Monday, May 16, 2011

Ridin Solo as a Single Mom

Today’s post is going to be a little different.   I try to write mostly to entertain and to share funny pieces of my world.   Lately, I've gotten some criticism that I glamorize single parenting and I’d like to address that very briefly today.  That isn’t my intent at all, in fact single parenting has been way harder than I imagined.   I never dreamed my ex would distance himself from the boys and I didn’t anticipate many of the roadblocks life threw in my path.   My intent with this blog is to entertain, share funny dating anecdotes and to amuse readers. 
If someone asked me for advice, contemplating divorce, I’d try to talk them out of it and encourage them to only do it as a last resort.   My life is certainly NOT a constant party or string of suitors lined up out my front door.   It’s honestly extremely difficult and I’m fortunate that I’m an optimistic person or else I would have lost it a long time ago. 
On the flip side, I wouldn’t recommend staying in an unhappy marriage either.  I know many unhappily married women who stay but have affairs just so they don’t have to give up the lifestyle of two incomes.   A few friends have confided in me that they are sticking things out until the kids are grown.  Meanwhile, they post smiling beach vacation pictures on Facebook, go to their weekly trips to the spa and have a housekeeper who comes once a week.   To contrast that, I’d seriously settle for having a dishwasher right now.  
It boils down to choices and I can’t judge them for theirs any more than they can judge me for mine.  I didn’t want my boys to see a miserable marriage modeled for them, didn’t want them to think that was what they had to settle for.  That choice comes with a lot of difficult consequences and I sometimes second guess my path.  However, I know they are better adjusted and we’ve tried to make the best of it. 
This past weekend was prom and I had to try to crawl into the male brain to deliver some kind of pre prom speech.   As he was getting in his tuxedo and preparing for prom night, I tried to recall the speeches my mom delivered on occasions like this.    It was a tricky little talk, trying to get into the "other team's" head.  lol
The past few years I’ve had the lion’s share of the parenting responsibilities for my two boys, through many difficult conversations in a difficult time in a young man’s life.  I’ve been through the first heartbreak, pimples and driving lessons.   I have to attempt to teach two young men how to be men.   At times, I don't feel remotely qualified and I might as well train them how to be martians or how to rewire a house or how to split an atom.  
I thought back to the first time I gave my son the birds and the bees talk, probably 6 years ago now.  Their class was split into the boys in one class, the girls in another.  They watched "the movie" in health class.   I made sure I planned some time after school with him to answer any questions.   I encouraged him to talk freely and to ask anything he felt he didn't understand.   After a long, dramatic pause he said he did have one and I braced myself for the worst.   His question was, “I know what condoms are for and I understand all that, but what I DON"T get is that I’ve seen their packages and they are square… how does a square shaped condom fit on a penis?”  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. 
Through the years, I've given the best answers that I can.  My son is a young man anyone would be proud to claim as their own.  He is driven by faith, disclipline and an incredible heart.   His mission in life is to pursue a career of honor and I know he will achieve this.  
I have another son a few years behind him and I still have my work cut out for me.   All I can hope to do is my best at parenting and to share the highs and lows with you as you try to find your way.  I hope you can laugh and cry alongside me and you share your journey too.  Thank you as always for reading.
The Single Mom


DavidRayDog said...

You are a brave (and funny) woman!
I skipped my prom by the way. Not sure if it was because I'd been dumped by a girlfriend a few months earlier or if I just wanted to same my cash for surfboard wax, gas for trips to the beach and records.

singlemom said...

Aw thank you DRG, you are a sweetheart. Kids now are going in groups, not always in dates, kids these days, eh? lol

Smooches and tingles! :D

Rosalyn said...

I think you're pretty great, although I only know you by your blog and tweets. The fact that you can maintain a smart and witty sense of humor, while raising two kids alone, pretty much puts you ahead of the coping game.

My ex and I didn't stay together for the kids. We're both smart enough to know putting a happy face on a shit marriage, does not a happy family make. We have two girls. He has custody. I have gotten shit, too, about our situation. I used to tell the naysayers, "Hey, toots, you walk in my shoes for a while - see how they fit then".

Screw them. You've got a great blog. Don't change a thing.

singlemom said...

Thank you so much, Rosalyn. I appreciate your comments so much. I've had my moments where I've lost it and I'm sure will have many more. Luckily the happiness, comes from a deep place now and this blog is a huge part of that, the connections I've made (yourself included) have made this a life changing endeavor.

You are so smart to have made the choices you have. Of course it's not easy whatever you choose and there are always going to be people who question you but they don't have to live your life, so it's impossible for anyone to judge accurately.

I applaud you for knowing what is best for you and your kids and doing it. That takes major cajones and unselfishness, even if it's not easy.

Thank you so much and I'm grateful for your comments!