Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

The Kid is Alright April 22, 2013

Last night we spent three hours in the emergency room.

Don’t worry. Everyone is alright. I debated about taking Terra, who’d cut her lip on our coffee table, for nearly an hour before making my decision to go. The cut wasn’t ghastly, but I used to work in an Emergency Room and gunshot wounds aren’t ghastly when I’m in the right frame of mind.

TerraLipTerra was fine. The big gash that appeared to go straight through her bottom lip turned out to be two unconnected cuts. The hour I spent debating, pacing, searching the internet for information on cut lips, and consulting friends for their opinions, Terra spent icing her lip, and wearing a makeshift butterfly bandage. By the time we saw the doctor there was nothing more they could do to improve her healing outcome.

What I was really looking for in that time before finally deciding to go to the hospital, was his opinion. I just wanted to hear him say, “She’ll be fine, don’t take her.” I wouldn’t have gone. I would’ve trusted his decision and I would’ve stayed home. But he isn’t here anymore.

It’s not a bad thing, that I have to finally fully rely on my maternal instincts, my own knowledge, and my own skill, but it is a learning process. I was so accustomed to having him here for the big decisions; the car problems, whether or not we’d vaccinate, the home maintenance, and the severity of injuries.

Being a single mother means he’ll no longer be here to manipulate my decision making, but he’s not here to validate me either. Sometimes it’s hard to not have his reassurance that I’m doing the right thing. I’m learning.

 

Nothing Went As Planned Today April 15, 2013

Thankfully, we hadn’t planned to attend the Boston Marathon. My heart goes out to everyone affected.

I’d planned to do my homework. I’m nearly one week behind on turning in my assignments. I’m trying to keep from being stressed out about it, but there are only two weeks before the end of the semester and I’m not ready to do my final project, nor am I ready to dive into my next (my last) two courses.

PlanningI’d planned to wake up and get to reading my lessons. I wound up waking up and getting some laundry started, made breakfast and straightened my kitchen, then contacted my lawyer, led the girls through their learning assignments, took the girls on a walk past a pond (where we saw seven sunbathing turtles) to a playground (where I learned that pushing them on the swings while wearing two pound wrist weights is a great arm workout), and then back home where we played Candy Land and Barbies after lunch, then I cleaned the condo some more and had Mommy and Me time with each of them before dinner and Bedtime Business.

Things didn’t go as I’d planned for them to go today. Around lunch time though, I gave up on getting any homework done before the girls went to bed, and although I was disappointed it became easier to accept. I admitted to myself that what I’d wanted wouldn’t be happening, and slowly but surely I felt the tug of self-defeat loosening. Every activity then became a valued experience instead of another nuisance task keeping me from my studies.

Sometimes things just don’t turn out the way I hope, but the more flexible I become in dealing with whatever I’m thrown without freaking out the more capable I feel about controlling the only thing I really have the power to control, myself. I truly believe in leading by example, and I want my daughters to know me as the mother I’ve always wanted to be. Lately I’ve been making a lot of progress, and although nothing went as planned today, I am pleased.

 

Beautiful Mama Blog Award March 18, 2013

A huge THANK YOU to Julia of Wailings of a Work at Home Mom who nominated me for the Beautiful Mama Blog Award! Julia continuously reminds me that one of the greatest joys of motherhood is reliving your childhood with your children. I always thought I’d be a wonderful mother because I could empathize so well with children. I was a great babysitter, the coolest camp counselor, and the biggest clown all-around. I thought I’d never lose my playful spirit, my outgoing persona, my zest for adventure. I may not have lost those pieces of me, but they’ve certainly been suppressed by the negativity of the past eight years. I want to enjoy life the way I used to; back when I was making life and life wasn’t making me, back when I saw beauty in the simplicity of things, as children do.

beautiful-mama-blog-award1

Rule of the Award:

  • Click the above image and use it in your acceptance post.
  • List three things you love about motherhood.
  • Nominate as many moms as you like and let them know of the award

 

Motherhood is amazing for a zillion reasons, but if I have to narrow it down to three…

  1. Pregnancy and Birth-  no matter how discomforting, trying, grueling, intense, or any million types of difficult these stages can be, they are also amazing, sacred, awe-inspiring gifts from nature. Nothing humbles me more. I cherish the sacrifice, and in those hours, days, months, I am the strongest woman I’ve ever been, fueling my passion to become the strongest mother the world has ever seen.
  2. Watching them grow– It’s bittersweet to watch your babies growing so quickly into the unique people they’ll be. Part of you wishes they could be babies forever, part of you wants them out of the house for all but holidays. They are so beautiful, you hope to capture every quirky grin and cute costume and milestone. They are so beautiful, and you cannot help but to think of the future, when people will desire them, and you hope you’ve taught them well enough to choose wisely.
  3. Learning from them– Being a mother has taught me an enormous amount. From how I behave when I’m disappointed to how to unconditionally love someone. But I’ve not only learned emotional lessons; teaching them forces me to learn things, pleasing them forces me to try things, keeping them safe has given me the drive to create harmony in our household, and they constantly inspire me to be the best mama I can be.

 

Other mama bloggers who deserve this award (even if they’re not blogging about being mothers):

 

Thanks again, Julia!!!

 

Summer (Can’t Last Too Long) August 27, 2012

I cannot believe that summer is almost over. My plan, back in May, was to make it outside everyday, to visit the beach at least once a week, and to go somewhere new in the city each month. My summer plans were somewhat ruined by the The Big Incident (as were my plans for life in general), but I wanted to somehow salvage the sanctity of summer, at least for my daughters.

Between the cleaning, the cooking, the blogging, the legal proceedings, and the immensity of single-parenting I find it difficult to do most things that aren’t utter necessity. I understand, however, how vital undirected outdoor play can be for young children and I try my hardest to incorporate time for this during the day.

I’m grateful for the pool at our condo; it’s big enough and well maintained and always has a lifeguard, but even though it’s just a short walk down the parking lot I often cannot find the time and energy to utilize it. I’ve taken to folding my laundry outside on a Queen bed-sized blanket with weighted corners while the girls make mud pies, dig for worms, and try their hardest to pet the ducks. Thanks to wi-fi I can do computer work at the picnic bench on my laptop, and if we go to the park I always take a notebook with me. The backyard may not be the beach or a city adventure, but the girls really seem to enjoy their time outdoors and I love being able to be near them and still completing my work and/or household chores.

It isn’t the summer I’d imagined. I am not getting fit, but getting bigger. I am not relaxing, but stressing more than I have in my entire adult life. I am not in the ocean nearly as much as I’d hoped to be. But I am keeping my house fairly clean, my daughters are happy and healthy, and my to-do list is manageable (or…reasonably unmanageable, but well-organized). I cannot say that I will be sad to see Summer make way for my favorite season. I’ve got big plans for Autumn.

 

I Don’t Want Them to Want to Grow Up August 6, 2012

Filed under: Cherished Childhoods — Jet @ 8:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Amara had 12 teeth by the time she turned one, and according to her dentist, “if you get them in early, you lose them early.” So I shouldn’t be surprised that, a few months after turning five, she already has four loose teeth. I suppose I am not so much surprised as I am unwilling to accept it. Do you know what this means? My first born is proving, now physically, that she’s no longer a baby. She’s growing up.

I never thought I’d hear myself saying, “No. You don’t want to be an adult. Stay a child as long as possible.” As a child, I always found it funny when adults would say such things. What was so great about childhood? No one gave you choices, you couldn’t stay up late, people had conversations and watched movies that you didn’t understand, you got little respect, all of the adults seemed slightly annoyed by your presence, the other children were bullies, and it would be eons before you were allowed to drive!

I also realize that most parents are trying to give their children a better life, a better childhood, than they had. I treat my daughters with as much respect as I can muster, I’ve pretty much let them set their own bedtime, they are allotted choices whenever possible, and if I am annoyed with them I try to explain why while insisting that I love them in spite of their quirks. I teach my daughters as much about driving as they beg to learn without allowing them behind the wheel, and I do my best to prepare them to stay strong and noble even when confronted by children who make bad choices.

Though I am trying to make their childhoods enjoyable I do not want to do them the disservice of not preparing them for adult life. Without burdening them about the family finances I explain why I pay bills. Without demanding their participation I encourage them to assist me with the upkeep of the house. When I have an assignment due, I show them my enthusiasm for and dedication to my work. When they say, “I want a baby inside my belly too!” I say, “No you don’t. You want to have a LOT of fun first. Enjoy your childhood.”

My little girls are growing up. There’s no scientific process to stop this, and from the ever-demanding world of adulthood I want to put the brakes on for them and clear their heads of glorified growth. It’s not that wonderful, being an adult. I cannot say that it’s not wonderful being a mother, that’d be callous, but it certainly has its less-than-peachy moments. I know I have to come to terms with this part of having children, that one day their childhoods will be over. For now though, I’m going let it linger, one small baby tooth at a time.