What Solo Moms do with all their free time and excess child support
I was talking to a friend of mine today—a married friend. She said, “It must be nice to have time away from your children.” I told her that time given in a relationship as part of a marriage is done in the spirit of teamwork and generosity, but time “given” to you in a divorce is, in many cases, a punishment for all your years of sacrifice and being the mom.
We launched into a nice discussion of what it is that single moms do with their time.
When single moms are away from their children, they most surely do what their exes think they do: they feel great remorse for not properly appreciating the god he was, for not worshipping his superior intellect, and for not always recognizing his obvious superiority. Oh how we weep, wail, and writhe in guilt over what horrid wives and mothers we were.
We were not good enough, just like he told us! We really weren’t! We [blubber, sob] had feelings! We [sniffle] had needs! [Wail louder with shameful guilt.] And worst of all, we had opinions! [Dissolve onto the floor sobbing, to demonstrate the importance of this point and our endless guilt for daring to be a thinking person within a marriage.]
We will be forever heartbroken that we just could not measure up.
The weight of guilt is too much to bear, so we must find ways to cope. I told her my personal favorite way was to take my laptop into the bathroom with a glass of wine and sob while I watch The Notebook. Or grab a quart of ice cream and my phone on my way into the bathroom and eat while I sob and check out people’s perfect lives on Facebook. Or lay in my bed with my pajamas and glasses on and sob without the comfort of technology or indoor plumbing, like a Luddite. Luddite sobbing, I call it.
And then suddenly, out of the blue, a friend calls and wants to come over. A friend who wants to comfort you! And then another, and another, and another. It is a call to snap into action and to change out of our “fat” clothes. After making ourselves presentable, we entertain. Yes, single moms LOVE to entertain because we have so much time on our hands and always have food in the fridge. If we don’t happen to have time on our hands, we will make time because entertaining is so much fun.
Sometimes entertaining gets out of hand.
Once we clean up the empty beer bottles and pizza boxes and get rid of everyone the next morning, we jet off with one of our boyfriends to stick our toes in the sand at some undisclosed beach location, for just a day or two. Because it’s nice to have cocktails delivered to you at the beach since you are so tired from all your crying, watching The Notebook, eating ice cream and pizza, and having friends over. You need pampering.
These are my toes, almost ready for polish.
Then we come back to our lives and our jobs and make sure our house is clean for the kids’ return. Whew! That was something. Real-life concerns, such as feeling more divorce guilt and choosing which boyfriend to play with this week, must take over.
Between going to school and working full time, planning dates, juggling boyfriends, perusing online dating sites, talking to our lawyer, managing our robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul method of budgeting, dealing with children’s issues alone, and getting ready to entertain, it’s such a dream living this life of ease. At the end of another day of excitement and glamour, single moms relax by collapsing from exhaustion.
I hope my friend isn’t too jealous.