I will say this: Before you have children, make sure you can see yourself raising them with the person you choose to procreate with for at least 18 years.
(well that's a loaded first sentence, isn't it??)
Seriously, take a look at that person sitting beside you. With those annoying little quirks that you think are so lovable. With that ridiculous habit/hobby/nervous tic that you tolerate right now. With those questionable (at least to you) values and/or morals that don't really matter, right now. With his aloofness, his baggage. Because right now, you love him (or you think you do...) and these things don't really matter right now. They're tolerable right now...they might even be endearing.
I know they were for me...
So fast forward 5 years. 10 years.
Now you can't stand the sight of him. You can't figure out why this guy won't grow up. But guess what....you're stuck with him in your life because you ignored that inner voice and you had a baby with him.
This man has equal influence in your child's life. He takes equal time.
And so, okay maybe you've made peace with this guy in your life and in your child's life for the next 18+ years. You tolerate him. You have found a way of explaining away his broken promises to your child in a way you almost believe. He's there, at least, for his son. A male role model is a male role model, right?
But then, he brings another woman into your son's life.
You can't do anything about it. In fact, you don't even know about it until after your child tells you *daddy's moving in with C and they're going to buy a big house with a pool in the back yard!!!*
So much fun, right??
Now not one, but two people are in your life. They're at your son's play at school. They're at his graduation. They're at his wedding. At the hospital for the birth of your first grand child. These people are in your life forever.
You need to think about that. Because I didn't give it enough thought.
In my life right now, the *thing* I struggle with the most is co-parenting Q with Mr. Ex. The biggest problem for me is the loss of control I feel over the influences others have over my child. There is half of his life I know nothing of, unless he tells me. For now, he does tell me, because he's 8 and he tells his mommy everything. What about when he's older? Will he tell me about the dinner party where some weirdo named *sing* reads his palm and tells him he was a tree in his past life?
Decisions regarding his education, his extra-curricular, his future - all of those need to be made with someone who's opinion I do not respect.
You know, it's not just that. It's the fact that I can't offer my child the life I always expected I would give him. I can't give him a home with two loving (towards him and each other) parents. I can't give him a home with a pool in the back yard.
I get that in the end it probably won't matter about the pool.
I get that.
It's just taking a little while for everything to sink in.