A couple of months ago I was invited to a party. It was a local party. I was invited by a girl I’d met only twice to the birthday of a girl I’d met only once. Well, when I say girl I mean female. But girl will do.
It was Monkey’s night with his dad so I was pretty happy to just stay in to be honest. I get 24 hours off per week where the time is just mine and I’m a little bit greedy with it. What I love to do is cook something a little bit fiddly that would normally be too longwinded to make while parenting (ok so sometimes I just order in pizza), catch up on shows/blogs/emails, sleep in, walk along the beach to the coffee shop and generally just hang out on my own. For awhile there I was dating quite a bit so would do a bit of that too but really, I’m totally ok with just hanging out on my own and relaxing.
Anyway that night I was feeling kind of social and decided that I should really go to this party as it was an opportunity to meet more local folk. I have a nice little group of friends up here now but mostly they are non single mummies so weekends for them are usually family time. Even if they are socialising it’s not very exciting to socialise with the single mum as then the daddy doesn’t really have anyone to talk to. This is one of my least favourite things about the single mum gig.
So I decided to go to the party.
And I discovered that I don’t belong so much with the “not settled down” crew either.
The party was mostly single folk in their 30s and 40s. A few other girls had kids but we were definitely in the minority. Mostly it was the free from responsibility except our job crowd. I have plenty of friends in that boat but they were my friends before I became a single mum so it is easy for us to adapt to my new lifestyle as I’m still me. It’s harder when you are meeting new people.
So I’m sitting at the party getting my chit chat on and I start to notice little groups going off giggling to the bathroom. Oh yes, snorting coke I suppose. Or something of the sort.
Then I noticed a couple of the girls start to look a little wasted and I thought oh yeah, definitely something going on here.
Now let me be clear: I don’t judge people that do the party drugs thing. I have had what can only be termed as more than my fair share. Only a couple of years before meeting Monkey’s dad I was living a very work hard, play hard existence. Drugs featured heavily in my social life and not just a little bit, a lot. They were the predominant feature of my social time.
I remember thinking that all my friends with kids lived the most boring life ever. Oh how dull I thought it was. Boooooring.
So I found it quite amusing at this party when I looked at all these wasted people and thought how dull and boring it would be to still be there. Oh how things change.
Some of these chicks were in their 40s and were so wasted that I had to ask a couple of times if they were feeling ok. They were fine, just in their heads and unable to speak. So when they would reply “yeah I’m great, are you sure you don’t want some” I can truthfully say that I couldn’t have thought of anything worse.
I have always been a never say never type of person. But I honestly can’t see a future where I’m will want to get wasted to that extent again.
At the more general level I have fear about something happening to me and not being there for my kid. But at the more practical level I cannot even imagine doing something like that and then having to parent within the next 48 hours. It’s hard enough to be a parent on a bad night’s sleep, let alone a parent on no sleep and a body withdrawing from chemicals. Not to mention how it completely fucks up my brain. I am working really hard at getting my body back in balance and anxiety free. Taking drugs would only damage all that hard work.
Interestingly I did not experience anxiety until after I stopped taking drugs regularly. I was always a big fan of the racey chatty ones that would make the night pass by in an instant and I think a big part of that was shutting my brain off. So clearly there was something going on in me already but the drugs didn’t help at all.
Anyway, I digress. This isn’t meant to be a post about drugs. It’s meant to be a post about the fact that I realised that as a single parent I’m almost required to live a double life if I want to participate in both lifestyles:
One life has dating and partying and single girl activities (and they don’t have to include drugs but more often than not they seem to these days). The other has mummyville.
And I love mummyville.
So screw the partying single life. I’ll take the nights at home and the complicated dinners or the ordered in pizza with a couple of glasses of wine. And then if my mummy friends with daddies at home happen to be free then I can organise to see them. If not, I’ll just chill on my own.
Screw the double life. I’m keeping it simple.