If I had a nickel for every time I said, “We don't whine in this family!” I could afford to hire a gigolo for a few hours. This guy wouldn't pole dance or get freaky on me. He'd give me a goddamn hug and cook me a reasonably nutritious meal and listen to me go on about everything on my mind. Every brainstorm I'll stream-of-conscious blab about? The best thing he's heard all week. He'd smile kindly, appreciatively at my every quip and then ask what he can do around the house to make life easier for me.
Why single moms need a gigolo
The thing is, my gigolo fund isn't quite vested, and so I need to whine a bit myself to top it off:
I've got the single mom blues in the worst way. I'm totally overwhelmed and exhausted and there is no end in sight! While most weeks my kids do stay overnight with their dad once a week, I've become jealous and resentful of “healthy” divorced families where both parties work together to support two careers and both parents do their best to be flexible and generous and make life work. I don't have that. I also don't have any financial support to run this show. I'm trying to grow my business, but that requires more child care, which would mean less time with my kids and I just can't make that jump. I'm stuck and I'm resentful. I need more time, and I need a break. But there isn't a spouse or an ex-spouse readily available to help make that happen.
I'm an overwhelmed and exhausted single mom
This weekend my SMILF BFF Morghan and I took our kids away to the Pocono Mountains for a couple of days. It was break, sure, but it was also a lot of work. More work than it was fun. I can't shake the full-body ache that comes with this stress-induced flu I've had for more than a week. I'm behind on work, my kids are now sick, it seems everything in my life is being accomplished half-assed and I'm a grump. I snapped at my kids when they don't sit up to the table when asked, and I snapped at the neighbor when she stood in my way. When we got home, the lonely cat kept curling around my legs — one more being that needs me.
Times like these I remind myself that there are plenty of happily married moms who are equally overwhelmed – their husbands often away on business or working long hours. There are other married moms, the ones with crappy husbands who don't care, or the moms who fill with rage when their spouse walks in the room — symptoms of run-of-the-mill marriages gone sour.
And now that my whine fund is full, I'm going to call that gigolo and get my giant hug. And he will take my kids for a few hours and maybe they'll do something fun and educational, but honestly, as long as they come back in one piece with their noses wiped, I'm good. And maybe during those hours I'll take a nap or work out or catch up on work. Or maybe I'll just chill out and stop feeling so goddamned sorry for myself.
Real mom's take on “Single moms need gigolos”
I LOVE your version of the gigolo! I’ll take one too, please!!!
I completely understand your feelings, as my kids’ Dad spends a couple hours 1-2 times a week (unless he’s in the middle of a new business project he can’t leave). Considering I know what that “business project” turned out to be last time… but that’s not the point…
Being a fabulous single Mom is hard work-and it’s not our only work-so how could we be anything but whiny from time to time?! I’m sorry you’re going through this whiny period, but it does make me feel better to hear that I’m not alone. We’re on Day 2 of snow day sleepovers at our house and while I did get a “Best Mom Ever”-I’m wiped out and thinking my classroom is much less exhausting;)
Thanks for always speaking honestly!
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.