**Originally Published October 2011**

A few months ago, I overheard some things that someone I love said at a party about me.  It shattered my world.  My security, my belief in what I was doing with my life, and my stability were shaken to the very core.  I heard my husband tell his friends and some new neighbors that I didn’t even know yet that he had ‘settled for [me] when he found out the true love if his life was in a relationship and getting married.’ He went on to tell them that he, and she, had contemplated and affair but she was holding out. It.really.hurt. Especially since this woman is in our lives as he describes her as his ‘best friend’. Even though I have talked about it with multiple people, thought I exhausted all avenues to understand it, and have tried to put the brave face on, I am still struggling to deal with it. I have noticed that my raw pain is starting to affect my parenting though. And I don’t like it. But how do you do it? How do I fake parenting through real pain?

Fake parenting through real pain can be harder than dealing with the pain...

I believe that standing on this uneven ground, trying to find a way to understand what is so fundamentally wrong with me that words like that can be said to others, has affected my parenting.  Aside from the obvious answer that dealing with this may have sunk me into a depression, I can not seem to get my rhythm with my kids back.  And though I am purposely forcing myself to be calm and patient, I do think that my fuse is quite a bit shorter than it used to be.

So, adding to my need to understand the underlying issue, I now am dealing with the need to be a good mother and not let what is happening in one part of my life affect my kids.

Even at their young age, I know my kids are seeing what I am going through.  I know that they feel it and can sense the change.  Their routines have not changed.  They go to school, cheer and friends houses just like before.  But, Mommy is not the same.  She tires easily, she has tears in her eyes at times, and she holds them a little tighter and for a little longer than usual when they get hugs.

And I feel great guilt.  Because I should be able to hide it.  I should be able to force their normal no matter what.  I am their mother after all.  They did not ask to be affected by my personal turmoil.  They just want to have a childhood – free of drama, full of fun, carefree and innocent.

So, I reach out to my trusted readers, who I have somewhat abandoned in my loss for words, and ask how to do it?  How can I keep my kids lives in tact and unaffected by my own personal sadness?  How do I fake parenting through real pain?

I will deal with this and I will come out stronger…  I have no choice.  But I do have the choice of how it affects my sweet children.  I just need a little help getting it as right as I can