Fresh Hell : The Pre-Teen Years

freshhellI’m not even a full month into this hellish, hormonal, angst part of parenting. My sweet, precious baby lamb only just turned 12 last month, and almost as if a light switch magically turned on (or off) I was thrust into no mans land overnight. I had heard stories from friends with daughters that it was hard, I understood and could relate to that I was an emotional 12-year-old once and I’m sure I was a thorn in my mother’s side. Honestly, having a boy i didn’t think it would be so bad, plus he’s always been a fairly easy, obedient child so I figured it may be a few outbursts here and there, nothing too crazy. I mentally prepared (or so i thought) I’ve been doing my stretches and workouts in case he gets a bout of “testosterone” and tries to one up me i can remind him that even at 5’4 I’m still Mama.   But no one can really prepare you for this. This piping hot steamy pile of shit that just gets handed to you one day and you have to figure out how to navigate it with your own pile of hormones as you approach 40. Life’s cruel this way. Life’s a sordid, twisted little bugger.

danger  Already, in the 28 days of 12 (yes, I’ve counted) he has developed and practically mastered the art of eye rolling, the smacking of the lips, the smart ass tone, the whatever attitude. It’s as if he went to the science lab in school and accidentally got into the toxic goo and instead of developing super human powers I got Super Melodramatic Angst Man-Boy. I though I was the queen of sarcasm and acerbic wit but i have to bow down to the development speed here. Either the student has been studying the Master or were dealing with a whole new level of fresh hell here folks!

And y’all, between us this is totally above my pay grade! I’m not trained in this. Do you know that this past weekend we went on a Halloween Tour and I was so excited to have a great time and before we had even gotten there he had brought out, Cranky, Sullen, Sleepy, Hungry and Indifferent. That was just on the 30 minute ride. When we got there he hung out with Tired, Whatever, Kinda Stupid. When the tour started he invoked the spirits of I Don’t Get It, Why are We Here?, Kinda Cool, This Is Fun and Can We Go Home Yet? By the time we took all the pictures he noticed a raunchy Donald Trump sticker and then it was Gross Joke time and Silliness for 15 solid minutes. Then when we got home he snuggled up on the couch and we watched scary movies and he decided to let Sweetness and Tenderness hang out for the rest of the evening. It was a maniacal roller coaster and the bad thing guys…is when I bring it up to him I get the universal blank stare, your crazy mom look.

help-himMy sweet, talented gifted boy is currently sitting across from me as I type this. I just received an email from his teacher that he is not participating in class or turning in his work. Guys he’s a straight A student for the most part but this last report card he brought home some B’s. His response, I can pass the tests, the homework is dumb. Uh…..dude unless your ass got invited to join MENSA and forgot to tell me, i suggest you get with the program. Now he’s doing his homework that his teacher so graciously has allowed him to make up, which i told him was the only time i would allow it as a first offense. The next time he will suffer the consequences of a zero or an F. I refuse to celebrate mediocrity. He is banned from TV, video games and the phone. A punishment I’m sure will hurt me in the long run. And so what is he doing to show his disapproval of my discipline? Sniffing his nose loudly, breathing with a heavy sigh, writing hard and crumbling papers….

Help him Tom Cruse, help him Oprah, may he gather protection from his Abuelitas prayers. I also need help at this point I’m invoking all the power of Castle Greyskull, all the Care Bear stares and a Sam’s Club size pitcher of pre mixed Margarita mix to get me through these pre teen years. I also will start to forage and hoard the tears of a thousand angels for strength to guide me through what is yet to come…..Teenager. da da duummm. Solidarity y’all. So much effing solidarity!

Summer Hiatus- Fall is upon us

pinkSo I suck. I haven’t posted on here in a couple of months because, well, life happens. It happens at full force or at warped speeds and then you get caught up in the whirlwind of it all. I had some highs and lows and honestly like all people just didn’t feel like chatting it up.

So whats happened? Ended a friendship that was near and dear to my heart. No drama, that’s not who I am but it was just time to realize that it wasn’t helping me grow, in fact when i assessed it i realized i had been sitting in stagnate water for quite some time. So I wished it well and set it off in the wind. Then my amazing sweet wonderful boy started 6th grade! A stressful time for both mom and kid as we ventured into uncharted territory. I’m happy to say that this year so far has been very positive. Last year we were dealing with racial issues at the school and bus bullies. This year hes rating it a solid 8 out of 10. Hes playing chess, playing basketball, started to learn the Tuba and trying to get into the robotics club as we speak. Oh and he’s embraced his heritage finally- and is learning to speak Spanish at school. Kid for the win!

rico
One of our hikes. Happy Kid
mic-hike
He hated this hike- as you can tell by his face. This was the one where he may or may not have found the formula for teleportation
hiking-mic
Mom forces a smile out of him
tuba-mic
I am the lucky mom who gets to hear tuba practice

I think in life we get so caught up n the day to day activities and stress and before you know it another month has gone by, I’m sitting here 1 week away from my 37th birthday. Or as i am now going to refer to it Leveling up. It makes it sound like Ive accomplished something rather than turning a year older. I finished level 36! I’m leveling up to 37! BAM! Denise for the win- Cue the Mario music with the flagpole! life

For a moment though i was a little discouraged. i had initially started this blog as an adventure to myself and the gift was to complete 36 new things. I gave it a good try and at first i thought i failed because -i maybe got to 15 at best. When i challenged myself to this i didn’t take into account money or life emergencies or motivation into consideration. In this year alone i have had things break in the house a few times, a surgery, a few kid and pet emergencies and just the realization that I am a single mom with a limited expendable income and a wild imagination. But when i really started to look at it- i will consider this a success. I went in with an open heart. I learned that sometimes it just takes a tiny push to do something new. Even though i still didn’t make it to have a date – i did learn that I’m OK with being by myself and getting my life in order and that there are so many adventures to be had that do not include a mate. I learned how to make new friends and start conversations with strangers.  I learned that i really do like hiking – my son does not. In fact as we were on our most recent hike he said he was trying to figure out how to develop teleportation so we could see the waterfall and be done with it.Oh kids. lol

 

I learned that in a crisis I’m pretty great at handling things with finesse. I learned that i have the most beautiful support system. Friends from all over the world who genuinely cheer for me and Michael and will offer help to see us succeed. i learned that sometimes you have to just ask for help and people will help. I learned i don’t have to carry my burdens alone.  In this year of self discovery- that i was focusing on the outside- meaning what can i do to make myself more interesting- i realized the real adventure was making the inside more interesting. I decided to no longer apologize for my existence or space or how i think. I decided that when i feel bad that if i serve others or volunteer i feel better and i like helping. I learned that my kid thinks i can handle anything and that hes rarely stressed because Mama has it covered – which honestly is a good feeling when your a single mom. I often wonder if the kid is giving me side-eye because i have no idea what I’m doing but learned that hes OK and that’s more than i can ask for.

So what I’m going to do in my last week of 36 is just be still. Just be quiet and take it all in. Listen to the breeze, smile at the sun and just enjoy being. I have another year to keep growing and that’s going to be the best adventure of them all.

Go out and be awesome ❤

killin-it

 

The reality of it all

I know ittired-womans been about a month since Ive last posted and the last time you all heard from me I was out of surgery. It has been an interesting month. I’ll cut to the chase and answer what I’m sure many of you want to know.As of today I have lost 22 lbs. It wasn’t easy and it downright sucked. To take years of bad habits and turn them around literally overnight and detox from sodas and sugars is straight up torture. Add to that the fact that you are also recovering from surgery and having your stomach look like dead Jon Snows chest- it all equals a recipe for F-U-N.

There have been times when I have attempted to communicate with the dog and the cat to have them go fetch me a steak, alas a Lassie I do not have. I just have the type of pets who sit on your chest while your recovering and try to smother you while you gasp for air. My mother has been a tremendous help and my son has stepped up to help with household stuff when needed.

The rough part really came when I had to return to work a week after surgery. My doctor had recommended 2-3 weeks. But in the real world, I had used up my sick and vacation days to take care of my son when he was sick so there weren’t that many left. I showed up to work with a bag full of prescribed drugs, a heating pad and a prayer. Now i work in a hotel and for those of you that know hospitality it is rare that you just get to sit there and not do anything. My amazing co-workers helped when they could when it came to lifting or anything I couldn’t handle. Id have good days and bad days and then really bad days where I had to go home early and just sleep. And as the pain got better- i got hit with a new pain. Somehow i developed a pinched nerve in my butt. It showed up a week ago and I’m literally sitting here in searing pain because it now has traveled to my hips and my thighs. Dr. Google says it may be my sciatica. Which means I need to go see the doctor. But here’s the reality of it all. I had to take out a loan for my surgery because my insurance doesn’t cover it, which added an extra $470 bill to my already stretched budget. Whenever I go see this doctor I have a $200 co-pay so I’m trying to budget that in, then as Murphy’s Law would have it, my car battery died and I had to borrow $154 from my Mom to pay for it. Now add in this new pain and I’m looking at needing to go to the Chiropractor which is going to be another bill that I frankly do not have the money for. So I’m taking Tylenol and researching stretches all In hopes something fixes it- but we all know that in reality I need to go to the doctor. Last night I was in tears on the couch because the nerve pain was so bad and my mother and son had to help me up the stairs and into bed. I didn’t sleep and then had to hold onto walls this morning to make it into the shower to get ready for work. The last place I want to be. My sweet son asked why I couldn’t call off of work and I had to tell him that I didn’t have any sick days or vacation days. The truth is (and it was not conveyed to him) that if I don’t work we don’t eat. Its as simple as that. So he gets on the bus and I wave him off and start the car to get to work, at the same time I’m crying my eyes out. One for the pain and two because the burden of this all is just too hard.

One thing that people don’t understand and I hate to be on this Single Mom soapbox. But it is really hard. Really really hard. I don’t say this to minimize any ones journey. I’m not up here saying that it is THE hardest or that others cant relate but from my perspective it is the hardest thing I have ever done. To be perfectly frank – on paper I make a decent living, I do not currently receive any child support and asking my son’s father for help is like getting blood from a rock. I literally have to beg and then be put through a waiting period before I get any scraps thrown our way. There have been times I have had to ask my parents for money for groceries. I do not qualify for any government assistance because on paper I look good. Over 3/4 of my income go to my mortgage and health insurance and house bills. I do not drive a fancy car, get my nails done, go out to fancy restaurants or have new clothes or even a savings account. I work paycheck to paycheck. I work for us to survive. And honestly the weight of that sits on my shoulders everyday. This morning I cried because I do not have relief from this even for a day. I do not have someone to share this load with and Its getting heavier and heavier by the day and so i cry. I cry because I cant just come home and say “Help me, I’m tired” I cling onto my mother who has been with me for over a month because she will leave next week and then who will help me when I cant get off the couch or I’m too exhausted to cook or even exist. The fact that I have her is a luxury and I would be lying if I said next week when she leaves I will have a giant void to fill and then its back to my normal life of doing it alone.

My son asked me this morning why I couldn’t just find a husband to help me. As if it were that easy. As if me being exhausted to do basic stuff could afford me the energy to go out and date. Let alone to convince someone that I am amazing and fully capable of adulting even though inside I’m falling apart.

And that my friends is the ugly, unglamorous truth. This is what I deal with and this is what you will probably in normal conversation never hear me say. I don’t like to be a burden to others and I don’t want people to think I cant do this because I can and I will. So today I’m back on the saddle so to speak, I will wipe away the tears cried this morning, put on fresh lipstick, smile and when I see my son this afternoon I will hug him with the heartiest hug ever mustered. I will make sure he feels safe and is fed and he is ready for school tomorrow. He will be none the wiser and I will feel better to have Mommed up. Nothing has changed and I don’t expect it to. I’m a realist that way. After he goes to be I will be up trying to think of how to squeeze in a second job without leaving my kid alone – which wont happen. I will think of things I can sell- which isn’t much since we don’t have expensive jewelry or anything worth value. I will get upset because I filed for child support over a year ago and have yet to receive a court date and I know that if i ever do it still wont be enough to help. I will consider getting a roommate, I will consider renting out a room on Air BnB. I will cut back on the A/C and things like that to make it another month. I will make it work and none will be the wiser. And I wont get a badge or a job well done after all this is a thankless job. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but again I would be lying if I said it wasn’t the most exhausting thing. I like to think that I will emerge a warrior of sorts or that my son will grow up to be a well adjusted, kind and magnificent man and then this will all have been worth it. I just want him to be happy- he deserves that.

My Big Fat Puerto Rican Life

 

12745865_10205693316403377_4454967860869212351_n
My son when he was little- we instill pride early on

Growing up in our family and much like many other families was something that needed to be experienced not simply described. Describing it would make you think that we were seriously over exaggerating our very colorful, loving up bringing. That there was no way in the world that we actually had a mother who would show up to school in Madonna-esque bustiers that she made herself, or spiky spray colored hair. That she had six ear piercings and would wait for me at the bus stop to fill me in on the latest scandalous MTV music video. That we never really ate out because she cooked us amazing food every night and to this day- my father and I practically refuse to eat anyone’s chicken and rice or arroz con gandules and habichuelas – because if it my mother didn’t make it why waste your time. Explaining that growing up my mother didn’t speak English so she would try to learn from us when we got home from school or that she had the best catch phrases from The Price is Right, Police Academy movies and Coming to America. That when she said “beach” it sounded like “bitch”- we always got a good laugh at that. And now 32 years later she has learned to speak perfectly – yet its somehow a mystery that her accent gets thicker by the day.

 

We often spoke by yelling – not that we were mad – that’s just how we talked. A fact that upset my very American born son who for the first years of his life thought we were just mad when in fact it was the opposite. Ive explained to him that we talk super loud as to make sure you understood that you were loved lol. He now at 11 has no volume whatsoever.

My father like many Puerto Rican men is simple and quiet – and that’s not because he wants to be but he really cant get a word in edgewise in a room full of 3 Puerto Rican women. My brother has also gone mute. He proudly and faithfully served the United States Air Force for 26+ years and is the reason we all have amazing, productive lives and a million friends, we are open minded, kind, loving, resilient, peaceful and trustworthy an example he taught us from early on. On top of growing up Puerto Rican we were also Military BRATS. Which is a different experience altogether, we were used to moving with short notice, we knew how to make friends fast and easily leave. We adapted to our surroundings fairly quickly and did our part to hold onto the honor that was my fathers life. Supporting him meant supporting our country. So you can say we had pride and passion running through our veins from our roots to our nation. We love hard, fight hard and dream big. We honored the red, white and blue of both our flags and wore them both with great pride.

Wherver we moved we took our traditions with us. The flag and several flag emblazoned items were prominently displayed in the house. There was no secret where we came from and if you forgot we would remind you. My mother taught me the history of Puerto Rico and even bought me my own set of Puerto Rican Encyclopedias. I was taught and can still sing the national anthem of the island “Oh tierra de Borinquen, donde nacido yoooooooo”

Our friends were always welcome. A warm hug and kiss  from both my parents are what greet you when you enter our home. We adopted EVERYBODY. No one has ever been turned away and a belly has never left our home hungry. You were also yelled at and disciplined because once you set foot into our house, you became one of us. My parents didn’t see a difference between birthed and non birthed children. Everyone was their child. I remember my father coming home from deployment and the doorbell ringing and the neighborhood kids asking if Big Dennis could come out to play. Myself, my brother Tito and my sister Nana would yell out “Dad! its for you” and he would go outside and play with all the kids. By the way this wasn’t creepy, we lived on a military base so oftentimes everyone’s dad were gone on deployments so we just took care of our own. It was understood living on base that you were taken care of by the entire community. Sometimes kids didn’t have either parent at home and its hard. My dad grew up an Army BRAT so he understood and he stepped up to the plate and played neighborhood dad with everyone. My mom would let them spend the night or let the mothers know that their kids had eaten or whatever was needed. We had that house. All were welcome, none where turned away.

Now having this type of family also meant we partied hard and food was a barter. My mom would cook her famous chicken and rice,pack it up in Tupperware and my best friends mom would trade her collard greens and corn bread. Its still like this 20 years later.

Again this is pretty hard to explain and sometimes downright unbelievable. So when the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was released we died laughing at the similarities. It was our family on screen but in Greek! It literally went by the book in our life so much so that the scene where Gus introduces his family as “Nick, Nick, Nicky, Maria, Maria” is where my family goes “Dennis, Denise, Dennis, Jenny and Jennifer” No lie, hand to God! The movie perfectly shows how we are so much so that i own a copy and I show everyone who has not seen it as preparation for my family.

lamb
My mother once told an ex who didn’t eat pork that she would make him a ham sandwich. Her response? Its not pork its haaaaaam.
windex
My mother like Gus swears on certain products. In her case its Vics Vapo Rub. But you cant go outside once its on your body or you’ll DIE! Whaaaat?!

 

We recently had our very own first wedding in our immediate family. My brother Tito (real name Dennis) was married last week. I wanted to share pictures of the REHEARSAL DINNER – I wont post photos of the wedding as my brother and sister in law paid for really great pictures and that would be in poor taste for me to put those up without permission. However feast your eyes on this 🙂

12974375_10206014928483478_99631252690582136_n
The rehearsal cake in shape of our flag                    (tasted amazing)
12923242_10205936172700576_13952108397622309_n
Our sweet mother went to great lengths to show our pride to my lovely sister in laws family and their friends.
11217558_10205936173740602_2127506702808550209_n
And in case anyone wanted to brush up on history or facts there was a little table set up to peruse ❤

She had requested beforehand that people dress in traditional Puerto Rican dress and I have to say that everyone was a great sport about it. It really turned out nice. Much like Toula in MBFGW i snickered at the thought but had to eat my words with a side of arroz con pollo as it really did turn out very nice.

 

 

I really am fortunate to have them as my family. And much like Toula realizes in the movie, that there just is no better way than growing up Greek, i will say that I have been blessed to grow up Puerto Rican. To know my family is to love them, embrace them and know that instantly you become one of us. Cheers to the ones that started it all. This is my love letter to you. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Single Parent’s Day!

singleparentsday_talkfusion.png

Hey everyone! Did you know we actually get a day? Not me! I guess it hasn’t caught on yet that we have our own day, so I want to be one of the first to wish you a Happy Single Parents Day. I know its not as cool as mothers day or fathers day. Were not showered by flowers or candies or specially made cards telling you how awesome you are. So I’m gonna go ahead and toot that horn for us. Cheer’s to you Mama’s and Papas out there- you are killing it!

giphy.gif
Put the kids to bed, grab a great snack and a drink and cheers to yourself you bad ass mutha—-!

Cheers to you oh parenting champion:

  1. for having bath time down to an art form while also mastering kung fu like skills to keep the dog from jumping in
  2. for having the patience to cook yet another mac n cheese dish only to have you child say they no longer like mac n cheese
  3. for juggling work and calls from the school nurse to come get your child
  4. for wanting so badly to be normal that you stretch yourself thin to be room parent/team mom/coach even though you already have your plate full
  5. for rushing home after work to drive the kids to dance/sports practice and figuring out which drive thru to tackle for dinner
  6. for being the coupon clipping master so you can stretch out that last dollar
  7. for being the go to cuddles, boo boo kissing person who makes it all better
  8. for being so stealth when hiding in the closet eating that last cookie that you swore to your child didn’t exist.
  9. for smiling through gritted teeth when your child thinks the other parent hung the moon – even though you know they wouldn’t be bothered to show up
  10. for working tow jobs or selling items on Etsy, Ebay or the consignment stohand.PNGre so your little one wouldn’t know what its like to not have something
  11. for not knowing what it’s like to date
  12. for taking a giant leap and dating
  13. for having the best nose to sniff through shirts your kid stuffed into the drawers to see if they were clean
  14. for drying up tears when they want to see the other parent but they cant
  15. for doing it without child support- even though you need it
  16. for doing it with $50 worth of child support for 3 kids or more
  17. for holding back tears when you just want to scream but push through
  18. for sitting through Daniel the Tiger, Calliou or some other cartoon that you have seen a million times.
  19. for making last minute Halloween costumes or art projects or science fair projects
  20. for having to YouTube math lessons so you can understand your child’s homework
  21. for not losing it in public when you just want to walk around the store in peace
  22. for not having a bed to yourself in years
  23. for getting dressed today
  24. for not forgetting to pack a lunch today
  25. for defrosting the chicken before your realized it was too late
  26. for having all the take out menus on hand because you cant cook today
  27. for loving these children and wanting them to be great
  28. for not realizing you’ve been watching cartoons long after your child is asleep
  29. for staying up late to watch that show you like but is not kid appropraite
  30. for getting creative when something breaks
  31. for asking for help
  32. for doing it by yourself
  33. for being the first and last hug/kiss of the day
  34. for stepping up to the plate
  35. for being proud
  36. for understanding that even though you half assed it today, your kids are healthy, fed and cleansingle
  37. for not being perfect
  38. for being strong
  39. for teaching your children independence and compassion and unconditional love.
  40. for sacrificing your hair, shoes, nails, steak so your little ones can have what they need
  41. for budgeting
  42. for throwing the budget out the window this once to just have fun
  43. for praying, not praying, wishing and hoping
  44. for being present
  45. saving for college $50 at a time
  46. for showing the world you can do it
  47. for being the best person to tuck in wiggly wormy bodies to bed and reading in the best big bad wolf voice
  48. for making it today even when you thought you wouldn’t
  49. for being amazing and trying your best
  50. for simply being you

 

So even though you may not be recognized today, know that in solidarity i stand with you, and i celebrate us. Happy Single Parents day!

With Love and Admiration,

Denise

Awesome Parent Shout Out- Yolanda M.

yo

Mom to an awesome spunky, smart girl – you know i had to give the spotlight to the bestie today

What your kids call you: Mommy

Your Passion: doing my best as a Christian, wife and mother

Funniest Mom Memory: I’ll read things to her and she will tell me that I am wrong, since it’s in Spanish (which it is not) then will proceed to “translate” it for me correctly

Most difficult time being a parent: when I needed to go back to work and my nanny situation fell through.  I couldn’t bear the thought of sending her to daycare.

If you could give someone advice what would it be: relax; be present; enjoy each and every moment

 

For the love of Pi

pi-day-2015  Its March 14 and do you know what that means? Its Pi day! (3.14159265359) Yep 3/14 and in our house that means we celebrate with pies! As i type I’m trying to figure out a Taco pie and an Apple pie that i can whip together for us after work today!

Why the fuss? Well, I’ll tell you. It started with a 5 year old kid (my kid) and his love of math. He was introduced to pi in school and became instantly fascinated with the irrational endless number. Everything was pi! When you would ask him and still to this day what his favorite number is – hell respond with pi. If you ask him to rate something on a scale of 1-10 and he really likes it, he’ll bypass 10 and go straight to pi. That’s when you know you have a winner! Chicken and broccoli? 8, soup? 2 , fruit loops? pi, Pizza, Nachos, brownies? duh pi.

So you can only imagine my delight when during our usual game of outdoing each other took a turn for awesome. Normally i would start off with “I love you more than all the stars in the sky” and he would try to top it by saying something along the lines of “I love you more than all the drops of water on earth” this would go on and on and on until we would come up with something ridiculous and the other would concede. Well one day he said “Mommy, I love you more than pi” More than pi?!! How could that be? That’s a never ending number?! Be still my heart for my baby boy loves me more than pi! The time after that he said he loved me “more than pi times pi” – woo this is serious business we are now multiplying pi!  Now he has eve sprinkled in “I love you more that pi times pi times infinity” Holy cow batman! I don’t know about you guys out there but i think Ive hit the mother-load (ha-ha)

 

pi1
For the love of pi

All kidding aside i love this about him. It has been 6 years since that was introduced and at 11 years old he still say he loves me more than pi and uses the rating system. Which is why this past year it was only right to get a little tattoo honoring him.

So from myself and my kid- i hope your day is more awesome than Pi. Go celebrate and Treat yo’ self to a slice in solidarity!

 

Confessions of an A-hole

sarcasm So I think every now and then you have to sit back and take an honest assessment of self. Like you know ask the real tough questions you know need to be asked and answered but you avoid and watch YouTube videos about cats instead. They may range from “Can i really pull off faux leather leggings to Should I be worried that I find it better to sit at home then having to interact with people?”

It’s no secret I’m a single mom- duh that’s the name of the blog. And my friends will affectionately joke that “I get sick of people sometimes” – and to clarify I have had most of my friends for over 20 years so my sickness of people really just applies to newbies. Ive been officially single since 2013 and life is good now. My son and I have a groove, a routine. We know when the other needs a little space. We get along great. He’s the perfect roommate lol except he doesn’t pay bills and I have to feed him, clothe him and nurture him.

I often express that I am worried that the more I live alone and get used to being alone that I may not be any good as a mate. Ive grown used to doing what I want when I want. Ive developed and interesting new tic- called Honesty. And its the type of Honesty sprinkled with a dash of humor and a little color. For example, instead of saying “Hey maybe you should take this breath mint?” I tend to say things like “Hey eat this breath mint, its smells like death all up in there” or instead of “that person is getting on my nerves” i say “Every time she speaks i want to commit a crime”. I also tend to pepper in under breath comments when people say stupid things. Its not that I’m mean, its that I have a very low tolerance for B.S and I literally tend to just say whats on my mind. Its like there is very little filter left and that concerns me.  I feel that living alone, and the longer I live alone the stronger my Assholiness gets.

I find that the older I get I just kinda say whats on my mind and I am numb the reactions around me. Now don’t get me wrong I wont put people down or be mean about body, race, religion, sexual orientation or important things like that. No, mine are more comments under the breath to people who’s elevator doesn’t reach the top and make me wonder how they mange to survive this long. See? I just did it.

That being said, I need to learn to adult or be more feminine or soft or some shit like that. I need to use “Bless her heart” and leave it at that, not follow it with “Bless her heart, her mama must have drank through her entire pregnancy” I need someone to follow me around with a Red light and just as I am about to push that person over the imaginary cliff- it needs to light up and be like “Stop it right there” I feel like at 36 I am taking my 86 year old lady liberties too early. I always said i was going to be the old lady that didn’t give a shit, I just didn’t think that my day would come so early.

So it brings me back to my main concern. Do I lack the people skills to effectively communicate with another human being without an eye roll or my acerbic wit shining bright like a diamond?

What made me think of this you ask? Well, let me tell you. I downloaded a new dating app called Bumble. I found a match and he liked me so we began chatting. This is a big deal because literally the dating situation is so dire and desolate that I’m starting to feel like that town in Russia where the nuclear plant exploded. What was that place? Oh yeah Chernobyl. My dating life is like effing Chernobyl. Anyway this morning Mr. Kayak (what i will refer to him based on my fav pic) asked for my number. Sweeeet! This is progress. Of course you can have my number Mr. Kayak… doot doot doot. (Thats the sound of me sending him my number….play along) Anyway he sends the Hey text, i Heeeey back. he answers back that He’s just hanging out on the couch. I say something along the line of “oooh lucky, I’m stuck at work” Now before I tell you how the conversation hit shit town from this- I will say that I have been SO SO careful when responding to any questions and holding myself back from my sarcasm because it does not translate well to a stranger or over text. I need you guys to understand that every response was read over and over before I hit send. I also need to remind my new readers who do not know me in real life that I tend to weed through bull crap really fast and one of my favorite things is to call people out when they are being inappropriate or condescending. Its a sport really. Another thing about me is that I have been so badly hurt in the past that I am pretty guarded as far as letting people occupy the space that is my heart. Add to the fact that I’m a single mom who wants to make sure I make the right choice for me and my child and my propensity for B.S is literally at a negative. That being said you must understand that I am literally walking around guns loaded, scared shitless and using my sarcasm to fill in the gaps where I don’t know what to say.

So back to how I ruined the chances with Mr. Kayak by the third text. Back to the couch text right? “Oooh how lucky blah blah blah” to which he responds “You could curl up to me” to which I give an eye roll so big that it could have literally caused a Tsunami that messed up Eco systems for years to come. Corny as hell right? I also then have like forty-leven red flags (or the crazies) pop up and go- ugh I know where this convo is gonna go- cue the d!&* pics and some stupid sexual innuendo. So i wait, slightly annoyed (poor guy does not know what is coming) And I playfully respond with the this meme0cb50b50f5171b37d36c01cffcc98253.jpgfollowed by “How about I learn your last name or basic info before we go straight to couch cuddles.” Followed by LOL Because Lol makes it OK right? Its like a text band aid  right? “Your mothers a whore!” is insulting but “Your mothers a whore LOL!” is OK right? OK maybe not. Maybe LOL isn’t the magic band aid that I thought. My bad.

So anyway Mr. Kayak takes a minute to respond and says he was just trying to be sweet. Followed by an “Oh Well” followed by his last name. I instantly feel bad, but part of me feels that its important to get across that No shenanigans will be had this early with this girl. Its a shenanigan free zone. I’m not the one to send pics of myself naked or sext or things like that. I’m raising a hopeful future president or Nobel peace prize winner and I need to make sure my life does not mess his up. Though this blog may have done that. (Meh another topic for another time) anyway I don’t want to get into a situation where I’m looked at for just a good time. I’m actually very smart and interested in current events and pop culture…..and I just realized if anyone is looking for a Trivia partner I’m your girl. Anyway texting pretty much came to a halt after that and I tried some friendly text to let him know i was being playful. But I got ghosted. I’m OK. (in case anyone was wondering) but I’m wondering if the bigger problem is me. I want someone who thinks I’m smart and wants to have conversations about smart things.  I feel the need to quote the amazing Tina Fay as Liz Lemon in 30 Rock:

Liz: “I want someone who will be monogamous and nice to his mother. And I want someone who likes musicals, but knows to just shut his mouth when I’m watching LOST. And I want someone who thinks being really into cars is lame and strip clubs are gross. I want someone who will actually empty the dishwasher instead of just taking out forks, as needed, like I do. I want someone with clean hands and feet and beefy forearms like a damn Disney prince. And I want him to genuinely like me even when I’m old. And that’s what I want.”

Except add that I would also like him to like my acerbic wit and my sarcasms and to think that my ass-holiness is endearing. I feel like I have been out of the game so long – circa 2003 that I don’t know how to do this. How to be soft and feminine and attract a decent human being and then actually want to hang out with them and do couply things. And then I just think- meh whats on Hulu? and make some popcorn- cuz i kinda don’t mind the silence and Ive never been a soft cuddly feminine gal and I’m good with that. Until then please understand if were gonna be friends that :

star wars

A Single Mom’s Christmas List

I havMom_Overwhelmede found a wonderful supportive online community on Facebook and I belong to a Single Parents group. We trade stories, atrocities, vent our frustrations, celebrate our successes and make new friends. Sometimes, there are things you feel better talking to complete strangers about then you do with people who are closer to home. I don’t know why but it does. Well at least to me. I have been inspired by the ladies in my groups and have learned that through this all I am not alone in my feelings or struggles or thoughts. I woke up this morning to a blog post from one of a fellow mom’s Emma Shaffer post about her feelings during this time of year. The dreaded holidays. I know when I was coupled up I didn’t think about things that I think about now and I feel that now I’m privy to a broader world outside of my own four walls. Its no secret that being a single parent is hard and I have posted before how sometimes we feel lonely or forgotten and that it is hard to communicate that.

Emma’s post couldn’t have said it better. It reminded me that as a person, I need to voice my concerns and needs and sometimes that is overwhelming so we bite our tongues.Although the post may not apply to all, I am sure it applies to some. Id like to share her post with you as another perspective from a single mother and if you are interested in reading more please check out her blog at If You Say What You Feel

A Single Mom’s christmas list

 
What do you want for Christmas?

I didn’t used to hate this question, though I always found it awkward. I loathe it now. What do people want me to say?
     “Oh! I’d love a cute pair of red flats!”
     “I would love nice maple cutting board. I love to cook!”
     “I’m dying for a new attachment for my stand mixer!?!”
I always feel obligated to ask for things that feel like gifts to give. People like buying you things that they think are a treat or things you wouldn’t buy yourself. But do you know what I really want for Christmas?

I want groceries. No seriously,  I want groceries. I don’t want to have to play “what else can we put on top of rice” game, and I don’t want to tell my son for the umpteenth time that we can’t go to the store and buy fresh fruit because mama doesn’t get paid for another week. I don’t want to get everything on my grocery list in my cart and then try figure out which third of it to put back. Do I put back the cheese, juice and broccoli, or the apples, milk and tortillas?

I want the money to fill my cavities. My dental insurance only covers one cavity every THREE YEARS, and I have 4 cavities. I have had 4 cavities for a year, and they are starting to get painful. I would seriously love to fork over the cash and have the pain be gone. You weren’t going to spend $400 on my present??? Oh, how forward of me.

I want you to come clean my house. Not because I secretly hate you and want to see you toil cleaning up my messes, but because I am fricking tired, and I just can’t do it all. Not even with a toddler who knows to take a rag to spills and pretends his plastic golf bag is a vacuum cleaner.

I want socks and bras and underwear. Please, PLEASE can you buy them for me? Taking a toddler into a women’s clothing store is my worst nightmare. I can never seem to justify replacing the bras that are only kinda pokey, and the underwear that is totally the wrong size, but not disgusting enough to be               thrown out.

I want more sick days. I use all of my 2 official sick days and most of my paid time off on sick days for both me any my son. We always get sick in tandem, and that always makes for double the days needed off of work.

Among other intangibles: I want to feel less lonely, I want to leave the house on time (OK even half of the time having on-time departures would be nothing short of a miracle). I really, really want to be told I’m doing a good job, but don’t know how to ask for this, and then feel that the reply is genuine. I would really like to feel like less of a burden to society, but I know that I’m asking for a lot here.

So I guess I’ll settle for asking for cooking classes, bath salts and fancy coffee. Because if I ask for what I really need you might be uncomfortable. And then we might actually have to do something or feel responsible as a society for forcing single moms to fit their square peg of a life into a round hole of convenient holiday gift giving. Please just give me the gift of being able to ask for the help I need and not simultaneously feel bad about it. That’s what I really want.

– Emma Shaffer, http://ifyousaywhatyoufeel.blogspot.com/

It takes a village

village

So often we have heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” but what we don’t realize is that it also takes a village to just function and I personally think it takes a village to help a Mom- in whatever form you take. Married, single or separated. We all need a village, a squad, a group of homies ready to help at a moments notice.

My son and I live in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. We are 324 miles (5 hour drive) from my immediate family in Florida. We miss out on the grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins with a lot of things. So we (I) have built us a very close knit family consisting of friends who have become equally as important as blood relatives. In fact, they have all been introduced to my family who accepts them as one of our own. I used to get sad that we lived s far away and missed out on things. I used to think I was doing damage to my son by being so far from family. But ill have to tell you, the ladies that support us are amazing. We have had cheering from the stands at games, summer adventures all over the city, sleepovers, dinners, community groundings (were all the kids get in trouble at once lol) arts and crafts, trick or treats, birthday parties, fundraisers, car pools, last minute babysitting, pot lucks poolside lunches and the solid rule that whoever is watching our kid is resident acting Mom and if she says your grounded, timed out, or even mentions the side eye my kid gave…woe to the child lol . I even have had an imaginary tooth fairy on speed dial. You name it we have it!

I honestly don’t know where we would be without our honorary Aunts, Tias, Uncles, Coaches, play cousins and brothers and hermanas. My son is very loved and we are so much richer for having you in our lives. For those in my “squad” reading this, thank you for making us part of your families. Living in a town with no relatives is hard. Living in a town with no relatives and being a single mother is harder and I am honored.

So if you have time today, take a moment to thank your “life support” your comrades, your sisters from another misters, and if you are lucky enough to have landed one of us single moms in your crew – come over for wine or a hang out- we love having you here!  ♥