I definitely hit a low point this week. My car radiator blew and a myriad of other things needed to be repaired which drained my already depleted bank account. It was just another blow that had me unraveling and falling into a mild depression.
These are the times when I’m slapped in the face (again) with the realization that I am all on my own and no one is there to pick me up when I fall. Instead of having someone to lean on when times get tough, I have to find the strength to pick myself up and figure out a way to make things work. I have to hold it together for my kids, even though a part of me just wants to give up. After the divorce, I was the one left with the full responsibility to take care of my kids and I chose to put their needs before my own. As noble as it may seem, it really sucks doing everything on my own.
Being a single mom is the hardest job in the world. It’s often overlooked and underappreciated. Even if you share custody with your ex, the mom is usually the one doing most of the work. There are exceptions to that rule of course, but very rarely do you see the dads bringing the kids to their doctors’ appointments, shopping for their clothes, bringing them to practice and games, helping with their science projects, going to open house and teacher conferences, making healthy meals, and most importantly being there to talk when your kids are struggling emotionally. Sorry fellas, but you know it’s true. Even in a healthy marriage the division of labor when it comes to the kids is usually 90/10. Am I wrong? I think not.
This brings me to the struggles women face when becoming a single mom and some of the myths that you encounter in the aftermath of divorce.
Myth #1: We chose to do it on our own.
Truth is, we were doing it on our own when we were married. Now we just have one less person to pick up after and cook for, so we actually decreased the number of people that took us for granted every day. We didn’t chose to do everything on our own, we had to leave a miserable marriage that was sucking the life out of us and killing our souls. We don’t like having to clean up the debris and ashes that are left behind after your entire life went up in flames. We don’t have a choice. We have to hold everything together for our kids and hope we didn’t completely screw them up in the process.
Myth # 2: We need a man to make us happy.
Ladies, when was the last time your man made you happy? Seriously, when you get divorced you fantasize about finding someone that is going to ride in on his white horse and sweep you off your feet. The reality is, relationships are a lot of work and you’ll just be picking up his stinky socks in a few months and then you realize you’re back to square one. Worst case scenario, he has kids, so now you’re playing ‘step mommy’ on the weekends and you have even more people to pick up after! Truth is you’re actually happier when your single, but are afraid of being alone.
Myth # 3: We want to have a pity party.
Did you ever have that married friend who is complaining when her husband is gone for a few days on a business trip and she can’t deal with all the work? Be honest, you want to slap her…don’t you? She’s going on and on about how she has to do this and that…then mid-sentence she realizes the look on your face that is screaming ‘bitch please’ behind that phony smile. She quickly realizes that you have to take care of everything on your own, every day of your life, so she back peddles and says, “I don’t know how you do it all alone.” You want to say something snarky like, “welcome to my world for three whole days you frickin’ whiner!” Instead you politely nod and say “I know it’s not easy” and change the subject before you smack her upside her head.
Myth # 4: We all want your husbands.
Soon after your divorce, you’ll notice that the invites for ‘couples’ night’ cease and desist. You are now the ‘outcast’ and your married friends are not sure what to do. Who do they pick? They have to choose between you and your ex-spouse and it’s a tough call. The wives are scared now that you’re single, your suddenly more attractive to their husbands or they think you’re a home wrecker who wants to steal their men. It’s a conundrum for sure. Newsflash! We don’t want your sloppy seconds. Remember, we’ve heard all the stories about how annoying your husband is or how bad he is in bed…why would you think we would want him exactly? Luckily, I never had to deal with this because my husband never had any friends and my friends never liked hanging out with him (problem #642). I also have genuine friends that would never think I’m out to get their man, but I have seen it happen….sad but true.
Myth # 5: We love being called MILF’s, Cougars, and love dancing to ‘Single Ladies’
The cockroach’s come out of the woodwork, once they catch wind that your marriage is in trouble. It’s like there’s a radar that loser men have, that sniffs out vulnerable women who are going through a divorce and are starving for attention. Even your male friends will try to make you feel better by telling you that you won’t be single for long because you’re a ‘MILF’. Is that supposed to make me feel better? I’m now a member of an exclusive group of single mothers that are still worth screwing? Wow, thanks! I feel better already! (NOT)
The worst ones are all the young 20-somethings or 30-somethings that are hitting on you left and right. It’s like a new trend for young guys to go after ‘cougars’ mainly because an older woman just wants to have sex with them and they’re not trying to get ‘wifed-up’. I personally want nothing to do with dating younger men. Sure, it’s flattering and they’re nice to look at, but all it does is make me feel old. Old and desperate. Plus, I really don’t want a boy…I want a man.
Lastly, I absolutely hate dancing to ‘Single Ladies’ sorry Bey, I love you, but I hate that song. I don’t need to broadcast to the world that I’m a lonely old broad looking for some sleazy guy in the bar to take that as an invitation to come talk to me. Yea, no way.
Now that I’ve clear up just a few of the myths about single moms, I hope you have more understanding and compassion for just how f’in hard it really is to do it all on your own. It stinks having to mow my own lawn, take out the garbage, fix all the shit breaking and then have to do all the other things I did on top of it. There should be a free service to single moms. Like a ‘lend out your husband day’ every month of the year to help single moms trying to do it on their own. Other husbands who want to help a struggling mom clean out the garage or fix the leaky faucet. Why doesn’t this exist? I may form my own charitable organization to do just that. It would be every single mom’s dream come true. Hell, I’m still waiting on my pool boy to show up and serve me drinks while they’re cleaning the pool in a speedo. 😉 Is that too much to ask?! Geez!
Keep your chin up ladies! What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, so that makes us pretty tough bitches. Hopefully, our knight in shining armor will show up one day and pick up his own socks while he’s taking out the trash. Until then, stay strong!