It’s been a long time since I began this series, Ceta Diaries, where I share my thoughts on life with breast cancer and divorce. And it’s also been a little over a year since we began the divorce process. What I’ve learned is the labels that come with my choice to end my marriage are hard pills to swallow. Let me explain why!
I Am Not A Single Mother
To be frank, I don’t feel comfortable saying I’m a single mother. I feel like it’s an insult to the women that truly are doing it all alone. Let me explain why. I am a single woman yet I am still very much in contact with the father of my children. Divorce won’t change that. I feel a single mother is a woman that has little to no contact with the man that fathered her children whether married or not. We have to communicate, more so now that we will soon be divorced, for Clark and Stone’s sake. We chose to make them our top priority and made a conscious decision to continue to put them first.
Recently, I mapped everything out all the way down to family gatherings twice a month for the sake of my sons. Even though we have a set parenting agreement with a schedule for our children, we are very flexible for the sake of their wellbeing. It is because we have this system in place that it feels weird and like a lie to say I am a single mother. I’m not doing it all alone. Their father still provides, quite well, for them both. And, if I am being completely transparent, for me as well.
I simply couldn’t do it alone without the help of their father. We also chose to try and be as amicable as possible during our divorce process. I think it’s so important for couples that have chosen to uncouple to try and be as kind as possible for the sake of their children. The family dynamic of the relationship will never change. Once you have children with someone, you are a part of their lives for the rest of your children’s lives.
I want my sons to have a family – I don’t want them to ever feel like it was their fault. I can’t take their family away from them because their father and I decided to end our 13-year marriage. Children need both of their parents in their lives. They need to see that relationships change, but, most importantly, their family remains the same. As long as their father is alive I will never be a single mother. I choose to parent side by side with my soon to be “wusband”.
I Don’t Have An Ex-Husband
Although Stephen and I aren’t actually divorced yet, I feel the label of ex-husband sounds so harsh. It just sounds like the person was canceled. It has a negative connotation to me even though I know the definition isn’t. I oftentimes wonder if it bothers me so much because you rarely hear someone speak highly of their ex-husband or ex-wife. I want to change that for the sake of our sons.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I have choice words to share in regards to his choices that, in my opinion, aren’t the best. But, I don’t think he’s a bad person. He never was. Otherwise, I would not have married him. The reality is divorce is hard! Navigating the journey to finalize the divorce is even harder. We are on a constant pendulum of one minute we are good friends and the next I am questioning his sanity. It’s all part of the process I guess. But, I don’t want to cancel my 15-year relationship and consider it all a loss by calling him my ex-husband.
I had a drink with a friend of mine two days after my divorce blog post went live (sidenote: my divorce post published the day after I was diagnosed with breast cancer). I stated that my marriage had failed. My friend reminded me that wasn’t true. I was reminded of the good times that came out of our marriage. Most importantly, our two beautiful sons, Clark and Stone. That in itself is a reason to celebrate him.
That is why I choose to call him my “wusband”. He “was” my husband hence my wusband. I’m not sure how he feels about this but as for me, this is what I call him. It’s also a term that feels better to say because he’s actually still my husband. We are not legally separated. We are, in fact, married. Until that is final, for the sake of giving him a title, this is what it is.
I hope you enjoyed my second installment of the Ceta Diaries. I have so much to share about my journey living with breast cancer while going through a divorce and I’m eager to share it here with you all.
This is beautiful, Ceta! I think you have struck the perfect balance between making the right decisions for yourself and doing it in the most elevated, kindest way for your family.
Kate! It has been a journey to find this balance. It is still difficult but we are navigating through our new normal
I enjoyed this post. As a divorced mother and a child of divorce, I can relate in many ways. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much Janelle. I’m so happy this resonated with you. I am trying to change the narative around divorce.
Great share from the heart. Love you!
Thank you so much Stace! I love you
I love this post! As someone who was truly a single mother, I fully appreciate that you respect the grueling demands of not having a committed partner in parenting. I also feel your concept of a wuss and is quite unique and distinguished between those who check out of the entire family dynamic, from those who are simply no longer married/a mate.
Last, I admire your brilliant bravery as you traverse this emotional minefield with your health concerns. I pray that you come out on the other side stronger, more at peace and healthy.
You’ve already taken major steps in that direction
Hi Marie! Thank you so much for your support and your kind words. It is hard as you know but I always want to honor all women for truly doing our best.
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