View From the Kitchen Floor

kitchen floorHave you been here? Crying on the kitchen floor? I never thought this would be me, but here I am.

After 14 years of marriage, I have found myself divorced with two kids who now have a new stepmom and stepsisters. Meanwhile, I’m just surviving. Doing all the things to try to keep their lives moving and normal. But the life I can offer them is now different, and it makes me feel insignificant.

For a long time, I tried to make my marriage work. My parents have been married for over 50 years and divorce was never an option for me — until it was the only option. I married a narcissist. I didn’t know I did, until the day my therapist, who was previously our marriage counselor, told me to start watching a YouTube series called “Surviving a Narcissist.” Wow. Everything resonated.

When I got divorced, I asked my ex if he wanted joint custody. His words to me were, “I can’t. How would I get them to school if I had to work?” That told me he was incapable of doing for our kids what I not only could do, but would do. The question I then asked was, “What if I had said I couldn’t do it? Where would the kids be if I had also said I couldn’t do it?”

I now find myself in a new 50/50 custody battle, likely because he now has a wife to help… even though he moved to another county an hour away from his kids. But I digress.

My kids are currently on their regularly scheduled summer vacation in the mountains with my ex-in-laws. This used to be our vacation — the boys would go enjoy their time alone with their grandparents then we would go up to spend quality family time together. That happened again this summer. Only the difference is, I’m not part of the family anymore. My babies are with their dad and stepmom and stepsisters this year. She’s replaced me, and I don’t know how to come to terms with it. I am terrified I’m being replaced. Everyone says that’s not possible, and she can’t replace me as their mom. But as much as I want to believe that, in this moment, I can’t.

I don’t want him. I don’t miss him. I miss my family though, and that’s what brought me to the kitchen floor tonight. I still, to this day, feel as if it’s all my fault, that I’m failing my kids, and that I don’t deserve to find (actual real, healthy) love.

I recently met an amazing man — I guess you could say we are “official,” although using the term boyfriend at 41 seems weird. We haven’t met each other’s kids yet. My ex introduced my boys to his new wife two weeks after they started dating… which was exactly the same week he broke up with the woman before that. So needless to say, I have been very protective and am not anywhere ready to introduce my boys to my “boyfriend.” But, at the same time, I want so much to be to my boyfriend’s boys what my kids’ stepmom is to them. It’s such a double standard, and I can’t figure out how to make sense of it.

So here I am. Missing my babies. Overanalyzing my whole life. And crying on the kitchen floor that needs to be vacuumed, next to my snoring dog.

And, do you know what? While I am still going to sit here and cry my eyes out while wishing things were different and wishing I didn’t have to share my boys, I am going to eventually stand up. And realize that I am enough for my boys, and I am good enough for another man (a good man) to love me, flaws included.

So, while I’m going to sit on the kitchen floor for a hot minute, I’m also going to stand up from this floor and keep moving forward, knowing that I’m not the perfect mom, but I am their mom, and I’m good enough. And as far as the stepmom, I’m going to try to embrace her as an extra person to love and support my babies.


  1. As moms, we are so adept at managing/surrounding/organizing every aspect of our children’s lives. This may seem devastating that another woman is part of their lives, doing the things you have been doing for their whole lives. This would happen to me during the summer when my kids would go spend weeks with their father. Sadly, it consumed me and caused me to waste time crying and being depressed, instead of nurturing myself as a woman and fulfilling my needs. It will get better over time as you learn to accept and let go. Your boys won’t be boys for long. I wish you the best.

  2. You’re awesome! Please take care of yourself. You are more than enough. May God bless you and keep you in His arms. Wrap you in His love. Stay amazing, okay, Momma!


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