Tag Archives: happy

Let Those Grudges Go

Grudges. The old me…circa 2016 and back…100% held grudges. It’s all I knew. Or maybe it was what I was forced to know. What it did was cost me my first marriage, and countless mistakes after that. Then one day my wife (new marriage) told me it, along with my bitterness for life, it was one of the things she hated most about me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Along with the wondering why she married me to begin with, so many questions flooded my existence. Circumstances had made me that way. The many years of continuous hurt and betrayal from so many people I had given my heart to had turned me into stone. What a reality check and more importantly an awakening.

And so I committed to myself, and those I loved, to change. And I did. I absolutely changed. I let all the negative that had been drowning me go. And slowly I fought my way back. I learned to forgive. And I did it. But along the way of forgiveness, somehow I ended up with a broken heart all over again. Was this how it was supposed to be? Really? I had fought an internal battle to change my hardened heart, all for it to happen all over again?

Over the past two years I have fought through some of the darkest days of my life. Places I never thought I would be, I have been. I don’t think I will ever understand the reason, the why’s or the how’s, nor will I ever run out of tears when my mind wanders back in remembrance. They flow uncontrollably. What I do know is that I have to stop questioning it, and somehow find the strength to leave all of it behind once and for all, let go of the grudges. My life has to have some kind of purpose, and while I may not know what that is right now, I have to believe that one day I will find it. I will not revert back to being bitter. And when it comes to two people; as far as forgiveness goes, it will never work if one person forgives and the other does not. I know what side I was once on, and more importantly I know what side I was on in the end. All that’s left for me is to close the door and never walk through it again.

Keep on keeping on!

Virtual Hugs,

BLag

Know Your Worth

When approaching 51, you end up doing this sort of involuntary assessment of your existence up to this point…it’s not like a planned thing, it just happens…you find yourself thinking through the decades that have passed and you start looking at what you learned.

If you are me you also think you need to share the things you could have done better because perhaps you will keep someone else from making those particular errors.

Here’s one of my biggest “I could have done betters” career wise — not realizing my worth in the workplace and conducting myself accordingly.  Up until about 3 or 4 years ago I undervalued myself and allowed other people to undervalue me as well— I also did a fair amount of enabling people disguised as being a power performer.  I was talking this morning on the FB Live about how we end up just putting our heads down and moving toward the goal without really giving much thought to how we ARE in the process.  What happens in the workplace is the same…we behave in the same way, we take our –badass single parent, we can get anything done– attitude and we apply it everywhere—without much thought to how we are being treated in return.  We may tend to undervalue ourselves in a work environment by doing this…

For me that showed up for years as me doing everything I was asked, pushing through to get the result no matter what, always saying yes, not asking to be compensated for doing many different jobs, trying to please everyone and make everything easier for them…I trusted that people would treat me the way I treated them…often that was not the case.

Looking back on it all now I see that I did a lot of enabling others because I just always made everything OK and handled it…I was so worried about keeping the bills paid and a roof over our heads that I never once stopped to think about if I was being compensated for what I was WORTH.  In hindsight I could have done so so SO much better—if I had understood how much value I contributed I would have understood how to ask for things in relation to that—instead I just took what was offered and kept doing more…

I am so very grateful for all that I learned in these last two decades and for all of the opportunities that were extended to me, I simply wish that I had taken better care of myself in the process and that I had valued myself as much as I should have.  I would like to see you ladies avoid this – value yourselves, ask for what you deserve and don’t be afraid to walk away if something isn’t working—take care of you—you are worth far more than you think.

 

XO, Noelle

 

The Ice Cream Dance

Hey Mommas… you may be reading the title of this blog, The Ice Cream Dance,  and thinking has Caprise been spending too much time in the sun? She’s overheated.

Thankfully I have been fortunate to be safely tucked away in spaces with working A/C as the Midwest (my home) and just like much of you is getting hit with heat. I’m not complaining though. While I live in the land of ice and snow, I love not having to wear shoes or layers.

But…. I am going way off topic here. Kinda of. Maybe not.

We here at Working Single Mom do our best to remind you to take care of yourself.

That includes finding your happy. I will be honest, there was a time I way over thought that and of course answered it immediately with a “if G is happy I’m happy.”

Well, yes.

But there is also a reason why there are quotes about if Mom isn’t happy no one is happy.

I believe that. I’m not saying hide your sad. Never. If there is anything I’m learning from my quickly maturing daughter G, it helps her to know if I’m stressed or sad. Case in point we had a morning planned and right before we left I got a pretty important email from work. It stressed me out, I told G. Handled it and we moved on with our morning.

She was elated I told her what was up and told me so. A few months ago I would have been a grumpy troll and put a damper on our morning trying to not only deal with the work emergency but hide my stress from G.

She’s 12, while she can’t handle everything she can handle more than I give her credit for.

And yes for the record she is my happy.

So are some other things and I’m going to share them with you. Now here’s the thing. I didn’t not come upon these revelations completely by myself. I of course have Miss G who finds joy in some of the silliest things and I can’t help but smile.

My family has shown me. My friends.

Of course the amazing community here.

Happy doesn’t have to be a big extravaganza. You do have to work at though. You do. I think the fact I’m writing about finding your happy tells all of us that.

Of course there are quotes about that too.

My favorite which I’m sure I’ve shared here… “misery is easy, happiness you have to work at.”

Happy can be rediscovering how great a hot cup of coffee with milk and sugar is after months of having to limit dairy. This getting old business I tell you…

A open window after months of winter.

A sunrise.

A sunset.

Singing Never Surrender by Corey Hart at the top of your lungs. Don’t ask.

A goofy dance only you and your daughter do.

Five bags of Haribo gummy candy for $5.

Your daughter still wanting goodnight hugs after she told she can tuck herself in.

Your dog leaning against you so you’ll pet him.

Tacos.

Reconnecting with an old friend.

An unexpected text.

Pastries of any kind.

That feeling I get when I’m swimming laps.

Sunday afternoon naps.

Guacamole.

Dancing while you’re eating ice cream. AKA the ice cream dance. One of my favorite comedians does this thing where when she’s traveling she eats ice cream, plays music in the background and dances.

Because she’s happy and it makes me happy watching it.

My point is, it’s so easy and I know this in my bones to look around and find a reason not find your happy. It doesn’t have to be a vacation to a beach, although that would be great. It can be simple, but don’t forget yourself.

Ok?

You are important Mommas.

You deserve that unexpected smile and giggle.

You deserve the happy.

You deserve to have an ice cream dance.

I’m sending you an extra smile in case you didn’t get one this week and bonus want picture me eating a taco, dancing horribly with Def Leppard Photograph playing in the background.

Ok that might make you shake your head.

Much love Mommas.

<3 Caprise

Finding Your Escape

Music has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. Growing up, music was essential at every family gathering. Some days all we would listen to was Spanish ballads. Other times, all you could hear was Brian May’s iconic guitar solos coming from the speakers.

I grew up listening to musicians that are mostly unknown to kids my age. Imagine an eight year old, in this day and age, trying to explain to her friends how much she would love to turn back time to get a chance to meet John, Paul, George, or Ringo.

Guess what… I was, and still am, that kid. At first, I fell in love with this music because of its upbeat and fun rhythm. Now that I’m older, I’ve fallen in love with it once more because of the lyrics that always find a way of touching my heart. In some ways, this music seems like the one thing that never ceases to “understand” me.

The most exciting part of my day is putting on my headphones to listen to musical classics. Whether I’m sad, angry, or just bored, these songs always find a way of acting like a kind of “escape” from anything going on in my life.

Over the summer, I have been spending a lot of time with my friends. I noticed that not one of them feels the same way that I do about music. What I did notice was that all of them had their own form of “escape“ (oddly none of these included Freddie Mercury’s vocals). Some use sports as their escape, while others explore more creative escapes like drawing or actually playing music. I find it fascinating that all of us go through similar things in life, yet each of us have a different way of escaping into our own passion. This made me think about how everyone should find something that makes them feel good. Something small that they are excited about doing. Whether it’s drawing a beautiful portrait or just jamming out to your favorite song, try and make time for it.

I also want to let the adults out there know, that although these activities might seem like distractions for your kids, they can be very positive for us.  Go out and find your escape! 

-Dani

Hello Sadness , My Old Friend

Sadness comes. It is inevitable, as it is part of life. It is part of who we are as women living on this earth experiencing loss, upset, fear, change, etc. It comes from that place deep in our hearts where something matters. Where we believe so strongly about something, that being shaken rips at the core of our being. The tears that come, fall from that place behind our eyes that we sometimes cannot put to rest. Sadness may come slowly at times and other times it just jumps out at you when you least expect it and knocks you down. It may stay for a few moments or it may linger. AND ,It is what you do IN the sadness that will liberate you or drag you down.

You must dig deep. Deep into your strength. Deep into your file full of accomplishments, successes & worth. Dig deep to remind yourself what you’re made of & what you’re capable of doing & who you are. As your God-girl…I pray with the sadness. I reach out to my girlfriends and get support. I read my affirmations and look at my Vision Board. I make a new Vision Board. lol I open my Bible and read. I re-read a favorite book. I am reminded of my greatness and that this sadness is just a hiccup in the road of life. I BE with it, look at what is good, and pull myself up by my bootstraps.

Be with the sadness and remember to not let it get a grip of you. Remember to breath & breath & breath still, to trust once again, & to remember that you are strong and courageous and all WILL work out. Sadness just is. And as I’ve heard people say ….This Too Shall Pass”.

Your God Girl-

Tracy

Gratitude Is Like A Birthday Present

Is it my birthday

Gratitude is like birthday presents. It comes in all different sizes & packages. It comes from places you expect and places that surprise you. Some gifts rock your world while others look like they were a re-gift from the 80’s. Some are given with the fullness of authentic love while others are backed up with an obligation attitude.

To express gratitude takes effort. To stop in your tracks and have the thought is good, but then to speak the words… that takes a conscious act of the heart.

It could look like this:

A small size gratitude could look like a 20 second thanks while you’re running between errands and someone held the door for you.

A medium gratitude might look like a surprise as someone gives you a treat you never would’ve imagined, & you blurt out a laughter within the Thank You.

A large size gratitude comes from deep within your soul where truthful thanks exist. You take a minute to give an honest word of thanksgiving, you look the person in the eyes & you let them know you mean what you say.

The true spirit comes from a thankful heart. A heart who knows things could be worse, acknowledges it is exactly how it is supposed to be right now and it is GOOD. How do you do that you may ask….. What is there possibly to be grateful for in your tragic drama-full life.” You say. An attitude of gratitude can be practiced every day starting with little things, meaningful details, acceptance of mediocrity. A good way to get yourself in the mood is to start a journal and write down 3 things your grateful for every day and see where it takes you

Start here: ….. toothbrush & toothpaste, a hot cup of coffee, clean clothes, hot shower.

It could take you to a happy place you never knew existed.

Your God Girl,

Tracy

When Mom Is Happy Everyone Is Happy

This post is really geared towards mom, but I suppose it could hit home for just about anyone. I want to talk about the importance of self-care and the feelings of guilt that come along with that care. How often do you do something for yourself…say go to the gym or get your hair or nails done, and then feel guilt for leaving your kids with a sitter, at daycare, or even with their other parent? If your answer to this is never, then please teach me your ways I beg of you!!

I’m currently sipping on a latte with color processing in my hair at my favorite salon, that I drive an hour to get to in Providence. I know you are probably thinking I am nuts, but I haven’t always driven to Providence. I’ve been seeing the same hair stylist for just over five years now and two years ago she headed to Providence to open her own salon so of course I followed her. I’m just trying to keep it real here…finding a stylist that just gets your hair is like finding a good babysitter!

Do I feel guilty for getting my hair done today? You bet your ass I do, but not just for leaving the girls but also for spending the money that I should be saving. I try to save as much as I can these days, going from two incomes to one is definitely an adjustment. Yes, there is child support so I’m one of the “lucky” single moms, but still an adjustment. I thought about cancelling my appointment on more than one occasion, but it had been booked for three months and it was honestly starting to become impossible to brush through my hair. See what I just did there?!? I made an excuse for myself to lessen that ever present guilt.

You must do things for yourself that make you feel good on the inside and on the outside. Maybe you want to hit the bag at the gym, get some eyelash extensions, or God forbid take a damn nap! You are entitled to do these things, enjoy these things while doing them and still be a good mom (or dad). Getting my hair done and going to the gym are things that I refuse to have to give up. They make me feel good about myself and when I feel good about myself I feel like I can take on the world. Let’s face it, sometimes being the parent of small children, you already feel like you are taking on the world. You might as well look good while doing it <3

 

Remember, hugs are always free!

xX Tamara xX

Who Will You Choose To Be?

When you wake up in the morning who do you choose to be? Most days I wake up and I choose to be the best version of myself that I can be. Other days I wake up and the weight on my shoulders feels so heavy I must force myself out of bed. Life is a balancing act, as I am sure you are all well aware of. We all have our struggles, but it is how we choose to deal with those struggles that define us.

After my first blog post I had a few people send me messages and ask if I should really be sharing such personal thoughts and feelings. At first, I began to doubt myself and if what I was doing was the right thing. However, the more I thought about it I realized that yes, it is the right thing. I shouldn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed for what I have gone through and what I continue to go through. This is a personal blog for a reason, it is about my life and I choose to share it. You never know what another person may be going through, maybe someone will read this blog and realize they share some of my experiences.

Right before the long holiday weekend my washing machine broke and gave me a fun little flood. I’m pretty sure the girls had some secret plan to create as much dirty laundry for their mom as possible in the few days that followed. One peed on the couch and instead of telling about it she got up and moved to another couch cushion…great now I have not one, but two cushions soaked in piss. While I am cleaning up said piss the other child is hiding in the corner pooping in her new Minnie Mouse underwear. I know you have been there moms, caught in some parallel universe of should I yell, cry, laugh…maybe a combination of all three?!? Sorry kid but those underwear are going in the trash and you can both sit on the floor because we don’t have couch cushions!

Circling back to my very first post about my birthday, I did indeed indulge in some yummy treats. My best friend surprised me with my babysitter for Friday night, and that is no small feat as my sitter is hard to book #mybestieisbtterthanyours! If you are a parent with small children and you find an amazing sitter, hold on to them because good sitters are hard to find <3 So…. we have some ladies’ night shenanigans planned for the evening, stay tuned for how that turns out.

I choose to laugh, to smile, and to live with intention without fear of judgement from others. People will always have an opinion about you and how you live your life. But the key words there are that it is your life, you get to choose how you live it, who you let into it and who you kindly (or not so kindly) show the door to. Let’s be honest here not all people who are in your life deserve to be in your life, weed those people out even if you have to drag them kicking and screaming out of that damn door. I choose to be in control of my life and future, I choose to be humble, I choose to be the best mom that I can be! Who do you choose to be???

 

Remember, hugs are always free!

xX Tamara xX

The Joy Of No Responsibility

Freedom!

For the past three years, I have been sending my son to sleep away camp. Started after 4th grade for a week at the beginning of the summer and two weeks at the beginning of August. I’ll never forget how much I cried (wailed and dry heaved is more accurate) when I dropped him off that first time, feeling like I had my heart ripped out from my chest. What if something happened to him? What if I couldn’t “protect” him? I had no idea what to do with myself and my newfound freedom. As an only parent without family nearby, my son and I were/are each other’s everything for a long time. This first parting was the scariest thing on the planet for me. (Mind you, I am the anti-helicopter parent and firmly believe that I am raising a future adult.) I went to the city to walk around and people watch, eating my first meal fully alone and feeling very Carrie Bradshaw about it. It was hell.

Now, on our third year at camp, he’s going for six straight weeks. I can see him every other Sunday and plan to do so, but the chance for a real mental parenting break and lack of responsibilities for someone other than myself for a bit is truly refreshing. I’ve packed my schedule with work trips and popcorn ceiling scraping and wallpaper removing so I can make the house I am buying into a home and continue to be able to pay for it. It’s a special feeling to be able to create a magical place for us to build a lifetime of memories in a place that is completely our own. I cried on my drive home today with joy of the future to come.

I recognize that I am fortunate to be in a financial position to be able to do all of this, but for those of you that say you can’t relate, I wasn’t always where I am now. Those memories are painful and will be the subject of a future post when I can bring myself to unearth them. “Ad astra per aspera”

Electra

Finding Benevolence In Chaos

When you are a single mother, most of the time you are fearful that you won’t be able to make ends meet. Trying to hail mary a check at the grocery because your pantry is empty. I have been there so many times. We are constantly reminded, “the struggle is real”.

Lucky enough, I was able to find a job at a local trauma hospital. Watch out local market, here we come!

I saw things that  will not settle in my psyche for a long time. Along with severe accidents, there were things that were amusing. A nice balance of good and bad.

Over time, I was able to somewhat shield myself from the chaos. After this, I realized that I was going to be given a huge life lesson.

Originally, I thought I was not able to feel compassion for others. I was too involved in my own life to pay attention. It was then that my heart opened up and my lessons were about to be learned.

Most of the reps would take the easy cases. They would shy away from the others. Since I had a job to do, I took the ones that they didn’t want. Compassion 101.

While a family was waiting for their person, I checked and offered what could be done to make them comfortable. Tissues? Ice water? A warm blanket? It was only 2 minutes of my time. Later in the night, they had thanked me for being so sweet.

I took the unruly kids to the snack drawer and loaded them with treats. They were thrilled!

Eventually,I scouted out the patient’s that needed kind words or special treats. It was my lesson because I began to see the blessings of kindness. My little ole heart had started to open. Indeed, not everyone was a jerk.

Compassion and kindness are free. Most people appreciate small gestures. Take the time to smile. Practice, practice, practice. Go thru the lesson to get the reward. At the end of the day, embrace your blessing. You won’t be disappointed.

Striving for exceptional – Tristen Ahlsey