Tag Archives: parenting

What Puts The Wonder In The Woman?

What puts the “wonder” in the woman?

I had a bad dream on Saturday night—It woke me up at 6am on Sunday and I was so unsettled that I just got up.  In the dream Antonio was still little and my ex-husband had taken him for a visit, and I was freaking out because I was unable to reach them, and I was worried that he would not bring Antonio back.  I woke up remembering the times that I felt like that, which were infrequent because the ex was pretty much not around the kid’s whole life—that fact likely made me more concerned about trusting him when he did take the kid for a visit.  I had to remind myself that Antonio will be 20 in a few weeks and that he lives right down the street with his own phone and his own car etc.

When I settled myself with those facts, I started thinking about how nobody really helped me with raising him and then I thought about everything that I have been able to do for us—how I brought us from filing bankruptcy to where we are today—how he is going to be 20 soon which means that I have been at this parenting thing for two freaking DECADES.  Then I thought about how much I worried about shit that I couldn’t control, about how f—ing terrified I was most of the time, about how many times I cried after he went to bed or when he was at school because I was just so damn scared about everything.  I was on my own in TN for 12 years with him…his father visited once, my Mother visited never…that’s another whole story for another day…

Point is that I made it, I did it— we are OK, we were OK, I figured it out, I kept going, I keep going.  Now I worry less because I realize that it wastes my energy and when you worry you attract things to be worried about.  None of us need that kind of help.  Truly.  STOP worrying.  

These days I continue to practice what I teach you, vibe from a better, higher place, think the next best thought, elevate yourself on the daily.  Appreciate what you have, keep doing the next thing and then the next.

Do me a favor—stop once in awhile in the middle and think about how FAR you have come, I never do that.  I am trying to learn to do it more—mostly I just kept moving because I was afraid that if I stopped, I would not be able to pick myself back up—I did not give in to despair EVER because I imagined that if I did it would put me out and then who would take care of the kid…so for him I just kept doing the next thing.

I remember days that I was so afraid about money or something else that I could hardly breathe—so I would do the next thing and then say some affirmations or pick up a book that would help me direct my thoughts in a better way.

In case you ever wonder if I know what it feels like to be YOU, I DO.  It’s just that I am a bit further along and I created this work with The Working Single Mom brand to help you see that you can make it too—you can and you WILL.  No matter what is happening now, you will get through it—I did, I do and you will.

Let me help you see what it looks like to get on the other side of hell—I will keep sharing my stories and you keep doing the next thing and use the tools that I am teaching—those tools and those prosperity principles saved my life and they work if you work them.

What puts the “wonder” in Wonder Woman is you and the GRIT to keep going.

GRIT-

courage and resolve; strength of character

See you Saturday on Coffee Chat.

XO, Noelle

Prepare Yourself-Life Does Not Get Easier As Kids Get Older

Prepare yourself because life does not get easier as your kids get older.

I used to live under that misconception that as your kids got older…life got easier. It definitely does not. Remember when “they” said ‘just get through the diaper stages, the terrible twos… the preschool years..’blah blah blah… If we only knew then what we know now.

On our way back from Florida, we were seated in front of a family of 6. The husband, wife, and 4 kids all what looked to be under the age of 8.

We were on a 3 hour flight and mom tried everything to calm the 18 month and 3 year old. The 18 month screamed the entire time and the 3 year old basically kicked the seat and pounded on his tray.

There were snacks, treats, I-pads, book reading, cartoons watched, songs sung,farmer in the dell was even sang, everything and nothing worked. Until 20 minutes before we landed, the littlest fell asleep.

All I could think about was -we have all been there. As a parent, you just never know how your kids will behave or what they will throw at you in life. And as a mom you are drained at times. This mom was drained, you could hear it in her voice and see it in her face.

I was just about to say to this mom, “don’t worry it gets easier”,but then I thought..

“No it doesn’t.”

“Shut up Megan and don’t lie to this mom!”

Yes, my kids look like angels on this flight, they were glued to their devices, going to the bathroom on their own and not disturbing anyone. Each one has water and snacked placed perfectly in front of them and they honestly haven’t looked at me since we sat down. Probably because we just spent 8 days together and they are most likely a little sick of me.. Haha.

However, what this plane hasn’t witnessed was 2 days ago when we went to Cocoa beach on vacation and my 10 year old refused to get out of the car.

We drove 2 hours and parked the car, we all got out except my son. He sat in the car and demanded that he was not getting out or going to the beach. All because he wanted to bring his phone on the beach and I said “no”. I tried to stay calm at first and use reasoning. My daughter also chimed in with her comments, which did not probably help. It literally took me over 45 minutes to get him to come out and in the end he got his phone.

Why?? because we drove 2 hours and I couldn’t ruin the day for my other 2 kids. I was completely between a rock and a hard place and none of those parenting tactics (like those ever work for me) were working so I gave in.

I was so angry at him and disappointed at him. He was just being stubborn and wanted to test me.

And to top it off, he never looked at his phone when we got there. He played in the sand, waded in the water, and had a great day.

We all had a great day!

So, at times my kids look angelic but they are not.

They each throw me a curve ball on a daily basis. I think it’s almost worse now because it will seem like you have it all figured out and then slap it hits you in the face..

So as a mom, you are still faced with those daily unexpected obstacles that your kids throw at you. We think you have it all figured out and then something else happens.

Whether they wont get out of the car, they are crying on the plane, they break up unexpectedly with their boyfriend, they fail a class, they lose their job, they get their belly button pierced, they miss practice, they take the car without a license.

You just never know when or what will happen but it does.

As parents, we just keep treading through it all.

-Snarky

www.snakrydivorcedgal.com

Five Minutes

Five minutes…..

Sunday afternoon and I have Harry Styles in my ears and my windows open. After what seems like forever Spring is finally here in the Midwest and I can feel my mood improving. It helps I don’t feel like I have to be bundled up in five million layers.

My daughter is thirteen soon fourteen and as we approached this age I bought all the books. You know the ones, how to talk to your teen. How to build a relationship. Maneuver through the teen years. 

Did I read them ?

Lol, oh my goodness no. Instead I did something I should have done always.

Everyday I find five minutes.

It may be a silly moment where I go in her room and sing her a song in between cleaning. When I get home from work I go find her and ask about her day.At bedtime tell her all the things about her that make me proud.In the morning on my way out the door.

Those five minutes add up throughout the day. She is incredibly independent so sometimes in a day aside from dinner I may just get that five minutes.

Which is hard for me.

I miss the days she just wanted to be by me. Always. I miss holding her hand. I miss tucking her in. Reading to her.I’m incredibly proud of the person she is becoming.

She is smart, funny, and empathetic. She knows who she is.But I miss the little four year old who would crawl into bed with me and snuggle.Now she is taller than me.

What I am learning in those five minutes is sometimes they turn into ten. Then ten turns into an hour and somehow my thirteen year old is suddenly sharing things with me, things that  I am sometimes nervous to hear but happy she will tell me.

The other day those five minutes gave me a surprise of my daughter in my room asleep on my bed when I got home from work. When I asked her what happened.She said “I just missed you Momma so I came in here and took a nap.”

So while maybe I should crack open those books. I am going with five minutes.Those five minutes are showing me even though she has to crouch down to hug me. She still wants to.

I’ll take it.

Much love.

Stay safe Mommas

💚Caprise

A Mother’s Guilt

A mother’s guilt..It is Halloween 2020.

My ex-husband has the kids today, so I’m childless on one of the most child-centric days of the year. While that can sometimes be a very good thing, today I’m feeling the loss and pain of what could have been. So I really should not have been surprised by the onslaught of emotion that a seemingly simple phrase brought on. 

After I got out of the shower, my beagle Dolly decided that she was bored and antagonized me to play with her for a little bit. She swiped at my feet with her paws and lowered her head and the front of her body to the ground, sticking her butt and tail up into the air, while looking up at me with those big brown eyes. I knew she was spoiling for a fight. She and I usually wrestle and play fight with each other a couple of times a week, so I’m very familiar with the signs of her wanting to “get into it” with me. Even though I had just gotten out of the shower and was wearing nothing but a towel, I decided to get on the floor and indulge her for a bit. We did what we typically do; I tapped her paw and she snapped her jaws in my direction (don’t worry, she doesn’t bite me when we do this). Then I tapped her other paw and her head snapped in that direction. This went on for a few minutes until she and I were grappling with each other as much as a human and a dog possibly can. At one point, I grabbed her and held her tight, feeling her warm, soft fur against my cheek, and said to her, “What if I don’t want to fight?” Without warning, the floodgates opened and I started full-on ugly crying (to my complete and utter shock). My entire body heaved, pressing into my shocked dog and the hardwood floor. Dolly slinked out from underneath me, completely scared out of her wits and unsure of what the heck just happened. She flattened herself and belly-crawled under the bed while my entire body racked with powerful sobs that I just could not control. I yelled in a sort of primal frenzy, “What if I don’t want to fight anymore?!”

I was completely taken aback by the force of the anger, pain, and fear that were coursing through me. The enormity of those words hit me like a ton of bricks. The weight of the truth behind them was just too much to bear in that moment, and I felt lost, hopeless, and frightened. I was completely taken aback by the force of the anger, pain, and fear that were coursing through me. The enormity of those words hit me like a ton of bricks. The weight of the truth behind them was just too much to bear in that moment, and I felt lost, hopeless, and frightened. For the past  six years, I have known one disappointment after another. First, my father was taken from us way too soon. He had a wretched bout with cancer and there was nothing that could be done to help him by the time we found out. I’ll always regret some things about this time in my life, and the fact that I did not spend more time with him weighs on me more heavily than anything else. Four months after his passing, my husband and father to my three children told me that he wasn’t happy and wanted a new life. Without delving into the history too much, he and I still do not see eye-to-eye to this day, and practice a dynamic that I like to characterize as counter-parenting. Literally every decision is a fight, and it’s very difficult to draw on reserves of energy that are running dry. Just yesterday, we got into a disagreement about something involving the kids; it was more proof that we will just never get along (not that I don’t want to). 

As a result of the divorce, I had to leave the home I loved (my dream home, a beautiful house that this Jersey City girl could have never envisioned herself having for her own) and start all over in a much smaller space.  Add to that the pressures of a new position at my job as a teacher, disputes involving bills, the typical “joys” of parenting teens and tweens; the result is that I always feel like I am engaged in some sort of back and forth with someone.

And obviously, it’s taking a toll.

In general, I don’t put a lot of faith in spirituality, or messages from beyond. But somehow, a thought was planted in my head just moments after I questioned what if I don’t want to fight anymore. In response, I heard the words, “But you have to.”

It was that simple. I knew that the voice (or whatever it was) was talking about my kids. I’m the one in their corner, the one person consistently in their lives on a daily basis. I’ll always be one of the primary people who are willing to fight for them, whether they want me to or not. We work so hard to keep our lives as normal as possible, and there is just no way that I can give up. I can’t let them down any more than they have already been, even though they assure me that they’re fine and are worried about me. And that makes me feel even more guilty. Whether it should or shouldn’t, I can’t say. But for whatever reason, I stopped crying as soon as I heard, “But you have to” in my head.

I wiped my tears, picked my sorry self up off the floor, grabbed a tissue, and coaxed the dog back out from under the bed.  Walking over to the coffee maker, I said, “It’s okay.  I got this.”  Maybe it was the thought of a warm, rich cup of coffee that began to soothe my soul; regardless, I started to feel more in control.  It really is going to be okay.

While it is daunting to know that you have a huge responsibility to your kids, there is a certain power that comes with that. Even though there are very few moments when I feel like I have everything under control, my purpose in life is clear. And that gives me a strength that propels me forward and influences everything I do.

There is nothing greater than a mother’s love except for a mother’s guilt. But if that sense of guilt drives me forward and gives me strength, then it will all be worth it. And for the days that strength is in short supply, there’s coffee.

~Danielle

iPhone Charger Wars

I have the ultimate family test of love, compassion, and sharing!  ……  “What is it, you ask?”    Share ONE iPhone charger for a week.  LOL  Yep, my family of 4 kids plays this game all-the-time!  They must love it because no matter how hard we try to keep the house stocked with chargers, it inevitably always comes down to ONE.  That one charger that has someone’s name written on it, but it has been smudged out so that no one can make out the writing.  That one charger that starts a war between siblings and turns the fight into a suburban version of The Hunger Games.  That one charger that barely works because it has been pulled out of the wall too many times and the wires are exposed.  This charger becomes a lifeline for my children and they fight over it like piranhas.  Sound familiar?  

Well, this week, I am turning the tables and need your advice and parenting tips!  What do you do?  I feel like there are a few options:

  1. Take the charger away and let the electronics die a slow death.   The consequence of this could be a lovely night that is screen-free, but I am more anticipating 4 kids crying in their bedrooms and weeping, moaning, and acting like, they too, are dying.
  2. Pick one kid that has been especially awesome lately and let that child use the charger while the others cry in their room and yell at me for picking favorites.
  3. Create a rotating schedule of charging everyone’s phone for 15 minutes. No one is happy, but their phone is given just enough life to keep the screen on.
  4. I buy all 4 kids’ new chargers, and I cry in my room, silently defeated by the parenting game because my kids just won. 

What do you think?  Is there a better option?  What do you do?

In the meantime, I bought a Samsung.  Let the kids play this crazy game while my phone is still at 100%.  (wink, wink) 

-The Impactful Parent

@theimpactfulparent on social media

I Changed My Last Diaper

Today I packed away diapers to be donated, I changed my last diaper. I never again will change the diaper of my own child. It is a sobering thought. Suddenly, the baby of the family isn’t a baby. He is a big boy in underwear. 

I did not realize I would take this so hard. I was excited to be out of the diaper game, excited my kids were becoming independent, and excited to watch how they were growing, but then tiny underwear and bras started showing up in my laundry and heart took a beating. I suddenly realized I was not ready as I thought I was. 

I wanted to stop putting baby teeth under pillows, stop the homework game, and stop donating tiny clothes. I want to bask in the scent of a newborn and struggle to find a new normal as I adjust to parenthood, I want to start over. I want my babies back. 

But alas they aren’t really ours, are they? They belong to themselves and we are on borrowed time with them, time that seems to shorten every day. We have a responsibility to raise them to do better and be better than we ever imagined we would be. 

So, I cry. I cry at the ever-changing season of parenthood I’m currently in. Praying for time to slow down but basking in the time I have now. I’ll spend another morning folding little, tiny underwear knowing soon they’ll outgrow them, and I’ll start the mourning process of their childhood all over again. 

Its an amazing experience to raise a child. I am lucky to be raising three. I am in multiple levels of parenthood at same time. But I will never start over, everything I do with my youngest I do for the last time and its heart wrenching but beautiful at the same time. I realize my days of being a parent will never end, but childhood ends, and their needs will differ. I am preparing myself for a future but also enjoying the present. 

Here is to you parents. Out here doing things for the last time. Folding your last onesie, making your last bottle, and changing your last diaper. Have a glass of wine on me and bask in it. You have come so far! There is no going back, but there is a grand future ahead of you full of little underwear, school projects, and independence in your children. 

Serendipity

Things I Dread-Part 2

Things I dread…It is Saturday. I’m debating another soda and a snack. No music as I just finished recording my radio shows.As much as I love music. Sometimes the quiet of our house is what I want.

Like now.

Since getting divorced there are topics I’m not a fan of talking to my ex husband about.It gets uncomfortable. It gets awkward. Like money. As I shared.Or say, dating.

There is a lot of history behind the why.

At the core even though we are not together I still want to be cognizant of how me dating will impact him and my daughter.So to be honest. I don’t tell either of them. I can hear the collective in take here.

I have a really good friend whose Mom got remarried while we were in college. It was a complete surprise. I kinda like that.There are certain pieces of my life that sometimes I don’t want the whole world to know about. At least not yet.

However, in talking to my daughter I’ve realized by not sharing that part of my life with her, she thinks I am missing out or worse and I am really trying to be careful here, thinks that means….I might get back together with her Dad. Which means if I tell her.I have to tell him. Which is hard. 

I have not dated a whole lot.

When I first got divorced I was in a pretty long relationship. The person I was with was someone I had known a good chunk of my life, so it was easy and he respected my decision to keep him separate from my daughter.I’d find out later because he wasn’t ready to be in her life. If at all.

A letter from my ex husband asking for a second chance prompted the topic of me dating. It was awkward as you can imagine.

But I wanted him to understand a few things… our daughter was still my priority, I was in a different place in my life and as horrible as this sounds. We were not getting back together.

I have dated a bit. And have someone but with everything going on my someone hasn’t come up a lot. But at least now I can talk about him to my ex husband. My daughter has met him. Which is huge. 

Again I can hear the intake. There is no manual for this and sometimes you think you’re doing the right thing, only to have the person you think you’re protecting tell you they need to know more about your life.

I get so wrapped up in protecting her. I leave her out.

Now that she is a teenager we have started having some serious talks about things I dreaded her knowing.It’s not all rainbows and lollipops but at least we talk to each other.How lucky am I that we can? That she wants to?

Now for me to work it being less weird with her Dad.

Be safe.

Much love Mommas.

💚 Caprise

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

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