Up until last August, I had never lived alone. I shared a room with my sister growing up. At the ripe old age of 18, I traded her for a smaller room and a different roommate at WCU. Two weeks after my college graduation, I signed up for what I thought was a life long roommate when I got married. A bit over a year later, I became a mommy and the rest was as they say...history. I was one of those moms who always stayed involved and volunteered for everything. Our house was the local hang-out. I had a constant stream of companions. Alone time was a welcome and much coveted event.
Four years after divorce and with my youngest heading off to school last August, life as I had always known it came to a screeching halt! Gone were the teenagers who invariably found their way through my revolving door. Gone were the after school activities. Gone were the connections with the other "involved" moms. I was suddenly, utterly and completely alone. The just-me-time that had always been beyond my grasp was staring me right in the ol' eye! I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself.
It has been a trip, I tell ya. They always say be careful what you wish for, and that could not be more true than in this case. While I can say with all-out certainty, it isn't all bad, I have to admit it isn't always grand. The life of living singularly has led me to a few revelations. Thought I would share in case any of you are thinking the grass might be greener...
Pro - Peace and quiet. No loud noises. No one yelling for you just as you are planting yourself on the porcelain throne. No one blasting their music while demanding to know where they put........ Fill in the blank with absolutely anything and you will be on the mark! No bickering. No need to be peace-maker.
Con - Absolute silence. No one to talk to. You talk to yourself. No one to answer back. You answer yourself. You talk to the dog. The dog just stares with cocked head. You answer for the dog. The dog starts to think you may be crazy!
Pro - Evenings are your own. No more ball games. No more meetings. No more late night projects. No more study sessions.
Con - An empty social calendar. Get up. Go to work. Come home. Eat. Go to bed. Repeat.
Pro - No cooking required! Need I say more.
Con - Your diet consists of frozen dinners, macaroni and cheese...the Easy Mac variety...and soup. When nuking your food gets to be too much of a hassle, you switch to Doritos and Pop Tarts. And you don't even think about toasting the tasty little pastries. You eat them straight out of the foil packaging. You convince yourself you are getting a balanced diet...Doritos fill the need for a colorful diet and Pop Tarts do have that fruit filling!
Pro - Two measly loads of laundry a week vs. 14 hefty loads.
Con - Several weeks pass and you realize you have worn the same pair of sweats every night and every weekend...without washing them. Not that bad until the clothes start talking back to you. Of course, this solves problem number one.
Pro - No kid's clutter and no one to pick up after. You never have to make your bed. Heck, you all but live in your bed. No need to wash dishes. Trash cans can overflow and dirty clothes need never reach the hamper. Oh yeah, you just keep wearing your dirty clothes so no hamper needed.
Con - The clutter is worse than before and it is all your's. Chores belong to you and only you. You never realized how handy a teenager's helping hand can be.
Pro - No more setting an example, there's really no need to be your own teacher. Farting and burping at will is allowed and welcomed.
Con - Not really a con here as I see it. Of course, you must be able to control yourself should the need arise. Otherwise things could get embarrassing.
Pro - You can run around in your underwear or naked if you feel the urge.
Con - Can't fully appreciate this one yet. Got to keep working on my "lovin' myself" attitude to be able to do that. Ain't nothing pretty about pasty white cellulite bounding around the house even if you are alone.
Pro - There is no one to tell you what to do.
Con - There is no one to do anything with.
So what do you think? I think if you are lucky enough to still be experiencing the madness of mommy-hood you should embrace it and cherish it despite the fact it is an all-consuming-suck-the-life-out-of-you-never-let-you-get-a-moments-peace way of life. But what a life it is! Take it from the girl on the other side of the fence.