THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

Peace from bro­ken pieces

GA Voice - - Arts - By MELISSA CARTER

You’ve got this. That is the pre­vail­ing mes­sage you sent me af­ter I re­vealed in my last col­umn that I am now a sin­gle mother. It’s some­thing I needed to hear, since this is new ter­ri­tory for me. I didn’t come from a frac­tured fam­ily, and am seek­ing in­sight on how to suc­cess­fully chart this new course.

When I an­nounced the breakup on my B98.5 morn­ing show, I asked adult chil­dren of di­vorce for one piece of ad­vice they would give me to pre­vent Mr. Carter’s life from be­ing neg­a­tively af­fected by his par­ents’ split. Some of the ad­vice in­cluded not cry­ing in front of him dur­ing this tran­si­tion, let­ting him know the split was never his fault, and remembering to take care of my­self.

There was one par­tic­u­lar piece of ad­vice that ev­ery­one made very clear: Katie Jo and I should never speak neg­a­tively about each other in front of our son. It seems that most of the pain in a cou­ple’s split is caused when they hold grudges against each other and don’t put their kids first.

One lis­tener told me her par­ents never came to any of her child­hood events, such as recitals or ball­games, be­cause they didn’t want to risk run­ning into the other par­ent. Another let me know there would be mo­ments when Mr. Carter would ask to spend time with Katie Jo, even if it is my week­end with him, be­cause of a spe­cial event like a con­cert that he may want to take her to. In such cases I mustn’t con­vey any­thing but sup­port. It seems there will be oc­ca­sions that will chal­lenge my ego that I will have to learn to ig­nore in or­der to be a good mom.

But not ev­ery­one gave me dire warn­ings. One woman reached out to me per­son­ally to let me know this is not a bad thing. Her par­ents parted ways dur­ing her first year of life, and now, in her 30s, she looks back on her child­hood with a smile. She said her par­ents fo­cused on her and on co-par­ent­ing, and that’s what made her life won­der­ful. She added that she has two great step-par­ents she can’t imag­ine liv­ing with­out.

Isn’t it funny how I’ve spent my adult life try­ing to teach peo­ple about di­ver­sity re­gard­ing sex­u­al­ity, yet I strug­gle with the idea of be­ing part of a fam­ily dy­namic I didn’t grow up with? Ex­pec­ta­tion has been my great­est en­emy, and some­thing I have to learn to let go of. I’m re­al­iz­ing you’re never too old to learn some­thing new.

So I’ve got this. I’m em­brac­ing this new po­si­tion and know I’ve got the sup­port and re­sources of many dif­fer­ent types of fam­i­lies that will help me to be the best I can be. The irony is that I ended up with a man, al­beit a 1-year-old man. But Mr. Carter is the best happy end­ing a girl could ever dream of.

Melissa Carter is one of the Morn­ing Show hosts on B98.5. In ad­di­tion, she is a writer for the Huff­in­g­ton Post. She is rec­og­nized as one of the first out ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties in At­lanta and one ofthe few in the coun­try. Fol­low her on Twit­ter@Melis­saCarter

“Isn’t it funny how I’ve spent my adult life try­ing to teach peo­ple about di­ver­sity re­gard­ing sex­u­al­ity, yet I strug­gle with the idea of be­ing part of a fam­ily dy­namic I didn’t grow up with? Ex­pec­ta­tion has been my great­est en­emy, and some­thing I have to learn to let go of. I’m re­al­iz­ing you’re never too old to learn some­thing new.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.