Surprised To Be Single

What's a Mummy to Do When Her Husband Utters the Dreaded D-Word?

The last decade started with me having a pretty ‘textbook’ story – got engaged in January and then married on labour day weekend. YAY! My ‘life’ was on track! My new family was myself and my husband. We had our ‘first families’ backing us up 110%.

Two years later we became three with a healthy baby. First grandchild on both sides – do you hear the grandparental joy? On the weekend of the 5th wedding anniversary – things took a 180 degree turn. The stresses of my heart defect diagnosis, financial, career and parental responsibilities seemed to pile up and I was advised that my husband wasn’t ‘feelin’ it anymore’ in the marriage.

WHOA! Back up the truck here! He committed to marriage right? We wanted the same things right? Yes, and Yes. BUT – it changed for him. He wanted to be a Dad only, not a husband to me. Wow – it took me a while to wrap my head around that one.

The next couple of years, I redefined myself and my FAMILY. I redefined my beliefs. When I was married and then became a parent, I had a pretty narrow view of what was a ‘real’ family. Being dumped by someone that I still loved at the time and then coming to realize that the family dynamic that I ACTUALLY had vs. what I thought I ‘should’ - wasn’t giving me peace and happiness anyway.

My family is anyone that I love, trust AND it’s reciprocal. My parents are around daily for babysitting, my daughter loves spending time with me. My friends have always seen qualities in me I couldn’t see. I’ve loved again and learned I need to know and ask for what I need, not just love someone. I don’t have the self-talk anymore that questions whether my daughter and I are a ‘real’ family, whether we’re ‘less than’ or we’re a ‘broken’ family. We’re not. We’re complete. We’re loving and open and ready for whatever and whomever life throws our way. We’ve got our act together man!

The decade finished for me that my divorce paperwork is complete! For me, that’s ALL good. I have someone to co-parent with, I love my daughter and she loves me. I couldn’t ask for more.

Melissa Hartley is the full package Mummy. Single, divorced mom to her daughter, Melissa balances living in small town Ontario and commutes to work in big town Ontario. What makes Melissa tick are the simple things, hugs and kisses, red wine and the occasional philosophical chat. OH - running, biking and yoga are necessities. Having had the most normal and loving childhood ever, the best set of parents ever, some may be surprised to hear the life experience that is as non-traditional as you can get! Travelled all over, reinvented herself in a few different career paths already and recovered from an eating disorder as a teenager. Melissa completed a half marathon in spite of a heart defect - life is to be experienced!