the single mom thing

Right, I keep meaning to address this. Thanks to various readers for the kudos on surviving temporary single momhood, but I don’t really feel like I deserve them, because it’s actually not all that hard.

Here’s the thing. My parents divorced very early on. My brother went out to Washington with Mom, I stayed in Ohio with Dad and Stepmom for oh, six years, more or less, off and on. And my dad was, um, somewhat difficult to live with – let’s just say that the phrase “nuclear family” can have more than one meaning. After that (so, for most of my childhood) I lived with Mom and my brother sometimes, and also for awhile with Stepmom, without Dad, so one-mom-no-dad is kind of my default setting. I know it sounds odd, but that’s what’s normal for me.

So when I was accidentally pregnant at 23, the big leap into the unknown was not the having a baby, but the decision to marry the baby’s father. And when we separated, three years later, I wasn’t thinking “single motherhood shock horror end of the world,” I was thinking “okay, at least I know how to do this.” And I did. I did a pretty good job on my own, even DrBob had to admit that.

I don’t want to diminish the difficulty of the task, I know that single motherhood brings a lot of problems. But I spent my childhood watching people deal with those exact problems, so for me, it really isn’t as scary as it obviously sounds to some of you. Modeling a stable marriage for my children is much more challenging, because I didn’t have that example before me. I feel like much more of a superhero (with the superpower of sheer, improbable dumb luck) for having stayed married to the same guy for 13 years.

Whoa, paradigm shift.

So anyway, thanks, but also, aw gee shucks, t’weren’t nothin’.

Song du jour of the day: Can’t Wait Until Tonight, by Max Mutzke.


One response to “the single mom thing

  • amy

    I don’t know I’d call it scary, but…hard in the way that running a marathon might be hard. It’s like a test of endurance, for me, anyway. The thing is, when my husband travels, it doesn’t REALLY make a difference except on weekends, because he usually leaves for work before we’re up and gets home in time to help brush teeth and read stories. We’re talking less than an hour a day that he’s home while the kids are not in bed. We get into a groove without him pretty quickly. But it’s the neverending “here we are and nobody else is coming through the door at all” that gets to me after a while. I can do it, have done it, will do it again, but….it’s exhausting.

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