Lori Hamilton, Co-host of the “Weekly Toddler Hour”

I gave up a daughter for adoption when I was seventeen. I became a step-mom of two precious little girls when I was thirty-seven. The twenty years in between were filled with all kinds of efforts to be a good mom someday. I unpacked emotional baggage. I wrote in fifty journals. I took workshops. I wrote poems. I beat myself up. I reconstructed myself from scratch. I cried. I hoped. I kept mental lists of what I would and wouldn’t do if given the chance to parent again.

Now that I look back, all the pieces make a lot of sense. It all fits together, even the part about marrying someone with a mean, mentally ill ex-wife who is an expert at parent alienation! Seriously, I think I chose this on purpose. I think, when I was in Heaven planning this life, I put each ingredient in the mixing bowl carefully. I felt honored that these three young ladies asked me to play the role of birth mother and step mother. Since I wanted to do a good job, I asked the adoptive mother and ex-wife to keep a close eye on me to keep me on my toes. Well, now I’m practically a walking ballerina who glides and skids on eggshells.

It would be a lot easier if my husband and I were the only primary parents. The girls are with us for a week at a time every other week. We have custody. That doesn’t always help. I call this 2nd Thought Parenting. I don’t make any parenting decision without thinking about how it will affect the girls, their mothers, their loved ones, my husband’s reputation and then mine.

If these moms only knew how much love I am, and how I would never want to interfere with the bond they have with their daughters! I just want to have a bond with them, too…a separate but special one…one that is pure…untainted by their mothers’ opinions, body language or comments about me. And I promise to bite my tongue over and over to make sure that I am not saying things the girls could construe as negative about their biological mothers.

The latest weekly battle (which I’m trying to turn into a mere routine) is dealing with the hateful emails from the ex that report all kinds of lies, twisted truths, and painful stabs. A borderline/bipolar mother is really good at gathering team members, and the team members do anything to keep the team captain happy. I’m just worried that the girls will continue to believe this false childhood that their captain is building for them.

My husband says he knows what it was like to live with her. He understands that the girls are doing the best they can with the tools they have. We should focus on the laughter, love, and connecting that we experience with the girls on our weeks. He also reminds me that regardless of what the ex-wife is trying to put into their conscious memories, they will also have all the good stuff deep down in there in the subconscious. I work with brains for a living, so I know that he is right. It just doesn’t make it any easier to forget all the horrible things that she says the girls report to her. This is especially true when I’m coming home, knowing they will be inside,  knowing I better walk in smiling.

I try deep breathing. I scream in the car. I do a brain balance and Theta clearing. Then, I send angels ahead. I open the door, and I’m flooded with hugs, bright eyes, and a cheer from the crowd, “Lori!” It’s all going to be ok! Plus, I only have to do half of their laundry.

We have another good week full of puns, walks, chores, homework, and cuddle. Then, I send them off with angels and hug them as I say, “Have a great week with your Mom!”

Lori Hamilton. M.S., BIT/s Practitioner