While he never says it directly, my ex often insinuates he’s the better parent. Probably because he knows my parenting skills are one of the few things I’m sometimes insecure about as a single mom. It’s a button he knows he can push when trying to get a reaction out of me. But does it really matter who the better parent is as long as our son is happy? I think not.
Who’s the better parent? Who freakin’cares?!
It seems since our separation my ex feels parenting is some sort of competition and that we’re no longer on the same team. Instead, he’s deemed us rivals. Shouldn’t he be more worried about raising a decent human-being instead of about “winning” some sort of co-parenting contest?
For the first few years of my son’s life I was fortunate enough to stay at home with him. During that time I had no doubts about what an amazing mother I was. Then I became a single mom and was forced to focus on more things than just motherhood. Working full time. Childcare. Paying the bills. Going back to school. Pursuing a career in writing. Cooking all the meals. Drying all the tears. There are so many responsibilities that now lie on only my shoulders. Balancing it all is a day-to-day challenge that I don’t always win. Slowly but surely I’ve become ok with that.
In the last two years of my single mom life I’ve realized that having a bad parenting day doesn’t make me a bad parent. It makes me human.
I’ve always felt strongly about not letting the issues my ex and I have get in the way of the relationships we have with our son. After all, my hatred for his father’s wandering penis is mine, and mine alone. I would never use my child as a pawn in some game of who’s better or worse, because he isn’t one. Insinuating or claiming that I was a better parent than his father feels like I would be doing just that.
So when my ex makes passive aggressive comments regarding the various ways he is a better parent than me, I try my best to ignore them by imagining him being snatched up by flying monkeys and carried off to a land far far away. We all have our strengths and weaknesses as parents. I’m never going to be everything to my son, nor do I want to be. Every person in his life plays an important role in the man he’ll become. As the old saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
One can only hope their village isn’t filled with idiots.