It’s been a year of non-dating, unless you count the encounters with GIJoe. Yes, he came back into my life and for the past 6 months has been a steady part of it. Oddly, as much as I thought I wanted a relationship, at least a traditional one, he and time have taught me that I don’t.
In the last 12 months, he has been the only man who I have kissed. And if we are completely truthful, he’s the man I constantly thought of when ‘dating’ other men. He’s the one I go back to in my head and heart.
I love him, but I love my children more. I love my independence. I don’t want him or any other man to interject himself in my life on a daily and nightly basis. I can’t balance a man and his needs – regardless of how ‘easy going’ or ‘low maintenance’ someone claims to be, that simply is not true.
Being a mom to a tween and teen is demanding. I love my children; I think they are perfect, flawed, amazing, annoying, funny, helpful, selfish, smart, lazy, sloppy and generous. In the midst of all the chaos they create, they bring me calm. The piles of laundry that they generate cause me grief and frustration, but they are constant reminders that my children live with me full time, enough to generate all that laundry. The shoes I constantly trip over, remind me my children are safe at home, with me.
I am profoundly grateful to be their mom. It is unrealistic to expect any other human being who has not contributed DNA to these two miracles to be as enamored with them as I am. Sure, there are stories everywhere about blended families that ‘work.’But this is where I am selfish – I don’t want to work to make it work. I don’t want to have any other human being judge my parenting or contribute to co-parenting my offspring. I am sure there are hours of therapy in my children’s future and I don’t want to add to the billable hours by having them tell tales of mom’s boyfriend scolding them or have them feel like they are the reason that mom and boyfriend fight.
Now I am at peace with this ‘relationship’ thing. I have discovered that i am enough. I make enough money. I have an amazing home. I have the ability to take vacations and pursue my interests. I have friends. The part of my life that is the most important now is being physically and emotionally available for my children. GIJoe respects my boundaries because he has even stricter ones. He keeps me at a distance, as he too has his own life to manage. So now we are each alone, but alone together. For now, this is exactly what I need. Independent but involved.