By Desirae Harper
I spent a good chunk of my best life trying to be the perfect girlfriend to selfish little boys who didn’t deserve me on my worst day. When my daughter became a toddler, I realized that she was watching me. Imitating me. Learning from me. When I worked out, she would copy the moves. When I brushed my hair, she would try to brush hers too. When I called her dad “babe,” she would call him babe too. It became super clear to me that she would learn most of her habits from me. So when he started cheating on me, popping in and out of our lives, and I accepted it, I started to wonder if she would imitate that too.
I’ll admit that very early on in my relationship with him, I made peace with the fact that he was going to cheat on me. I told myself that as long as my daughter had a family with both parents in the home, it was worth it. I should stay and be loyal to my family. I tried to make myself believe that he loved me as much as he could. I perverted what love was because I didn’t love myself enough to know that I deserved better than that. In 2014, I became obsessed with making myself “better” because I thought he would love me more if I was thinner, smarter, or made more money. He didn’t love me more but I began to love myself more…and that’s when the sh*t hit the fan!
Suddenly, his crap just didn’t cut it with me anymore. I was demanding more from him. I started standing up for myself. I was saying NO more often to him (and to the people around me). I was checking receipts and call logs. I was not playing around because I realized that I deserved more…we deserved more! I think he felt the shift…I started loving myself more than I loved him. Our relationship ended for good. A burden was lifted. I no longer had to pretend that this was love. I could hold out for a man who sees me and all of my delicious worth. A man who is down to pay full price for my love. I was relieved…until he ghosted my daughter.
What type of mom would I be if I’m out here demanding more from myself while letting my daughter accept less than what she’s worth? A sh**ty one! I was not about to go out like that and neither was my baby! I am proud to say that I teach my daughter to charge full price for her love, her attention, and her time. I don’t believe that sharing DNA with anyone gives them the right to treat her like she’s optional. So when her dad came calling after months of being a ghost, I did not hesitate to tell him EXACTLY what I thought about his basic ass love. I told him he could go back under that rock until he understood what my daughter is worth and what she deserves.
You deserve a real love that treats you like the amazing light you are…You won’t have to be anything else but YOU. Wait on it, it will be worth it!
It took me so long to understand my worth and the love I truly deserved. I won’t let my daughter fall victim to that dangerous mentality. I would never forgive myself if she accepted twisted love from anyone, family or lover…because that means I learned the lesson for myself and failed to teach it to my daughter. So I take all opportunities to remind my four year old what love really looks like. I show up for her because I love her. I cook her meals because I love her. I tell her that I go to work and provide for her because I love her. I tell her that she isn’t obligated to love anyone who doesn’t show their love back and that includes me. I tell her that it’s okay to say no to ANYONE that hurts her.
I was sad that some of the women in my tribe didn’t understand my message. They told me I was wrong. They told me I sounded crazy for keeping him out of her life when he was trying to be there. Let me say this now. My daughter is a beautiful and magical freaking unicorn…loving her and showing up for her is the easiest thing anyone will ever do in their life! No trying necessary!! I won’t apologize for teaching my daughter to honor her worth or demanding that others honor it as well.
And you shouldn’t either! You deserve a real love that treats you like the amazing light you are. When a man loves you, he makes time and space to honor you with his presence and resources. No matter what color, size, or crazy you are, you deserve that. There is someone out there who is going to understand your weird and love you in all of your glory. You won’t have to demean yourself for it. You won’t have to be anything else but YOU. Wait on it, it will be worth it!
About the Author
Desirae Harper is a blogger from Southern California who focuses on topics that range from her life as a single mom to celebrity gossip to her own personal fitness journey. Read her blog Fierce and Flawless Life and connect with her on Facebook or Instagram.