Jul 29, 201211:30 PMHoneybee Mama
Once you're a divorced parent, you enter into a strange double life. And I don't mean double life like you become a secret agent for the government, although sometimes I think that might feel more important.
See, parents that have their children living with them in their home full time often say things to me like, "Gosh that must be nice to get a break every now and then. It must be like a mini-vacation!"
No. It is not like a mini-vacation. It's a huge wrench in the wheel of life is what it is.
Imagine something being taken from you on a semi-regular basis that isn't necessary for your everyday life to continue (like glasses or medication), but that is just a constant part of your life. I'm struggling to think of a truly appropriate analogy here... I guess it's similar to being accustomed to having your TV on all the time. Imagine you work from home and at all times of the day your TV set is on. Morning, noon and night the images and sounds are there, whether you're watching it or not. Now, imagine that every other weekend and half of the time during summer and school holiday breaks someone comes and removes the TV from your home and replacing it is not an option. You can only wait until it's returned.
Can you still go on living? Yes. You might even feel like it's a nice reprieve and enjoy your quiet mornings with coffee on the porch. But there's a part of you that just doesn't feel quite right, and you often just don't know what to do with yourself. You're so accustomed to walking through the living room and glancing at the news and knowing what's going on in the world and now not only is the TV set not on, it's not even there! You find yourself wandering into the living room, just staring at the TV stand wondering what to do next.
I guess in some ways having to share my children with another person in another home is something I've become accustomed to, but it still hasn't become something I'm used to. I often just feel like I don't know what to do with myself. I vacillate between being ultra productive and completely lazy. I feel guilty when I'm not getting everything done that I normally complain that I can't get to because my kids are all over me. Then I feel equally as guilty that I'm not taking advantage of the time to relax while I have the opportunity. Then I just want to know what they're doing, if they're okay, and if they miss me.
This constancy is the part of motherhood I was most surprised by when I became a parent six years ago. It's this reality that parenthood never stops, during the night, during the day, when your children are with you and when they're away. It's not like babysitting. Neither is being a divorced parent like getting mini-vacations on a regular basis. It's just weird.
So I find I live a double life: life when my kids are here and life when they're not. And now as a stepmother, I experience this on another level. It doesn't feel right when my husband's kids aren't here either, and having them here doesn't make me feel better about my littles being gone. Though it's exponentially more chaotic when all four kids are here, at least it feels NORMAL.
That's all for this post. I don't really have anything monumental to say about the subject other than functioning as a divorced parent is strange. In the mean time, I have been both very productive in my small business in the last couple of weeks, and also had the opportunity to go on a vacation by myself.
Granted, it was a vacation to a family reunion I had to attend WITHOUT my family, but it was a vacation nonetheless!
Love and Honey,