I have been so wrapped up in my own happiness lately – with my work, with John, with Benjamin (and not necessarily in that order, fluctuates with the day or more often, the time of day) – that I have lost sight of why I started this blog in the first place.
A few weeks ago I received this e-mail from one of you and it felt like something I could have written when I started blogging and really dating, when Benjamin was just a toddler and when I was just beginning to feel again. Her words had be gasping for air and grabbing John Bear, scrolling through my iPhone like a frantic person, enthralled at her beauty and strength and then wanting to punch the guy who said such a thing.
I’ve had a love-hate relationship with this blog for almost a year now. I have an 18 month old and I was single throughout my pregnancy, had a 3 month attempt at a relationship with his father after he was born, then once again found myself under the title “Single Mother”. At first I was jealous of your creativity, positivity, and dedication to writing. Then I became jealous of your “abandonment” of the single mother title by getting involved with someone great.
Now I am just thankful for your articles, your posts, and for providing hope for those of us who have no hope, who feel like we’ll retain the hated title of “Single Mother” forever. I’ve been through the ringer when it comes to dating. I actually had a man curl up to me and whisper in my ear, “You’d be perfect if you didn’t have a child.”
After several failed first, second, third dates, I told myself I wouldn’t date again for 6 months. As luck would have it, I met someone great. We’ve gone on two dates, spent hours talking and laughing… if he wasn’t leaving the state in a few months he’d be perfect.
I cried after he hugged me the first time, as soon as his car was far from the scene and came home from both perfect dates more depressed than ever. Is this all I get? a temporary distraction with someone wonderful? Are these dates with an intelligent, insightful man the best I can get? Somebody wonderful and temporary? The conversation, the chaste hug (I ducked when he tried to kiss me), the laughter, the sharing… these crumbs of intimacy, are they the feast during famine for single moms like me?
I count my dating years as a single mom by Benjamin’s age. I know, I know. But, it’s easy. His age – minus four months. Everything after the first year is documented here on this blog… well, nearly everything. I often stopped short of expressing my raw hurt, wanting to keep you all sheltered from my own feelings of complete loss, complete and utter despair at my situation as a single mom.
I, too, had no hope.
But then, bit by bit the hope returned because I started (thanks to you) to believe in myself again, to believe that even if a man didn’t show up I would be fine. I lived through Benjamin, letting his laughter and light carry me on in my darkest days.
I also avoided bad men like the plague. Had I bumped into one who would have said I’d be perfect if I weren’t a mother I may have actually kicked him out of my bed before promptly shoving his ass out of my door. Or, is that just easy to write now – now that I’m in the clear and far past those first few years? I’m not sure but I hope you know how absolutely ridiculous it would be for any “man” to not love you because you have children. Children are children. If you can’t love children than who are you? You are still you and love is still love.
Just know something, please, all of my single mamas – this is just the beginning. You can let this consume you, or you can rise above it and come out stronger, happier and yes, in love again (with someone far more worthy than your ex).
And as for having a love hate relationship with my blog. I totally understand. Feel the same way myself sometimes. But happy to be here, happy that you’re all here. And by the way – Nicole has since had a third date. I love her blog. It reminds me of mine when I started. Pop over and say hi.