Tag Archives: family

Where Did My Dreams Go?

Where did “I” go?…I started my life like most girls, with big dreams filled with what I wanted to accomplish.  Of course, my dreams included children – 2 or 3 – a career, a nice house, a husband… but it also included having fun.

I wanted a balanced life, where everything would fall into place and all the different areas of my life would complete each other. But, as I went along, I realized that “I” disappeared; me as an individual person just disappeared. “I” have been replaced by either the career woman or the mother. When I get introduced to new people, the main part of me that comes out is either being someone’s mother, where we talk about kids and everything about raising kids or my work and my career. Somewhere along the way “I” got lost.

Where did “I” disappear? Was it when I could focus on only one thing: providing for my children? Making sure they had everything they needed both on a financial and emotional level. Was it when I had to work 2 jobs to put food on the table? Or was it when I became more stable and focused on a career? Somewhere in all that,  “I” completely vanished.

No longer do ”I” think of anything not involving the kids. Even if I get a sitter, I find myself wondering if the kids are sad that I left them to go do something that does not involve them. “I” now has a companion called “guilt”. Is it a woman thing to always be thinking about our kids?

Being a mother always involves making sacrifices, but being both mom and dad is insanely demanding. I am so used to spending all my time outside of work with my kids that if for some miraculous reason I find myself alone in the house, I honestly don’t know what to do with myself. How did that happen? Why does the idea of spending an afternoon alone send me into a semi panic mode? Unable to even figure out what to eat!

Today, I am over forty, my oldest daughter is getting ready to go to college and I am here thinking how did I get here and what have I done with my life? I am proud that I managed all by myself to raise my daughter and to see her go onto her journey to becoming a successful independent woman, I am also terrified that she will see me  as someone who failed to have a life outside of being a mother.

As I ask myself: Where did my life go?  I also wonder about what I could have done differently/if I could have done things differently that would have provided some kind of balance in my life. And as I embark in the journey of raising my second daughter (that’s for another subject: having a baby at 40) I will need to take a deeper look at things.

Does being a single mother mean putting everything on hold? Always? Is the constant fear of not being able to take care of my kids causing me to let life pass me by?

Why do all my thoughts involve being a mother? How to become a free independent fun woman? My kids are my universe, that will never change, but I would like my mind to take a break from time to time and let “I” make a short apparition until we get reacquainted.

~Rosemonde

Have Kids They Said- It Will Be Fun They Said

Have Kids They Said- It Will Be Fun They Said….

I’m sure you have all heard that phrase before, right?!? I’m not exactly sure who “they” are, but I’m thinking they were drunk or high or maybe even both when “they” came up with that phrase. I know what you are thinking right now…. wow that’s harsh. Maybe, maybe not! Don’t get me wrong, I love my girls more than anything in this world and they are the best two miracles to have ever entered my life. I’m just saying that sometimes (ok, maybe most times) parenting can be downright exhausting. Especially the times when you are grocery shopping and your children are in the dreaded car cart (damn carts) acting out the latest WWF moves with each other.

Back before I had children I planned everything and became anxious and irritated if something didn’t go according to that plan. Then I became pregnant with Emerson and I was beyond thrilled, I started planning her extravagant (maybe it was a bit over the top) nursery right away. Well, apparently Emerson didn’t like plans and decided that she was going to enter the world 4 weeks early after I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and hospitalized. When we were finally able to bring Emerson home I realized very quickly that my OCD like behaviors were going to have to take a backseat. There was not enough time in the day to tend to a newborn while sleep deprived and keep a spotless house.

Fast forward almost two years later and I became pregnant with Amelia. I could’ve sworn she was a boy during my entire first trimester. I was so convinced that I had been giving away a lot of Emerson’s girly baby clothes because I wouldn’t need them for a boy. I will never forget the day we did gender reveal cupcakes and Emerson ate into it while I watched on in anticipation awaiting the blue frosting in the middle. The frosting was pink…. I cut open all half dozen cupcakes because I was sure it was a mistake. This confession I always feel bad about, but I can own it. I cried… I cried because I wanted a little boy so badly. I got over it quickly and realized how grateful and thankful I was to have become pregnant again in the first place.

I never in a million years imagined myself being a single mom raising two little girls, it really was not in my life plan. I had met someone ten years ago, whom I thought at that time was my prince charming. Both of our careers were on track, we had each other, and we were living our best lives. Maybe fairy tales really did exist, or at least that is what I thought at the time. Then my world came crashing down on me one piece at a time until I stood at the center of a web of lies and my fairy tale became my worst nightmare.

I’m slowly picking up those pieces and have my friends and family to lean on for support. I look at my girls when they are playing so nicely together (rare moments) and I just have to smile and remind myself that everything truly does happen for a reason. Maybe fairy tales are more complicated in real life, maybe they do not exist at all. However, I owe it to my girls and to myself to keep writing our story, you just never know where it will end up 😉

Remember, hugs are always free!

xX Tamara xX

Dinosaurs Divorce

We are sitting under the glow of fluorescent bulbs, and I notice the book “Dinosaurs Divorce” on the play therapist’s wooden clipboard, an item on the evening’s agenda. “We have this book as a resource,” she says as I thumb through it. The book depicts Mommy and Daddy dinosaurs arguing with loud noises. Mommy and Daddy dinosaurs stewing silently. Daddy dinosaurs packing dinosaur boxes and placing them in the back of dinosaur moving vans. The therapist’s voice brings me back to reality: “Would you like us to go over this with Brennan? Or is it too overt?” Brennan is my 3-year-old son who isn’t familiar with the word “divorce” but has come to understand that he lives at “Brennan’s house” with Mama. I glance again at the glossary in the front of the book that explains the family law system to children in the way a biology textbook delineates the parts of a cell. My heart is beating fast. “Well, what do you think? Is this what he needs?” I ask her. I’m on foreign soil. She pauses and peers at me over thick-rimmed glasses: “You seem hesitant,” she replies. “Follow your instincts.” “Then, no. Not now.” No to “Dinosaurs Divorce.” No to pushing my kid off the cliff of childhood innocence with brute force.

It’s right after the Ash Wednesday service, and I am meeting my mom in front of Charming Charlie for the usual toddler trade-off. I climb cold and red-nosed into the front seat of her black SUV to sit a minute and turn to grin at my baby boy in the back. “What’s that?” Brennan says, staring intensely at the ashes on my forehead. “It’s in the shape of the cross…” my mother starts. I interject- “It’s just…it’s a religious…” my voice trails off. We move on to different subjects, and Brennan seems to adjust easily enough to the idea of a mother with an inexplicably dirty forehead. “Mom,” I say as we’re moving him and his accoutrements to my car, “I’m not ready to tell him about Jesus yet. I mean, I tell him that Jesus made us, and He loves us but not about His death. Not yet. Let’s just let him be happy. Let him be a kid.” “Of course,” she agrees.

His blue eyes stare up at me, long lashes blinking. “Is Da-Da home?” “No…remember, Da-Da lives at a different house now. He drives a big truck, and he lives with his friends. You’ll see him soon though!” I try to say it with cheer. “Oh yeah,” he replies with disappointment. I regret trying to say it with cheer.

As we drive, I glance back in the rearview mirror at a kid who is excited about driving over a bridge, and I pretend to get excited too. I know life’s not all bridges, but I want it to be. I want it to be happiness and every one of his favorite things. I want to shield him from the grisly deaths of Saviors and families.

I linger in these moments: they are uncomfortable places, sure. I think back to my first trimester of motherhood when the doctor called Brennan an impending miscarriage. In my fear and desperate longing, I spoke to him often. With a hand on my belly and a fierce whisper, I begged him to stay. “Life is not always easy, but it will be good. I’ll be a good mama to you, I promise. Please stay.” He stayed. And I try to stay true to my word, the best I can, here in this messy in-between. Even at three years old, life is not easy. Maybe all of life is a messy in-between. But still, I know: it will be good. It is good.

We get out of the car after another long day of work and play and commuting. It’s dark outside, but the sky is brightly lit. “Look, Mama!” he says. “The moon and the stars and the sky!” “Oh yeah! I LOVE the moon and the stars and the sky!” “Me too, Mama! I love them too!” And before we go into the house for another night of supper and bath time and bed, we stand for a moment and look up together at the big wide world- wild, uncontainable, beautiful.

~Mallory is a Mississippi mama who has been broken by life and softened by grace. She loves pine trees, poetry, and her friends.

Take Your Cat And Leave My Sweater

In the spring of 2017, my ex and I observed our eleventh wedding anniversary.  Not long after that, we decided to end our marriage.  It was the hardest decision that I’ve ever made.  Divorce is such an ugly word surrounded by negatives.

I make no secret of my love of Pinterest.  Like, most of my life guidance comes from Pinterest and country music-haha.  It is easy to find exactly what you are looking for, whether that is good or bad.  Do you want to support the despair of divorce?  Done.  Do you want to find hope in what’s to come?  That can be done, too.  One of those choices keeps you bound.  The other gives you wings.

I had to get through the sadness of it all before I could get to the blessings that came from our decision to split.  That’s what I want to focus on here.

The hardest thing (for me) about ending a relationship is wondering what you could have done differently.  We exhausted every avenue.  We prayed.  We went to counseling.  We medicated.  We tried to be different people.  We kept arguing more and more.  We love each other very much, but we are very different people.  We kept trying to make it work for the kids, but the kids weren’t happy.  We weren’t helping them anymore.  We were hurting them.

We made a lot of adult choices that weren’t rooted in feelings.  We decided that no matter how we felt towards each other in those first days, we were committed to one thing.  Making this transition as easy on our kids as possible.  We didn’t make schedules.  We showed them that no matter what was happening between us as a couple, we were still committed to them.

When I stopped focusing on what divorce was taking from us, I started seeing what this separation was gifting us.  Solace.  Breathing room.  Peace.  I love Thomas with all my heart.  He is one of my very best friends in this world and I know without a shadow of a doubt that he always has my back.  All of those things were true when we were together, but they were lost in petty disputes.  Fights about everything and nothing at all.  Arguing because we didn’t know how to be happy anymore.  It took him moving out for me to be able to just love him again.

Does this mean we are getting back together?  No.  We would go right back to the same old patterns.  Does this mean we are seeing each other or dating or a couple in any way?  No.  That part of our life is behind us.  What it does mean is we have a new commitment that has nothing to do with anything but doing our best by our family and each other.  It means the court doesn’t have to tell us who can see what child when.  We are capable of deciding that all on our own.  It means that we will be sitting beside each other at sporting events and graduations and weddings.  It means that our kids don’t have to decide where they are spending Christmas, because we are welcome in each other’s homes.  It means our kids can enjoy having two parents who aren’t at each other’s throats all the time.

We are working hard, together, to teach our children valuable lessons during this time.  We are teaching them to be kind and fair and compromising.  We are teaching them that homes are only broken if the people inside them are.  Once those people find the strength to heal, it doesn’t matter what their addresses are.  We are teaching them that love and commitment doesn’t have to be conditional.  It may change over time but what really matters is how you handle those changes.  We are teaching them resilience.

~ LA

You can read more from LA at https://sweeterinthesouth.blog/

Now I Know That Dogs Choose You

 

When my ex-husband and I got married, I couldn’t wait to get a dog.   A little, cute, fluffy lap dog who would be calm and adorable and who would wear bows in her ears and have some perfect southern name like Sugar that matched her perfect white fur.   Sugar or Honey or Butterscotch or whatever other sticky sweet name that I could come up with wouldn’t be my first dog, but she would be the first dog of mine that I really LIVED with.  The first dog to be a member of the family.  I was always an animal lover but back then, I really didn’t know much at all about loving animals.

I’ll never forget when my ex called me to tell me that he had found a dog.  He was in school in Oklahoma and the kids and I were temporarily living in Kentucky.  He told me he found this dog and that she was skin and bones.  He opened the door to his jeep and she immediately jumped into the passenger seat like she had known him her entire life.  He went straight to a drive-thru and she ate two cheeseburgers in pretty much one gulp.

She was not little, fluffy or a lap dog.  He told me she was some sort of pit mix.  I don’t remember being just outright shocked, but I do remember being concerned.  Pits don’t have the greatest reputation and we have kids.  Our youngest was still pretty small.  This wasn’t anything close to the kind of dog that I envisioned for our family in more ways than one.  My ex kept telling me how sweet she was and I agreed to see how it went but honestly I was less than thrilled and pretty disappointed.  I had been waiting a long time for the dog that I wanted to come along and this wasn’t it.  I agreed that we would keep her for now and see what happened, but that I wasn’t leaving her alone with my kids and she was gone the first time I saw any sign of aggression towards any of us.  This was when I still believed that people chose dogs.  Now I know that dogs choose you.

The first time I saw Molly, I cried.  You could see every knob of her spine.  I watched her like a hawk.  She wasn’t perfect but what I saw was she was protective.  Protective of anyone who seemed to need protecting.  Until the day she left us, no one made her run to the door faster than my ex-husband and it was like that from day one, but she loved us all.  He couldn’t discipline the children with Molly around even though he was her true Alpha.  She would never bite, but she would clearly make every attempt to get between them.  That’s just one of the things she taught me.  Protect the person who needs to be protected.

If you haven’t been around pits much, you may not know this about them.  Turns out that I did get my lap dog.  It didn’t matter that she quickly went from skin and bones and 65-70 pounds depending on her activity level, she wouldn’t hesitate to try to sit in your lap.  Anyone’s lap.  My lap.  The baby’s lap.  She wasn’t picky.  She loved to be loved.  She loved to be beside you.  She loved her family.  She loved visitors.  She had zero manners.  I had to put her up if people were coming over because she jumped on everyone and she wasn’t exactly small.  She terrified people on a regular basis and I don’t really blame them.  I wouldn’t love seeing a pit bull racing at me at 15mph, (yes, I know how fast she could run from the days when she would jump our rock wall in El Paso and I would have to drive around the neighborhood trying to catch her).  She just wanted to say hi.  Her tail was about two inches long so she would just wag her entire back end.  In all of our years together I did see a handful of people who she didn’t love but I never saw her do anything beyond a warning to another human being.

I have no doubt in my mind that Molly would have died for us.  How can you not respect any creature that would do that for you?  How could we have anything other than respect for her?  She LOVED us.   And we loved her.  I was always an animal lover but until I met Molly, they were just animals.  Molly taught me not only that they are so much more but she also taught me a lot about life in general.  I know there are people who will read that and think that it sounds crazy and I don’t blame you.  I wouldn’t have understood at one time, either.  Not everyone is blessed with a Molly.

She taught me about loyalty.  Selflessness.  True, unconditional love.  Companionship.  She taught me gratitude.  No one in this world will ever be happier to see me than Molly was.  That felt good.  She wasn’t just a dog.  She was a family member.  I would jokingly say my favorite child.  She wasn’t that far from being one of my children.  I mean it didn’t matter if I was gone ten minutes or two days, Molly was thrilled to see me.

She loved to go for rides.  She tore a hole in every blanket we have because she always wanted to be covered up at night.  If the covers came off, she would use her teeth to try to cover herself back up.  She was afraid of storms.  She could catch food in midair.  Pretty much the second it left my fingertips.  Her tongue was about 4 feet long and she could manage to lick you no matter how you tried to get away from her.  She loved to be as close to us as possible.  Preferably right on top of us.  She was never far from me.  I stepped over her all day long.  She lost her mind if she saw a leash in your hand.  She was so excited to go somewhere.  She barked at everything and thought she owned everything in a mile radius of our house.  She didn’t like sharing us.  I don’t know how many times I was petting another one of our pets and caught her giving me the side eye lol  She knew exactly what look to give me to get her way.  It worked every time.

A few months ago, my ex-husband and our youngest came home from riding their 4 wheelers with another dog.  A dog that is so big, he made Molly look petite.  He was so stinking sweet that I couldn’t say no.  I did wonder if I was crazy more than once when I had 140 pounds of dog wrestling in my living room and pushing my furniture around.  Buddy is big and dopey and he pretty much believes he belongs to the entire neighborhood.  I’ve never heard anyone say they didn’t love him.

When I pulled into the driveway last night, the kids came running out the door.  Molly’s breathing was very labored when I left for the vet and they hadn’t heard from me while we were gone.  I know they knew.  I told them to go inside and they pushed past me to look inside the truck.  My ex picked the baby up.  He was already crying.  We came inside and the four of us sat on the couch.  Buddy was right there with us.  His put his big, dopey head in my hands and looked in my eyes.  My ex said, “God knew we would need you.”  Buddy is sad today, too.

It’s not possible to explain everything Molly was to our family in one blog.  Just know that she was perfect.  She was everything I wanted but didn’t know I needed.  She was “that dog” for me.  The one that changed everything.  The one that showed me that animals are capable of human emotions no matter what anyone says.  She was my best friend and not just mine.  She was able to make all of us feel like we were so very special to her.  I will miss her every single day.  I will miss tripping over a hundred times a day. I don’t even know how long I will continue to look for her…  I’ll gladly miss her for the rest of my life because that means that I got to love her and to be loved by her.  I’m the luckiest person alive.

Thank you for choosing us, Molly Kate.  The honor was all ours

~ LA

You can read more from LA at https://sweeterinthesouth.blog/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving Thanks For My Blessings

 

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone will be enjoying their day at home with loved ones. I want to give thanks for my many blessings.

I am typing this the night before and am watching the minutes click by and see that I still have 3 more pies to go! I have been cooking, baking and cleaning since Tuesday.  A few years ago my husband and I decided we were done running from house to house on the holidays and made the choice to start hosting. We would love to have everyone come but are in no way offended if they don’t want to or can’t. We get it, we really do. The hustle and bustle leaves no time to relax and before you know it-it’s over. Hence the decision to start hosting. I don’t mind all the cooking involved, quite frankly it’s one of the better things I do 🙂 I have 3 siblings and many nieces and nephews, my husband has 6 siblings, also with many nieces and nephews. So it can get pretty crazy and wild and on occasion there is some drama. I wouldn’t change a bit of it for anything. I look forward to looking around our home and seeing how the kids have changed and watching them grow. Reminiscing about our “younger” years and hearing about the shenanigans of my husband and his siblings.

At some point one of us girls will pull out the Black Friday ads to pick out all the things we want to get- knowing all along in the back of our minds we will never make it to the sales due to the food coma.  Out of all the years we’ve done this, we have gone ONCE …lol. We will watch football games, and take naps. Someone will bust out a few board games and we will play them for hours. If it’s nice enough outside the kids will go to the park or play a game of football in the yard. Suppertime will come around and we will reheat leftovers and fill ourselves again.

I am thankful, I am blessed.

Love to All-Kim

 

 

My Blessings Are Many

My blessings are many and picking 5 is beyond difficult for me. Today is a good day for me to think about my blessings and all the things I should be grateful for. It has been a shit show of a few days for me and have been feeling sorry for myself and rather self absorbed in my misery. The topic of picking 5 blessings in my life couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.

  1. My Faith-My faith is a blessing and a gift. I think it’s so important for everyone to have something to believe in, a higher power if you will. Something bigger than yourself.
  2. My husband-Quite frankly, he is the best thing that has ever happened to me. He couldn’t of come into my life at any more of a perfect time than he did. I was a year out from my divorce, broke, depressed, didn’t trust a soul, hopeless….he showed me and reminded me that I was worthy of being loved, and everything he has ever promised me he has done and more. Seriously-there are men out there that say what they mean and mean what they say. They will come through and be the man that you need them to be.
  3. My children-I have these beautiful perfect children that are the greatest things I have or will ever accomplish. There is nothing that will compare to anything else I will ever do in my life than my children.
  4. A Home-Not a house but a home. A place where the us and the kids love and want to be. The love, the laughing, and everything in between.
  5. Health-I am a 42 year old female who is slightly over-weight and likes to have a drink here and there. My health is good. My children and my husband are healthy.

Writing these 5 things today for you and for myself has already improved my mood tremendously. These are the things I need to dwell on every day! And not the things that are bothering me.

 

Love to All-Kim

Winning Your Way To My Heart

Winning the way to my heart is not simple and some days I feel guilty for how difficult I can be. But yet, it’s my choice and I don’t feel anything that is winning my heart is asking too much, it is my heart, afterall.

Trust-I have trust issues. They go back to my youth, and my first marriage. I HAVE, have to trust you. Whether it be in a romantic relationship, or any relationship. As the saying goes..words are nice but actions prove so much more. Unfortunately, I don’t start out trusting someone. I start out not trusting and have to be proven to that I can trust you. I question every thing, repeatedly,  until I feel confident. Most would say I go overboard with my trust issues. It’s who I am.

My Children-I need someone who is going to be a role model to my children. I am ok with them being their friend but they still need to be the adult in all situations. They must treat them as their own and love them unconditionally. Let’s be honest..children can be a pain in the ass and test every bit of patience you have. If you can win the love and respect of my children-YOU ARE IN!

Honesty-I cannot handle being lied to about ANYTHING! Honesty and trust pretty much go hand in hand. I think this one doesn’t warrant any explaining.

Respect-Respect is so very important. Giving respect as well as receiving it. Honestly it may be the most important one. I would never venture into a friendship without respect let alone a romantic relationship.

Love-Honest, pure, truthful, respectful, raw love. No strings attached. Love me for who I am and also for who I am not.  And I will love you for you.

Love to All-

Kim