Mama to two beautiful children. My living son Grayson, and my daughter in heaven, Mila. I hope to share our story in a way that helps others
You never go into a marriage expecting it to fail. You don’t intentionally have a child with a husband, knowing that months later divorce papers and custody agreements will take the place of family photos. It isn’t the intention to bring a child into the world, only to decide that shared custody in two separate homes is the only option. It happens though.
I would like to be able to blame it on losing a child and leave it at that. Yes, the statistics are stacked against couples who lose a child. The divorce rates significantly elevate. That would be easier than admitting the flaws and mistakes made. Easier than the infidelity that when brought to light ultimately pushed me to end my marriage.
If I said it was a hard choice, I would be lying. I was absolute and sure the moment the words left his mouth. Ten years of my life, all of high school spent with this same person who had become a stranger to me. This man who I no longer felt anything for, and that’s not the reaction I expected to have when things came to an end.
What I did feel was guilt, for putting my 8 month old baby boy through a divorce so early in life. I even contemplated making the relationship work until he was older, but when it came to it I knew couldn’t put myself through that. It felt wrong to not even give it an effort for my son’s sake, so instead I poured every ounce of myself into giving him the best of his mom, constantly.
As you could imagine that mindset became exhausting. I had to find a full time position, as I had been a stay at home mom previously. That meant a babysitter for my son, and way less time together. Another thing to feel extreme guilt over. I worried myself to death over what everyone was thinking of me 24/7, I worried that I was not a good enough mom. I worried that Grayson would be scarred from this event so early in his life, I let the guilt consume me.
At the time my son and I were staying with friends. Gray started walking that month, and obviously was more fussy than usual due to the extreme changes happening in our life. It was so much to take on and a situation I never saw myself in. I was so careful not to impose on anyone, I was walking on eggshells around everyone and especially our living situation. I am not a person who takes help from anyone easily so having no choice but to ask for help had me feeling guilty in that aspect of life as well.
After working full time for a month or so and putting back money I was able to rent Gray and I our own little space. That came with its own struggles and lessons learned, as I was not able to afford it after a few months and didn’t feel safe alone with the way things were at the time. This landed is back where we were staying before and I was so thankful to have friends to fall back on during that failure. Though I felt that defeat deep in my soul.
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. And all of those trails and tribulations have landed us exactly where we needed to be for amazing opportunities. As the divorce was finalized and all of my ducks were in a row I was given the amazing opportunity to be a stay at home mom again.
I have been incredibly blessed in life to have met a man who, since the day he was introduced to my son has treated him as his own. I have watched their love for each other steadily grow this year. I am thankful everyday for their bond and that I have watched him make my son feel so happy, content, and loved. It was a time when I felt like I was failing that he swooped in and reminded me that I am stronger than I let on.
It was unconventional to meet such a good man at such a crazy time in my life, but he has been my rock as I have navigated this new and exciting (sometimes stressful) path that we are now on. Despite the trust issues, ptsd, and mom guilt that came along for the ride. It’s no small task to take on all that I had going on. I have grown tremendously as a person, a mother, and in my writing. I never expected to move out of Kentucky, but living in Nashville has changed our lives for the better.
The truth is, had it not been for my divorce, I would have never found myself. Losing my daughter, is something I will never recover from. I miss her every second of every day, and that will be how I live out the rest of my life. I’m just thankful that a change in circumstance and a huge push out of my comfort zone has brought happiness back into my life. As well as put me on a path to share her story and help other bereaved mothers begin to heal.
© 2020 Tayler A Rich