This is a bit of a departure from my usual pregnancy/birth/parenting blog, but it is no less relevant to the parenting experience.
Ten years ago if you would have asked me to describe myself, my answer without hesitation would have been: fun, fearless and free. Fast forward ten years and a huge question mark now stands where that certainty used to be. I managed to survive through one divorce with that fun, fearless girl intact. Now on the cusp of another one, this girl is more shaken, fragile and lost. Things are even more complicated when you throw children into the mix; one of my own and two I raised as my own from toddler-hood who now, by the way, after a decade refer to me as “that lady.”
This is by no means a pity party.
It is actually a story of triumph and a different type of birth. Parenting is HARD; easily one of the hardest things you will ever do! Parenting through a divorce is just incredibly brutal. Everyday there is a new challenge. Sometimes those hurdles are physical barriers, visible walls you can tackle with purpose. Oftentimes those challenges are mental and emotional and so much harder to push through. But, eventually you do push through and with each wall that gets broken down, a little piece of that fun, fearless, free girl gets to break through, too.
If parenting through this ordeal I like to call the “shit show” has taught me anything,
it is that I can be stronger than I ever thought possible. Childbirth held a similar lesson. The birth of my daughter ushered in the birth of my role as a mother and with that came fear and uncertainty for the road ahead. On the other hand, being responsible for a newborn baby also lit a fire within me and out of fear, strength, courage and determination were born. Navigating through the trials of divorce are amazingly similar. There are hills and valleys, peaks of uncertainty, and waves of doubt and relief, just as in labor. But one day soon, the pain and fear will be replaced with triumph and that fun, fearless girl will be born again.
For help in navigating through the myriad of decisions involved in birth and parenting, please feel free to contact A Beautiful Creation Doula!
Jennifer Rivera, owner of A Beautiful Creation Doula, is a birth doula, childbirth educator, pregnancy consultant, herbalist and Reiki practitioner serving the Greater Atlanta area.