Tag Archives: parent

Teamwork Makes The Single Mom Dream Work

Being a single mom is undoubtedly hard.  It’s hard in a way you can’t really understand until you are in the throes of it.  Like when you were pregnant, and people told you that having a newborn would make you tired.  Remember that?  I recall thinking, yeah, I stay up way past midnight and still wake up and go to work tired, I’ll be fine.  Then the baby comes and your definition of tired is utterly reinvented.  Being a single mom is no different, you must experience it to really understand how difficult life becomes.

The hard parts are different for all of us.  Sometimes it’s financial, sometimes it’s juggling busy schedules, sometimes it’s chasing the impossible work/life balance.  For me, my biggest struggle was trying to be the nurturer and the disciplinarian – roles typically reserved for 2 parent households.  I did my damnedest, but with 2 very different kids I found myself performing a daily Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde routine.  One kid had a great day while the other got in trouble at school.  So, a smile and a high five to you, turn around a deliver a stern look and a consequence for him.  How confusing that must have been for my kids?  I was failing at both roles and leaving a gaping hole in my family.

One day, as I was really trying to figure it all out, I realized that I needed a teammate in all of this.  I was not dating, and fully aware of the complications of bringing another adult into the situation, so that was not the answer.  Instead, I asked myself what if instead of trying to react to and regulate every circumstance my kids encountered, I simply joined them on the playing field.  I decided to start addressing our family as a team. We all had roles to play on the team, and we all had a responsibility to the success of our team.  I sat my kids down and we spoke at length about our new family dynamic.

The truth is, nothing changed as far as my hierarchy in our family.  But instead of dividing and conquering my kids, I encouraged us to all weigh in on the good and bad parts of our days.  We talk so much more, and I yell so much less.  My kids have learned each other’s love languages – one son thrives on physical touch, while the other seeks out words of affirmation.  They have been empowered with the skills to comfort each other and even me on the tougher days.  When one of us has a win – we all win, we all celebrate.

By putting an end to my polar opposite parenting, I’ve lifted a weight off my own shoulders.  I’ve given my kids the gift of an engaged mom instead of an overlord.  I see them growing as better people through their understanding of empathy and teamwork.  We hold each other accountable and we lift each other up.  We are invested in each other’s successes, we cheer for each other louder than anyone else, and we’ve created a safe place to express our thoughts and feelings.

My kids and I are a team now, and there is no other team I’d rather play the game of life with than the people I love the most.

Colleen

No Means No

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

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

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

They won’t believe you.  

Because remember what happened when you said No.  

You didn’t mean what you said.  

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

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

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

xoxo

Your God Girl

Tracy

Co-Parenting Is Not For Everyone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

It’s Ok To Take A Time Out

I used to have my kids in every activity and was involved with so many volunteer projects….  and then I decided to take a time out.I would make sure we attended every school and church event.  I would volunteer for every activity or fundraiser that the school sponsored.   And then I do not know what happened, but my thinking changed. I was tired of doing all those things.. I was tired of running constantly.  I was just tired.

I was doing those things because I felt I had to…. That was what a good mom does, you run your ass off morning until night.. It was crazy because running my ass off does not make me a good mom.  It makes me a crazy crabby bitchy mom.  I  do not know when this started where you have to be involved in everything to be a good parent or to feel like you are, but it is insane.   I loved to volunteer in my kids classrooms, but I did not love baking cupcakes, or being on the PTA, or collecting box tops. And I hate selling coupon books for fundraisers.. (that’s a whole other topic)

Now…Don’t get me wrong, I do think kids need to be in activities and we all need to volunteer in some capacity for school, however you do not need to do it all.   I know this was my own fault, I signed my kids up for all these activities and I signed myself up for all volunteer shifts.    I wanted to sit and watch TV with my kids. I wanted to do nothing some nights.  I wanted to just enjoy being with them.  I wanted to not be a stressed out crazy lady from running from activity to activity.

So, I stopped signing them up for every activity.  I stopped volunteering for opportunities that I didn’t feel passionate about. And I stopped attending every fundraiser.  I started asking my kids what they wanted to do and what they enjoyed the most.  I would ask if they were ok if we skipped a fundraiser or a school event.  Might seem selfish, but it made our entire family a lot happier and less stressed.  My kids have now each found the one activity or sport that they as passionate about and that works.  I  did not want to spend their entire childhood years feeling rushed…

As a parent you feel overwhelmed at times with all the activities that you children can participate in now.  But the truth is you don’t have to feel pressure to do it all.   A couple weeks ago someone was talking about about constantly running from church, to soccer, to drama club one night and I said why don’t you just let them skip?   And she said, “ what you that teach them?” What would that teach them…haha.. I laughed and said, “that we are human and we can’t do it all and some days you just need to stop and say no”.  That if I am tired and wore out, then I am sure my kids are also.

It’s Monday morning and my teenager has a migraine and stomach ache..she is begging to stay home and I believe that kids need down time.  They need time to do nothing and be kids. I believe that my kids need days to stay home.  They need days to do nothing and to “veg” out.   They need that time to unwind just like adults do.  If adults can take time to binge watch a series on Netflix, then I am sure my kids do too.

So yes, I do let my 8th grader stay home if she needs a day to regroup.  Kids have an amazing amount of stress and expectations put on them these days.   From school academics, to fundraisers, to mission trips, to athletics, to volunteering, religion class, to babysitting…. they are trying to do it all and they are still just kids.

I let my son skip soccer if he is had a bad day at school.  I let my daughter take a night off from religion class if she needs to decompress from the middle school drama.  And I do not think twice about it.. I do not think by letting my kids take that time for themselves, that it sets a bad example.  I think it shows that at times, we all have days where we just need to recharge.  Or we just need a time out.

I so appreciate that my kids can come to me and tell me when they feel overloaded or stressed.. I think it is so important that they know when they need a break.  I appreciate that they can tell me when they do not want to do something and just want to stay home.  I so appreciate their honesty over anything else.

Snarky Divorced Gal

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

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

Motherhood & Anxiety

I  was sitting in my first counseling session with my anxiety at full peak. To be honest, I should have been sitting in this chair months ago.  A pen could have dropped and I would have cried because I was, simply put, at my breaking point. My son was noticing how upset I seemed all the time, how something simple I would once laugh off gripped me at my core, and how our home was not as happy as it was before. The constant guilt of that would eat me alive.

I sobbed at that first appointment, the full hour appointment tears ran down my face. I cried about how I felt I had failed my son, how lonely this stage of life was, and how overwhelming life is when you are a single parent. It was as though once I opened those flood gates, which I’ve worked so hard to keep closed, I could no longer close them. They were stuck open, both in therapy and once I left. This was almost too much to bear, I thought. I cannot go back; this did not help me at all.

As I walked out of the office, I refused to make another appointment. I used the excuse, I’ll call when I have my calendar in front of me. However, as I was walking to my car, I noticed I mentally felt lighter. Almost as though I could take a deep breath and fully let it out without tensing up. My jaw was no longer clenched. A coping mechanism I often would resort to, to help hide my anxiety.

I took a hard look at myself in the mirror. My eyes were red and swollen, my makeup looked like a hot mess but I was smiling, I was relieved of my burdens. See after three more appointments, I’ve learned that a large portion my anxiety is because I have placed those unrealistic expectations on myself. Yes, now society has a standard, or pro-quo, but who the hell cares, right?

I was the root cause of my anxiety because I felt compelled to hold it in, conform to the standards of a husband and wife household, along with not ask for help because I didn’t want to fit the mold of the often misleading single mother label. Instead of taking care of myself and finding my triggers for my anxiety, I would hide, lash out, or cry. I would often times forget to breathe, I would find myself tense all the time, and the cycle would continue, day in and day out.

Today, I fully recognize myself in the mirror and it is all because I took one of the hardest steps of my life, reaching out for help.

 

-Heather

Moms Mess Up Too

Moms mess up too!

I’m writing this blog moments after boiling my youngest son’s pet fish alive. Yes you read right. I, supermom extraordinaire, just accidentally filled my son’s fish tank with hot water and killed his pet fish. His first pet at that.

If this had happened on any other week and any other day I think I’d be taking it in stride. But today is Wednesday, two days after the Leprechaun incident AND an early release day. What is the Leprechaun incident you ask? Welp here goes:

St. Patrick’s day was last Sunday. Leading up to St. Patrick’s day my youngest son (age 6) was convinced that this year he was going to catch a Leprechaun. He asked for my help. And in accordance with my new goal of not being a killjoy I agreed. I spent most of the weekend sort of putting off making a trap until Sunday afternoon came and it could no longer be avoided. My son looked me straight in the eyes and said “Mom, you said you would help me set up a Leprechaun trap and you haven’t done it yet. Let’s GO!” God I love that kid. He, like me has a pretty short tolerance for bullshit and once our threshold has been reached, we cut right through the fat and get to the meat of our needs.

So I took him outside and tied a rope to a log that held up one of the many leftover Amazon boxes living in the garage. We put 4 pennies under the box as bait and proceeded to wait for our Leprechaun to arrive. My son sat by the window and watched the trap for over an hour before it was time for dinner and then bed. The last thing he said to me before rolling over and falling asleep was “Tomorrow, that leprechaun is going to take me to his pot of gold and we will all be rich mom.”

Two questions stayed with me through the night: How the hell did I get this far into the lie and how the hell was I going to get out of it.

Disclaimer: If you are reading this blog post and can’t understand the motivation of this lie follow through, my apologies you are on the wrong blog. On this blog we occasionally lie to our children and sleep just fine doing it.

The next morning around 6:30am, after I returned home from dropping my eldest off at school, I still hadn’t come up with a plan for our leprechaun. I sat in my car for a few minutes trying to come up with something believable. And then it hit me, a note. I took out the notepad I keep in my purse and dug out a pink highlighter and wrote a note on behalf of dear old Mr. Leprechaun.

My son’s room is right above where the trap was set so I had to be down right stealth in my execution of this plan. Crouched down, tip toed and absolutely silent, I moved across the from yard to the trap (I’m pretty sure at least one of my neighbors has surveillance footage of me creeping around my front yard for one reason or another. Reindeer tracks, Easter eggs and now a leprechaun). I removed the pennies, pulled the log, lowered the box and slipped the note in place. BOOM! Mom-excellence.

An hour later my son was pacing at the front door as my daughter (age 11) and I were grabbing bags and sweaters trying to get out of the house and off to school. As soon as I opened to door my son sprang out like he had just heard a gun shot and was racing for gold. Ha! Racing for gold, like a pot of gold. Get it?

Anyhow, he found the note. As he got into the car and buckled his seatbelt he started to read it aloud:

Andrew*

Nice trap. I was able to escape.

Better luck next year.

-Lep

Oh My Gosh!!!! My son screamed. He was so excited. He couldn’t believe that his trap had worked and that the leprechaun had actually been to our house. As we pulled into his school he said that he would be showing the note to all his friends. He just knew they would be as excited as him. DOUBLE BOOM! I felt super proud that my quick thinking put a smile on my baby’s face and my partner (Andrew’s father) gave me mom kudos for saving the day which is always nice. I should tell you though that my daughter who is highly intelligent and intuitive told me all of this was a bad idea right from the get go. Special note: Middle children have amazing insight. Listen to them.

Later that day I received a message from Andrew’s teacher that basically said that Andrew had shown the note to his friends and classmates and basically they didn’t believe the authenticity of the note and pretty frankly told him that leprechauns don’t exist. He was devastated and subsequently had a pretty rough day afterwards. Tears and all.

Shhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttt!

When I picked Andrew up from the school bus stop he had dried tears and snot traces all over his face. He looked defeated and heavy. I just wrapped my arms around him and took a moment to just hug him. I wanted to say “I’m sorry I set you up for disappointment” but I didn’t. Instead we took to the Peace Chair in my home office and sat eye to eye sipping juice and eating Hawaiian sweet bread dinner rolls and talked through the day. I explained that there are two types of truths: Kid truth and Adult truth. In kid truth, Santa, the Easter bunny, the tooth-fairy and leprechauns are alive and well. In adult truth, those characters aren’t real and we as parents work very hard to keep kid truth alive. I told him that some parents choose to share adult truth with their kids early and that is why his class mates and friends didn’t believe he had a real leprechaun note.

I must have been getting help from beyond (thanks Daddy) because that explanation flowed out of me and landed perfectly in the mind of my 6 year old. Later that night at dinner, Andrew told his father, big brother and sister (who already knew) about what had happened that day at school. For just a moment in his story he became really sad. I fought back tears. The guilt was killing me and it must have been hard to watch because at some point I raised my head from my plate and noticed both my kids and their father with the same pained look on their faces. I think we all felt burdened by my well intentioned lie.

I spoke to my mother after putting the kids to bed and as always she reassured me that I had done the right thing, better yet the mom thing and that I needed to let the guilt go. Thank God for mothers, right.

So we survived Tuesday and Wednesday started great but here we are now. Mid morning Wednesday and I am preparing another lie. I’ve just killed my son’s fish and because of back to back meetings I don’t have time to run out and get him another fish. My partner has agreed to go to Pets-mart and get a replacement. This whole thing is like a replay of that episode of Martin when Gina killed his momma’s bird Ruby. I now feel that anxiety on a very real level. My partner and I have agreed that if he can’t find a red betta then he will get something in a close shade and we will tell Andrew that the fish changed colors due to spring weather.

At this point I believe you are asking yourself: WHY NOT JUST TELL HIM THE FISH DIED? And that is a good question. But the history of Andrew and death is a long and sensitive story for me and I am not totally ready to blog about it yet. I promise though, when I do, I will remind you of this post so that you make the connection.

Anyhow the point is: I am not winning at momming this week. Meaty is still sitting in the sink. I couldn’t think standing above his tank of scalding hot water. But I feel better now. I feel like I have a plan. And now I need to go flush a fish.

Thanks for reading

-LT

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

Practical Changes

Below is my piece, Practical Changes, from 2007 when I was a contributing columnist to The Southern Ledger newspaper with my Practical Changes column, the night before my son’s birthday…as you all know my son graduated from High School early and will be 18 this coming May.  I wanted to share this old blog because it speaks to parenting and how it was for me back in those days where many of you are now…enjoy and hope everyone had a great holiday season.

XO, Noelle

WOW…I am writing a night early…Mr. Southern Ledger will surely fall out of his chair from shock tomorrow morning when he sits down to write that ‘friendly little reminder’ to the bloggers and notices that my column is already posted…HA

Six years ago tonight I was in a hospital in Plymouth, MA in the midst of 30 hours of HARD labor waiting for my son to make his first appearance…tomorrow he turns six and we have been counting down the days since Christmas…everything he sees goes under the ‘ I want this for my birthday’ category.  Those of you that know me well are now saying to yourselves, “just like his mother” and I can hear you.

In retrospect, I believe that was the hardest night of my life…I won’t bore you with the scenario of 30 hours, but trust me when I say it was FAR from pleasant…it taught me that if I could do that and endure that, then I could certainly do anything…what a good, smart, handsome little boy he is and funny and stubborn…sometimes I feel like the kid got a raw deal, all I do is work and it seems like some days I am always yelling…I have two modes loud and louder…it runs in my Italian family, we talk too much and most everything is loud.  Then there is that whole emotionally unkempt thing, which runs in my family too.

Sometimes I feel like I am doing such a bad job at all this…I think I should be nicer and more patient, yet someone or something is always pulling at me and I just have to keep moving because I don’t see anyone else around here paying for anything…granted this was my choice, to get a divorce rather than live in a situation that I was finished with just for the sake of security…I’m pretty sure the kid is normal, whatever that means anymore…I mean he goes to private school and has the best of everything and he is with me all the time…I have a great staff that helps a lot and without whom I would fail to function.

I think that no matter how smart we are there are always those times when we are second guessing ourselves, wondering if we are good enough or if we are doing it ‘right’…we must be doing okay around here though because we are starting year number six and that feels like a huge accomplishment.

As I sit here tonight I think back to who I was six years ago and I realize that so much has changed…I think that I am gaining some insight and wisdom as I go along…that’s a good thing…I am learning how to let things go, how to let someone else have the last word, how to walk away instead of react when someone is unpleasant, how to trust God and not be so scared all the time about everything turning out ok…I am learning how to take deep breaths and learning to remember that it will all still be there tomorrow.

I have also learned that I am too old to be blond anymore.  Recently, I had my hair highlighted and a lot of blond put in—it has been that way for about two and a half weeks and I have felt off the whole time—I kept looking at myself in the mirror and thinking how not like myself I looked, too washed out, too old and then finally this morning I wondered why I had done it, what was I hoping to prove?  In my other life I could carry blond, this life requires dark hair and ‘on purpose’ behavior—tonight my hair has been returned to a darker state and I recognize the chick I see in the mirror…  She has a messy desk, is emotionally unkempt, is a workaholic, is probably starting to wrinkle and sag, drinks too much coffee, shops too much and is not currently working out as much as she needs to, however, she knows how to get stuff done, she has a great kid, she has incredible friends, she is generous beyond measure, she knows how to laugh at herself and she understands that life is really about who we are and not what we have…I like that chick, she has dark hair and she’s not afraid to tell it like it is.

It’s good to mark time, to look back and see how far you have come…it makes us grateful for progress, grateful for all the gifts that we have been given…most everyone is always rushing through birthdays, Christmas Days, Mother’s Days, Father’s Days…how many times do we stop and remember the years past, how much do we acknowledge how far we have come?

We should you know, we should make a practice of acknowledging how much advancement we have gained over the years.  It is virtually impossible not to gain wisdom as time passes…life itself is such a profound teacher.

I will take my leave of you now as I have gifts to wrap in Spiderman paper and tomorrow there is a trip to Chuck E. Cheese in my future…I know y’all are jealous.

Every Mom Is A Warrior

Every mom is a warrior. We push ourselves through physical exhaustion ,financial instability and constant juggling .Who amongst us has not arrived at work with a with a mega To-Do list to tackle in your breaks , on the last of the weeks fuel but still presenting a veneer of control and competency. Every Mom is a hardworking star however for the single Mom it’s a race because at the end of the day its just you.

Our identity revolves around our children.The guilt of thinking that you have somehow let your babies down, by not being able to provide a stable second parent .That flash of jealousy when you see a happy, two parent family in the park . The loneliness of a Father’s Day stall at school when you don’t have a Dad . A single parent takes all this and tries in return to fix it all.

We must beware however not to make the mistake of disappearing as a person . It is easy to give your all, to throw yourself into the all encompassing chores of single Parenting . Instead of feeling even more guilt for taking me time we need to look at the bigger picture. The life story not the chapter.

There is another life waiting . One day these precious children will be backing out your driveway ready to embrace new adventures and you will be left standing there , no longer the keeper of lunchboxes , school timetables and sport socks . Your Wifi will finally be free but you find yourself wondering what you even watch.

The Single parent should strive against this ,challenging, I grant you, but try do something for yourself . Painting , sport , an online course , anything to build your own personal identity . It is not selfish . It is single parenting en pointe”.Give your adult children the gift of not feeling guilty to leave you behind , gift them with the feeling that you are happy . Be the parent of whose life their child is proud of .It may not be an easy life but it can be an empowering one , your chance to break the mold and be a warrior.

Toni.