Being the primary custodial parent of twin boys and owning a business when Roe v. Wade was overturned means I had no time to process it. I read the headline and then entered a telehealth session with a client. I went about my day.
I realized that night I was being somewhat irritable with the boys. I did some self introspection and noted that 1. I had been with them for 13 days straight with no reprieve due to my ex being sick. 2. My normal reprieve is only less than 48 hours a week. 3. I was actually really upset about Roe v. Wade and was unable to verbalize that to any one. Because, well, 6 year olds don’t really care, and being the single parent means very little time having actual adult conversations outside of work.
I eventually waved them off with my illness free ex – where they were going for a pre-planned five nights and six days. This is the longest I’ve not had them since…well since probably ever. It feels amazing. They are coming home tomorrow night and I feel like I have not had enough time.
Then I was thinking that parents who split custody get 5 nights every other week free. I don’t know how I feel about that. I feel like 5 nights once a month or once every other month would be sufficient for me. Because I have had some epic nights. I folded laundry. I went out two nights with friends, came home by 9 pm. I hung out with my dog until after 9 pm outside by the pool.
I was driving home from a dinner date and some one I know called me because they needed help administering their first insulin dose to themself. I stopped over and helped. Because I had nowhere to be. It was this amazing feeling of freedom that I do not remember feeling for so long. I tried not to go down the rabbit hole of resentment knowing my ex has this every week. And for the most part I succeeded.
I didn’t have karate and all the laundry to do. I didn’t have lunches, dinners, breakfasts, snacks, fights, mess, and the general chaos of twin life. I am pretty sure if I had not had them for 15 days straight leading up to these five nights I would miss them much more than I do. But I needed the break.
I read every news article I could find about the overturn of Roe. I sat in those feelings of anger, fear, grief, and pain. I donated to Planned Parenthood. I enrolled to become a crisis line worker volunteer for an abortion hotline.
I worked. I did paperwork. I worked out on the treadmill. I swam whenever I felt like it. And I didn’t feel the overwhelming, constant, all engulfing, stress of single parenting. I sat by the pool and read. I actually read a book without staying up all night or sacrificing any of my sleep time to do so.
I love my sons. And I do not regret getting a divorce or being the primary caretaker. I am allowed to feel overwhelmed, scared, sad, and unable to engage in anything else but surviving as a Mom.
I’ve seen judgement in other people’s responses to me since becoming a single parent- when I decline invites or cancel plans- and I’ve had to cut people out who are not a part of my day to day. Not intentionally; it just happens naturally because I’m consumed with making it through each day.
To have five nights and remember that I am this person with thoughts and feelings outside of survival mode has been relieving, bittersweet, and illuminating.
There is a part of me that is so angered by all the states who voted for Trump that I think they are getting what they deserve, what they wanted- mostly all the states that voted for Trump have abortion bans. There is a small bitter part of me saying isn’t this what you wanted? Isn’t this what you asked for when you voted him in?
There is another small part of me that is deeply enraged with the Democratic party. Because seriously. Fuck you. You didn’t think Brett Kavanaugh was lying? He lied about being a rapist…I’m unclear why he wouldn’t lie about literally everything else. Where is their outrage? Where is their plan? And how the hell do they not have a plan when this was clearly coming?
The Biden administration is possibly the biggest disappointment of my life. At least I expected Trump to suck- and he sucked for me personally- but he did manage to get a lot done for the Republican party. Unlike his successor.
The pool, the book, and the dog have been great. My 5 nights free of parenthood have been epic. Freedom tastes good. Which is funny because it’s during a time that my freedom as a woman and a Queer person feels like it is slipping away.