Photo-Illustration: James Gallagher
This week, a single mom co-parenting with her ex while navigating a promising romance with a man she met just before the pandemic hit. 34, single, Stuyvesant Town.
5:45 a.m. My infant daughter is awake, so I’m awake. I had her just before the coronavirus hit, so luckily it was a pretty “normal” delivery, aside from the fact that her father and I are no longer a couple. We broke up during my pregnancy. I made the executive decision to not bring a child into the world with two parents who could never, and would never, get along well. I knew he’d be a better co-parent than a partner, so I rolled the dice, and so far, so good. He sees her a few times a week (our routine has stayed the same with COVID) and helps financially as much as he can.
8:30 a.m. She is young enough that she still sleeps a lot and I can get work done. I’m still working, as a copywriter for a large ad agency, so although it’s not exactly easy, I get most of my work done during the day without too much stress.
1:15 p.m. Nursing my daughter and staring at my phone. A few days before we all went into isolation, I met a guy who I immediately had an incredible feeling about, Moses. We met at a work-drinks thing — he’s also in advertising, though at a different agency. My daughter was with her dad that night, so Moses and I were able to have a couple drinks together (don’t worry, I pumped and dumped) and then we went back to his place and had sex. It was my first big night out since having a baby, and also the first sex I’d had in about a year. So that was pretty intense. I’m not typically one of those girls who falls in love with someone after I have sex with them, but I almost did fall in love with him that night. It was like, one small step away from love. I think the feeling was mutual but I’ve had no time to really see him or understood what happened that night.
5:00 p.m. My brother swings by to visit with the baby. I’ve been a little less strict than other people during COVID. When you’re alone with a baby, you have needs that are different from the average family. I hate these sanctimonious moms I see on Facebook. You really shouldn’t judge other families, even if you’re doing it for “the greater good.”
8:30 p.m. My daughter is asleep and Moses texts, “Hey sexy.” I’ve been thinking about him all day, LITERALLY ALL DAY, and yet I decide to ignore the text until tomorrow. It’s always good to make a man sweat things out.
9:00 a.m. My ex comes by to pick up the baby. He lives about a mile away so he can take her back to his place while social distancing. I’m still breastfeeding, so I load him up on stored milk. I might start to wean this week; it’s enough. And I’d like to start seeing Moses more soon, without dragging my pump around.
3:30 p.m. Since I still haven’t replied to Moses’s text from last night, I double down and FaceTime him. He picks up right away, super happy to see me. It’s sweet. He’s not playing games. We stay on FaceTime for a few hours, while doing regular stuff around the house. He does not have kids, but he’s got a ton of nieces and nephews, and he doesn’t seem to have issues with my motherhood. He always asks a lot of questions about my daughter. I’m excited for them to meet at some point soon. In between doing mundane things and having comfortably boring conversations, we always talk about how great it was meeting each other. He had just ended a heavy, complicated relationship with someone who didn’t make him happy, and I can tell he’s happy to feel light and excited about a relationship again.
10:00 a.m. My ex drops our daughter off. I make us coffees. We’re almost at the point where we can talk about our new romantic interests. I allude to the crush but keep my him wondering. I don’t hate my ex, I just didn’t want to live with someone who’s a borderline sex addict, or maybe he’s just an immature guy who loves women too much — I’m not sure how to define him. He’s been a great dad to our daughter though, and at the end of the day, that makes me love him in a new way.
9:00 p.m. Moses has texted a few times during the day and finally I have time to write back. “I’m dead tired, my love, let’s talk tomorrow.” As I hit send, I wonder if using the word “love” is too much too fast. Too late now.
9:08 p.m. “Sweet dreams, Love.” He writes back. I fall asleep smiling.
5:45 a.m. There was no sleep last night. My boobs were exploding, so I was pumping a little, and breastfeeding a little, and the baby cried a lot. My best friend who has a baby warned me that the first six months mean no sleep whatsoever, so don’t expect any, and don’t be upset when you’re exhausted all the time, and that’s just how it goes. And then it’s over. So that’s sort of what I tell myself to make it less overwhelming. I’m just happy we’re all healthy. Who cares if we’re tired.
9:00 a.m. I have a Zoom with a lactation consultant to get this weaning under control. I don’t feel emotional about being done breastfeeding. It feels right to quit now.
10:00 a.m. I take the sexiest selfie possible of my huge, naked breasts to send to Moses. He knows I’m about to quit breastfeeding and that these guys might deflate. We make lots of jokes about that, which comforts me.
9:00 p.m. I was lucky to have help today from my brother and my ex, who took shifts with the baby while I finished a deadline. I’m feeling grateful for my family and smitten with Moses. I text him from bed and tell him I’m horny. He immediately writes back, “Let’s fuck.” But I’m not sure about having full FaceTime sex. It’s a little embarrassing and things are so good as is — what if this makes things awkward? I call him instead. I tell him that I’m not ready to sext. I’ve never done it and I’m scared. He’s super sweet about it all, and says it’s no big deal, and we can wait for the real thing. Again, I fall asleep with a big smile on my face. And like I do every night, I touch myself while thinking of him and his big, beautiful cock.
7:20 a.m. Something hits me as I drink my fourth cup of coffee. Maybe Moses can come over. Maybe it’s okay. He’s been isolated at his parents’ house in New Jersey. They’ve all been staying put, but I know he has siblings who come and go. It feels a little unsafe to see him, but I’m trying to think out of the box.
10:00 a.m. I text him earlier than I normally would. “Should we consider meeting up during all of this?” I feel so nervous sending this text that I actually have to run to the bathroom …
11:30 a.m. It takes him an hour and a half to write back, which makes me feel so uneasy. I assume it’s because he’s still sleeping. Eventually he writes back, “Let’s discuss.” Not the reaction I hoped for, but not so bad.
4:00 p.m. My ex comes to take our daughter. I tell him that I want to run something past him. I tell him I’ve been seeing someone and would like to maybe see him soon. My ex has been extremely responsible during the quarantine, and I feel I owe it to him to have this discussion. He says given the fact that Moses has siblings coming and going, it feels too risky. Even though my own brother comes and goes here, we know and trust my brother. We don’t know them. I know my ex is right, even if I don’t like it.
7:30 p.m. Moses calls. Before he says anything, I tell him to forget it. We can’t get together in real life just yet. I guess I”ll never know what he would have said if I didn’t say something first. We have a shorter, and slightly strained call, but I think it’s just been a weird day in general so I go to sleep without reading too much into anything.
9:00 a.m. I’m so sick of all this. I’m sick of the sirens, the masks, the sameness. I try to get energy from the love for my daughter but today is just a drag.
8:00 p.m. I barely breastfed today. So that’s good, it’s all working as planned. Still, what a weird day. I never texted Moses back today. I felt too down to be flirty.
9:00 p.m. If I go to sleep now, I know I can bank some much-needed hours of rest.
8:00 a.m. I hold my daughter while doing squats and listening to Lizzo. It’s actually kind of fun. I get a little dopamine rush.
10:00 a.m. I make a little plan to binge-watch TV while holding my daughter and exercising all day. I start with Ozark, which I’ve never tried before. Lots of squats and sit-ups. And then, I’m starving!
12:30 p.m. I order a large pizza and take a selfie of me eating a slice in my sports bra. I send it to Moses and he texts back, “You’re gorgeous! I miss you!” I think we’re back on track. Just needed a day or two to reset.
8:30 p.m. It wasn’t an easy day, but it was a fun day. I love my baby and I’m excited to someday see Moses again. If we end up together, at least we’ll have a story to tell our friends, and maybe even … our future kids. It’s fun to fantasize. It’s all we have right now.
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