Dear toddler: Wherever your head rests, it will rest in love

The preach:  Forget perceptions. Keep it real.

The practice:

Dear baby boy,

I pulled your polka dot shade down tonight as we sang Twinkle Twinkle and, honestly, it felt like I was moving a mountain. Because, my little one, we are moving. And it’s a heavy, heavy load.

Tonight is the last time I will say “I will see you in the morning when you wake up” and close this particular door to send you off into slumber. The door through which I first introduced you to your first bedroom on our first day home from the hospital. The door through which we burst to wish you a first Merry Christmas. It’s in this room where you spent the first night away from mom and dad when you were done co-sleeping. And now, it will be the last night you live under the same roof with both mom and dad. Because, my child, I have to break your heart a little and tell you, somehow, that mom and dad won’t be living together anymore.

When I shut the door tonight and you yelled “daddy,” my heart broke a little (a lot) too.

I’ve lost countless hours of sleep trying to figure out how to explain this to you in a language you will understand and in a manner that won’t cause you baby anxiety. I want to tell you this in a way that lets you know you are loved more than ever by two parents who are moving down the street, but never out of your life. Still, I feel like a phony because it’s heartbreaking and painful and I feel like we failed as a family. So maybe it’s me that I really need to have this conversation with first.

It may seem like we failed. But we haven’t. We won’t. We can’t, because you, my love, are the common denominator that will always, always be worth fighting the fight for. And by fighting, mommy means turning the other cheek and keeping her mouth shut even when she doesn’t want to.

Please know that mommy made this choice for our family out of love for everyone involved because we all deserve happiness, peace and respect. But mostly, because I refused to repeat bad patterns and resolved to show you what real love looks like, not an incomplete version pretending to be for sake of keeping up with the Kardashians, the Joneses, or whomever else we think we need to compare ourselves to. I want to keep it real and honest for all of us, and sadly, that means taking some action to make change. Hopefully to better ourselves, and hopefully to better our family.

Who we are as people is who we are as parents, little one. So I am pledging to take this vow all the way and be the best version of me, for you. I want you to see by my example that the right thing might not always be the easy thing. And I want you to always know that you never need to settle for a situation or relationship that doesn’t honor who you are and what you’re worth.

Goodnight, sweet boy. May your stars always twinkle no matter which house you gaze up at them from. May you have the most peaceful dreams of two year-old innocence whether your head rests at mom’s house or dad’s. And no matter where you sleep, my darling, know that love surrounds you.

3 thoughts on “Dear toddler: Wherever your head rests, it will rest in love

  1. I love this article . I cried the first time I read it . My husband and I recent finalized our divorce and at times I feel like such a failure as a mom and as a family. I never want my son to feel like he came from a broken home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Diary of an Anxious Mommy and commented:
    When my ex and I decided to get a divorce. The changes that were coming for my 3-year-old is what broke my heart most. I cried when we had to sell the house because I felt bad that he wouldn’t have his own room or toy room or a big loft to play in. I cried because I felt bad. I wanted him to grow up in that house. I felt like I was failing him. To this day, I still have to remind myself that he will thrive from two happy parents that are not together more than he would if we forced a marriage thinking we were doing it for him. I don’t want him to grow up having a warped sense of what love and marriage is.


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