Tag Archives: single mother

mother’s day

Mothers, enjoy your children.  While they are young, as they grow, and when they are adults.  Every stage of development for your child is special.  I don’t need to tell you that; you already know.  Every stage my children have been at has been my favourite.  Why?  Because it’s where we are in the present.

Don’t wish for the past when they were young, or perhaps before they were born.

Don’t wait for the day they’re grown up and out of the house so you have peace and quiet or a clean home.

Be present.  Enjoy what today gives you.  It is the ultimate gift.  Love your children no matter who, what, or where they are.  Love yourself too.

Enjoy this day as if there are no others.  Give thanks for the life around you.  Be grateful for the ability to have them in your life for not every woman is as fortunate as you.  Hug your children.  Tell them that you love them.  Mean it.  Every day.

me without you

If you pay attention, there seems to be consistencies in life.  Things that repeat, or certain days or times that seem to be relevant.  Perhaps this hasn’t happened to you, or perhaps you just haven’t noticed it?  I have.

November 12 has been a recurring important day in my life.  Some for small reasons, and others are more monumental.  The biggest one in my life is that it is the anniversary of my breaking free of my marriage.  Yesterday was my four year me-anniversary.  As I reflected back on how far I have come in those four years, I do believe all the hurt and pain, all the problems and fear that went along with it was worth it.  Breaking free from an unhealthy relationship, a controlling relationship, a manipulative relationship was the absolute best thing I have done for myself and my children.

I saw that in those four years, I have stood on my own two feet.  I have found my voice and learned how to use it.  I have stood up for what I believe in, learned to give in a little to the things that matter less.  I have learned that it is not just ok to show affection and emotion, but that it is the only way I want to live my life.  I am unapologetic in how I live, for it is my life, not yours.  I have bought a house but more importantly, built a home with love where my family can feel safe without judgement.  I have grown a family beyond blood that includes all kinds of friends and furfriends.  In those four years, I have learned to explore, to take the next step, to not let my fears restrict me, and to live on the cusp of my discomfort and continue on because this is how we grow.  I have learned to say no when I need to, and to say yes when I want to.  I have indulged myself and grown a passion.  I have let go of the things I thought I needed to be without regret.  I have learned that it is ok to have my own style and that the only one I need to please is me.

In those four years, I have found me.  So the only thing I can say to those who are currently at the start of their journey, or looking at ending a marriage is: I know where I was at and had no idea where the next step would lead me to, but looking back at the path I took, I have no regrets.  I survived as countless others have.  And at your four year you-anniversary, look back and see what it is you have been able to do for you.  You might be amazed to see that the person you are right now is not who you will be four years into your own story.

how much time in a week

What can you do in a week’s time when you put your mind and determination into it?  Turns out quite a bit.

This week, I had set a goal to give my son’s room a complete make over.  I wanted to have certain projects done by the end of July so that I could have a week of mental and physical rest before starting my next career chapter.  This included his room.  I have wanted to repaint his room since I bought our home, and the carpet in there simply had to go.  Well, this was the time to do it.  From Sunday last week to today, I worked a full week.  I had something going on every night after work, and then, once I finally got home, I got to work on his room.

I tore out the carpet and underlay.  Primed and painted the walls.  Stained some shelving pieces and pine crates to make him a creative shelving unit.  Laid down the new flooring.  Screwed the shelving unit together.  Put his furniture back in (but in a different configuration that makes the room much nicer).  Screwed his wall shelves back on the walls.  Hung some art.  Gave Jack the Tangerine Gecko a home right next to my son’s bed.

My hands are sore, my knee is a wreck, I am physically exhausted, but my heart is full and I await his reaction to his newly renovated room.  He knew I would be doing the work this week, but I wonder if he has thought about it while he’s been away at his father’s.  Oh how I wish his father wasn’t such an ass and would let me speak with them at least to say goodnight.  But I digress.

Alas, before he gets to see his new space, the plan is a picnic dinner in the park as soon as I get them back, and hunting Pokémon with them in Pokémon Go!  Such a treat and what great family time to be had!

uniqueness

I find it rather curious how we all become individuals based on our experiences and the way our lives unravel.  During this recent trip back to see my family, I think this is the time when it really hit home for me.  I looked at how my sister appeared to me and compared how I viewed myself (and how others have described me).

This is what I saw:

My sister is the typical soccer mom.  I watched as she interacted with all the other soccer moms at my niece’s game.  She fit right in.  She is slow moving, like nothing is ever a rush.  There isn’t any reason to be in a hurry or rush off anywhere, and her body language shows it.  She also carries extra weight (not that there is anything wrong with that or that I’m criticizing it, just an observation), and her slow motion seems to be accentuated by that.  She drives a Mercedes.  She works if she chooses to.  She has a husband who provides for the family.  She lives a life of leisure, has a social life, and spends the summers at their lakeside cottage.

I am nothing like her.

I am a hard working, often overtime working single mom.  I have strayed from the materialistic way of life (due to the fact that my ex-husband always had to have the most expensive-best-top of the line-keep up with and bypass the Jonses stuff.  While I was never that way myself (he typically had the best and I was left with nothing to spend for myself after providing for the children and him), sometimes it would have been nice to have something for myself.  I have a five year old Jeep that travels everywhere I go, I spend time in nature with my children and alone; I consider the mountains my home.  I am not a soccer mom, nor would I ever fit in with them.  I am a vegetarian, organic, natural and clean eater (mostly).  I am a yogini.  I meditate.  I do not have an expensive home and I most certainly do not have a lakefront cottage.  I have wanderlust, an adventurous spirit, and a camera.  I am an artist and an author.  My dog is my best friend and the one I socialize with the most.  I’ve been called a hippie more times than I care to count.  This term, as far as I am concerned, is a compliment.

I don’t typically compare myself to others because I know we all have our own paths.  It just seemed so obvious to me this time.  I haven’t spent time with my sister in so many years, and perhaps because of this, it became so very clear to me how very different we are.

So I suppose, what I have seen, is that life and experiences really do shape us into who we become.  We had the same upbringing for the first 18 years of life.  Somewhere along the way, our lives took divergent paths; neither one better than the other, just different.

I am grateful for this trip home, for so many reasons.  This is just one of them.  I am also grateful for the experiences (good and bad) that have shaped me into who I am.  I can honestly say that I have earned all I have by myself.  I have nobody to credit for my possessions but me, and my lifestyle is a reflection of who I am beyond monetary and materialistic views.  This is part of my uniqueness.

mother’s day

Yes, many will be blogging about Mother’s Day today.  I guess I’m no different. I am blessed to be a mother to the wonderful boys that I have. My youngest woke me at a rather early hour, happy, dressed and with a kiss on my cheek and a  cheery “Happy Mother’s Day, mom!  I love you.”  It started the day off exactly right.  Then, he brought me the Mother’s Day gift that he made at school and was dying since Friday afternoon to give to me.  I adore it. It’s a beautiful work of art.  He created a painting on canvas of a flower, but artistically and creatively placed in the corner of the canvas.  He is quite the artist and has a keen eye.  He could have given me a sock puppet made out of a dirty sweat sock and I would have still treasured it the same way.  I suppose that isn’t the point, but the canvas will find its home on the wall by the end of tomorrow.  Guaranteed. 

After opening my gift, he bopped off to wake his brother.  I spent a few more minutes enjoying the comfort of my bed before getting up and getting showered and set for the day.  We went for a late breakfast at this fantastic little breakfast and lunch place. The “it” place to be this morning, the meal was definitely worth the wait.  Fresh fruit cocktails and smoothies, blueberry pancakes with a custard sauce, eggs, bacon and hash browns, and mushroom and Brie crêpes filled us beyond full.

We came home and my older son gave me his gift that he made in school. His was a very intricate card with my favourite things: flowers, sealife, and dinosaurs.  He knows me well.  Inside this well decorated pyramid shaped box was a clay heart shaped necklace with his fingerprint on it in pink.  I wore the necklace for the rest of the afternoon. It now lives as an ornament hanging from my rear view mirror whe I can see and appreciate it every day.

We took a walk as a family with the dog. Another favourite part of my day.  

The hardest part of my day was having to send them off for the week with their father’s girlfriend.  Oh how I wish he would have agreed to let me have them for the whole day, but alas you can’t change a jackass.

So there it is.  Mother’s Day is done for another whole year.  I wonder what this next year will bring.  

friendship

There isn’t much that is more satisfying than a good, symbiotic friendship.  Especially when that friend is also the parent of your children’s best friends.

Then funny thing is, when you go through divorce, you find out who your real friends are, who are the gossips, and who just want to meddle and cause problems.  Some are easier to weed out than others.  But those who are actual, true friends…well, those ones are more precious than gold.

One friend happened to be an unlikely one.  One I hadn’t given much thought to, but I am very grateful for his existence.  The best part about this friendship is that there are no ulterior motives there.  No expectations.  He helps me, I help him.  We drink wine.

End of story.

What’s most interesting is because he is the opposite gender, I get a different perspective when I talk with him.  I can see things from the male perspective…something that is lacking in an all female friendship circle.

Some people would claim that men and women are unable to have a purely platonic relationship.  I disagree.  I do know that many men (and likely women too) will use the guise of friendship with less than pure intentions.  I’ve seen it, I’ve had it happen to me, I will not do that to another.  I know he does not have this agenda.  He has a beautiful girlfriend who far surpasses me.  So, this makes it a safe friendship to maintain.

I think every divorcing man and woman should have this kind of friendship at some point.  It really does change how you view the opposite sex, and as far as I’m concerned, it enhances life.  For my children, they now have that strong and positive male role model that they desperately have been craving.  This is probably the most valuable part of all.

healing hearts, broken hearts

I can’t figure myself out sometimes.  I have days where I have complete and total control of everything and it seems that nothing could rattle me.  Then I have other days where I get completely shaken to the core.  I don’t know if I should be angry with myself or consider these feelings to be a blessing.

I have a good heart.  I know I do.  I have compassion and empathy, love even when that love is not reciprocated.  And I have hurt.

I thought maybe by now I would be over him.  That perhaps the sight of his eyes or the smell of his skin would do nothing to me.  I have been angry with him, hurt by him mostly in ways that he knows nothing about, but I have also been loved by him in a way that I have never been loved before.  I suspect this is the key as to why I seemingly cannot let him go.

I have tried to let him go, believe me.  I know he is not an angel or a saint.  I know the pain of not having my feelings reciprocated and the hurt when he sends me images for feedback, knowing full well that the images are of a woman he was seeing romantically, not that that was ever mentioned.  I just know.

But then he will text me, out of the blue.  Sometimes with a purpose, sometimes it seems to be just more of saying, hi, you’ve been on my mind…just thought you ought to know.  I’m guilty of doing the same, but I have restricted myself to only messaging with purpose because if I tell him that I’ve been thinking of him it just leaves me wide open for heartache.

So I don’t.  But I also don’t hesitate to respond to him when he initiates.

My heart is on a rollercoaster.  When he walked into my life, he wasn’t perfect, but I thought he was perfect for me.  I wasn’t ready when he said goodbye.  I’m still not ready and it has been a substantial amount of time since that day.  I go through cycles of healing, hearing from him, seeing him, feeling all those old familiar feelings again, then crashing and having my heart in a million pieces.  I break and then have to dust myself off, pick up a new bottle of crazy glue and attempt to start piecing it back together.

I know he is still hurting too.  Perhaps he still is attached to someone else.  He talks of her all the time.  I suspect his heart is still broken.  But so is mine.

Two tarnished hearts.

This is where he is different.  He can breeze into my life, enjoy an evening or a weekend together, and breeze back out without consequence.  Meanwhile, I am back to where I was the day he said goodbye.  Those efforts of trying to get over him are gone.  The relationship I tried to nurture gets swept away in the ocean current and I give up on that someone new, and he will never ever understand the reasons why.  But this man, he too has no idea because I have not told him that I have tried to move on, that I have tried to see other people.  I think it’s because it simply doesn’t matter when he is there.  Because when he is there, it feels that the rest of the world is gone.  That there are no consequences, that the hurt won’t follow (even though I know full well that it will).

I have heard it all, trust me.  He isn’t worth it, you’re too good for him, he doesn’t know what he gave up, don’t let him do this to you, and on it goes.  Easier said than done.  My heart is still his.  I just don’t know how to get it back for good.

of cuttlefish and wheelie shoes

This week has been about making my kids happy. The older one has this thing about squid. He’s obsessed really. Loves everything about them. He could tell you the most obscure facts and even pronounce architeuthis japonica with the clarity of a PhD student. This week, while grocery shopping, he wanted squid for dinner. He didn’t find what he was looking for…but he did find frozen cuttlefish, and that was close enough for him. How do you cook cuttlefish? I have no idea. So I guessed and apparently it worked out just fine for him. He had them for dinner twice this week.

The younger one, well he has been asking for shoes with wheels in them for weeks. He asked his father last week and he was completely shut down. But life is too short to say no all the time. He has been good with so many things, I really couldn’t find a reason why I should say no. So off we went to Sport Chek.

The little guy was so happy. He did his homework with lightning speed, then chatted happily from the back seat as I drove him to the mall. He waited patiently for the salesman who told us that what we were looking for were “heeleys”, a delightful play on names since idea is that the wheels sit in the heels of the shoes.

The salesman measured his feet, then off he went to the stock room. My little sat on the bench, grin on his face and swinging his feet. He waited patiently until the man came back. The only shoes he had were four sizes too big. My little guy was deflated. Heartbroken really. But so good about it. He stared at those shoes that he coveted so much. Tried them on even though they were far too big to see how much he needed to grow.

Head hanging, he held my hand as we started walking out of the store. My heart was broken for him. He wanted them so very bad and did everything right to earn them, but it didn’t work out. We got halfway to the front of the store and the salesman was walking our way. He was talking, but he was so tall, I thought surely he was looking at someone behind me. He said he found some, but they were baby blue, is that ok?

My son lit up like a Christmas tree. Yes, baby blue!  He tried them on, then and there, right in the middle of the ladies clothing racks. A perfect fit! His smile mended my heart.

So the salesman makes my son pinky swear that he won’t use the wheelie shoes without wearing his helmet. He gladly makes that promise. “A promise between men” as the salesman called it.

On the way home, my son asked me if we could get his helmet out of the garage before going in the house so he could try his new wheelie shoes in the house. I was happy to oblige.

So, thank you to that gentle giant of a man at Sport Chek who helped make my son’s week.  Thank you for checking a second time for the right size and seeing that there was indeed one pair that had been returned. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Because kids are only kids for a short period of time, and life is too short to say no, especially to something that is fun.

chronic pain

Some days are harder than others to get through. Some days seem to go easily like the breeze. Some days I don’t know what I will get and others I can see them coming miles away.

Those out there who live with chronic pain can understand how I feel, I am sure. It’s not easy some days to get up and do what you’re supposed to do every day. Waking up after a restless night, feeling the drain of lack of sleep. Getting dressed and mentally prepared for work while working through pain in your hands, your feet, your neck, your knees or hips, or any combination thereof is not for the faint of heart.

Working, head down and engaging your hands all day whilst working through the pain, trying to not let coworkers or clients see how you really feel is hard to do. Coming home to the children, needing to give them your energy and happiness, still suppressing the pain and urge to cry because sometimes it’s more than what you feel you can bear. But you don’t. You don’t cry. You smile and keep on doing what you do because this is life. This is life of a single mother living with chronic pain.

Sometimes it escapes us. Sometimes the irritations of the entitled younger staff get to you to the point where you lose your filter. Sometimes we seem angry or maybe, if you look closely enough at our eyes, the creases in our foreheads that foretell of the pain inside that we are trying to hide, you might have a glimpse into how difficult some days really are.  These days, nobody looks that closely at others.  We live in a world full of self-absorbed individuals who really couldn’t care less about others.  Empathic ones are few and far between, or so it seems.

But we keep on.

Why? Because we have to. There is no option. There is no Prince Charming out there who will save us, who will make things better or take us away from this pain we live in. Because we know the pain will lift at one point. Because with every flare comes a remission. We remember that. Remission makes us feel normal again like maybe these symptoms are just fabrications in our own minds. Like maybe we really aren’t feeling as bad as we seem to. Like maybe we can still have the life our age mates have.

But today, during the flare, we live with the pain. Today, we smile though the pain and remember that this will not last forever. Today, we treat ourselves with kindness and be gentle. Today perhaps we get our hair done. Maybe we stop at Starbucks for morning coffee instead of brewing it at home. Maybe we have lunchables in the fridge to send with the kids for lunch instead of making them chicken, cheese and avocado wraps with veggie sticks, sliced fruits and chia pudding.

Today, we are kind to ourselves. We may be single moms living with a chronic condition, but we are still strong.