Tag Archives: child

It Took A Pandemic To Co-Parent

It took a pandemic to get us to co-parent…Co-parenting during COVID… I have wrote before about how co-parenting is not for everyone.  My ex and I have not co-parented very well over the last 5 years. In the past, we have had minimal communication.  I have spent years developing boundaries and sticking to them.  I have limited the form of communication to mostly email and not engaging in additional texts on parenting.  As long as I kept it to those guidelines, things would stay civil with us.   

Then COVID started and everything had to change.  There is no way we would have survived parenting, teaching our kids, and working from home with how we had co-parented in the past.  We had to start communicating more effectively and become more flexible with our schedules.   

My ex had a very strict schedule with the kids at his house.  I had always been the more flexible parent and had adapted to my kids lifestyles.  My ex had a completely different parenting style than myself.  However, he learned that he would have to loosen the reigns a little to be able to survive having 3 kids at home everyday.  In addition, trying to work from home and following up on their school work.  He had to learn to give my kids some independence and trust them.  And in return over the last few months, my kids have enjoyed being there a lot more.  

We now had to communicate daily about the kid’s schoolwork.  We also had to schedule google meets between houses and teachers.  In addition, we had to be more flexible with our time with the kids.  We basically had to work together so that we were both able to work from home and divide up our kid time.  We had to learn to help each other out, which is something we had not done in years.  We had to be flexible on drop off and pick up times, along with additional time with the kids.  If one of us had more work commitments on a certain day, the other would take the kids longer.  

We also had to trust each other because neither one of us knew what would happen in the next few months.  We had to trust that what each other said or did would be followed through.  We had to trust that schoolwork and similar routines were followed at each house.   This was hard because I had not really trusted him in years and it made me nervous that it would backfire. 

I think one of the things that turned it around was that my son had to celebrate his 1st communion virtually this year due to COVID.  We all got together and my house and watched the 1st communion service virtually on the TV.    Watching it virtually was hard to get used too, but then we all had to sit together in my living room for over an hour.  I had no idea what we would even talk about.  This is the 1st time in 4 years that my ex has came past the front door and now he sat with all of us and we celebrated my son’s 1st communion.  A couple days after that, my daughter said, “ you and dad actually seem like you are friends”.  That was crazy to hear from my daughter, because over the last 5 years we had such limited communication. 

This was completely different from the past.  It was hard to get used to our new relationship.  I had always wanted this type of co-parenting, but it had never happened.   There had always been so much anger and conflict from him over the last five years.  It was hard to trust that he was beginning to be flexible and even supportive of my parenting.  

There was no more questioning on my decisions.  In addition, he was letting the kids make some of their own decisions at his house.  Having the kids notice the difference in our relationship was probably the greatest outcome from COVID.    

I can only hope that six months or a year from our now, we are still communicating and showing each other more respect.  Maybe it’s covid or the amount of time that has passed since our divorce, but I had always wanted my kids to see that we can still be great parents even though we are not together.  I hope that we are finally on the right track…


-snarky

 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

From Married Boy Mom to Single Boy Mom

Being a boy mom is both amazing and gross.  The love between a mother and a son is indescribable, but so are the smells.

The moment I saw those two pink lines on that little white stick, I knew I was having a boy.  I wasn’t shocked one bit when the ultrasound technician confirmed that three months later.  What I didn’t know was that 9 years after his birth I would go from a married boy mom to a single boy mom.

I grew up as a total girly-girl.  Bugs, dirt, and fart jokes just weren’t my thing.  That was something that I left up to his dad.  I quickly realized as the divorce proceedings began that I was going to be doing most of the parenting on my own, and that meant I had to become comfortable with all things boy so that my son was comfortable with all things boy.

These are a few things I’ve learned during my transition from a married boy mom to a single boy mom.

Expecting him to be the “man of the house” wasn’t fair.

At first, I tried making the transition fun by telling my son he was going to be the “man of the house” now.  I thought it would make him feel special and give him something to look forward to, but instead, it made him feel like he had to grow up too fast.

I had to realize that expecting him to fill the opening left by his 41-year-old father wasn’t just unrealistic, it wasn’t fair.  Just because his father and I are divorced doesn’t mean he doesn’t still get to be a kid and do kid things.  Sure, he needs to chip in a little more around the house, but he shouldn’t feel the need to be the protector or the provider.  That’s my job now.

A positive male role model was incredibly important for him.

After my divorce, I was kind of anti-male.  I wanted to prove that I was an independent woman and that I could do this whole life thing- including parenting- on my own.  While I’m certainly capable, I understood that my son still craved positive attention from male role models and that I needed to support that.

That didn’t mean I had to go out and find him a step-father.  I didn’t have to look far to find many positive male role models for him.  My father, brother-in-law, nephews, friends, and even my son’s teachers stepped up to the plate.  Although it was difficult to admit, there are some things as a female that I just don’t get.  The “guy stuff” was still important for my son to learn and I needed to respect that.

 ​He needed to see my ups and downs, but not be burdened by them.

This whole single-mom thing isn’t easy.  Life is busy enough, but taking on the work of two people can feel overwhelming at times.  At first, I tried to act like everything was totally fine in front of my son because I didn’t want to feel weak or for him to worry.

I realized that I wasn’t doing either of us any favors by hiding my feelings and that this, in fact, could be a great learning experience for him.  I started talking about age-appropriate things with him and made it clear that he could ask questions if he wanted to, and I saw the anxiety melt away from him.  This whole time I was trying to hide things so he wouldn’t worry, but it was just causing him to wonder and worry even more.

Seeing his mom go through struggles, but to push through them and become stronger because of them is only going to make him more humble, determined, and able as he grows up.

 ​Being “one of the guys” is actually pretty cool.

Before my divorce, I was kind of left out of the “guy stuff”.  I didn’t really know what I was missing.  Cars, video games, football, hockey, fishing, and yes, even fart jokes, aren’t so bad after all.

I’m still not a fan of bugs, but that’s what exterminators are for.  Watching this boy grow into a man is pretty amazing.  Seeing the wheels turn as he watches YouTube videos about how to fix things or listen to him talking about how when he grows up, he’s going to buy a McLaren P1, is incredibly special.

I would have missed all these moments if I were still a married boy mom.  I’m learning that this whole single boy mom thing is just as wonderful, if not more.  I still get to be a girly-girl, but I have a tough side now that makes me feel like a warrior.  Soft, strong, and one proud boy mom.

-Lindsay, The Divorced Mama Bear

instagram.com/thedivorcedmamabear

Learn By Watching Our Kids

Sometimes we learn the most by watching our kids.. in the craziness of this pandemic, I have 3 kids that are just living life as kids.  

The amount of schoolwork that I should be doing with my 3 kids is overwhelming.  I get daily emails from all their teachers along with all their  special assignments.  I’m addition, I’m working from home. There is no way I could keep up with all that is sent home.  My situation is like millions of others.. 

I know I wrote before about how I tried to do it all in the beginning couple weeks of distance learning… completely unrealistic for anyone that’s trying to have 3 kids at home and work full time.  So then we figured out a plan and we started just doing what was required. And this works for us.  And instead my kids just spend time being kids.  The activities that my kids are creating on their own is definitely rewarding for them.

 I do not organize a lot of “ organized “ fun. I don’t make them play games or have something planned every minute of the day. We don’t do a million pinterest crafts that I would ended up being more frustrated with than when I started.  I don’t make them play math games with their vegetables and fruits.  All of those things are great, but they always add extra stress that I can handle right now.  And I have learned the spontaneous activities usually turn out to be the best for us. 

Instead they figure out of their own what they spend their day doing.. some days they might hang out in their rooms more and other days they are making homemade chocolate cake at 9 am.  My daughter’s have found crafts and painting supplies and ordered them off amazon by themselves.  

So I think what I have realized is how independent my kids are these days… They do their schoolwork and chores and then the rest of the day is their’s to do what they want.  They make their own lunch most days. Even my 9 year old has learned to make his own ramen noodles. 

I walked outside last week and each kid was doing their own thing activity.   Amber ( my oldest) was bleaching designs on her sweatpants, Claire ( my

Middle) was making a wooden hamster cage, and nolan ( my youngest) was sanding sticks with the electric sander.  Each kid was just happy doing what they wanted.  

Even though we are all together all the time… 24 hours a day.. We really don’t spend that much time together.  We come together for a dinner, a movie night, a game through the week.. but otherwise I let my kids use their own creativity and make a lot of their own decisions.  

I’ve noticed so much the last few weeks that I haven’t seen in such a long time.  They are finding new things to do and they are actually hanging out together.  It’s almost strange at times.  They haven’t complained about not going places or running constantly.  They haven’t even asked to go to target, probably knowing the answer would be no right now.  

I know this time has been really hard on me. I miss my friends and my co workers.  I’m trying to navigate each day the best that I can.  But then I see how my kids are coping and they seem happy and content.  With all the craziness in the world right now, these kids are just enjoying being kids.  

-snarky 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

My Journey Through Infertility

My journey through infertility…

There’s a 7-and-a-half-year age difference between my oldest and middle child.  People often make comments about it such as, “did you mean to space them out so far apart?”  or, “well at least you have a good helper” and my personal favorite, “oh wow, I don’t think I could have started all the way over!”  What these people don’t know is that my children’s difference in age was not by choice.  When my oldest son was 3, my husband and I began trying to have another baby.

I became pregnant with my first child just before our 1-year anniversary so naturally we assumed that getting pregnant again would be easy.   Ever since I can remember, I’d always had problems with my menstrual cycles being abnormal.  I’d had cyst on my ovaries and been placed on birth control as a young teen to try to regulate my cycle and prevent the cyst from growing.  I stopped my birth control after being advised by my physician that it would take at least a year for me to get pregnant based on my history.

Well 5 weeks later, I was pregnant.  So you can see how I just figured that this next go round would be the same way.  Wrong!  I was so unprepared for the emotional roller coaster that came with my failed attempts.  And that’s exactly how I looked at it, MY failure.  I mean I’m a woman.  This is what my body is supposed to do.  Besides, I’d already done it once before.  What was wrong with me?  Of course my cycle became irregular again which made the process even more emotionally draining.  I’d go as far as being 4 days late and get super excited just to be let down by numerous negative pregnancy test.

Month after month I’d beat myself up about not getting pregnant.  I was depressed, and so angry at myself.  Others’ opinions didn’t seem to help either.  People would say things like don’t you want your son to have a brother or a sister?  You aren’t getting any younger, you’d better hurry up if you want another one.  Sometimes I’d just want to scream at them in anger of their ignorance of my suffering.  Other times I’d find myself going into the nearest bathroom to cry.  I felt alone and broken.

My husband was hurting too.  He wanted another child just as much as I did.  And my son was too young to understand.  All of his friends had siblings and he wanted one too.  He often complained of being lonely and not having his own brother or sister to play with.

Everyday I got up in the morning and went to work with a smile on my face but all the while I was dying on the inside from the heartache of my infertility.  After years of money wasted on ovulation and pregnancy tests, my OBGYN suggested taking medication which would force consistent ovulation. He said he almost always saw pregnancies within a few months of use.  I began the medication and was super hopeful.  I began having stomach issues which resulted in weight loss.  While I am always happy to lose weight, I still was not pregnant.

After months of the medication with no success, he suggested a slightly invasive procedure that should also aide in fertility.  I was really apprehensive about surgery.  Outside of having my wisdom teeth pulled, I had never had anything done before.  What if it didn’t work?  What if they messed something up and made my problem worse?

I discussed it with my husband, and we prayed about it.  Neither one of us felt comfortable with this option.  But after serious prayer, I had such a peace about the entire situation that I can’t explain.  I kept hearing in my spirit that I would have another baby at the right time and when I did, it would not be because of anything that another man did but because of what God did through me.  And I believed it!  So much so that I went back to my OBGYN and told him that the next time he saw me I would certainly be pregnant but not because of anything he had done.  He just smiled and said he would believe with me but in the meantime I should strongly reconsider the option of surgery.  My mind was made up and so was my heart.

Several months later on Valentine’s Day of the following year to be exact, my husband and I were sitting in church.  They were having an alter call for people to come up if they wanted prayer.  We’d never talked about going for prayer before about having a baby.  It was embarrassing and also we didn’t want people to think we were having marital issues if we walked up to the front of the church together for prayer.  That day something changed.  We looked at each other and didn’t care what anyone else thought.  He grabbed my hand and up we went.  We told the man who was to pray with us that we’d been trying to get pregnant for 4 years with no luck.  He prayed over us and then told us to find a few scriptures regarding fertility and place them in the room where we spent the most time.  I put them on sticky notes in our bathroom and bedroom and would try to keep them in mind throughout the day.  Again, this was Valentine’s Day 2016.

On March 4, 2016 I woke up to get ready for work like any other day.  My husband was fumbling around in the bathroom and asked if I ever got my cycle?  I hadn’t realized that I was 5 days late seeing as how my cycle tended to be irregular anyway.  We agreed that I should take a test that I’d had in the drawer just to check.  Neither one of us were necessarily expecting anything.  We weren’t anxious this time either though.  We both had such a peace that no matter what the results were, we’d be ok.  I took the test and continued to get ready for work.  A few minutes later we both happened to glance at the test sitting on the bathroom counter.

It was positive!

Two rose colored lines were present.  We both cried and thanked God.  That November I gave birth to our second son.

While I know this isn’t every women’s story, it is mine and it matters.  It’s one of trial and faith.  It’s one of perseverance and self-criticism.   It’s one of hopelessness and healing.  I learned so much about myself, my marriage and God’s love throughout those 4 years.  I now understand that whether I have a baby or not, I am still complete and whole.  I know that my husband loves me no matter how many children we do or don’t have.  And I know that God is faithful beyond comprehension and will give you peace in the midst of your situation.  As previously stated, I know this won’t be everyone’s story and some won’t necessarily have the endings that they’d hoped and prayed for. However, I hope that this does leave someone out there knowing that you are not alone, you are not damaged goods or incomplete as a woman, and most importantly, you are loved.

 

~1spentmom~

Not A Perfect Mom, But I am Always There

I’m not a perfect mom by any means. I’m not the mom who will always hug and kiss my daughters. I’m not the mom who is going to sing them a lullaby to fall asleep or bake cookies with them on the weekends. I’m not the mom who cuddles them every time they fall down or rushes them to the doctor whenever they’re sick.

However, I am the mom who will ALWAYS have my daughters backs no matter what. I’m the mom who will hold my girls accountable when they do wrong but let them know it’s okay to make mistakes. I’m the mom who tells them to dust it off when they fall but will give them a hug and make sure they aren’t hurt. My daughters will know that no matter how old they are or how far away they may be, their momma loves them and will be there for them. I’m going to raise them to stand up for themselves, but I will be there to defend them whenever they need it. I may yell at them, be sarcastic with them, and cuss in front of them, but if there is anything I’m sure of, it’s that my daughters will always know I’m standing right beside them cheering them on.

You don’t have to be a perfect mom in order to be a loving one. We must teach our children that this world is not a fairytale while at the same time guiding them to be caring and softhearted towards others. Our children don’t need a mom who has it together 24/7; they need to know that it’s ok to fall apart as long as they get back up and finish what they started. I want my daughters to rise above anything I could have dreamed for myself, and to know it’s okay to scrape their knees along the way because they will always have me to give them a band-aid when they need it.

-Brooke Shea

Dealing With Back Talk Moments

Did you know that when your child rolls their eyes…it is considered back talk?  When they grunt or groan or cross their arms in thin air… it is considered back talk?

And how you respond will make all the difference in the world.  Friendly Reminder: you are the parent & it cannot  matter if they like you or not.  You are here to raise them up to be responsible adults, so they can leave home, make something of themselves and understand the rules, rewards & consequences of life.

This starts at home… and since you’re a single mom…. you may ALWAYS be the bad guy.  And that HAS to be okay with you.  In your response to their backtalk, without screaming and yelling, choose your words wisely and watch what you say.

I remember one time I told my son if his bad behavior continued, we would not be going to “Mommy & Me”.  He continued acting up, so we didn’t go.  I was looking forward to seeing my mom-friends., so I was also punished by his consequences  The next time he acted up before Mommy & Me, I said it like this…. “You will not go to Mommy & Me but instead stay home with a sitter, as I am going without you”.  Oh…. he changed his tune right away on that day.

Another time he would act up is at the grocery store.  If it was a day that he asked me to buy something for him & I didn’t, he might act up.  Some days he would accept my “NO” & others I’d get backtalk. So I planned a mock visit to the grocery.  We’re shopping, he asks for something, I say NO, he acts up, I tell him if he doesn’t stop, we’re leaving & he’s going in time out.  He doesn’t stop.  YUP….We leave.  That was the last time he did that.

Girls… I’m telling you this so you can be two steps ahead of your kids and their backtalk.  Speak to them with a firm solid voice that means what you say AND stand strong to follow-through.  The message you send when you don’t follow-through will send mixed signals and they won’t trust what comes out of your mouth.  Not Even I LOVE YOU.

xoxo

Your God-girl,

Tracy

She Does Know

She does know…

The last couple blogs I have been zooming in on how there have been moments lately which have caught me off guard, in honestly the most beautiful way.

I am trying really hard to relish these moments because they are precious. They are rare, but they are there.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I pick up my daughter from her Dad’s. On the drive I have a group of friends who I call. The calls are short but they are important and it is sometimes it’s  the only time I can talk to some of my friends.

I call the people in this group my Tuesday/Thursday night phone call club.

One of the members changed it up and called me on a Friday night. Said friend I have known for almost two plus decades and lives on the other side of the country. So even though my daughter was about to get in the car I kept talking and just let her know who was on the phone.

They bantered back and forth then I let my friend know we needed to wrap it up. I wanted to chat a bit with G about her day.

My friend says… “G do me a favor take care of your Mom. I am far away so I can’t and she means a lot to me and a lot of people ok?”

My sweet daughter grabs my hand and says the following and please know I’m paraphrasing, lol.

“I will. I love my Mom. I know she gave up a lot for me and I will fight for her because I love her.”

Here’s the thing. I know my daughter loves me. What I didn’t know is that she believes I have given things up for her. I didn’t know she realized this. I will be honest it’s a few days later and I’m still surprised.

Why is this important?

Mommas- they see us. They know.  They know. How often have you felt deflated or defeated because you felt like they didn’t.

Well.. guess what they do. They really, truly, do.

You’re doing amazing Mommas.

 

<3 Caprise

So It Begins

And so it begins…Earlier this week as I was getting ready for work my daughter noticed the sweatshirt I was wearing and announced she wanted it.

Luckily I have more than one version of said sweatshirt and I pulled the one I wasn’t wearing from its hanger and handed it to her.

She clapped her hands put it on and was attached to it for the better part of three days until I finally snuck into her room and threw it in our hamper.

As I type this- I’m smiling. My daughter is twelve and she has hit that stage where she asks if I am going to leave when I am in her room too long.

So her wanting a piece of my clothing and wearing it consecutively for three days … it goes without saying it meant a lot to me.

Twelve has been hard.

She has started middle school- her second year actually. Conversations that I avoided in an attempt to protect her are happening, because she has friends who are vocal about their parents situations.

Thankfully we have been able to have some frank conversations without me having to paint anyone as better or worse. Because at the end of the day,at least right now all she needs to know is we just didn’t work. Sometimes opposites do not attract lol.

But getting back to this clothes borrowing thing. It is allowing me stolen moments. Shy conversations about friends, teachers and people she likes or doesn’t.

It’s interesting that bonding over a sweatshirt is helping us bond. Maybe it’s not the sweatshirt, maybe it’s me. I am petrified as we continue our journey closer to the numbers ending in teen we could have a strained relationship. The cliches exist for a reason. G also carries the added weight of trying to manage two households. She shouldn’t have to but it’s our reality.

What I do know is if letting her borrow my clothes means she shares more moments and snippets of her life with me. Well, aside from maybe one or two pair of boots she can raid my closet anytime.

Sending you lots of love Mommas.

<3 Caprise

Who We Are And How We Got Here

This is who we are and this is how we got here..

My eldest son, James will be 19 in December. He is on the Autism spectrum (High Functioning). When we had James diagnosed at the University of Washington Autism Center almost 9 years ago one of the things the neuropsychologist told my partner and I was the best thing we could have done for James leading up to his late diagnosis was to treat him “normally”. What this meant is that James had chores and household responsibilities appropriate for his age and was held responsible when his behavior needed correcting even when we knew something was different about the way James was seeing the world and digesting experiences.

I went home after that visit and cried for two days. I couldn’t even look at my son square in the eyes. See what the doctor at the UW thought was great about how we had parented James up to the point of diagnosis, was exactly what had me riddled with guilt. Guilt for every nag and fuss and sarcastic response or impatient look or tuned out tangent. I felt embarrassed for every time I pushed him to be involved in an organized sport or sit through a loud movie or make eye contact with a stranger. And the more I read up on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) the worse I felt.

And then one day I got over it. I think it was during a conversation with my sister where she pointed out that I hadn’t been even close to being abusive or bad to James. I had been loving and firm, just like our father had been with us. And I knew I was doing my absolute best so on that day I decided that I was going to use my own parental compass and parent my kids exactly the way that I wanted to. Always attempting to lead with love.

For the most part, for the last 18 almost 19 years James has been nearly angelic. When my friends were having issues with their adolescent sons I was boasting about the cake walk I was on with James. The biggest challenge I had was securing supportive services for him through school. And the funniest part about that is I would work my butt off to secure a service and James would work even harder to prove he didn’t need it or very little of it.

It’s been my experience that finding support for non ASD presenting kids is hard. And let’s be clear, finding services for non neurotypical people is a monster effort and should be way easier than it is. But I feel like diagnosing and finding support for a non verbal child with classic ASD signs and symptoms is more straightforward than diagnosing and supporting a child that presents as neurotypical but does really quirky and sometimes dangerous stuff off and on. Most of my challenge around getting supportive services after our diagnosis was that at around age 13 James asked that we stop participating in the local Autism Awareness campaigns and walks and to stop advertising that we were an ASD family to our neighbors and on social media. I agreed but I found that after a while I felt closeted and shut off from other ASD parents and resources. The only support I had was on Facebook and the groups I joined never seemed to have parents or ASD members having similar experiences as us.

The other part of the challenge is that my son’s high functioning autism (HF ASD) has what we in my family call Cloudy Days. Meaning, we can go months without any significant spikes in characteristics commonly found with people on the spectrum and then one day I will notice that James is pacing (that’s how he stems) or he is having a hard time articulating his thoughts. When these “cloudy days” happen usually there is something that has lead up to it: over indulgence in processed foods, being overwhelmed at school, having a bad day at work, not feeling well or friend issues. I used to be able to anticipate these days because I was more in touch with what was happening at school or with friends but since James has started having more and more experiences that don’t include me, I am usually blindsided when his autism has spikes.

James is hyper aware of the stigmas that come with people’s lack of understanding of Autism as a spectrum and is sensitive to being treated like any other young person. So, I’ve tried to help him in any way I could. In some ways it has been a blessing that I was a very young woman when I had him. We share many of the same taste in music and pop culture and it’s not a stretch for me to understand his perspective on many things. Between my daughter (James’ younger sister) and I, we’ve become his social queue and societal support. My daughter specifically was great about breaking things down for James. And as he got older and learned behaviors became more automatic, James became a terrific social support to her too. They have a very special bond. In fact as I write this blog entry they are in the dining room cracking up over some YouTube video that they’re watching.

But over time, as it happens in every household with children, James has gotten older and includes me less and less in his decisions and requires more and more freedom. Freedom in his decision making and freedom physically from home.

You should know, I grew up in and around Los Angeles county in California. I’ve been around shaky situations and sketchy characters my entire life. I got a very normal 80’s baby city kid upbringing. But as a parent, I work really hard to raise my kids in cities with low crime rates and good schools. My kids have had very little exposure to all the danger that awaits them in the world. So the idea of my somewhat naïve 18 year old navigating around the city with his friends shook/shakes me to my core.

I’ve always been really honest with James about my concerns. And he is been great about navigating his new freedom with care. But like a boomerang coming back to it’s owner it appears that some of the heartache I dished my parents is coming back to haunt me.

Recently, I’ve been forced to wake up and think about the “support” I’ve been giving James up to this point.

  • Was I helping him when I agreed to lesson my involvement with the local Autism resource groups?
  • Was I helping him by not forcing him to socialize with other people on the spectrum?
  • Have I been a helper to him by being in every nook and cranny of his life, so much so that he may have had to keep secrets to have privacy?
  • Have I been the best mother to him without the tools of other ASD parents who have traveled this road before me?
  • Have I given him too much control over how we will live as an ASD family?

I’ve lost a lot of sleep and consumed many a cocktail mulling over these questions in the last few weeks. I’ve searched the internet and reached out to support groups in other states and none of what I find seems to speak to where I am or the questions I have. James is capable of taking care of himself. But do I believe I’ll need to provide a moderate amount of support for possibly longer than most parents of newly launched young adults? Yes. I believe he’ll get to any place he wants to be in his timing. But I can’t help but feel like someone out there has launched a teen with HF ASD into adulthood and being able to pick their brain for a while would help me so much.

I’m going to start a new blog series on my page documenting this journey of launching James into adulthood. Maybe someone that is parenting a younger child similar to my James will find these entries and they’ll help them. Or maybe I’ll just write these entries to get all the concern running through my head out and on paper so I can sleep at night. I don’t know. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens.

*Life Thief is a “real life” lifestyle blogger with a sassy mouth and real woman and mother sensibilities.

You can find her other blog posts at: https://thestolenlifechronicles.wordpress.com/

A Single Mom’s Birth Plan

 I went from married with a baby on the way to single Mom at 6 months pregnant and my entire “birth plan” or “vision” of what child birth would look like went out the window.
I scoured the internet reading birth stories…. I found a total of zero from a single mom. None. It was not a great start to envisioning a NEW Birth Plan.
My OBGYN was amazing and helped me to start over. We kept it simple- Healthy Baby, Healthy Mom.
I went into child birth for the first time armed with knowledge gathered like a true millennial, from YouTube videos. And of course, my OBGYN. But I opted to skip the birth classes and took a breastfeeding class, a car seat safety course and a hospital tour instead. All of which I attended alone, surrounded by couples. I sat and fought back tears while they went through the spousal support PowerPoint slides, but I left the class holding my head high.
It was the first activity I had done alone and I walked to my car knowing that I HAD this. I had to.
I am an over thinker and I knew if I took a class I would obsess and worry and go into child birth with a rigid plan and I realized that was unrealistic. I decided “go with the flow” was my mantra for this and I decided to stick to it.
I trusted my doctor and I trusted my hospital. And I am very, very glad I did.
I had to schedule an induction and I opted for the epidural. My mom was my support person and my dad and my little sister visited me while I was being induced I wasn’t alone the entire time aside from getting my epidural. My momma doesn’t do needles. That wasn’t great, but the contractions were so intense I just focused on breathing and not moving.
My daughters heart rate kept dropping and finally it dropped and they couldn’t get it to come back up. It was looking like an emergency C section and while my plan was loosey goosey an EMERGENCY C Section definitely wasn’t part of it.
My OBGYN gave me a shot at pushing but said I only had a few minutes before they will wheel me to the OR. I gave it everything in me and she was here in less than 15 minutes. The cord had been wrapped around her neck but she was perfect and screaming her head off.
I half realized something was wrong my doctor was yelling at nurses and barking orders. I wasn’t paying attention though, and was just craning my neck so I could see my perfect girl. It felt like an eternity, but they brought her over to me finally and I got to hold her. She was everything.
I suddenly heard my doctor telling them they had to take her from me, that I was losing too much blood.
They took her from me and my mom got to hold her.
Everything was just going so so fast. I was aware nurses were hurrying around the room and saw my doctor who is normally the calmest and kindest woman barking orders out like a drill sergeant. That was when it hit me, okay this is serious. I need her to fix me, I have to hold my Perfect Girl again. I realized then that I was hemorrhaging. I remembered the NEW birth plan that my doctor and I had made together – Healthy Baby, Healthy Mom. I needed her to follow through on our plan.
JUST as I started to really get scared she got everything under control.
I was okay.
They gave me back my Perfect Girl.
She is 5 months old now and I still cannot tell this story without crying. Her birth was traumatic, for me and for her but I wouldn’t change a single thing. As a Single Mom creating a birth plan was nothing like what you read about or see in the movies. But it is part of our story and I love it.
Healthy Baby, Healthy Mom. The very best Single Mom Birth Plan.
Single Mom Boutique Boss
-Allyson