Tag Archives: children

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~

Give Me Twenty Minutes A Day With My Children

My 13 year old has a bus stop 5 houses down and everyday I drive her to the bus stop. We leave 10 minutes early to sit 5 houses down and wait for the bus.. seems silly doesn’t it.  I do it because I get 10 minutes with her alone and no distractions.. this is 10 minutes that I can’t get anywhere else.  This is my time with her…

I also drive my oldest daughter to high school each day and that is the best time of the day to talk to her…  And on the flip side, I’ve learned that trying to have an important conversation with her after cheer practice at 5:30 is not even worth it.  Teenagers are not much different than adults.. we all have our best times of the day.. and our worst times.

My girls are in their teens and our lives are busy. We are not all together all the time. We do not eat all our meals together or watch movies together. They do not all have the same interests and likes.  We do not all make it to every activity together.  They spend weekends with friends, sports competitions, and sleeping til noon.  This is very different from when they were little.

My son is 9 and loves video games.  I’ll just pop down on the couch next to him and ask him about the game. It’s a quick 5 minutes of me asking him about the game he’s playing and trying to teach me.

It has taken me a while to understand  that we don’t always need to be together. In my head, I had all these fun days planned over Christmas break .. maybe the museum, movies, or mini golf.  And in reality none of that happened, we ended up going out to lunch one day.   And honestly, It was perfect.  They didn’t need the full day of activities to have a fun day like I have envisioned.  Sometimes I forget that they just like it simple.

I have learned that we do not need to spend 8 hours together all the time. They are all at different stages of their lives and sometimes lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings  is all that’s needed.

As they get older, they are learning their independence and I’m learning to give it to them.  It’s hard. It’s a balance between what I need from them and what they need from me. Some weeks it’s one sided.  I used to get so irritated that my middle schooler would come home and go right to her room. Finally I learned that’s what she needed right after school and that later on after 9 pm I would get my time with her..  as she would come watch tv with me.

So sometimes 20 minutes a day is all I need. Give me 20 minutes of undivided time with each child and I learn more about their lives than spending the day with all three.

20 minutes a day seems so minimal.. but sometimes you can learn so much in that time.  I spend hours every week at sporting events, church, and school events for my kids but it’s the random few minutes that are the most important.

It’s the quick ride to school or grabbing a Starbucks or waiting at the ortho before her appointment that matters the most. It’s those random small intervals that we can just talk… not lecturing or probing for information, but just everyday conversation.

I love those moments.  They are what counts right now.

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

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

No Means No

When raising your children-No means just that.  When you say it, and stick to it, you are teaching your children that you mean what you say.  In that exact moment the answer is No. End of story. Not willing to  negotiation, listen to rebuttle or crying. Mamma said No.  

If they have a bad reaction to it and you cave in, let their stomping and crying and fits of upset change your mind, you are showing them that you do not mean what you say.  Period. You just said No, and now after their upset, you say something different -you say Fine, or Go Ahead or Whatever. Simply, you don’t mean what you say.  

When you tell them they are wonderful, amazing, beautiful, etc….and when you tell them you love them & will always be there for them……  

They won’t believe you.  

Because remember what happened when you said No.  

You didn’t mean what you said.  

They don’t know the difference, it doesn’t matter what the story is…they just know that  you don’t mean what you say.  They cannot count on you. They cannot depend on you. They cannot trust you.

When they throw a temper tantrum or roll their eyes at you, get mad & slam their bedroom door, say you’re the worst mom ever.  Stand firm. Be strong. And mean what you say.  

When my son was young I taught him at a very young age that if he had a reaction to my No, there was a consequence and he was grounded.  He learned very quickly that when mom said No, she meant it. Mom meant what she said, and he knows without a doubt that I love him.

xoxo

Your God Girl

Tracy

Welcoming A New Year Of Growth

I am welcoming a new year of growth, a 41 year old single mother of two small children. Yes, you read that right – I was 35 when I had my first child.  My youngest child was born on New Year’s Day, and as this new year begins I am pondering not just her life, but my own.

My divorce from my children’s father was final last December (Merry Christmas to me!!), but I was doing the single mom gig for a long time before that.  Even before my marriage ended.  When I look back over the past few years there are so many moments that seem significant.  Separation, manipulative ex, mediation, divorce. I started dating again, and have met the most amazing man who is still in my life.

But it has been in this part year, in particular, that I have done and have learned so much.  In this past year there have been so many things that have changed.  My boyfriend and I have had to work through things as a couple.  I bought my home – the first I have ever bought alone.  I have had the difficult job of continuing to heal.  Of recognizing that some of the patterns and responses that I accumulated for years in a toxic relationship, while helpful and protective to me in THAT relationship, are no longer needed and in fact are hurtful to new and current relationship(s).  I have had to work on not just recognizing those patterns, but BREAKING those patterns.  It’s been a pretty grueling year, really.

But looking back now, and looking ahead into 2020!

I am proud of myself.  Proud for continuing to WANT to do the hard work of healing and moving forward.  Proud that I work, try to be the best mom I can be, and that I was able to save enough money to buy my house.  I am thankful that I have such a supportive boyfriend.  I have gained a whole new Mom Tribe of friends, acquaintances, and people I can lean on.  I have had to say goodbye to relationships that were holding me back.  I have been able to work on myself, focus on my personal growth, while also focusing on the needs and growth of my children.  While my past is painful, it has led me to here.  And here is a pretty good place to be.

So I look forward to 2020, with open arms.  May it continue to bring love and growth, peace and happiness.  May it do the same for you.

~H

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

Asking For My Children’s Input

Yesterday I was painting our living room finally, it’s been a 2 month project at minimum.  Once I was almost completed, I thought maybe we should change the furniture around, so I asked my daughter to come help and get her input.  Of course, she was more than excited on moving things around and putting in her own style.

Then it hit me… This is why our family works….I actually ask my kids their opinion. I ask them for their input.  I do not just make decisions on our lives without getting their input.  Over the last 5 years, I have learned to really ask my kids and listen to what they have to say. And I have learned that sometimes they are actually right.   They can see things in a different way that I can.

Maybe it’s different for me because I am single and divorced, so I like to get another person’s opinion on home improvements, dinner choices, movie selections, vacations, etc.  But I realized that this had made our family so much more enjoyable.  My kids have learned that I value what they say and I listen to them.

In the middle  of the week, I usually ask them if there is anything they want to do on the weekend.  Of course, I will usually run down the list of activities we have scheduled due to sports, but then I will actually ask “what do you guys want to do?”.  I love to get their opinions and input.   They are now 15. 12. and 9 so there is a lot of discrepancy on what is suggested.  Sometimes it’s as easy as all they want to do is go starbucks and target..without asking I would not have known that is all they want to do.  And really… I can handle Starbuck’s and target. That is kinda like a dream date.  Other times, I get can we go to a waterpark.

I do not just tell them what is going to happen or what we are going to do, I ask them what they would like to do on the weekends, I ask them if they need anything for school the next week, I ask them for dinner ideas, I ask them if there are any movies they want to see….. I think I have realized that by asking them their opinions I have learned so much more from them.  I do not just say “no” to say no.

Last year, we started our “ you pick dinner Thursdays’ which means that each week a different kid gets to pick where we eat dinner.  Thursdays are our busy sports nights so dinner is always late or rushed, this helps with us still getting to eat together.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some complaints from the others usually, but they get over it fast.   They are excited about being the one to pick the dinner place and the others are always curious on where they are going to pick.

On Sundays, we normally go to church and I have learned that by asking them the time that they want to go, makes them not complain about going.  They actually will get up and go.  Sometimes they pick the earlier time because they want to do something fun that day and other days they will want to sleep in and we will go later.

But the end result is the same, we all go to church together.  And since I asked them on the time, I think they actually feel that they made the decision.

And in return, they have learned that I actually listen to them. They feel comfortable coming to me and asking to have a sleepover, or how to use a tampon, or go to a dance with a boy, or that they have a boyfriend.   They feel that I actually value them and treat them with respect.  They have learned that I am not just going to tell them what to do. I make them think about things a little bit.  I might say no to what they are asking, but what is most important is that they feel comfortable actually asking me.

 

-Snarky

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com/blog

Co-Parenting Is Not For Everyone

When I was going thru my divorce,  my ex and I always said the children will come first.. we will always agree on that. Co-parenting…Yes, I believed that fairy tale just like many others.  I believed we would sit next to each other at soccer games and celebrate birthdays together.  I really believed all that…

Fast forward, we now have very different parenting views.  Co-parenting is very difficult for us. The amount of communication between the two of us is minimal.  I know everyone says that you need to co-parent for the children, however in some situations you have to do what is best for you.  We tried to spend birthday celebrations together but it was uncomfortable for everyone and mostly the children. I dreaded every birthday, which I realized was so sad because I love birthdays and I love celebrating my kids birthdays.  The children eventually did not want to even celebrate it together.    

So for the first couple of years after our divorce, I would go along with all the co-parenting and trying to play nice with him.  I would go along with his parenting ideas and discipline for the children. He had an opinion for every decision and strong opinions. This was difficult for my children, since he had never been the one to discipline.  They did not know how to respond or act to his strong strict behavior. They did not understand why they were never given choices or independence.  

I stayed home with my kids when we were married, I was the one that was the disciplinary, and I was the one that handled all of the parenting decisions.  My ex did not have much of an input on any of those areas. I asked him but he would trust my judgement and agree. Unfortunately after our divorce, he was trying to parent our children in such a different style then they had grown up with over the years.  It was more of an authoritative style, which they were not used to. Kinda like you do this because I said so style..without a valid reason why.  

I would let him speak to me however he wanted to me.  I would feel like a failure as a mother when I received emails from him constantly questioning my parenting.  I would receive emails on his strong parenting views that made me question my decisions… why? I am a damn good parent.  I have always stood by my decisions and now I was allowing self doubt. I was allowing this from someone that never wanted an input in our decisions.   I allowed all of this because I felt guilty for wanting the divorce. I did not want to cause additional friction between us and I felt it was best for the kids. I had read all the books and articles on how you need to co-parent…. 

Well thank god I came to my senses… The reason I divorced my husband was because I was not happy.  And I should not feel guilty for that. So I finally realized that trying to co-parent was not working for us.  I realized that I was not going to fake it through birthday celebrations, soccer games, and conferences.  

I realized that doing those activities independently was my choice and I needed that.  I needed to make that decision for me and my children. I wasn’t dreading participating in those activities anymore.  

I wanted to remember all of these moments with my children. I wanted them to remember how fun those times were with them.  I did not want them to remember that they were forced or made to feel uncomfortable. And my kids could see how uncomfortable it was for all of us.  I didn’t want to make them participate in these fake get togethers because the text book said co-parenting is the best.

My children and I have built a great life in the last 5 years and we are really happy. Not just facebook happy, but truly happy.  What I post is us being happy. We have fun together and we like doing things together. They understand that their dad and I have different views on parenting, life, and discipline.  They understand what is expected at each household and that it is different. They understand that people have different views and expectations…. I have learned to let them develop their own thoughts and views on the different households and that works for us.   And I have learned that I need to do what works for our family…

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

Mama Bear

My sweet sweet moms.  Are you the kind of mom who protects her child/ren from all the scary parts of the world?  Are you the kind of mom who wants to take away the pain from your child/ren so they don’t cry any more?  Are you that mom who would fight the dragon to save your child from harm? A mama bear?  Yes!  Yes!  And Yes!!!

Being the mama bear is bred in who we are as mothers.  It is the internal makeup of a mother.  It runs in our blood through our veins to our heart, to our soul, to our gut.  A mothers instinct/intuition/love can not be made, copied or replaced.

Do you have the wisdom to tell when you should step in and when you should not?  Do you have the clarity to notice when you are needed or being manipulated?  Do you have the knowing of good & bad, wrong & right, love & evil?  Are you two steps ahead, are you watching with wise eyes, pressing in when you’d rather give in?

These are the things we as mothers must have in place to raise our children to be strong, independent, successful adults who have the wisdom, clarity and knowing that they saw by watching how we raised them.  We tow the line and they learn.

We say no to our selfish desires, we say no to the things we want when we have ‘needs’, we say no when they ask/cry/beg for something we know is wrong, unacceptable or just not necessary.

It is up to us to be the beacon of light and refuge, the pillar of strength and dignity and the lover of life.

Be strong & compassionate.  Be powerful & kind.  Be brave & full up of love.  Be the Mamma Bear.

xoxo

Your God Gril

Tracy