I am slowly realizing that no matter how well my relationship is going, I still have my protective wall up, to not only protect myself, but mostly my kids. This may be the longest that I have kept it up and I have no doubt that its because of my most recent relationship but when and how do I take the wall down?

We are approaching the six month mark and he has met the kids a handful of times, yet I still keep my life with my kids pretty separate from my life with him and I like it that way. I enjoy my own place and my own space. I still need to know that each day that I don’t rely on him for anything. We have said the “L” word and we love each other but I am still not ready to be overly vested. I am just not ready to include him in my every day life.

Today, for the first time, I took the kids to get our Christmas tree alone. We picked it out, had it wrapped, shoved it in the trunk and through one of the back seats and brought it home. I dragged it out of the car and onto the deck. The only help I needed was to borrow a saw from my ex-husband who felt better about sawing the stump himself rather than handing me his saw.

When the Christmas decorations started to come out, my ex-boyfriend’s stocking was in one of the boxes. My daughter pulled it out and said “I don’t know why he didn’t take this with him. Oh well, too bad” and threw it in the trash. It was at that moment that I was reminded once again, why this wall is so hard to break down. The influence he had on my kids’ lives was much more than I would have ever expected.

I always thought that the way that I was handling myself was to prove to my kids that I can do this without a husband/partner. I think in reality, I do what I do to prove that to myself. I have been lucky enough to have some great role models- friends who are amazing single mothers and I have learned a lot from their strength and independence. I’m also lucky that the kids have a father who is involved and never skips a visit, no matter how much he makes me crazy, I have to give him credit for that. And lastly I’m very lucky to have  my family although far away along with my friends who are like family to me.

Day by day, little by little, I struggle through this not so easy life while making it look like it’s easy to me. My smile and laughter is genuine but sometimes, there are tears. I will prove to my kids, my friends and mostly to myself, that I can do this.  And when I’m ready, I will take down this wall, little by little and hope for the best with my relationship, knowing that no matter what happens, I will be just fine.



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