Management 101

Management 101

Love is a fickle bitch. You think she’d just recognize an amazing person and then settle in for a lifetime of romantic montages. But no, apparently she has a twisted sense of humor instead.
Part of the joy? of dating the second time around is figuring out what it is I want as a grown up and recognizing what I can’t manage. Which to the casual observer might obviously be something very different than what I wanted when I was in my early 20s. For me, that has taken some trial and error to figure out. And frankly, what exactly this is seems to be something of an enigma still.
Maybe love was just simpler in the 90s, all those John Hughes films from the 80s had fueled a fairly concrete picture of who I should spend my life with–Emilio Estevez. Or some other jock with a heart of gold. Or perhaps I’m making it more difficult than it needs to be.
Somehow the part of me that longs for a slow motion run into the arms of a shirtless hero won’t reconcile with a weirdly practical sense of time management. Meaning- I’m a busy woman and I’m no longer looking to build a family with someone. I have a family, and for the most part I fear that the nuclear family ship has sailed for me. I suppose what I mean is, I’m raising my babies and I can’t seem to make room for anyone else to do that with me.
So I’m just like, regular dating, whatever that means, but on the side of being a single parent. So the scenario is like this, I’m dating, but I’ve got three roommates ages 14, 12 and 9. And they are less like roommates and more like nagging wives. ” why are you never home? “, ” why don’t you ever take me out?”, “how come you never get dressed up for me?”, ” but you get to see your friends at work all the time. “.
Never a day off–ever. I’m phenomenally lucky to be able to afford a regular babysitter/nanny/hired wife. She’s wonderful, but she can’t be a second parent no matter how great she is. She’s more like a big sister in that way. And the girls let me know it. Plus they spend a lot of time assuming I’ll never come back if I leave, so I get it. It’s complicated.
I might have mentioned that this struggle is just one in a long line of how do I participate in life as a grown up, who’s not entirely “grown-up”, be a parent and role model, and make space for me as a single lady. Imagine that the majority of your social interactions are being scrutinized by a trio of people who know you very well in one specific way, but collectively have the emotional maturity of kimmy Schmidt. Imagine your employees live with you, are dependent on you and feel very free to share with you how disappointing you are to them as a boss. By the way, you cannot fire them.
I’m not really complaining. I do love my daughters intensely and recognize that we are in this pickle vat together. We keep each other afloat. And when they are busy and happy, they don’t much mind that I work, or even go out for a drink with friends.
So it’s just part of where I am, which I never imagined I’d be. I’ve never really been great at thinking stuff through, I mean seriously, Emilio Estevez ? I was way more Anthony Michael Hall’s type anyway.


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