Tag Archives: family

Friday Night At Walmart

Have you ever found yourself at Walmart on a Friday or Saturday night? Like, at 9 o’clock? I did. Once. It was then I realized just how much my life has changed since starting a family. Could this really be the highlight of my weekend? That I have some cash in my purse and I can go out on Friday night…to Walmart? To buy Butt Paste, paper towels and socks? Really?

Wow. I guess so.

It’s ok, though, because I quickly realized that I wasn’t alone. Besides the trouble-making tweens in the toy department riding the bikes up and down the aisles, and the extremely ego-pumped twenty somethings in the cosmetic aisle looking for the right shade of lip gloss before she heads out to the clubs…we have us. Us moms. With a fresh 20 dollar bill in our purse. Maybe more.

Here we are, adding up our purchases in our heads. Aimlessly browsing through the jammed packed shelves. With a carriage full of kids who won’t sit down.

Then there’s the clothing section. Do I go in? Nope. I browse from the aisle. I see “us’ poking through clothes looking for something that’ll make us feel pretty, AND that fits. Impossible, by the way. There are women who are trying stuff on from the misses department hoping it’ll fit, and they will look good. But deep down they know it won’t. We know those denim mini skirt days are gone….Looooooong gone. Not for some, but for most.

One thing is for sure…that blouse will look great with that knock-off coach bag I saw at the Flea Market last week end.

But I learned an important thing from that Friday night at Walmart.

All of us at Walmart, with carriages full of kids who won’t sit down, are where we belong…with the kids we love. Inevitably we put the blouse back and settle on a necessity instead. Baby wipes. Tooth paste, Under Roos.

And so what? As I stood in line and looked around at the Moms beside me, I realized what good mommies we were. And I Smiled at the tiny little thing with the fake tan in front of me with her lip gloss, and trouble makers as they high five each other out the door. Because I know it will be them soon enough, standing here with a carriage full of kids that won’t sit down.

~Lynn

Took Awhile After The Divorce

Took Awhile After The Divorce To Feel Like A Family..

In July, it will 4 years since I bought my house.  It has taken the kids and I that long to really come together as a family.  And it has taken me that long to think of our house as our home.  We have really had to work through all the kinks and get into a grove of our own. 

I’m not sure why but I thought because I was not married anymore or have a husband, that we were not a family.  It was like I just couldn’t say the words “family” or call us a family.  Maybe I had this view stuck in my head that a family should include a mom and dad.  I would stumble over the word all the time.  I would always fall back and say “the kids and I”.

The first couple years after my divorce,  I dreaded going to school events, sporting events,  or church with just the kids. I felt like I was the only one there that was divorced.  I felt like I stood out compared to all the other families.  Maybe I  felt embarrassed or ashamed that I didn’t have that significant other.  I also felt uncomfortable going to larger family events with the just the kids or even by myself.   I just felt like I was the divorced mom with 3 kids always, like I had a label everywhere.  I would always wonder if people knew I was divorced.  I dreaded being asked questions that just made me feel awkward or uncomfortable.  I would not reference us as a family to others, but just my kids and I.  

And I also did not feel like our house was a home.  It took quiet awhile for it to feel like it was now our home.   The first year that I had my house, I did not spend much time there when I did not have my kids.  I was in a relationship and we spent most of the time at his house.  It was a place I slept with the kids, but it definitely did not feel like home.  But when that relationship ended, I started to finally spend time there.  

So over time things started to  change….

We first started to stay home more… the first few years after my divorce, we spent a lot of time at activities or away from our home.   I think that was because I just didn’t always feel comfortable or like it was our home. Now things have settled down and I love to just hang out at home.  I know I have wrote before about wanting the house that my kids friends always hung out at and I have that with this house.  My kids’ friends love to come over!  I love the more than anything. 

We have made some small improvements to the house, lots of paint.  The kids have decorated their rooms with what they like…  I have asked their input on paint colors and changes throughout the house.  We would have a little meeting and I would ask their input.  And I have put up tons of pictures of them growing up throughout the house.   

I started to invite my friends over to hang out…. I think at first I was a little embarrassed of the house.  I know I know… t was in a older development and its an older house.  We do not live in the neighborhoods with all my kid’s friends anymore.  Its definitely not as s modern as the house I had when I was married, so it was an adjustment.  

But when I was married, I rarely had my friends over to hang out, so this is new for me.  And now my friends love to hang out in my kitchen or on the deck with some wine and pizza.   

And as the house started to take on a new feel, I also got more comfortable going to activities and events with just the kids and I… And as time went on, I am completely comfortable going to anything and everything that my kids are involved in.  We also plan fun weekend getaways and trips with just us, as a family.

Honestly, now I don’t even think about it.  We have become so close as family that I never even have those insecurities.  I am not sure if it was just time I needed to process the change in my lifestyle or just coming together closer as a family.  

We are a much stronger family now, than when I was married.  Our house completely feels like home.  I know it does for my kids also.  I can tell they feel so comfortable and safe here. We hang out, we plan nights with friends, we are finally just a family.  

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

I Do Not Regret

I do not regret my marriage or my divorce,it has been five years since I decided on my divorce and I still trust my decision. And I say “I’ because I was the one that finally said the words and knew I needed to start the process. It’s crazy how some days I want to change things in my daily life,what I say or do, but I have never wanted to change my decision on my divorce. However, I have also never wanted to change my decision to get married.

I do not regret my marriage and I do not regret my divorce. I know it’s probably hard for some to understand. I actually had many good years during my marriage. We were not the explosive fighters or abusers, we were just a couple that got lost and couldn’t get it back together. However, in those 13 years I experienced a lot.

We had a few years being married without any children, when we were newlyweds buying our 1st house, excelling in our careers, still hanging out with college friends, and enjoying our free time together. Then over the next 10 years of our marriage, we had 3 kids….

I learned how to be a mom and I am still learning. There are so many experiences from that time of my life that I could never regret it. I love to tell my kids all the stories from when they were little, along with stories about their dad and I.

Many times, I wondered why I never regretted either. At times I wonder what makes me different from others that regret their marriage or regret their divorce. I’m still waiting to feel some type of regret, but I never do. At times, it’s like I want to make myself feel some regret but I don’t. My divorce does not make me sad, I know it was the right decision.

I could be a negative person about my marriage and my divorce, but that is just not me. I try to not be the person that is always saying “why me”. And I do not want to all concentrate on all the negative. The truth is, I made the decision to get married and then divorced. And neither decision makes me feel like a failure in either way.

I have spent the last 5 years building my life. I went back to work full time. I have bought a house. I have learned what I really enjoy and what I don’t. My kids and I have figured out a routine and life that works for us. And it does take time, it’s a long process to go through so many changes and emotions. And there are definitely some grey areas within those 5 years.

I continue to move forward. I continue to learn about what I want in life. I continue to remember what I took away from my marriage that needed work.

Communication was poor and I have tried to change that through my relationships with people now. I have learned to tell people more of what I want rather than guessing. My ex husband and I never discussed what we truly needed or wanted in our marriage. It was always a guessing game for me and trying to figure out what he wanted. I have now learned I need to ask.

I have also learned to not always be a pleaser to everyone and I say no. I have learned that I can make everyone happy.

My marriage and my divorce both actually helped me get to the person I am now. And continue to grow into. I know I am more myself now than I was when I was married, however I still do not regret any of it. But damn,I am a lot happier now. Enjoy life, all the experiences…

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

Lean In

Lean in…when that catchphrase first came out I’m pretty sure it was meant to be used for powerful situations.

Not trying to maneuver your new normal during a world that everyday feels more surreal.

I have officially been home now for a month. My state has extended its Stay at Home order until May 26th. When I heard the news I was in the middle of my new normal work day. I took my glasses off. Took my headphones off and silently yelled into my hands.

I am what you would call a high risk person. Two heart surgeries I had forty years ago means I can’t leave my house. The fear is if I get this my stitched up heart won’t know what to do.

I am luckier than a lot of people. I have a job. Which I got offered ironically a week before everything went. That’s my term… went.

The last time I saw everyone in person was my job interview. A month ago. Some of them I only know thanks to ZOOM.

And thank goodness for this job, because my previous job would have laid me off. They did. Three days before I officially started my new job I got a lengthy email telling me as much.

My daughter’s school like a lot of yours is now closed for the rest of the year. Thankfully they have really done a lot to support everyone one with distance learning. But she’s in 7th grade. She abruptly had to empty her locker and pivot.

I was a Preschool Director before I got my new job. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my families, my kids…

But I’m leaning in.

I get up. I get ready for work. I try to focus. But I have my moments. Where I have to run to the bathroom and sit on the toilet seat and cry.

I lean in to being afraid of all the unknowns.

I lean in to being late for a meeting because I got distracted by the news.

I lean into cats and dogs and kids interrupting meetings.

And we all smile.

I lean into not really ever wanting to wear shoes again. Leggings are better than jeans.

I lean into Friday nights might be Tuesday nights.

I lean into worrying about my Grandfather who is states away. I lean into reading horoscopes with my best friend.

I lean into hugging my daughter so much. I lean into telling people I can’t wait to squish their faces.

I lean into missing certain people. Which makes me ugly cry.

I lean into waterproof mascara.

I lean into not cutting my own hair. No comment on coloring it. LOL…

I lean into recording my radio show again for the first time in a month and crying because it’s the first time in a long time I have felt normal. Because something that is such a huge part of me is back.

I have no magic words. No sage advice. I am just rinse, lather, repeat, lean.

I am sending you love and hoping you are safe Mommas.

<3 Caprise

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~

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

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

Learning To Navigate The Steps

When I say steps, I don’t mean the kind you walk up, though this is an uphill climb too. I mean the kind that result from a new marriage. 

My kids gained a step-mother  in May of this year. They also gained a step-sister who lives with them when they are with their father and his new family, which is 50 percent of the time. 

I will not lie and tell you that this was hard for my children in the beginning, it was hard for me. It was hard for me because I was jealous. It was hard to watch him move on. It was hard because where my ex and I had communicated well before, even to the point that you could say we were friends, the communication was cut off. On their side of things, I could not definitively tell you the motivation for that. However, I will concede that it must be difficult being a new spouse and forming a new family when there are extra catalysts for discord. 

I wanted to be friends with my ex and his new wife and if we could not be that, I wanted to at least be friendly. This was never allowed. It was seen as an attack on their relationship when I bought a Father’s Day present for my children to give their father. Virtually every time I contacted them I got knots in my stomach because I knew it would be met with nastiness or ignored completely. It was painfully obvious that he was not able (allowed or otherwise) to respond to simple text messages about the children, without consulting her first. I understand being partners very well, and I think if the roles were reversed I would tell my husband about it, but I would not ask what I was allowed to say or do. The thought of asking permission makes my skin crawl. Though trying to see things through my partner’s eyes does not.

I have struggled and agonized over how to handle this situation. I ask myself over and over when contacting them if it is 100% necessary. I ask myself what is in the best interest of my children. I have gone so far as to consider going back to court to attempt to gain primary custody, though that is never what I wanted. I want my children to have a relationship with their father, a great one even. What I do not want is for them to have to play telephone between their father and me. That is not fair to them. It is not fair to them for people to not act like adults. My ex or myself. 

I am still learning. I am dodging minefields some days and not giving it another thought on others. But, the truth of the matter is that this is a real, raw, and nitty gritty part of divorce. I will keep doing what I feel is in the best interest of my children, and I will take it a day at a time. I will swallow my feelings and my pride to be what they need. And I hope if I am met with the situation my ex is in, I am stronger for my kids than he has been.

Stronger Than Yesterday, 

Alice

The Blessings In The Midst Of A Mess

My kids are constantly making a mess.  Whether it’s in their room, their diaper, my car, or the kitchen floor, there’s always a mess. 

It drives me absolutely insane to think that I am always cleaning up for them to just create the mess all over again.  Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means a neat freak. Nor am I the best housekeeper. I’m that stay at home mom that could use a good cleaning lady.  But seeing as how I don’t have one, and I do like for my home to be somewhat tidy, I daily go behind everyone and clean up the mess. At times in my frustration, I find myself mumbling not so pleasant things as I go around cleaning.  Especially after almost breaking my neck on a toy that I know I yelled about no less than 5 times already. But the funny thing is that no matter how irritated I am, my kids just happily keep on playing in the midst of all of the chaos as if they were in their own little personal amusement park. 

As I sit here now staring at the mess which has spilled over from the playroom into my foyer, I can’t help but to be reminded that this is a blessing. My children are happy and creative and have more than enough to entertain themselves. That is a blessing. My children have a home to play in where they are safe and loved.  That is a blessing. My children love to play and share with each other, well sometimes. But that is a blessing. My children don’t care that I’m not a great housekeeper. That is a blessing. So while I once again have to sweep cheerios off of the kitchen floor, vacuum the cracker crumbs from the carpet, and pray that the stains come out of my son’s new shirt I will try to keep a few things in mind.  We have food, we have clothes, we have a home and we have love.

Yes, there’s always a mess, but now I can be grateful for the blessings in the midst of it all.  

 

~1spentmom~

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

I am a person who unfortunately does not sleep much. That means while the rest of my house is sleeping blissfully at 3 AM, I am on Pinterest, social media or You Tube.

There are a few vloggers I follow regularly and they are celebrating marriages and babies and lives together and taking me along for the ride.

While I recognize some of these shares are beautifully edited the emotion is there and definitely gets me emotional.

I feel like I have been carrying around this suitcase of memories from my life before my divorce and I need to throw it away.

I didn’t realize how raw those hurts still were until I started watching those videos.

We all have an idea in our head of how things will be. Our wedding, children, marriage and you either work as a team,meet in the middle, or you don’t.

I also think you forgive a lot because you think it will change.

Once the baby is here.

Once she sleeps through the night.

Once we have been apart a year we’ll get along better.

My biggest red flag was me all wired up having contractions after being in labor for almost a day and my Dad never leaving my side. My ex husband however, not only leaving several times but when he was in the room he was on his computer the whole time. Not once did he comfort me.

Yet I chalked it up to nerves.

No

There would be things later that would show me it had nothing to do with nerves.

I can dwell in regret and compare or I can celebrate the fact I have G. Remember some of the funny moments from that time in my life.

I can be determined to make sure I speak up now with my person and if it feels like a red flag it probably is.

It is incredibly easy for many of us who have been hurt to not let it go. To let it lead us. I have done an absolutely fantastic job of building a very tall wall around myself.

But maybe the tape in our heads instead of coulda,woulda,shoulda should be:

I’m here

I’m badass

I’m a Momma and that makes me magical.

I say it a lot. Being a Mom is magical. We grew people!!!

When that suitcase feels like it needs to be unpacked, kick it back under the bed and remember who you are.

You are a Momma

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise