It was a beautiful Autumn Saturday evening. The ground was covered with rainbow colored leaves, the wind was blowing just enough to give the perfect breeze while inhaling the fresh scent of a fall evening, and the sky was the perfect shade of royal blue. I was headed out for a wonderful dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, after I spent the day shopping and pampering myself. It seemed as though this was the perfect day and I was going to culminate it with the perfect evening, so I had every reason to be happy, right? Wrong.
When I arrived at dinner, I was seated quickly at a table for two. The waitress came and went through her routine, then asked if everyone in my party had arrived. Before I opened my mouth to answer her I smiled slightly, swallowed my tears with squinted eyes and said yes. She said okay and walked away to give me a moment to look over the menu. As I browsed through the menu, my stomach felt a little squeamish. I wasn’t sure if it was because I was starving, upset about the fact that I would be dining alone, or if it was my unborn child moving about.
To be honest, I think it was a combination of all three. So luckily for us the waitress returned quickly and took our order immediately. Shortly thereafter, my phone began to ring. It was my child’s father. He was calling to see what my plans were for the evening because he wanted to get together to talk. I told him I was at dinner and invited him to join me. He declined, and then began asking me a number of questions about the status of our relationship; you know those questions that let you know that he’s trying to subtly break up with you, but he wants you to get fed up and end it first so it’ll look like you wanted the relationship to end. You know the questions, where do you see us going? Do you really think we’re compatible? With each question he asked, my heart sunk in with every answer I gave him because I knew where he was going with this conversation. After about ten to fifteen minutes of engaging in the final exam of what would be the beginning of the end of my relationship with the father of my child, he finally said to me, I think you should find somebody you are compatible with because it’s not me. With tears coming down my face, yet hiding the fact that I was crying I said okay, I’ll keep you posted on the progress of the baby. He said okay, and we both said goodbye. When the conversation ended I was absolutely devastated. As tears continued to stream down my face, so many thoughts and questions raced through my mind. How was I going to raise a child as a single mother? Will he be involved in our child’s life as he should? Am I now another statistic? That’s okay, we don’t need him anyway... So after the random thoughts and questions stopped racing through my mind, I finished my dinner, went home, cried some more and started my process of accepting the fact that I would be a single mother.
The next few days, weeks and months were extremely difficult for me because the relationship with the father of my child ended abruptly without logical explanation. As I tried to move past the relationship ending and move forward to facing my new reality I did some soul searching and reflecting. During my process of soul searching and reflecting I asked myself a number of questions in regard to my relationship with my son’s father and why I was so devastated when it ended.
My first question was, why did I want to be in a relationship with a man that did not want to be with me? Answer, because I had love for him (or at least what I thought was love), I was carrying his child, and I wanted us to be a family. My next question, if I wasn’t pregnant, would he even want to be with me at this point in our relationship? Answer, probably not. My last question, why would I want to be in a relationship with someone who brought drama to my life, and was not concerned about me or our unborn child? Answer, because at that time in my life my self esteem was at an all time low, I wanted us to be a family, and I couldn’t see the drama because all I wanted to see was what I wanted. After my soul searching process, and the birth of my child I came to grips with the reality that I was a single mother, and I had to learn how to be okay with every aspect of it.
So as I moved forward with my life without the father of my child, I learned a number of valuable lessons. I learned about the joys and struggles of being a single mother by being there whole heartedly for my child, finding the joy in everything we do and watching my child grow. I’ve learned how to be a better, stronger and more confident woman internally because I know I am the primary example of what a woman should be in the sight of my child. I’ve learned how to balance my career and motherhood by managing my time better. And last, I’ve learned how to be single and extremely happy. How did I do that? By trusting in my Creator for guidance and finding the joy in being a single woman. This was indeed a difficult journey, but it was worth every lesson learned. Now that I look back on that night my relationship ended with the father of my child, I smile. I smile because I realize that if he had not ended our relationship I would probably have tried to continue on with a relationship with him that probably would have been detrimental to my health, his health and the health of our child. Letting go of the feelings I had for my child’s father was not easy, but I’m glad the door was closed on that relationship because it opened the door to so much more!
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
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