Leaving My Daughter’s Father Made Me A Better Mother

by Amanda Marcotte
Originally Published: 
A mother and daughter hugging
Scary Mommy and Brett Sayles/Pexels

Women overanalyze. It’s in our DNA. Women think, and overthink, when it comes to just about every aspect of our lives. Since becoming a mother, that over-analyzation evolved into perpetual self-doubt. Was I a good enough mother? Was I setting a good example for my daughter? Was I the best version of myself that I could possibly be?

The answer was no, to all of it.

Somewhere along the line, I became bitter and resentful towards my daughter’s father. Without diving too far into the intimate details, there came a point where I would do anything to leave the house, and in doing so, leave my daughter.

If a grocery trip had to be done? I volunteered. Post office? I did it. Work event? I attended.

I would do anything in my power to not be home. While it killed me to be away from my child, I couldn’t stand to be in that house.

Brett Sayles/Pexels

The day finally came where I took a good look at my behavior, my emotions, and my self-worth as a mother. I was a shell of the person I once was. The immense love I have for my daughter was not enough to keep me home. I didn’t like the person I had become in the relationship. I didn’t recognize this angry, bitter, tired person. I was the weakest link in our family. And if I wanted to be anything close to the mother I had imagined for myself, I would have to leave my daughter’s father, and it was the hardest thing I have ever done.

He was angry. He was upset that I’d throw away the better part of a decade to go “find myself.” Now he was the one who was bitter, resentful, and tired.

He questioned how I could possibly be willing to force our daughter to spend her days split between homes. How I could be willing to miss out on half of her life experiences, and how I could expect him to be satisfied with missing out on half as well.

The answer for me was simple, albeit not one he wanted to hear.

I am simply a better person without him.

This is not his fault, it’s mine. I allowed myself to become that bitter, angry person to the point of disrepair. There was no form of therapy that would be able to handle my situation as effectively, or with the best outcome, as this.

I am packing the best version of myself into the time I have with my child more than I ever have before. Since leaving her dad and going out on my own, I have consistently been able to wake up and show up as the happiest version of myself for my daughter.

I have practiced self-care more in the past year than I had in the ten years before it combined. I’m becoming more healthy. I’m excelling in my career. I’m writing more. I’m excited to come home on the days I have my daughter, and I’m even more excited to stay home with her.

My former self was a constant vessel of stress, and that toxicity oozed into every aspect of my life; whether at work, in friendships, or in the relationship with this little girl.

Since leaving my daughter’s father, I have been given a fresh start. I am now the mother I always dreamed of becoming. I’m happy, I’m healthy, I’m a good role model. She has my undivided attention when we are together, and she knows without question the extent of my love for her.

Did this play out the way I had always intended? Of course not. Society has told us for decades that we fall in love, get married, have babies, and live happily ever after. (Bonus points for a white picket fence.)

That just wasn’t my story. Through this experience, my daughter will receive double the love. Double the families, double the holidays, double the happiness. Her dad and I are still a team, and we always will be when it comes to our child. But a team is only as strong as it’s weakest link, and thankfully, today, that link is not me.

We are Scary Mommies, millions of unique women, united by motherhood. We are scary, and we are proud. But Scary Mommies are more than “just” mothers; we are partners (and ex-partners,) daughters, sisters, friends… and we need a space to talk about things other than the kids. So check out our Scary Mommy It’s Personal Facebook page. And if your kids are out of diapers and daycare, our Scary Mommy Tweens & Teens Facebook pageis here to help parents survive the tween and teen years (aka, the scariest of them all.)

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