Tag Archives: single mom

My Small Business Is My Baby Too

Owning a small business is HARD.

Pouring your heart and soul in to something on the hope that one day you will realize your vision is exhausting.

Being a single mom is HARD.

Waking up in the night alone for months on end through breast feeding, teething, leaps and growth spurts is exhausting.

Doing both?

Can I just say that I am tired. Like, a tired that I feel so deeply inside of my bones I don’t think I will ever feel the same kind of tired?

I started my small business 3 years ago, I built it up with my mother from nothing. Slowly graduating from the dining room- to the game room- to taking over the entire house- to finally a warehouse. In fact about a month after signing the warehouse lease with my mother I found out I was pregnant. Not only pregnant but due in THE BUSIEST MONTH OF THE ENTIRE RETAIL CALENDAR, November. Right before Black Friday. Yay?

Please don’t get me wrong I was over the moon excited to be pregnant, I was in love with my little pea already, but as a first time mom trying to imagine how I’d get through the month of November with a newborn was very scary.

Black Friday came though like it is ought to do and with my little girl strapped to my chest in a Tula after being up every hour for three weeks straight cluster feeding, pumping and doing everything I could to keep my supply up, I went live on Facebook starting at 5am and we went until 10pm.

It was brutal. But somehow we did it. We had to. My small business is my baby too.

Being a small business owner and a single mom does have its perks, the main one being, having the ability to set my own schedule. Powering through being up every hour and going to a 9 to 5? No idea how people do it. You are amazing. On the other hand though, while I did take a step back from the business I didn’t really get any maternity leave. The envy I felt watching mommy friends stay home from work for 2 or 3 or even 6 months was intense.

My mother and I set up an office at the warehouse with a pack n play and a couch, these days at 8 months old we have baby gates and a play mat for her too.

She is a little warehouse baby and although I will never be able to work my small business like I used to being able to keep her with me at work every day is priceless.

Single Mom Boutique Boss
Allyson

Divorce For Grown-Ups

Divorce for Grown-Ups: 5 Tips on Achieving Your Best New Normal

None of us is immune to divorce and I’m here to prove it.  Though I was trained and practiced as a marriage and family therapist, I have had my fair share of moments where it didn’t matter.  It didn’t save me from the ick.  And I’m grateful, because those experiences have taught me the most.

My ex-husband and I met in a doctoral program in Social Work. We waited to marry (we were 30).  We planned long enough to have a child that I was labeled a geriatric mother (I was 35).   And yet today, I am still the divorced mother of a twelve year old child.  What-are-ya-gonna-do?

Alas, there are no guarantees in life. And although divorce is difficult and challenges will always remain, I personally discovered you can make your journey to the new normal easier on you and your kids, with no Ph.D. required:

 

  • Respect Survival Mode. A friend introduced the idea of “Survival Mode” to me during my separation when I was (yet, again) revisiting the facts, feelings and current state of our marital dissolution…I was deep in my feelings and in my head. She stopped me and said, “You know, you don’t have to do this to yourself.  You’re in Survival Mode.  Let’s save the therapeutic analysis for when you are not trying to just put one foot in front of the other and be a good mom.”  Wait? What? I don’t have to do this to myself?

When someone is trying to survive in the desert, they don’t spend a lot of energy and brainpower on how they ended up there and how unfair it is.  Instead, they focus on getting out – on surviving.  It was a very freeing for an over-analytical person like me to give myself the gift of giving myself a freaking break—and just get through now, this moment, today. There will be time for the post-mortem—later.  And I did it, when I had the bandwidth to do it.

 

  • Take off your spouse hat. Stop viewing the world (including your ex’s actions) through the perspective of being that person’s spouse. You’re not anymore, so stop. When your ex does anything – the more view that action as their spouse, the more likely it will do a number on you.

The only hat you are allowed to wear is your parent hat. Period.  You will be amazed by how much you can take off your plate once you make this one adjustment to your perspective.  It is not your job to make your ex a better person, or at least not a jerk, in your eyes.  You’re done.  Not your problem.  Off the hook.  You only ask: How does this directly impact my kid and their relationship? And don’t try to warp the issue into being about your kid, when it’s really just about the spouse hat you’re still sporting. Hat off.  And see how much better you breathe.

And bonus: the moment you stop acting like something bothers you is the moment it may stop happening, so stop taking the bait. A little secret I discovered…

 

  • Don’t wait for the karma train. You feel wronged.  Treated badly. Undeservedly so. Yep. That sucks.  Not fair.  Stop screaming at the sky and demanding the karma train to hurry up and get’em.  Because each day that you focus on thinking your ex is “getting away with it” or has “won” is another day you have wasted not getting your best life.  Focus on you, your life. Things have a way of working out, but you are not in charge of the timeline.  So deal.  Go back to figuring out your new normal and living well.

 

  • Social media lives forever. Don’t Vaguebook about your ex. Don’t outright hash it out publicly on social media.  Your kids and lawyer will thank you.  Stop.  It’s a bad look and your friends are cringing for you.

 

  • You are a teaching tool. Remember, your kids are watching and learning important life lessons from you at this moment about how to be resilient, face disappointment (and reality), and conquer challenge—all needed life skills. It’s ok to show vulnerability though—they should also know perfection isn’t a realistic goal. Just be human with superhuman tendencies.

~Dr.L~

 

Dr. L is divorced mom with a global consultancy based out of North Carolina. 

Single Moms Deserve Respect-From Ourselves

RESPECT. It’s not just a song that Aretha Franklin rocked in the ‘60s. It’s something all moms need — especially single moms.

In our society, a wedding ring is like a stamp of approval. Seriously. It says that you are respectable, you have good values, and if you have a child that you are a good mom. There may not be a scarlet “A” in our culture, but there is definitely a golden “M”. Marriage grants a halo effect to women, and it disappears the minute your divorce papers are filed. This is wrong. Plain wrong.

I felt the sting of my halo’s disappearance. When I was separated from my husband, a well meaning acquaintance expressed shock when she learned about my impending divorce. No doubt, she saw us as “that nice family”. How could she have seen anything else? We tried so hard to look good.

A dear friend of mine once told me not to compare my insides to other people’s outsides. I cannot express how much this has helped me. I often think of this when I am on social media or receive a holiday card with a “perfect” family photo. Yes, their son or daughter may have just been accepted to that ivy league college or received a full athletic scholarship to their alma mater. Yes, they may look like they are still honeymooners in that photo. Yes, their house may be decorated with exquisite taste.

I bet that if I curated and edited photos from my family before my divorce that you would think we lead a storybook life.

I still recall a girls’ night out that took place about four years before my divorce. I was married, miserable, and grappling with whether or not to even consider divorce. I also wasn’t telling anyone how I felt or about the problems I was facing in my marriage. Another woman who was at the girls’ night out was getting divorced. I remember her saying how lucky the rest of us were to be married and have both loving husbands and great sex lives. What she described was 180 degrees away from my reality at the time, and she had no idea.

So don’t compare your insides to anyone else’s outsides. Instead, rock that single mom status! ​Stand up straight. Speak your mind. Build that career. Hug those kids. Ask that handsome single man out for coffee. Know that you are wonderful and deserving of love and respect, just the way you are.

And if you happen to feel like belting out the song ​“Respect” along with Aretha Franklin while dancing in your living room, totally do it — and wave to the neighbors if they notice. They’re probably not having as much fun as you are.

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

Happy Father’s Day As A Mother

Happy “Father’s” Day!(?)

I totally appreciate all the people over the years who have taken time out of their day to recognize that I am my son’s only parent. That was a choice I made at 24 when I left my son’s father to whom I was engaged,I couldn’t take the abuse any longer. I also had a plethora of male friends who promised to step up and be there for me and for him and a new boyfriend who decided to stick around even though I was pregnant with a child that was most definitely not his.

Fast forward 13 years, the boyfriend and I split up 7 years ago (probably 2 years too late), I moved for a better job opportunity and those friends all got married and had their own kids and couldn’t find their way across the Hudson River to visit us.

So that left me to do it all alone. My father had and has no interest in being a hands on grandfather, my younger brother is a typical millennial with the world spinning on his axis and my older brother wants to be involved again, but lives too far away. On this day, I think not of all the ways I’ve helped my son, but in all the ways I’ve failed him. He can’t ride a bike because I didn’t have the patience or skill to teach him. He never played baseball because I couldn’t deal with the baseball moms and honestly couldn’t afford the sport at the time it would have started. I didn’t push him to stick with soccer or swimming, even though he had skill with both. I’m not an athlete, struggling to keep fit and healthy as a good role model for him.

What I do know, and hold in my heart is that this different upbringing for him has made him one hell of a cook, laundry doer, cleaner and helper with all things. He doesn’t see anything as “women’s” work, but just things needing to be done to keep a clean house. He understands the importance of my career and that it keeps a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our backs and vacations every couple of years. He also sees girls his age as his equals, yet knows to respect them and to care for those younger and smaller than him regardless of age. So today and everyday going forward, I’m going to try to forget about my shortcomings as a father, and celebrate my kick ass ability as a rocking single mother. I hope you all do too!

Electra

Single Mom’s Mother’s Day

What do you think of when you hear “Mother’s Day”? Mom sleeping in, breakfast in bed or brunch at her favorite restaurant, a day of being pampered and spoiled? That’s what I think of …… but I’m learning that I need to stop having expectations and just embrace what is in front of me.

Last year, I most likely had that opening vision for my Mother’s Day. Instead, my youngest daughter woke me up at 6:00 in the morning and asked me what we were having for breakfast. Good question…. We didn’t really have anything at home because I normally go grocery shopping on Sunday mornings. After waiting a little while, I realized that I needed to get out of bed and get dressed and make my way to the store. I drove to the store to pick up some breakfast items. While I was checking out, I noticed that most of the people in the store at that early hour were dads and their kids buying last-minute cards and gifts for the moms in their lives. Let me just tell you that I was more than a little irritated and depressed that I, the mom, was at the store buying items for our Mother’s Day breakfast. On the way home, I decided to treat myself with a Starbucks coffee to go.  When I got home, my kids could sense my irritation, so they told me to go to my room, shut the door and relax. The girls decided to bring me breakfast in bed and we ended up having a fun day. Our friends called and asked if we wanted to join them for lunch and a hike, which we did, and the girls gave me presents that they made/bought with their dad.

I admit that I feel bad for getting irritated and feeling sorry for myself; it probably sounds really selfish. But, it taught me that I need to learn to not have expectations about holidays/events, because I tend to get disappointed. As a single mom, it’s not realistic to think that I can have an entire day of doing nothing. But I can learn to embrace what is and enjoy things as they come, rather than trying to make events live up to some fantasy that I’ve created in my head or seen on TV.

If I could take this lesson and apply it to all areas of my life, I would probably be a much happier person. So, for this Mother’s Day, I am going to challenge myself to let my expectations go and just enjoy the weekend with my girls. One of the things I love as a mom is to watch my girls do the things that they enjoy, so I’m going to remember this as I watch my oldest play in a tennis tournament and as I watch my youngest play in her soccer game and attend a friend’s birthday party. They don’t stay this age long, so I have to enjoy it while I can.

Being a mom is a tough job and being a single mom is tougher than I could have imagined, but I love my girls so much and could not imagine life without them. I remember when they were babies and there were times when I would look at them and cry because I loved them so much. And, just last week, after my oldest daughter had a disappointment, I couldn’t help but cry because I know how hard she works and hate to see her suffer. Or the pride I feel when I see them accomplish something amazing. Or hearing my youngest daughter tell her sister, “Good morning beautiful” when she sees her in the morning. Every day as a mom brings something new and sometimes it’s an emotional roller coaster and every year seems to go faster than the last one …. but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

So, here’s hoping that I can let go of what I think Mother’s Day should be and just enjoy it for what it is this year. And, here’s to all the moms out there – I hope you enjoy your day, however you decide to celebrate.

~Laxmi~

Imparting Some Wisdom

For months now I have been trying to force myself to blog daily for you guys, or at the very least five times a week…you have only to look at the recent blog posts to see how miserably I have failed at this task.  It’s awfully hard to grow a blog site with no fresh content, just sayin’.

My problem is that my style of blogging has been to deliver a message, impart some wisdom that you might find inspiring, have and make a point with the post…yet over the past few years some days I don’t feel very inspiring and I can’t seem to dig anything out of myself that seems good enough to make a blog post out of…yet people continue to ask me to write.  This morning I posted a small paragraph on my FB public page and as of 7:46pm when I am writing this to you it has 2,100 likes, 56 comments and hundreds of shares etc…that tells me that I should probably get my head out of my ass and start writing again.  So, here is what I came up with…today I am launching “The Daily Discussion” which will be a blog post talking about whatever the heck is on my mind for the day.  I can only imagine that it will be a mix of all kinds of things as a day around here is better than a Seinfeld episode.  It is my hope that many of you will subscribe to and start following the blog as well as begin commenting on it.

Today started out with me fighting some ‘not so nice’ feelings about someone that treated me badly in the past hence my FB post this morning reminding myself as well as all of you that karma never loses an address and that it is my job to let God sort stuff out that seems unfair…at times that is sooooooo hard to do.  By making that post for all of you it reminded me also.

Then there was work and the kid who is affectionately called ‘boy’ and in fact when I don’t call him ‘boy’ and actually use his name he becomes immediately concerned, maybe after 15 years he actually thinks his name is ‘boy’!  Everyone in my world uses this term for him, so going forward when I reference ‘boy’ or ‘the boy’ you will know that is my son.  For those of you that have teenagers you can appreciate the joyful attitude that they have first thing in the morning and then again when you pick them up from school—NOT!!!  He’s a really good kid and I am grateful for that, yet like all teenagers he can use some attitude adjustments at certain times of the day…let’s hope he is not reading the blog!!!

A year and a half ago I moved from TN back home to Fairfax, Vermont because my mother was having a health challenge (she is better now)…I am an only child and when I got that phone call on Feb. 14th of 2015 in TN, I knew that I never wanted to be that far away again and receive a phone call like that.  So within 3 months I purged and packed and bought a house in VT and by May 2015 we were living here back in Northern Vermont.  That being said there is ALWAYS something to do here concerning work, the boy, the house or the land…so probably, like most of you I feel like I never stop and today is no different.

I did want to sit and get this first post done for you because it has been on my mind all day.  That’s my story for today, I will be back tomorrow and I hope that you will join me.

Sending you all love and prayers…

Who Cares How You ‘feel’ ????

So raising a teenager is an interesting exercise and raising one as a single mom without the Dad involved is sooooo much more interesting…a discussion a moment ago:

Me: do your oral presentation, you need to video it and review everything before you do.
Boy: that’s sooooooooo much work, I don’t feel like it, it’s too hard.
Me: I don’t give a flying xxx how you feel, get up and get moving on it.
Me: NOW WHAT ARE YOU DOING????
Boy: Looking for an apartment, I can’t wait to get out of here.
Me: I can send you to Grammy and Papa Steve, then you will really see what’s it’s like to have to work.
Boy: Just let me film this, you will do it wrong if you help me, just go in your office and DO NOT listen to me making this video.
Me: (Leaving the room, laughing to myself)
Me: (from my office) It sounds great!
Boy: STOP LISTENING!!!!!
I share this moment in time with you because it illustrates the point I want to make today about how it doesn’t matter how you feel when you need to get something done. Effective and successful people pay very little attention to how they ‘feel’ in the moment and it certainly never stops them from getting anything done.
We are producing results when we are sad, ill, pissed off, worried, happy, tired and sick of everything. Too many people out there right now operate based on how they ‘feel’ and then they whine and complain about how their lives don’t look the way they want.
There is NO easy button, if you want to make something happen, get off your ass and do something about it…don’t tell us how you ‘feel’ , it doesn’t matter to us because we are BUSY producing results. If your life isn’t what you want –DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
My son says I am mean:)—yet here is what I know for sure when this kid leaves my house he will be an effective, contributing member of society able to take care of himself, pay his bills and give back in service to others. I don’t care if he ‘likes’ me, I care that he learns how to produce results and serve humanity. Most of the time I didn’t like my Grandfather or my Mother—I thought they were awful and soooo mean…however if it wasn’t for their ‘meanness’ I would likely have given up when life got really hard years back…some days it is still really hard, yet I am up to the task, well-trained in how to be a warrior…I can thank my ‘mean’ Italian relatives for that! Thank GOD they had the courage to be ‘mean’ and that they didn’t accept weakness or excuses or whining…because now I am successful in spite of tons of things that tried hard to get in my way.
You can do WHATEVER you set your mind too, you just have to keep pushing through the crap no matter how you feel in the moment. Just keep moving, after a while the obstacles give up and fade away…