I just started a new 30 Day Guided Journal thing, but I won't subject you all to it; instead, you can find it HERE should you be so inclined.
That said, there is always something to write about; my newest thing is this, and it isn't a new thing by any means. Call it another episode on "Kori's Soapbox of Single Parenthood," call it me just being a bitch AGAIN, call it whatever the hell comes to mind, but I am feeling just the slightest bit pissy today. And actually, I didn't earlier, because I hadn't really thought about anything one way or another. But now this whole dating thing comes to mind again, and I am just-well. I'll just start right here where my thought processes are, and see where it leads.
Why in the hell is it that I should have to question whether or not I choose to date anyone? Let's pretend that this man who asked me out is perfect in every way. Let's pretend that he isn't on the way to being a convicted felon or that he just has a few months sober. For the sake of argument, let's pretend he is Mr. Right all the way around. You know what the bitch of it is? I would still have to say no, or if I DID say yes, I would have to second guess my every decision and would still probably end up saying no. All of this fucking bullshit about how "we" are supposed to put our kids first and be very careful about who we date or about jumping into a relationship with someone....and yeah, sure, that all applies, but tell me this: why the fuck doesn't it apply to the men? Tell me this: in what instance in the last five (and oh shit, a half!) years, when have I NOT put the needs of my kids first? When have I not taken into account how every decision I made would affect them?
This is what I get so fucking sick of. In the media, we single moms are single-handedly ruining the economy by living off of welfare and working shit two-bit minimum wages jobs; we have also created a downward spiral of morals (anyone remember Dan Quayle/Murphy Brown besides me?) in America, which in turn causes more and more children to be born without any kind of a conscience. When you get a Michael Phelps, it is in spite of his mom's status as a single parent, when you have a kid from a single-parent home who gets in trouble. that is the reason. Wow-who knew how very powerful we really are? Those of you with testicles (and you, too, Sarah Palin) had just better watch the fuck out. I will note here that I DO receive help with my childcare and with medical-which is a national problem and not one that only effects single parents. However, I neither receive food stamps or cash benefits or reduced income housing or WIC-so is that welfare? I don't know, you decide. Oh, yeah-did you know that I ALSO do not receive child support? Yeah. All powerful.
So we have all of this power, yet we aren't supposed to date. We aren't supposed to "expose" our kids to "that" part of our lives, which means we either have to date secretly and lie to our kids about where we are going/who we are seeing, or we are supposed to simply not date. We have to come face to face with the statistics on a daily basis about how boys with single moms are 60% more likely to end up in prison, yet also with the fact that the majority of sexual abuse under the age of 16 is perpetrated by a step-father or boyfriend. So if we have girls, we are not supposed to date at all for fear he might hurt our daughters, and if we have sons we had just better hope they don't become a statistic. We also have to face up to the realization that men who do want to date us really don't want to date us-because at some point they might have to face the reality of helping raise someone else's kids. And God knows men don't want to do THAT; hell, most of them don't even want to help raise their own!
The thing that really pisses me off-like, so much so that I am shaking-is that these same things do not apply to men. And yes, yes, yes, I know there are good dads out there; if this makes you uncomfortable, then I am probably talking about you. I have made the choices I have made, and have owned up to them tenfold (and for the record, I am going to stop feeling guilty. TODAY.). However, I am not the one who emotionally and physically abandoned my kids. The older two? Their dad went through a long string of women, including one who would call weekly to tell me that he beat the shit out of her AGAIN. This relationship ended up with the two of them leaving town in the middle of the night without saying anything to the kids. And yeah-THAT is so much better for them, right? Or with this same one, he was supposed to pick up the kids after yet another court date and instead she said, "I don't want those fucking kids in my house," and he drove off without them, leaving Hannah at five on the sidewalk, wondering what SHE had done. Who is holding him accountable for that? Who, pray tell, will stop and think that maybe, just maybe, it isn't always our "fault" that we are single? At what point is the world at large going to stop and say hey, wait a minute; something isn't right about this?
So the world tells us that we should take care of ourselves and learn how to get along without a man, because if we date we are causing harm to our kids. The world tells us that WE are the only problem-because all of us got here by ourselves. We get told that it is okay for our exes to date and fuck whomever they want, because it doesn't have any effect on the kids; after all, we mothers play the most pivotal role in their lives, don't we? We are the nurturers and the caregivers, and now that we are single we are also the breadwinners and the medical providers and the financial directors of our children's lives.
Yeah-if we have such a huge role, then why is it that daughters have relationship issues with men their whole lives because they are looking for a father figure, and why are our sons lost without a father to guide and love them? Has any one man with the authority to change things stopped to think, for one minute, that maybe the reason we are such a fucked up nation is because men got the idea in their head that they get to have/be/do whatever they want, with no repercussions? When did we stop holding men accountable as well for the problems that beset our youth today?
Bah. I digressed; I am still holding firm to the whole I am not dating The Boy decision, because it isn't good for me, which in turn isn't good for my kids. But you know, it will be like this for the next 16-yes, guys, 16-years, because that is how long I am also supposed to put my life on hold because I fucked and got caught holding the bag. And do you know what is going to happen in the next 16 years? The same thing that has happened in the last 15. My two ex-husbands have moved on with their carefree, no responsibility lives, and Steve is well on his way to doing the same thing. I have had to watch two of the three try different women on for size, discarding them right and left with no regard for how that might affect their children. I have had to sit back and watch them get remarried, and will have to do the same with Steve at some point, but if I go out on a date with someone, the whole world will be watching me, just waiting for me to screw up.
*****I haven't felt the need for a disclaimer for awhile when posting, but this time, maybe I should include one: this is not intended to be directed at any of those whom commented on my last post. My use of "you" and "your" and "we" are all used collectively, NOT to accuse or pinpoint any one person or persons. And no, this isn't about me being some martyr about making the ultimate sacrifice for my kids, nor am I trying to hold myself up as some paragon of virtue. I am, quite simply, ranting and raving about the inequality and unjustice involved in being a single mom.*****