This is an open letter of apology to the divorced mom I once judged. I could say misunderstood, didn’t empathize with, looked over, or any number of other words. “Judged” however seems adequate now that I am a divorced mom.
To the divorced mom I once judged, you weren’t taking the easy way out…
That time you told me you were taking a bath with a glass of wine while your kids ate cereal, I’m sorry for judging you.
I know you would do anything for your kids and at the time, you were doing the best thing. It wasn’t your drink choice that I judged, but possibly your inability to just pull yourself up by the bootstraps and push through until bedtime. That is easier said than done when you’re figuratively drowning in this new world and just want a safe place for you and your children. I should have brought you dinner, not sat on the other end of your text thinking you had given up on your mom duties. The bathtub is now my best friend and I’m sorry for judging you for taking a moment to let your sorrows be drowned without going under completely yourself.
Every time you were late to meet up or cancelled plans, I judged your planning skills.
I see now that double the duties is extremely hard to adjust to. While your husband and you had your own issues, he was still a great hands-on dad. I now know what it’s like to fall asleep on the couch every night from being dog tired and feeling like I was a failure for having to once again cancel plans with a friend.
I should not have excluded you from invites because it was a weekend you had the kids.
I should have given you the option. Having a 50/50 schedule doesn’t mean that we don’t sometimes need to take time away from our kids. While others see us as having “free weekends,” the weekends are usually filled with doing the things we didn’t do when we had the kids because we felt guilty not being 100% on all the time with them. It’s such a conundrum! Regardless, I am sorry for making you feel left out.
Your choice of clothing — as you found yourself out from under the abusive critique of your ex — wasn’t really something I judged, but I did raise a quick eyebrow.
I can’t empathize with the abuse you must have withstood as your ex told you your shirt was too tight or too low or to cover yourself up, because you were only his…how suffocating that must have felt! I can’t put myself in your high-heeled shoes and relate to the abuse, but I do know what it’s like to make one tiny appearance change and be judged for it because I am divorced. We are all a little rebellious coming up from the fight of our lives, right? I put my eyebrow down as I level with you and cheer you on as you find comfort in your own skin. You are worthy of feeling outwardly beautiful.
I didn’t speak up enough.
I held my tongue when the church people took sides when it wasn’t our place to weigh in on what we didn’t know. My silence was deadly to your emotional and spiritual healing. I am so sorry.
I really shouldn’t have kept on and on about the awesome date night I had with my husband, assuming our marriage would always be okay.
I know you were genuinely happy for my high points in marriage because you are a great friend. I should have been more sympathetic, asking how you were and I should have made time for a girls’ night out every once in a while.
Your constant back and forth over the decision to stay or leave shouldn’t have caused me to stop answering your texts.
I now know how difficult a decision divorce is. You needed strength and I had plenty to give, but chose not to.
I am sorry for the judgment and for not trying to understand where you were in life.
You’re maybe still struggling with the finality of your divorce and I am here for you, to continue to talk it all out so that you may reach healing and move forward.