It’s a Man’s World: Women Just Run It While Men Take the Credit

It’s a Man’s World

It’s a man’s world. There’s even a song written with those exact lyrics. What our society often chooses not to recognize is that women do far more than 50% of the work in the world. This is not just because there is more of us. We actually do far more than men, while they sit back and take the credit for things running so smoothly.

Okay, this is very much a generalization. But generally speaking, the above statement has very real implications in our society. My parents were part of the sixties’ generation, which was a great time for social change. At that time “career” oriented women often chose to become a secretary, a nurse, or a school teacher, with dreams of eventually quitting to be a full time “mommy”. My mother was one of these. She was elated to quit her teaching job and be a stay-at-home mom. By the way, I’m not judging, just telling the story the way it happened.

Tales From Yesteryear (aka 1980s-90s)

Ten years and three kids later, my mother had to go back to work in order to keep the family finances in good shape. Nobody realizes just how hard teachers work for pay that is not anywhere near comparable to other career fields. (Note: This is a female dominated field, hence the low pay and long hours- most men wouldn’t put up with that bull-sh*t).

My dad also worked long hours but he got paid overtime for his work, whereas my mother did not. Dad did come home early some nights to help taxi the kids around. But mom did all the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and scheduling. There are probably other things I’m leaving out. Luckily for her, as the eldest daughter I often stepped in and helped with some of those things.

Women Get to Do It All!

My mother blamed her lot in life on the women’s libbers of the sixties and seventies. I know other women of her generation that feel the same way. One of my friends’ mothers actually said, “Those women had crappy marriages and lonely. They wanted to get out of the house so they got jobs. Now, we all have to work and be full time moms- and guess what? Our marriages are still crappy, probably worse now because we’re so stressed out.”

I am in no way saying that women should not work. It’s true that many moms have no choice due to the financial needs of the family. I regret that I never got to stay home past maternity leave with my own children and I truly cherished those three months when I could just care for my kids and run the house and not have to worry about work issues. However, I also wrote half a novel during that time- something I don’t have time to do during the school year while I’m teaching.

My non-teacher friends are always saying, “but you have summers off!”

Wrong! I am furloughed over the summer and have to work a part-time job in order to make sure my kids are fed and then bills are paid. Maybe I work 20 hours a week versus 60 during the school year, but I’m still working my butt off.

Men: Give your Women Some Credit

I am not advocating that all women should quit work- on the contrary, many women love their work and some even see it as an escape from home life. What I am advocating is that our men step it up and take on more of an active role at home. Yes, I know that today’s men probably do more house work and child-rearing than our fathers and grandfathers did. However, things are still far from equal even in the healthiest of relationships.  Guys, we need you to step it up. You’re going to have to anyway when we have a nervous breakdown from the pressure, so why don’t we just side-step that and create a distribution of burden.

Lastly, while we’re at it guys, it never hurts to boost your lady up and recognize her for all that she does. Whenever a man does the dishes,  laundry, or changes a diaper, we shower him with praise and gratitude. Women do these things all of the time and rarely take credit, let alone expect gratitude. So in addition, to sharing the work load, maybe we can even out the praise, gratitude, and recognition. We really do need it guys! You’ll probably be thanked for it later (wink, wink).

That’s just my rant for the night and for Women’s History Month. Thanks for tuning in.

Cheers!

  • Single Mom Unfiltered

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National Sleep Month- Hooray!

My favorite national theme month used to be October for “National Squirrel Month” because, come on, who’s not going to love that? But last week I found out that March among other things is National Sleep Month. It’s also National reading, nutrition, and Women’s History month. I used to think March was kind of blah, but now there’s so much to celebrate!

Women get too little sleep. We are too busy running the world while men steal the credit. We’re working full time and doing more than 50% of the parenting. It’s time we take our history month and celebrate our achievements with a good book and a good Night’s sleep. In the morning we can sleep in and then have a nutritious breakfast while reading that good book.

In fact, I’m ready to start a national petition for mandatory siestas. We can start with Siesta March and if it takes off we can add to the other eleven months. When I lived in Spain, siesta-time was my favorite. Europeans really know how to enjoy the best parts of life.

Some fun facts (or more aptly “keepin’ it real’ facts) about sleep that I found from https://sleepfoundation.org:

1. Man is the only mammal that willingly delays sleep.

2. Divorces, widowed or separated people report more cases of insomnia.

3. Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise.

4. One of the primary causes of sleepiness in Americans is self-imposed sleep deprivation- I can personally attest to this one.

5. In general most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night- I’m lucky if I get six!

Imagine how much happier and productive we would be if we could get that 7-9 hours of sleep every night. I’ve had days where I have stayed up to work late the previous night that I could barely function the next day at work. It has become expected in our society that we should give more and more of ourselves to our jobs. Ironically, this makes us far less productive.

So in addition to my proposal for mandated daily siestas, I also propose we all have a good old-fashioned slumber party. Get a group of your best girlfriends together and prepare healthy snacks, have a book club meeting or rent some movies that you haven’t had time to see, and then go to bed at a reasonable hour. Don’t set the alarm clock. Let your body wake up when it’s ready. Cook a healthy breakfast with your friends and then go running, hiking, swimming, or take a yoga class.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited one of my best friends and while we did not go to bed at a reasonable hour, we did sleep in until we were ready to get up. We even took naps. It was heavenly. I played with her son for a while so she could enjoy a longer nap. We went square dancing and running for our cardio. Just ten years ago, we would have stayed up until 3 in the morning drinking. We still enjoy each other’s company but we choose activities that are healthier and make us feel better.

Let’s give ourselves what we need to be more effective individuals. I for one, am starting with more sleep! I’ve started going to bed 30 minutes earlier no matter what. Occasionally, it doesn’t happen and I can feel the difference. If I don’t have to work on the weekends, I turn my alarm off and sleep as long as my Boyd wants or at least until my kids jump on me to wake me up.

On that note, it’s past my bedtime, so this single mom is going to go catch her zzzzs!

Sweet Dreams,

Single Mom Unfiltered

 

 

 

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Chasing Rainbows

Double Rainbow

Sometimes it’s the little things that you remember most. This past Saturday, my kids I spent the afternoon chasing rainbows. It had been a crazy day full of swim lessons, birthday parties, and errands. My boys wanted to go back to the pool for some free swim but I wanted to go to the gym and work towards my weight loss goal. But what is being a parent if you don’t make some sacrifices for your kids?

Long story short, I promised we would go to the pool after a quick errand during which an unseasonable thunderstorm hit. By the time we got to the pool, the storm was ending but the pool was closed due to thunder. My children immediately blamed me for the whole ordeal. The trek back to the car was quite unpleasant. As we started to drive, we noticed the most beautiful, vibrant rainbow in front of us. It was a full arc- which I have never seen- with a lighter arc above it.

While we sat at the stop light, we marveled at this most perfect and incredulous phenomenon. As we drove towards home, the rainbow followed us. We drove a little bit out of our way so we could continue chasing the rainbows. While we did, we discussed the science behind why rainbows occur. Everyone’s bad mood faded as we shared this moment.

My oldest told me that he made the rainbow to show me how much he loved me. I almost cried. It’s amazing how we take the little things for granted. But this remnant from an untimely storm was truly beautiful. The real miracle was how it brought our family together. The boys will soon forget the afternoon we couldn’t go swimming, but I hope they will always remember the afternoon we spent chasing the perfect rainbow.

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Hitting a Wall (Metaphorically)

Heading towards Burn out

As the title might imply, I’ve hit a wall this week. Unlike in my very first post, I’m hitting this wall metaphorically. The impact is strong nonetheless. The past couple of weeks have been rough. I chock it up to a lack of sleep and time to take care of myself which in turn is causing stress, anxiety burn out, and exhaustion.

So what to do? I’ve immersed myself into several big projects in addition to single motherhood and my “pay check/health insurance” job. I’ve become dysfunctional and ineffectual at both of those jobs as well.

Luckily, I have an arsenal of self-help literature as well as some amazing and supportive friends. My inevitable conclusion is that I need to stop being so hard on myself and get more sleep. I’m lucky if I get six hours a night and I still haven’t completed my “to do” list when I afford myself the luxurious sixth hour of sleep. If I could work closer to home, I could gain back an hour.  But that’s not going to be possible, so I’ve decided that I am going to be an hour earlier every night.  If that means that one less item on my “to do” list goes undone, then so be it. I might not get every paper graded, or my son’s favorite batman shirt laundered, but oh well… It’s like taking the oxygen first in an air plane emergency so you can help those around you.

Catching more zzzzs

Everything I’ve read about sleep and how it restores us both physically and mentally says that we are actually more productive  during our waking hours when we get 8-9 hours of sleep. That’s still quite ambitious for me, but if I can get closer to the 7-8 range I’ll be happy for now. I already feel better and more productive after doing it for two days. I’m actually blogging which I haven’t done in weeks- how about that?

This is just step one of my self improvement plan. Once I see a consistent, noticeable result in my energy and mental capacity I’m going to tap into my both my inner creator and entrepreneur who are dying to break loose and help me turn my vision and mission into a tangible product that will ultimately benefit my family. I’m referring to a side business I’ve launched and my unpublished novels as well some new projects I’ve dreamed up.

I’m done being stagnant. Success is within my reach but I need to stretch a little further to grasp it. Most importantly, I want to be a role model for healthy living and strong work ethic for my two sons who have so much potential of their own.

Anyway, I know this post isn’t entertaining but I needed to put this down for myself. I’d love to hear how my readers have broken through the stagnant waters and reached for success. Always looking for inspiration and good role models!

Cheers!

Single Mom Unfiltered.

 

 

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Douche Bag Dating

If I were going to start an on-line dating site, I would call it “Douche Bag Dating”. It would be a site designed for women who were actually looking for the douchiest guys for whatever reason. Men would take a survey to determine whether they were douchie enough to be on the site. The main purpose of this site is to get the douche bags off of the good sites so we don’t have to sift through the asinine to find a date.

A year ago, I started my adventures in on-line dating and I wrote this essay but never posted it. I didn’t want to offend anyone, in case I met the guy. Below chronicles some of the Douche Bags I encountered. For the record, I never met any of these men in person. The conversation drove me away. So if you’re reading this and we did go out, it’s not about you.

First, of all, I am cheap as hell and I am a single-mom with a mortgage and a public school teacher’s salary. So I don’t have a ton of spending money so I decided to sign up for the “free” membership that all sites advertise. That was super fun until I couldn’t access any of the messages sent to me and just felt like if I was struggling to pay for groceries and get the dog to the vet, the fee of anywhere from $14.99 to $29.99 a month was unjustifiable.

 

In my profile, I casually mentioned that I’d just finished writing my first novel (but not that it’s sitting in a binder on my dining room table unread by anyone other than my sister and best friend). The messages and flirts started flying in and I couldn’t keep up. One feature they have is that you can just pick “stock statements” to send to someone. I was very disappointed when I saw that most of the messages I received were such statements and I chose not to reply to those individuals who apparently could not even form an original thought.

Messages in the form of a stock statement that I have received from on-line

douchebags:

“Nicely done”- WTF? What did I do nicely? This doesn’t even make any sense.

“Nice picture”- Okay… what about the rest of my profile? Do you like collecting cats and long walks on the beach too?

“I’m interested in you”- Okay, why prey tell… and I am supposed to respond to this?

“I’d love to hear from you”- Nice, so you send me a stock message but then expect me to take the time to write an original short story about myself.

“Tell me more”- See above- and also see my profile that I so carefully worked on. It will tell you everything you need to know! Now write me something original!

“I picked you as my favorite!”- Thanks… I guess…. And also thanks for the original, creative, heartfelt message, asshole. BTW, I did not pick you as my favorite. In fact I didn’t pick anyone as my favorite as it seems like a lame and desperate thing to both do and then notify the winner about.

A number of men in their late fifties that seemed to think that they were exactly what I was looking for. And I’m not talking about the well-coiffed, rich-looking ones because there weren’t any of those- and who am I kidding- that type would not need this site to find women. But seriously, my profile says I have 2 small children and am looking for someone who likes kids. Are you looking for surrogate grand kids? I have two extremely high-energy boys who are three and five years old. They need a younger or youngish guy who is also high energy and will wrestle them, play football with them, take them to a football game, not someone who can pull a quarter out of their ear and tell them stories of the good old days back in the nineteen fifties.

Then there is the beyond overly persistent douche bag. Now I get it, guys. All those times I called again and again or just happened to stop by because I was in the neighborhood. My apologies, that was really annoying and not attractive and I promise I will never do it again! Some of these guys may actually have forgotten that had already contacted me and I had already let them down gently with excuses of not wanting a long distance relationship, or “you are five inches shorter than me, so no” but then they send the same stock message three or four more times.  Along with these guys are the ones that insist immediately that you start texting or meet in person even though you’ve only exchanged two or three messages in less than 24 hours.

Here are some real conversations that I have really had through on-line dating. I swear I am not making this up.

Conversation #1: I had this conversation probably over 100 times.

Douchebag: Hey Gorgeous….

Me: No response…. Um really? That’s all you’ve got. What are you expecting me to say back?

Conversation #2: (abbreviated version)

Douchebag: Hey there, how are you?

Me: Fine

Douchebag: We should go out sometime

Me: I see you live out of state, I’m really looking for someone who lives closer as I already have a long daily commute to work in addition to my 60 hour work week. You seem nice, I wish you the best of luck.

Douchebag: No worries baby, I’m coming to you.

Me: No reply

Douchebag: So where do you live?

Me: No reply

Note on this conversation: I received more messages from this guy and eventually blocked him because apparently he couldn’t take a hint.

Conversation #3 This conversation occurred after several conversations. He had sent me some poems that made absolutely no sense, but no judgement…

Douchebag: So we should probably meet soon. If you chat for too long on-line it just gets awkward.

Me: (Uh, we’ve only chatted twice, I don’t know if I even like you) Well, I have my kids this week, so my availability is limited for a while…

Douchebag: I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from. The last woman I met online always made excuses and then when she was suddenly free she decided she didn’t want to meet me anymore. I just don’t want to get emotionally attached and then burned again.

Me: Umm… what? We’ve chatted twice. When and how did you get so emotionally attached? I can’t deal with the emotional drama, sorry.

Conversation #4 This conversation occurred after a few chats. This guy was about 10 years older than me but lived in the same city. From his pictures he slightly resembled Porn-stache from Orange is the New Black but on paper otherwise seemed okay. He was a little insistent about meeting up sooner than later.

Douchebag: How’s it going?

Me: Pretty good. It’s been a hectic week. How are you?

Douchebag: Well I’m here if you ever want to talk.

Me: Okay.

Douchebag: I don’t have my kids on Wednesday evening. I could come over to your place with a bottle of wine and we can chat while your munchkins sleep.

Me:  Are you inviting yourself over to my house? That’s a little presumptuous. Should I also assume that you will be providing the roofies (sp?)? Will you be kid-napping my children and selling them into child-slavery after you’ve raped my lifeless body? Thank you for the offer, but no thank you. I will now be blocking your profile.

Conversation #5 This one occurred after we chatted a couple of times through the site. It was a bit mundane but he had a law degree and was a corporate executive, former college football player. I did a little recon and he seemed to check out so when he asked if we could graduate to texting I said okay. Here’s the conversation that ensued:

Douchebag: You’re really pretty. Can you send me some more pics?

Me: I’m looking for some. I don’t keep a lot of pics of myself on my phone. The best ones are the ones on my profile.

Douchebag: I’ll take some pics of you.

Me: (ignored this comment) I just sent a couple.

Douchebag: I love those big kissable lips. I’ll bet you’re a good kisser.

Me: I guess…

Douchebag: I’ll be you like to do other things too.

Me: I just looked at your profile, it says you have no children. Why are you on a single parents’ dating site?

Douchebag: Just keeping my options open.

Me: So are you scamming on single moms trying to get you some? If so, that’s a little pathetic.

Douchebag: Hey… I just said you seem like a good kisser, you’re the one who brought up sex.

Me: Wait- what?

Douchebag: We should get together sometime.

Me: Huh?

Douchebag: I bet we’d have a lot of fun.

Me: You need to learn some manners.

I then proceeded to block him from my phone, block him from my profile, then reported him to the site. A couple of weeks later I received an email requesting that I add him to one of my social networking sites. A day or two after that I received a text from a VA area code that I think was him. Take a hint much?

It’s interesting because my girlfriends who have tried this are in one of two camps. The first group is in the “that was a nightmare and a total waste of time” camp. The second group says that on-line dating is the best thing ever. Now I do have to say I have met a couple of guys that are fun to chat with but I the only two men I’ve met that I felt had potential, I didn’t meet through a site.  I’ve definitely learned a lot about human nature so it hasn’t been a total waste. Good material for my stand up routine if nothing else.

Ladies if you have any Douche Bag dating stories, send them in! Misery loves company!

Cheers!

Single Mom Unfiltered

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Welcome 2017- Blank Slate Time Again!

Another one of my 2016 Creations

Welcome 2017

My New Year’s post is a bit late, but it took me a few weeks to really reflect on the past year and think about what I want for this coming year. Throughout my journal entries, meditations, and daydreaming, I arrived at the conclusion that it really is just as much if not more so about the journey we take than the destination.

So it was about a year ago that I started this blog. At the time I considered it to be my blank slate. Now here we are twelve months later and I have yet another blank slate. Although, I don’t know that I want it to be a completely blank slate. Last year, I really grew as a person. I finally followed through on some goals, achieving some, and promising myself to start working a little harder on others. But I am proud of the personal growth and improvements that I’ve made in the last year.

Achievements and Realizations from 2016

  1. Started my blog
  2. Started my own business
  3. Transferred jobs (after saying I was going to do it for 3 years)
  4. Stepped out of my comfort zone and jumped full force into online dating
  5. Continued working on revisions for my novel and started another one
  6. Learned (still learning) Portuguese
  7. Learned the power of forgiveness- it really does allow you to move on- who knew?
  8. Spent a lot of time with my kids (especially during the summer months
  9. Renewed and strengthened valuable friendships

Goals and Dreams for 2017

  1. The first is so cliché but I did gain 15 pounds in 2016, probably from stress eating nachos and cheese, chocolate, and ice cream, so yeah, I want to lose weight. I’ve already lost a few pounds by cutting out the soda, skipping dessert a few nights a week, and simple portion control.
  2. Spend time with the kiddos- I plan to take them camping so we’ll see how that goes. We might try skiing too.
  3. Maintain my blog and enhance the web site. Create tools and resources to help and advise fellow single parents
  4. Grow my business into a viable source of income and employment for others
  5. Continue writing- find a way to manage my time better so I can write more
  6. Spend more time with friends and family (above and beyond the children)
  7. Practice random acts of kindness
  8. Meditate more regularly

So that’s where I’m starting. Where are you coming from and where do you want to go?

Happy New Year!

  • Single Mom Unfiltered

 

 

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Holidays from Hell: Making the Perfect Memories

Holiday Magic

I love the holidays! Always have. The last few years have been rough and the holidays seem to fly right past while I’m struggling to pull off the perfect Christmas for my kids. Pre-kids I had a beautiful tree with expensive and breakable decorations. There were expensive, brand name gifts and gourmet food. Then there was the other side of it, where I went to work with shelter animals and spent my holidays as the wonderful, charitable angel that I once was.

This year, I’m just trying to keep my head above the water and my kids from tearing the house apart. I want to create the perfect memory for my kids, but what they will probably most remember is how often I told them that Santa was going to leave lumps of coal in their stockings. My boy Santa, did not back me up on that one. Next year, I’m going to have to make good on this one. Tough love!

Holiday Overload

Christmas Eve, my kids were with their father, so I was looking forward to having a day to wrap gifts, put together train sets and bicycles, and then maybe get a quick work out in at the gym. For some reason, the kids returned five hours early. They would not nap or even just sit in front of the TV like good little brain-washed Americans. If you read my blog a year ago, you see the kind of trouble my kids can get into with Christmas trees. It was not a fun or restful afternoon for me at all.

I was screwed. By 2am, I finally finished putting that crap together. We spent Christmas Eve at my parents house and for the most part enjoyed dinner. But then came presents. And with presents came a lot of shouting, wrapping paper and toys flying. This was not just the kids either. It was all I could do not to scream “Shut up! I can’t take it anymore!” None of the excitement appealed to me. I just wanted a glass of wine and a nap.

The next morning, the kids woke up early and were thrilled with their gifts (score one for Santa!).  Not 20 minutes after opening gifts, I was met with chants of “Mom! Get batteries!” and “What do you mean we ran out of batteries?” Then the fighting started. “He won’t share his toys!” “Ummm… didn’t you get a bunch of your own toys?”  “Yes, but I want to share his too!” “Where are the batteries!?” “I can’t wait to see what Santa left at Daddy’s house!”

And Now I Have a Migraine

I spent the rest of the day nursing a migraine that would not go away, now matter how much water I drank or how much ibuprofen I took. It was nice to have a quiet, adult only dinner, though the conversation centered around how much everyone wished the boys were there. I reveled in the peace and quiet and the fact that I didn’t have to get up and serve seconds and thirds and clean up spills. For an hour, it was the best Christmas a mom could have!

So It’s Not Just Me

While all of this was going on at my house, a friend of mine was having the holiday from hell on his own. If I am the self proclaimed “Single Mom Unfiltered” then this guy is my “Single Dad Unfiltered” counterpart, so we will refer to him as “SDU”.

Drama has a way of finding SDU. Several days before Christmas his mom moved in with him. At the last minute she brought two of his nieces with her. SDU had a cross-country road trip planned to visit his three younger children for the holidays. The SUV occupancy went from just being him and his eldest son, and the dog, to including grandma and two little girls. Loads of fun for a 16 hour car trip right?

Me being me, I couldn’t let this one go, so I texted him around the time I figured he’d be taking off. Our conversation went something like this.

SMU: Hey! Are you on the road yet?

SDU: Yeah, shoot me.

SMU: That bad already, how many hours in are you?

SDU: We left an hour ago. These kids are horrible.

SMU: Please, you love kids. Just breathe. You’ll be fine.

SDU: I only like my own kids.

9pm that night

SMU: Are you there yet? Are you there yet? Are you there yet? (I must be the most obnoxious friend ever! That’s probably why I’m still single.)

SDU: No. We stopped 50,000 times.

SDU: FML

SDU: Worst Christmas Ever

SDU: We were supposed to be at the half way point an hour ago but we have 2 and 1/2 hours to go.

SDU: Put me out of my misery now!

10 am the next morning

SMU: Are you back on the road yet? If you want to make the time pass faster, you should have a family sing-a-long. If you put me on speaker phone, I’ll direct it for you.

SDU: Uh no, we’re at Walgreen’s buying Head Lice treatment. The fun just continues.

SMU: Oh sh#t! Who has head lice? Obvi, not you.  (He’s bald so…)

No response…. Oh no! I’ve hit a nerve. Time to back off and take a “last minute holiday shopping spree” to the local CVS. While I was there I found a Darth Vader snow globe (on sale!). SDU recently admitted that he was a Darth guy, so I thought I’d buy it to cheer him up. I got home and as I was getting out of the car, I dropped one of my bags. Turns out, it was the one with the snow globe in it… F me.

1pm that afternoon

SMU: Are you back on the road yet?

SDU: Finishing up the head lice treatment.

SMU: Still?

SDU: Not a quick process.

SMU: Well, I got you a Christmas present. Just something fun I saw that I thought would cheer you up.

SDU: What’s that?

SMU: Well, I broke it already so I’ll let you know if I’m able to get another one.

Pause for my 2nd trip to CVS (this time with my kids)

In the car, I prepped my kids that we were going in for two items, very quickly.

“You will stick by my side!”

“You will walk, not run in the store!”

“You will not ask for toys!”

“You will not try to shoplift toys!”

“We know mommy! We’ll be good!”

Okay, so everything I asked them not to do… happened. I had to pat them both down before leaving but I did manage to get the last Darth Vader snow globe. It’s still in tact too!

Later that Day:

SMU: SDU Christmas present is back in business.

SDU: We just stopped again. Merry $%&@#$ Christmas.

…. This is the point where I knew to stop texting. Not sure how the rest of the trip went but I don’t think they’ve started home yet.

In Conclusion

Anyway, the whole point of this is that so many of us have less than perfect families. I was going to use the term “messed up” but was advised to tone it down. These are the memories that one day we will look back on and laugh about. At least, I’ll still be laughing about SDU’s road trip… maybe not the stress-related migraine that I suffered from. Am I evil for taking joy in SDU’s road trip misery? I was laughing my tuchus off but karma came back to me for that one.

We all need to relax and just enjoy being in the moment and enjoying one another. The quest for perfect holiday memories is futile. Just watch the Blackish Christmas episode. Dre reminded me so much of myself at times. It’s the imperfections that we will remember and possibly one day even cherish.

So here’s to holiday cheer and the ability to laugh when things go wrong. Cherish the memories with your loved ones, especially your little ones.

  • Single Mom Unfiltered

 

 

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Keeping Score

The last few weeks of “single momming” has had it’s ups and downs. I’ve definitely been keeping score. Here’s the list.-Was late to work 3 times in one week because of the the work on the red line (if you live in the DC Metro area you know what I mean)

  • Arrived at work late 3 times in one week because the red line is down (those of you who live in the DC metro area can feel m on this)   (negative)
  • Got to work in 35 minutes (record time) twice   (positive)
  • Got half way to work and realized I still had my son’s backpack in the car (negative)
  • Thanks to technology I was able to activate his online lunch account, add money so he could buy lunch, and email his teacher to explain (positive)
  • My son was so happy that he got to buy pizza for lunch (positive)
  • My kids ran away from me in the parking lot of a crowded shopping center after we had just discussed the importance of sticking together (negative)
  • I yelled at my kids in public for running away from me in the parking lot (negative)
  • Threw a great birthday party for my little guy (positive)
  • Helped my kids learn a new board game (positive)
  • Forgot to send a blanket to school for “quiet time” (apparently you can’t call it nap time any more) (negative)
  • Decorated the kids’ rooms with Christmas lights while they were away. They were thrilled when they returned to a winter wonderland (positive)
  • Inherited a fake Christmas tree from my parents, now my older one is mad because we aren’t getting a real tree- I feel him, honestly, but now I can save $30 (neg/pos)
  • Launched bottle rockets with the kids as a test launch for when I do it with my physics class. The kids loved it! (positive)
  • Kids ran away from me again in a parking lot (negative)
  • Yelled at kids for running from me in a parking lot again (negative)
  • Took the kids out to eat at a neighborhood hangout and there were only two spills and the word “poop” was only said extremely loudly about 5 or 6 times (for those of you who know my kids, you know this is a positive x 2)
  • Got the kids to bed before 8 pm and was able to write this blog post (positive)

So I said I was keeping score so here’s the tally:

Negatives: 7          Positives: 10 (remember I get double points for the restaurant)

Wow! I really thought the negatives would be higher and I was prepared with excuses to exonerate myself, but now I see what an awesome single mom I am, so I can sleep soundly tonight!!!!!

What are some of your negatives and positives? Feel free to share in comments or on Facebook!

Cheers!

Single Mom Unfiltered

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Just To Clarify My Purpose Here…

This probably should be a Thanksgiving post because I have a lot to be thankful for but I’ll get to that part at the end. Instead, I would like to clarify my purpose for writing this blog. Over the last several months, I have received a fair amount of messages from men around the world. At first I thought it a bit strange, but it’s nice to have male readers as well as female so I didn’t question it too much. But then, due to the content of a few message I realized that my blog and Facebook page have been misinterpreted as a single mom dating site of some sort.

Huh… this was certainly never my intention, but I guess I can see how it might be misinterpreted. I do occasionally write whimsical stories about my dating calamities. My real purpose in starting this blog is because I had already written a lot of stories about my life as a single mom in a journal. I was finding it to be very therapeutic. In fact, I think it’s helped me more than my former therapist helped me.

I would go to therapy and we would end up discussing her problems instead of mine. She told me I would make a great therapist and that I should consider a career in therapy or counseling. I realized that this was really just a waste of my time and money but I kept forgetting to cancel my appointments so I continued to go as I had to pay for it either way. Then one day, the practice called me and said that my therapist was a having a mental health crisis and could no longer serve me and would I like to see one of the other therapists. I decided that this was my out and further devoted myself to my self-deprecating humor and my writing.

Anyway, I digress. But honestly, this is just my place to vent and share my view of the world through the lens of a single, working mom. The unfiltered piece is because I just want to speak my mind and not worry about niceties. My intention is not hurt, embarrass or anger anyone, just to tell my story as I see it. While, I tell stories about dating and complain about douche-nugget guys who don’t know how to act in a relationship or dating situation, I’m not really in the market to meet guys at the moment.

So gentlemen, while I appreciate the messages and pics (try to picture the look on my face as I write this) I would rather just hear your views as parents or comments on my latest post. I’ll let you know if I decided to start on-line dating again. I am sure there are a lot of great girls right in your own home town to message on FB. This is more of a forum to share your crazy parenting stories and how it has changed your life and the way you view the world around you. Please feel free to share through that lens.

Part 2

I realize there is absolutely no segue here but since Thanksgiving is in two days, I’d like to thank anyone reading this or any of my posts. Below is the short list of things I am thankful for. The actual list is much more comprehensive. I am lucky to have such a blessed life.

I am thankful for:

  1. My family- thank you for everything, I love you even if I don’t always show I, you guys are the best!!!
  2. Specifically my children (no matter how much I complain)
  3. My friends- you all are the best!!!
  4. My dog and my cat who are awesome substitutes for therapy
  5. My colleagues and students who I completely adore and with whom I am privileged to work
  6. My house
  7. My car- those of you who know me, know why
  8. The opportunity to write and those who support me
  9. To be part of a great swimming group- thank you for pushing and supporting me
  10. Any reason to laugh!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to All!!!! Please feel free to share what you are thankful for!

 

  • Single Mom Unfiltered

 

 

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Single Mom’s Weekend in Review

Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m just now putting my weekend out there and it’s Thursday. I had a lo of catching up to do before I could sit and write a blog post. All of you moms out there know what I’m talking about!

So it’s been a long time since I’ve had a weekend off. Even the weekends I don’t have my kids I’m grading papers, cleaning house, and doing random errands. It’s a good weekend if I make it to the gym for an hour each day- or only one day for that matter. It’s to the point where I feel guilty for wasting time if I sit through a whole movie. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I’ve had a relaxing weekend. But this past weekend was one of those.

I went to visit my best friend from college at her new house in NJ.  We see each other on average one to two times a year so I made a declaration to leave Science Labs ungraded and dishes in the sink so that I could spend a weekend out of state. Then the morning of, my friend texted me that she’d woken up with a sore throat but planned to sleep all day because who knew when we’d both be free again.

So I loaded up my super cool mom station wagon and hit the road at 7pm on Friday. I arrived around 10. Raquel was still in her pajamas but had homemade soup and veggies on the table. It’s been so long since anyone cooked for me! (Oh, sorry, Mom! Yes, you do make your amazing chicken noodle soup from scratch for me… and stuffed zucchini… and everything else you’ve also made for me recently!).

We slept until 10am. It’s easily been six years since I’ve slept past 7am. We brunched and “enhanced” our coffee with some Baileys. Sometime after noon we exchanged our pjs for yoga pants and sat around the house for a while.  It was so weird not to be dusting, vacuuming, washing dishes and doing laundry that I even sat down and worked on my dueling for a while.

We went for a nice walk to the downtown area and I got the tour of their new home town. Then we went back home to drink sangria and watch Amy Schumer and Dave Chappelle reruns. This is our “mom in the suburbs” version of the bar hopping and partying we did in college. It felt just as wild anyway.

On Sunday instead of nursing deadening hangovers I introduced Raquel to the addicting world of duolingo. For those of you who don’t know, learning a new language on line can be like that never ending shopping spree, a binge and purge session, or just a good old fashioned pill popping or gambling addiction. But instead of ending up in debt and rehab, you learn a new language- it’s healthy fun for the whole fam! I even taught Raquel’s four-year-old how to say “pineapple” in Portuguese… just in case it ever becomes an issue for him.

I almost cried when it was time to leave but it was time for part II of my single mom road trip adventure. Traffic wasn’t great heading back.  I stopped off at rest stop for gas and a bio break and had a surprising mix of culture and enlightenment during my ten minute stay. I shared the ladies room with a really pretty transvestite so that was both exciting and multi-cultural. I looked like a short dumpy single mom in sweats and uggs next to her statuesque build. Boy could that gal rock some skinny jeans!

Next, I decided to get a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s but the two girls who most likely had dropped out of high school to have babies (not judging, just making an observation based on context clues) weren’t super interested in making money. The one actually rolled her eyes when I stepped up to the register and then went back to whatever semi-literate conversation about a Honey Boo-Boo re-run- or maybe it was just their actual lives they were summarizing- rather than helping the lone hungry woman in line. So that was a cultural experience in and of itself.

Still hungry enough to eat a cow (and I’m a Flexitarian so I only eat chicken, turkey, and fish once in a blue moon!), I left the rest stop. As I stepped back outside into the crisp fall air, the acrid smell of pot smoke hit my nostrils like Mike Tyson’s boxing gloves. Whoa! I looked around to see who was smoking weed in the rest stop parking lot and saw that it was coming from the big white van parked a few spaces over from me.

The van served to  house a bunch of dirty looking punks, each wielding at least one article of clothing that appeared to be shredded by a razor. No judgment mind you because I recently paid a pretty penny for some ripped jeans and it was well worth it! But I’m more of a bono shabby chic kind of gal and do like toss m even my ripped jeans in the occasionalload of wash. But I’m not going to lie I was totally fascinated by them. It’s always something to just hit the road and live life on your own terms. So that was my philosophical enlightenment for the weekend. Although that was just the extra credit but as aforementioned I had watched Schumer and Chappelle on Saturday.

So now, instead of just being hungry, now I have a serious case of second hand munchies. I got back in my car and turned on my tablet to play music. Last summer, I went to put a nursery rhyme cd in my car’s cd player and it got stuck. My car is so old I don’t have blue tooth so I was super psyched that I’d remembered to charge he tablet before I left. I drove 80 mph where traffic permitted and belted out indie hits until I finally made it to Chipotle.

The line at Chipotle was forever long. I decided to use the time to catch up on texts. I can only blame my intense hunger for what happened next. I managed to find the number of a guy (imply what you must from this) that I had deleted and blocked (imply what you must from this)and I texted him. I could smack myself. He is also a friend of Raquel and her husband.

My text was just saying that I had visited our mutual friends and it reminded me of him and it would be nice to bury the hatchet (I’m paraphrasing) so that maybe we could all hang out together one day.

I got an immediate response.

Guy: Who’s this?

Me: F U A-hole… just forget I texted…

Guy: Is this Keldan?

Me: How many people have you had a falling out with who are also friends with Raquel and Matt?

Guy: Sorry, I got a new phone and didn’t back it up.

Me: Ummmm….. aren’t you in IT? And again… how many people are sending you olive branches? You must not be a very good friend, dude… you’re lucky we’re all so forgiving.

Anwhoozles…. we texted back and forth a little bit longer and I got to hear about how bad everything is going for him yadayadyada… and then I got bored and fell asleep (I had gotten back home and wolfed the Chipotle and walked the dog and taken a warm shower at that point).

** Disclaimer…. I took some artistic liberties with this conversation. Some of it is what I had been witty enough to actually text instead of what I really did… how embarrassing!

I woke up on Monday with piles of dirty laundry, dishes in the sink, a stack of ungraded lab papers, and an unedited manuscript that I would like to sell sometime this century.

Back to the grind….

But it was totally worth it. Thanks Raquel and family for a wonderful, lazy, crazy weekend!

 

 

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