Friday, January 31, 2014

Why Does He Love Football More Than Me?

I am sure this question is often asked sarcastically among circles of friends via text, munching on snacks in the kitchen, snacking during the game, or even as a jab directly to that spouse or significant other – though mostly in jest. I am sure this is a question that numerous spouses and significant others (of either gender) have across the country – especially approaching Super Bowl Sunday. 

As I approach this Super Bowl Sunday, as I have dealt with the feelings of past Super Bowl Sundays (of which I have had to work the past 3-4 years), and am aware that this may be one of the if not the last years I may evade a simple yet complex question of “why does he love football more than me?” – I have written this letter:

My dear, darling daughter:
First off – if you are hurting in any way I am SO sorry for your hurt, I know I can’t take it away and it is not easy to hurt but know that it is OK to hurt and I am here for that when you need me.
What I have learned about people who seem to love football or other things or even other people more than us, is that they do not fully understand or have learned all there is to know about love yet. I wish and pray very very hard that all those people could be on the same “love level” that we are on so that we could all love together – but kiddo, it’s just not the way everyone was made. Even though I love you to the moon and back – that love still grows and grows every day.
The point I am trying to help you to understand kiddo is that you are loved. You are loved by SO many people it is ridiculous (insert big smile from mom)! And even though he is still learning how to love the way that you should be loved, the way that I love you, on his “love level,” I think he does and if you think he does on his “love level” too – that is what matters. So it’s not football or other things or a person that are loved more than you and it’s not you or anything about you either. He is just still learning.
I know that it may not make it hurt any less or make some of the things you feel about this sometimes any easier – but I hope that it helped you a little bit.
Love to the moon and back,
Your mama

So to all you out there who are faced with similar questions with kids or significant others or family members – maybe this letter can help you too. I didn't come to this overnight, believe me! It took years of wondering why a certain beer was loved more than me, more than the child growing inside me, more than this beautiful and smart developing kiddo. However, this very long and “unlucky” month when faced with many outside people who tried to take away our money, our belongings, our time, and our love – I was told to pray for them. I guess I am finally doing that – because I really would like to hold on to my happiness. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Ring - Part I

Getting back in the ring that is – I will get to the actual bling on Part II of this post, after all I gotta leave you hanging a bit now ;)

I used to be an avid athlete, student, and very type A cleanse/organized type person…..then college, life, and mother-hood happened. Soooo- the body I worked so hard to get healthy, not in shape actually healthy per a medical condition, was kind of shot after both the whole ripping a child out of me via cutting/tearing my abdominal muscles and the whole divorce/single/first time mom thing the first year of my kiddo’s life. Add in mental stress and let’s just chop 2011-2012 up to a learning experience shall we?!

I had to work really hard to get back into shape even to do my job (healthcare worker, large place) and I was even in physical therapy rehabbing a few different parts of myself as well as taking on some nutritional changes – all again while working full time and being a single parent full time. I was also in and out of court not to mention all the documents I had to draft in between court dates therefore let’s throw some mental rehabilitation both counseling and reading/faith mediation on top of the physical part. 

And now due to some work stress, wage loss, heavier workloads both at work and at home – the kiddo is not super light but is also awkwardly long to carry and retain any sense of core inertia – I am back to rehabbing my body once more. My faith and mentality I have been working on improving upon the past view months and feel confident that I can get through these current struggles (or be carried through) as well as embark upon better things for my family career wise; less stress on body and mind hopefully. As I do that, I am also trying to “rehab” my social life as well via sports – getting back into the ring or rather back on the court. So as I once worked my way from nothing before, I remind myself of this picture, where I took myself from pain to gain in 4 years by some very very hard work:

...and just as I went to sign up for said new league - registration which was open through Monday is now closed due to all spots filled. It's cool - all for a reason and still have my resolve. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Back To Basics

This has been a very long week with very cold temperatures, now usually that is not a big complaint, however, when your heat and hot water are out for the majority of that week with multiple service calls – then the below zero wind-chill temps get the best of me.  Today the very kind and throughout maintenance guy did some research (after coming here over 4 times in less than a week to get the heat restarted even though it took a bit to warm the place up from who knows what low temperature) and replaced the whole pilot system as he found online this was a major issue with my model, put in a digital thermostat so I could not only know the actual temp but set it too, and dropped off a space heater just in case.

Sidebar: Now before you think I am a Debbie-downer from my posts about trying to get back to normal for the past month, let me remind you that dates 12/24-1/2 were insane family holidays, I worked the next weekend where I drove home in a blizzard lasting from 1/5-1/9 (including the double rent debacle) partly stuck in with my folks and the toddler, we had a few days of “normal” in between in which I got one of my bi-annual sinus infections, then the whole no heat issue started around the 17th finally getting settled today. And yes, I was praying my butt off and trying my best to be sane.

With everything fixed, some major medical appointments behind me and the kiddo, knowing my body is off as much as my mind has tried to get it right (it’s a genetic thing not a weight loss/”diet” thing) – back to basics I attempt to go. My little family has the right basic supplements again to get back on track, the kiddo and I BOTH got a warm bath and hot shower in and will be sleeping in our own warm beds tonight and hopefully future nights to come, there are fresh veggies and snacks in the house, I found my old get core strength back exercises from my C-section from PT and kiddo’s PT ones as well (which she will now do as I told her it was training for learning to swim – mom win), and the kiddo handed me my book that is the foundation of what will hopefully be the new business come end of year if not sooner today and said “EVERYONE needs to read this book.” Those little ones, especially mine lately, can be super clairvoyant!

Now we attempt to start anew again (I even worked on my closet/clutter a little before shower and exercises tonight)….again. I am having faith and praying that whatever life throws our way I can deal with it in peace – including getting the taxes done and filed in the next 8 days. You other single parents will understand the importance of getting the taxes in ASAP unfortunately. Oh, and I am hoping to get a girls night this weekend too – in not out, but still much needed!

My mantra (not sure if I wrote it or it is a quote)  which lays as a bookmark in the book “everyone needs to read” is: You never know what you are doing until you know what you have done.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Saved By The Burbs

After a little bit of a tiff with a close family member on Friday after work – which was very late btw – and then I had to prepare the kiddo for a Saturday visit with her other biological family which escalated said Friday night tiff leaving me crying on the way home and crawling into a chilly bed on Saturday morning after the kiddo did not do so well with the transition. I also learned later that night that she didn't do so well the last time this exchange happened either and they don’t happen that often as well….I think you get the point that this is a difficult situation for the kiddo.  

So after a morning nap, some text convo with a good friend about various but real life things including what had happened or my feelings on what had happened Friday night/Saturday morning – I pulled it together a bit, watched some old TV DVDs, got some things done and before I left on my grocery run I had some coffee and got this fortune in a fortune cookie:

I laughed to myself thinking – if this is new word lesson is a true fortune today – Superb. And can you guess what happened – yep, about five minutes later the text that “per the weather” early drop off. So I rushed to the store, also packed with folks worried “per the weather” (like 2-3 inches over many hours btw), and headed to pick the kiddo up as soon as I could. That is where I learned about the not so great transitions, signs of food allergy reactions that she always has on her face, and the kiddo’s visit for the next day was cancelled due to previous plans – always gut wrenching even when expected- then we headed home. To a freezing house – yep, the water heater that also heats the house was out again as I found out when I was again in a towel in need of a warm shower to not be Miss Greasy Hair 2014. Needless to say, it put me in a less than stellar mood as nothing could be done as it was too late in the evening/night and on call was open until late into the Sunday morning.

In a rush and because it was freezing in here – I got us ready, was probably one of the least peaceful parents out there this morning per everything and the kiddo being well the kiddo, packed up the car just in case and headed out to be late to church. I was happy we got there earlier (though still late) than usual, we were in a warm and safe place, the kiddo enjoyed it AND they announced a free donations accepted family pancake breakfast at the end – so food too!! I was seriously praying for forgiveness from the earlier weekend days and praising for what we were being given – warmth, God, fellowship, and even warm food. I then sucked it up and texted my folks to see if it was OK if we hung for a bit in more warmth and I showered during the kiddo’s nap in case things didn't get fixed that day. FAITH is the opposite of PRIDE. The folks were off to church themselves so we had the house to ourselves which was nice, I made some calls, my dad made a second breakfast when they got back, a short nap for the kiddo, a nice shower for me – then off we went…not perfect but blessed again as they again fixed the problem short term at least. Then we headed to Target because the kiddo had a gift card to pick out a toy from Christmas and upon leaving we saw our good friends loading up their car as well and said a quick hello.

It was a good but weird feeling driving between the wood and the grove of our Suburban town, like we really were in a community even though we often times don’t feel like we fit the mold. And today, Suburbia gave us every little basic thing we needed, so it felt like they bent a bit too on the simple side. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Shreading Needs V Wants

I was standing at the sink early this afternoon, staring at the bottle of Dawn and wondering if I needed to be on the lookout for sales to have back up on hand for when the rest of the 64 ounces runs out and if I should get cheap sponges or actual dish scrubbers per bailing out 30 cups of water from the bottom of the dishwasher. Then I thought, really?! One, you are standing here seriously debating in your head whether you need more dish soap or not and two) there are 32 ounces left and that has lasted you 3 months!! I guess being as financially tight as things are, I feel like I always NEED at least one full back-up of everything on hand in case anything hits the know like last week :)

After that I went to the couch to do my prayer thing because if thoughts like that were running through my mind, obviously what I really needed was some in depth mediation on the actual questions in my life. Where do I want to be at or where do I need to be at and what do I want or need to get there. And no, none of those questions opened up the sky with answers falling down upon my make-shift "pillow couch" before the monitor started blaring "I want to get up now!" Now, that my friends is a sign, a sign that nap time is over and the rest of the 5 hours of mommy day lie ahead.

Yesterday I was kind of shown the path that I wasn't going to be on or possibly ever be on, though my actual path during a time of crossroads in my life is quite foggy. First off, work was demanding as usual and again volunteers were being asked to go a little above and beyond being promised a hint of job security if you did volunteer but no actual benefits. Luckily my day was not run, run, run as usual to the point where I don't get to sit down so I had time look up some job postings. I ran across two different jobs that would give me what I wanted in both the 8-5 category as well as financial stabilization...somewhat anyways. One was one I could have 6 years ago (with the same company I was with at that time) in my field but at that time was lacking the experience and credentials I now have but would not fulfill my life in a very meaningful way besides I would be good at it. The other was a job that I could apply for, would most likely need to sell sell sell myself to get the position but could be worth a shot as it would be with a company I would be behind about 100% (hard to find these days), however, I would probably need to gain another certification in something related to my degree I got around 10 years ago. Talk about polar opposites. Then as I was getting all set to leave the current workplace, my phone rang, it was local, I have a kid, so obviously I panicked.....only to find out via voice mail that it was such and such homes wanting to know if I was still on the market for a house 6 months later, please call back either way as we are going through our contact cards. That voice mail rang over and over through my head as I drove back to an apartment after my shift with the sleeping kiddo in the back praying that there would be a parking spot left close to the door. So no, I am not in the market for a home. Add the hopes and dreams for the kiddo's pre-school top choice shattered - ok, not a huge deal but if you knew her and me and how hard we have worked on her "stuff" - kind of a downer.

I luckily bucked up after finding the key parking spot and did some research on the new venture on the horizon as well as made some very, very small moves in a work up to apply for the good company job. I read a quote on linked in yesterday as well and it led me to a little guidance....."Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. They are Work, Family, Health, Friends, and Spirit and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it. it will bounce back. But the other four balls - Family, Health, Friends, and Spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What Never To Say To A Single Parent

I was going to save this for later, but read a similar blog post ( about what and how people say certain things to parents and here is mine:

There are five words that make me cringe, that since the first time I heard them resonate in my head whenever I read about a large parenting challenge be it potty training or teaching your child to have his or her heart open to God or the idea of God: You are all she has (aka, you are all she’s got).

Though it may be somewhat true of single parents whether it be by choice, separation, divorce, death, and all the other possibilities, it is a deafening blow. We know that we are the only ones around for them 24/7 and that even when we have a sitter or if the other parent is one around for a visit or even if they are with grandparents or other family members we know that we must be on call for those “what if” phone calls. We know that even though the doors slam in our faces only as well as the screams of “no mommy/daddy no,” the same forceful bodies will lie across us the next morning sweetly saying “just five more minutes.” We knew that first time we held them as single parents and they cried, whether that be at birth, at a funeral, looking at a car drive away or looking back through the window. We knew then that we were the most important, solid, trustworthy people and would be throughout their entire life. Trust me, we knew and we found impossible strength.

Let us also not forget the milestones and the two fold single parent fear of milestones: they are going to take those first steps, say their first word, get on the bus to school, have a sleep over (what will we do with the time besides wait by the phone because they decide to come home at 11pm), bridge in scouts, get to high school, graduate high school, go to college, and many much more important ones in between. I think we all fear the milestones themselves as we will not know what to do as we realize these children are growing and becoming their own people. I think single parents all fear, who will I turn to and share this moment with? As my own daughter was late and very thorough before taking her own first steps, I had months to wonder – it’s going to be so exciting but what if I am not there because I am at work or worse…who will I look at with joy to say “she’s walking, she’s walking!” I was lucky and my mother happened to be with me when my daughter took her first steps, but even though I was overjoyed, there was a little pain in my heart. Pre-school is next and I do not know who I am going to call in tears or panic after I drop her off that first day. Trust me we know and we will find impossible strength.

Parents are often told before or just after having a child, “it takes a village” – often by family members who do not want to be forgotten in the process I find or in times of need when parents have no clue as to what is going on with their child or what to do about it. Yet, often in the everyday, the single parent hears be tough/be strong words of “because you are all he/she has.” Flip that around to the child or imagine you are the child being told – “mom/dad is all you have.”  How terrifying for a child to think that you have one person in this world, just one that is all, so nothing better happen to them! That sheer terror is often what I feel as a single parent when I am told those 5 words, and God forbid something happens because if I am all she’s got, then it must be my fault if she fails and more so God forbid something happen to take away my or her entire world. But because as I already stated, trust me we know and we will have impossible strength.

I want you to think now, where did we get that strength? It must have come from somewhere or the teachings of someone. Maybe a parent, maybe two parents, maybe a cool aunt or uncle, maybe a sibling, maybe from an upbringing in the church, maybe from trials and tribulations willfully pointed out by adversaries, maybe by that just enough older role model, or maybe from that friend or two I just happened to have in my thirty plus years. Oh, I know, maybe it came a little from all of those people! Maybe, just maybe, we believe in a higher entity in which we are never truly alone even when there isn't anyone else physically around. And if we as single parents are not “all we've got”, then maybe we single parents can tell our children “mom/dad are not all you've got.” Trust me we know and we have impossible strength. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Snowed In And Robbed...In Suburbia

Many of you know the snowed in part :) You are likely dealing with the same thing, however, there is a slight twist on our little snowed in story - I pray none of you had to deal with similar frustrating events, or worse as a lot worse could have happened.

Friday started out as any normal day, I was celebrating having 8 hours to myself while the kiddo was at "school" for the day - I had gotten up that morning, did my prayer/faith/coffee/tea thing, was dressed (dressed enough to drop her off anyways), got the kiddo up and dressed and off to school - came back went for a run, showered, got officially dressed and made myself a awesome protein and veggie omelet. Then the storm phone texted me of my balance - which was close to $1000 short as I knew it was a pay day Friday. I checked online and the text was accurate - there were two charges for rent when there should have been only one, when I had so proudly paid a day early aware of the holiday. My rent to monthly income ratio might as well be a nice mortgage payment, there is not a lot left over after the first when the bigger bills are due.

I was livid - mad is probably not even the word. This was added when a business to be named said they could do nothing to return my money; my bank was very hopeful and helpful, though 4 hours, countless dead end phone calls - I was back at the bank filling out official forms to dispute the withdrawal and a legal attempt to get my hard earned money back. I was lucky enough that the checks written would barley be covered, my gas was filled up for the work weekend/expected snow storm, we had some food, however, my mom did have to help with diapers, wipes, and prescriptions. The hardest part was that the people who took my money did so literally under my nose as I was running in the un-heated "gym" up above and when I explained that I had no extra money for diapers and was a single mom, not only was there not an "I'm sorry," there was silence. Dead silence. They had no words just a look of "oh well" on their face. Though difficult, I had just read (over and over in bold):

FAITH is the opposite of PRIDE.

The big snow/freeze hit Sunday, so I had a long drive home after my work weekend to get home to my daughter and to safety...well to my parents' house that is. And due to the storm being as bad and/or worse than expected - here we have stayed since Saturday evening. #1 - my daughter was safe and this I knew as I was working during the fall of the flakes #2 - I got to shelter safely and there was even food waiting for me. That day at work earlier, I had gotten a message from a friend who offered financial help if needed due to the "robbery." The next morning we all woke up to horrible weather conditions so we were trapped, myself, the kiddo and my parents. No fixing of Friday's events, no Monday off while the little one was at school, or "home" comforts - but we had shelter, warmth and food. Electric was due that day, my father had already been kiddo-ed out, so I with a big sigh of the below - asked my friend for her offered help:

FAITH is the opposite of PRIDE.

Though this friend who knows pretty much everything of my successes and failings as well as I hers in the past 10 years or so, it took a lot - but less than it would take to ask my dad - even though he was aware of the situation and that we had been wronged by some not so nice people. Thank you again, friend! The day went on, the alerts of being stuck in the house again came about, the kiddo and I not returning home as well and by this point in time it felt like we all needed a padded cell - one for each of us as we all were nice, but time for a much needed break in the action. As I ate other's food, showered in others' homes, had my kiddo running a muck (at one point she was saying "I am so, so, so, so, SO, SO......tired") , and slept in others' beds - I kept telling myself:

FAITH is the opposite of PRIDE.

I cannot tell you how many times I re-read this statement in my book I luckily had with me as well. Still do and am looking forward to reading more right now as though we may very well return "home" tomorrow, it will not feel like home, and from the looks of it I may have to call into work...where though acceptable and my only option - it never feels like that when you call in to work. But I will take the advice of another blogger friend and choose to make the best of the current adversities rather than be or feel debilitated by them.  After all.....FAITH is the opposite of PRIDE.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bonus Post - Reflecting Forward

I already said I wasn't a resolutions type person - it just so happens that through a lot of personal, internal reflection the past month or so along with some signs that might have well been billboards (though no "turn here" type directions have been given), and another - "oh, that's why I don't do online dating" reality check (at least no physical time was taken this round).....I wanted to post a poem I came across from a long time ago (unknown author) for those out there who are comfortable yet still uncomfortable:

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone
To have a deep soul relationship with another
To be loved thoroughly and exclusively
But God, to a Christian says -
"No, not until you're satisfied, fulfilled, and content
With being loved by Me alone -
With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me-
With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me
Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found
Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship
That I have planned for you
You will never be united with another until you are united with Me
I want you to stop planning, stop wishing
And allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing-
One that you you cannot imagine
I want you to have the best
Please allow me to bring it to you
You just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things -
keep experienceing the satisfaction that I am
Keep listening and learning the things I tell you
You just wait. That's all.
Don't be anxious
Don't worry
Don't look around at the things others have gotten
Or at what I've given them
Don't look around at the things you think you want
You just keep looking off and away up to Me
Or you'll miss what I want to show you
And then, when you're ready
I'll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any
You would ever dream of
You see, until you're ready, until the one I have for you is ready
(I am working at this moment to have both of you ready at the same time)
Until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me
And the life I have prepared for you
You won't be able to experience the love that
Exemplifies your relationship with Me...
And this is perfect love.
And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love
I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me
And to enjoy materially and concretely
The everlasting union of beauty, perfection, and love
That I offer you with Myself
Know that I love you
I am God, believe it and be satisfied."

I hope this can help some of you if you are feeling the dull thud of loneliness, wanting, waiting, wishing. This actually has helped me make some movements in my life that have nothing to do with finding a mate but propelling me forward in what my plan and path is - even though I may feel I am as blind as a bat!