single mom

When you can’t walk around much you realize how quickly your children will turn on you.

Yes, my kids are sweet and wonderful helpers. They usually don’t give me much grief and I am thankful for that.

However, they can be typical humans who try to get away with whatever they can. Especially when it comes to cleaning. This is always a battle.

If they take something out they should have to put it back. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. I’m not a freaking maid! They knew I had to stay off my foot as much as possible so I was leaving a lot up to them. Well, they didn’t clean the playroom, told me they did and thought they would get away with it.

It looked like Toys R Us exploded in the room. Which is typically how a playroom should look but it was worse than usual. It was like twenty children who drank nothing but coffee and ate a mountain of sugar had gone crazy in there.

I asked the kids to stop getting ready for bed. Asked them to drag pillows in to the playroom and I laid on the floor, propped my foot up with pillows and ice packs and told them to get to work.

You would have thought I was torturing them with unnatural sounds coming from them. The tears were over the top. A few minutes ago they were arguing that they weren’t tired and now suddenly they were exhausted. My ten year old daughter even laid on the floor dramatically like she was falling asleep.

They both started to flat out ignore me. This set me off.

I raised my scary Mommy voice a bit and gave them the crazy eye, “Pick. Up. NOW!”

My five year old son yelled, “I’m not afraid of you, WOMAN!”

(insert dropped jaws and blank blinking expressions)

I have never seen that boy so quick to tell me he loves me, call me pretty, say I am the scariest person ever and run like hell.

My daughter and I were so shocked we just laughed. After my son realized I wasn’t going to do… whatever he assumed I would after that outburst he came back, apologized and we spent the rest of the time laughing and picking up. Saying “I’m not scared of you, woman!” is said a lot now because it IS funny.

Yes, the kids not cleaning up makes me angry. The fact they try to pull dishonest acts like these seems like a slap in the face. But, they are kids. We all make mistakes, push limits and it’s a choice to stay angry or move past it. Staying angry isn’t fun for anyone and resentment will just grow.

Live, laugh and ninja kick… the room ended up cleaner than it’s been in weeks, we had fun and my son assured me many times that I am very scary. It all worked out.

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Post image for Moving Furniture, Overcoming Vulnerability aka I Hurt My Ninja Kicker

Baaada big boom! Also, if you appreciate how awesome my pants are and why then you get bonus points.

I do everything on my own. I have little help (though I do have awesome friends that will help if I ever actually need/ask… but I don’t… but that is another topic) but I’m okay with that. I like that I am obnoxiously independent. It empowers me. I embrace it!

Even if it ends up costing me.

I have this problem with moving furniture on my own. In the last several years I have hurt myself from doing this… but I can’t stop it.

I get bored. I move things around.

Usually I just hurt my back because I think I’m like mother fucking She-Ra and can move heavy things without help. I always prove that I -can- move things and sometimes prove that my body is older than I’d like to admit. Sometimes. So, it’s totally worth it.

I was rearranging the playroom when an organizer broke apart unexpectedly on my freaking foot.

You know those three drawer plastic thingies? Well, loading them up with paper, books and chargers/random electronic parts isn’t a good idea… especially when you move the thing and it falls apart and hulk smashes your freaking foot. It is still in pieces where it fell. The only thing I cleaned up is the blood. Ugh.

Also… Kicking the thing with said smashed, bleeding foot while calling it a stupid whoreface anushair isn’t a good idea. My son has a more colorful vocabulary and it did make the pain worse.

I felt at the moment I needed to teach the organizer bitch a lesson. I’m very logical at times.

I admit it, I cried. Actually, at first I couldn’t feel anything! My whole body rushed with adrenaline and I felt nothing. I knew right away it was going to be bad when I went from entire body numbness to uncontrollable crying. I. Don’t. Cry. I couldn’t stand up, move my leg and could not control it. The gaping cut in it was so bad it took me awhile to get it to stop bleeding. I was trying to stay calm because it was just me and my son there and unfortunately, he started to freak out. That makes me feel horrible.

He was really sweet. He brought me every first aid kit, frozen bag of veggies and ice packs as well as every stuffed animal he could find so I had “friends to make me feel better” while I failed at my attempt to keep it together.

Besides when my home and car got broken into I don’t think I’ve felt that amount of vulnerability. I don’t like being vulnerable at all but this was a completely different level that scared me out. Admitting that makes me feel even more vulnerable. It is an endless cycle and one that I loathe. I have to recognize this though.

I was on the ground for about an hour before I actually called someone. During that time I had to really think about my options. I do not go to the doctor unless it is something serious and at the time it was seeming kind of serious. That opens a whole laundry list of other hurdles. I can’t drive with my foot like this. Who will watch the kids? How will I get there? How much will this cost? What happens after if it really is messed up? What about camping? How am I going to feed my kids? How much more am I going to screw this up because I lack the ability to just freaking chill?

And the big question that weighs on my mind…

What if this was worse and something horrible happened to me… what will happen to my kids?

That was a jolting moment of reality for me. That always weighs on my mind and isn’t a new thought. My kids rely on me 100% and by me being an obnoxious independent ass about things doesn’t do them any good. It all just sunk in heavier this time.

This can potentially screw up our summer plans but it could be worse. So many more worse things happen and have happened to the people in my world. In many ways I’m very lucky.

We have Japanese Festival dancing coming up. I can’t miss that. I wanted to take them camping this month. My daughter’s 500 Club celebration for Girl Scouts is next weekend. I’m now at a loss as to what to do for my son’s 5th birthday party. I have Big Sur and Bishop Fishing coming up before I know it! And BlogHer… ugh… the list goes on.

All of this because I was doing something I know I should ask help for.

But, I am too programmed to think that it would be a burden to bother anyone… even though I’d drop everything to help those I care about and never feel burdened by them.

I like to make everything into some kind of lesson that I can walk away a better person from it. Right now I can’t actually walk so I’ll hop away knowing that I have great people in my life that I can rely on when I need it. I can ask for help. I can choose not to ninja kick everything on my own because there are people out there that would do for me as I do for them. I only keep good damn people in my life. I need to learn to let them help so I don’t screw things up for my kids.

… and next time I decide to rearrange an entire room I will ask for help…

or just remove the drawers in things before moving heavy objects.

See… that IS progress.

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Post image for Easter Traditions and Single Motherhood Guilt

Every Easter, like most holidays, I use as an excuse to have a bunch of friends and family over and have a huge shindig of awesomeness.

I didn’t this year.

I felt really guilty. But, I needed time for just the kids and I. Life has been hectic and we haven’t had a lot of time to just be us.

I’m not complaining. I just needed a recharge. So, we changed it up a little bit. We simply did our thing and went at our own pace.

The Easter Bunny came and brought many allergy friendly gifts and treats. Coins usually make up the majority of the eggs and my children decided to donate the money. Because they are cool like that.

Nothing beats a good photobomb on Easter Morning while your brother strangles a bunny

We spent a lot of time outside since the weather was just amazing! I have irises in the yard and while these are a huge pain in the butt to have to tear down every year the couple weeks of beauty makes it worth it. They do attract a lot of bees which made for a hilarious moment with my son.

I did some writing from my laptop on the porch and the kids painted.

My son is fine… he is just hugging the ground…

Multiple people stopped and asked if he was okay. The first person who said “Ma’am… is he okay?” I looked up from my laptop on the porch and very seriously said, “I don’t even know who that is…” and I grinned. They didn’t grin back. One of my neighbors started laughing.

This is why my neighbors love me.

Do you know what I love about Easter as a single mom? Probably the same things married moms love. With all holidays it is about the kids. It is about the moments and experiences. It’s about their excitement and just being a family together no matter what may be perceived as missing.

I was honestly worried that the kids would not feel this was a great Easter like those in the past. I usually overdo it because I have some deep rooted guilt that they are missing out on something since I’m a single Mom. Or that it’s not going to be perfect because of the food allergy challenges.

My daughter confided in me that she loves these days more than the big parties. Because it’s just about our little family and we can just do our own thing together.

My guilt was lifted.

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I’m not a romantic person but I can appreciate the sentiment and the mushy crap involved. However, Valentine’s Day used to bug the shit out of me before I became a Mom because of the romantic expectations rather than the love focus. It’s like a rule that you are pathetic if you are single on Valentine’s Day… and why is that? I’m secure in myself and my life and I’m very happy with how it is… but Valentine’s Day seems to create judgment on Singles. Do we have the plague? I’ve got two kids that shower me with love and affection and we have created our own family Valentine’s Day traditions that have nothing to do with Smoochy Mc Smooches. I can’t ask for more than that.

Our Valentine Traditions:

Give back, spread the love to others and put smiles on a strangers face. Three years ago my daughter and I made cards for a Children’s Hospital and it was a great experience. I wanted to think outside of ourselves and do something for others and create a more positive outlook on this holiday for myself. The year following we had a few of her friends over and we made even more cards and again it was so awesome. This year we had this big crafting park play date and the kids made a massive amount of cards. It was truly beautiful. The parents participated as well! It’s amazing what cardstock, doilies, foam stickers, crayons, glue and miscellaneous pink/red/white craft bits will inspire.

Red Velvet Cupcakes! I like to think of holidays as an excuse to make stuff that I shouldn’t! Baking has become a huge part of our holiday traditions. My daughter’s previous severe wheat allergy made baking a challenge that we always took on but now that she can eat wheat we totally over do it! Red, cupcakey goodness and excuse to feed our faces seems like a perfect tradition to me!

Pancakes with strawberries and shaped like hearts. Yup, its nerdy but I love it.

Plant something! Red, pink or white flowers are always purchased on Valentine’s Day and put into our garden. I really like calla lilies so I usually convince them to go with that. It’s also cool to see them pop back up the next year!

Chocolate fondue with tons of strawberries to again give us an excuse to indulge.

Dress up in something ridiculous and take pictures. I’m on a mission to get my 3 year old son to dress up like cupid tomorrow. Sometimes he is overly enthusiastic about those fun projects and then other times he acts like a little diva and refuses! The search will be on in the morning to find outfits to make this happen. Bribery may ensue.

So the once supposed cynic who doesn’t believe in mushy crap has now found an amazing appreciation for Singles Awareness Day AKA Valentine’s Day. I vehemently believe that pity parties are bullshit and you should focus your energy on the things you do have instead of what you wish you did. Believe me there was a time when I felt incomplete because of the lack of romantic affection I was getting on February 14th but then I realized I am much loved and very happy. Life as a single parent isn’t supposed to be easy but we can all rock it and rock it well. Happy Valentine’s Day and love to you all!

And remember don’t stress not having a Valentine… I know I don’t… because mine runs on batteries!

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Of Course I Can Go Camping as a Single Mom!

by Leila on January 26, 2011

What?! Of course I can go camping as a single Mom! When someone tells me that I can’t do something it lights a giant fire up my butt to prove them wrong. It is kind of ridiculous. Sometimes it causes me to do silly things like hurt myself by doing headstands in my living room and other times it creates a new tradition for our family of three: Camping.

I had a conversation with my relatives about camping and their immediate reaction was, “You don’t go alone right!?” Well, I hadn’t at that point but I wanted to. Then I was met with all this negativity from them about how I wouldn’t be able to do it, it’s too much work and I need a man there. Should I not do it? Am I crazy for this!? Camping as a single Mom is bad?! Why can’t I?!

Less than a week later I was searching online at Reserve America and I happened to be on at the right time when someone cancelled their spots at Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu. I made my lists, double checked all of our supplies and made a food menu for our first camping trip with just the three of us. Sure, we were going just for a one night but I was going to do it! We were camping, just the three of us, a week after I had that conversation and I probably would have procrastinated or invited friends had I not had that conversation. Yeah, I know… it is ridiculous.

Leo Carrillo has it all! We are fortunate to live in Southern California to enjoy places like this. It has tide pools, a beautiful beach, huge campground that is perfect for riding bikes and scooters, hiking trails and its bathroom facilities are great. At the time it was not site specific so we didn’t know what our campground would look like. This was the only part of the trip that made me nervous! We scored a beautiful secluded site, near the bathrooms and it had so many trees that the kids spend a ton of time exploring.  The Grunion were running when we were there so we enjoyed that as well!

Things I learned for our first trip:

  • Pack lighter!!!!
  • Pitching a Tent is really funny when you have a 3 year old who decided at that moment that the game “Smack Mommy’s Booty” was the best idea ever
  • There is such a thing as too much food and this is something I will never actually listen to because I am known for always having too much! But, in the event of some punk ass squirrels who roll up on you to take your bread its good to know that you brought an extra loaf
  • Things will not always go the way you want when camping and that is ok. Laugh at it. Stuff breaks. You forget things. Your kids may freak out in the middle of the night and want to sleep in the back shell of the truck! So that means you end up holding two kids, sleeping bags, flashlights and pillows when its pitch black. Laugh. A. Lot.
  • Layers are really good!
  • Oh and carry pepper spray and know how to use it. Safety first.

So yes, it can be done! We have a yearly fun budget that we use for trips and passes but my kids have decided they want to use the majority of that money for camping! I’m very excited about this.

Check back here soon if you want to learn more details about camping with kids! I will be adding lots of information on what to pack, how to stay safe and why we all should disconnect and rough it every once and awhile!

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