This Mothers’ Day Blog is dedicated to the single moms. Because it’s been a long time (if ever) since you’ve had someone to force your kids to make the cards and be extra nice on your “special day.” For all the times you are alone, and have to burst a vein in your temple screaming because there’s no dad to come in and lift the kids to their final destination. For all those days when you are so exhausted you think you may fall asleep standing behind the stove with egg in your hair but there is absolutely no one else to feed the little fucker. And for today when most of the greetings you get are from the other moms wishing you a great day…
It turns out that when you separate from your spouse, and you have elementary school age children, for some reason those children don’t take it upon themselves to make you cards, and buy you gifts and flowers and make you breakfast in bed. That shit is clearly over for me. The school makes them do a couple of “thoughtful” things – one of mine wrote a poem rhyming the word “share” with the word “share.” Which I felt was very Meta. The other made me an adorable heart keychain, saying that he left “The thing I write about how I like you” at school. Then they promptly forgot to be extra nice to me, or nice to me at all. Of course it helps if you’re actually home and not at your boyfriend’s house doing activities to forget you ever had children.
This was my Mother’s Day gift – I got to spend it with my favorite adult, while the kids’ favorite adult (my ex) got to take care of them. By the time I got home at 4 o’clock it was clear that my boys had forgotten not only Mothers’ Day, but also my existence. The boy we have visiting with them said “Hi” and “Happy Mothers’ Day,” because he’s being raised by a single mom who is clearly doing a great job. Then the boys continued their conversation about which girls they would like to see skinny dip. (They are 7,8, and 9.)
This is the first Mothers’ Day since I’ve been separated, and it makes me think of my first ever Mothers’ Day which was when I was pregnant. As if that even counted, and yet when you’re pregnant for the first time you get indulged and babied and slathered with attention. Boy was I a pain in the ass. I wouldn’t return phone calls. I was like, “I’m too delicate to talk to that asshole.”
Little did I know that I would look back fondly at the bloated, nauseating, sleepless pregnancies as the “good old days.” When our creatures are still in the womb they’re portable, contained and most importantly quiet. Teaching them to talk – that is our first mistake as parents. Of course we have to tell other parents of babies, “It gets better.” We are lying. It just gets better… compared to having a newborn. Just because nothing will ever beat the traumatic dropped straight into Vietnam style shock and awe campaign that is that first baby, doesn’t mean that what follows is anything fun-tastic.
Once you teach your kids to talk they can tell you they hate you. I was shocked the first time, but now my kids tell me they hate me so often I’m getting used to it. I’m like, “Yeah yeah, you hate me, and here comes the apology…” Because the fact is they could never hate me as much as I hate me. Amateurs!
So I tell myself, and I’m telling you other mothers, and especially single moms, someday when your kid is in the NFL and the announcer asks him for a comment after his winning touchdown, it’s you he’ll thank. And he’ll mean it.