Tag Archives: parent

Yup, Nope! Not Today

Yup, Nope! Not today..

It is Sunday afternoon I am drinking Diet Pepsi and literally slammed a snack size bag of Cheetos and Oreos. No music. I am listening to my daughter visit with her Dad. I am trying to be calm but if you read what I ate I think you know the level of anxiety he brings.

He is always late for his visits. When he does get here, he stands outside our front porch until somebody lets him in. Today I gave him some updates and reminded him of some appointments and how much everything cost. To which he says “oh … I forgot your check”.I say that’s ok.

It’s not.

But as I mentioned before he hasn’t helped me hardly at all. I don’t trust him to start. It’s hard not to be angry at how little he helps with everything. I texted him asking for our daughter’s dental office number the other day and four hours later he responds with the number and ” I thought your parents handled that.”

When I ask why he doesn’t ZOOM or visit more with our daughter he says because he’s waiting on her. Yup, Nope!

I really try, I  do. I want to get along for our daughter.But he knows what buttons to push and he says he will try but when push comes to shove… yup, nope. That’s Midwest for no. He doesn’t come through.

Which is why we are here.

He didn’t when we were married either. That’s how we got here.

When I was pregnant and we were getting ready for our daughter he didn’t help. Imagine me almost nine month pregnant getting her room ready. Getting the inside and outside of our house ready.I had a hard delivery so we had to stay in the hospital. I reminded him to please clean out your car before you pick us up. 

He didn’t.

It was so bad the nurse wouldn’t let us get in until he cleaned it up.

If you ask him he was always too…

Tired

Busy

I never did enough.

There are always two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

This is hard.

This is frustrating.

But this is what it is.

And at the end of the day it’s not about me.It’s about our daughter.She’s what matters. So I can continue to try through all of it. No matter how hard it is. And it is.

Let’s be honest, no one gets married to get divorced.All we can is try our best. We have some pretty important people counting on us.

Be safe

Much love Mommas

💚Caprise

Am I Parenting Right?

As a parent you just do not know if you are parenting ‘right’… it starts when they are babies, then moves to toddlers, then continues right through the school years and teen years.   And here I am.. Knee deep in the teen years.  

A couple years ago, I started to go through giving my oldest daughter some independence.  I have always given my kids some freedom and independence until I felt they could not handle it.  It’s a definite struggle to just step back a little and give them more and more independence.   

I remember when my oldest started staying up later and later, I knew eventually she would have to figure it out that she would need more sleep.  Eventually, she realized that if she wanted to make it through the day with school and practice, she would need to not stay up late watching netflix.  

And now I am going through my middle daughter trying to gain herself some independence.  And this has been the biggest test for me.  I have realized that all of my children are so different.  It just boggles my mind, how really different they can be.  So here I am thinking, well my oldest daughter handled it, I am sure she will be fine also.  News to me… 

I have learned that they both handle independence and responsibility very different.  And it has been a definite learning curve. I feel like I am tested daily with this one.  My oldest was motivated by getting to be with her friends.  She is very social and enjoys sleepovers and hanging out with them.  If I ask her to do something or follow certain rules, she does it because she gets to see her friends.  

Then we have my middle child…. She is very smart and school comes easy for her.  She is content being at home and does not ask to do much.  She loves her netflix and watching tv.   A couple months ago, she asked to switch to complete distance learning and we agreed with some expectations.  I thought this would be a good test at some independence.  We gave her six weeks and then we would evaluate how it was working.   It was a complete shit show… missing assignments, missing classes, and grades falling.  

So, we discussed that after Christmas she would need to return to hybrid.  Now, it should not have been a complete shock to her because the weeks leading up to this conversation, we discussed her grades and missing assignments, along with the importance of getting them in.  

It is the day she is suppose to return to school and she just doesn’t go.  I tried all of my tactics and bargain tools, nothing worked.  Now, with my oldest, taking her phone away would have done the trick.  I am pretty sure that the words “boarding school” came out of my mouth.  I might have even mentioned that the principal might show up at our house… good god, I sounded like my mother 30 years ago, I was rambling… and my daughter knew none of those things would happen.  

I do not even know why I was trying, I knew how strong willed she was…and I knew when she made up her mind it was stuck.  

And now she has still not returned to in-person school.  Of course, she is doing her learning still from her bedroom and of course, she is actually getting up on time, but she will not return. I have tried everything to get her to go back to school and she just will not do it.  She has no phone, no tv, or no electronics.  I am sure her friends wonder what happened to her….but she seems to not care.  She is ok with the consequences.  

And so here I am, still in awww on what to do.  I have asked my friends, I have read numerous articles, but still everyday I am wondering if I am doing it right. I wonder if I am not doing enough or doing too much.. Should I just give in or should I have more consequences.  Honestly, its a gamble. And I am sure 20 years from now, we will laugh about it.   

And the reality is, each of my children are so different.  They function so differently.  Just when I think I have them figured out, another curve ball.  And I am stuck thinking… how many more years until I finally figure it all out….

-Snarky

 

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

The Little Things

The little things….it is Sunday morning. I’m drinking peppermint coffee. I’m trying something new. Flavored coffee. So maybe, I’ll put less milk and sugar in my coffee because I’m actually lactose intolerant and am stubborn.  I’ve been drinking my coffee this way since I was twelve. Sadly at 49 my body is like hey lady slow your roll on the dairy.

But I digress…

Music is Rod Stewart. Sir Rod turns 77?! as I write this, my favorite Maggie May is on in the background.

I started to write last week about things that are hard to talk about with your ex. Last week was money and I have a few more, but I had to share a mini miracle.

My daughter is a new teenager. She turned thirteen in June and me being me I bought all the books and neatly stacked them on my bookshelf unread. 

I have watched friends with teen daughters ride the roller coaster and me being me I was scared. 

I mean I mess up a lot.

A whole lot.

So far, aside from a few hiccups and honestly what I consider pretty standard stuff. We’ve been fine. I do enjoy getting told to leave when I’ve overstayed my welcome in her room. I also find a lot of joy in singing Van Halen Is This Love at the top of my lungs near her and what Mom doesn’t break out in dance in front of her daughter when her favorite band is on?

But I also put everything down when she comes to talk to me.

I let her know the days I’m working from home, my schedule and what meetings she will bust in on. 

I tell her I love her all the time.

All the time.

I’m proud of her.

I ask her how she’s doing.

I am slowly feeling more comfortable answering questions I hoped she wouldn’t ask.

I will be honest I was not so great at this before and I still am not. But I recognize I need to try to be.

I recognize we have a long journey ahead but I am trying to build a strong foundation.

Yesterday I got handed a brick.

I’m writing bills and she sits on the side of my bed which I use as my desk sometimes and tells me when she is eighteen she wants a tattoo.

She explains what and where.

As she’s talking she slides onto my bed and leans into me and puts my arms around her.

She starts asking me about my tattoos, what they mean. Did they hurt? 

What do I think?

We talk a bit longer.

I kiss the top of her head and then she says thanks Mom and leaves.

Just like that… she’s thirteen again.

I go in before bedtime and tell her good night and say thank you for asking me about all of this.

She says “well of course Mom. You’re my Mom”.

It’s the little things.

Be safe

Much love Mommas

💚Caprise

A List Of Things I Dread -#1

A List of Things I Dread

Number 1:

First Happy New Year Mamas!

We made it….

Thank goodness.

It’s Sunday night and I have sufficiently procrastinated. My new co- writer by my side, although my furry sidekick is asleep. I’m munching on Starburst Sour gummies. Ever since my solo trip to California and being introduced to a sour gummy candy bar provided for the musicians, I always have some on hand.

Music today NEEDTOBREATHE: Banks.

It calms me down.

Tomorrow I go back to work which is not a worry but at some point next week I need to talk to my ex husband about our daughter.

Specifically that she will be going to a therapist. 

AND that he will have to pay half.

Money is a tough topic anyway.

With anyone, but someone who you aren’t married to anymore.

Who when you were married kept a spreadsheet of the money he did give you.

Ugh

Here’s the thing. If he can’t or won’t help I can figure it out. I always do. The deal is he is supposed to help.

Which he sporadically does. 

And here’s the thing: it is fine. 

Because again I will figure it out.

I always do.

But what it is how he makes me feel. 

How he has always made me feel.

That he forgets when we met he was unemployed, a college drop out. I was working three jobs trying to pay off my two degrees.

I found him a job, put him through college.

When I left he wrote me a check let me fill up a U- haul and told me I made this choice.

He wouldn’t divorce me for years. So I couldn’t get aid or insurance. 

When he would come pick our daughter he would walk in my apartment and sit down and talk to me about his job and how much money he was making. The women he was dating. 

Finally one day at the urging of my friends I told him he can’t keep doing that.

The fight that followed was so bad that after that every time he came to my apartment my neighbors would make sure they were around.

Flash forward we have been officially divorced for nine years.

But I have had similar incidents. An unfortunate phone call from the lobby of my workplace. A co-worker walking in on him yelling at me.

Veiled threats about taking me to court knowing financially I can’t fight him. 

To the point I now own a house with my parents. They are my buffer.

My anchor. My shield.

All of this is I’ve held onto and I am not even sure I should put it here.

But everyone thinks they know the choices you make. 

Sometimes you let them believe it, it’s easier.

Two years ago I confronted him about an incident with my daughter he lied about, the next thing I know he has a lawyer.

All I want.

All I have ever wanted is a co-existence that is best for my daughter.

I want to be able to just say hey…and have a discussion.

Instead I have to worry.

Should I have asked first.

Do I just pay for it?

I mean the guy on our divorce agreement changed half of college tuition to state college… to save money. 

Will this make things bad again. Especially now that we seem to be at a place of calm. 

So… I am dreading this.

Asking for money.

For help.

Even though he is supposed to.

So this as a single Mom is something I dread.

Talking about money.

In the coming weeks I will add to the list.

Send good juju.

 

Be safe.

Much love Mamas.

💚Caprise

Parenting With Depression

Parenting with depression..single parenting has its challenges. Especially when the other parent is completely removed from the picture, the pressure to be everything for our kids can be overwhelming. We must remain steady, managing our emotions well so we can help our children learn to manage theirs. Even with help from family and friends, we are the sole parent. The responsibility of rearing falls squarely on our shoulders. The weight can seem all that more overwhelming when you are dealing with depression.
Depression may come in waves, it may linger beneath the surface, or be a constant thorn in our foot reminding us of our weakness. It comes in forms of sadness, irritability, tiredness, or a wide range of other emotions. The variability of it makes it an unpredictable chaos. Single parenting with depression could be a perfect storm. It could be. Unmanaged, it could embed anxiety in the hearts of our children, as they struggle to find consistency and stability. It could. Unchecked, it could feed off our parenting guilt, drowning us in the reality that we can never truly be all are kids need. It could. Unsupported we could find ourselves with our heads just above the water, unable to do and provide all we desire. Under those circumstances, it will be a lose-lose situation for us and our children. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
In my household, there have been really good “mental health” days, but it took time to learn how to get there. Before I did some weekends were filled with emptiness. Everything would be quiet, except the sound of the television or tablet from the living room, as I lay bed unable to will myself up. “Mommy doesn’t feel well,” I would say when questioned. I desperately wanted something else for my son but didn’t know how to get it. Through prayer and counseling, I began to learn to brace myself for the waves. I thank God on a regular basis that He has helped me learn to parent beyond my depression. Now my son and I get movie and book days where we sit together in our pajamas and only venture out of bed for snacks. When journeying to the park is too difficult, the back door stays open and we blow bubbles, I count his jumps on the trampoline, and let him splash around with the water table. When I am irritable, I embrace ample opportunities to model the complexities of apologizing. A greater blessing is the ability to show my son (and remind myself) that we all mess up, but God’s forgiveness never runs out. On days where even the sound of breathing grates my nerves and being touched makes my skin crawl, I have been blessed with friends and family that will let me come over and rest while my son plays. While I see a counselor, it wasn’t until I stopped waiting to be cured that I could care for my son better.
I would rather not be a single parent that struggles with depression. I would rather be able to have a spouse that can pick up my parenting slack, but that’s not my reality. There will still be lots of Door Dash orders and laundry that piles up. There will be screen time and sometimes it will be more than recommended allotment. Those are the facts, but I can minimize the inconsistency and lack of presence that existed before. In all honesty, we can never be the end-all and be-all for our kids. Instead of rejecting that can learn our weaknesses. Instead of promising ourselves we will never face depression again, we can plan how to parent around it. Before it is needed, we can get help so our kids don’t become casualties of the silence and emptiness of depression.
Shon W

Is It Just Me?

Is it just me? Lately I’ve been thinking about somethings that have really been points of curiosity for me now that I’m at home with my children all the time.  No, I haven’t been pondering anything deep like politics or how to become a millionaire.  I’ve been wondering about practical everyday things and wondering if these things are just happening in my house or are other moms having these same experiences.

I’ve decided to pose the question in hopes that you all would be able to tell me, is it just me?

Is it just me, or can no one ever find anything but mom?   Keep in mind, they don’t ever actually look for the item in question.  Their way of looking is by saying, “Mom, where’s my….?”  or, “Mom, have you seen my…?”  I can’t seem to understand why it is that these children have no clue where their something is, but I can walk into a room and be looking right at the thing they
want.  As a matter of fact, they had to walk past it just to come tell me they couldn’t find it!  Does that happen to you moms or is that just me?

Is it just me, or have other people that I haven’t met yet moved into my house and
started putting their laundry in our baskets?  I swear I do laundry every day and I’m never done.  There are ALWAYS more clothes.  It’s almost as if my hamper is the Mary Poppins bag!  It’s endless!  To make matters worse, I don’t even remember buying all of these clothes.  Where did they all come from?   Why can’t these people just walk around naked for a few days or something?  I mean I seriously live in fear of the day my washing machine dies. Is anyone else drowning in laundry or is it just me?

Is it just me or do kids ignore the fact that they have a father?  My middle child has literally walked right past his father sitting on the couch and come into the kitchen while I was cooking dinner to ask me to open his fruit snack.  Seriously?  My oldest has woken me out of a dead sleep before to ask me something about his Dad.  When I asked him why he didn’t just ask him, his response was that he didn’t want to wake him up.  Oh because that’s right, I don’t sleep.  I just lay here with my eyes shut anxiously awaiting your next demand.  Please tell me that it’s
not just me!

Also, is it just me or does anyone else’s children snack excessively?  It’s almost as if they’ve never eaten and never will again in life.  As soon as they wake up,they need a snack.  If we have to go anywhere, they have to grab a snack for the car.  As soon as we arrive home, they need another snack. I will be in the middle of cooking dinner and they are in the pantry getting a snack.  I’m cooking dinner people…you’re literally going to eat a full meal in less than 20 minutes!  Within 20 minutes after they eat, another snack.  And the minute I remind them that they
just ate, they respond with, “but I’m still hungry.”  Anyone else?  Just me?

Finally, and this one is my personal fave, is it just me or does anyone else’s children not need them until they get on the phone or use the restroom?  I could do a tap dance routine and stand on my head in front of my kids and I would get a laugh and then back to playing the video game or watching the television show.  But let me be on the phone, use the bathroom or try to shower.  You would think my house was on fire.  Everyone now needs mom.  They will see the phone in my hand and still keep talking to me as if I’m just holding it and talking to myself.
What is that about?   It can’t be just me!

So for any of you reading this post, please examine your lives.  Think about what
goes on in your day to day and let me know…is it just me?

~1spentmom~

Giving Your Teenager Some Space

Giving your teenager some space..
It is Thursday night and my daughter is going to the drive in movie with her cheer team.  She knows that she will be out late and needs to be up for summer gym in the morning.
Friday morning is here..and she is up and ready when we have to leave with being reminded.  She’s a smart girl and knows the consequences if she’s not on time.

But then here comes the attitude…I choose to drive the long one mile to the high school in silence.  On days like this, i just learned to pick my battles.   I remember the late nights with my friends in high school and my mom would just point me in the direction of my room for the day.  

Sometimes I have to just ignore my teenager daughter’s eye rolls and attitude…I’m sure thats bad to say,  but sometimes the look alone tells me to back off.  It’s better not to say anything some mornings than to get the eye roll and mumble…the constant bickering with her brother over the pronunciation of a word that drives me nuts…I’m not sure what makes the teenager mood swings and attitude so much worse some days.. then the next day she will sit in the kitchen and talk my ear off about friends and practice.

So I have learned to notice the signs and just let it go.. I don’t fuel the fire with the little things.  After that summer gym class, I let my daughter sleep all afternoon.  Then at dinner time,  I handed her the chore list for the day.  She did them no questions asked… We all have days that we need more sleep or more time alone.  

I have learned that maybe things don’t get done how I would like them, but they get done. If I would have hounded her to do her chores after class, it would have been a painful fight… I knew to just give her the space and she would be fine later.  

When the teenager years first started, it was a definite adjustment… I had a hard time understanding why she didn’t want to do the same things as her younger siblings.  It is hard to find things that we all enjoy now together.   The older they get the harder this becomes… they want friends along or they just don’t want to go.  Or why do they have to watch netflix on their phones in their room instead of watching with all of us in the living room.  

I have learned to do more things one on one with them.   I do not want to always make them do things together when its going to be a painful fight or no one can agree.   I have learned that my kids are so different when they are one on one with you.  They talk and talk and talk…sometimes they almost talk to much..haha.  

So many times I don’t bombard her with questions the minute she gets home from school, practice movies.. .. I let her go to her room and unwind for a bit.. then she’ll usually come and tell me all about whatever she was doing…

I give my kids independence to learn to do things for themselves, while I’m biting my tongue along the way.   I want them to need me but I also want them to make decisions.  Its a fine line to walk… and painful sometimes.  

Painful to keep my comments to myself and let them figure things out for themselves.  My daughter knew that if I let her stay out late, she would need to get up for class.  She also knew that if I let her sleep, she would need to do some chores.  And I have learned to back off a bit and let my kids do things differently than I might.

-Snarky

 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

 

 

So Much More Than That

I am not just a wife; I am so much more than that.

I am not just a mom; I am so much more than that.

I am not just a cook; I am so much more than that.

I am not just a chauffeur; I am so much more than that.

I am not just a housekeeper; I am so much more than that.

I am not just an employee; I am so much more than that.

I am not just a boo-boo kisser; I am so much more than that.  

So then what am I?  I’m so glad you asked.  

I am the daughter of The King.

I am intelligent.

I am a creator and an innovator.

I am a vessel through which life is brought.

I am bold yet humble.

I am beautiful.

I am a superhero.

I am a woman!

You see, before I became a wife or a mother or anyone of those other things that make me who I am, I was a woman.  So often, I tend to forget who I once was, and get stuck in the day to day of being the “just a”.  I find myself hearing other people discuss things that they are doing, and I think to myself that I am “just a…”.  But this just isn’t true.  I am and always will be an intelligent, beautiful, bold and unique woman.  I will always be the creative daughter of The King.  I can never loose sight of that.  In the midst of my daily life, I have to remember her.  I have to keep alive the woman who grew to become the wife, mom, chef, chauffeur, boo-boo kisser etc.  I have to cherish and nurture her.  I have to fight for her.  I have to love her.  When I do this, I am no longer “just a”.  When I do this, I am so much more than that!

 

~1spentmom~

From Married Boy Mom to Single Boy Mom

Being a boy mom is both amazing and gross.  The love between a mother and a son is indescribable, but so are the smells.

The moment I saw those two pink lines on that little white stick, I knew I was having a boy.  I wasn’t shocked one bit when the ultrasound technician confirmed that three months later.  What I didn’t know was that 9 years after his birth I would go from a married boy mom to a single boy mom.

I grew up as a total girly-girl.  Bugs, dirt, and fart jokes just weren’t my thing.  That was something that I left up to his dad.  I quickly realized as the divorce proceedings began that I was going to be doing most of the parenting on my own, and that meant I had to become comfortable with all things boy so that my son was comfortable with all things boy.

These are a few things I’ve learned during my transition from a married boy mom to a single boy mom.

Expecting him to be the “man of the house” wasn’t fair.

At first, I tried making the transition fun by telling my son he was going to be the “man of the house” now.  I thought it would make him feel special and give him something to look forward to, but instead, it made him feel like he had to grow up too fast.

I had to realize that expecting him to fill the opening left by his 41-year-old father wasn’t just unrealistic, it wasn’t fair.  Just because his father and I are divorced doesn’t mean he doesn’t still get to be a kid and do kid things.  Sure, he needs to chip in a little more around the house, but he shouldn’t feel the need to be the protector or the provider.  That’s my job now.

A positive male role model was incredibly important for him.

After my divorce, I was kind of anti-male.  I wanted to prove that I was an independent woman and that I could do this whole life thing- including parenting- on my own.  While I’m certainly capable, I understood that my son still craved positive attention from male role models and that I needed to support that.

That didn’t mean I had to go out and find him a step-father.  I didn’t have to look far to find many positive male role models for him.  My father, brother-in-law, nephews, friends, and even my son’s teachers stepped up to the plate.  Although it was difficult to admit, there are some things as a female that I just don’t get.  The “guy stuff” was still important for my son to learn and I needed to respect that.

 ​He needed to see my ups and downs, but not be burdened by them.

This whole single-mom thing isn’t easy.  Life is busy enough, but taking on the work of two people can feel overwhelming at times.  At first, I tried to act like everything was totally fine in front of my son because I didn’t want to feel weak or for him to worry.

I realized that I wasn’t doing either of us any favors by hiding my feelings and that this, in fact, could be a great learning experience for him.  I started talking about age-appropriate things with him and made it clear that he could ask questions if he wanted to, and I saw the anxiety melt away from him.  This whole time I was trying to hide things so he wouldn’t worry, but it was just causing him to wonder and worry even more.

Seeing his mom go through struggles, but to push through them and become stronger because of them is only going to make him more humble, determined, and able as he grows up.

 ​Being “one of the guys” is actually pretty cool.

Before my divorce, I was kind of left out of the “guy stuff”.  I didn’t really know what I was missing.  Cars, video games, football, hockey, fishing, and yes, even fart jokes, aren’t so bad after all.

I’m still not a fan of bugs, but that’s what exterminators are for.  Watching this boy grow into a man is pretty amazing.  Seeing the wheels turn as he watches YouTube videos about how to fix things or listen to him talking about how when he grows up, he’s going to buy a McLaren P1, is incredibly special.

I would have missed all these moments if I were still a married boy mom.  I’m learning that this whole single boy mom thing is just as wonderful, if not more.  I still get to be a girly-girl, but I have a tough side now that makes me feel like a warrior.  Soft, strong, and one proud boy mom.

-Lindsay, The Divorced Mama Bear

instagram.com/thedivorcedmamabear

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