I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a new blog for awhile now (I had one when I was pregnant & briefly after Baby Bee was born…but with the shit storm that was my life at the time, I quit writing), but the small logistical problem of not having internet at the house made me think it wasn’t such a good idea. But now I’m facing a long & lonely month without the Baby Bee, and 4 days in I am bored out of my mind. And I have this insatiable creative urge as of late, but the only creative thing I’m slightly good at is writing. So instead of working on my CDA (like I should be doing), doing laundry or anything else on my enormous To-Do List, I’m camped out at the library starting a new blog. Yay procrastination!
(Side Note: the word “blog” has to be one of the most ridiculous words in the English language. I mean seriously, could we not have found a better way to combine web & log?!)
So yes, Baby Bee is with the Drone for an entire month, and I am one. hot. mess (more so than usual). I waiver between being giddy with the freedom of staying out as long as I want & being able to browse the SAME STORE for more than 30 minutes, to wanting nothing more than to bury myself in my bed and cry/sleep/drink October away. When I tell people my 2 year old is gone at his father’s for a month, I get sad puppy-dog eyes and “Well at least you get a nice break!” in an overly cheery falsetto voice.
Are you f—ing kidding me right now?!
A month long break is a little excessive, don’t you think? Sure, I need alone time…a “break” from the constant sensory overload that comes with being a mom to a toddler (single or not!), but one night would work. Hell, even a few hours would suffice. A month is just torture. It is not a break. It is mental & emotional warfare. I can’t enjoy myself because my Mama Brain & my (very small, inexperienced) Single Girl Brain are constantly at odds with each other. I have never known how to be a twenty-something single woman without the responsibilities of also being a single mother. The few (but still too many!) times Baby Bee has been away from me have been the only times I’ve gotten a glimpse into how it feels to be single and “free.” And I’m so depressed, worried, schizophrenic when he’s gone that I spend most of the time holed up at my house or library. Party Girl I am
not. The rare occasion I force myself to be social, I have random panic attacks every time I look at a clock. “Oh shit it’s 7:30 already!? I need to get us home so we can do a quick bath and…Oh wait. Yeah never mind. He’s gone.” *cue watering eyes and stomach clenching.* “What was I thinking staying up until 2 a.m.!? He’s going to be up in about 5 hours! Shit, but I won’t be there. I can sleep in. Keep reading/drinking/whatever is keeping me occupied at 2 a.m.”
Single Girl Brain is constantly telling me to enjoy myself & do things I can’t normally do with a toddler in tow. So I obey, but as soon as I start to get a glimmer of happiness/relaxation, Mama Brain kicks in & tells me I am a shit mother for having fun while my baby is 2,000 miles away from me, being fed God-knows-what, being watched by God-knows-who and wondering why the bloody hell did his mother abandon him. All the air leaks out of my balloon with a loud fart noise and I slink off to bed with a bottle of wine & my Pinterest app.
So yeah, the 30 days of Baby Bee’s absence are no “break.” The first week is pure mental torture, the second week can be a little fun, the 3rd week is absolute & total boredom, & the 4th week is frenetic with anticipation of getting him home & finally cleaning up the hellhole that is our house (my domesticate skills leave with the Baby Bee & I live in squalor until 2 days before he comes home. I blame it on the depression, but it could just be the bottles of wine I consume). Yes, sometimes I have a great time that I know would be extremely hard to do if he was home. I do love sleeping in (even though my internal clock takes awhile to reset itself), and pouring a glass of wine at noon….DON’T JUDGE ME. I get excited with the prospect of spending an entire afternoon in the library, (pushes glasses up nose nerdily) or not having to race to daycare/store/home/kitchen after work. But I would much rather do all of those mundane things with my child, than have all the free time in the world. Maybe I’m boring.
Maybe I’m terrible at being single. Maybe I’m one of those women whose sense of self was lost after having a child (although I feel like being a mama has brought me to who I REALLY am). Or maybe I’m just a masochist who really needs to get back on meds & learn how to have a little bit of fun. All of those are probably true. Either way, if I hear someone tell me that I’m getting a nice little break, I may punch them in the throat.
I know they are just trying to be sweet & supportive & help me see the good side of things (which is often times really hard for me, even on a good day), but it doesn’t work. It makes me feel guilty for NOT being able to Carpe Diem every freaking Diem for 30 damn Diems, and angry at them for thinking I could just turn off my Mama Brain. I’m pretty sure you can’t EVER turn off Mama Brain (my mother still makes me call her after I get home at night), but maybe there’s a way to mute it for awhile? Or turn it down so low it’s just annoying murmuring in the background?
While I’m on the subject, and still procrastinating, another phrase I get ALL THE TIME that makes me want to start punching is, “I don’t know how you do it.” I know it’s meant for sympathy & encouragement & the completely human need to connect on all levels with another human being, but it really makes me want to snap. You want to know how I do “it?” I just DO. I don’t have a f—ing choice. Sure, I could sign over custody rights or beg the Drone to get back together & get married (hahahahahahahaha), or start smoking meth & have the courts take Baby Bee away. But none of those are an option for me. That child is literally, in ways he will never fathom, my saving grace. He is my heart, my soul, my everything. Leaving him for an easier life is not an option. Nor was keeping him in a bad-getting-worse situation. So I did the only thing that I could see to do, and that was plunge head first into being a single mama. Terrifying, challenging and exhausting but right now the only option (even if I stayed with my parents, I’d still be single. Albeit with built in babysitters). Perhaps somewhere down the road I’ll meet a decent guy that will love & cherish & take care of both of us. But I’m not holding my breath. So I pull up my big girl panties every day (sometimes reluctantly) & become the breadwinner & housewife, the disciplinarian & the nurturer, the teacher & the playmate. I send my baby off with a leaden heart & nervous stomach every 3 months because the courts demand I do. And because, despite everything, I still want him to have some semblance of a relationship with his father. To use one of my all time favorite quotes from The Perks of Being a Wallflower:
“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”