My best friend is a wife and a mother of three beautiful children. She lives in a giant, beautiful, old home in the historic district of Oak Park. They have a full-time nanny, a backyard, and loads of friends who also have nannies and backyards.
I love her children as if they were my niece and nephews. We play trains together, put together puzzles, and read books. We discuss their school days and I show them on the map where I’m traveling next.
While being auntie is great and I enjoy being able to “give them back” when they’re crying, snotting, or have a dirty nappy, I want more than just being AA (their nickname for Aunt Ashley). I, too, want to be a wife, mother, and owner of a home with a backyard. And while I love being an auntie who can do whatever I want when I want, including multiple vacations a year, date nights by myself to the movies, and trying out new dance classes that start at obscenely late hours (8:30?!), I fear this isn’t going to be enough for the rest of my life.
None of this probably surprises you, my loyal followers, and it certainly didn’t surprise me last week as a small trickle of jealousy streamed through me during mine and my bestie’s new monthly sleepover tradition. How, then, do I make these things happen within my own life? That instead of being a loving (slightly envious) aunt, I become a happy mom? Despite several years worth of blog posts and therapy sessions, I still don’t have an answer.
As you may know, I have tried every dating app/site under the sun (yes, like every single one) to no avail. I’ve met boys on the street and in bars (which this trick is slowly fading because, wtf dudes, why can’t you approach a pretty girl anymore?!). And when I meet these guys in real life they’re not ready for something real. So maybe my question isn’t as simple as how do I meet someone (anyone?!), it’s how do I meet guys that are true, genuine, down-to-earth, available, and ready to settle down, like, yesterday?
Is the answer to invent a brand new dating app called I’M READY (like, yesterday) where only guys and gals who are serious about settling down can join? I know that this doesn’t account for chemistry at all, but at least the people who’d be meeting know that they are ready for weddings, babies, and houses in the suburbs. (And if you are about to say what about Match and eHarmony?, you are sadly mistaken. These sites, too, are filled with “I’m not ready to be committed to one person” dudes who choose to pay for a site instead of swiping for free).
My therapist would probably tell me the answer is to continue focusing on me. Making sure that I am accepting of myself first – reminding myself on the regular that I am great and my life is great (which it is, I know, y’all, it really is). And most of you reading this are probably saying, “I know you’ll meet the right guy!” or “It’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen!” or “Stop thinking about it so damn much. Seriously shut up!” Okay, well hopefully you aren’t saying the latter, but maybe you are because seriously, I should just shut up and let life happen. I don’t cut myself off from society (I’m writing this right now in a hip adorable little coffee shop in Logan Square!!!) and I continue to do a whole bunch of stuff that make me super happy and close to full. I’m defo not giving up quite yet.
So if you’ll excuse me for a minute…BUT WHY NOT ME?!?! Cry, sob, wipe away tears.
I’m gonna be fine. I’ll find that man when the time is right for both of us. I’ll get my babies and my house and my nanny when the time is right. Yup, I’ll just keep repeating this everyday, all day, until I do meet that man who makes all my dreams come true. Or, I decide to adopt babies by myself (insert absolutely no sarcasm here).