with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
I think I got nothin’.
No, seriously. If you were here, I would just pour you a lot of red wine and ask you questions so I could sit back and listen hard and maybe surreptitiously take some notes, if I thought it wouldn’t freak you out.
Because I get the feeling most of you who read this column have been at this single ma thing longer than I have, and that you have come to terms with it in a way that I have not — at least, not yet.
When I started writing this column, I had hoped to be a Really Helpful Columnist. Spunky. Savvy. Full of moxie and all sorts of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed anecdotes!
I am feeling pretty moxie-less. I feel about as moxie-ful as a droopy, molting hen.
I tried to borrow a little moxie from Beyonce in last week’s column. That helped, a little (but if I had those skyscraper legs it would no doubt kinda help more).
So I ask this of you, of you former marrieds who find yourself on a different path now:
When does the moxie come back?
How long did it take for you?
I read somewhere that scurrying white-lab-coat-wearing scientists had slaved furiously to come up with the EXACT AMOUNT OF TIME ON AVERAGE (is that an oxymoron?) for people to “get over” a separation or divorce. These scientists made all sorts of calculations and finally arrived at a number they could all agree on: TWO YEARS.
Not sure how they arrived at that number. For me, divorce feels worse than death, because both people are still walking around, creating new lives and loves, and there will forever be things left unsaid, by choice.
There will never be full understanding. And each of us will only see half of the girls’ childhood, instead of witnessing it all.
I’m at the two-year mark, and I am still floundering. Not for lack of trying to move on. There has been plenty of that, in all sorts of ways, from concentrating on parenting and trying to figure out better jobs to making new house rules, to taking care of health issues, to talking to the bank, to talking to a therapist, to renewing the Y membership, to writing diligently, to taking up new hobbies, to dating, to cleaning the toilet counter-clockwise instead of clockwise.
Oh, yeah. I’m changin’ it up.
But still I wake up every morning with dread clogging my throat, and frequently, tears in my eyes. The nightmares are sickening. The “if onlys” won’t quit. The fear of the future contaminates the present. It is difficult not to come to the conclusion that I am doing something “wrong,” or I would be “better” by now. Changed, but better.
So tell me, please — two years? Seriously? How long before you woke up without nausea? How long before your redefinition of self took root?
What helped you help yourself the most?
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