If you saw my title about plotting a divorce, then there is a good chance that you probably know everything I’m about to say. And not in a book-smart kinda way, but because you’re living it kinda way. Everything that I’m about to say comes from my heart; it is my truth and my experience. I know it may not make me shine in some crowds, but those aren’t my crowds anymore. You are my crowd, my people, my mom club. You are the moms who at some point in your mom career, have dreamt of running away. You too have imagined what life would be like if you could just walk away, run away-quickly, go now; pack up and leave. Since I was 23, I have always kept a small, wooden cigar box next to my bed with my passport and $100 for such occasions-always ready. I’m a runner, and nothing has made me want to run away from it all more than this gloriously hard mom life.
It is at this point in the conversation where we now pause and smile and say something like, “but the good times make it all worthwhile.” And yes, they do. My kid turned 2 last week and she just learned how to shout ‘Happy Birthday’ but it sounds like she’s saying “Hapee-durf-dae” and nothing has ever melted my heart more than hearing her voice. I wouldn’t trade this for anything.
But daydreaming about the past or future sure is nice! Daydreaming puts me in Europe at 22, riding the train all night by myself, smoking hash with a cute stranger in the doorway between cars, only to wake up in Nice, France with no agenda but to dry out from Barcelona. Daydreaming takes me back to sipping my morning coffee on a rooftop hostel in Nicaragua, contemplating the smoking volcanoes around me. Daydreaming takes me back to my freedom: my glory days, the random kisses, the nightclub dancing, and the solo backpacking adventures between jobs.
But the thing is, when I get honest with myself, I have to remember that during all of those fun moments, I was longing for my soul mate, a travel partner, and a family. I was only biding my time. I knew I wasn’t going to get married until I was in my 30’s because my dad said I couldn’t date until I was 30. (Fun fact: I got engaged one day before I turned 30). My plan was always to have as much fun as humanly possible because I knew one day, I’d be stuck on the couch breastfeeding a little monster, and I’d have to rely upon my daydreams for reassurance. I had a damn good time in my twenties!
Every couple of months I have an explosion that starts deep inside my brain and it turns my day into an avalanche of shit and discord. As far as I can surmise, I get so run down and depleted that I simply cannot function. I mom like a zombie, I hate my husband, I zone out, I cry. I have mascara stained eye-marks on my sheets that I have to look at every day when I make the bed. They’re all like, “hey, remember me? I’m what happens when you lose your shit and cry yourself to sleep.” flutter flutter.
During this last “episode” of mine, I was in such hopeless despair that when my husband texted me from Orlando, my reply was something like this: “I’m over here plotting a divorce and you’re so fucking happy, blah blah, that you can’t even notice how miserable I am.”
The “D” word
Yep. I said the ‘D’ word. And guess what? My fantasy looked like this: I was in India with my faded blue backpack wandering around solo in baggy plum-colored pants drinking espresso, between meditations in a super spiritual ashram. I saw myself perfectly happy too. I don’t need you, I don’t want you, I’m fine, thank you very much. But then it hit me. In that revengeful daydream, I would be there all alone, longing for exactly what I already have. I wanted to walk away from the best thing that ever happened to me. I have this amazing husband who is positive and ambitious and he bends over backward for me, he lives to make me happy while all I do is bitch. My kid is the sweetest thing, who loves everyone, and has a soul that is beyond this world. In all those years of running, all I ever wanted was a family and a place to plant some flowers.
There’s also another point here too: at the time I was damn serious about plotting that divorce. This was my truth. And since we took those vows together, I figured it was just as much his problem as it was mine. After he got home from his trip we had many talks, the first one started like this: “I’m sorry I said the ‘D’ word. I know that’s hurtful and I don’t want a divorce, but that’s how bad it is for me on some days, so what are WE going to do about this?” I needed to be heard, but I wasn’t right away. It took 2 more weeks of talking to be understood. But that’s my marriage- I’m willing to talk about divorce and the ugly places my head goes. I honor my partner and marriage enough to keep fighting through the crazies. I won’t step aside, I won’t pretend everything is fine, and I can’t even keep my mouth closed. And today, I am so grateful to have this person by my side who respects me enough to have those really hard and uncomfortable talks with me. He gets to speak his truth too and fuck-that’s hard to hear. But as long as we keep fighting for our marriage, I won’t be plotting a divorce.
After my husband and I got back on the same team we got a game plan together. He tweaked his schedule so that he can be home on the weekends when daycare is closed. We added another babysitter. I practice an attitude of gratitude. I’ve decided to plan a trip once a month where I am gone for at least 24 hours. I won’t be kissing anyone on a train, but I’ll be enjoying a different kind of adult freedom. And lastly, I found additional focus and purpose outside of just being a mom and a wife. I started this blog to share my experiences with you, here, with my mom club.