Please don’t say you stayed in the marriage for me and that you were unhappy all these years to make sure I was happy. That’s too much pressure for my small shoulders.
Don’t look at my bad qualities and say, “You’re just like your mother.” Where does that leave me? If I’m just like my mom and you can leave her then who’s to say you won’t leave me too one day?
You divorced my father. I didn’t. Respect our relationship and that I need him in my life.
I feel the same anxiety as you do at my soccer games, when you’re both there – hoping and praying there won’t be fighting and I can feel normal if only for a few hours
There are days I feel this is all my fault, that if only I listened more, and behaved better, maybe we’d still be a family.
Don’t ask us about daddy’s new girlfriend and what she wears and how she cooks. It pits you against her. You are our mother and compete with no one.
Don’t speak badly about my dad in front of me. He’s still my hero and let him stay that way. Don’t put me in the middle of your arguments. I’m your child, not your referee.
Be present when you’re with me – really listen to me, really hear me and just really be with me.
We hear more than you think, see more than you know and understand more than you realize.
We know you made these choices because you thought it was better. I may not see it and I may not understand it yet, but just give me time and I will.
I hurt too and two years later, it still hurts and I’m still healing so be patient and kind with me.
Never underestimate the power of a cuddle, a kiss and a well timed fart joke
I don’t see the flaws you see in yourself. I love you as you are. You are just enough for me.
I know it’s not always easy for you and I may not always help and listen like I should but I am always proud that you are mine.
(This post originally appeared on The Not So Single Life)
About the author: Daniella English, author of The Not So Single Life, is a single mother of four and a communications student at York University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and thenotsosinglelife.ca