A Day in the Life of a Divorced Working Mother in Harlem, NYC
Omg, I need a cigarette!
No, I do.
Me, the writer.
Not the divorced working mother who lives in Harlem I’m going to attempt to discuss.
The funny thing about it is, I don’t smoke, I’ve never been divorced, and I’m not a mother. And I have only been to Harlem once, in the late 1980s.
How the heck do I qualify to write this post?
I don’t. Not really. Hence, I feel this need to relieve the stress of what I’m about to undertake.
And hence, the cigarette.
But hey. Wait a second. I’m a writer. That’s what I do. I can imagine things I never experienced. I am also empathetic, sensitive and intuitive. I was always able to understand stuff that other people couldn’t, unless they experienced it first hand. What can I say? I’m just awesome like that. So, this should be easy to write….
A Day in the Life of a Divorced Working Mother in Harlem
My name is Svetlana. You would think I am Russian or something with a name like that but I am not. I am straight up African American, Harlem born and raised, 148th and Lenox, three generations. OK?
I’m a divorced mother of three. My ex husband was my high school sweetheart and we got married and had a couple of kids but then, the marriage didn’t work out. Why? I don’t really wanna get into too much details right now.
Imma tell you about a typical day in my life, if you are interested.
So, imma give it to you straight. So…
Most mornings, I wake up at 5:00 to sound of my next door neighbor’s alarm. OK?
Pretend to hit the snooze button and try to fall back to sleep.
Give up since the alarm won’t stop going crazy.
Out of bed at 5:15
Drink coffee while listening to the morning news on my little TV next to stove in the kitchen.
The kids (I have three, but only two belong to my ex husband) are still asleep.
Fix kids lunch after the coffee kicks in.
Feed cat. He is a fat little movva named FRIDGE. I love Fridge like he was my own kid, like I birthed him like I birthed my other three. And most days, I think he loves me back….It’s really my ex husband’s cat. We almost had a custody fight over it.
So, anyway. I gotta get ready for work, yo. I am a divorced working mother. I can’t be sitting around her all day listening to music.
Select outfit for work (I work downtown for a divorce lawyer that my mother used to babysit when he was a kid and they kept in touch all these years and when I was fresh divorced, he told my mother to send me down and he would give me a job and he did and really, it was a god send)
Anyway, after I feed the cat I wake up the kids. They are 12, 10 and 8.
Get them out the door by 7:00 to catch their school bus
Get ready for work.
Catch the train at 148th and Lennox to the office.
arrive at desk, check emails (personal and business)
respond to ex-husband’s unreasonable visitation demands. He has been threatening to take me to court (he thinks he is fresh out of Compton and he thinks he is going to control my life even though he has a new woman, who, between you and me is a ho. She is a bitch on wheels but I am not the one. But she can have him. I don’t care. All I’m saying is she betta not mess with me and my kids cause…cause if ho thinks she is gonna be hanging out with my kids? With MY kids? They both sure is crazy)
Have a meeting with boss about my extra days off I had to take when my son was sick and I didn’t have a babysitter because ma was sick. He be looking at me like if somehow, me taking a few days off to take care of my kid is the end of his law practice. I mean, yo. I am thankful for the job and everything, but yo. He be trying to stress me out but I am not the one. He’s just got the wrong negro with that shit but actually, I need my job and I am trying not to get on his last nerve so I don’t say nothing. I just don’t say nothing).
I work till seven o’clock most days and my mother babysits my kids. This is my life for you. A divorced working mother. There is nothing easy about this.
Meanwhile, the boss is planning to surprise his wife with a cruise for her birthday. I can’t tell the last time I went on holiday. I don’t get any alimony from my ex-husband. I barely get child support and he pressuring me about the kids.
I’m gonna play lotto on my lunch break today. I get a good feeling it goin to be my lucky day today. Yo. You think this is gonna be my lucky day?