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Jewish Journal

Dating, Motherhood, Growing Pains & Insomnia

by Ilana Angel

July 31, 2014 | 7:09 pm

I haven’t had a good date in a long time. The truth is I haven’t had a date of any kind in a long time. I simply cannot be bothered to put myself out there. I’m not sure if it is because I am officially jaded, or just tired, but either way I am not dating. It is a shame because one must date in order to find love. Whether looking for like, love, or just sex, you still need to date. Whether you are set up by friends, dating online, or meet someone at the grocery store, it is still dating and not easy.

I was set up recently and after a couple of phone calls we made plans to meet, but I cancelled.  He seemed like a lovely guy but did not like the valley, wanted me to meet him somewhere I did not know rather than in my neighborhood where I feel comfortable, and he had a young child which limited when he could talk. It made me see I’m not interested in dating someone with young kids, who doesn't like the valley, and isn't willing to schlep to me on a first date. All important things.

I cancelled the day before yet he did not write back to acknowledge the cancellation. Even when rejecting I'm decent and have manners, but not this man. I was happy I cancelled our date. I suppose becoming jaded makes dating easier. In my jaded state I am able to listen to my intuition and walk away from people unworthy of my time. When you’re hopeful you go out with everyone thinking it could be good. When you’re jaded you may not give good people a chance.

The best way to date is by having the perfect mix of being hopeful and jaded. That's where my dating life is right now. I met a man recently who I might have a crush on. He's funny, smart, handsome, charming and sexy. He makes me laugh and I look forward to getting to know him. The jaded side of me says I need to be guarded, but the hopeful side of me thinks that anything is possible and I cannot let my jaded heart overpower my hopeful heart. It is an ongoing struggle.

I hope I stay a little jaded and therefore better able to date, but don’t want it to spill into my life as a mom. Motherhood has defined me for 18 years and while it was exhausting when my son was young, it is now more difficult. I'm struggling with how to see my child as a man and not a boy. I want to protect and guide him, but the reality is he is old enough to protect himself. He's been listening to my guidance for a log time. I have to trust he learned a few things and is okay.

I am confident I've raised a good man and he'll make good decisions. Not sure if they'll be good decisions for me or for him, but the ability to know they many not be the same is something I need to work on. I must trust he'll do the right thing and accept the right thing can be different for him than me. Even when he’s making bad choices, I know he hears my voice in his head yelling at him in the same way I heard my own mother’s voice when I was young. 

My son and me are going through growing pains. I'm pained he is growing up and he thinks I'm a pain in his ass. I'm trying to be cool but don’t think I’m doing a good job. By don’t think of course I mean I'm certain I'm failing at letting him go. I must fight the urge to call him all the time, ask him where he is, who he’s with, what he’s doing, and when he'll be home. I need to stop asking him if he wants to eat very 5 minutes and if got enough sleep. I need to stop babying him.

The good news is the's a grown up and I can stop doing his laundry and cleaning up after him. The thing is that it is my pleasure to clean his room, cook for him, and do his laundry. He has his entire life to cook, clean, and wash. He knows how to do laundry, make dinner, and clean a home, so as long as I taught him I can do it for a little longer. If I never taught him he’d be screwed, but he’s got it covered and it allows me to feel like a mommy by taking care of my boy.

I've raised a wonderful young man but I feel sad. At the same time I'm busting with pride. Between my kid growing up, having time on my hands, and crushing on a man, I am suffering from insomnia. Last night I waited up for my kid to get home and by the time he got here I was too tired to sleep and spent another two hours waiting. Not sure what exactly I was waiting for, but I sat in bed waiting. I’ve had a productive day, but fear tonight I will go back to waiting.

I’m not ready to let my baby go and the truth is it hurts my feelings he wants to be let go. The good news is he goes through waves of independence but there are still days he hangs onto home, routine, and his mom. All I can do is pray I don’t lose hope when dating, don’t lose the connection of motherhood, and have long term insomnia. My life is blessed and at the end of the day I'm aware of my blessings, feel tremendous gratitude, and am keeping the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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