During the work week, I am rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off. I'm constantly shuttling my 4-year-old to daycare, doing laundry, making dinner, and trying to be a mom. By the time Saturday evening finally hits and my son’s dad picks him up for the weekend, I am left with a choice. I have to decide between a divine evening of Netflix and chilling with myself and an evening with the man I am dating.
Because I'm a single mom, taking time for self-care, my creative work, and a healthy, thriving sex life is a constant balancing act. Unlike my married friends, having a sex life is not a guarantee. When it comes to my sex life as a single mom with a toddler, I have to shuffle around my schedule and weigh my priorities.
I am not in a place in my life where I am able to totally commit to a relationship with a single partner. Without that piece to the puzzle, I can’t rationalize having my son in my small apartment while I have a partner over. I'm worried he might get confused by the presence of another man in the house. So my sex life doesn’t begin until my son is away with his dad.
Monday through Friday, I am a buttoned-up mom who's making lunches, wiping snotty noses, and kissing boo-boos. But on the weekends after 5:00 p.m., I am a young woman with a thriving sex life.
It almost feels like I am living a double life: Monday through Friday, I am a buttoned-up mom who's making lunches, wiping snotty noses, and kissing boo-boos. But on the weekends after 5:00 p.m., I am 27 again. I am a young woman with a thriving casual sex life with a man that I am happily dating. There is no one calling me mommy or asking me to pour them a glass of milk. I'm able to be a woman, and not just a mom.
Here’s the thing, though: a lot of the time, I can't flawlessly compartmentalize my sex life and my life as a mom like that. As a single mother to a toddler, I'm usually tired as hell. When Saturday rolls around, I'm often too exhausted to focus on my sex life. Most of the time, I just want to spend my evenings alone. I don’t want to cater to anyone’s needs but my own. Parenting on my own can be unimaginably exhausting, and my sex life usually ends up taking a back seat. I am not able to proactively make sure that sex happens, because I'm simply too tired to do so.
Women desire sex just as much as men do, and single moms aren't exempt from that.
Aside from trying to figure out a schedule, I feel this lingering, irrational guilt that society doles out to single mothers with a healthy sex life. There is this notion that single mothers are not supposed to have sex, date openly, or even have interest in anything or anyone outside of their children. It’s almost as if having a sex life is a privilege set aside for moms who are married. Even then, moms are usually portrayed as sexless, or they view sex as a burden. But the truth is that women desire sex just as much as men do, and single moms aren't exempt from that.
As a single mom to a toddler, I have to be purposeful about how I integrate sex into my life. I have to find time for it, even when there seems to be barely enough time to get my thoughts together. I have to find the time to be both a woman and a mom.
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