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October Mom

I was 19 years old when I married my husband. He was older than I was and had been pursuing me for quite some time. Our parents said we were too young but he was ambitious and determined to get married and have children and I was desperate to get away from my family. He was my way out.

Within a year, my husband’s business was successful and growing. I was at home, cooking, cleaning and preparing for the arrival of our first baby, a son. I loved being a mom. Our son was calm and affectionate. He was an easy baby. I was playing mommy and devoted wife. This was what I signed up for, a normal, stable life.

As my husband’s business expanded, he got busier and spent less time at home. I had our second child, a daughter just over a year earlier. I had no car so I felt overwhelmed and isolated. Furthermore, our daughter was not an easy baby. She did not sleep, she was fussy and did not take to breastfeeding as easily as my first. I was 21 years, stuck in the house with two young children and I never knew when my husband would return. There was nothing I could walk to so I stayed trapped in my own home. It felt like all I did was change diapers all day. I craved adult conversation.

Those early years before the children were in school were among my darkest days. I wasn’t depressed, I just felt like I was not progressing. There was no way to improve anything so I felt helpless. I was on a treadmill going nowhere and it was exhausting. Those years were hard on our marriage as well. When my husband did come home, I was expected to have the house clean, supper ready, and the children were supposed to behave for their daddy. I suspected that my husband was having an affair because he had more and more business trips and he rarely asked me for sex. I felt very alone.

Once both children started school, I looked for work and got a job with the government. It got me out of the house. I was able to meet new people and have adult conversations. My husband did not support my decision to work. He preferred to keep me at the house-cooking, cleaning, waiting for him to come home. When my boss, a woman, offered me a position with a better pay, I took it. I started to budget and, when I had saved enough money, I asked my husband for a divorce. I didn’t think he would fight me on this as he had obviously been involved with someone else for some time but he did not want to set me free. We spent five years in court. It drained me physically, emotionally and financially but I managed to move on with my life.

I now live in a townhouse with my children. It was hard on them at first, adjusting to a new neighbourhood and hearing the nasty things their dad said about me, but they are older now and they know it’s for the best. My husband never paid a dime for his kids but I managed without him. Initially, he had the kids on weekends and I had them during the week but the kids rarely visit him anymore. They are old enough to make their own decisions. He has moved on with a much younger woman so, for the most part, he leaves me alone.

People keep asking me if I’ll ever re-marry. The truth is, I have no desire to be in another relationship. I am enjoying my solitude. I have achieved a balance between time with the kids, work, friends and the gym. My eldest is working now which helps me financially as he can buy his own clothing and school supplies. As hard as it was to go through five years of conflict and financial strain, I would not be here if I didn’t leave that relationship and I feel blessed.

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