So, wait, you think Valentine’s Day is the day we wish we had a man?! Negative.I saw several sweet posts celebrating single moms on Valentine’s Day. They were truly thoughtful and touched my heart. However, we need to clear some things up for all my boyed up and married friends... Valentine’s Day is not the one day of the year we wish there was a man in the house. Hell, most of us have already been married a time or two, and we know, even if there was a man in the house, Vday is mostly a big letdown (not as bad as Mother’s Day; wait for May for that post) but disappointing nonetheless. Perhaps the single woman considers these shenanigans on Valentine’s Day, but I’d argue there are fifteen other days in a year we single mothers actually do wish there was a big, strong, capable, loving (preferably handsome) man living in our home:
When one of your kids has clogged the toilet…again. Not only are you seriously regretting your lack of supervision regarding your child’s diet, but every germ related OCD tendency you have (shout out to all my neurotic Italian mommas) is creeping up your spine as you stare down at the mere millimeters of porcelain left before the repulsive water overflows onto your bathroom floor. After the obligatory, inappropriate cursing, you recognize (it’s still a surprise sometimes, I’m not even kidding) that you’re the only one who can fix this problem. You reach for the plunger, hoping that’ll do the trick, but no! The water rises up to a slow trickle down the back of the toilet. Time for the snake…er…auger…whatever. Time for youtube. How in the hell do you use this thing?! Why is this your job?!
When you cannot convince yourself to spend any money on anything unless it’s food or for the kids. It would be nice if someone was there to justify you getting rid of your ten-year-old tennis shoes. This conundrum could explain your less than stylish wardrobe (see ‘mom jeans’).
When your kids complain that they’re the only ones in their class who make their own lunch. Listen, what you learn as CEO of your family is that when your children realize how hard you’re working, and that you need their help, they will help you. You just have to ask (consistently) and expect they’ll do it.Once we learn this trick, we use the heck out of it. By the time both my girls are in high school, I’ll have divvied out laundry, paying bills, and grocery shopping no doubt. So I guess there’s a chance kids of single moms have more responsibilities and chores. If there was another person in the house, possibly they’d pick up some slack.
The day when you wore heels you knew you shouldn’t have worn all day at work. You go home, make a healthy, homemade dinner, (yes, moms still do that) sit down at the table, (yep, that too,) and serve it to kids who have disgusted looks on their faces. You’re beaming with pride because you just know your dinner is top notch. You also know a grown man would appreciate your homemade meals. Kids don’t always care how much time and effort you put into your job as their full-time personal chef.
When you know there’s something wrong with your car but you also know there’s a lot less wrong with the car than you are being told by your mechanic. You have no one to confirm or deny his word, so you totally feel like you’re being taken advantage of. If you’re even the slightest bit attractive, the additional attention forces you to agree to anything just to get out of there quicker. You go in needing air in your tire, and somehow you’re now replacing all four tires and the brakes.
When you’ve made a thousand decisions already, and it’s only 10 am, and you just wish some other person could decide what to do for your kid’s project, go take them to get the supplies, help them do it, and make sure it gets to school with them in one piece.
When the stress of being a single mom occasionally catches up with you and your whole body aches. Perhaps that’s a day when you’d love for someone to massage your back, give you a foot rub, or play with your hair. And no, that’s not secret code talk for something else. Seriously, just play with the hair.
When something simple breaks or needs fixing. You know darn well it wouldn’t take fifteen minutes to fix some of these things, but you don’t know how to do it. You’re also bright enough to know any person who can fix it will charge you at least double the cost to replace it.
When you’re with your favorite friend and all your kids are playing peacefully together in another room and you’d love to enjoy one more glass of wine. But you can’t, because there’s no redistributing the power; you have to be in control and responsible at all times.
When men think, because you’re nice, funny, charming, or just possess a pleasing personality in general, you’re somehow flirting with them. Um, no. Just because we’re unmarried, doesn’t mean we’re interested. Honestly. We’re really busy.
When you realize that you’re single-handedly responsible for creating your children’s ideas and expectations with regard to love and marriage. You strive every day to present an air of confidence, capability and calm as you do everything, all by yourself. But that’s not your wish for them. You’d prefer to be modeling a healthy, loving partnership where co-parenting reigned supreme.
When there literally aren’t any hours left in the day or night for you to work any more jobs without cutting into your standard six hour night’s sleep, but you still can’t afford things you need. Your mind may wonder for a sec to how much easier it would be if you had a partner.
When there’s a bug. Any above average size bug. Weighing the horror of killing the bug over allowing it to freely roam your house is a petrifying, pivotal moment in a single mom’s life.
When something disappointing or bad happens, or maybe one of your kids is struggling with something, and you know things could be so much worse, but you’d truly benefit from a quick vent sesh…Less than ten minutes, one hug, an “it’ll all be ok” and you’d be good to go.
The day your perfectly imperfect child does or says something absolutely amazing and you wish you could just share that one moment with their father – soaking up all the credit – together. Maybe those are a few days that maybe we wish we had a man, but not Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it, that still leaves 350 days left to enjoy snuggle fests with our kids, have the same dinner more than once a week, and sleep horizontally in bed. So this Valentine's day let's take some time to invest in ourselves, prioritize our personal growth, reaffirm our self-worth, and lead a more mindful, positive life.
It’s the New Year, and I have been doing a lot of thinking. I want to say, with all of my heart and all of my soul, that I am sorry. I want apologize for anything (and everything) I have said or done that made you feel less-than or sad or small.
This year I am resolving, with a twist. There will be no diet, exercise, less swearing and drinking, "more church" kind of resolutions. This year I'm simply letting go of the things that are just not productive nor conducive to my life. This is the year I give up several of my hard-earned mom-related titles.
Surround yourself and your kids with piles of magazines and update vision boards for the fresh, new year to come. If nothing else came from this evening together, we exercised our creativity and bonded while reenacting some of the over-the-top advertisements we came across.