The only thing I miss about being married

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

I'm happily and amicably divorced. It was the right decision for my family, and I don't regret it for a moment.

My ex-husband and I share custody of our children 50-50, and I think we're both good and engaged parents. Our children have adjusted well to living in two separate homes. It's been nearly two years now, and although they sometimes ask why we can't all live together, I think they're better off this way. We all are. 

But there's one thing I miss about being married (well, two, if you count having someone to open salsa jars): I no longer have someone to share the minutiae of my children's lives with.

When my ex-husband and I lived together – especially when our children were small and I spent a lot of time at home with them – he would come home at the end of the day and we'd talk about everything the children got up to that day. He loved our children as much as I did, so his eyes didn't glaze over when I told him how many nappies one went through, or the enormous vomit one did after eating too many lollies.

Now, at the end of the day, it's just me. I don't have anyone to share those stories with. My mother and my best friend both say I can tell them my stories, but I know it's not the same. They're saying that to be nice, which is lovely, but they're not actually desperate to know who ate what from their lunchbox today.

It's not the big things that are a problem. When my six-year-old wrote her first full sentence, and when my eight-year-old was invited by his ju jitsu teacher to grade for his green belt, and when my 14-year-old stood up and sang a song in front of her school – those were all things I could call family and friends and talk about. I could share proud mum posts on social media and feel the glow of shared celebration.

It's the smaller daily moments that make me feel the loneliest. When my six-year-old agreed to try broccoli after refusing to eat it her whole life, who could I tell? (For the record, she still hates it.) When my eight-year-old, who usually tries to pretend he doesn't have a mother when I drop him off at school gave me an unsolicited hug at the school gate, who could I tell? When my 14-year-old finally nailed her algebra homework after weeks of struggling with it, who could I tell?

It's those little moments of parenting that make my relationship with my children special, but it's also those little moments that aren't really of interest to anyone else except their other parent. And although my ex-husband and I are on polite terms, but we certainly aren't in a place where we can call each other and gush over the beautiful moments we shared with our children today.

So I don't share those moments with anyone, and it feels like so many of them are now lost forever. I try hard to hold onto them all, storing them away in my memory to keep them safe, but I can't possibly retain it all. So I forget them and they're no longer real. It's like they never happened.  

It's that feeling of no longer being able to share those moments that gives me a sense of loss, like I'm not taking care of my children's memories well enough. I guess I could write them all down, but I'm a single mum of three kids – when do I have time to do that?

Now I try to be present as much as I can – to soak up each moment and enjoy it as it happens with my children. I may not have their father around to share special moments with, but I have my children and that's the most important thing.