When it comes to managing the duties of wifedom and motherhood, a girl will probably go to her grave a lot less exhausted than a woman who only had to basically worry about herself. I assumed that everything that a wife and mom does for the upkeep of her family is out of deep love, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a hell of a lot. And I was never one for having a lot to do. You could ask my mother that.
So, I asked myself during this time, ‘Donella, if you never marry, can you be okay with that?’ and I decided the answer was ‘Yes’. After all, I was already okay with the possibility of never becoming a mom. Motherhood isn’t for everyone, I reasoned. Not everybody has to procreate. The human race won’t slide down a slippery path to extinction just because Donella won’t have a kid. So I was good. I could become the crazy cat lady, minus the cats. Just kidding. I know it’s a terrible stereotype. But nonetheless, I got ready. Since marriage or motherhood didn’t look like it was in my future, I reasoned I might was well live my life out loud.
So, I planned to go off to China for a year and teach English. I signed up with a recruiting agency and prepared to embark on the adventure of my life. Little did I know that in merely a few short months, I would effectively end my two-year dating break by getting married!
My husband and I had known each other for years. We’d had a tumultuous on-and-off courtship—full of ups and downs–but we kept coming back to each other and this time, it just seemed like things would finally work. So, instead of going to China as a single woman on a quest for adventure, we both wound up in Japan working for a juku company where we were the only married couple on staff.
Fast forward years later, and here I was, newly separated, with a young daughter. I was the dreaded Single Mom word and to be honest, I was anxious to get my love life cracking again. I was still young enough to be considered semi-hot by a certain older segment of the population and yet I was old enough not to make stupid, young ass, twenty-something year-old mistakes. And I didn’t want to waste a lot of time getting back into the game. If I wanted to be alone, I could have just stayed in my marriage! I knew I wanted to get married again. I liked being married. I liked being a wife. I liked the idea of my mate being my next of kin, my legal family. I like belonging to a family—the in laws, the whole nine. My parents-in-law and their extended family were wonderful people who had enriched my life tremendously. On top of that, my mother-in-law was like my second mom (she and my mother even shared the same birthday!). I had been blessed with such a wonderful in-law experience and so, I was not shy about adopting a new family the second go-round—even as I knew that, naturally, it would be quite a different experience from the first.