Several weeks back I came across a blog post while doing what I do best in the wee hours of the night– scrolling Pinterest. It was a blog by a single mom and the post was addressing the issue of the #MarriedSingleMomClub. And if I wasn’t feeling lazy I would try to dig through my Pinterest to find it and link it… but since I am– well I’m sorry. I might come back and comment the link later.
If you haven’t heard of this exclusive club, it’s alright because I hadn’t either, however the premise was undeniably relatable. #MarriedSingleMomClub is when a married woman (or man if he’s the stay-at-home type) feels as if she is a single parent due to the husband’s absence for work… or whatever.
Prior to crossing onto the D-path, I felt like this many of times, and still do most days. Our household follows that sterotypical old timey idea that the husband is the breadwinner and the wife is the caregiver. Sure, I work and contribute, but the bulk of the finances he takes care of. And in “exchange” I guess, I take care of our daughter* during the day (because 1- childcare is expensive and 2- I don’t trust many people with her especially these days) along with the standard housework.
Now, my soon-to-be ex*, did/does do his share of housework:
- Fixing things, usually right away, when they broke
- Killing bugs
- Mowing the gas
- Pressure washing the house
- Changing the oil in the cars
But in comparison to the list I had/have… well here let me just give you a visual:
- I wake up everyday the same time our daughter does. Even on his days off, I attempt to let him sleep in. Every single day.
- I cook usually three meals a day. Somedays I’m slacking and I throw a bowl of cereal and cheese and crackers in front of picky toddler and tell him to fend for himself.
- I change the bulk of diapers and now do the bulk of potty training
- Dishes– I wash them or load them into the dishwasher AND put them away
- Trash– I take it out
- Clean the floors
- Clean in general… which is incredibly difficult with a toddler who likes to IMMEDIATELY pull stuff back out
- Laundry– washing, drying, folding and putting away (because apparently no one else knows how to do that!?)
- Grocery shopping… usually with said toddler
- Gift getting
- Doctor appointment taking
But wait there’s more!
- I’m usually the one attending to our daughter, even when he’s home
- I do educational stuff with her ON TOP of all these chores
- I also take her places. Everywhere really. All these activities that’s me.
- I am usually in charge of bathtime and bedtime
In short… I am 99% sure this house would fall apart without me. Sure I’m grateful that he has a job that allows me to be home with her during the day, and that now it will continue to support me once D-path gets underway. But feeling like a single parent when you’re married absolutely sucks. Feeling unappreciated makes it even worse.
But you weren’t really a single parent (yet) so you could have just asked him for help. You know you’re right, and I did actually–a lot. But in the time it takes for him to actually do it, I found I could just do it myself.
》》But back to the #MarriedSingleMomClub… there was apparently a lot of backlash over the term. Single parents everywhere were offended that a married person would feel like they could relate to being a single parent. Obviously, I was apart of this club before I even knew it existed. Sure, I had someone else in the house who could/would have potentially helped in the event I needed it (and occasionally I did just throw in the towel and take my ME time), but still more often than not it honestly felt like I was in it by myself. Even looking at pictures from the last year or so, they are predominantly of just our daughter or me and her.
Which brings me to the real point of this post. Geez you aren’t there yet? I know I’m sorry I get long winded and rambly sometimes! In a previous post “So Much Can Change in a Year”, I asked the question of whether or not I think he will regret us separating once you know it actually happens and I’m not physically here in the house anymore. I said I did. 100%. And that list I mentioned above is exactly why.
Don’t get me wrong. He’s a good father! Our daughter is never without. He plays with her, knows stuff about her (which I can’t say the same for my own father but that’s another story for another day), but when push comes to shove, I’m the go-to parent.
Once he asked me how one of the sippy cups worked…
On multiple occasions he wasn’t able to find her clothes… they’re in the same place, organized and separated… I mean even the toddler knows where they are.
I know I know. That probably came off super bitter. That wasn’t my intention at all. My point is, is that I’ve been single parenting it basically the entire time. I have no doubt I’ll adjust fine on my own. I’m sure he will eventually get the hang of it. Mostly during the week it won’t be much different than it is now, home with her in the evenings & only responsible for dinner and bedtime. Usually bedtime. Sometimes I come home from work and find a super energized toddler awaiting me. The weekends however will take some getting used to. No more sleeping in on Saturdays. No more binge video game playing while saying ‘oh I’ll help you do that later.’ No more hoping the laundry fairy visits. Oh well… welcome to my world honey.
What about you all? Anybody else a member of the #MarriedSingleMomClub ? (Or #MarriedSingleDadClub I don’t discriminate.) Sure my membership to this club will be expiring soon but you know still…
*Endnote: I don’t think I ever actually mentioned my soon-to-be ex husband or daughter’s name. For short we will call them R and Em respectively.