Now is Good.

Just because life hands you lemons doesn't mean you have to suck.

One More Chink in the Armor. April 9, 2012

Today was a tough one.

After feeling completely extraneous at Owen’s last birthday party, and upon hearing a few weeks ago that The Ex and The Girlfriend were making big plans to singularly host Amelia’s 4th birthday party, I made yet another decision that nearly choked me: I offered to co-host the party with my two least favorite people in the world.  In reality, there really wasn’t much of a choice there.  I figured:  (A) I could be completely omitted from my child’s party with her friends; or (B) I could make a stink about their unilateral planning and usurping of the party without any prior consultation; or (C) I could step in and offer to co-host and pay half of the party they were already planning.  I chose (C), figuring that at least I wouldn’t miss out completely and hoping that by co-hosting and sharing the expense I wouldn’t feel like a mere Plus One.

I paid the 50% deposit for the petting zoo party at their house; they paid the 2nd half due after the party.  They did invites and goodie bags; I did cake and juice boxes.  As Amelia opened presents, The Girlfriend and I each made gift lists and then we split the thank you note duties.  Amelia chose which gifts she wanted to keep at her dad’s house and which gifts she wanted to keep at mine.  The guest list was comprised of Amelia’s preschool classmates, the parents of whom The Ex and I know equally, and Amelia’s dance class classmates, the parents of whom I have never met (because The Ex and The Girlfriend chose the dance class, enrolled Amelia, and scheduled lessons on their custodial day).

There were moments I felt like an outsider, but less so than before.  I had to introduce myself to half the parents, but they were more gracious and less shocked by our joint presence than at the last birthday event.  The party was at their house, on their turf, where they were comfortable but I was … much less so.  The Girlfriend is 7 months pregnant, visibly round and obviously basking in the fullness of her 30-year-old life.  All I could think about, all day, was how that’s exactly how far along I was when The Ex started cheating on me … with her.  I kept remembering how, when Amelia arrived 4 years ago, she played thoughtful co-worker and sent homemade cookies to our family to celebrate the birth … and then continued to privately celebrate that birth with my husband in a very non-traditional and devastating manner.  And I kept marveling, as I always do, at the way in which she took my exact life and made it hers.

I thought these things, but privately.  Several friends and family members had offered to come with me for moral support, but I declined.  I wanted to do this by myself, because … I am by myself.  I didn’t want The Ex and The Girlfriend to have the satisfaction of knowing how difficult it was for me.  I didn’t want to look like I couldn’t do it alone.  Because I can.  I can do this thing.  I. Can.  Although I occasionally felt on the verge of tears, I smiled with shiny eyes and just tried to enjoy the day with my daughter.  I acted as though this complete and utter nonsensical bullshit of a situation foisted upon me and my children was fine … I acted as if it was normal.  It’s not—or it shouldn’t be—but it is.  It’s our normal and it’s going to continue to be our normal so … suck it up.

One more thing.  One more milestone.  One more chink in the armor.  One more doing what is best for the kids.  One more letting them get away with it.  For this:

Worth it.


26 Responses to “One More Chink in the Armor.”

  1. susannakd Says:

    Dude. You are my hero….I hope if I ever have to wear armor like that I’m half as gracious as you are. I’m just starting on my divorce, but we don’t have children. We don’t even live in the same country.

  2. Julie Says:

    I am astonished at their continued gall, and your continued grace, especially after you invited them into your home to share Christmas and how appreciative they were about it. The only thing I can wonder is if all this will change once their baby is born….it seems she enjoys playing the role of “mommy” for an audience-it takes a lot of nerve to plan a birthday party for someone else’s child and not even think to include her until asked to do so. Perhaps once the baby comes she will better understand the mistakes she is making and back off a bit…??? No, I am probably expecting too much. But I am certain it has crossed her mind that she is exactly as pregnant as you were when she stepped in. And it has probably kept her awake at night at least once, wondering if he would do it to her. Statistically, the answer is yes.

  3. Dorian Says:

    Way to go Mom! So proud of you – pretty sure I couldn’t have done this one. The memories Avery made of that day will last forever and you WIN because you made a great decision to be a part of it!!

  4. Laurie Says:

    You absolutely rock, and your children are SO lucky to have a mom who will slog through something like this to make their world spin in beauty.

  5. Kim J. Says:

    You are a wise and courageous Mom.

  6. theresa Says:

    You are simply amazing, Meredith. I am proud of you. That’s all. :)

  7. Jennifer Says:

    My heart beats big for you.

  8. Laura Says:

    Well, at least you look hot in the photo. And sweet, sweet Milla is obviously happy you’re there. You are a brave woman, my friend! And you make the best decisions for your children, who will remember that you always put them first.
    Now, where can I rent a piglet as cute as that one!?:)

  9. Lori Says:

    I will read this before we all attend my daughter’s recital… strength, you haz it.

  10. Lady E Says:

    Golly, the parallels are so painful Meredith, my heart goes out to you: The GF as pregnant as you were with Amelia when she started stealing your life, celebrating Amelia’s birthday now, the whole role reversal…
    Me thinks this was right there in the GF’s mind too, and not foreign to the choice of “stealing” the birthday party from you too. This woman puts too much energy into proving something to the Ex, to your children, to the world, and especially to you. I wouldn’t like to be in her shoes. And you are fabulous (as ever)

  11. Nancy Says:

    I hope it helped a little knowing you looked fabulous!!!

  12. Caroline Says:

    Well I can’t believe she looks a patch on you!

    You have my total admiration for the way you approached the situation.

    Your Ex is a very silly man. And one day he will realise that.


  13. Melanie Says:

    I am so proud of you and amazed by your courage and grace. Your children are so blessed to have a great mother.

  14. sheila crafton Says:

    Now THAT is true love for your children. You are an amazing woman.

  15. Jason Says:

    I like the post. Also, you look great in the picture! Hang in there!

  16. Kit Says:

    You.are.remarkable. I have followed your blog and applaud you in so many ways. I think you made a wise choice on both xmas and the b-day party although it must have been extremely painful to do. GF does have a lot of gall and Ex is dense to allow all that has gone on.
    Next year will likely be different as GF will have her own baby to (s)mother, not yours.
    You look great, no make that fabulous in all your photos. You do haz it.

  17. Karen P. Says:

    I really love your honesty and I want to celebrate you. I’ve nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger Award! To see what it means and how it works, go to

  18. It’s been brought to my attention that my nominations for the Versatile Blogger award are going to spam because I included a link so I’m going to try this again. I think your blog is awesome and I’m nominating you for the Versatile Blogger Award! To find out what that means go to and look for the post I did talking about the award. Your blog is awesome and I want to give you a chance to pay it forward!

  19. anon Says:

    You are so inspiring.

  20. Sheralyn Says:

    Wow! You are one heck of a strong woman! I admire the strength it must have taken to do that… incredible!

  21. britt Says:

    I stumbled onto this post. I don’t know anything about you beyond this post, but just know you have one more fan out here on the “interwebs.” The Ex and the GF are clearly complete sh*ts and deserve each other. Your daughter is fortunate to have you. I doubt I’ll be by this way again — I don’t even know how I got here, but I’m glad I did. Maybe it was just to witness the integrity you are showing your daughter, be encouraged by it, and offer a thank you.

  22. Mellie Says:

    hmmm…if you really had just your daughter’s interests in mind then why the need to bash your ex and the girlfriend and make the post about you? i hope that you can find peace and move past your ex (and former life story) one day.

  23. Leslie Says:

    No one will ever know exactly how trying and difficult that day was for you until they have had to go through the same thing….what strength and confidence! My hat goes off to you! Supermom!

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