I haven’t worked full time in an office since my youngest daughter was born 10 years ago.
I even managed – with the support of the most amazing deputy editor, Nicole Byers – to edit Woman’s Day while working only four days a week.
I didn’t understand how lucky I was back then, when I also a husband and part-time nanny to help carry the load. I don’t have either of those luxuries now. There’s just me doing it all: work, parent, run a household, pay the bills.
The school holidays start today.
I start working full time today.
I’m a little daunted.
I’ve roped my 13-year-old nephew into helping out for a couple of days next week with their aunty hosting a sleepover in between, my ex will take the kids to his parents’ place for a stint, they’ll spend a few long stretches watching tellie … and they won’t get much quality time with their mum.
I’m a little sad about that. The days, weeks, months and years feel like they’re slipping through my fingers.
The July school holidays are just the beginning of the juggle. I’m about to spend 48 weeks a year battling with the endless demands of single working motherhood.
There’s nothing unique about my situation: thousands of Aussie women face exactly the same challenges.
Most of them do it much tougher than me.
I am awed. It’s the opposite of easy, but they just get on with it.
And so will I.
There’s a niggle of resentment that my ex is about to form a new nuclear family for himself and split his stresses and expenses by sharing the load with someone else.
How awesome would that be?
But I remind myself he’s also moving 30 minutes away from the kids’ school and social lives to do it.
That’s a whole different kettle of hell he’s boiling up.
There are no easy outcomes when a marriage fails and kids are involved.
There’s just doing your best and loving your kids as hard as you can.
Song of the day: Bangles “Manic Monday”