Tag Archives: parenting

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

Taking A Time Out

It’s ok to give yourself a time out… the other night I had hit my breaking point with everything…

My kids had been bickering and fighting all day about who was going to take the dog out.  Everything that I seemed to ask them to do they ignored.  They had left a million dirty dishes all over the kitchen.  But they constantly wanted things from me…

One was texting me her latest list of “essential” items to order from Amazon, which included new light switch covers.   One had decided that today,  he needed to have his milk poured for him and he is 10.  And the final one who is still on quarantine thought I was going to wash all of the 14 days of dishes and food piled up in her room… and side note, I now know why we have no food in the pantry.  As I write this, I think about how minimal t it all sounds, but how it all just adds up to your breaking point.

I think at times they forget that there is only one of me and 3 of them… Besides the parenting stress, there is just the daily overload of work, changing school schedules, and the holidays.

So, I decided to grab my own snacks (from my hidden stash), wine, and head to my room.  I shut the door and turned on one of my favorite christmas movies, the Christmas Chronicles.  It took them about a half hour before one barged in and asked for something.  And my response was that I was watching a movie by myself and I was in a time out.  Shockingly, they must have know I meant it because none of them continued to both me.  They let me watch my movie in peace.  The one that could not even pour his own milk, had even figured out to make his own dinner in that period of time.

I kind of felt like a toddler throwing a tantrum, but it felt so good.  We all need time outs just as much as kids.  We need that time by ourselves to regroup and regain control of ourselves.  And it is totally ok to take time for yourself and even tell your kids you need a “time out”.

And as much as I wanted to blame it all on my kids, many times I am just as much to blame.

Besides the kids that day, I had overloaded my schedule way too much.  I had taken the day off of work to have a relaxing day and instead I had planned way to much.  I had once again packed way to much into a 24 hour period.  So, I needed to regroup and replan the next few days of my vacation.  I definitely did not want the next few days to go like that day.  I wanted to enjoy my time with the kids, but also have time to get a few things done.   I  did not want to turn into that raging lunatic mom again.

The beginning of the holiday season always makes me anxious because it the endless list of things that need to get done…from decorating the house, shopping, cookie making, lights outside, etc…. I need to remind myself that everything does not need to get done that day.  That I need to take time and enjoy it all.

I also need to remember that sometimes it is ok not to do everything.  In the last few years, I have really cut my “to-do list”.  I have learned to turn down many invitations and just make it as simple as possible.  Also, my days never go as planned, I have 3 kids and there are always unexpected things that come up with them.  As they get older, they all have new things they want to do over the holidays.  And I have to compromise now because they have their own agenda on what they would like to do during the season.

So, I have tried to take more time to notice the signs.  The signs of when I feel like I am taking on too much and need a break.  I am not always the picture perfect mom to my kids, I want them to see that some days as hard.  That I also need time to myself and to just go take that “time out”.  And that its ok for moms to have tantrums just like toddlers…

-Snarky

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

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~

Parenting Post Divorce During A Pandemic

Parenting post divorce AND during a pandemic sucks…In the immediate aftermath of divorce (which is raw, grueling, and painful enough in its natural state let alone during a worldwide pandemic), your mind and even your heart can play a lot of mean tricks on you. To say that the past month has been an emotional roller coaster would be a vast understatement, as some realities of my new (yet not exactly new) status of being a 99.9 percent of the time, full-time single mother has more often than not been anxiety-ridden and even downright debilitating some days, as this parenting during pandemic stuff is surely meant for people much more patient, resilient, and otherwise stronger than I am or have ever been. Admittedly, I have locked myself in the bathroom and cried more times than I care to acknowledge, I have screamed at my children to the point of being ashamed of said behavior, and I have even gone so far in the darker moments to wish for another life because this is not the one for which I signed up. Yes, I know—good and devoted mothers aren’t supposed to feel or say such things out loud. But if we’re to be honest with ourselves, all of us have been there whether we openly admit that or not. Truly, if turning 40 has taught me nothing else, it’s that living and speaking your truth is soul-cleansing and necessary because if you take a moment and really look at the grand scheme of it all, we don’t have that much time left to make amends to ourselves for the overwhelming silence of the first half of our lives.

Yesterday, I took these three amazing and beautiful children pictured here (though now the significantly more grown-up versions of themselves) to meet their father for the first visitation they’ve had with him in almost four months and the actual first visitation they’ve had with him post-divorce, and my emotions were fairly well all over the place for a multitude of reasons too numerous to mention unless I want to write a script for a Lifetime movie, but I digress. The void in my heart as to all things concerning my former husband and marriage and all that entails is deep, and I now fully understand why all of my friends who had previously gone through a divorce told me that it is far worse than experiencing the death of someone you love BECAUSE IT IS. Yes! It’s a big, gaping, proverbial death of all the aspirations and incantations of love and what that former love created (which so happens to be the three awesome human beings you see here). While they are no doubt the three best things that ever happened to either me or their father, they are also the three things that make this whole divorce phenomenon exponentially harder, especially when you harbor a deep resentment for the person who also took part in their creation, though was not ever and is not now exceptionally present for their becoming (but you’re not ever, ever, no, not ever supposed to let them know that). That, my friends, is a rather large and bitter pill to swallow. Indeed, sometimes it feels like it may poison and subsequently kill me, but I begrudgingly and resentfully do it, all the while smiling through gritted and gnashed teeth. Not for him, but for them, as they, too, will have to surmise their own truths in their own time, and of all the things I don’t concede on where he is concerned, I concede this, as that will never be a burden I want to bear or want them to bear. No, never. Not ever.

In speaking my truth of this deep, emotional void and also of the pain of all things divorce (and how said pain often has nowhere productive to go so it seemingly takes up permanent residence in every synapse and space and memory we possess), the reason I am including this picture in this post is because this wall, until late last night, had been empty for almost a year. Several months back when he moved some things out of our home, he also took these beloved canvasses of our children’s first birthday photos without my knowledge or consent and told me at the time he did it because he knew it would crush me (these being my most cherished photos of my babies ever). Long story short, I didn’t ask for anything else material during our divorce proceedings except for him to return these to me (and to my surprise yesterday, he actually did). So, last night, after returning home to the resounding silence and stillness that is my home without my children’s presence, I had the ceremonial privilege to return them to their proper place, hanging on the dining room wall where they belong and have always belonged. As I stood there marveling at these images of my three precious kids in their most innocent form, I cried tears consisting of at least 1,000 different emotions I have felt over these past two years, otherwise letting go of some of that anguish and bitterness that has consumed me for far too long. I allowed myself to sit in that formerly blank, but now occupied space and let all of that energy—whether good, bad, or indifferent—out. It was cathartic and oh-so desperately needed, and it’s given me the long overdue permission to more genuinely go on about the work of continuing to rebuild both myself and my life and my children’s lives, and not because it’s often glamorous or fun (no, of course, it’s not), but rather BECAUSE I HAVE TO and BECAUSE I WANT TO.

By sharing this story during what is undoubtedly an uncertain and scary time for many of us even under the best of circumstances, it is my greatest hope that we all remember in the midst of what may very well be some of our darkest and most trying times, that this void—this seemingly endless and vapid space—it won’t last or stay empty forever. Of course, it may hang over us and it may consume and subsist on our energy for a certain period of time, but it will inevitably fill up and runneth over again, so to speak. However, this will only happen when we’re ready, and today, I am ready to begin the often excruciating, yet simultaneously healing work of moving on with my life and continuing to open my heart to both things and people who are actually worthy of my love, my time, and my attention. In this ebb and flow of life and all its contents, it’s no secret that it has taken me an exceptionally long time to arrive at this critical juncture. But here I am, detours and delays and breakdowns and all, finally ready to begin again and it feels amazing and right and real. Of course, I am not so naive as to think there won’t be some setbacks along the way, but I will take them as they come—moment by moment, day by day. Yes, in learning to speak my own truth, I realize that I may not know much if anything else, but I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE.

 

“Here’s to finding the courage to speak your truth, whatever that may be.”

Ashley

Lord Help Me Become

Lord help me….I’m sure you’ve seen the bumper sticker that reads, “Lord please help me to become the person my dog thinks I am.” Yea, that too, but I’d rather be the person my 7 year old son believes I am.

I could never be the “World’s Best Mother”. I couldn’t if I tried. Motherhood has got to be the most rewarding, fulfilling, but incredibly and insanely difficult job ever imagined! There are so many thinks to take into consideration. This is my chance to make the world a better place, to donate the best adult I can to this world. Each night I go into his room to check on him after he goes to sleep and each night I pray I can do justice to God’s Precious Gift to Me. I pray I can be what he needs me to be, and the strength to follow through to be a better mother. But to my son, he thinks I’m the World’s Best Mom simply because we went to Taco Bell.

I’ve also been told I “rock”. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I’m guessing that’s a good thing… Last night at his Boy Scout Meeting, they had “Paper Airplane Derbies”. If you haven’t been to a Boy Scout Meeting, it’s predominately a “guy thing”. At most of his Boy Scout functions, I’m a bit out of my element. Take the camping trip a couple weeks ago: 8 little guys, 7 grown ones, and me. The only girl. But I go, have fun, go hiking, and sleep on the ground, even though I prefer “Camp Marriott” or “Camp Holiday Inn”. I’m learning how fathers and sons interact, and am taking notes you see, I’m a single mother. It can be tough to be a single mother. But you know what? Apparently, I’m doing OK! All it took for my son to say, “Mom, you rock!” was knowing how to fold a great paper airplane. Who knew? He lost, but you know what? I rocked!

He tells me I’m the “World’s Best Cooker”. I’ve made my mom’s recipe of Mac and Cheese accompanied by Bar-Be-Que Weenies…one of his favorites. I almost have it – never being quite as good my mother’s, of course. I’ve tried several ways to fry chicken, finally have a way that’s almost as good as KFC’s – almost. I’ve read cookbooks, made pastries, fresh biscuits, and fresh pasta with only flour, eggs, mild, and a rolling pin. Yet to become the “World’s Best Cooker”, all it takes is a cheap box of mac and cheese and an even cheaper can of hot dog sauce. Necessity is the mother of invention: I call it Chili Mac, and it costs about $1.00 to make.

But when I look in the mirror, I don’t see the “World’s Best Mom”, or “The World’s Best Cooker”. I see an aging single women who never reached her full potential. I see every mistake I made, re-live every bad choice I ever made, and feel my heart ache for that one great guy I pushed away. I see all the choices made leading to the fact I’m a single mother.

I see my former classmates conquering the world, setting out to do the very things they dreamed and said they would do. I know in my heart of was capable of the same accomplishments, but I’m here struggling with meal planning on $1.00. My choices and were different. Maybe I should have done this, maybe I should have done that…and I would be able to provide better for my son. However, I woke up one day almost 40 years old, graying hair, never married, no house of my own, no new car, no savings account…and every goal I set for myself unfinished. I re-live some mistakes and bad choices, and see the lost opportunities. Mistake after mistake after mistake. I see a person who loves her son dearly, but could’ve done a better job of providing if only…

“Mamma”, my son asks, “did you ever do anything wrong?”

How does he see an entirely different person? How does that happen?

If I could just be the person my son believes I am…

Not a day goes by that I don’t love my son more and more. Last night when his paper airplane didn’t win, he was upset. I explained good sportsmanship, sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. He was still upset, a mix of being mad and crying. I tried to get him to laugh. He said he wanted to stay mad and didn’t want to laugh. Well, he started laughing. He looks up at me, immediately smiles, and gives me the BIGGEST hug and says, “Mom, we sure have some good times, don’t we?”

I wouldn’t change my life for anything.

 

Something Positive For A Change,

Karen

The View From Here, A Maine Focus

 

I wrote this 18 years ago, and my son is now 24 years old. He paid his way through college with no debt, bought and paid for his car that is nicer and newer than anything I have ever owned. He is preparing to move into his brand new and freshly built home with his girlfriend with a balcony view of the ocean. I was a proud mom then, and an even prouder mom now! 

Being A Mom Of A Tween

Being the mom of a tween….

It is Saturday evening and the  Foo Fighters “White Limo” is blaring in my ears.

No crazy beverage, just ice water.

I’m enjoying the sunset and the moon is starting to come out. As much as I dread how early it’s getting dark again, I will always appreciate a calm summer night.

Especially after the last couple days. My daughter turned thirteen, a tween, in June and for the most part… no blowouts.

Until the middle of this past week.

I went into her room before I started my work day and asked her to get cleaned up.

Mind you she is not asked to do much. She has a few chores but my rules I think aren’t too crazy.

Out of nowhere I get a side eye and an attitude the size of Texas.

I stand there for a second.

I calmly say. “You know what I don’t deserve to be talked to that way and it doesn’t feel good. Get dressed.”

“Mom I didn’t mean to”

“No, I’m not doing this.”

I walked out of her room. Because I’m ashamed to say, I got teary. My worst fear happened.

All the books. The articles.

Granted this wasn’t huge. But she’s never given me the attitude. It hurt. It hurts because I get the attitude and I know all the sacrifices that are made in this house. All the things that are done for her. 

I started answering emails. When she came into my room and flopped on my bed.

“Mom I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry too kid. This is a weird time isn’t it?”

“Yup.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too Mom. I am crabby. I’m kinda mad about stuff.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“Yes and I need hugs”

And we did. For about an hour. We are both wearing our emotions closer to the surface than probably normal. She misses certain routines. There are pieces of her life that have dramatically changed. She is worried. 

I have said this before, sometimes in all of this we don’t stop and take a breath. Listen. Ask. Tell.

We don’t always meet people with grace. Now sometimes they don’t deserve it, but I’ll let you figure that out.

When we got done talking I thanked my daughter. I told her I know it’s hard to share but I’d rather hear the hard stuff than have her feel the way she did.

And this rollercoaster ride of being a Mom of tween continues.

 

Be safe and much love Mommas.

<3 Caprise

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/