Reflections: I Felt Like a Single Mom While Married, Too
I’m not sure why the memories came at me tonight. Perhaps it was the fresh fallen snow and smell in the air that triggered them; Xmas is coming after all. Perhaps it was because my ex moved last weekend to a small town outside Calgary; I know he will now spend even less time with the kids. Or maybe, just maybe, it was because I was tired from yet another weekend alone with my kids.
My ex worked out of town for all our marriage. He was absent about 70 – 80% of the year. Because of this, I gave up my just-taking-off career to be a stay-at-home mom to our three kids. And that is still my fulltime job, though I ALSO work fulltime as a writer.
Tonight on my porch, I looked around at my kids’ toboggans and boot prints covering my front lawn; and I smiled. My front lawn has looked like this for many winters. I drifted away in the memories – pulling all three of them in one toboggan, the times they peed in their snowsuits, their pink, rosy cheeks, the triumph each child exuded when he/she made it down the hill standing up on a board.
I couldn’t remember ONE memory of my ex out there with us.
C’mon, I told myself, there MUST be a memory in there somewhere – dig deeper. But no – those were in the spring and fall. And no, those times he was putting them in the car (and he was scowling). Try as I did, my mind only remembered visions of me and kids.
I gave up trying and returned to the now. My brain was too tired to excavate. And in the big picture, I knew my efforts were pointless; what’s past is past. And now we’re divorced.
This will be my second winter as a divorced woman. And I’m still kind of scared and still kind of overwhelmed by the changes that have swept through my life. But I know one thing will remain the same this year as it always has: the feeling of being a single parent.