Hold on to me, Papa!

Yes, this blog is about Motherhood. Why am writing about Papa? Because having Papa for our children and partner for ourselves is detrimental to our kids’ emotional development. Seeing my son, Noah, giving hugs and kisses to his Papa–my most amazing husband, Chris–and receiving love in return warms my heart so much that I decided to write about that.

Chris works 6 days a week, and he is usually exhausted by the time he gets home. He gets only evenings to relax and Sundays to do anything family related. Noah screams from joy when he sees Papa get home and wants to spend the rest of the evening watching The Jungle Book and The Lion King for the 100th time (lol). Sometimes I get really irritated that all they do is watch movies, but then when I look at them and see how close they are during those moments, it makes me realize how happy and emotionally satisfied my baby is just being close to his dad. That’s all that matters at the end of the day!

I grew up without a dad since I was one year old. My mom raised me on her own until I was about 10 years old. Then she started dating–not father figures. At 12, I met my stepdad who became my new dad, but a dad I would never wish on anyone. I write in detail about him in my memoir Rocky Road to Recovery so I won’t go into much detail here. Seeing my mom going downhill in every way possible, I was really afraid to lose her. She eventually abandoned me emotionally and was consumed by her relationship drama and thought I was old enough to raise myself. Unfortunately, for the longest time afterwards I didn’t know how to be a normal, loving relationship with a man. I just wanted to feel like I am needed and tried to hold on even it was clearly toxic. That was until I started my recovery 8 years ago. Up until this day I am reparenting myself and learning about what a great relationship should look like. Thankfully, my husband and I are very close, and now even closer after having Noah and expecting our baby girl Lydia. I’m truly blessed!

When I first got on a phone with my psychotherapist, and he found out I was raised by a single mom, he immediately said that there was a whole bouquet of emotional problems that typically comes with that. Interestingly enough, until that day, I was in complete denial that not having a dad affected me in any way. It was an eye opener. I yet have to do more research on this subject, and even watching my son loving his dad so much, I can’t emotionally relate because I never felt that way. Kind of sad…

It hurts my heart seeing kids hurting from parental absence or neglect. In one way or another, this affects them for the rest of their lives. Motherhood is tough, but single motherhood is even tougher. That’s exactly why my main mission is to encourage mothers, whether single or not, to take care of themselves and their emotional needs first so that they can raise emotionally healthy children. If we suffer through our healing process (I know no one likes the word suffer!), there will be a lot less suffering for our kids and ourselves in the long run.

Mamas, let’s get out of our comfort zone mentality! Stop reaching for that glass of wine, cigarette, or a piece of cake. Let’s look into what it is that we are really looking for emotionally and find ways to take care of ourselves.. We are worth it, and our children worth it. Hold on to your kids (in a healthy, not possessive way:))!

Love, Ksenia K.