Tag Archives: mom

The Muscles We Don’t See

When I look at mothers, I value the muscles you can’t see…

If we are fortunate, we have friends or family members that tell us how strong we are. I have someone in my life that champions me. And, I appreciate that. But those on the outside looking in only get a glimpse. Because until you are a mom, you are not able to comprehend what it takes to survive.

Moms have the endurance of long-distance runners. Every day is a marathon. It feels like a sprint but it is a marathon. As soon as she is out of bed – actually, before that…as soon as she is awake – she is going. There is so much to do and life demands a consistent pace if there is to be any hope of getting even a portion of it completed. If this marathoner appears to be breaking stride or shortening the distance, don’t be fooled. This woman is always moving swiftly – thinking, planning, preparing, and plotting the entire time.

Mothers are incredible jugglers. You have not seen someone multi-task until you’ve seen her handle a day. Yes, we all know what studies say about multi-tasking but she proves them wrong and takes it to a new level. Making dinner, while correcting homework, starting the laundry, answering a teacher’s email, signing a permission slip and answering the phone, all while asking the kids about their day and while still wearing her work clothes. And, dinner makes it to the table on time, and the kids feel none of the effects of this whirlwind because her focus is seemingly only on them. Now that is impressive, and it is only one hour of her day. That juggle is nonstop and requires incredible muscle.

Mothers are tremendous containment specialists. When there is no one at home to confide in, to share the burden of decision making, advocating and disciplining, she needs to contain that frustration, struggle and self-doubt and put it aside as best she can.  Mom has grit. There is not enough time or energy to let that doubt and fear creep in. But it is there. It is always there. So, she shoves it down or back or into a box and moves ahead with her head high, knowing (or at least hoping that) she is doing the best she can.

No one sees all of this. And, yet, it takes a more strength than most can imagine. Not even the mom’s closest confidant truly sees the triumphs and tears, the disappointments and the dance parties, the hard days and harder nights. But in all of those moments, the real muscles are formed and refined and flexed. Mom doesn’t worry about who sees. She isn’t looking for sympathy. She doesn’t have time for that. She might need a little understanding and a little grace, or just a knowing smile from a fellow mom. She might not know where the strength she needs comes from. But it is there. Quietly growing and building, depleting and then building again.

It is those muscles, the ones no one sees, that help moms push through, carry on and strive for more.

 

Samantha

You Are More, You Are A Rockstar

You are more, you ARE a rockstar!

Over Memorial Day weekend I did something I think a lot of people in my life didn’t think I could do.

I traveled across the country by myself. I had a working vacation.

My vacation running a music stage for three days at a festival in Napa Valley.

I made sure the musicians got what they needed, got on and off the stage, all communication came through me. I knew one person. I had no car. It was a huge adventure.

The last trip I took my daughter was two and a half and was with my ex husband it was our five year anniversary trip to Jamaica. It was three months after we had started talking about splitting up.

Needless to say not a great trip.

After that my trips have been limited to family vacations. Work trips where there are always colleagues along. But nothing like this.

I think sometimes when you become a Mom people forget you are more than just a Mom.

It’s easy to assume because your life has changed maybe there are certain things you can’t handle.

People forget when you made the decision to leave you had to handle a whole lot.

That even now you handle a whole lot.

People sometimes assume because you don’t wear everything out on your sleeve, running around with rockstars is not something a Mom could do.

Some would say should do.

My biggest cheerleader was the one who got me the job. He has known me since I was in college. He has seen my ups and downs. He knows I’m not easily fazed. Also, as he put it since I work with children regularly and am a Mom this would be in my wheelhouse.

My point in all of this… you are more than the greatest job on the world. In fact because of that job let’s just be honest, you can handle a WHOLE lot.

Even a DJ’s assistant getting crabby because a band who had been going nonstop didn’t autograph a poster.

Or your daughter kicking you out of the bathroom mid hair dry.

Either or.

You a superstars.

Let’s call it- you’re rockstars!

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

You Got This Mommas

You got this mommas…

Every week late Sunday afternoon I curl up somewhere with a beverage, music, blanket, and my iPad and start to write a post that will appear here.

I always try to find something I hope that will resonate with someone. Maybe help. Make someone laugh. Feel better.

The irony that my maternal instincts kick in, even when dealing with something like a blog post isn’t lost on me.

As I write this – it’s Mother’s Day. I will share with you that while I was never a 100 percent about getting married I always knew I wanted to be a Mom.

I am far from a traditional Mom and my own daughter sometimes compares me to a teenager on occasion, but I have always and will always put her first.

I worry and overthink when it comes to her. I try not to Tiger Mom her too much. I maybe get too much joy out of singing loudly to a song she doesn’t like in our car rides together.

Meals can sometimes be more like snacks.

She definitely gets too much time on her iPad.

I let her have two swear words a day.

My heart hurts when she is at her Dad’s, even though when she’s home we are rarely in the same room.

I love being silly with her. That she is almost taller than me.

Being a Mom is the best thing, deciding to do it alone was one of the hardest decision I ever made. I still worry about it, but I also needed to be a healthy, happy Mom for G. I still have my moments…

I will never be a PTA Mom. I send gift cards and emails to school. I am thankful for her teachers and her grandparents who have helped me to raise such a beautiful, funny, smart and kind spirit.

I don’t look like the other Moms with my tattoos and piercings, but I look like her and when she asks me to I dress up or down – I do. I love that we both like Vans and fun t-shirts.

In all of this ramble this is my point… no one is the perfect Momma. She doesn’t exist. But what you are is a Momma who is doing amazing on her own terms with her whole heart and that’s what it’s all about.

At least I hope so.

You do got this Mommas

<3 Caprise

How Do You Do It All?

I get asked all the time how I do it.  “It” referring to working full time, taking care of a household, and raising four boys each with a different personality. I used to struggle and question my parenting style; for example do I parent like I was raised or do I parent like society says I should parent.

Then not so long ago I had an ephiany. I realized I need to keep doing what I’m doing. When my two younger boys, ages 12 and 14, are at each other’s throats, I try and remain calm and ask them what happened. Most of the time they talk and yell over each other and in the end I’m the one yelling.  That is okay because after some self reflection I tell myself I will try and do better the next time.

The truth is there is a combination of things that go into how I parent, work full time and take care of my household.  First of all, I pray for patience, patience, and more patience. Second, I do my self care routine. My routine consists of putting my kids to bed and watching TV or getting on social media.  I also like to go to the tanner or go for walks with friends. I realized long ago self care is not selfish. I know I cannot be there for my job or my kids if I’m a hot mess. Humor is also a very important piece of my daily routine.  I laugh at myself several times a day. Like when I’m looking for my phone while it is in my hand or when I am shopping and jump when I see my reflection in a mirror and say excuse me thinking it was another person.

I have to remember I am human and I am not perfect.  Mistakes are made daily and that is okay, because I am blessed beyond measure and I get to wake up every day and try again.  If I can tell myself at the end of the day that I put everything I had into being the best that I can be I know my kids will turn out okay.

 

Yours Truly,

Anne Smith- A Working & Single Mother

Self Care-SOS!

If you follow this page regularly the topic of self care comes up pretty often. It will probably continue to come up as it seems to be a hard one for people.

In particular -parents

Moms especially. There are whole memes devoted to this very thing.

For whatever reason some of us are hard wired to believe if we take a moment we are being selfish. I’ll even take it one step further some of us, we don’t even know how to ask for help. Or say I’m hurting, I need a break, I need help, I need a hug.

Me. Ok, I’m referring to myself. But I’m pretty confident quite a few of you reading this struggle with it too. For me I never want to be a burden, appear weak, or put anyone out. So I usually just keep powering through until I can’t.

I’m here to tell you that is not the best way to go.

Typically it means I get horribly sick. So I have gotten better about going to bed early. Rather than staying up trying to make everything picture perfect. Baby steps in the process.

I am a bit envious of people who are able to openly say things suck. Some even on social media. I’m hesitant to go that route though. I have an acquaintance who regularly laments her life. Reactions are varied. Which is why I and I think other people sometimes just dig in and keep on keeping on.

I don’t want to appear negative or needy or not capable. I have been on my own so long, even with my own parents it can be hard to ask for their help when I’m sick.

To put it in perspective I get chronic migraines, rather than just tell people I have a migraine I have to cancel. I say I’m not feeling the best. I’m too embarrassed to say I have a headache.

That’s silliness. I know, but somewhere along the way… I was made to feel I shouldn’t ask.

To REALLY put in perspective I have had two really serious health and family things happen recently. Maybe two people know. And that’s because one noticed I seemed not myself and the other I had to ask to be my emergency contact.

As parents, Moms, wives, partners, friends, sisters, daughters we are working so hard at being the sparkly rock of support, care and love for everyone else we sometimes don’t know how or forget it’s ok to ask for help.

It’s ok.

Really

You are not any less you for needing a moment or a hand. In fact you’re tougher for knowing to ask. Rather than letting it explode. Take it from the fire starter writing this.

In the last few years I’ve been incredibly fortunate in that my circle is teaching me it’s ok to ask.

This week was tough and my body retaliated in kind. For the first time in a long time I had someone making sure I was ok. My heart is still full from it.

The love and care you give out- Mommas, it’s beyond ok to get that back. But in case you forget I’ll be here reminding you.

❤️

Caprise

The Fixer Of Broken Boys Part 14: Here’s Where The Story Begins

If you’ve been following along with my story, I seem to know how to pick them. Some would say I pick them, fix them, and send them on their way..

A fixer of broken boys.

Others would say I’m broken.

For the record I’m not a fan of that word. Broken.

Or victim.

Or unlucky.

I absolutely can not tolerate people who hold their past as excuses to be horrible.

“you don’t understand… this happened…”

Actually I do and then some.

Here’s the truth. Without all theses chapters I would not have the love of my life. She’s eleven. She’s perfect and while I am not… perfect, she makes me feel like I am about eighty percent of the time.

I considered wrapping this up neatly. Giving you the happy ending I teased in an earlier chapter. But that’s not the truth. Life is messy. Things have been hard. Dating as a single Mom is no joke. Dating as a single Mom who has been through some stuff,well… I recognize I can be a challenge. For a moment I want to acknowledge that some of this is hard to read, it’s hard to write…but it’s mine and you know what?

I’m here. I have walls. I hold my breath. I don’t always see what others do. But I’m here. My feet are planted firmly and I’m determined to show my daughter that you can be loved for who you are. That even when not so great stuff happens you can get through it. You can. Maybe the path there may not be very straight but it CAN be done.

Which leads me to my now…

I’m treading lightly here because it’s so incredibly precious to me. As I’m wrapping up my forties a switch has been turned on. I have finally realized it is ok to want hand holding, mushy, compromise, quiet days, ruckus nights,if someone loves you they won’t  judge what you want or who you are, but rather rebel yell for you.

They will go to Target when they’d rather be at a record store.

They will ask about your daughter.

They will ask you about your day.

Text you in the morning.

Send you a song

Let you send them a Dad joke

Hold your hand

Remind you they are there for you and keep doing so even when you try to push them away.

I’m crying as I type this because… let’s just say what’s mine is mine is mine and if I tell you it’s less mine… but it’s mine.

It’s messy and it may not work for you, but isn’t that life?

Life is messy! Who wants perfect? I will take messy and happy any day.

I’m finding out I don’t need to fix broken boys anymore…

The boys weren’t broken and neither was I. I just didn’t see who I was. I finally do.

I am a Mom. A friend A sister. An aunt. A daughter. A teacher. A shoe hoarder. A nerd. A pink haired, tattooed middle aged punk lady who still crushes on Henry Rollins. And that is more than ok… it’s kinda perfect.

~~Caprise

Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

A Bunny Makes A Great Listener

As I am feeding fluids to my daughter’s new bunny with an eyedropper, I am abruptly reminded of my daughter’s first years where I had roughly the same fight each day. This bunny means so much to us and I tell him this. He needs to stick around.

There is no accurate way to describe the heavy, sick feeling of desperation and terror that accompanies having an infant who cannot breathe, who cannot nurse or easily drink. This bunny forces me to remember just how much I hate that feeling. “I can’t lose this one” should not be a mantra for your life yet it was mine for a very, very long time.

This little bunny reminds me of the painful past we both survived.

This little bunny reminds of all we do as Moms.

How we beat ourselves up, turn ourselves inside out, drag ourselves to work and back, power through a stomping child’s tantrums, emergency room visits and the landfill of toys that is your house.

This bunny reminds me of what I have done.

With complete certainty, I knew my daughter was meant for me. She was my Rory Gilmore. It was going to be rainbows and puppy dogs forever. We would hold hands and skip off into the sunset.

So why can’t we get out of our own way? Why can’t we just enjoy each other each day?

Sucked down in the muck of trudging to work (and school), the sadness of leaving them only to have your hopes dashed at the end of the day when, excited and happy to see your child, you get a possessed Linda Blair instead.

Why can’t I handle her moods better and create a warm-happy-daydream evening for us every day?

I dream of long vacations where there are no time constraints, no looming job over my head, no homework, no chores, no mess. When we do get a vacation every few years, it is bliss and flies by in a blink. So how do I create a vacation kind of bond with my child? How do I feed that tethered link of love and connection every day?

The answer I have is to listen.

Listen with my nose in my phone? Nope. I must listen with my whole being. Listening with all of my heart and my eyes wide open is like directing a beam of light shining down on her that says,
“I care. I give a crap. I want to know what you do, how you think, what you dream about.”

Obvious, right?

My challenge, see how long you can listen to your child without putting away groceries and turning away, without putting away clothes, cleaning up a mess. Just stop. Maybe it is not always feasible but the times you can, do it. Make it a habit. Research suggests it takes 21 days to form a habit so try for 21 days to take moments of the day to stop everything and listen.

I know. I am the only one that keeps us on a schedule too and in the morning I often say,
“You can tell me in the car.” ”You can tell me after we get home.”

Sometimes she just needs me to stop and I feel I have forgotten this.

This little bunny is part of my elaborate plan for everyday is a vacation, when you are doing what you love with the people you want to be with. This means mom-daughter bonding moments in the care and cuddling of bunnies and road trips to rabbit shows. We joined 4H, which means among other things, visits to farms, joining a rabbit club, holding and posing animals. “I recommend 4H for every child. There are limitless opportunities to grow and learn with 4H. Real world opportunities for kids to master their future. And for us, 4H is the vacation in everyday life that we get to repeat every week.

A lot rides on this little bunny. My daughter now has a little furry person of her own to worry about, to care for, love and cuddle. Who will hopefully drink.

Thank you little bunny. Good talk.

Bernae

Just a No-Bake Cookies Failure

I just inhaled three no-bake cookies that I had to scrape off the waxed paper with a spoon but I know you aren’t judging me. You get it.

I typed those two sentences nineteen times because my 10 year old is staring at me talking about megalodons and hunks of meat.  Honestly, this isn’t even weird.

The list of things that I can’t cook is very small. Sitting here now, I’m realizing that really the only things that I can’t cook are things that require patience.  The patience to watch things boil, to time it just right so that everything sets and melds and does whatever it’s supposed to do to turn out perfectly.  I didn’t get that gene.  I got the ‘you can always add enough butter, salt and bacon’ gene.  One gives you perfection and the other gives you something that’s a little bit different every time you eat it, but it’s always good.

Speaking of patience, lately I feel like the little bit that I did have is going fast.  I’m tired and more than being tired, I just don’t feel appreciated like basically every mother who ever mothered.  I’m exhausted.

Dad was in the hospital for over a week and he came home the day before the 4th of July.  On the 4th, I had a military retirement party for my ex.  Yes, I’ll go ahead and repeat that.  On the 4th, I had a military retirement party for my ex.  Moving on, that day I don’t think I sat down all day long.  I was tired- physically and mentally.  I was flaring and in pain- because fibromyalgia is like your least favorite relative who consistently visits at the worst possible time.  I was stressed- because… life.  But throughout the day, I was also the only one who could consistently be found, in the kitchen, just plodding away, getting it done.  It seemed like every time I looked for someone to ask them to do something, they were lying in bed.  I found myself wondering what I always wonder when I feel overworked and underpaid.  What would happen if I just laid down?

We know the answer to that, right?  I mean for starters, none of our guests would have been eating when they got here…

Moms, well women, keep the world turning.  We are the taxis, the nurses, the makers of makeshift critter enclosures.  We are the nurturers, the caregivers, the chicken soup makers.  We are the hunters and gatherers of backpacks, shin guards, lost permission slips…

We are supposed to do all of this without losing our shit.  When we repeat the same request 47 times and become unglued on the 48th repetition, they look at us like we are crazy and knocking on menopause’s door.  We are supposed to manage the home, a career, the children, the aging

parents, the extracurriculars, the bills and keep track of everyone’s everything so we can recall at a moment’s notice where you left your keys and we are supposed to do this with a pleasant disposition and a smile and no need to nap.

You really are the reason we drink.  Those Mother’s Day liquor store jokes aren’t really jokes.

Even though we do all of this and manage to keep everyone alive, clothed and mostly intact, for some reason, we are also masters of guilt.  Somedays we love every single moment of wiping noses, digging under the front seat for that super important Pokémon card that has turned up missing and cooking dinner that doesn’t get eaten because today you are a yogurtatarian.  Other days, we don’t.  We want to go on a week long vacation, BY OURSELVES, to a place where no one asks us for one mother-bleeping thing, where we can either sit by a pool guzzling fruity drinks until we forget we even have children, or lie in bed binge watching Netflix until check out time, as long as no one makes that decision but us.  And we feel guilty for wanting that.

I literally think women are broken.

On the 4th, I listened to my ex and my teenager do their typical, “Mom is so dramatic” schtick.  “I was just lying down for a minute, and Mom came in there about to have a breakdown.”  I take care of everyone.  Everyone.  Even my ex.  Who takes care of me?

That’s the lesson here, Ladies.  I take care of me.  I do.

STOP.  FEELING.  GUILTY.

Take the nap.  Take the trip.  Eat the no-bake cookies with a spoon because they taste just as good that way.  If stuff doesn’t get done, it doesn’t get done.  No one will die but maybe they will see how much Mom does to give them this life.  Maybe more than seeing how much Mom does they might actually see how much of us we give away.  We do it because we love them but we don’t have to be martyrs.  I need this lesson, too.

Let little Billy find his own Pokémon cards, but keep on kissing the boo-boos.

<3 LA

You can see more of LA at https://sweeterinthesouth.blog/

Single Moms Are Rock Stars

The other day I realized that single moms are rock stars, but not in the “we can do it” way that I usually mean this. Single moms live like rock stars, and we need to take care of ourselves like rock stars.

I was listening to a radio interview of a rock star when this came to me. Admittedly, this musician was not a guy from an ‘80s hard rock band. If so, the interview might have been about trashing hotel rooms. Instead, the singer was a 30ish woman who was a solo artist. She talked about how much she loved singing and writing songs and sharing them with her audience.

Then she shared how challenging touring was. She was in a different city every couple of days. Tour deadlines must be met, yet there were inevitable delays or lost luggage at just the wrong time. She stayed up late to perform, and often got up early the next morning to head to the airport. And no matter what happened, the show must go on.

Then she talked about how she loved her fans and how that made it totally worth it. And she shared how she did it. She explained that she would go to bed as early as she could when she was on tour. She would stay hydrated. She would bring her vitamins with her and do her best to eat healthy food. She would work out at the hotel gym. She would put in earplugs and read a book on the plane to have a little time to herself.

When she was describing this, it hit me. This is like being a single mom.

We are solo artists. We have a job (mothering) that we love, but it is not easy. It includes late nights often followed by early mornings. There are delays and sick kids and misplaced backpacks at just the wrong times. And no matter what happens, our show must go on.

So recognize that you are a rock star, and treat yourself like one:

● Get the sleep you need.

● Stay hydrated and eat healthy food.

● Exercise. It will help you to have the energy you need to perform.

● Create a little space (yes, just for yourself!) and read a book.

And if you think the rock star analogy is far fetched, just think about the rest of your band for a moment. A toddler can trash a living room as well as Guns N’ Roses ever trashed a hotel room. You and I both know it.

Rock on, Single Mom!

Liz Possible ​is a Writer and Single Mom Extraordinaire. She lives in Minnesota with her two teenage daughters and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. “Possible” is her attitude, not her legal name — but then you knew that. Follow Liz at her blog at www.lizpossible.com and her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/MySingleMomLife/

Recognition Of The Solitary Mamas

Ok Mamas, raise your hand if you are divorced? Everyone, keep your hands up. How many have been divorced more than one time? That would be me. Show me the ladies that are truly solo without a partner to share parenting. Girls, you have a special place in my heart for you. I can’t imagine. Now, look around. We are not alone. That is a good thing!

I am a mom that has been twice divorced. It is not a bragging right. Sometimes I hold it in high humor. You know, good old Helen did it how many times?

All and each of you are so bad-ass for taking this journey. Oh lord, it can suck out loud more times than none. Cleaning vomit in the middle of the night, a baby that is teething and crying, the never ending colic. With the realization of there isn’t anyone to blame about it, we carry on. We hold the children and just go with it. The laundry is piling up, the house is a mess. And yet, with while bathed in spit up, we managed to get it done. It may not be pretty but you certainly survived. Go you! Do you really think anyone else could pull it off? Absolutely not! That is why we are the blessed mamas. We rock this!

To each and every lady, thank you! We aren’t perfect, we are human. We try, we succeed. The job always gets done. Is there anyone else there to help? Nope. As usual, we are flying solo.

Again, thank you! We strive and work so hard. Our children are the reason why we have the job. The small wet kisses are so wonderful. The giggles and glee are just priceless. Be selfish here, who else gets these kinds of presents? Nobody! Case in point, when they get in front of the camera at college, the first thing we hear is, “Hi, Mom!”. We are special.

You will never be alone in your fight. When bad days happen, when the tears are flowing, remember that we are warriors and you are a rock star. Everyday, all day long and even twice on Sunday. Go You!

 

Striving for exceptional – Tristen Ahlsey