This is a really, really good question.
One of you posted this comment on my Facebook page and I couldn’t resist bringing it to the table here. Take the children out of the picture. Just look at yourself – would you date you? (This question applies to those of us in relationships as well).
The night I met Mr. Man my mother and I were polishing our faces and choosing outfits in her room – just a few feet away from the bed where my father died, the same bed I had found myself in on a hot summer night in 2006.
My son, just four-months-old, was curled up into my chest wanting to eat but finding no milk. The stress of the day had left me dry, my breasts completely empty.
A few hours earlier I had nestled him into his car seat surrounded by boxes and laundry baskets of stuff, the only stuff I would have at my mother’s house for the next year. The rest – in the U-Haul – would go to storage until I could find a job and an apartment again. Everything I had worked for in life, every object, seemed completely unnecessary. I just wanted freedom and above all, a safe place for Benjamin.
Nothing else mattered.
The tears were impressive that night and so were the immense feelings of fear and shock – wondering, “How in the hell am I going to do this?” I had left it all behind. My job. My apartment. My friends. I had no money. And now, no breast milk.
Somehow I woke up the next morning with hope and some milk, just enough – not much, but just enough – to get by. Gradually the hope grew and so did Benjamin – inch by inch, piece by piece, laugh by laugh. And on this night, nearly three years later I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and smiled.
Sure the baby weight was gone (all 80 lbs of it) but I had also lost the bitter feelings, the regret, the self-loathing, the worry and felt for the first time that I had finally become who I wanted to be – someone I never imagined I would be, a mother, but also a woman who can take just about anything life throws at her and survive.
And then, as I put on my mom’s red leather coat and let the excitement of the impending night out rush over me, I thought – “I’m totally dating myself and this is awesome. I like me. I like myself again.”
I’ll never forget that moment – ever. I had made it.
Now granted, I met Mr. Man a few hours later but unlike in the past I was not vulnerable. And not once did Benjamin feel the sting of a break up, or see mommy “lose it.” Not once.
I did not lose myself.
I am still discovering who I am, as a mother and as a single woman. I learn something new every day – it seems. But I do know that I can safely say that now, yes, I would date myself.
What about you? Would you date yourself? What are the issues you’re trying to beat in this moment?