Kimberly Seals Allers: Last weekend, I hid from my kids. And my wasband, actually.
It was his weekend and he keeps them until Monday morning and drops them off at school. That's the arrangement. Yes, I used to cry when I first stepped into the divorcing world of separate weekends and packing up the children. But I have grown to look forward to my time alone. And I need my time to work.
This past weekend especially. I had to keynote at a luncheon on Saturday, and on Sunday I had a big in-store appearance for the campaign for Teutonia strollers that I've been participating in. Even more stressful, I had a deadline to produce an important proposal by noon on Monday, and there was a PowerPoint and five pages of written pitching involved. PowerPoint is sooo not my thing!
After a successful appearance for Teutonia and fighting nearly two hours of traffic to get home, I finally threw on a T-shirt and sat down at my computer at around 5 PM to bang out this project. The way I figured, I could pump it out in about six or seven hours and then have enough time for a midnight glass of pinot grigio to toast the end of my childless weekend.
With so much to do, you can imagine my dismay, no, disgust, when the phone rang at around 7:00 PM, with the wasband claiming that he had "things to do" and needed to drop off the kids immediately. Seriously. I mean, don't I have things to do every day and I somehow have to get them done -- um, with the kids? This isn't the first time Mr. Man has pulled this type of stunt. He has his fill and decides the meter has run out on his weekend fathering. You'd think he and the live-in girlfriend could manage three nights. Usually, I give in and take the children, with a scornful "I won't have my children anywhere they are a bother" roll of the neck. But tonight I had too much to do. Besides, my kids are a bother to me at times too and I don't have anywhere to drop them!
So I took a lesson from my wasband's playbook and stopped answering the phone and started ignoring text messages. The kids were fine. I told him twice that I was working late, but didn't mention I was doing so from my kitchen table. Then I promptly backed my car out of the driveway, parked it around the corner, walked back to my house, and turned out any visible lights. I was not at home and I meant it. I know my wasband can do a drive-by drop-off at any notice.
And so I worked and worked until 4 AM, climbed into bed, and knocked out in just my T-shirt, and was awakened by my children beating up the doorbell. The wasband dropped them at home instead of school, although you have to pass both schools to get to my house. I jumped out of bed, braless, still in my T-shirt, threw on some (not really matching) track bottoms, and went about my day. My day of school drop-offs, work deadlines, PowerPoints gone bad, and incomplete to-do lists, then dinner, homework, and baths didn't give me one moment to come up for air. Let alone a shower and time to find a clean bra. So I sit here, still braless, exhausted, in the same T-shirt I slept in last night, bracing for tomorrow, wishing I could turn off the lights and hide out for just one more day.
|Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning business journalist and founder and editor-in-chief of MochaManual.com, a weekly online magazine for moms of color. She is the author of "The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy" and "The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit." Kimberly is a divorcing mother of two and lives on Long Island, NY.|