“Who’s gonna want three kids? I have baggage!” These were my exact words when I first got divorced. According to Google, baggage equals burdens and impediments. In other words, things that get in the way. This is how I was referring to my own kids, which meant this was the energy I was putting out into the Universe! One day I woke up and realized my kids were absolutely not baggage but instead kickass gifts that someone would be lucky enough to share with me.
When we get divorced, we are starting over. Completely. The one thing we are often lucky enough to keep the same is our kids. Life may change, a relationship status may change, the house may change, the car may change, but our kids’ love is steadfast and actually helps us get through some of the scariest and most ambiguous times. We become each other’s support system quickly as we are all forced into roles we didn’t exactly plan for. At the end of a long day, it was my kids who asked, “Mommy, are you ok?” It was my kids who told me, “I love you, mommy. You’re doing a great job.” It was my kids who told me, “I love that you’re my mom.” It was them who dropped off a surprise cup of coffee for me at work with a note that said, “Hope your day is going great. We love you a latte.” Baggage? I think NOT! I realized it was my own self-worth that was the real problem and not the fact that I had kids.
READ ALSO: Why Having a Kid Has Made Me a Pickier Dater
If my self-worth was kick-ass, would I have really been looking at anything I had to share as insignificant or a burden? Nope. I wouldn’t. I would be looking at my kids as the real gift instead of my face or body. I focused more on how I looked on the outside because I didn’t feel as worthy on the inside. Unfortunately, my kids were part of my inside package that I needed to own and work on too. Once I started to realize where the term “baggage” was coming from, I started to realize they were far from baggage and were indeed my biggest gifts that I could offer another human being a piece of. And so, my journey into valuing myself began and no longer being ashamed that I had kids when I met someone who did not.
And so, I updated my Tinder and Bumble accounts to say that I had three kids instead of going on the first date and having to spill the beans. By not putting the truth out there right away, I was only setting myself up to attract the wrong men and I no longer needed to hold onto the same old story that men were emotionally unavailable and had ulterior motives. By attracting all the wrong partners by not being honest, I was only validating that old story and keeping my ego right. It was doing nothing for the new story I was trying to create that men were indeed emotionally available and genuine. I had to change my inner story if I wanted my outside world to change. If I didn’t want to attract guys that were emotionally unavailable and just looking to “hook up”, then I had to get real and allow myself to be vulnerable and emotionally available. I had to put all my cards out there and own how amazing I was if I wanted another human being to feel it also. And that is exactly what happened.
I changed the energy around how I viewed my kids as gifts instead of baggage and I worked hard on my own self-worth. When I did this, my boyfriend (younger with no kids) walked into my life unexpectedly, when I was falling in love with mySelf and my life authentically for the first time. I finally felt like a kickass single mom with kickass kids as gifts. He clearly felt the same in me right away.
We now share a life together. My family has become our family. When we started dating exclusively he said, “I want you all to myself. All of you. One of my favorite things about you is that you’re a mom.” My outside world certainly changed to match the new energy I was putting out there surrounding mySelf, my kids, and men. Our life together now includes tons of giggles, waking up together, getting my daughter off to school together, hugging the kids good night, visiting my son at college together, making dinner as a family, going on rides and playing games all together and signing homework and emergency forms together. Together being the keyword. This was something I dreamed of and had no idea who it would happen with or how it would happen, but once I worked on valuing myself, which included my kids, he walked right into our lives and we never looked back.
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