Tag Archives: single mom

Once a Fortress, Always a Fortress

3 May

Certainty and security are never a commodity in a single mother’s life. Love and fatigue are our main resources. We live for our ability to love our children and the people who love them (and us, if possible), we love them endlessly. We strive, thanks to daily schedules that bring us to the end of the day breathless, and with an empty mind and weary heart. It is easy to receive our kindness, for we are full of empathy and compassion for anyone who has endured hardship. It is even possible to win our love. We’re used to caring for others. But it is nearly impossible to love us, fully. And even more difficult to gain our trust.

This is why, the single mother, is forever single. This sounds tragic, and maybe it is in a sense. But I don’t necessarily mean for it to be. We aren’t alone. We are surrounded by friends, family, and lovers, who care for us, help us out, listen to us, pick our little ones up from school if we’re tied up, or make love to us quietly, in the dark, after bed time. We have each other – other moms like us, who share the impossible bond of lonely togetherness, that I think only we can truly comprehend. And still, we are single. Even with boyfriends, or live-in partners. Even if we marry again.

The single mother’s heart is a fortress. It’s been penetrated and broken before, and it shall never be broken again. We will never again allow heartbreak to take us by surprise. We are prepared for any scenario, and we anticipate the worst. (We know that He is going to leave us, and we leave Him first.)

So in order to love us, to stick by us, it takes more than romance, more than companionship, more than terrific sex, more than love, more than trust. It takes endurance. It takes stubbornness. It takes a man who can bear never being given the benefit of the doubt. It takes a man who can tolerate the constant measuring and sizing up, the fear, the doubts, the half-truths, the “I love you – but”s. It takes a man who loves our hearts, along with the brick walls that surround them, walls made strong by the powerful forces of abandonment and betrayal.

It takes a man who has the patience to take apart that wall, slowly, carefully, not tearing it down, but cautiously dismantling it, one brick at a time, knowing that there is a chance that it will grow back in, like like a lizard’s tail, but wanting enough to try, hoping enough to succeed.

I am lucky to have found such a man.

And though, from time to time, I make an honest attempt to push him away, he surprises me with his acceptance of me and my story, and his willingness to take part in it.

 

 

 

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Timeline of Joys and Sorrows

21 Nov

September 2011: Preggers. Feels like I’ve been waiting for this all my life. Feels like he’s been dreading this all his life.

December 2011: He goes away for 3 months. Turns out I can do stuff on my own.

March 2012: He returns to find that I have evolved into a giantess, no longer vomiting every two seconds, and about 20+ kilos heavier.

June 2012: Beautiful, healthy son is born.

September 2012: We have the talk.

October 2012: He leaves. I grieve.

December 2012: I start to live again.

January 2013: I try to love again.

March 2013: M is sick. It’s going to be alright.

June 2013: Promotion!

June 2013: ONE!

July 2013: Besties in Berlin! It’s going to be alright.

July 2013: Trying and failing to get back together.

August 2013: Trying and failing to find a new home.

September 2013: Staying put. M is still sick. Love is gone. Everything sucks.

March 2014: Hope for a new start.

April 2014: A new home. A new start. Dating again.

June 2014: TWO!

June 2014: Coping. Empowered. Life is complicated, I can take it.

September 2014: I can’t take it.

October 2014: I have to take it.

November 2014: Low point. Depression. Unkind to myself.

November 2014: I tell M about a good first date with D. I try to keep it together.

December 2014: Limbo.

January 2015: Unspeakable pain.

February 2015: Unspeakable pain.

March 2015: I slowly begin to reclaim my life.

April 2015: I celebrate a birthday, dramatically, with my best friends, with my boyfriend.

May 2015: Girls gone wild memorial. Besties in Santorini, remembering M.

June 2015: THREE!

June 2015: Officially divorced at last.

July 2015: A trip to Barcelona with D.

July 2015: Adorably insane Charlie joins our family, chewing and biting and acting crazy 90% percent of the time, being the best dog in the world the other 10%.

September 2015: OK. We’ll keep you. Just please stop biting.

September 2015: Let’s introduce our kids.

October 2015: Playing family.

November 2015: Celebrating a year together. How lucky I am to have love in my life. Hope is renewed for a future of togetherness.

Fearing January.

Knowing I’ll make it through January.

Sexy Rendevous & Really Weird Dream

28 Mar

D was called in for reserve, and even though we sometimes do not see each other for a full week, this time, since he was physically far away, it felt like forever. When he was unexpectedly released for a night in his own bed, we mutually decided on a night in my own bed, even though it was against our new rule of no sleepovers when my Boy is home. I needed to see him, so I made weak rationalizations in my head. He hadn’t had bad dreams in over a week now. And he’d had a long day, he would be too tired to get up in the middle of the night and come into my room.

A knock on the door and then a bone crushing embrace that lasted a full minute, and then his lips on my neck, and in my hair and on my mouth, soft, slippery and comforting. It was the best I had felt in a while. I missed you, he said, I had missed him too. Missed his mouth, and his neck, and his shoulders, and his biceps. Missed pulling his shirt off and feeling his warm skin against mine. Within minutes, we were making out on my sofa like a coupe of teenagers, fingers caressing and groping, tongues tasting, hips dancing. And then we moved into my bedroom, where we allowed ourselves more freedom, to explore each other’s bodies with our own, to turn off lights and thoughts and just be, easing in from a jumble of arms and legs and breasts, and hips, into rythmic movement, growing steadily deeper and faster, until that magnificent moment of complete oblivion, in which nothing has place, except the intense sensation of his final thrust and my legs wrapped around him, and my head tilted back as I muffle a groan.

But that night, back in our clothes, sleeping deeply, facing different directions, our legs still tangled like the roots of an ancient tree, I awoke abruptly to see his little face in the dark, “I can’t sleep”. Thank god for his little body, his head barely peering over the edge of the mattress. The darkness. D tucked away under the comforter. I got up immediately and took my Boy back to bed, patting his back for a full twenty minutes, which felt like forever, until he was breathing heavily again.

“Do you want me to leave?”

“No. It’s OK.”

D held me as a made an honest effort to go back to sleep. Finally, there he was, my son. It was morning, the sun beamed through the open shades and he was asking me, “who’s this, mom?” With surprise and sleepiness I woke D up. I said, “This is D. He’s a friend.” And I put my boy with a bowl of cereal in front of the TV. My sister was suddenly there. And she was playing with him, as the doorbell rang. Shit. Must be BD and his new girlfriend here to pick up my boy. Quick, D, out the back door.

They came in, smug, and went straight to the Boy’s room to pack an overnight bag for him. A couple of minutes later, it was too quiet in his room, as it often is with young children, and I felt worried, that something was wrong. I opened the door and found them: D, BD and new girlfriend, and they were getting dressed. When I confronted them, they admitted to having had a threesome, right there in my child’s bedroom. What the fuck?? I was out of my mind with rage, but all they did was shrug it off. D even said I was making a big deal out of nothing. I remember thinking miserably, how gullible I was, how I allowed someone, once again, to become close to me, and hurt me so terribly.

At 5 am the alarm rang, a few minutes after I had woken up. D’s arms were around me again, consoling me after I’d nudged him and whispered “bad dream”. When I told him about it he laughed and quoted the Lonely Island singing It’s not gay if it’s in a threeway. Then he did an Eddie Murphy impression and said, “You know what? Yeah. I fucked her. OK? I fucked her. But I made love to you.” We laughed it off, and he went back to his reserve, and I woke my son up with oatmeal and smiles, awaiting the weekend, when we’d have the house to ourselves, making new promises to avoid sleepovers on weeknights, at least until D’s called in for reserve again.

The Morning After

3 Oct

Last night, a couple of friends and I went out with the deliberate aim of drunken escapism. Phones were on silent mode, tucked into our purses, and conversation was trashing exes, hilarious 20’s sex stories, and general ridicule of anything or anyone that got in our way.

I got back to an empty home past midnight, my Boy at his dad’s finally, giving me time to be just me for a minute. But at 1:00 am, in my bed, alone, I had a horrible urge to drunk-text an ex, any ex, anyone with a penis basically, just so that I wouldn’t have to be alone in my bed.

The funny thing about escapism is that as good as it feels when you’re there, that’s how sucky it feels when it’s over. You open your eyes in the morning and your post alcohol headache reminds you that you’re not in your 20’s anymore. Your best friend is still sick, and your ex is still an idiot, and your bed is still empty. And as much as catching up on sleep is grand and necessary, it takes a whole lot more convincing to get out of bed in the morning, when you don’t have an adorable two-year-old pulling at your pajamas at 6 am asking for cornflakes with milk and a story about Fireman Sam.

Happy and Miserable (:(

28 Sep

This is me raising my head for a minute from the total mess my life is in to break the 5 week silence and say something.

At first I wasn’t writing because I wasn’t really sure how I could possibly say, here, to you, that BD and me were trying again, and that I was miserable again. I mean, really. It’s getting old. And embarrasing.

By the time I decided to write about it, my life had become such a crazy mess of back-to-school drama, that I really didn’t have time to put down even one word. Then the Boy was sick, and then I went to a friend’s romantic destination wedding with BD and had that to deal with, and then my car got hit by bus and needed fixing and then I was sick, and in between I was working on a presentation to the school board and to make a long story short, well, here I am. Happy and miserable all at the same time.

Here’s a game my Boy and I have started playing recently. It’s called the Thank You Game. I love doing this with him. We each in turn have to say something we’re thankful for. I’ll say: I’m thankful to have such a delicious dinner on my plate. He’ll squeal happily: Mmmmm! Delicious! And add: I’m thankful for my choo choo train. And I’ll say: I’m thankful for our friendly neighbors. It’s so nice to have good neighbors. And he’ll say: I’m thankful for the cats! Meaning the ones that run around in the yard, that he greets with an excited “Hello cat! How are you?” every afternoon when we come home from daycare. He must be the sweetest almost two-and-a-half year old on the planet. I’m so lucky to have him in my life.

So I’m happy. Despite the exhaustion, I do like my hectic life and the feeling that everything is constantly moving. But I’m also miserable. Because, well, you know. I’m not going to get into it again.

Happy Place

12 Oct

porch swing

In the midst of the chaos and uncertainty that are constantly intertwined with my routine, I pop up for a breath of fresh air every now and again, driving to work on one of those rare morning when I’m not racing against the clock, walking to the supermarket on my morning off, closing my eyes and nodding off on a night when I can still remember my name…

And there I am. A year after my divorce. I’ve moved to a little house with a garden, or a small apartment with a balcony, full of plants, green and pink and flowery. Baby isn’t a baby, he’s a lovely three year old boy, who talks and has opinions, and is growing more and more independent. We live alone, with our dog, Barry, and enjoy a routine of daycare, work, afternoons in our backyard, or at the park with Barry, home cooked meals and bedtime stories followed by cuddles and lights out.

BD and I have stayed in good relations, and he spends time with our boy, and gives me my night off, which I use to go out, get laid, paint, blog and do laundry.

There may be a guy in my life, nothing really serious, just someone to make my heart flutter and kiss me on the nights that I don’t have the Boy.

And with this as a background, there I am in my happy place, sitting on a porch swing, looking into the distance, with a cup of tea in my hand. It’s autumn and the evenings are chilly, so a blanket is wrapped around my shoulders to keep me warm. I’ve just checked on the Boy and he’s sound asleep. And I just sit there, in complete quiet and wonder about how everything that happened, him leaving, me crying, getting back together and breaking up and getting back together and going to therapy, and giving up and trying again, and giving up again, how it all led to this beautiful moment, in which I sit, quietly and peacefully and just feel happy.

My ‘What Is’

15 Jun

bed

I opened my eyes this morning and saw that head on the pillow beside me, naked of those gorgeous red curls which have been chopped off mercilessly when we were apart. Sleeping with heavy eyelids, long auburn eyelashes resting on the top of his cheeks, and those enormous pouty lips slightly parted. It wasn’t a dream. He did come over last night, I did open the door to him in those sexy yet nonchalant pajamas. He did look at me for several long seconds and then pull me into a crushing, overwhelming embrace.

Life, I am slowly beginning to realize, is life. I know that seems trivial. One of the pre-Socratic philosophers, Parmenides, claimed that we can only speak and think of what is “for being is, but nothing is not.” This is my life, this is my what is. I am 32 years old, mother to an incredible one year old treasure, soon-to-be-divorced. I have a close friend, a beautiful, witty, unbelievably caring and giving person who’s putting on a hell of a fight with the big C and learning to allow people to be there for her, as she’s always been there for them.

This is my life. I have a steady job and a less than mediocre income. I have an accountant who flirts with me shamelessly every time we meet. I have a strong backbone and support system of friends and family who will always be there for me in times of trouble. I have great tits, even after breastfeeding, and my body will never be as tight as it used to be before childbirth, or as tight as it… has never been, frankly. But I’m learning to love it as is, to embrace its curves and lushness.

This is my life. I was in love once with a boy, so badly that I lost myself. I wrote a blog post about him and tagged it “rape” and then erased that word, but then edited it and tagged it again. And now I have an ex who wants to get back together, to whom I’m saying a strong, confident “NO”, which has been a long time coming, and a lover whom I’ve chosen to welcome back into my life, who pleasures me in ways I never realized were possible, to whom I’m choosing, for now, to say “YES”.

I don’t know what I want or where I want to go next, but I’m excited to find out.

This is my life. This is my what is. And I love it, even when I hate it. I love its twists and turns, I cherish its gifts, I embrace its painful lessons. I want to feel and experience everything it has to offer me, for as long as it’s offering.