Coparenting isn’t part time parenting.

Dear Delilah, 

I promise that you will always be at the top of my priority list. I promise to strive to give you the time & attention that God offers us as our Heavenly father. 

There’s a problem I see more & more everyday & I’d like to address it for those who are confused. 

BEING A SINGLE PARENT DOESN’T GIVE YOU A FREE PASS TO BE LESS OF A PARENT.

Just because you are separated doesn’t mean you’re a part time parent. It doesn’t mean you are half responsible for your child.  

I have literally heard parents say things like “my babies dad/mom never gets them so I never get a break”. What even? 

Yes, ideally we could all make it work with our children’s other parent but that’s just not realistic. 

Why does it seem like the mentality of parents (sadly often the younger ones) is “I wonder is anyone wants to watch my kid this weekend so I can be free”. Free? For what? Free to go to the lake, the casino, hangout with my new girlfriend, or get drunk with my friends. 

This is so depressing to me. 

You are a parent now. I am SO sorry if that inconveniences you. You literally have a child that wants nothing more in the world than your time & attention. 

I’m not referring to an occasional spa day or date night. I’m not referring to your child wanting to stay the night at grandma’s every few weeks. There are parents who literally post about going clubbing or partying every other weekend because thank goodness the kids are going to their dad’s house so I can finally be irresponsible. 

Another thing I feel like people do not understand: coparenting does not mean with your parents. Why are grandparents who’s children are grown expected to raise your kid half the time? 

Find new hobbies that your children can take part in. Go to the park, amusement parks, fishing, skating, go on picnics, swimming, an arcade, etc. Your child is not a burden. Stop looking forward to pushing them onto other people so you can think about yourself. 

Your kids are gonna grow up & realize that under the sugar coating of “going to grandma’s” or “dad’s gonna watch you”, you’re just trying to get rid of them. 

Does mother know best? 

Dear Delilah, 

I wish I had all the answers. I’m here to tell you a secret; moms don’t really know everything. Don’t worry, I always thought my mom knew it all too. I wish that I always knew how to fix the problem. I wish I knew how to console you when you cry. Everyone else can say “maybe she’s hungry” or “maybe she just needs her mom” but not me. I’m supposed to know what’s wrong because I’m your mother. I’ve been asked “What’s wrong with her?” or “Why is she crying?” Baby girl, I wish I knew.. Am I holding you wrong? Did I eat something that upset you? If you’re crying then maybe I’m not feeding you enough but if you’re spitting up a lot then maybe I’m feeding you too much. Once I’ve done all I can do, I feel helpless. What’s worse is that I know it will never change. There will always be things in your life that I can’t fix. There will always be questions I can’t answer & problems I don’t have the solution to. Just know that as you’re hurting, I am too. After you finally fall asleep after crying, I sit awake & cry too. I don’t know all the answers. I won’t always be able to help you, but I promise that I will always hold you through the pain. I love you through the smiles & I love you through the tears. If nothing else, I hope you remember that I tried & I will never stop trying to be the best, for you. 

This world will break you.

Dear Delilah, 

As I watch you sleep, I can’t help but think about the terrible world around us. Right now you’re so peaceful & safe but I know in time the world will steal your innocence.

Despite my efforts, one day someone will come along & make you feel things you’ve never felt before. You’ll think that they’re the one & then they’ll break your heart. It’s going to hurt, hurt like nothing you’ve experienced before. For a while you won’t want to get out of bed. You’ll live on Netflix & ice cream. As soon as you think your heart is healing you’ll cry yourself to sleep looking at old pictures & reliving the memories that you’ll never get back. I wish I could prepare you for that. Know that it will get better. I know it feels like the end of the world but even on the darkest nights the sun will rise. Remember during this time to love yourself. Find hobbies & spend time with friends, isolation is no good for the broken hearted. 

There will be times in your life that you feel so alone. Times when you feel like no one understands you & you don’t know where to run. I hope you know that you’re never too old to crawl in bed with me when you need to be close to someone.

In your life there will be people who discourage you. Teachers who don’t understand the way you learn, coaches who don’t see your talent, management who doesn’t want you to move forward in your chosen career. Ignore them. You can do anything you set your mind to.

This world will teach you what it means to lose someone you love. It’ll start with a pet & you won’t really understand why your dog is gone. Then one day it’ll be someone you know, someone you see everyday at school. Suddenly you realize that we’re not invincible, that realization is going to consume you, let it. Then live everyday like it’s your last & let everyone you love know how special they are to you.

One day you’ll make a mistake, not coloring out of the lines or spilling your juice but a mistake that makes it hard to look at yourself in the mirror. In the moment you’d do anything to take it back but know that holding onto the past keeps you from moving forward. Your mistakes do not define you, they aren’t who you are. Remember that.

This world will make you question your worth. When the boy you like doesn’t look your way, remember that you’re still beautiful. When you don’t make the soccer team or cheer squad, know that God has given you a special set of skills for a reason & you will discover them. Don’t base your worth on Twitter followers or how many likes your selfie got on Instagram. Love yourself. “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” This world will tell you that you’re too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too freckly, too pale, too smart, too dumb, etc. Please don’t listen. Growing up I was always “short stuff”. People thought it was funny to run into me & act like it was funny because they “couldn’t see me”. When I hit puberty my breasts started growing & I remember going shopping with my mom for a bra. A lady told me that they don’t make bras my size because it was abnormal for someone to wear a D cup when they were so small around. I felt like a freak. (Turns out the lady was just ignorant on the subject.) You are you for a reason, don’t let others diminish that.

Lastly, one day you will realize that your dad & I are not superheroes. We don’t know the answers to all of your questions. We have made mistakes & unfortunately will keep making them. We’ve been through our fair share of broken hearts, lost friends, self-doubt, & discouragement. There will come a day when we disappoint you. When you realize that we probably shouldn’t be put on that pedestal where you’ve had us placed your whole life. As much as this day will break my heart, it will allow us to bond in a new way. You will view us in a new light as you see that we are human too & we’ve been where you are. We will always be here to listen and give you advice. We are nowhere near perfect but remember that we’re doing the best that we can. 

Learning to girl mom

Dear Delilah,

I always thought you would be a boy. I mean, my first child anyways. I’ve always felt like a “boy mom” & figured my adventures would come with mud, broken bones, & bugs. Don’t take this wrong, I am in no way disappointed. I’m just slightly changing my approach to parenting. I now have to raise you to be a strong, Godly woman in a man’s world. I have to raise you to be a lady but teach you that being a lady doesn’t mean your voice doesn’t matter. 

But on another note, I’m learning all about dresses & bows & headbands. I’m pretty sure I haven’t worn a bow since I was 3. I was raised on dirty fingernails & drinking from the water hose. I swam in the ditches when it rained & rolled my eyes when your Nana wanted me to wear anything but boys athletic shorts. I still wear shorts under every dress I own because I haven’t quite perfected the “sitting like a lady” part. Oops. 

Here are some of my high school friends & I after having a shaving cream fight & jumping in a muddy lake. 

Anyways, I’ve gotten loads of help from friends & family on making sure you’ll be the best dressed baby girl around. You definitely own more dresses, bows, headbands, & shoes than I have in my entire life. I’ve even made some myself! I bought a hot glue gun & I’m pretty sure that’s one of the first steps to being a girl mom. 

I’ve done my makeup the same since I learned how to do it in 8th grade. You wouldn’t believe the amount of things people alter their appearance with these days; drawn on eyebrows, over lined lips, fake freckles, fake eyelashes, etc. Super strange to me but if contouring, highlighting, & winged eyeliner are your passion then I’ll support that 100%. You & your Aunt Kylee can have a field day. 

Also, I’m gonna apologize in advance for your not so cute hair do’s.. I didn’t learn to straighten my hair until I was a teenager & I learned to curl it when I was in college. I can do the basic braid once your hair is long enough but I can’t french braid yet. Who knows, maybe I’ll do the whole youtube tutorial thing & teach myself. 

Dude, I don’t like pink. You don’t have to just because you’re a girl, I mean there are so many other colors. You have plenty of pink stuff so I’m not robbing you of your own choices but please don’t ask me to paint your room pink, I’m not sure I’m strong enough to handle that. 

Just know that whatever you love, I’ll learn to love. I thought I was made to be a boy mom but God has different plans & I’m so excited to see where this takes us. 

A poem from your dad

When Delilah arrives, it will be so grand. We will be picking out flowers, playing in the sand.

This time of our lives will be so much fun, watching her grow, walk, crawl, run.

A new experience is right around the corner, not one new special moment at all like any other. 

Watching her grow from a little human being, to a great big tall giant at only age 3.

To see her smile, to hear her laugh, to watch rage build up as she gets mad.

To calm her storms and broaden her mind, to make sure she knows how bright she can shine. 

How lucky we’ll be just to watch her roam, as she dances around, our hearts she will own.

How beautiful and happy our little girl will be, when this house becomes bigger, not two but three.

When Delilah arrives, she will be so adored, A piece of us both, sewn together by the Lord. 

Are you ever ready?

Dear Delilah,

I’m terrified. I don’t know how to make this transition into motherhood. The time is nearing when you’re going to make your arrival & no article or pinterest blog can help me now. Up to this point caring for you has only required me to care for myself. How do I know what to do? I find comfort in the fact that mothers have been doing this quite literally since the beginning of mankind. Does every mother feel this way? Forgive me when I’m irritated with you for keeping me up for days & when I want to pull my hair out because you won’t stop crying & I’ve tried everything. I promise I’ll do the best I can. I’ve never been given a bigger responsibility than to raise up a human being. As you’re growing up & experiencing things for the first time, remember it’s a first for me too. We’re learning together. Forgive me when I’m too hard on you, or too much of a pushover. Forgive me when I’m overly protective, I promise your skinned knee will probably hurt me more than it hurts you. This is going to be one heck of a ride but I promise I’ll be the best I can be, for you.

Who will you be?

Dear Delilah,

You bring me so much joy, it’s unreal. It is strange to love someone you know nothing about. I can’t tell you if you’ll be a dancer, a soccer player, or an artist. I don’t know if you’ll listen to country music, screamo, or jazz. Will you be into romantic comedies like me or action movies like your dad? I have no clue, but I am so eager to learn. I promise to always encourage your individuality. I will never diminish the things that make you unique. No matter what adventures you decide to embark on, I promise I will always be there supporting your dreams. When you fall, I will be there to pick you up & remind you to never give up on yourself. There will be times you envy the talents of others. In those moments I will remind you of the skills that make you special. When I was younger I wanted to be a dancer. I tried out for the school drill team & cheer squad & made neither. The truth is the only kind of dancing I can do is “Just Dance”. However, I’ve got countless medals from singing competitions & was awarded Best Actress in my college. Those are the gifts God chose for me, what will he choose for you? As I lie in bed every night I try to picture you, but there are still so many questions unanswered. Will your hair be red like your dad’s? Will you have my brown eyes or his freckles? How is it possible to love someone so unconditionally when you’ve never even met them? I can’t quite answer all of these questions but I know one thing for certain; Delilah Rain, I can’t wait to meet you.