Last week I signed my divorce papers. Ive been saying I’m divorced for some time but until now I hadn’t bothered with the technicalities – otherwise known as 73 hours worth of paperwork and the financial equivilent of my left arm. A few people have asked me how I feel about the whole thing but aside from standing by for channel 10 to ask me to star on The Bachelorette, nothing much has changed for me. To be honest I never really identified as a ‘wife’. A mother, definitely but a wife not so much. I mean sure I did the wife thing, cleaned the house, washed the clothes, cooked the dinner and subsequently complained about all of the above – but anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a pretty independent woman and as per every single woman on social media in the 21st century *”I dont need no man” *(except when there’s a cockroach or I have a flat tyre).
Let’s talk relationships. I mean my credibility was probably shot when I married someone I had only known for two years when I looked so young I was still being carded at liquorland – BUT on the other hand I can assure you I’m the queen of learning from my mistakes. According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, approximately 1 in 3 Australian marriages end in divorce. That means one couple in every three that decide they are so madly in love that they simply have to spend the rest of their lives together, will eventually end up in court trying figure out if they had a stroke at the moment they said ‘I do’. So what are we doing wrong? In my case, I was so intent on rushing through the milestones that I never once stopped to enjoy them. But above anything else, what I failed to acknowledge was how much people change, especially in their early 20s. I mean six years ago I would have won a trophy for my ability to skull a schooner in less than 10 seconds and now I can’t even smell a glass of champagne without passing out. But more importantly, what I am looking for in a partner today, greatly differs to what I was looking for when my biggest priority in life was getting into the pub without getting my fake ID peeled.
These days, as a single mother of a midget terrorist I’m accustomed to doing things on my own. I know how to cook, pay bills, work, and when my car is broken I know how to take it to my Dad. And here’s the big lesson I’ve learnt that will hopefully get its own Montage when someone finally discovers me and makes my life into a movie; I needed to grow up on my own, and learn to be by myself before I could learn to be with someone else. Cosmopolitan magazine may say otherwise but I really don’t think you can ever be happy in a relationship if you’re not happy out of one. Your partner should be someone who can cheer you on while you do your thing, not someone who needs to play for you.
But what about the midget you might ask? Good question. I noticed a common theme amongst the interrogations I faced from my girlfriends when I fell back onto the dating scene – “How is he with kids?”. It became evident after a while that my answer to that question was/is somewhat controversial. To be completely honest, how my date is with kids – was not even close to my top five necessary qualities (the first of which was ‘can quote all if not most Will Ferrel movies ever made’). Now before you get all mum-judgy (that’s the official term) on me, just hear me out. Henry has a Dad. He’s also got grandparents and aunties who worship the ground he walks on, and two super cute girlfriends at kindy (*don’t hate the player*) – his network is seriously amazing. So at this point in my life when I am in absolutely no rush for anything other than someone who can laugh with me, take me to dinner and put out fires – that someone’s babysitting resume isn’t even on my radar. Every now and then big Bae and little Bae might cross paths and high five but for now that’ll do me.
In conclusion, my advice that I’m completely unqualified to give is as follows;
1. Find a balance. Give your midget all the love you can but save some for yourself too, because if you’re not looking after yourself you can’t look after them.
2. SLOW DOWN. They say the best part of a relationship is the beginning. Drag it out. Have a five year beginning.
3. If you need your tyre changed, call my Dad.