Understanding Divorced and Single MomsWednesday, July 29, 2015 7:30 AM
1. We don't really fit in much:
Being divorced means you aren't part of a couple and you aren't single. This equals little to no social life. I found a lot of couple friends little by little stop hanging out. I am not sure if it is because they think I feel uncomfortable or my uncoupling makes them feel uncomfortable.
2. Please don't tell us how great we are and we are crazy for not dating:
This may be cause to get punched in the face. I would first like to say that I have been divorced from my ex for longer than we were married. We are very amicable, and actually get along swimmingly. I am not interested in anything from him other than co-parenting. That being said I will admit I am resentful of the way our lives turned out. THERE, I said it! Most men of divorce just go back to living a single life, not so much for the women with children to care for. It was not my choice that my life as I knew it was drastically changed almost over night. It wasn't my decision to have to move in with my parents and trade any sort of an adult life or privacy (as well as their privacy) in order to put my son first. How can you date in that situation?
'Hi, I am Elise, nice to meet you, we can meet up tomorrow after 7, but I have to be home before 8:30 to read with, and put my son to sleep. Also I probably won't be able to schedule another date for at least two or three weeks when my son is with his father...' It is pretty absurd. I don't feel 'incomplete' not being in a relationship, I feel I am becoming a better me everyday I am alone. So, walk a mile in someone's shoes before you offer up the 'If I were you I would be doing A, B and C'.
3. We are adults:
I am just as much an adult as I was when I went away to college, lived 3,000 miles away from my family, got married, bought my first house, my second house, gave birth to my son, sold my house, and dealt with a life changing, financially crippling divorce. I have experienced loss and have rebounded from it. I am resilient, I am very capable.
4. Please do not ask us where all of our money goes:
Child support has been sporadic since the day it was issued 6 years ago. Raising a child is expensive. I am not splurging on elaborate vacations, cars and shoes. What I am doing is saving to ensure a better future for both myself and my son.
5. We may choose to do things by ourselves:
I may go to the movies by myself, I may travel by myself, I may even take myself out for dinner, and that is OK! I do not have a travel companion anymore, and I am not going to waste what little youth I have left not doing things because I don't have someone to do it with. Whether it is learning to surf in Costa Rica, a three day weekend somewhere, or my own little eat, pray, love situation where I take off to India for a year, I am going to do that (just kidding I would never have the child care). I will do what is right for me. I will live my life, maybe not by others rules or standards, but I am living MY life, not yours.
6. We are not lucky: Yes, I have a wonderful life. I have a extraordinary family. I am fortunate that I have a place to live, and my son goes to a wonderful school where he is flourishing and has wonderful friends. I am fortunate that both my son and I are healthy. I am fortunate that I have had to cook very minimally because my mom is an expert chef and when my parents aren't traveling and trying to enjoy their retirement, there is a home cooked meal when I get home from work. I am fortunate that when child support has fallen way behind and I haven't been able to pay my 'rent' my landlords (parents) haven't told me to hit the bricks. I appreciate and am grateful for all of those things, but I am not lucky. I am not lucky that while everyone else's life is moving on mine has been put in park, I am not lucky that I go to sleep by myself every night, I am not lucky that I still feel like I have to answer to my parents because I live under their roof, I am not lucky that most of my belongings are in storage and everything else I have is in a 10 X 10 room where I sleep, I am not lucky that I do not get to volunteer or be involved at my son's school because I am working every day and can not depend on the finances of another person, and I am certainly not lucky that I never got the option of having more children.
So if you are worried about our future, don't be. Our life plan didn't work out how we expected, and we are trying to live our lives to the fullest, and by our rules.
Time is flying and my time is now.
I'll love the birds, the pigs and the cow
But when it boils down and I take a long look,
It's my kitchen and I'm the cook.