My Fourteen year old and I are fighting like cats and cats!

cat fightIt’s summer vacation, which means lots of together time with our kids! This can be great, and it can also mean more family squabbling. My fourteen year old daughter and I are currently battling for control.  This happens from time to time because,  we have opposite personalities, her being an alpha female and me being a people-pleaser which can get us into trouble considering the fact that a fourteen year old, can’t run the household and a mother can’t always please her daughter.

Friends and family, try and give me advice, by telling me to just put a kibosh on it, or let her know whose boss and the old stand by, take her phone away. Which I do, frequently, but something still isn’t working.

The problem is that my daughter is super strong willed.  I’m a reader and a planner, and I thought I had it all figured out when I took my beautiful, baby girl home from the hospital. I would just follow the schedules these books have planned out and everything will be a vision of perfection.  We will be napping and eating on schedule. Well, not according to my daughter, who would not stop, crying, and screaming. When she got older it turned into, begging,  and negotiating, until she would wear me down.  I’m pretty strong willed myself, in my own quiet way, but dealing with your own kid is a different kind of banana in this apple cart.

Now she’s a teenager and I find myself once again getting worn down from time to time. Biggest problem is her not understanding my , language because she takes everything so literally and then we end up arguing about how something was said, or what exactly was said. And she’s a master of keeping the fight going and turning it around.

Then a quick look at Facebook, can really make a mom feel like crap. You can feel so jealous of those moms whom post pictures of their mom daughter “best friend” relationships!  The pics seem to say  “We do everything together, we’re best friends, and there isn’t a care in the world.

Seriously, I know Facebook and Instagram are the best moments of bliss that everyone is guilty of posting, to show everyone else how blissful their lives are.  I do it myself. And I have to remind myself, that everyone of us has our own shitty crap that we have to deal with in our own families.  We are not The Brady Bunch!  And I didn’t get to writing on this blog, to blow bull shit up everyone’s ass.  I want to be real……….good or bad, I want to be real.

Truth is, if you have a good relationship, then you will have ups and downs.  Healthy people fight with each other.  In order to move past problems there is a fight, disagreement, or an argument. My fourteen year old daughter is trying to exercise her independence. I just have to learn how to negotiate properly with a fourteen year old.  I have to be proactive, put the kibosh on it without emotion.

But I’m finding our fights, are getting to be more often, and more emotional.  And I’m not afraid to go get some professional help.  I’ve made an appointment with a counselor whom specializes in family communication. My daughter is on board with this too. I think it will be good for us to get some strategies to help us through this moment in our life.  It’s hard being the only parent, and I’m sure it’s hard on Piper as well.  I don’t know what she is going through; being an only daughter in a single parent household, with a dad who is not and never has been emotionally there for her.  She may have feelings that she needs to work out as well.

In an effort to help all single moms and parents, I want you to know that my life is not all Facebook/Instagram bliss.  I work hard, I’m trying to get out of debt, I’m back on the dating scene, I love my daughter, I nag at her, I’m impressed by her, we laugh and have fun and we fight.

Does anyone have similar situations with their daughters?  Have you gone to counseling about it?

Please share and post to other single mothers and fathers, I’d love to hear about your experiences.

 

 

 

 

Don’t have much money? You can still have fun with a stay-cation!


It’s Spring Break and fortunately Piper and I are both off at the same time.  Unfortunately we are on stay-cation mode, due to the strict budget I’ve been on for a year now, because A) I’m saving for Piper’s braces, and B) I want to get rid of my debt.  I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey on a daily basis to keep me motivated, and in this past year I lowered my debt by 8,000 dollars so far!

 

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Regardless, we were still able to have fun with family and friends. Piper’s week started off with an illness, but she is on the mend, beginning with a day at the pool, and  banana cream pie for Pi day.   Piper had no interest in practicing math problems in honor of Pi day, like I suggested. We were happy to find out that, Piper got accepted to the high school she wanted to get into.  I dusted off  my camera and snapped some photos of our fab stay-cation:)


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2016-03-15 14.38.24We took Noni out for her birthday lunch at Joyride, and then, went to Mac for the perfect red lipstick, and finished the day at Frost for frozen gelatos.2016-03-20 13.28.01
I kept busy with a new book, We Are Not Ourselves, and a new Inky
Coloring book which is surprisingly relaxing and meditative!

2016-03-16 18.42.36My mother and I went over to her friend Mara’s house and helped her feed and put her twins to sleep.  Here is Nick who couldn’t stop flirting with me.
2016-03-16 11.42.25 2016-03-16 11.45.10I met my sister and Joel for lunch at the Taco Guild which has the best damn street corn eva!  It’s such a cute place refurbished from an old Methodist church.  It has the original stained glass windows still in it.

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014c1097b1d811e6012a8f1a1c5798fe52d3fb0abeI also did extra cleaning projects and re-painted my dresser, from shabby chic to just plain white. I still need to replace the knobs too.  I planted some spring flowers in honor of the first day of spring.

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Piper and her friend at the tip top, so busy looking at their phone!2016-03-17 19.28.08

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We ended our week with a night at Castles and Coasters and a friend’s birthday and me getting the same illness as Piper.  Why do we get sick on spring break???

I hope this time next year we’ll actually go somewhere, but all in all, it was still a great stay-cation.  Being able to relax and get away from the rat race, by sipping coffee in the morning instead of making lunches is more than worth not being able to go on a great trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outta Whack

I literally was crying in the shower, even though nothing drastic has happened to me.

Ever wake up feeling blue, for seemingly no clear explanation?  That happens to me every once in a while and it got me to wondering why this pops up every now and then. It happened this past Tuesday morning, I literally was crying in the shower, even though nothing drastic has happened to me.  When I feel this way though, I tend to look back on my life and beat myself up for the things I did, didn’t do, and wish I had.  I always compare my life to the dream I had when I was a fifth grader, which at this point in my life I should have been married for 15 years, had more kids, a big house etc etc. So, I let myself cry for a little bit while getting ready for work.  By the time Piper got up, I was closer to my old self, keeping busy with the mundane necessities of getting out the door on time.

By the time I got to work my mood had regulated to normalcy.  I was busy with work and my work friends. I love my job, because  I get to help the neediest of our population. I work with some pretty awesome people, and we have fun while getting our job done.

Flash forward to me at night in bed, reading.  Now, I feel utterly satisfied and happy with my life.  I laughed at how my mood could change so much in one day.  I can go from feeling so blue to feeling utterly comfortable and happy.

Then, as God always does, the information came to me right when I needed it.  I happen to come to an article in Oprah’s magazine, called, Vicious Cycle, and it’s all about perimenopause.  It can happen when your periods start becoming irregular, which mine are, and around the age of 47, which I am.  Damn, Damn, Damn. It’s all about how your progesterone and estrogen levels can get thrown out of whack, and mess with your brain, body, and moods.

The article went on to say there is help, with anti-depressants or hormones, and you should talk with your gynecologist.

Guess I gotta make an appointment, before I get too out of whack.

Make a Compassionate Connection this Christmas

Wow, now that is extending a warm hand of compassion and connection!

 

One of my co-workers was talking about how she invites the mother of her step-children, and the ex-wife of her husband, to spend the night with them on Christmas Eve, because she would never let her be alone.  Wow, now that is extending a warm hand of compassion and connection!

This co-worker has never been a single mom, but she understands how mothers work and how lonely it would be to spend Christmas Eve, and Christmas morning alone.

Thinking about Christmases past and thinking of single parents this message goes out to those of you who have families and may know of someone who is a single parent.  There were many Christmas mornings that I felt alone especially when Piper was just a little tyke who couldn’t talk and distract me.  I was very proud and would never ask for help unless I had no other option.  I’m not dogging my family, because I know they would welcome me if I asked them for help.  But I remember one Christmas morning when I was just dying for the clock to turn to 5 PM so I could finally spend time with my family.  I remember packing Piper up in her car seat and then driving to the Bridal Walk on Central Avenue and putting her in her stroller to walk and pass the time. I was thinking of my brother and my sister and my parents, and how they were probably having fun with their families, and wishing I had a family too.  It was one of the many isolating moments of single parenthood. 

If you know someone who may be alone on Christmas Eve, or Christmas Morning, invite them over.  Don’t assume they are fine because they don’t ask.  Even if they decline your offer, at least they know you were thinking of them.  We all need to think outside, of what is going on in our own families, and extend a helping hand of compassion and connection.

Single Parents; Make These 3 Vows to Yourself

why not vow to create your best life anyway

 

Single parents aren’t going away.  As much as we would like everyone to have a two parent household, sometimes life just doesn’t work out that way.  There are approximately over 15 million single parent households according to the 2012 census.  So, instead of negatively judging ourselves for our presumed inadequacy, why not vow to create your best life anyway.

Here are the steps I took to ensure that I was happy regardless of my circumstances.

#1 Take Care of Number One-That’s You! 

If you aren’t’ at your best how are you supposed to give the best care to your kids and to your job?  How do I make sure I’m not sick and depressed?  I eat right; I hardly ever eat fast food, or processed food.  I choose to cook- it’s also a great way to bond with your children. I take vitamins and herbs that are tailored for my specific needs.  I spend about $100.00 on vitamins, every quarter, but, ( I hope I don’t jinx myself), I haven’t been to the doctor for an illness in at least ten years, so it’s worth it to me. I exercise either at the gym or at home.  At home, I have a jump rope, ten pound weights and an exercise ball.  I also get to watch my favorite shows while doing it.  Your health is everything! Be a healthy role model for your kids!

#2 Improve Your Economic Status

Whatever it is that you do every day; do it really well.  Improve your current status, by taking classes to get a degree, or to move up in your current position.  If studying and school isn’t so much your thing then acquire a skill or cultivate your creativity. As an educator, I have to take classes in order to get more money.  I don’t love it, but I do learn more, and therefore increase my revenue.  It’s also never too late to change and follow your passion. Don’t let fear keep you in a box.  Take the steps now, to change your life for the better.

#3 Nourish Your Soul

Do you wake up cursing the sunlight or thanking God, or the universe or whomever or whatever it is that you pray to.   Start your day off right every day.  I made a vow when I turned 40 that I was going to start my day by thanking God for everything that means something to me.  I say 5 short sentences of thanks every morning.  I even thank God for the things I don’t have so I can create an attitude of faith that eventually I will have them.  I read positive books that are designed to enlighten you.  I watch Super Soul Sunday.  I read Science of Mind magazine and their daily affirmations. I’m constantly reading self-help books. Hey, I love to veg out and watch Bravo TV shows too, but they don’t make you a better person, so I make sure and get my reading and writing in.  Successful people make it a habit to learn from other successful people.

I used to hate my small condo, but it was the only place I could afford to buy as a teacher and single mother.   But now, I thank God for the fact that I have a roof over my head, and that I own this property. I’ve learned to love my space and make it a place I want to spend time in.

Start making these simple, small changes because every action you make in life, gets a reaction, so make it a right action.

 

 Why I’m Happy to Not Be in My Twenties and Dating Again!

This is a don’t ask, don’t tell relationship right now.

Being a woman in my forties, I’ve certainly been through the trenches of dating warfare.  And I’m proud to now be at a place, where I am confident making decisions about my life, and specifically with dating. I’m comfortable because I’ve had the experiences; negative and positive, which have afforded me with wisdom. Instead of looking for my knight in shining armor, I now consider, experience and my brains to be my knights in shining armor.

Speaking  about new dating experiences; I was chatting the other day with one of my co-workers.  She is newly divorced, still in her 20’s, and I can sense the self-consciousness coming from the doubts she is having about a new man.  It was like looking in a mirror of me when I was in my twenties.  I definitely don’t come from the perspective that I want a man to be my knight and shining armor to come and save me from this mundane life of mine, which was a different perspective that I had when I was in my twenties. I really did want to find that guy, get married, stay at home with my kids and live happily ever after.  God, the universe, my selfish desires, we all had other plans though.

She’s been heavily flirting via email and text, with a former co-worker from her past.  She worked with him a few years ago, she knew he was married and had two kids, but was hoping he was single at this time.  She reached out to him to say hi and ever since he’s been texting her and had even asked her out to a dinner date, which he cancelled last minute (red flag #1).  Oprah taught me this: People show you who they are the first time. This guy is cancelling a first date and that is not a good sign. She assumed he may have gotten a divorce, but neither he nor she, has said anything about marriage or divorce. (Red flag #2) Not asking specific questions so you know the whole truth about someone you are interested in right away.  This should have come up in the first conversation.  She hasn’t asked, and he hasn’t given up anything about his wife or his marriage. They have been in a frenzy of texting the last week and living in ambiguity.  She told me he texts her constantly at all times, and so this must mean he is single. She is hoping their marriage is dead, and of course she loves the attention.  One day, he shows up at our office, unannounced to surprise her, and she sees that he’s wearing his wedding ring.  He continues flirting with her, giving her attention, and said he came to the office because he wanted to make sure she put her new license plates on her car so she wouldn’t forget.  Clearly, something a very interested suitor would do.  This is great, if he was sincere.  Everyone else in the office, but my co-worker can see this.

When he’s gone we ask her, “Did he say anything about the marriage????”  She said no, because she still hasn’t asked.

This is a don’t ask, don’t tell relationship right now.

He then tells her that they will go out to dinner soon.  (Red Flag #3) He’s giving her hope, but not asking her out with a specific time and date.  She is now saying, well if,  we go out, then I will ask him about the ring, because right now, everything he’s done so far I can chalk up to friendship. (Red Flag #4) trying to convince yourself of an idea, not living in reality.

Our whole office, which consists of women urge her to ask him about the wedding ring and how things are going with his wife.    She is wavering and smiling at us because she feels awkward asking something so personal to him. Women do this all the time.  Sacrifice our own dignity for a man that isn’t worth it.

We shower her with women empowerment messages, “Put him on the hot seat, because he should be the one feeling awkward.  He should be embarrassed because if he is married he shouldn’t be acting like he’s single.”

She finally, decides to ask him.

He answers with a proud, “Yes, I’ve been married for 7 years, 5 months, 25 days, 6 hours, and 24 minutes, why?” (Like he’s so in love he records every minute)

He then assumes the position of, “OMG, have I led you down the wrong path?  I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to make you fall for me.”  He didn’t actually say those exact words, but that’s what he meant.

She texts him with a, “Wow, If I’d known you were married I wouldn’t be texting and talking with you so much.”

He answered “I thought we were going to be besties?”

She just text him back with a “Bye!”

I said to her, “Don’t you feel powerful now, that you know the truth?”  She just said she felt sad.  And I know that pain. The pain of believing everyone is supposed to be honest and good, and your hopes just fall to the floor.  But wouldn’t you hate to be that guy’s wife?

By getting to the truth, she just saved herself from a rotten person, and she is just that much closer to finding the right guy out there for her, and she will, because she is an awesome person and any guy would be lucky to have her.

What I now know: when dating, get to the truth by asking questions, lots of them.  Listening to your instincts will help you figure out the red flags. There is no point with wasting your time with someone who doesn’t give you the right answers in the beginning.

Funny, how dating when you’re young can be such a fools paradise…..It’s great in a lot of ways, because you want to believe in a fantasy, but I like where I am now, with my feet on the ground and my knight and shining armor of brains and experience, protecting me and keeping me safe and sound.

Do you have a similar story of a time when you never asked the right questions of someone you were dating?

Mamma’s and Bullies (Throwback Thursday; things to do or not)

You may think this was politically incorrect of me to do.

 

I was remembering about a time when Piper was in Kindergarten and First Grade and she was experiencing bullying.  Piper didn’t know it was bullying at the time, but she did tell me there was a girl in her class that punches her in the stomach when they are playing.  It was hard to figure out for Piper, because at other times they were friends.  But from time to time the girl would put her fist into Piper’s stomach and twist it hard.  I knew who the girl was and I knew her mother and father just from small talk at school.  By my assessments, I wasn’t surprised the girl was doing this.

I took the initial steps of contacting the school with the information, since they didn’t know it was going on.  I waited for the parent to contact me, but the next time I saw her, it was small talk as usual.  The school may have told her, but kept , who reported it private.

Piper told me it was still going on.  I debated on talking with the parent face to face about it.  I wasn’t sure where it would go, would she believe me, would it change things?

One day I was picking up Piper from her after school program and all the kids were in the hallway.  I decided to take things into my own hands. I grabbed the opportunity to handle this problem mommy stealth style.

The girl was there and I bent down to her level and I said, very quietly yet, sternly, with eyebrows knitted together, “Girl, I need you to stop putting your hands on Piper!”  “Do not punch her in the stomach, do not pick her up, and do not lay one more hand on her!  Do you understand me?”  She looked up at me with wide doe eyes and shook her head yes.

I never had another problem again with her.  You may think this was politically incorrect of me to do.  But, I followed my instincts and it turned out perfectly.  Every now and then, you have to handle things old school and your intuition and instincts usually are right on!

Have you ever had to handle a bullying situation in your own way?  What went right, what went wrong?

 

What Do Single Moms Want?

Yes, there are a lot of great guys out there!

Not to be single anymore, right!  Most people want to be in a loving relationship. Feeling rejected is mankind’s biggest fear.  I get that 100%!  I feel better when I am a part of a community, a group of friends who love me and get me.   I feel great when I’m in a thriving relationship.  But, in the meantime when we find ourselves currently not a part of a loving relationship, that is when we have to take care of ourselves and make sure that we do the activities, hobbies,(yuck, I hate that word) steps, that make us happy and whole, to attract the next guy, girlfriend, job, or whatever we want. We should be able to be happy where we are right now.

Life is about transforming from where you are now, into something bigger and better.

Force your self to do something that scares you.  Join a group, or club. Smile at people. (this was hard for me to do), Go on line to find a date, and be of service to others.

Be good to your self.  Smile at your self in the mirror. (Just do it, no one can see you) Thank God for the things you have and thank God for the things you want.  Live your life as if you already have those things. Make a list of what you want.  Create a vision board.

Yes, there are a lot of decent guys out there!  Stop saying things like, all the good guys are married, all the guys on line are weird.  You are single, and you are great, there are guys who are your equal, who are looking for love, I’ve met lots of  great guys on line (and have just recently been dating a great one),  and if you need help with this, email me because I know how to weed out the losers, and attract the perfectly suited one for you!

Think Abundance. Say this everyday, “There are lots of great guys out there, and I’m going to meet one.” Don’t hate where you are right now, embrace it and have fun.

Let me know how it works!!

“Everything is rigged in our favor.”-Rumi

Be Clear With What You Want

I emailed, him explaining why she won’t be with him this weekend, and then I ended it with a request.

Don’t give up on asking for what you want!

My daughter is sick, she has a fever, she’s throwing up and she’s is supposed to go to her dad’s for the weekend.  When he texts her to confirm,  she tells him she wants to stay with me because she is sick.  I mean who doesn’t want to be with their mommy, or the one who has been the nurturer, when they are  sick and need some TLC?  His response to her when she tells him she is sick and won’t be going, is “Boo”.  I don’t know maybe that is his way of saying, “Wow, Piper, that sucks that I’m not going to be able to see you.”  I can’t begin to understand what goes on in his head, but once again I feel the mamma bear coming out and needing to defend my daughter.

I just wish he would treat her like the princess she is.  But, I long ago gave up on that idea. It is, what it is, and trying to change him, by asking him for what I want usually would not go my way, and I’d end up in a tears from the frustration.

You can’t change anyone.  but I’ll be damned if I’m going to idly stand by and let him treat my daughter with the same indifference he treated me with.

I emailed, him explaining why she won’t be with him this weekend, and then I ended it with a request.  I wrote, “It would be nice if you had some kind words for Piper like, ‘I hope you feel better.’, or ‘I miss and love you.'”

He’s not a stranger to expressing his love for her, but lately, since she’s turned into a snarky teen, it seems like he’s forgotten that she still needs to hear those words and she still needs to know and feel his love for her.

I’m glad to report that the next day, he expressed his concern and love for her.  She, on the other hand didn’t want to respond, because she was mad at him.

Oy vey!!

I was pleasantly surprised, and glad I asked and he listened.