I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pride & Prejudice...and cake (I hope)

Today is my 17th wedding anniversary.  Or would have been.  Just slightly over a week ago a judge finally signed our divorce papers.  I say finally because this has been more than nine years in the making.  Very few people knew the details of my very private life, but I’ve finally reached a point where I am ready move on.

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last nine years.  I don’t have to take crap from people anymore to make them happy or to avoid conflict.  I’ve learned not be passive aggressive for the same reasons.  I can accomplish a whole heckovalot in a single day and while I often don’t need anyone, I have wonderful friends to whom I can turn for just about anything.

There are a lot of reasons I haven’t told many people about my particular “situation.”  And it probably comes down to two things: Pride and Prejudice.

I am proud.  Stubbornly so.  I am a child of divorce and never ever ever wanted my children to have to deal with that.  They are a huge reason why things have moved so slowly-to avoid trauma in their lives.  I also never ever want anyone to not consider me for a job or a favor because they think I can't handle it.

And Prejudice.  First of all-it isn’t anybody’s business and secondly people judge.  Ever heard the phrase “single mother” used in a positive way? Maybe incredulously…but that’s about it. It is practically synonymous with the words helpless, financially burdened, and unavailable.

It is funny, if people think your husband is traveling all the time, they don’t bat an eye except to tell you how they just can’t stand it when their husband is away over night.  Everything is so hard
But if you are a single parent, you can just see them take stock and try to figure out how they are going to have to pick up your slack.

This is particularly so in Mormondom, where we are practically bludgeoned to death with helping your neighbor—a new family moves in and the VERY FIRST THING you hear about them is that she’s a single mom, because that will tell you all you need to know.  No one wants to be assigned to be that family’s Home or Visiting Teacher because they just know you’ll be a burden.

Mormons also deeply believe in marriage and family, and failing at the one thing you were supposed to do….well, pity the fool.  I never expected to be here.  If there's one thing I'm pretty good at, it is my commitments.





But here’s the thing.  I didn’t do anything wrong.  I am financially stable.  I work very very hard to keep us so.  I also volunteer at my kid’s school and fulfill my callings at church, just like a normal person.  I almost never play the “I can’t, I’m a single mom” card and never call my home or visiting teachers or neighbors or ward members for anything. 

I am fully aware that I am very very lucky.  As a single parent, I sit in a place of privilege where I have an excellent education, I am not going to lose my home, and my kids get to take piano and dance lessons, and my car works and we have plenty of food.  I recognize that the world does not favor all single parents in a similar manner.  I recognize that many mothers do need some extra help…I just wish we gave it to them willingly, without judgment. 

You can feel sad for me if you like, but not because I am no longer married.  You can feel sad because this sort of thing hurts.  You may not use the phrase “it is for the best” even though it is nor tell me “I’ll find someone.”  I’m not interested.  Unless he is a rather old, rather wealthy surgeon in somewhat poor health.  Then we can talk.


I’m happy to put this particular chapter of my life behind me.  But I’m a stronger gal for it (some of you are wondering if that is even possible, bless you), and I do not regret my choices. It has shaken my faith, tested my endurance, and made me eat more cupcakes than is good for me.  But again, do not pity me.  I have nothing but good things in my life, because I’ve put the worst away.


**If anyone wants to make me an awesome divorce cake...I woudln't say no. 

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations! (On making a move for your benefit. or however to phrase it without stuffing both feet in my mouth in one way or another. I dunno. It just sounded like news that required a huzzah of some sort.)
    I was surprised reading this that you feel single mothers get such a bum rap. Then I remembered that I grew up in a home with a strong single mother. I guess I never have thought of it that way. I've known more married women who fall to pieces when things are inconvenient than single mothers, who know the world is on their shoulders. Besides, I know a lot of awesome women who, for one reason or another, are rocking the parenting alone.
    I raise my glass of Dirty Dr Pepper to you!

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