Girlfriend vs Mummy

You’ll all have read that and thought – Ding! Ding! Mother-in-law from hell coming. But no. This is a very different mummy scenario. This is me. And all you other divorcees out there, back on the market, playing the dating game like it was just launched by HB. This is about finding your footing, and the new line between mummy and you. Not mummy you, but YOU. The one that existed before husbands and babies and laundry. The girl that rocked the place before school drops and play dates and extra curricular activities that need a calendar all of their own. Let’s just be honest. It’s not easy. My day is spent working, baking, cleaning, doing homeworks, pick ups and drop offs, in-between which I’m trying not to ignore too many texts from said boy I’m dating and make plans for tonight. By the time the kids are in bed, I still have the laundry to hang, the lunches to make for tomorrow and let’s not forget to lay the breakfast table, stack the log basket and check the school website for when on earth the next term closure is. By now it’s 8pm and he’s picking me up at 8.30. This is my life. So I race into the shower, throw on some clothes, paint my nails (if I’m lucky) and even then I’m nibly trying to carry two or three things down stairs without smudging them because no, I don’t have time to sit and let them dry. He’s here before I check in with the sitters and kiss my girls good-bye. This is the life of a dating, single parent. But things are about to change, I’m in transition from one mode, into another. From the second I step out the door and slip into his car, I’m out of mummy mode and into girlfriend. All the tiredness, moaning, thoughts of the hectic week – they all get shelved for a few hours of happy go lucky fun that a ton of thirty something women are still having seven nights a week because they’re not yet married and are yet to reproduce. This is what youth felt like. This is what it’s like to lie on the sofa (without toys stacked against the wall), to munch on food (I didn’t make), to watch a movie (without interruption) and get driven home (without panicking I’m late). It’s liberating to be forced into a place where you must exist without your children. Where you have to remember who you are as an individual – not as someone’s mummy. But it can be exhausting staying on top of every aspect of your game. Letting no balls drop. But this is what I chose the second I asked my husband to leave. This is the life I knew was ahead of me if I was lucky enough to date anyone long enough to get here and do you know what – it is worth every exhausting second of it. I am mummy by day and simply me by night.

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