The Past – What I’m Afraid to Tell My Children

A past. We all have one. And unless you lead a very public life, most of your poor decisions and mistakes are quietly stowed away in the back of your mind…or better yet, have been forgotten altogether. On a daily basis, I can say that is quite true for me.  

I have always been a rule follower and growing up, I never, ever wanted to disappoint anyone; my parents, teachers or friends. My teenage years were pretty boring according to some standards of “teen behavior” and I was always striving to set the best example I could. Fast forward 20 years and I am now a very happily married mother of two, still yearning to make others proud of me and hoping to never, ever disappoint anyone. I don’t really talk about the 5 years after college very much anymore, and for good reason, I don’t need to. I have moved on and I am in a wonderful place. In fact, many times I don’t even remember that I was married before I met my husband, until I do.

My husband and I were sitting on the couch recently and some statistic came up about divorce on TV. Not even thinking that I am in that category as having been through one, I casually just brushed it off. And then he said something that made me stop in my tracks. “You know, someday you will have to tell our children that you were married before me.” Holy moly. My heart sank.

The truth is, I have never thought about it. I have dealt with my insecurities and disappointment regarding that time in my life and I have moved on. But my husband is right, one day (a long time from now) I will have to share that with them. I will have to admit all over again that I failed at something that was very important to me. I didn’t take marriage lightly then, and I absolutely don’t now.    

My fear is that they will be disappointed and crushed; and that they will see me differently…almost tarnished. My hope is that they can learn from my experiences and that I can share with them all that I learned from that season in my life which made me a much better wife to their father and mother to them. I will also tell them that if I had never married my first husband, I would never have lived in Orlando. I would have never started teaching. I would have never met my co-worker/friend who introduced me to my husband. We would have never gotten married and I would have never been their mom. Sometimes things happen for a reason. I know in my heart that they are that reason.

Mistakes happen, but sometimes they aren’t mistakes. Many times they are only chapters in the story of our lives.  

Stand strong mamas. We all have things we aren’t proud of, but be proud anyway. Share your stories, admit your faults and smile at your successes. Your scars have made you the courageous person you are today.

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to The Past – What I’m Afraid to Tell My Children

  1. Mandy Volkerson January 23, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    Well written, and you have never disappointed us! If it wasn’t for those five years how could we have you as a part of our family. Always so proud of you and of course that wonderful husband of yours. Life lessons, everybody has them.
    Always on our minds, forever in our heart.

  2. Erin July 5, 2017 at 7:45 am #

    I am sure your children will handle this news a lot more easily than you expect. You probably don’t need to wait — although, of course do what you feel is best/most comfortable for you. And I speak from experience. My father was going through a divorce when he met my mother. They had to tell my sister and I about his previous marriage at a very young age because he had a daughter with his first wife. So we had questions — why doesn’t our sister live with us, why does she have another mom. Once it was explained, that was it. It wasn’t a big deal because my parents didn’t make it one and everyone was happy with the way things turned out.

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