Letting The Side Down…

Well, I kinda feel like I am.

I think it’s a long story… but I’m not sure. You can decide when you get to the end.

 

See, this post has been mulling and brewing and fermenting in my head for weeks, months even. But every time I sat down to try and write it out it disappeared into the murky fuzz in the back of my brain and refused to come out when called.

I even tried bribing it with promises of fame, and black cherry nougat, but to no avail.

Then a while ago, I was reading blogs- as I do- and I was reading someone I have always found to be incredibly insightful and funny. Someone I’ve been reading for years, and he said in his post that … most of us have a built-in unquenchable need to belong to a demographic… and letting others know which one we belong to… is… important. We’ve always been like this and something clicked in my head.

I started writing this post then. It’s been nagging at me, and I briefly spoke with my Glugster about it one afternoon- but I knew I would have to post it to make full sense of it, if I could do so at all.

 

You see. Two major chapters in my life have ended. And they ended fairly suddenly.

Or rather… the one closed a lot sooner than I was expecting it to, and the other I never expected to close at all.

 

The first chapter that closed- the one had I expected would define a huge part of what makes me who I am forever and ever- is the one where I am a single parent. A single mom. The breadwinner. A solo act.

Because I am technically no longer a single mom.

I know I will always have been a single mom, but I’m not really one anymore.

I sometimes feel like I am betraying a cause by speaking to my Glugster about issues surrounding the knucklehead. Not that I never consulted my folks when I was a single mom- but I did it a lot less than I do now with my sweetheart. And there’s a huge difference between asking your parents about something, or discussing an issue with your parents or with a close friend- and speaking to a partner about those same issues. Your other half will most likely have seen and heard just about everything you’re speaking about. Where a close friend or your parents only have your input, and usually only when you’re pretty much hysterical with frustration.

I know I will always be able to say I was a single mother- that’s not gone- but a little part of me is sad that I can no longer wear that badge. And in all honesty- I’m more than a little sorry to lose that status. I feel like I am giving up my keys to a special limited-access clubhouse.

I am- however- not sorry in the least, that I have someone to share my rollercoaster ride with. And not just “someone”… my Glugster is a gem. He is so very precious to me and I love him so very much. And he has become such an integral part of our family- and us of his- that I honestly am baffled as to how I coped before he took us on!

And take us on he did.

I talk to him about issues around raising the knucklehead, and he is often the one to put the brakes on when I want to say “no” for no apparent reason other than the mommy-paranoia in my head that makes me want to keep Damien home and safe till he’s 30. And I am so blessed because the knucklehead respects him too. And he actually talks to him. It makes my heart glad to see how they interact… its so much more than I could ever have asked for.

And I know I have changed some over the last almost 20 months… but I worry a little about whether or not I will be able to NOT be a single parent if Glugs and I have our own baby!

 

And then the chapter of my life story that ended before I expected it to- was being a mom to a school boy. Damien is no longer going to school. There’s no more homework stress and no more school fees and no more detention and no more PTA and no more fund raising.

Make no mistake- I SO do not miss the stress related to having an ADHDer at school… I do not miss the cold sweat that breaks out on my temples when the phone rings with either the school’s number or a withheld one. I do not miss the frustration and the arguing and the tears over homework that doesn’t get done or goes missing when it is done. I don’t miss the heartache of seeing him disappointed in himself when he brings home yet another dismal report card. I don’t miss the schlepping back and forth to the school for PTA meetings; the summons to parents’ evenings; the school functions; the fundraising; detention letters… and I’m saving a fortune because I am no longer paying private school fees.

But my heart aches when I think about how I longed for my knucklehead to at least finish high school. Even if he put off studying further till he was older, I so wanted him to at least finish grade twelve. Believe me, my parental dreams of an A student and valedictorian and prefect and such went out the window when the knucklehead was in like grade 2… I was never delusional once he actually started school.

But I know there’s greatness in my boy. I just wish school had been different for him so that he’d been able to see it in himself.

 

And now I have time and money for myself that I didn’t think I would have for a few years to come… and whilst I am counting my blessings because I can’t believe how lucky I got… sometimes it makes me a little sad.

 

…come play on my rollercoaster…

About Angel

Wife, mom, cake artist, Guide Dog puppy raiser, ADHD champion, wedding planner, and tattooed cat slave.

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26 Responses to Letting The Side Down…

  1. Meriel says:

    What a thought provoking post. Yes i too can relate, i have been single mom, married mom, single mom now blending mom…..Phew you have me thinking.
    I have also heard IF girls talk like this once they have had babies.

  2. Sally says:

    change is always bittersweet, even good change
    What about HS or self directed learning if he wants to get the qualification but does not want to go to school.

  3. Bobbi Janay says:

    I don’t know what to say so *hugs*

  4. Wow Angel! This post has triggered so many thoughts in me I can’t possibly hope to put them all down, or all into full sentences. I love being a newby to the single working mom’s club – but I worry that my son has never had a proper male role model/influence in his life, nor likely ever will. And I do believe male role models are important to growing young boys. I am POSITIVE I can handle the role of single mom – and I RELISH it. BUT – couldn’t someone please come around every now and again and do all the many, many “man-type” things like mowing the lawn and household fixups every now and again — all completely and utterly WITHOUT strings or messy emotional entanglements? I have taught my son to be independent and free from the get go — but has it been enough? Has it been the right thing? And will I REALLY be as prepared as I think I will be when he walks out our front door to travel the world and live in foreign lands, never to return — all because that is EXACTLY what I have trained him for all of his life? And if by some chance it turns out I am as ready as I think I am — what then? What direction will MY life take? After all, I have only now – only recently – come into this, MY LIFE. Figuratively speaking, I could DO or BE anything — but will I? Will I be able to?

  5. Tanya says:

    This was sad but happy at the same time. But I agree with the previous comments that new adventures wait behind new doors!

  6. Mary-Ann says:

    What a great post! It is crazy how kids grow up so quickly!

  7. T says:

    yeah it is sad…. Im kinda no longer a parent even.
    🙁
    Im starting to build something out here in the world… not sure if I define it as a life yet though.

    Somehow…. it will all shake loose and be what is normal for the time being…. then we will have a change again, so hang on honey, that childrearing rollercoaster isnt over…. TRUST ME.

  8. Wenchy says:

    I am still in the midst of the phone ringing and feeling the fear… and have some years ahead… so I can’t even relate yet…

    … I think I may always feel like I am the ‘single mom’ responsible for my kids, but maybe because mine is younger? I don’t know.

  9. Terri says:

    Aaah 🙂 It’s ok to be sad, but then again you have a whole exciting new chapter to look forward to now. And I for one am looking forward to hearing all about it.

  10. Gill says:

    Such an interesting post Angel. I can appreciate what you are feeling. It’s like being pushed out of a “club”.

    It’s not the same, but I experienced a little of what you are feeling when my girls stopped swimming squad – for so long I had been a “swimming mom” and suddenly I wasn’t one anymore, I felt bereft! So much of my social life was conducted around the pool – I had a sense of “What now?” Like I said, not exactly the same, but in some ways similar.

    The thing is, doors shut, but new ones open, you just have to keep facing forward.

  11. zola says:

    Sad post but like acidicice said: Wonderful doors are opening where these two have closed

  12. Justin says:

    A brilliant post, Angel.
    I think it’s scary to come to the end of a big chapter in life … like a huge door closing, never to open again, but then a new door opens. Scary but at the same time, amazing.

  13. Angel,

    You are 99% there in your embracing of the changes happening in your life. When you can verbalize and recognize it .. you are almost there to embracing your change and moving on!!

    Its all good!

    Karen
    http://www.lipstickwisdom.com
    http://www.twitter.com/lipstickwisdom

  14. Po says:

    Cool post, I agree I think the human need for belonging to a demographic is incredibly strong and has caused many problems over history!

    But you are going to find new demographics that will fit you.

  15. Mel says:

    Sweet post my friend. I only had 6 years of being a single parent and I loved 95% of it. Having a partner to parent with is definately better but still, that ‘you and him against the world’ feeling is pretty cool at times. Feeling so close, being friends. I look forward to how you experience your new baby (pls Lord, hurry up too!) with your Glugs and how different it will be. x

  16. Tamara says:

    Very cool post, Angel. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    Loved Lulu’s comment about your poster too – makes good sense.

  17. Glugster says:

    “Gorgeous Glugster” ?????????? Ok, if you say so Briget!

  18. Lulu says:

    What an honest from the heart post. It is true you are closing chapters, but life is about learning and growth, it should never stand still and stagnate. You were a single mom for longer than I have been one already (13 years) & it will always be part of you even if you are technically no longer one. You are indeed living a dream that a lot of single mom’s have so maybe you can now be a in the “role model” demographic, look what can happen to single mom’s? Play with that thought, maybe you can even write about the change from single mom to no longer one the ups and downs to help others in your position? I am sure there will be a lot of interesting points on that subject? I am remembering a project you did for work once when we were all still living in the flats, I think maybe the knucklehead was about 13 or close to T’s age now when you did it. It was a poster with things from your life and future goals and where you were going to be in so many years etc. Do you remember? There was a photo of D in the middle a large one because you said until he was 18 he was to be your total focus and then you figured you would have some extra time on hand for all the other things you still wanted to do? Well dolla guess what? It is THAT TIME NOW and now you have the resources and time to do just that! So go out and ENJOY!!………xxxxx………

  19. Nayes says:

    Sweet post honey 🙂 Honest and from the heart. I’ve only been a single mom for eight months but I’m very attached to the label. Funny how that happens…

  20. Hardspear says:

    A straight from the heart post! It is sad, but it is also not sad.

  21. awww…you’ll always be a single mama alumni. it’s in your blood.

    and nevermind letting the side down, you’re living every single mother’s dream by marrying the man of your dreams.

  22. Briget says:

    Every chapter needs an end, so that the new chapter can begin.. just think of all the new and exciting adventures that you are about to embark on..
    With your Gorgeous Glugster and Naughty Knucklehead 😉

    😀

  23. phillygirl says:

    Wow, interesting things to ponder … I’ve never really figured out which demographic I’m in (having never thought much about it), but I have a sneaky suspicion I’m not in the one I’d like to be in … because as much as I enjoy my life, I always sorta thought by now I’d be wearing a ring and hunting for the right dress or picking out baby-wear … but that’s not how life has turned out … and I’m sure as hell not the high-powered career woman either. Hmmm.

  24. Louisa says:

    Your story reminded me about something my aunt once said. You see, she had two sons from her first marriage before they split and she was a single mom for a loooong time. Then she got married again and had three daughters. She said that she always wondered how much different it would feel to not be a single mom, but to her it was all the same (her husband was never very involved with the girls).

    I don’t think it’s anything like that for you and Glugs. 🙂

  25. acidicice says:

    Don’t be sad, Angel! Wonderful doors are opening where these two have closed! You have much to be excited about!
    It is always sad when a part of our lives we loved and cherished comes to an end…but everything does eventually, even life itself. Good grief…I’m going to stop talking before I get all emo! 🙂

  26. Laura says:

    Aw man! I get that – its funny how in order for new things to happen and new doors to open, there are ones that have to close!