As a mother, I seek out the best for my children. 

When I was pregnant, I picked the best doctor, hospital, and prenatal vitamins. When they are little, I pick the best diapers, food, clothes, and car seats. When they grow, I pick the best toys, safety measures, and sleep techniques. When they go to school, I pick the best district, daycare, sports league, and supplies to prepare them for whatever comes their way. When they do not make good decisions, I pick the best form of consequences. 

Each aspect of their lives is thought out and considered. 

Physically, mentally, and emotionally

I do what is best for my children. 

Often, more than not, I push aside my own personal needs for whatever is best for my children. 

I have sat in my lawyer’s office drawing up divorce papers with only my children in mind. I have gone through hours of mediation discussing schedules and pick up times with only my children in mind. I have sat through a parenting class with only my children in mind. I go and keep going to a family therapist with only my children in mind. I constantly work on healing, co-parenting, forgiving, and moving forward with only my children in mind. 

Every day I make choices and decisions with the thought of what is best for my children. 

I have made some very hard decisions. Allowing my children to go off with others. Even when I am not comfortable with the situation. My children are loved by others because love is always the best. I say no to personal wants and desires because those may not be the best for my children. I have given second, third, fourth, and fifth chances because maybe that really is what is best for my children. 

I have allowed myself to be pushed around, used, taken advantage of, and steamrolled over. Because in the end, it was what was best for my children. I have made myself physically and mentally sick, an anxious, depressed mess on the floor because I was reminded over and over again about what is best for the kids. 

After years of being told, reminded, and questioned about if my choices made are really what is best for the kids, I am wondering if I really am doing the best. 

Does the best for my kids include a mom whose mental health keeps being compromised due to whatever is best for them?

Does the best for my kids include a mom with healthy, good, strong boundaries in place? 

Does the best for my kids include a mom who stands up for them and their interest even when they don’t know what that is yet? 

Does the best for my kids include a mom that says no to the other parent because the stability and reliability aren’t present? 

Does the best for my kids include a mom who cannot trust their dad due to past actions toward her and them, yet does not accept the consequences of those actions? 

Does the best for my kids include a mom who has been deceived, lied to, and manipulated again and again with their “best” as the excuse? 

I have solely focused on my children and their best needs, now I am a guilt-ridden, broken mess of a person who has been walked over so many times, I have no backbone. I sacrifice my morals, integrity, and heart all because I am scared I will be labeled the selfish woman who loses her children. 

My heart is terrified of life without them. Life with them hating me. Life with being marked as the bitter, ex-wife who uses the kids to get back at him. Life that stays how it is because I didn’t do anything to change it. 

And change it, I must. 

I can no longer allow my fear, my guilt, my wanting to keep the peace, my “I don’t want conflict” to rule. 

Strong back. Firm boundaries. Continued healing. 

And with hope that one day, my children will know that everything I did was for them. 

Maybe it wasn’t for the best. Maybe it was for me first. Maybe it was a huge mistake. Maybe I screwed up so many times, I lost count. Maybe the decisions I made were because of the life forced upon us. Maybe it was so I could be a better mother, friend, sister, partner, employee. Maybe it was for them to be good humans and adults. 

But it was all for love. 

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