SAHM No More: Iâ€™m Sort Of Cool With Being A Single Working Mother On Valentineâ€™s Day
SAHM No More explores the the ups-and-downs of navigating a new world of parenting, transitioning from married stay-at-home motherhood to a full-time working, divorced motherhood. And there are a lot of adjustments being madeâ€”a lot of adjustments and not a lot of sleep.
So hereâ€™s what Iâ€™ll be doing this Valentineâ€™s Dayâ€”working. Romantic, right? Um, no. Wrong. Itâ€™s not romantic at all. Not even a little bit. And even though Iâ€™ve never been one for celebrating Valentineâ€™s Day in the way that advertisers have tried to convince us all is the only way to celebrate, there is something about having to get a babysitter on Valentineâ€™s Day so that I can work late that is bothering me maybe out of proportion.
If Iâ€™m going to be really honest with myself, and why Iâ€™m so annoyed with having to get a sitter, I would have to admit that it might have less to do with the fact that I have to work late. It has more to do with the fact that the reason I canâ€™t ask my ex-husband to watch the kids or my mother to watch them or my brother or a friend is because they all have plans. They all have plans because itâ€™s Valentineâ€™s Day. And I donâ€™t have plans. I have work.
Iâ€™m not trying to be too self-pitying about it. The truth is that my single status has been a deliberate choice of mine for some time since my divorce. It doesnâ€™t mean that Iâ€™ve been alone exactly. Itâ€™s more that I just wasnâ€™t ready for a serious relationship. Well, scratch that. The problem was more that I had a serious relationship after my divorce. Two of them actually. But those relationships were with my sons.
Iâ€™m not some kind of mother-martyr. Itâ€™s just that my sons were only six and three when their father and I separated and while he was happy to introduce a string of women to them, I wanted to provide consistency. I wanted them to be able depend on me to be there for only them. And I think this worked. Iâ€™ve had an active social life and have still found plenty of time for dates, but when things havenâ€™t progressed with the men Iâ€™ve been involved with, I havenâ€™t had to worry about my children being too attached to those men.
But hereâ€™s the thing. At ages 11 and eight, theyâ€™re much more grown-up now. They have their own lives and I donâ€™t think they doubt for a second that I am there for them no matter what. And instead of being a 26-year-old single mother with two young children who was still finishing school and couldnâ€™t even conceive of wanting to be in a serious relationship again, I am now a 31-year-old mother with a fulfilling career and two thriving and independent older children. Maybe Iâ€™m ready to not be on my own anymore. Maybe Iâ€™m ready for something serious.
Except, well, thatâ€™s certainly easier said than done. And not even because itâ€™s hard to find somebody, although, sure. That too. But mostly because now that Iâ€™m ready, I donâ€™t have the time for it. With my schedule the way that it is, I barely have any time for myself, my kids, or even, frankly, my dog, let alone for another person. Yet there is still a part of me that wants to find the time now, in a way that maybe I never did before. The problem is though that there remain 24 hours in the day, and though I donâ€™t achieve it every night, I still ought to sleep for at least six of them.
This year, anyway, Iâ€™m resigned to the fact that I will be spending what is supposed to be the most romantic night of the year with my computer and my co-workers and pizza ordered in from Grimaldiâ€™s. Which is not so bad. I love my job. But next year? Next year I hope I get a babysitter for all the right reasons.