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Monday, May 30th, 2011
One of the best things about blogging is that it keeps me honest. Someone commented that in order to fix our visitation problem, Tyler and I needed therapy. Puh-lease. This blog is my therapy. (Kidding. I see a shrink. 90% sure she thinks I’m nuts.)
Caroline actually did end up going with Tyler for visitation this weekend. I took her down to a playground near his place, and the three of us spent some time together there in hopes that she’d see us being friendly and would be more comfortable going with him, and it worked. I guess it’s a good reminder that even if we would prefer to ignore each other’s existence for our own sakes, it’s not in Caroline’s best interest to do so. Hopefully someday we can truly be friends, but until then, we’re gonna have to fake it till we make it, for Caroline.
The other concern is the possibility that she is picking up on my satisfaction at the fact that she prefers me. That’s going to be tough for me to get past. I do anything and everything for her while he chooses to take visits here and there, scheduled around his trips and his social life… honestly, I’d be heartbroken if she didn’t prefer me. I thought I was hiding it well from her, but maybe I’m not.
It all goes back to my anger, really. I don’t work on it as much as I should. I’m angry that we couldn’t hold it together for our daughter, I’m angry with myself for marrying Tyler when I knew deep down that we weren’t right for each other, I’m angry that he replaced me after we’d hardly been separated for five minutes, I’m angry that I shoulder 95% of the parenting responsibilities while he lives a carefree life and can easily start over, I’m angry that the time I do and do not have with my daughter is based completely upon his schedule. I get angry when I feel like I do not have control.
It’s easier to just blame Tyler, but for the sake of my sanity and my daughter, I have to take responsibility for my part in all of these things and do my best to be at peace with them. And I have to recognize that it’s not fair or healthy for me to secretly rejoice that Caroline “loves me more” than she loves him. Because a child’s love is not a finite thing. It isn’t like any love she has for him is necessarily taking away from the love she has for me. It’s not a contest, it’s not a choice. It isn’t “him or me”… it can be, and has to be, both.
And as far as visitation goes, I cannot force him to see her more often, but I can encourage him to take more visits and remind him of the ones he has scheduled, and when he is not around, I will continue to show her pictures of him and remind her of how much he loves her. I cannot control his actions, but I can control mine.
I don’t love him. I don’t even like him. But this isn’t about us. What he’s done to me and what I’ve done to him is irrelevant. I would do anything for my daughter. In the end, striving to be friends with her father is a very small thing to ask.
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Friday, May 20th, 2011
Hi! I’m Julia, single mom to Caroline, age two, who I adore but did not plan for. I got pregnant with her unexpectedly about halfway through dental school. I was married at the time. I continued with school until I went into preterm labor around 28 weeks, at which point I took a year off. I went back to dental school in January 2010, when Caroline was 11 months old. That summer, I filed for divorce from my husband, and our divorce was finalized this past February. I finally graduated from dental school just last week. My blog is about the challenges and joys of being a single mother and a dental student… and now that I’m done with school, a brand-new dentist.
I’ve been blogging for about three years and just moved all my old posts here to Parents (after much effort and HTML editing and breaking and fixing of tags, which probably would have been no big deal if I actually knew what a tag was, which I don’t). Since most of you reading this are probably new to my blog, I thought I’d put together a list of the posts that summarize my story the best. For the rest of you who already know me and followed me here… a little walk down memory lane. Or skip this post and wait for the new stuff!
Pick and choose and skip at will!
Shock: The day I found out I was pregnant.
The perils of unplanned pregnancy: The start of the troubles between me and Tyler.
Preterm WHAT??: Preterm labor begins at 28 weeks.
Suddenly a stay-at-home mom: Temporarily leaving school and going on bedrest.
It’s a girl!: Caroline is born at 36 weeks!
My birth story will have to wait: NICU trials and tribulations.
Birth story: This one’s self-explanatory.
A paper cut on the eye: Struggles with breastfeeding and pumping.
My “I-will-never’s”: It’s so much easier to parent before you actually become a parent.
See you in 10 minutes!”: I was so not a newborn kind of person.
Life is good: Just kidding, I was so totally a newborn kind of person. That day.
Whose leg do I have to hump to get a referral around here?: Issues with reflux.
Diagnosis: I am diagnosed with postpartum depression and PTSD.
Quitting time: I quit pumping in order to save my sanity.
Single mom’ing it: Tyler’s long and frequent absences take their toll.
I can do this: I return to dental school after my year at home.
Milestone anxiety: Caroline’s gross motor delay and resulting physical therapy.
May 16, 2010: Was once supposed to be my graduation day… but was still a good one.
Overly personal statement: Thoughts on having a baby during dental school.
I think I need to clarify: Explanation of my decision to file for divorce.
Empty: Tyler officially moves out.
Dear Caroline: A letter to my daughter about why I left her father.
“I don’t think she smiles like that”: Finding my happy place.
Off-limits: Struggles with dating after divorce.
Same team: My roller coaster plunges down again, and stories of divorce counseling.
Irretrievable breakdown: Our divorce is finalized.
“How do you do it all?”: Well, as it turns out, I really don’t.
That which angers you, controls you: I struggle with Tyler introducing his new girlfriend to Caroline.
Control freak: Continued struggles and introspection.
Alone: Thoughts on being single.
Prayer for my daughter: Reflections on what I want for my daughter, based on my own trainwreck of a personal life.
DMD… finally: My graduation from dental school… at last.
Whew. Long list. But it’s way shorter than reading all of my past posts. And if the past three years of my life have been anything, they’ve been eventful. Enjoy, and welcome to my blog!
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Babies, Blogging, Breastfeeding, Caroline, Dating, Divorce, milestones, NICU/Prematurity issues, physical therapy, Pregnancy, Reflux, School, Single Parenting, Tyler, Visitation | Categories:
Caroline, Dental School, Divorce, Must Read, NICU/Prematurity issues, Pregnancy, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
A blog post about blogging. It’s so meta.
I’ve been blogging for almost three years. For the first year to 18 months, no one knew about my blog except Tyler, and the girls in the “community” on the Nest, which is where I started blogging. Shortly after I moved to blogger, I told a few of my close friends at school about it. Now, a lot of people I know in real life know about it. My friends read it, Tyler’s friends read it, and judging from my sitemeter, a crapton of people have linked to it from Facebook and read it now too. Soon a lot of other people will read it too, when I move to Parents. And my full name will be listed there as the author.
Which is fine. I’m a pretty private person in real life, and there’s a lot of really personal stuff on this blog, but I put it on the internet; I put it out there. I don’t post anything I wouldn’t tell anyone if they asked. People are welcome to read about my life, whether I know them in person or not.
Still, it’s weird to think about. This is like my diary, or something. I’ve always used it as a place to write about my struggles and for introspection. Recently, writing about my divorce brought me a lot of peace when few other things did. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about people I see every day reading about it, but I guess what’s done is done and anyway it’s ended up pretty well for me. My friends say they love my writing and even though I know they’d say that even if it were shit garbage, because they’re awesome, it makes me feel more confident. So I keep writing.
I wrote once that blogging is like therapy for me. It’s still true. I don’t know why, but when I click that “publish post” button and whatever I’ve written gets sent off into the internet, for friends or classmates or ex-husband’s new girlfriends or fellow moms or random internet people to read… I feel better. It’s cathartic. It’s therapeutic. I sure do need that, regardless of any nasty comments I may get in return. (I try to ignore those, although I do always publish them.)
So I’ll keep writing, and I try not to let anything affect what I choose to write about. If I have some crazy shitshow going on, which let’s face it I usually do, I’m going to write about it regardless of whether I have to walk in to school and face 20 people who may or may not have read about it on my blog.
So, fellow bloggers who read this– do you keep your blog secret from people you know in real life? Why or why not?
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Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
As I’ve mentioned before, lots of changes are coming to my blog in the next month or so. All my content is moving to Parents.com. I also had Natalie from Eight Days Designs make a custom illustration of Caroline and me for the header of the new blog.
How cute is that?! I love it! Note the white coat. If only I were that hot in real life.
I just wanted to share it because I’m so excited for all the changes that are coming up, and because I love the illustration so much.
Back with a “real” post soon…
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Sunday, March 20th, 2011
Big blog news, that is.
I’m excited to announce that I’m officially going to be blogging for Parents.com! All of my content from Unexpectedly Expecting will be moved to my own page within their site, and I’ll be posting there several times a week. The change should happen within the next month or two, and I’ll of course link the new site from here (once it is up) so that you can follow me there.
It won’t change what I’m writing about– it’ll be the same blog, just more frequent posts and at a different location. I’m so psyched! Thanks everyone, for being my readers, motivating me to keep blogging, and helping create this awesome opportunity for me. I love you all!
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