Being a divorced mom has its pluses and minuses. There are times when the idea of being married again makes you want to jump a bridge. You are grateful for your single-mom life postdivorce. Then there are other days when you just want a partner right then and there and you wish you could hire a helping squad and have a friend pick your best match out of thin air! Parenting after divorce certainly has its rough terrain and learning curve. It's almost as if you're learning to reparent again and acquire a new way of viewing just about every single thing in your life. So it takes a little humor and a lot of chutzpah (that's balls and guts for those of you who don't speak Yiddish) to get through and make your life even more amazing as a divorced mom!
1. Where Is Everything?
When you're a divorced mom, nothing stays at your house. It somehow always ends up at the other house. You will swear you bought your kid X amount of clothes and new sneakers, but somehow they're either at your ex's house or somewhere in purgatory. Never mind homework assignments. You might as well bolt everything down if you want it to stay in your home. Besides your ex. Yeah, he can go back to his house. Wink.
2. When Your Last Name Doesn't Match
Why yes, those are my kids or kid. I just didn't want a reminder of the person who didn't work out, so I chose my own name again. Thanks.
3. Inviting Your Date Over
When your kids are with the other parent and you invite the date over, but you've forgotten to warn your date that there are My Little Ponies and Legos all over the couch the two of you had planned on sitting on to watch a movie together. It's incredibly sexy, too, when your kid's musical or singing dolls go off in the middle of a makeout session.
Thank you, Care Bear, for that rousing rendition of "The Wheels on the Bus."
4. Seeing Your Ex Online
Making an online dating profile and seeing your ex come up as your match? Super awesome! It's funny how you two divorced, yet eHarmony or OkCupid thinks you two are a "super amazing 96 percent" match!
More like 100 percent NO.
5. Missing Time
When you're a divorced mom and you miss taking your kid to a hobby or birthday party because it's not your day. When you're a divorced mom and all the other moms at soccer or dance or baseball are married and get to see each other weekly, and you try hard to stay in the loop, because, well, you're not always there to know everything and build friendships. You miss time and then some.
6. Being Set Up With the ONE SOLITARY Single Dad
There's one solitary single dad in your whole community, so everyone does whatever he or she can to pair you two together because of your situations, even though you two have nothing in common and would rather eat rocks than see a movie together.
7. Notifying Everyone
Notifying the school and every other organization that your child comes into contact with who can or cannot pick up or drop off your kid. Who gets what or doesn't get what information. Which coparent missed hearing about that science project. Which parent you need to notify and say, "Hey, my kid will be at your kid's party, but her dad is taking her."
8. Becoming a Scheduling Genius
Scheduling everything so it's perfectly matched up with the custody schedule, the work schedule, and your kid's schedule is such a blast! Wink.
9. Grateful but Tired
Being grateful you are working hard to support yourself and starting anew, but also missing the support of a partner. The gratitude in letting go of a bad relationship. The strength it takes to stay single and stay out of another bad relationship and realize that you deserve the best.
Wishing there were more hours in a day. Sometimes wishing it had worked out (the marriage). Extreme joy in knowing you walked away and started something fresh for you and your children. The pride in realizing you can do it on your own. Everyone is tired. It doesn't mean you give up.
10. What's With Your Hair, Mom?
That funny feeling you get if your kids notice and think, "Wow, Mom might be going out on a date." You won't give them information and you'll say, "I'm seeing a friend for coffee," but it sort of feels like you're a teenager sneaking out of your parents' house and hoping not to get caught.
Wanting romance and love but also realizing you've got to be a ferocious mama bear and protect your kids from anyone who might not love and cherish them the way you should. Wanting to run into a relationship all doe-eyed but realizing that you're wiser and have more at risk. Knowing love can happen but wanting it to happen right.
12. Being Psychic, Sort Of
Knowing when your friends' or neighbors' marriages are ready to explode and end. Hating the ability to predict such events. The compassion you have to help other moms and dads as they, too, start the venture down the road of divorce. The wisdom to know that you don't have the answers. The heartache to watch them make some of the same mistakes you or your ex made or worse mistakes that you couldn't fathom anyone making while navigating divorce.
13. The Ability to Speak About Anything
After you tell your kids you're getting a divorce, telling them almost anything is infinitely easier because you've already given them some of the roughest news you'll ever have to break to them about their family changing. The ability to get through, think, speak, and feel about so many different topics with your children. The recognition that this is a blessing.
14. Money Matters
Learning the art of the dollar, nickel, and penny. Learning what is worth X amount of dollars vs. what is not worth X amount of dollars. Learning to manage the finances like a boss lady. Asking for a raise. Applying and interviewing for a better job. Realizing that it's not just about the money you make but your life balance as a parent now that it's the Mommy show, 24/7, 365 days a year. That it's about being present for your kids as much as it is about paying for everything. The cruel realization that most of the times, one of those things is less than it should be — either being present for your kids or having less money than you need. Feeling terrified of how you will make it. Being pleased realizing you can. Knowing you can get by on less. Satisfied when your income and quality of life grow all due to your own damn hard work.
15. The Dreaded Emergency Contact
Figuring out who is your emergency contact. Wondering who will take you for that big medical procedure you have scheduled. Panicking when you don't have family help like other single moms. Being grateful for your family if you do have their help. Trying to decide who is going to be on the list for emergency pickups for your kids. Wondering how you should redo — or how you should make — a will. Thinking about life insurance. Realizing you really are an adult, aren't you?
Listening to married couples fight. Wishing they would make up or make better choices. Happy as heck that you are single. Even more grateful that every night, you get to pick your Netflix and chill without suffering through dude movies you hated to begin with.