This Is What It's Really Like To Be A Divorced Working Mom

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This Is What It’s Really Like To Be A Divorced Working Mom

KATIE BINGHAM-SMITH

I’m a divorced mom of three kids who works full time from home. I’m very lucky to have reached a point in my life where I’m happy, fulfilled and independent. I’ve worked my ass off to get to this place of contentment, but that doesn’t mean my head is all in. I have so many irons in the fire, I never know what to tackle first — truth be told, I usually wait until something is about to blow up, then I decide that must be the most important thing that needs my attention.

That’s the only way I can operate, and I’ve made peace with it.

Working, being a mom, having a social life, and dating is a recipe for coming across like a scatter-brained mess, but I don’t care because I literally don’t have time — I’m too busy living my life.

When you’re the head of your household, you find a way to do it all. It’s not about cutting corners, it’s about survival. There have been days we’ve run out of toilet paper because I spaced out when I was at the grocery store two hours earlier. I had been thinking about how I need to get the car serviced, the dog to the vet, and pick out avocados that can actually be eaten with our tacos that evening. When my kids complained about the lack of toilet paper, I simply handed them a napkin to wipe their bum and reminded myself that I am still amazing, because just look at these damn tasty tacos.

I once fell asleep with my Tinder profile open and my youngest child got a hold of it and proceeded to “super swipe” a few gentlemen. Just in case you aren’t familiar with the term, “super swipe” means you really, really like someone. It makes you look creepy and desperate and no one does it. Except for me, apparently.

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But really, can you back track and say your kid got a hold of your phone while you were sawing wood on a random Wednesday night and you didn’t even care they were perusing your profile because they were quiet and you got to take a nap? Maybe you can, but I didn’t bother because I gave zero fucks. I got my nap, he got a super swipe, and everyone is feeling fantastic about themselves.

This wasn’t a low point or an uber-embarrassing moment either; this is just my life. When you’re a divorced mom who would like to earn steady income and engage in sexual intercourse now and then, it comes at a price. The expense is worth it though, because you are living the life you want and deserve.

Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s confusing. Yes, there are days when you think you can only work and be a mom and you should shut down your entire social life and self-care routine so you can keep things straight for a day or two.

But then you realize that’s the worst idea ever; you are worthy, and your kids need to see you are more than a working mom — they need to see you happy. You know you cannot live on work and mothering alone even if it sounds like a legit plan because it would eliminate some things, like having to shave your legs and buy new undies.

I’m willing to pay the price to be fulfilled; take my money. I’ve mastered throwing my perfectionism out the window. There’s no control or order most of the time. Such was the case when my child asked if he could make a salad while I was pounding away on my laptop trying to meet a deadline. He was right under my nose and I didn’t even notice he was actually making a “chocolate salad” as he proceeded to chop up various candy bars I had purchased for s’mores because I had visions of creating an epic, magical evening with my children. Whatever. He got his chocolate fix; I got my work done. It’s fine, it’ll be fine, we are fine.

There’s a lot divorced, working moms don’t catch, or see, or care about any longer.

I try to give work my all. I try to give mothering my all. I try to give my relationships my all. And I often fail and I’m totally okay with that. I’d rather be busy as fuck and let my child sneak chocolate than be on top of everything and miserable because I’ve left zero time for face masks, lunches with my friends, and date nights with my boyfriend.

I might call my kids by the wrong names every day, forget to buy toilet paper, and curse like a motherfucker because I can’t keep it all straight, but dammit, I’m having fun.