Apocalypse Now?

by mssinglemama on October 8, 2008

Or will it be next month?

Feels like it’s only a matter of time.

My little sister called me from the bar she works at in Virginia. Dave Matthews pops up every once in a while, it’s a hot spot.

“No one is here. It’s weird.” She says, her voice echoing amidst the empty tables and chairs. She and her husband are going to Iceland for a vacation next week. A country that is  on the brink of filing for bankruptcy.

“I know.” I’ve got nothing to say that will make her feel better, “It’s happening isn’t it?” We can’t make it here anymore.

People aren’t shopping, aren’t eating out – freezing all spending. The government and us.

I went to a concert tonight. Death Cab for Cutie. Amazing.The band and the crowd. Everyone happy and satisfied. Places to sleep, jobs, food, beer. I’m hoping I’m wrong. That they’re wrong. But what if they’re not? No one really knows. And as a single mother, whose child support amounts to four percent of her income, I’m feeling very primal about dating right now.

Do I need a man?


Do I want a man?


I may need a man to punch some son-of-the-bitch in his face if he tries to steal my son’s food but I may want a man to tell me everything is going to be okay.

Anyone else feeling this way?


This does not mean I’m going to hunt a man down just to serve up these requests – believe me – I’m not sold on the whole husband or man idea by any means. We’ll just have to make a commune of single parents. Anyone own an island? Let’s start plotting.

In the meantime, I’m going to take a karate class or something.

Back up reading (to keep you up at night) Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Toil and Trouble
November 11, 2008 at 6:32 am
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November 11, 2008 at 7:36 am

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Kat October 8, 2008 at 10:58 pm

I don’t need or want a man to tell me that everything is going to be ok, but I’d be down for single moms to start helping one another more.
Sharing housing and the bills, child care, meals etc.
I’d rather forge the way through this really scary economic crisis, with a bunch of other strong and determined, protective, single moms, than a man who may lose his job and can’t find another one.

Single moms are resourceful, we have kids to feed and house. We always find a way to take care of our own, where as a man if he can’t find a job, can’t get a loan, may do something truly desperate because he feels like a failure.


Treemama October 9, 2008 at 4:01 am

It will be okay, it will be okay.

Kind of like when I pulled into the gas station and there were NO cars there, and it’s usually quite busy. I’m like, it there no gas, but yes, there was.

I too would just like that warm body to curl up next too and breathe in a male smell when I’m frazzled by all this nonsense…..or at least a little child support.

I agree, it’s hard to weather it alone, thank god we have single mama friends!


Alexis October 9, 2008 at 4:01 am

Yes, I agree with you…at my low times or at those times I can’t sleep cause my mind is wandering. However, when I am wide awake with my head on straight- I think a man may get in the way of my little guy and I. Someday,somone will wrap their arms around me and be part of our team….but for now- we are a pretty strong force to be reckoned with-and we will survive on our own.


elisabeth October 9, 2008 at 4:17 am

My sentiments exactly.

I live on an old farm road in the middle of nowhere. I felt safe until one of the farmers said, you know they will be coming here with their pitchforks first, we have all the food in our fields. Crap!!


Matt T. October 9, 2008 at 4:18 am

As just a single guy, let me tell you that “someone to tell you everything will be okay” yen crosses all boundaries, parent or no.

But, knowing some of my single mom and dad friends, if anyone will make it they will. I sometimes like to talk to them in times like this. They all seem to have that extra confidence that being a single parent imbues upon them to cut through useless worries. Not that all worries are useless, but they have no time for the ones that are!


mssinglemama October 9, 2008 at 5:14 am

Yeah Kit Kat, I wrote this last night… and this morning I’m like, “WTF – I don’t want a man to tell me anything!” Ha. We always feel more vulnerable/lonely right before bed time. Go figure.

And yes, single parents are so strong like Matt says (that’s awesome by the way and very true, Matt).

So does anyone else agree with Kat and think a man would get in the way if all hell breaks loose? Be a liability even?

My single mom friend Julie and I were just having this discussion the other night. We couldn’t decide. Like Tree mama said, thank god for single mama friends.


mssinglemama October 9, 2008 at 5:40 am

P.S. If anything ever did happen, Benjamin and I would be on the first bus south to Biker Man’s house. Seriously. That guy could kick some serious ass.

And Elisabeth – better take pitch fork self-defense lessons. He’s right. And tks for your comment too Alexis, I hear you.

Tree Mama – how do you not get any child support? Is he self-employed? Infuriating.


jonb October 9, 2008 at 5:46 am

I totally understand what you are saying. I think one hting I miss about my relationship was the comfort of someone I could confide in or count on to be there.

I will say this. It will be ok. You will be ok. In the time I have been reading your blog and seeing the comments by your peers, I have seen nothing but strength, determination, and a community of people who provide support and friendship, love in a sense. You have nothing to worry about, nothing to fear.

That said, this economy is worse than most people realize. And it will get worse. I could blow sunshine up your posterior, but that does no good to anyone. My father and mother have run their business for nearly thrity years. he built it from the ground up and has grown it every year. The last few years he has seen the demand for his service drop as the economic downturn has taken effect. He owns a high quality auto detailing business and people have been cutting bakc due to food, health care, fuel, and education costs. Last August his business grossed 22,900$, this August he grossed 7,200$. He is seeing less than a third of his regular business. He is trying to find a way to avoid bankrupting himself and the business, but unless things turn around he will have no way to survive. The hardet working man I have ever known may be unemployed for the first time since he was 13 years old because of the greed and corruption on Wall Street and in Congress. It breaks my heart to see my mom cry worrying baout what they will do, and it infuriates me to see these politicians and their 4,5,6,7 houses saying the “fundamentals of the economy are strong.” I am truly angry right now by what I am witnessing in this country.

What do we do? We have to do for ourselves and the ones we love. The government can;t be trusted to help, so we have to do for self. I am going to move in with them when my lease is up to help them with bills and to take some of the stress off. I think one of your single mom friends posted above abotu pooling resources and working together since you have common interests. She is very right about that. We all have to “get small” so to speak and live on the bare essentials.

The dominoes have only begun to fall. The domestic auto manufacturers are next. Our troops retrning from overseas will come home to a country devoid of jobs and oppurtunity. Health care will go through the roof, and if our economic crisis spreads to the world as it seems it is, the fallout will be frightening.

But despite all that, it will be ok. We will all be ok. We have each other, the ones we love, our friends, and God/Allah/Mother Earth/Buddha to ground us. Perhaps this is a reminder that we have lost our way. Have we become so consumed with material desire and selfish consumption that we lost touch with those htings that truly matter? There was a time when people talked, read, played games as a family, and shared with their neighbors. Through adversity we all have a choice. We can choose to fight the tide, to stick our heads in the sand and hope it passes by, or we can allow the tide to carry, to provide a path along which we can walk together and find the strength, courage, and desire to improve ourselves and express love to those around us. It is not the beginning or the end, it is the journey.

Alaina, everything will be ok. Trust me.


Dawn October 9, 2008 at 6:43 am

We don’t need a man(sometimes it would be nice)…we can just tell each other…it will be ok.


Dawn October 9, 2008 at 6:50 am

After I typed that…this song from an old favorite show of mine came into mind(remove all the romantic overtones, because frankly…you arent my type..LOL)
Show me that smile again. (Show me that smile)
Don’t waste another minute on your cryin’.
We’re nowhere near the end (nowhere near)
The best is ready to begin.
Oooohhh. As long as we got each other
We got the world spinnin right in our hands.
Baby you and me, we gotta be
The luckiest dreamers who never quit dreamin’.
As long as we keep on givin’
we can take anything that comes our way
Baby, rain or shine, all the time
We got each other Sharin’ the laughter and love.


goin-crazy October 9, 2008 at 7:34 am

I don’t know if I want or need a man to get me through this time. I honestly would not even trust a man if he said “everything is going to be ok”. I am about facts. How will everything be ok? What is your plan? How are you going to fix this and this? I think that would just scare him away anyways!

My concern comes from the economy in general. I watch the stock amrket all day. It’s the nature of my job. I answer a million phone calls a day and “hand hold” our clients to try to get them through this hard time. I would prefer to just ignore it and bury my head in the sand. But pride would never let be less-than-informed in regards to my job.

So, no, there is no man that will ever convince me that everything is going to be ok…


T October 9, 2008 at 8:41 am

Thing is… we’ve more than survived so far after thinking that our world was crashing down, haven’t we fellow single parents?

I think we’ll be ok.


pisceshanna October 9, 2008 at 10:33 am

I definitely feeling particular vulnerable right now, with a court date coming up, failed date after date, a 2-year-old going through abandonment issues, winter coming, car needing tires….yeah it would be nice to have som reassurance, but would it really help me get through everything?

No. I’m able to do that on my own. I’ve proven it.


mssinglemama October 9, 2008 at 10:43 am


Now we’re talking. I’m feeling better already. We have survived so much… and we’ve cut down our budgets already.

We have already adjusted to one income.

We know how to make it work.

You guys all make me feel so much stronger. Thank you.


GG October 9, 2008 at 12:15 pm

My parents met living in an Anglican commune and I thought the communal living idea has some serious merit. I actually thought about advertising for other single moms to live with me in my 5-bedroom monstrosity before I decided to sell it instead. Now I’d love to find a neighborhood of single parents to live in where we could all pitch in to help each other with the cooking, childcare, sports transportation, etc.

Damn Bush.


Kim October 9, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Another Single mother here! Sometimes I feel that way, when I need a manly job done. Hang selves in the garage, change a high ligh bulb, fix the garage disposal stuff like that is when I think “man, it would be nice to have a guy around. Not much in a hurry for all the other stuff that goes along with a “man”.


SingleParentDad October 9, 2008 at 1:09 pm

You don’t need anyone or anything, but you do deserve to feel happy and secure.

There was a reality TV experiment here, called Young Mums Mansion. They litterally stuck a load of single moms into a house, and left them to it. They proved it could really work, if you could find the right balance and place. Drawbacks I could see included, if you wanted to put money in, to buy a place, how it would work if you wanted it back, there are privacy issues as well. My grandparents live in a luxury flats place, that only allows the over-somethings to live there. They have quite a community going, perhaps that would work for other groups, like single parents.

Anyway, you and your son are wonderful people, how can it ever not be OK, whatever happens?


Findemilynow October 9, 2008 at 11:05 pm

hmmm…where to start….I felt like this for about 3 years straight. I have a 10 year old; have never seen child support and had a horrible job. When I asked my dad for advice on how I might find more money, he said, “get married”. That sentiment so many of us were raised with … And that’s not even the real emotional need that we all have for security.

I’m always fighting misandry. Too many horrible men in the world. Thank God we don’t even need sperm to carry on our race anymore. For my son I try …


Amber October 10, 2008 at 2:58 pm

yes…I am feeling the primal thing as well. I want it mostly for the second income. You know…half on the bills would be a GREAT help at this point. =) But I keep in mind, God’s time is not our time and I have faith he has someone out there for me. And I do believe he wants to fulfill my hearts desires which is to not be alone FOREVER!!! I think we’re all worried about the economy…but having someone else in our lives might cause more problems…what if they lost their job…their burdens then become ours…the stress adds up either way! Probably better to stay single until this all blows over!


mssinglemama October 10, 2008 at 6:27 pm

GG – Do you live in the Midwest?

SPD – really good points there my friend – as always.

Find Emily – Yes, too many horrible men in the world – and sometimes it appears all of the good ones are taken. So why bother wasting our time wanting one? Gender roles are being redefined, with women working and some men staying home. It’s a new world.

Amber – You’re SO right… single might be easier until it all blows over. My experience has been this – men are expensive. But that’s just my personal experience. I obviously don’t know how to pick them. Where are the men with jobs for crying out loud?


Moon Beam October 12, 2008 at 6:24 pm

This is crazy, because I’ve totally been feeling like this lately. I was happy for a year by myself, but suddenly I’ve been craving a man’s presence. I miss having the male role not only for me, but also for my kids. I am very independent, but it is so scary, especially with the economy, to be a single mom. I have to do this by myself, if I lose my job I don’t have a partner to depend on. Right now I despise my job, but it’s not like I can go back to school or take a risk, because I have no other support. I hate feeling that I am going to be stuck in this unhappy place because I have no other choice. I hate waking up knowing, I’m it, I can’t screw up, because there is no one to lean on. I feel like I don’t get to enjoy my kids as much because I’m always worrying and stressing about money and all the things I need to do. Up until this point, I was so focused on ‘making it’ I didn’t worry about living life, but I feel it’s catching up to me, and I don’t know how to handle it. I think that we are all amazing to be doing what we single moms do, but sometimes I just want to be normal, not amazing. I want to come home to someone at night and get a kiss, to lay next to someone and know they will be there in the morning, someone to take the kids to the park with, to have that ring around my finger again. I miss it….I don’t miss him, I miss being married. I miss having a partner, I miss the help, even if it was only a little. I mean if my son wakes up in the middle of the night with a fever and I don’t have enough tylenol, I can’t just run to the store. I have to pack both kids up and head out in the middle of the night. I feel like I have grown incredibly on my own, but I feel I’m ready to share that with someone. I Sorry for venting, that felt so good to admit.


April October 13, 2008 at 8:52 am

I’m just trying to remain grateful for my job/income, my apartment, and my kids remaining healthy. And avoid looking at my 401(k).


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