As I go back into the world and consider the possibility of dating again in the future I have a different perspective on it than I did 17 years ago. I was young and stupid then and only looking at my wants. Now as a mother I can't live like that anymore. I'm a mother and every choice I make now will affect them. When you become a parent it changes everything. I'm not saying give up your life for your kids. I did that and it nearly destroyed my life, but at the same time I have to think about them when I make choices now. I can't be selfish anymore. Sure I am doing things for me now, like doing theatre and on my nights that I don't have the girls I do things I want to do so long as it in no way affects my girls in a negative way, but at the same time I do have to stop and think if something will affect them before I do it.
I've watched other moms go nuts when they divorce. They start partying and sleeping around and try to recapture their youth. I will say that when I first separated I did go to a few bars and do things I didn't do while I was married, but that was not a lifestyle I wanted and it took me quite a few nights to find a place to go out that was not a bunch of 20 somethings looking to hook up. I finally found a place this summer that I can go to and just hang out with my friends and not feel dirty or see girls with no self respect getting drunk and being hit on by guys. There are also plenty of nights I just stay home and go no where because I don't HAVE to leave the house every time I am child free.
I hope that what my girls see me doing as I am entering this new phase of my life will be a positive influence on them. I want them to see that you can have fun, but still make good choices and that just because I am single now does not mean my goal in life now has to be to find my next guy or husband. I want what they see now to show them how to make good choices so that when they grow up and start dating they will find the right guy who will respect them and treat them right and I want them to respect themselves and know that guys are not worth loosing themselves over or making bad choices for. I want them to know that if a guy wants them to make a choice that is not morally right then he is not the right guy for them. I want them to know they deserve to be treated right by a man and that they are worth being treated right.
I have to think about all of that now because I am a mother. I have to think about how I would feel if my daughters made the choices I make now. Maybe if I had seen good choices when I was young then maybe I would not have some of the bad choices I made. I can't really say because one I didn't really see bad choices being made when I was a kid and two there were some things that happened as I was growing up that did affect some of the choices I made when I got older. I do hope though that the girls will also learn from the pain they have seen me go through this last year and take steps to keep that from happening to them. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this last year, some good and some bad. I just hope they will learn from it all.
Eleven years ago my life was changed forever in a positive way when I got pregnant with my first daughter. I became a mother that day when I saw that line on the test and since then I have made different choices than I would have had that line never been there. I will be a mother until the day I die and that will never change, At some point the choices I make will have less effect on them, but the next ten years for sure I will have to think and do whats best for my girls. If I remarry I will make sure it is someone that will be good to them and will show them how a man should treat a woman. I will also model for them how to do a relationship right. We messed that up before and I WON'T do that again. Why? Because I am a parent and that is my responsibility so that they can learn from my mistakes and my good choices.