Sustainably Single Parenting

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

A Visit from My Mother June 17, 2013

My mother and my daughters :)

My mother and my daughters 🙂

Over the weekend we were able to spend some time with my mother. It was a really nice visit. She hadn’t been able to visit me since my birthday last year, so it was her first time meeting the baby and only her second time visiting since my husband’s arrest. Over the years, especially during the eight years that I was with my husband, my mother and I have had our difficulties, but I love her and appreciate what she has done for me. I know that her life hasn’t been easy.

20130615_161110

My girls were so excited to see her. They absolutely love my mother 🙂 It was nice to see them so excited for family to be around. I wish I lived closer to people who truly loved my children and could assist me in raising them. I wholeheartedly believe it takes a village to raise a kid, and the better the people in that village the more likely my children will become well-rounded, healthy, productive, hardworking members of society. For now I’m focusing on being consistent in my parenting, understanding the goals of negative behavior and how to properly respond, and securing suitable childcare for when I start back working outside of the house. Baby steps.

20130615_171246

My mom stayed from Friday night to Monday morning. We didn’t really do too much, but that was fine by me. I had the most fun on Saturday when we went to the beach. Amara and Terra collected shells and buried one another in the sand while Mom and I figured out how to build the beach hut and set up the beach umbrella I’d purchased earlier that day. It was fun working together, even though the girls only spent several minutes in the shade after we’d assembled everything.

All of us girls at the beach (Terra, Me holding Nohra, my mother, and Amara)

All of us girls at the beach (Terra, Me holding Nohra, my mother, and Amara)

On Sunday, my mother took my big girls to the movie theater. It was their first time ever going to a movie theater and they saw Epic. They loved it! All in all we had a great time. I learned a lot more about how I can enhance my parenting, my mother spoiled me with gifts and time apart from my babies, and everything pretty much went as it should’ve. I’m happy that she was able to visit me!

20130614_153939

Advertisements
 

Mama’s Got A Brand New Ring September 21, 2012

I hate jewelry.

I haven’t worn anything besides my wedding ring in the past six years. I chose the ring myself (with much persuasion by my husband to not get the ring I really wanted). I figured it would be a good ring for having children around, no risk of scratching their pretty faces with my giant rock, no fear of being mugged because of the attention I’d be attracting. My wedding ring is a simple band of white gold with twelve small diamonds across the top. The diamonds tend to face downward because they are heavy and my finger has changed sizes throughout the past six years so it isn’t sized to keep from spinning.  Most people do not take the ring as a sure sign that I am married because it is so small and thin and plain.

My Wedding Ring

I have stopped wearing my wedding ring.

I put it back in its box a few weeks after The Big Incident. I felt like wearing that band these past six years had just added to the lies I was trying to convince myself of: that we were a united front, that we were one, that since I was his wife that meant he had to love me, that this would mean we could make it through anything, ‘til death do us part. But I am far from dying, and I am not going back into that abusive relationship. I figured the sooner I start both mentally and physically committing to this difficult adjustment, the better.

But for months now, when I’m driving, or eating, or picking up one of my children, or doing my hair, or blogging, or taking a shower, or folding laundry, or pretty much anything that involves being conscious of your hands, I miss my ring. I feel a gap between my fingers which used to be rubbing at the band constantly. For six years I have hardly ever taken off my ring, and now my fingers mourn their familiar fit and feeling. It feels different when I make a fist, tap my fingers, and pop my knuckles. I’m missing a routine by not having to turn the band upwards to see the diamonds shine.

I knew that I was mourning my marriage, the death of a childhood dream, but it didn’t seem like taking off my ring would mean so much to me. My mother and sister have tried for years to purchase jewelry that I would enjoy wearing. My sister got me a silver watch a few years back and I liked it, but the links were too long and I didn’t ever bother taking it to a shop to have some removed. My mother has gotten me bracelets and necklaces and other things here and there but I just don’t typically like them and choose not to wear them.

Close to my new ring (mine has more diamonds)

Well, on my birthday, in addition to The Birthday Surprise, my mother gave me a beautiful ring with diamonds and a sapphire in it. It is the same style of ring that I’d wanted for my wedding ring before my husband convinced me to buy something more plain (less expensive). I instantly loved it. I thought to wear it on my ring finger in place of my wedding ring because of that intense void that I’ve been feeling, but after a day of this it felt too strange to have something take its place. I am wearing my new ring on my right hand ring finger. It fits perfectly.

I still miss not having anything on my left hand, but I know that I will get through this period of loss and loneliness. I will not jump to have another take its place because it feels better than emptiness. I will not fill myself with the false hope that a new left hand ring finger band would give me. I will mourn the ring entirely, wholeheartedly, and when I am alright again it will feel better to know that I did not just go out and take the first sparkly thing someone gave me to replace it. I’ll have waited. I’ll have been patient with my sadness, and I will know when (…if ever…) the time should be right again.

 

Happy Birthday to ME!!! September 19, 2012

I am 27 today 🙂

 
I hadn’t planned to celebrate (much). The girls and I went up to Maine this morning; there’s a huge outlet center with a bunch of kid’s clothes stores (Gap, Carters, Gymboree, Oshkosh, Old Navy, The Children’s Place, etc), and I had awesome coupons for a few of them. I absolutely LOVE shopping, broke or not. I don’t have to buy anything to be happy, it’s just the experience of going out and potentially finding something “worth it”.

The baby (should baby prove to be a boy) will need clothing once he is past 3 months of age (I have lots of unisex items for 0-3 months because I’ve never found out the sex in advance). I bought like ten pair of shorts and ten shirts for the 6-9 month age range. I figure with baby due in February the clothes would be for summer, and baby will be fat (or so I hope), and he should fit them. If I find out (on MONDAY!!!) that I’m having a girl then the clothes can easily be returned. I just couldn’t miss the semi-annual baby sales and $1.99 per item markdowns.

So we’re shopping, the girls and I…we’d gotten through the Crate and Barrel Outlet and the Old Navy Outlet by lunchtime, and after nearly forty-five minutes of watching the girls play around after only nibbling their food I was ready to get back to shopping. I’d been taking calls from my family and friends all day; everyone calling and texting to wish me a happy birthday, so I thought nothing of it when my sister called me while the girls and I were in the dressing room at The Children’s Place Outlet. She asked about this and that, nothing out of the ordinary, but I told her that I would need to call her back because my daughters were misbehaving.

We left the dressing room and I was not a happy mama. I immediately reminded the girls of how they were to behave in a public place and that just because a space echos doesn’t mean we should start screaming in it, that sort of thing, when around from a rack of clearance clothes comes my MOTHER…with MY SISTER following!

I think my jaw fell off. I live in New England. My mother lives in Illinois and has not visited me in over a year, since I moved here. My sister lives in New Orleans, and even though she flies around the country every week for her job, I haven’t seen her in over half a year because her work schedule is so demanding. And they were there, both of them, together, not on my computer screen, but really screaming and hugging me in the middle of clearance section.

My daughters were amazed. They know my family, but they see them more often on the computer than anywhere else. It didn’t take long before I was no longer my daughters’ center of attention, but instead of taking their distraction as an insult I took full advantage. My mother and sister took the girls out to eat while I continued shopping (and every mother alive knows what a GIFT it is to shop child-free; I even got a bra fitting! It had been six years since I’d done that last). I went to the Motherhood Maternity Outlet and the Coldwater Creek Outlet, I went to the Gap Outlet and a bunch of other places.

Eventually they called to tell me they were finished eating and we all met back up. We drove back to my condo in two separate vehicles and everyone pitched in with the I-didn’t-expect-houseguests-lets-thank-God-you’re-not-DCFS cleaning. They told me that they’d been planning this trip since July, which is an awfully long time to keep a secret, but I am glad that they did. They’re going to stay in town for a few days to help me (and I cannot say that I could not use the assistance).

This was the most unexpected present! Yes…it certainly was an amazing birthday 🙂