Today was the first kid's birthday I hosted as a single mom. Events involving the kids and their friend's parents are difficult for me. My son is 7 and in first grade and just jumping in to friendships. His friend's parents are new to me. I have no perspective on how they perceive my divorce and whether my son will be left out of any activity based on that.
With 50% of marriages in the US ending in divorce I am probably overly concerned. It is still awkward. For my son's closest friends I brought their parents into the fold early. Some I told in person, some over email, and some through their nanny. I knew my son was eager to talk about it with his buddies and I felt it would be best to get everybody on the same page so they could answer questions for their kids and ultimately support mine.
I'm glad I did because shortly after we told our kids, one of his buddies told his mom at breakfast, "Did you know Jay's parents have The Force?" His mom was like, "The Force?" "Yeah, you know when the parents don't live together?" the kid explained. "Oh, you mean di-vorced."
Across Jay's close friend's parents they were 100% supportive. I could not have predicted a more gracious and kind response. I feel grateful.
The party was awkward today because not everyone knows. It turns out I am not in a gossipy community. So my ex is at the party, we appear collegial and fine, and some of the parents are gingerly talking with me about him, his business etc. It feels awkward to jump in with people I don't know very well and expose that my husband and I are mid divorce - Welcome to the party!
I opted not to update the parents that didn't know and cross my fingers that the word gets out without much effort on my part.
Other parts of hosting my kid's party were great. It felt free to be able to make all the decisions on my own and ask my ex for help with the discreet tasks I needed rather than feel like I needed to check with him on each item to get his support and buy in.
It was a first of many firsts. With each passing experience I feel a little stronger and a little more comfortable in my new place in the world. In some ways my wedding ring was a piece of body armor and without it, I feel a bit exposed.
29 days until my husband and I mediate our divorce. Seeking to emerge from this experience grounded and in a good place. Writing a long the way to stay connected to the experience and maybe share common experiences with others.