best of you and lose sight of what you need to do.
I’ve always been against the idea of ‘staying together for the kids’ but when it came down to it, it felt like the right thing to do because I wasn’t thinking straight and I let myself turn into a shell of myself. That was not fair on my daughter. That was not fair on me.
I look forward to how our family is going to benefit from this decision, and as scary as the idea might sound if you’re going through something similar, do not let that rule your head.
Ultimately I’d like to say that nothing is worth losing yourself over. Always be true to your beliefs and don’t let anything get in the way, regardless if that is an unhappy relationship that you’re staying in because it’s ‘for the kids’. Don’t lie to yourselves. Your children deserve better than that and so do you.
FROM BOTH OF US
We’re quite new to this journey, so obviously we don’t have all of the answers yet. The road is different for everyone, but we are so lucky that we are in a place where we’re able to communicate and get along.
We have sat down and had many talks and expelled many tears, but we are now in a place where we finally understand each other. We’ve both realised what the other person wanted and why the end had to happen.
We could hate each other, we could be bitter, we could be resentful, we could argue.
But when we think of our reasons for doing this and when we think of our little girl, all we want is for each of us to be happy. The only way to do that is apart.
We will remain close friends and we are lucky to both be in the headspace to maintain that. We will still go on family days out and maybe even holidays, we will both take on the responsibility of childcare and be there for Evie as best we can, and we will both respect each others personal growth and help to encourage each other on our new journeys.
I’m excited for the person that I’m going to become. I’m excited to be me again. I’m excited to watch Jamie grow in his own way, I’m excited to see him step out of his own comfort zone and for him to find out what he wants in life.
Separation doesn’t always have to be seen as such a bad thing. Separation can be seen as something that is very beneficial. It gives you the opportunity to grow and it also takes your children away from a bad situation.
Jamie is an incredible father and such a beautiful person. I am so grateful that he is a part of my life and I am so grateful that I got to create something so precious with him. I know that he will always be such a huge part of my life, despite the dynamic of our relationship changing.
At the end of the day we both know that our daughter is so loved and that is all that matters to us. She knows she is loved. She has grandparents who absolutely adore her and spend a lot of time showering her with love, she has aunties and uncles, great aunties and uncles, great grandparents and friends who show her everyday how precious she is.
But now it is time for us to love ourselves and to find our own happy, for all three of us.
Have you separated after having children together? What advice would you give to other people in the same situation?