Separate Lives, but Not Separate Goals

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It has taken me a while to get to a place of comfort to be able to share this piece of my life with others. I finally feel ready to open up about the adversities that I have faced this past year, and I welcome nothing but positive vibes from posting these feelings and emotions.

 

When I met Francesco in January of 2013, we enjoyed an amazing first date. We were set up by a mutual friend, and at this point in my life I was extremely exhausted and jaded from the Vancouver dating scene. I contemplated not even going on this date, because I just didn't feel like subjecting myself to another awkward "interview". Thankfully I did decide to go, and this so happens to be the best decision of my entire life.

 

{You're probably beginning to wonder how I can write the words 'separation' and 'best decision of my life' in the same post, but I assure you that this is the honest truth.}

 

On our first date, Francesco took me to a Vancouver Canucks game, where we enjoyed front row seats and easily exchanged banter about our lives, experiences, and our personal struggles with being single and dating. On the drive home, we had a conversation about our views on marriage, children and other lifelong goals. It was evident after that conversation that we were both on the same page. Marriage, not all that important to us, but kids....ASAP please! We had both been longing for a non-dramatic, easily flowing, trusting relationship in which to settle down and begin a family. This is exactly what we did.

 

Three months later, we had a HUGE announcement to make. I was so nervous to tell my family the news, but yet I just knew that this was right. I was elated to become a mother. This was my purpose in life. This was exactly what I had always wanted.

 

Francesco and I quickly made plans to move into his place together, and I had to adjust to downtown living, as opposed to the 'burb life that I was accustomed to for so long.

 

In my first trimester I had dreams of a little girl. Every time I saw my baby throughout the night, it was a 'she' and she was beautiful. Being such a girly-girl myself, I envisioned shades of pink, bows, and tutus. On July 3, we found out the sex and I was stunned! I was not upset, but I was shocked. I know my body SO well, that I trusted my instincts and dreams that this was a girl inside of me. The paradigm shift to raising a boy was difficult at first, but it wasn't long before I couldn't picture it any other way.

 

The day that Hudson was born was literally THE best day of my life, hands down. I'll never forget posting up on the couch to watch an episode of Dragon's Den (the Canadian version of Shark Tank, for you American followers) when it happened. My water broke and I was in total shock.

 

I remember thinking for the entire duration of the car ride that it was a false alarm because I felt no pain. Literally, I felt nothing. Once I got admitted into a bed, HOLY SHIT, not cool. (Anyway, this isn't a birth story, so I'll cut this all short and get on with my point...) The epidural saved my life, and with the the amazing help of Francesco, my best friend, Serena, and the wonderfully talented delivery staff of BC Women's Hospital, Hudson was born 13 minutes before his due date. (I used to rub my belly and tell him how much I disliked people being late, so he had to be early or on time. Thanks for listening, little buddy!)

 

The first year of Hudson's life was a dream! Being off work for a year with him was the highlight of my life. Everything was great, and I felt an immense sense of contentment.  I balanced the homemaker life, and took care of Hudson with ease, since he was a dream baby who loved to eat and sleep.

 

Once my maternity leave was drawing to a close, huge changes were looming, and this was the pivotal point in my relationship with Hudson's dad. The idea of leaving Hudson after spending every single day of his life to date with him caused me so much anxiety and worry. My return to work was a huge struggle. I had a long commute to and from work, on top of day care pick up and drop off. Meticulously maintaining my homemaker duties were next to impossible. How was I to cook and clean and do laundry and work AND care for my baby boy?

 

Our relationship, before I knew it, was my very last priority. Right before my very eyes, it was disintegrating. That whole year I was depressed, sad, and very lonely. I blamed myself for "jumping into things", and "for not trying hard enough", the list went on.

 

As the days passed, and the more we began to drift apart, I began to break down the reasons for the decomposition of our love that we briefly once had. After many months of searching for answers, it was evident that it was neither of our faults, rather the fact that we were just not compatible. Our outlooks and views on nearly everything were polar opposite. Our ways of dealing with tribulations were very different.

 

Being human, and definitely not perfect, Francesco and I had many arguments over what to do and where to go from here. It was hard... really, really hard. At times, we would barely speak for a week or two consecutively. We shared nothing of the same interest, and we were essentially living two separate lives. It was becoming clearer and clearer that we needed to split and have our own space.

 

This decision was made, but it still took 6 months to sort out details, come up with a plan of action, and also break the news to our closest friends and family.

 

Amidst the crumbling of our relationship, the arguments, and the constant conflict, there was only one thing that never even shifted in the wind, and that "thing" was Hudson. He is the light of both of our lives. The amount of love that we both have for him poured out every crevice of our home on a daily bases. Thankfully, the two of us shared very similar parenting styles and wholeheartedly knew that we would both be able to continue that continuity separately, as individual parents.

 

Together, we came up with a custody plan, a financial plan, and sorted out countless other details that come into play with such a situation. We each sought our own independent legal advice for the signing of a mutually-decided upon separation agreement, and I moved out on July 3 (3 years to the day that we found out Hudson's sex) of this year.

 

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It is a very bizarre thing to say that I am now so incredibly happy. I feel a huge sense of relief. I feel grounded and relaxed again. I feel no negativity, and I feel absolutely no regret. The juxtaposition between between my failed relationship and my sense of peace and happiness, to many people, seems irrational. I have even had people question my current situation and tell me that perhaps I am in denial, and that "it will all hit me soon, so beware." I hate to say this, but those people could not be more wrong. I am truly at ease and more myself.

 

I know in my heart that Francesco and I were never meant to be. We were, however, meant to create a life together. We were never meant to be in love for long, but we were meant to be in love with with the son we made together. We both agree that we could not have scripted a better child. It's probably very cliche to say, but Hudson exceeds our wildest imaginations for what we thought was humanly possibly for our child to grow to be. He is smart, he is hardworking, he is determined, he is funny, he is caring, he is thoughtful, he is athletic, and he is intuitive.

 

Definitely the hardest adjustment for the both of us was, and still is, the shared custody. Naturally, I am a control freak, so letting go of my son and putting my full trust into other people to care for him was very difficult at first. (Not to mention that I now have to go days without seeing him.) Francesco and I make it a priority to text photos and FaceTime at numerous points throughout the day, so that time passes a little easier when he's not in our care. The two of us find ourselves ranting and raving via text about how great he is, and often still chat about how lucky we are that Hudson is ours, all ours.

 

I truly feel that one thing, and one thing only, has made this transition healthy and smooth for all involved, and that was to rid ourselves of our egotistical pride. No matter what exactly it was that caused the evaporation of our relationship to occur, we could not, and did not let that stand in our way of the vision we had for our son. It was imperative for the both of us to make this a flawless transition for Hudson. We wanted him to feel comfortable at both homes, and loved equally at both, too. The key to this was for Francesco and I to strip away any bitterness or negativity we had. At the end of the day, we both knew that we would be happier with someone else who better compliments our personalities and lifestyles.

 

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I think rather than perseverating on the fact that we don't get to see our son each and every day, we have both worked hard at reaping the benefits of this time on our own. I speak for myself when I say that I am enjoying the days I get to myself, however I still miss Hudson like crazy, and tend to cry when my house is so inactive and empty without him. I focus on maximizing my time without him by blogging, working, running errands, staying active, and catching up with friends and family. So far, I'm finding the time that I'm not caring for Hudson is my opportunity to work on living a balanced life, and I cherish the time he is in my care much more than I did before. Prior to my time sharing, I used to be caught up in the redundancy of every day life, but this isn't the case anymore. I want to make my time so much more meaningful and special when I do see Hudson, so I'm finding it a lot more enjoyable. When he is in my care, my stress for the details of everyday life are put aside, as I can focus on those things when he's not with me.

The situation for Francesco, Hudson, and myself is far from perfect, but it's perfect for the three of us. Hudson loves having two houses, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms to call his very own. He is thriving with the these huge adjustments. Resilience is such an incredible blessing.

 

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There are certain things in life that are just meant to be, while other things, no matter how hard we try, are not. Francesco and I crossed paths to create the biggest gift life could have ever possibly given us. We were not meant to last a lifetime together, but we are determined to do the best we can in raising Hudson individually, (yet collaboratively). 

 

I will forever be thankful for Francesco and will never lose sight of the mutual goal that we share together in raising the best human that we know how. While we don't stress too much about the small day-to-day things, we do focus on long-term goals for Hudson. We want him to be kind and sympathetic. We want him to be self-motivated and determined. We want him to be exposed to all possibilities and become well-rounded. We want him to be confident and have the ability to communicate his feelings and emotions. We want him to be humble and gentle, and most of all, we want him to respect everyone he encounters. 

 

On this (Canadian) Thanksgiving, I truly want to thank Francesco for giving me the best gift I could have ever wanted in life. Thanks for being the best dad in the world to Hudson, and thank you for your continued support with each and every decision we make as parents.  

 

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If anyone is going through a similar situation, remain true to yourself and your children. Every situation is different, but all you can do is control your own mindset. Remain positive and respectful, and never lose sight of the very best interest of your children.

 

Your kids will thank you both later,

 

Sass xo

 

 Photos (taken last fall):  Jenny Edmunds Photography  

Photos (taken last fall): Jenny Edmunds Photography