To the other woman in my son's life,

There is a chance you may never see this. I'm writing because I'm struggling with the concept of another woman being in my child's life. This is not what I imagined when I had a child—I didn't think I'd only get to see him part-time or that there would be another mother figure in his life.

But this is my reality. And there are a few things I would like to say.

Please do not meet my child until you feel like this relationship with his father has longevity. My son is a sensitive soul and becomes attached to others easily. He will like you, he will want to spend time with you and if you aren't fully prepared for that, then please do not push to enter into his life. He would be sad if you were to leave and it would be confusing to him that another person has come and gone from his life.

He's really amazing, so you would probably be sad, too.

Because this isn't my son's fault. He had to learn early on that things don't always work out the way you think or necessarily want them to. The magic of his parents being together and growing up in an "intact" household is gone.

He will be different from some of his classmates and may even experience bullying because of this. My son feels things deeply—his outbursts or tearful frustrations could be due to a number of different things. All I ask from you is your empathy and compassion.

Please be gentle with him.

I will never speak badly of you to my child—you have my word. In turn, I hope that you will never speak badly about me either. You have only heard one side of the story and it is important to remember there are always two sides.

I'm sure everything you've heard about me has not been the most flattering. But regardless of what has been said, I deserve to be respected and I promise to do the same for you. This may not always be easy, but if there is respect involved—it can be easier.

I will always be my son's mother. I carried this little person inside of me for nine months, went through a challenging delivery to bring him into this world, and spent many sleepless months feeding him, nurturing him and rocking him while he cried. I have held him through numerous illnesses and reassured him before two different surgeries. I've been there through it all—every diaper, bump, bruise, and development.

I have cried tears of frustration when his little body tried to fight a fever and there was nothing I could do, tears of fear when he was wheeled into the OR, and tears of sadness when my not so little boy went off to his first day of kindergarten.

This in no way diminishes the role that you can play in his life as another person who loves and supports him. I truly believe that the more people that love a child, the better off that child is.

Someday I hope we can be friends. I really mean that. I want to demonstrate to my son that growing up in separate households doesn't mean there has to be contention; that we can get along and share in his life and milestones. That we can be at his sporting events standing side-by-side cheering him on or at his chorus concert waving enthusiastically to him while he stands on the stage.

I know this may just be a fantasy and this friendship may never be, but I can only hope that for my son's sake we can make this work. I'm in, if you are.

So if you made it this far, thank you. Thank you for being another person in my son's life that will support and love him without pause and without question. It means a lot to all of us.

Sincerely,

A mama who's trying to do her best

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