Single Motherhood: Some Things Will Never Be Easy
No matter how distant a divorce or separation may be, or how easy and amicable the relationship with the ex is, OR how much love, support and even money you have, there ARE, without question, things that SUCK and will ALWAYS suck about being divorced.
The perception from married folks who whisper the “D” word at a party as if it's a disease, ("Ohhhhhh, you haven't heard. She's..." they look around the room, wince and whisper, "divoooorced…”) is that the challenges for single moms are money driven. That we're stretched thin... Exhausted.... Overworked.... Undesirable because of the baggage we come with. And while all that may be true for some, for ME, those things alone have not been what brings me to tears or keep me up at night as I attempt to wage war on the "woe is me" blues. OH, NO. For those things... Those things could be said about anyone... Money struggles, exhaustion, baggage... Welcome to adult life and love. That's pretty much standard, right?
For me, the challenges of single motherhood are deeper. Sometimes I feel it in my heart. Like I know there's a piece of life I'm missing… And not knowing when I'll have it back or feel complete again hurts. A lot. Even when, or IF, you "wanted" a divorce (as if anyone really ever WANTS to get divorced.... Another misperception from the “D” word whisperers). No matter where I’ve been in life-- fully in love and in a wonderful relationship or single and searching-- it is that feeling of missing out on something which I believe has been the most painful part of the past three years I’ve spent as a “divorcee.”
People ask me all the time if it’s “sooooo hard” having to share custody and send my son off to his dad’s a few times a week. Yes, of course, it’s not easy… and when I first got divorced it was sad and made me incredibly anxious and guilt ridden. But as time went on, and I could see the joy that my son got from spending time with his daddy, the guilt faded. The HARD part shifted. The anxiety and sadness actually began to soar during the moments we WERE together… when he WAS/IS mine…. During every day moments…
Preschool hallways in the morning….
Birthday parties on weekends…
Afternoon park excursions….
As a single mom, these moments (and hours) are the hardest for me. Sure, 90% of the drop-offs at school are done by the moms. The difference? Their husband is off to work. Sure, birthday parties are usually attended by only one parent and their child. The difference? The other parent is home with the sibling or taking the afternoon to do something for themselves. Sure, park excursions aren’t always a family affair. The difference? When that 18 month old is finished building his sand castle, he’ll go home with his mommy, and at night, there’ll be TWO parents under ONE roof. These parents are not solo. They can go to preschool, birthday parties, park excursions and any other every day occurrence with a child and KNOW at the end of the day, THEY WILL HAVE A FAMILY.
I crave that. I yearn for that security. I never knew divorce would make the small, every day, inconsequential moments of parenting the hardest to bear… During the moments that married people take for granted and probably don’t ever consider delicious…