I just turned 47 in July. October marks 10 years since my children’s father and i divorced.
I didn’t date at first because I was too broken. The kids were 7 and 3. There was a period of about 9 months in 2013 when i did the online dating thing, when they were 11 and 7, but there was homework and dinner and baths and babysitters and work and i was too exhausted to add a man to the equation.
The ex got remarried. Kept telling me he hoped I would find someone soon. One day he said that and i told him to stop. I didn’t WANT someone. He had cured me of that. I didn’t care how broke i was. I didn’t care how hard it turned out to be. I didn’t have any desire to share my bed with anyone but maybe a child after a nightmare. I didn’t want to have to find a way to drown out someone else’s ridiculous snoring. I didn’t want hot morning breath on my neck. Or having to deal with unfounded jealous insecurities. Or tantrums from a grown man. Ultimatums.
The ex is a narcissist. The way i was discarded was so cold, and cruel, and calculated it almost killed me. When i tell the story, it stuns people.
I have gotten used to being single now. I dont know if i’m even capable of anything else anymore. And sometimes i worry. My daughter heads to college in a week. In 5 years my son will move on, too. And they are my life. I will be 52 then. I do not have adequate retirement; getting by the past 10 years was all i could manage. I, too, have asked myself why more single women (not just older women) arent buying houses and cooperatively parenting together. I looked far and wide for someone to share the burden of single motherhood with and nothing existed. I thought there HAD TO BE A “DATING" platform for single moms being crushed by the financial strain of being the sole breadwinner where we could pool our resources and mutually support each other.
There were a couple of sites. No one was there. I felt like maybe it was just me who was drowning and i was angry at a world that allowed my married ex to own a 3500 sq ft home in the best neighborhood in town while i was stuck renting a 700 sq ft fire trap just outside that neighborhood (rent 30-40% higher than the neighborhood i had to leave so my kids could ride the bus instead of me having to take them, making my commute to work an hour each way). Angry that his mortgage payment was the same as my rent. Angry that the only way out of the ditch i was stuck in was another income. I realized that i really, truly LIKED being on my own and resented feeling like the world was telling me i wasnt enough that way.
Anyway, i have a plan now with my son’s best friend’s mom. Its really her plan, she is in her mid 50s and will arrive there first. She and her husband just bought a big plot of land in the Pacific NW. Theyre going to build a large central building and a number of tiny houses and a bunch of us will purchase a tiny home. I imagine it will be a cooperative situation, we will all contribute in whatever way we can. Everyone has a skill to share.
Everyone has their own space but no one has to grow old all alone.
Hehe it sounds so flower child commune hippy, right?
But i think it just might work. I am in.
When i saw the title of this piece, i thought it was satire. I was surprised at how happy i felt when i realized it was not.