My 1st Single Mom Anniversary: Truth & Misconceptions
I’m hitting the one-year anniversary of officially becoming single mom, which on one hand seems a little odd to commemorate, but on the other, well, why the hell not?
Because I spent much of my married life with kids alone anyway, I really didn’t think the transition from solo parent to single mom would be that challenging. And mostly, it wasn’t.
But what I didn’t expect were the perceptions, the misconceptions, and boy, the assumptions made on my behalf, a few most common of which I’m happy to clear up.
Yes, I tried to make it work but staying together would not have been better for the kids. Or me.
I’m continually surprised by the assumption that single parents did not do their best to try to make their relationship work. But I’m more surprised that people continue to believe that people need to wreck themselves emotionally (maybe even physically) in order to do so. Let’s change the vernacular about divorce from “giving up” to “making a life-saving choice.” And as much as we all want to believe that trying to make a failing relationship work for the kids is the right thing the do, most often, it’s the complete opposite.
No, I’m not desperate to find a “new” dad for my children.
I can assure you that I’m not on the prowl to find a replacement father for my kids. Hell, I’m not on the prowl at all. There was certainly a level of desperation that hit me because I had gone for so long without companionship, but once that wore off and I realized that being alone is much better than being with the wrong person, well, I was pretty content with deleting the dating apps and just enjoying my single life, which usually entails late nights doing laundry and catching up on “The New Girl” episodes. Plus, it’s going to take someone very special to even crack my “inner circle.” I can offer up my own heart to be broken but I will not do that to my children.
But hey, if you’ve got a cute single guy friend who you think is amazing, then send him my way.
No, I’m not rude. I’m just really really busy.
I’m not going to argue with anyone about what “busy” means for different people, but suffice it to say that I’ve got a lot on my plate. Along with running my own business, I’ve got four kids to love and feed and manage and chauffeur and there’s just not a lot of time for much else. If there’s a mom’s night out or a neighborhood party, I need to get a babysitter and that costs money. I’d love for my kids to go to all the birthday parties they are invited to but it gets expensive not to mention challenging when you’ve got to be in two places at once. I really do enjoy being around other people, it’s just hard for me to juggle that with everything else I’m doing.
But I will admit that when I hear married people with a couple of kids complain about how crazy busy they are, I do cringe. Hey, I’m only human.
Yes, the kids are alright.
I’m not going to lie. The adjustment to life with divorced parents was hard, even though my kids were used to me being their primary parent even while we were married. But with the crying and sadness (theirs and mine), there’s also been a lot of laughter and joy. I am so fortunate to have good friends, wonderful therapists, and teachers (seriously awesome teachers) who are so invested in their well-being. And well, I’m just going to pat my own back because so am I. Beyond any resentment or anger or hurt or confusion I might have had, their happiness trumps it all. Always.