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

 

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

 

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!  ♥

 

Single Girl Problems

A good friend of mine with an equally effed up personality and sense of humor as me came across this little gem and tagged me on it. I laughed so hard at my desk at work and wrote back to him that i didn’t know if I should feel loved that he tagged me or feel sad that he thought of me and knew I could relate. I wanted to share a few of my favorite pictures from the article but please check out the post in its entirety at Single Girl Problems

I have realized that in life you have to have a sense of humor about most things. Thinking humorously about things really makes the time go by smoother and it doesn’t weigh on you as much. I like to think of laughter as a fun, umbrella drink that you order because of the taste and sometimes it knocks you out of your seat.  I have been officially single for about 2 1/2 years, its so noticeable that my 11 year old son actually brought it up last night while we were in the car driving home. He asked me out of the blue “What ever happened to you trying to get an online date” and I replied “Well, I tried and it didn’t go so well, not really getting any hits” then in his 11 year old wisdom he replies “Wow that sounds real sad, like you should be depressed” and I said ” well damn, no I’m not depressed (this week), I have a really good life and its not all summed up by whether or not someone likes me” and he said “Well, yeah but it sounds a little sad”. I should have been a little bummed but in honesty I wasn’t and then I laughed that I raised a child that is comfortable enough to be open with me and speak with such candor. Mom win. Totally- even if my son thinks that temporarily I’m a loser.

I did question myself the other day as i was shaving and thought- meh no one is gonna see this…and then I thought No ma’am, if you let this go, whats next? What if I am randomly driving down the street and I get rear ended by some tall dark and handsome man who then falls in love with my acerbic wit immediately and wants to whisk me away on an impromptu vacation and then coyly touches my leg and to his horror and mine, my hairy legs get tangled in his watch… Not likely to happen. However just for funsies I’ll shave the legs and the whatnot’s. You just never know.

In the meantime, I’ll pass the time with my friends who share in my laughter and like to poke fun at me. They are the best anyway. Like a good shot of tequila after a bad day

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome Parent Shout Out- Henry

Henry

Name: Henry B.

What your kids call you: My son calls me Dad & my daughter calls me Daddy

Your Passion: I’m passionate about education and extracurricular activities. I want to expose my kids to everything and give them the opportunity to achieve whatever they desire in life.

Funniest parenting Memory: my 5 year old daughter tells my 10 year old son, he’s smart, but not smart smart… I asked her to explain and she says, if he were smart smart, he’d learn how to stay outta trouble!

Most difficult time being a parent: when anyone I the house is sick!

If you could give someone advice what would it be: being a father is the hardest job in the world, but it’s also the most rewarding. I get the opportunity to shape the minds of two impressionable children and prepare them to do greater things than I can even imagine

The Barren wasteland of Singledom

lonelyI’m going to write about the difficulties of being 36 and a single mom. I know with so much going on in the world it seems as if this is a “first world” problem and maybe it is. lol

I find that being 36 and a single mom is a unique niche that is pretty hard to navigate. Thus the range of emotions i deal on a daily basis is pretty overwhelming. At 36 you are in the middle of people who have been married for eons or those on the verge of a divorce. You have friends who have children that are graduating high school and those who are just starting the baby process. A few of them have grandchildren already. Then there are the ones who are single with no children or newly divorced and ready to go out and re-invent themselves. I’m stuck in the middle.I personally have never been married and i navigate this gray area with my amazing 11 year old. I don’t necessarily belong in the married category, though i have all married friends because our children are the same age and the schedules and lifestyles click. I don’t belong in the completely single category because i have a child at home and I personally just don’t find clubbing and bar hopping appealing plus I’m not available at a moments notice when most people what to go out.

I call this are the Barren wasteland of Singeldom. In my situation, i find myself with many, many lonely moments. When my son goes away to visit his father, I’m often at home contemplating what to do. My marrieds (friends) have families and husbands so they just cant drop things to hang out. I don’t have truly single friends in my area so going out for a girls night is usually a no go. I often try to go out to see things or do something  but usually end up back at my home catching up on R rated movies that i cant watch when my kid is around. Normally its cool to have a few moments to myself because its far and few in-between as a single mom. But lately as the holidays come up my son is gone more with his dad and i find more and more moments alone. And ill tell you what, the loneliness has kicked in hard. It has scissor kicked me in the face and taken my joy.

Holidays are particularly hard. You have families that are getting together and the buzz of dinners, parties and gifts to be bought. Couples doing couple things. Babies being made and born because people are just in festive and happy moods. I wish i was one of those people.  I keep up the charades of happiness for my son and we plan activities and i secretly stash gifts in hidden places for him. I tell him that I’m happy that i don’t have to cook for Thanksgiving and that I’m going to just have a relaxing day to myself, so he doesn’t feel guilty that he’s spending his holiday with his father and can enjoy himself. I have friends that have invited me to their homes, lovingly with open arms but the truth is this year, the depression has sunken in and it hurts more to be around families during this time because i don’t have what they have. I am ashamed to say that my mood this season is Green with envy. (Please don’t get me wrong, i have a healthy wonderful son and he is more than enough joy in my life. I am grateful for that opportunity.)

I’m running out of steam right now, maybe when the warm sun comes back and the summer days kick in ill feel better. In the meantime i just have to find things to keep me occupied to fill the void- to fill that space that makes me feel like I’m being picked last to play kickball.

So if you have a person in your life who is in the “grey” area like me, don’t forget about them. Ive “chatted” with a few single parents on Facebook and the sentiment is the same. Here a a few things that can help:

  • Call and chat. Even if its for a few minutes. You have no idea how sometimes the phone doesn’t ring for days or people only call when they need a favor.
  • Invite them out. Even if you know that getting a sitter is difficult or that it will take some planning. Even though we cant just pick up and go it still feels nice to at least be invited and not feel forgotten.
  • Just hang out. Sometimes its great to just have a friend sit on the couch and chat with. It takes the pressure of having to get dressed and finding a sitter out and still makes the person feel loved.
  • If the kids are older, offer to take them to the store to buy a gift or a card for their mom or dad for the holidays or birthday or mothers/fathers day. You have no idea how a lot of times we don’t get anything for ourselves during these “special” times and we have to grin through it and it makes people feel worse
  • Just listen. Sometimes we need to gripe and cry and vent or tell someone (an adult) how we are excited about something.
  • Follow up. If we vent and cry and gripe or tell you something exciting follow up and see how we are doing.
  • Offer to babysit. Don’t always have them watch your children without reciprocating.

Those are just a few things. Anyone else have any ideas on how to help out a single parent? I’d love to hear how single parents cope with this feeling and how you combat the blues. Thanks for listening and I hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful week surrounded by so much joy, love, peace, laughter and happiness.

Awesome Parent Shout Out- Amanda

Name: Amanda O.Amanda

What your kids call you: He’s 16 months and although he has mastered a few words, none are names for me yet sadly.

Your Passion: Travel

Funniest parenting Memory: This isn’t a parenting memory as much as a becoming a parent memory – when I went into labor it was the dead heat of summer. My husband took me to the hospital in a t shirt and shorts. My delivery room was really cool because I was burning up.. my husband on the other hand was freezing. I pointed out to him I still had my velvet cheetah pants I came into the hospital wearing in a bag. And thus… my husband walking all over the labor and delivery floor wearing a Vikings T shirt and cheetah pants.

Most difficult time being a parent: My child did not sleep for more than 4 hours at a time until he was 8 months old, my husband does not get home from work until at least 3 am and I have to get up at 5:30 am for work. There was a lot of blurred eyed Starbucks mornings.

If you could give someone advice what would it be: Whenever I get frustrated because my son is having a bad day, I have to remind myself that children have bad days too. It’s not just an adult thing. I repeat to myself, “Mommy makes things better” in remembering how all the times a simple hug made me feel better from my mother. So just take a step back sometimes and think “is this tantrum because he’s tired or is something else bothering him?

1000+ views!

10001000 VIEWS!! I cant believe it! I really want to just thank each of you for taking time out of your day to visit my blog. Ive always wanted to write and it took a leap of courage to do this and to have it received so well warms my heart. I’m hoping that i wont let you down and as i grow in spirit and strength that the website also reflects that.

I’m amazed that something that started off so small has reached so many people. Take a look at this map! These are all the countries that have heard my heart and read my words. In places i only dreamed of visiting, in a way a part of me has been there through you. So again Thank you!

views

countriesAnd i did want to leave  you with this.

quote-dream-do

Go out and be AWESOME

<3,

Denise