When they placed my newborn daughter, either one of them, in my arms, I remember feeling overly protective of what was to come in their lives. I remember being worried about disease or predators or broken bones... and even broken hearts. I never, in those moments, imagined a broken home.
Separation and divorce isn't an easy path to traverse. I, fortunately, have a good co-parenting relationship with my ex-spouse. He pays child support, sees the girls when he's supposed to and sometimes even more often than that. He helps me when I need it and is a good, loving father. I know that others have much worse situations than I.
Beyond all of that, being a single mom means that I experience things that married moms don't.
Married moms don't have a thought of another mom stepping in to her child's life. Unless another trusted mom is invited, a friend, an aunt, a grandmother to help, married moms are the only mom her child will know.... until the child marries and is fortunate enough (like I was) to have an excellent mother-in-law.
Yes, my co-parenting relationship with my ex-husband is good. But holding my newborn daughter in my arms, I never considered that I'd some day be co-parenting with another mom.
I never thought that another woman, a relative stranger, would take my daughters for pedicures.
I never considered that another woman would offer to whisk my girls off to a vacation with her in another state.
The idea never entered my brain that "girls' day" with my kids would mean them... and another kid's mom too.
I know this is part of the process. I know this is an expected side effect of divorce. I'm happy that, from what I hear, she seems like a caring adult in the lives of my precious beloveds.
But I don't know her. I don't want her to take over in a role that I've fulfilled since the day I confirmed that I indeed was growing new life inside me. I don't want them to (and it sounds so childish to say) like her more than me.
I just never knew I'd ever feel this way when I looked into the eyes of my baby girls. No one ever warned me that my heart would be broken.