Divorced and dating in your 20s sounds pretty complicated right? Now throw in a 3 and a half year old, a full time job, hex debt from a degree you’ve never used and an untreated shopping addiction. Welcome to my life.
According to the stats there’s approximately one million single parent households in Australia and 80ish% of them are being run by women (turns out Beyonce was right). Unfortunately there’s no census on how many of these people are back out on tinder but i’ll take a wild guess that most of them at some point are putting themselves back on the market. Which means theres around 700,000 single mums spread throughout the country all going through what I am, and as far as I know no-ones died from it yet so that’s how I sleep at night.
In a previous blog I wrote about the early days of meeting ‘cute boy’, and the double life I fell into leading. I was a dirty haired, dry cereal eating, emotionally unstable 26 year old who spent the last two years inside four walls trying to heal my permanently demolished body and recover from self titled and diagnosed PTLD (post traumatic labour disorder) – in disguise as just “Laura from Cronulla”. Even now, two years on I still find myself answering my phone smack bang in the middle of witching hour pretending I can’t chat because I’m ‘just a little busy’. Everyone who has ever had children knows that between the hours of 5-7pm what I’m really doing is chasing my naked kid around the house so I can wipe his ass and make him flush the toilet before I wrestle him into his bed and try and convince him to sleep there until 10pm when I give up and give him an iPad.
To be clear, the decision to split myself down the middle was entirely mine – and playing dual roles of mum and girlfriend (sometimes both at the same time, you guess for who) has taught me to enjoy the best of both my worlds. But cute boy raised a valid point recently – “what happens next?”. I’ve realised I have no idea and its been playing on my mind since he said it. If this was a normal relationship we would probably be moving in together soon, saving for a house, getting engaged blah blah blah but lets face it I’ve wrecked all that and we are working backwards.
In Facebook world I’ve noticed single mothers seem to meet guys who immediately fall in love with their kids and next minute they’re all living together, she’s pregnant again, he’s working to support them and playing golf on the weekends and they all live happily ever after. There’s a few issues with that the first of which being that I would rather shoot myself in the foot than be pregnant again within the next 10 years and the second is that I don’t think cute boy can play golf. But the third and most important is that if we are all living under the same roof, these two halves of me that I’ve been operating independently are going to be forced back together – and I’m just not sure if Bae would have ‘swiped right’ for this whole package.
To finish, every day I’m plagued with “what-ifs” – but the more I play them out the more I believe that everything happens for a reason. I’ve got an amazing almost-four-year-old who dazzles me with his intelligence and fire. And I’ve had two years with a fireman who has well and truly kept me on my toes, but has also kept me grounded and still makes me laugh from my belly. He may or may not take up golf, but either way we’ve had an epic front nine.
‘Laura from Cronulla’