I'm guilty of having a very motherly personality. I have incredibly strong maternal instincts and I've come to realize that having the boys was exactly what I needed. I feel like I was born to be a mother and that is my purpose in life. With having Draven and being a first time mom, I was nervous that I wouldn't know what to do considering the fact that I had only ever changed a diaper or two of Jayden's and fed him a few times. I was even worried about silly shit like thinking that Draven wouldn't like me. I didn't know shit about being a mom and it wasn't like they handed me a manual when it was time for us to go home from the hospital. I knew that I had my mom to help me, but I had to figure it out on my own. Once I was healed from my episotomy and started getting around a little better, I caught on and did what needed to be done beautifully. The crying and lack of sleep from late night feedings was a reality check and another form of birth control, but I put on my big girl panties and took care of my baby. Four years later, I did the same exact thing when I had Devin. The way I see it is that while I have always had tons of extra help, nobody is obligated to help take care of them except me and their fathers because we are the ones that created them.
Parenting really isn't as bad as people say. It can get a little stressful and overwhelming, but it;s incredibly rewarding. It doesn't come easily to everyone like it did for me and sometimes, there are a few hiccups along the way like I saw with postpartum depression that leaves you feeling useless as a mother. Some people really don't give a shit about the children they bring into the world and it's truly sickening. That's just as bad as abusing them in my eyes. I spent the majority of Draven's first years of life panicking because of all of my irrational fears. So much happens to kids in this world and some of those things could easily happen to one of mine. At that point, I'd just have to prepare myself to spend the rest of my life behind bars or take my own life completely. Their early years of life feel like walking on eggshells. You spend a lot of time showing them things, both good and bad, and they pick up on it like it's as easy as breathing. You find out what kind of little personality they're going to develop or what they might like and dislike. You see their eyes light up around you and some of the things they like to do with you. You can easily become their most favorite person or their most hated. They decided whether or not they can trust you and if you have good or bad intentions around them and believe me, kids pick up on that shit a lot better than most adults can.
Our children are exactly like sponges. Throughout the separation between Thomas and I, I've noticed a little bit of a difference in both boys. The first night when Thomas got ready to leave, Draven stopped him and asked where he was going and if he could go with him (normally if my mom is around, Draven doesn't really try to keep up with me or Thomas, so that's why his behavior seemed so unusual). Draven proceeded to tell him to wait until he got his shoes on (at this point, Draven was probably trying to go with him because he got the feeling that he might not be coming back). He then asked him when he would be back and asked Thomas why he was crying. Draven is the kind of kid that will see someone crying and he'll be genuinely concerned and ask what's wrong. Whether he understands what's going on or not, he knows to hug you and say that it will be alright and he's been that way every since he's been able to walk over to someone and hug them. He has never been able to stand the sight of someone crying. That tiny detail about my son is why he's been my rock, my back bone, and my very best friend for the last five years. He's smart and he's caring and there's no other way to describe him.
Noodle has even been acting different. Now that things are a little better between Thomas and I, he's been a lot more cheerful. He crawled between the two of us while we were laying in bed talking and he couldn't stop giggling and smiling as he looked back and forth at us. He was clapping and giving us kisses like he felt that there might still be some love left between his parents and he would throw a fit if he saw one of us without the other.
Seeing all of these changes in my boys was heartbreaking. I'm angry at myself for spending so much time being motherly toward people in my intimate relationships and all it did was drain me of a huge portion of my energy and break me down. All the time I spent crying or talking shit because of their dads could have been spent with them. I stupidly took to trying to raise another woman's son not once, but twice when both times, I had two little boys I should have been giving my full attention to. I'm not saying I neglected my boys for a man, and I could never even think about neglecting them for a man, but I wasted too much time and energy. My main focus should have always been on them as my sons rather than them and their dads as a family. Women have made it as mothers without having a picture perfect family for centuries and I know better than to have ever thought that keeping a man around was a necessity. My love should only have ever been divided between Draven and Devin.
Based on my hectic track record, my relationships with Thomas and Austin were both complicated by the two of them having mommy issues. Then, here comes my dumb ass trying to fill the shoes of their mothers and make them into the men their moms should have molded them to be. I was the partner that was willing to give them anything I had to give as a token of my love that they needed, wanted, and never had like their mothers never did. It was more than loving them unconditionally. I was prepared to die for the two of them at one point in our relationships. I did everything except bathe them and wash their asses simply because I thought that taking care of a significant other and being anything that they needed, including acting like a mother, was the only way to keep them around and show them that I really cared. There are two forms of unconditional love. One kind is the kind you get from your mother where she teaches you right from wrong and takes care of you even when you reach adulthood and you go out and make her proud because she gave you life and would gladly lay down and die just for you to thrive. Then there's the unconditional love you get from a partner where they love you despite your flaws, but they fearlessly put you in your place and don't care because they're only doing it with good intentions because they want to grow with you, but they refuse to take your bullshit and let you walk all over them. Sometimes I feel like I was mistaking one for the other and sometimes I was failing at trying to combine the two. Now I know that under no circumstances do you get the two of them confused.
They both eventually figured out that I didn't have the heart to be any other way. Austin saw me take that transition from a teenager to a mother, still caring for him the way that I did, but he felt smothered and he felt like I was being too controlling. I now see that he probably turned away because he spent so many years doing his own thing without a motherly figure looming over him and caring so much. I held onto him so tightly because I didn't want to feel like my hard work was going to waste, but eventually it did. That wasn't who he truly wanted to be and I can understand that now.
Thomas got comfortable, knowing I'd still take care of him and everything else going on in our life in full beast mode just to get shit done and not have to worry about it later. By beast mode, I mean talking shit to anyone that needed it, knowing what I wanted to do with my life and being set on doing something once I had my mind made up. He had never seen a mother take on the world so powerfully and remain so head strong in the process, putting others before me just to make sure they didn't ever have to worry about a thing. With those characteristics instilled in me, he felt like he could give minimal effort to barely scrape by because either way, I was going to get shit done and he didn't want to hear me nagging him about it.
Who I was a few days ago before writing this post thought, THESE MOTHERFUCKERS HAVE ME ALL THE WAY FUCKED UP!!!!! But shit happens. Seeing where I went wrong and realizing what my main focus should be has been the first step toward getting better. I don't think that Austin and I will ever share anything else besides Draven and I have love for him because he is half of my amazing little hero. My marriage with Thomas has been a little rocky and I'm still hoping for a change, but he is no longer my everything, but I still have love for him as well simply because he is half of my little Noodle and gave Draven a loving father when he needed one the most and he still loves him as if he's been there since day one. I can never see myself living a life where I don't love Thomas with a passion, but from now on Draven and Devin will be the only ones that will get the opportunity to benefit from my time and energy.
I love those two little knuckleheads with every fiber of my being and I don't feel like I've been very fair to them. My health has taken a slow decline and I refuse to kill myself because of people that are insignificant compared to my boys and they need me to be the best mother I can be solely for them. Everything that I've ever done has been for them and this step in my growth as a woman and a mother is just another one of the challenges I've faced for them that I intend to conquer.