Yin Mom, Yang Mom

Newly Single Parental To-Do List

Last year in July my husband and I broke up. I moved out. It was fucking nuts.

A lot of people were personally affected by this. Because, just prior to that time, I was very active on this very personal blog. I was very, very honest. People expected me to use the same honesty in explaining what went wrong. And I couldn’t. Because I was too ashamed.

I have labored over how to address this here, until I came to the very grounded answer, which was that it wasn’t the right time yet.

But I miss being honest, and I’m a little sad that I felt like I had to hide. The best way for me to ease back into my story is to post the important lessons in parenting and survival that I’ve learned since this all began.

Here is what I learned about newly-single parenting (everyone loves a good list, right?):

1. You have to take naps. OK? You do.

2. You have to get your kids to feel a little bit sorry for you. Not so much that they’re afraiiiid! for you. Just enough that they have a little respect, so that you can nap without worrying that they’re dangling from the top of the refrigerator with a chef knife between their teeth. It’s a delicate balance. I feel like I’ve had good luck when I confided in them that I wasn’t sure if my boss was going to want to keep me as an employee. I opened up and told them what was going on, and you know what my daughter said? She said, “he doesn’t see your wisdom”. My son gave me hugs and kisses. This experience opened up a beautiful new level of communication between me and the kids. They defended me and had my back, and subsequently recognized that they need to cut me a break sometimes and just BE GOOD. There is more respect now, between us.

3. You have to get along with your ex. Don’t be a dick. Be nice. Open your mind, and compromise. Just do it. The fight ended, you’re not together anymore and that’s your prize. Own it and treasure it, and be kind.

4. Don’t listen to anyone who hasn’t fed your soul. At least until you feel like your body can pull itself out of bed without shaking from anger/hunger/exhaustion. Just do you, whether that’s by getting a tattoo, finding a new love, shaving your head, picking up an instrument, learning a language, wearing hipster glasses. Whatever. Do what you wished you had the balls to do before this all started.

5. Get a J.O.B. This might come across as insensitive, because I know it’s really, really hard to find a job, period, let alone a job that doesn’t eat away at your fragile soul. I know, I have been there. But try, try. Join shit, talk to people, find a way to make GOOD money. Keep trying until you find something you can stomach. Don’t stop looking, especially once you start the first nasty underpaying bullshit job you find. Stay at home moms get shit done, and eventually a good person who knows that, and is (willing to be kind) will receive… and look at your resume.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that, for now.

2 comments for “Newly Single Parental To-Do List

  1. December 3, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    So glad you’re back, Mere!!

  2. Carla Sprague
    December 4, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I love you, Meredith