Tag Archives: son

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

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

The Greatest Loves Of My Life

I have 3 children who are the greatest loves of my life.  Honestly, I didn’t know I was capable of making something so perfect x 3. I am amazed and thankful each and every day that I have been blessed to spend with them-to call them mine-to raise and guide them and be their Mother. I have never felt a love so huge. I am far from perfect and have made so many mistakes.I try to the best of my ability and knowledge. There has been a lot of talk recently about getting “participation trophies” and being too lenient on the kids for just showing up. I can get behind that, I really can. I am not easy on my kids but there are things that I do that I most certainly am judged for.  I’m sure I am guilty of “participation trophies” on occasion for my children.  Yet for those who judge-there is so much more you don’t know. “Just showing up” sometimes is enough.

My oldest daughter is 19. She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen both inside and out but she is fierce.  She tolerates little and has large opinions-much like her mother.  Through the years as I have matured I have also gained a filter-pick my battles-so to speak.  We are working on this with her 😉  She is in her 2nd year of college in the medical field, lives in her own apartment, works full time and maintains a 4.0 GPA. I am proud of her. Her life has not been easy. She is my only child from my first marriage-my first marriage was ugly-so ugly. She was little, I left her dad when she was 2 years old. She has seen and knows way more than I give her credit for when it comes to the strained relationship with my ex-husband. She has struggled through her youth trying to figure out where she fits in with her families.  Both her dad and I have remarried and have children with our current spouses. For my daughter it has been a constant struggle deciding which family is truly hers. We have had times of attempted suicide, cutting, and poor boyfriend choices. Her confidence in herself and her abilities were never enough in her mind. We have done lots of therapy and faith based counseling. She was never a trouble maker with the school or the law but she had trouble building relationships and trust with peers. At different times in her life I have carried the guilt of what if’s. What if I stayed with her dad, what if I said the wrong thing, what if I didn’t express my love for her enough….what if? In response to those what if’s I over compensated with what I felt she was lacking in. That was my responsibility and I own that. I noticed a few years ago I was beginning to raise an entitled snot. I panicked-how is she going to make her way in this world thinking everything is owed to her? So we dug our heels in and changed our approach and it was NOT easy for her or for me. Lots of tears. So yes, maybe I do high 5 her a little too often when she accomplishes something that seems so minor to those looking from the outside in.

My middle child is 15. He is the most big hearted, generous person I know. His love for all things living and outdoors is beyond anything I can comprehend. My son is the spitting image of his father. Laid back and never makes a mountain out of a mole hill. Until last year….he was a freshman…he became involved with the wrong crowd and has made some terrible choices. He was in trouble with the law and at the school. He was suspended from school and was charged with possession of marijuana. Is this anyone’s fault but his own? Yes-it is-NOT his peers or the “wrong crowd”-it was OURS as parents. Hindsight is always 20/20 and there were many red flags that we noticed after the fact that we should’ve been on top of to begin with. We were too busy comparing him to our oldest daughter to recognize that he is his own person with different needs. He has a slight learning disability and has never quite fit in with the 8 other boys in his class..yes, only 9 boys total in his class. He was hanging out with kids that were way too old for him to be hanging out with, leading up to his suspension and charges, the weekend before we discovered he had been sneaking out his window late at night and I chalked it up to normal teenage kid stuff. Thing is-not normal for him. When I say this child is the most delicate, loving, caring child-I mean it. So breaking our rules, lying, being deceitful, hurtful..was not in his nor had it ever been in his description of character and who he is. I cried and lost many nights of sleep and still do. I was raised by an alcoholic drug addict and I sincerely fear for my son. This is not the life I want for him. This is an ongoing situation with him, currently. We are about a year out from his charges and have had little to no issues since then. He is on probation. However, it’s still there, the fear I have of him becoming a drug addict. He has the signs, they are there. One might read this and think it was “just” marijuana and that may be true, but he is my son and I recognize an addictive personality when I see one. He is back in football this year, his grades are good and he’s trying real hard to straighten out his mistakes. He has reached out to teachers and said he wants to start over on the right foot. So when you hear me cheer for him a little too loud and a little too long for catching the 2-point conversion pass-just know that it may be ridiculous to you that I am so excited but to him, I and his dad-if he is going to be an addict its going to be for something that is good-addicted to the rewards of doing a good job! That long and loud cheer is cheering for all the steps he has made in the right direction.

My last, but certainly not least, child is 7. She is crazy! She is a perfect combination of my older 2. She is in the first grade and is busy learning to read, write, and all those other things that goes along with 1st grade.  It’s been a long time since I have had a 1st grader and it’s crazy to see how fast they change! I wonder what life has in store for her? Fortunate for us but probably unfortunate for her our older 2 have broken us in to being more aware of what trials and tribulations the kids face these days. I am 42 years old and things have changed tremendously since I was in school.

So yes-maybe I cheer too loud or pat on the back too often and boast about my child too much. Some days I can acknowledge and appreciate that “just showing up” took everything they had that day. I am trying my hardest to raise independent, kind, respectful children. It Takes A Village To Raise A Child is accurate in many ways but on those days where I am overwhelmingly boastful please don’t judge me or my child. There are reasons. They are perfect to me and needed to be reminded of that today. They are the greatest loves of my life.

-Love to you all, Kim