Something To Think About

When I was raising Damien, I wasn’t always single, but I was always a single parent.

I had a few boyfriends, but most of my attempts at a relationship were short-lived and ended after a few short weeks. Both my relationships that lasted longer than a few weeks, ended very badly. Yes both- as in two relationships. And I SO do not believe in being friends with ex-boyfriends. When it ends, it ends. There’s no contact afterwards. There’s no being friends. There’s too much history.

This was just one of the reasons I stayed single.

Everyone knows that when you start dating someone as a single mom, it means you allow a man into your home and you allow him to get to know your child. You allow him to get to know you with your child. You allow him to see a side of you that is not just a woman, but a mom. And a mom, well, a mom is an incredible being single or not. You don’t want to cross her, and you don’t want to interfere with how she parents her children.

There have been many fabulous articles written about dating a single mom and the complications and wonderment that go with it, check out Cath Jenkin, Beyond Your NoseFemale2Female, The Jackson Files and Harassed Mom for just a little of what I’m talking about… and that’s not what I’m writing about today.

Today, I am addressing another side of dating a single mother.

The extended family.

When you start dating someone as a single mom, you eventually have to meet your beau’s parents and family.

I’ve seen this particular scenario now from several angles. Me being a single mom and allowing a boyfriend’s parents to meet and befriend my son. Meeting my sibling’s partners and getting to know their children. Seeing my extended family and grandparents deal with their children and grandchildren meeting people with children from previous relationships and how they react to them. I was always afraid of Damien being a “not ours” because I’d seen it happen time and time again. My own granny darling- as much as I love her- only had pictures of her biological grandchildren in her house because the other children are “not really hers”. It broke my heart time and time again because I could see that in Damien’s future.

I avoided relationships to protect myself and my son from heartache.

But the single moms and their children are not the only ones who can get hurt.

I know the boyfriend or girlfriend who gets broken up with also hurts, but the extended family feels it too. I have seen my mommy and daddy darling get to know and get to love my siblings’ partners’ children. And then the relationships end and the child (or children) are gone. My parents hurt. And it makes them leery to love again. Its not only the single mom who gets burned when a relationship ends. It has made my parents afraid to help out or babysit or even try to get to know the new partner’s child or children because it hurts like hell when they are gone.

The single mom hurts because a relationship has ended. Her child hurts because he has gotten to know and love the mom’s- now ex- partner. The ex’s family hurts- if it has gone that far- because they have gotten to know and love a child that is no longer a part of their life.

And people wonder why I opted to stay single.

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…

Smacking Forehead Here!

With all yesterday’s drama I completely forgot I wanted to tell you about my weekend!
I went out Friday night with a colleague and some of her friends- got well torched on too many shooters… and decided to leave when I could no longer see properly!
BAD Angel! BAD! BAD!
Thank goodness I didn’t have far to drive…
Then Saturday I snoozed in the afternoon, after driving to see Damien’s doctor for our monthly appointment with eyes so bloodshot they were practically glowing! No hangover though, phew. I did spend some time checking on my text messages in the morning as I’d had a conversation or two the night before and I wanted to make sure I hadn’t sent something I may regret when sober… I didn’t- and breathed a huge sigh of relief!
Then Sunday afternoon, Damien and I took ourselves off to
Sweetass’ for the afternoon! What an awesome chick bunnies! I schmaak her schtukkend* I tell you! She’s excellent company, and the boys seem to get on which is always a bonus! We giggle and chat and drink and before I know it I’ve been at her place for HOURS!! And believe it or not- we don’t ONLY talk about blogging!
Mwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaaaaaaa
Damien and K even discussed their mother’s online chat habits amongst themselves and both promptly told me that
a. I spend too much time online (ROTFL- BIG surprise) and that
b. Online chatting is dangerous because we never know who we’re talking to!!!
Aren’t our boys awesome bunnies? Worrying about their mommy’s like that!!!
So I leave you this morning with a picture that is pretty much the embodiment of an afternoon with Sweetass…

Don’t you just love it!!!?!?!

*a completely untranslatable Afrikaans saying

Not Quite Normal…

Yes, I’m talking about me- but not in the way you may think I mean it, though you probably wouldn’t be far wrong if you assumed I was talking about me, myself and I. What I mean is that there’s been a decided lack of mommy-ish type posts round here lately. Mainly because my darling Damien hasn’t been home since November 24th so I haven’t had much mommy-ish type stuff to post about!

At least this kinda solved a small part of something I’ve often wondered- whether or not I’d have anything to blog about if I wasn’t a mom… LOL!

My darling Damien’s been away, and I’ve been gallivanting! I’ve hardly been home and when I am home, I’m online all night! I haven’t cooked or cleaned. I’ve snuggled with the cats. It’s been so much fun… but I now REALLY miss my boy! How much I miss him started to creep in around last Wednesday when he’d been gone three days… and I was really looking forward to him coming home on Saturday. Then last Thursday he calls and asks if he may stay longer. I said okay since J’s mom was fine with it and Damien was having such fun. Last Friday, what was officially the last day of school for the year, Damien and J caught the bus from J’s place to the school to fetch their final school reports*.

Damien passed with a 51% average!!! I am SO SO proud of him! And he’s very pleased with himself too! Now I need you to understand here bunnies- this may not be A’s and B’s, and I have yet to see his report… but to me, the fact that he maintained this, a passing average throughout the year, including exams, homework, CTAs and portfolio work, is a HUGE achievement!!!

He’s going to grade 10. We’ve already picked his subjects and paid next year’s deposit.

Well done my darling DARLING Damien child! I am so very VERY proud of you for passing so well and for doing it yourself!

And now for something completely different…

I got a text message from Damien on Saturday afternoon telling me he and J had gotten their ears pierced in celebration of passing!!! Now anyone who’s been here for a while may remember that Damien and I have (or rather “had”) and agreement about body art. He’s supposed to wait till he’s at least 18, he has to pay for them himself and he may not touch his gorgeous face!

The piercing itself doesn’t bug me, he’s gorgeous enough to get away with any kind of hairstyle and he’s worn “fake” earrings often before… what bugs me is his breaking our agreement. I only hope he went somewhere reputable and didn’t do it himself or something…

I haven’t seen the piercing yet either… so as soon as he comes him I’ll take a picture so you can all lemme know what you think!

And on yet another note… I am sitting here quite literally nodding off!

Last night when I went to bed, round 11:30pm I think… I realised that I had two roses lying on my keyboard (I was at a wedding and had pinned my hair up with them) and that perhaps I should put them in some water. So off I go to the kitchen- and without bothering to switch on a light I find a glass, pour in some water from the tap, put the roses in the glass and go to bed.

Can you see where this is going…?

I woke up this morning- WAAAAY before my alarm clocks went off- to a noise I didn’t recognise… and it was raining so I was about to dismiss it and go back to sleep for an hour… when I realised it sounded like running water INSIDE not in a gutter.

I shot out of bed and quickly checked the toilet and bathroom next to my bedroom- no problems there… and then walked into the living room…

Water, water, everywhere and all that! And to top it off my cats watching smugly as I wade into the kitchen to fetch the squeegee… it took me an hour to mop up the more than three buckets of water… thank goodness my flat is tiled!!! And thank goodness I woke up before it reached my furniture!!!

*South African schools run January to December

How Do You Know The “Silly Season” Is Upon Us?

Well bunnies, I’ll tell you!

It’s partly to do with the fact that the first Christmas related advert was on TV at the beginning of October already. Something about fruit cake mix I think… can’t stand the stuff myself.

Another HUUUGE hint is the light-up-wreath bedecked shopping malls; and the radio stations blathering on charity drives and fund raisers and collecting gifts for under privileged kids; and then there are the Christmas craft markets that suddenly cover every free inch of lawn in every park you drive past.

And let’s not even mention the “THIS IS YOUR FIRST CHRISTMAS CARD” emails…

But the biggest clue?

Damien leaves on Saturday lunch time to spend a week or so with J again… and I already have plans for Saturday, maybe Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday night!!! And I have work to do inbetween!!!

Shite bunnies… I’m looking forward to a busy week- but can you guess what the first thing I worried about as my calendar filled up was…?

When the fork am I going to hang out in blogland!!?!?!?

Mwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaaaaaa…