Let me start out by saying that I became a single mother by choice, not by chance. Does that mean I planned for it to turn out this way? Absolutely not. But you roll with the punches… or in this case, I rolled with a sleek, black, City Mini baby jogger (which, by the way, is an excellent way to appear to be a mother who has it completely together). My original life plan, prior to said baby jogger, was to live in a swanky high-rise condo in a bustling city, to be a boss-lady, and to marry an equally powerful boss-man. Living the life, right?
Almost. One minor hiccup interrupted that entire plan and had me sitting amidst a sea of cars during the Saturday afternoon lunch rush. My 4-year old was sitting in the backseat, feet firmly pressed against the leather back of the seat in front of him (something I have asked him not to do at least 1,354 times). In his hands he held a Bo Staff, which is just a fancy name for “Donatello stick.” He had been enamored by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for months now and could be spotted around town at any given moment wearing purple, red, blue, or orange masks and brandishing plastic weapons. Some people thought it was cute. Others, quite apparently, did not. Every parent knows that you pick and choose your battles with a toddler wisely, and Donatello dress-up was not a battle I wanted to fight on that particular Saturday.
As I was driving, the Bo Staff kept poking me in the back of the shoulder. Poke, poke, poke, poke. I cast a backwards glance at my son who was giggling from his booster seat. As the staff headed for another poke, I screamed “put the damn stick down!”
As the words tumbled from my mouth I was immediately annoyed at myself for having said them. 4-year-olds are like eternal sponges that soak up every breath of life that escapes your lips, and then squeeze the contents out for the world to hear at the most inopportune times. As we turned into the crowded parking lot at the gym and searched for an open space, I told my son that the “stick” will remain in the car until we get home. We parked and walked towards the front entrance of gym, alongside a very nice looking couple with their two children. This must have seemed like the perfect opportunity for my 4-year-old to remind me of the status of the stick in the car, because he belted out “Mommy, the damn stick is in the backseat and I won’t touch the damn stick anymore until we get home.” Did the seemingly-perfect wife next to me hear him? Yes, she did. Her arched eyebrows and piercing blue eyes shot disapproving looks at me that suggested she would never let her children speak that way. To be fair, I don’t let my son speak that way either, it just kind of... happened.
This is pretty much the story of my life as I try to navigate this world as a single mother. I belong to an elite group of strong women who like to have a good time on the weekend but can still make it to PTA meetings when needed. We may drink more wine that the average American, but we can likely get more accomplished in 4 hours than most can in 4 days. This blog is dedicated to all the single moms and (sometimes) single moms out there who bust their asses everyday to raise their kids, while working full-time jobs to pay the bills, and still holding down the house… all while looking good doing it.