It almost seems like every day as a single parent you are dating your kids.A wonderful evening is dinner with your children with an hour episode of Hannah Montana, ICarly, and Josh and Drake.You end the evening with a charming but gentle story about a person who has nothing and in less than 40 pages ends up gaining the whole world.You teach faith to your children as you amiably pray with them and agree with God that they will grow up to be that person that gains the whole world, just like the characters in the book.You kiss them on the forehead and remind them that you love them. You turn and exit the room realizing that you don’t have anyone to tuck you in, kiss you on the forehead and pray with you.What used to be a warm bed is now filled with pillows that mimic the fact that you are alone.
You exit your child’s room pissed off because this is not what you dreamed about. This is not what your parents prayed about for you.Instead of having gained the world, this story has ended horribly.You find yourself looking at your collection of children books and what used to make you happy as a child makes you irritated.You say to yourself that all of these childhood stories are lies.If you are a man you might begin to think that there is no such thing as a Cinderella but a gold-digger instead.And what does seven men living with Snow White make her – a ‘hoe’?If you are a woman you might wonder if your Kent is really Kermit the frog and if your Prince Charming just got out of jail and is without a job. All of a sudden a little person that wears a dark outfitand looks just like you, sits above your left shoulder and reminds you that your ex -spouse left a bottle of tequila that you bought 10 years ago on your honeymoon. You were going to open it on your anniversary, but hell he or she is gone. You take a moment to reflect on your past relationship then you open the bottle and take a few shots, not really drunk but tipsy, you find the courage to pick up the phone and call your ex just to say, thank you for nothing, laughing as you hang up the phone.The morning comes and you find yourself with a headache and the reality that you are starting over again.They are gone and you are left picking up the pieces.
Loneliness is a reality of being divorced.What used to be so common is now so uncommon.You want to cry but ever y time you try to deal with your emotions you can’t because you have to do something for your children.Let’s not forget the haunting sounds of family that are missing.It feels like your house is filled with ghosts.You look in the direction they once played or slept only to find they aren’t there anymore. Your parents call you everyday just to make sure you have not tried to kill yourself.You will not watch romantic movies because it too much to handle.You hate to see couples and you feel like the universe has robbed you of your dignity.You hate running into people who knew you and your spouse, because they always ask how the other person is doing.Over and over again you have to say that we are going through a divorce.What really makes you mad is when they say those magic words, “I am so sorry.”You have this 30 second dream where you kick the ass of every person who should have told you that your marriage was going to end one day.When you come back to reality they are still talking, you find an excuse to end the conversation, instead of saying, “Could you please shut the hell up, before I kick your ass!”
Even though it seems that your world is ending, your life is just beginning.I have learned that regardless of the circumstance the sun will rise again. What appear to be your darkest days are the days where you display tremendous amounts of strength.The reality is that you are not dating your kids you are putting your kids first while trying to find a balance.It takes time to learn how to be the responsible parent while learning how to reconfigure your life.Instead of trying to find love, spend time trying to find you.Explore the things that you always dreamed of doing. Take a dance class, meet new people, explore the world though the eyes of a new opportunity instead of through the eyes of a broken marriage.Remember, you are not alone; millions of people have gone through a divorce.Even me, I am a new inductee into the blended family crew.
Antonio Love is a recently divorced father who is currently raising his daughter. He is also the author of Talking What Ya Want and Divorce, Who Needs Furniture Anyway. For more information on Antonio Love and his movement, please visit www.antoniolove.com.