“Divorce isn't such a tragedy. A tragedy's staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce.”
― Jennifer Weiner
|Things 1 and 2 on a Great NYC Adventure...WITH mom|
Then I came home to a childless house, said hello to the mongrels and headed upstairs to take a long, hot shower at the end of a long day.
As I sit here, the only sound I hear is the dishwasher running in the kitchen and the sound of paws on the hardwood floor.
I have a secret. It's a secret that sometimes we divorced parents talk about in giggles and whispers. We know that married (never divorced) parents have NO IDEA about this secret. We know that those parents often feel really sorry for US. And we know they feel sorry for our kids. It's a BIG secret. And I MAY be kicked out of the Happy Divorced Parents Club for telling it. But I feel like it's something that should get out:
sometimes, being a divorced parent is a FABULOUS THING.
(In fairness, I have to add a caveat: being a divorced parent can be a truly wonderful thing IF you have an Ex Spouse, as I do, who actively participates in your children's lives. I do know several [too many] divorced parents who are the ONLY parent. THAT kind of divorced parenting truly SUCKS. It sucks on a variety of levels...not the least of which is watching the heartbreak in your children on a daily basis. But, again, I digress. Let's get back to the FUN of it.)
OK, I realize I can't tell my kids about how awesome it can be to have the house ALL TO MYSELF. I don't want them to know that sometimes I spend entire Saturdays in my jammies eating guacamole with rice crackers while binging on episodes of The Walking Dead. I don't think they need to find out that I dance (really dance) in my living room to old Brittany Spears jams (OK, no one needs to know that. Fortunately, only, like, four people read my blog. Hi Mom!).
When the kids are with their other Very Involved Parent, I get to just be...me. I get to be the person that I am when all my guards are down and I don't have to put on a happy face or a serious face or a grown-up face or an "I'm listening" face for anyone. I can wear my Ho Ho Ho fleece pajamas in March (like I would do that) and I can drink too much wine before bed because I don't have anyone to answer to or anyone to supervise.
I adore my kids. I do. I love them with every breath in my body and would lay down my life for them in a burning pit of flaming lizards every day if I had to. But, I have to tell you, I don't always love being a parent. It's a welcome respite to not have to play referee, understanding listener, stern disciplinarian, knowledgeable teacher or to just hear the word, "Mom." Sometimes, I cringe when I hear that word. I really do. And I know that I am blessed in this life to have these amazing kids. And I know that sometimes people don't get this chance. I know all that.
But, good golly, sometimes I truly do love the break. Is it selfish? Wildly. Do I care? Not so much right this moment. I am not, by any stretch, a nurturing person. Being a parent takes a lot of focus, extraordinary effort and a willingness to devour parenting books and articles by the truckload. I'm not a natural. And I get tired. And my kids are EASY, for the most part.
Sometimes, not ALWAYS, but SOMETIMES...it's just nice to be left alone. To be alone. It's just...nice. (Don't ever tell my kids I said that...I'll tell them you are LYING.)
My life is good. I realized tonight when I was putting away the groceries that I have made it. I am living in the NOW. I am happy. I am...complete. I don't know how I got here but I know the road was long. Happy to be back in the rockin' chair...if only for a moment. I hope you're well and happy and emotionally adjusted in your own right.
Now, where is that wine??
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