"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."
Having a baby isn’t so hard. Labor? No big deal. Sleepless nights? Meh. Doing it all alone? Not too hard (which could be because I don’t know any other way, I suppose). I’ve developed a routine and am able to get myself and Sol up and ready for the day in a minimal amount of time, using only 2 hands, and without a shred of desire to pull my hair out. Parenthood is 1 squillion times easier than I thought it would be. Single-parenthood is maybe 2 times easier than I thought it would be. I can feed my daughter and myself, get to work on time (most of the time), and “do it all without looking like a trainwreck” (according to my dear hairdresser Kristin). I can handle all that.
What I struggle with the most is letting go of certain things, loosing the chains that keep me from moving forward. Obviously much of that involves Sol’s dad. We’ve been trying to work things out privately... “things” mostly being financial issues. Somehow he thought we could do this outside the courts, and without the guidance of an attorney. He told me he wanted to remain friends and that he didn’t want to be “just a check” to Sol and me. Reality check #1: he’s told me lots of things… and almost everything he told me was a lie. #2: it’s nearly impossible for us to be friends, given our circumstances. #3: the U.S. legal system is in place for a reason (people who are already cross with one another will seldom come to an agreement on issues regarding money).
Today I had a revelation, partially fueled by some recent conversations I’ve had with some dear friends (thank you, Megan and Kate!), and partially fueled by conversations I’ve had with him. In those conversations I learned some new things about Sol’s dad that gave me an even lower opinion of him than I had last week (and this man abandoned me when I was pregnant… that’s saying something). My mission going forward: I will no longer fall prey to the sickening charisma and smooth-talking that Sol’s dad is so skilled at. I have nothing to be afraid of. I will not be manipulated by him. I will not let my mind be controlled by him. We no longer have anything in common, aside from a daughter he can’t bring himself to know and love. I owe this man nothing, while he owes me more than he will ever have the opportunity to repay in this lifetime. Deception is a sport to men like him, and anyone who wants to trust him should be wary of the upshot.
Luckily for me, I had a streak of confidence today. And with that confidence I took a big step to make a better life for my daughter and me. Sol deserves the best. And so do I. And I will make that happen. A weight has been lifted and I can already breathe more easily. I’m proud of the choices I’ve made for us, and I know that everything will turn out splendidly. If you find yourself in a similar position, do yourself a favor and muster up the courage to make a necessary change. Go on, explore that brave new world. You will feel stellar.