Last week I was sitting on the edge of a cliff at sunrise looking over the ocean with a cute boy who could smash a plate on his stomach. I know. Sounds like a movie right? And to anyone who saw us, it probably looked like one too. But what those people don’t know, is that I go home to an 11kg toddler who still requires rocking to sleep, and who occasionally shits on my bathroom floor.
I first started this blog to reach out to mums who were sitting at home wondering what they were doing wrong. I learnt pretty quickly that there is no right way, and that even women with the most perfect instagram asthetic, and post partum six packs are still going to end up with cracked nipples and hairy legs. Now as I embark on my new adventure as a single mother, I have a whole new insight into the world of dating or as I like to call it, ‘the train wreck that is my life’.
As we all know ladies, even at the best of times dating is a challenge. I mean how long until you break it to them that you don’t have naturally luscious eye lashes and Bondi Sans coloured skin? And let me tell you – trying to make sense of the feelings of a 31 year old man is more complex than the 4000 word essay I wrote on Statutory Interpretation in law school. Add to that the fact that I’m running on about four hours sleep a night, and my alarm clock is the shrill scream of a 2 year old which can only be compared to a small animal being brutally murdered – and now you’ve got some idea of what I’m working with.
So let’s talk about the first three months of a relationship. The awkward ‘getting to know you’, ‘are we or aren’t we’ first three months, where you’re hesitating enough to protect your feelings but also secretly planning your trip to Europe together in five years. Girls, you’re still making the effort to wash your hair every two days, and guys you haven’t farted in 12 weeks. This is the make or break time, when you’re getting to know their habits, meeting their friends, and doing a thorough self-conducted psychoanalysis of why they’re still single.
Enter Cute Boy. Fire fighter by day, bachelor by night. Charming, funny, and did I mention the fire fighter thing? He takes me on dates, makes me dinner, and when I had an asthma attack at his house he told me I looked pretty when I was half-dead. In the last three months, I’ve learnt almost as much about myself as I have about him. The thing about being a single mother though – is that I’m in no rush for a happily ever after. I’ve got a little man in my house that already runs my life, and to be honest – part time dating has its perks. I get my mum time, Cute Boy gets his Cute Boy time, and we are both better people for it.
So. No my life isn’t a movie. And yes I’m so tired that I recently answered my own mobile phone saying “Ambulance, what town or suburb?”. I’ve got no dating or parenting advice because I’m learning as I go. But what I can confirm, is that no matter how perfect people look on the outside, everyone at some point feels like putting on a shower cap and smoking a cigarette. And that’s OK.