Monday, July 26, 2010

The Truth Hurts

I read an article about ago that I cannot stop thinking about. At first it angered me. I wanted to run from it and deny it…do anything but believe it.
Sometimes the truth really does hurt. That’s an understatement really. Sometimes the truth confronts you at night when you try to sleep and it conquers every thought, every delusion, and every dream. Sometimes the truth causes your heart to swell and tears to pour.
That’s what happened to me. The article I read was about whether or not it’s fair to call a single mother heroic and what actually makes a mother heroic. I appreciate the blunt and this read was more than that. It was life altering for me.
How do we define a hero? As one article stated, "not all soldiers are heroes and so it would be with single parents." It is not an automatic title. It must be earned. To become a hero is to do things the hard way, to sacrifice, to do what is right, not what is easy.
Many single mothers get caught up in themselves, all the while their children continue growing, stealing with them time that we can never get back. It should be about them, not us. It is about giving them everything we’ve got and we live off what’s left. We should be the one’s living off crumbs and day old bread, not them!

A true hero does not worry about how hungry he/she is, how healthy he/she is, how lonely, how attractive or how happy. A hero acts solely on the behalf of others. The only way they serve their ego is through the feeling they get by watching others succeed, recover or just thrive and knowing that they were a part of it.

The key is not capturing the affection of other men/women; it is capturing the wonder, the amazement, the imagination and the hearts of our children. We are parents first and foremost. A parent is a heavy word which comes with great responsibility. Only the most selfless individuals can make the grade as a good parent.

"How can I be a part of my child’s emotional and physical health?" should be the question to ask, not "How many men/ women can I get into bed with?"
“What does my child need for lunch?” should be the question, not “Who is on face book?”

A good mother will feed her children first, clothe her children first and nurture their happiness first.

It is not heroic to lay out like a sun goddess reading books about romance while our children run amok throughout the neighborhood.

It is not heroic to focus on what we look like, rather than what our children look like. Are they clean? Is their hair combed? Teeth brushed?

It is not heroic to go to the drive thru every night because the house is a mess, and we didn’t clean it. Children need more than chicken nuggets and fries.

It is not heroic to plant them in front of the television all day because we are too lazy to read a book or play with…or just too selfish.

It is not heroic to pump them full of candy every time they cry or throw a fit for our own sanity.

It is not heroic to raise children without manners, without understanding, without work ethics, without self discipline.

We are raising people. They will grow up and what they are learning now is what they will take into adulthood with them. (Seems like a no brainer right?)

Every time we let them get away with lying, with being disrespectful while we parent chair side, rather than getting up and down to their level…

Every time we tell them to go play, that we are busy …

Every time.... they grow up, just a little. Every time they lose their innocence…just a little.

Our kids need mothers with gusto. Our children need fathers with fortitude. Our children need parents with priorities!

It’s not about whether or not we want to blow all our money on a vacation; it’s about the bills, the car and the kids. Did you ever think maybe they want a vacation? Maybe they want a Mom or Dad whom they can trust and know will protect them and always put them first?!

Our children need parents who consider their paths and futures first and ours last.
I believe if we do that our success will be incidental, automatic, a long for the ride.

When we, as parents are on the right path...the rest falls into place.

That is a hero!

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Look what the Easter Bunny brought me!"...

"Look baby, the sun woke up, are you ready for Easter?"

"The sun is going to be mad at me." She buries her head into the pillow.

"No, the sun is nice, the sun isn't mad at you. Do you want to see what you got for Easter?

She pops up. "Yay! It's Eestoh."

Downstairs, she stares at her basket which has a pink stuffed bunny in it. She looks at the bunny and asks "Did you got all this stuffs for me?" It just sits there underneath the cello wrap and she looks worried.

"Mommy, he needs out."

Gary takes the Easter Bunny out. She looks at it again. "I said did you got all these stuff for me!?"

I look at Gary who is Jehovah Witness and not interested in holidays in the least bit and wonder what I should do. I've never told her that a holiday figure was real before. But her eyes are wide and worried. I look at Gary and he surprisingly puts his hand on the Bunny's neck and wriggles the head. "Yes, I did. I got all this for you. Just for Azalia."

Her smile is huge, so precious. She hugs the Bunny. And looks at it again. "You are the Eastoh Bunny?" Gary looks at me. I know he doesn't want to say the word. I chime in, "Yep, that's the Easter Bunny!"

"Oh!", she giggles joyfully.

The bunny is quiet again and she is waiting for it to move or say something.

Gary makes it jump and shout "Happy, Happy, Happy". He doesn't want to say the word again. Azalia and say "Happy Easter!"

She grabs a package of candy handing it to the bunny, "Can you open dis Eastoh Bunny?"

"Sure." Gary says in his jolly Easter Bunny voice. He works the bunny's hands so it looks like they take the candy and moves the bunny and candy behind his back. "Just a second." He says again in the Bunny voice.

"Here you go Azalia." Bringing the candy back around.

"Thanks!" She giggles. "Thanks Eastoh Bunny."

Gary couldn't resist. Just to see her smile. He caved. "Happy...Happy---Easter! Azalia."

The Reasons...

How do I explain how I got here, to this decision with out writing a book? Okay, no books I promise.

I am a strong-willed,stubborn woman and swore that my boys would always live with me, because I do just fine and because I am prideful and because I believe I can do it all, all by myself.

Doing the best we can, sometimes isn't enough. My boys are at an age now, where they really need their Dad, especially my oldest boy. He's 12.

We moved in December to a place much better than the little apartment we were in,granted it's still a condo and so we are still sandwiched in a horizontal stack of town homes. We are so close to our neighbors, it's a good thing our houses are connected, otherwise we would be able open our windows, reach right through theirs and turn down their music. :)

Back to the subject. Boys. My boys are fighting all the time, especially since the move. The bullying at their new school is relentless. When I went to enroll them I about cried. It's like a school out of some movie where are the kids are troubled and defiant, only Morgan Freeman isn't there to save them. A "Lean on Me" for an elementary. Kids were playing in the parking lot at recess, bouncing balls off of cars, swearing and running on the roof from the playground duties. I said "That's it. You are NOT going here. No way."

My son (the diplomat), said we should "give it a chance".

I was, at first driving them every morning to the old district, then to the day care with ZeeZee, then to the college, then back to the daycare, back to the old school and back to home. After about a month it really wore me down. They weren't even going to Judo anymore, we just didn't have the time.

After the school change, my son became violent, angry and depressed. His grades took a sharp drop too. He brought home a math paper with a 40% score. That is the lowest he has ever had, always being at the top of the class in Math. I asked him to do the problems again. He fixed every one of them and knew exactly how. But he explained to me that in class, he can't concentrate because all he can think about is how every time the teacher steps out of the room, about 3 0r 4 boys start pushing him around, calling him gay, calling him swear words and throwing things at him. Recess was worse. Fights.

At home I would always ask him what was wrong and if he wanted to be removed from the school but he's a tough kid. It wasn't until one day when he burst that I realized we had to get him out of there. He wasn't talking much and seemed troubled. "Are you okay?" I asked. "No, Mom and I haven't been okay ever since you put me in that new school okay? I'm not okay. "

I took him out and put him on home study. The change was instant. His mood, his studies, the fighting. It improved over night.

Only problem was, I'm still in school, full-time. I get home and I am always so busy. My grades could be better too.

I don't understand prideful people who usually end up hurting themselves and those around them, all for pride's sake. The fear of giving up or giving in is too great. They would rather suffer than be wrong. I would rather swallow my pride. I'm quite good at it actually, a pro.

I care more about them and more about the truth than being right or in control. The fact is, they have another parent who loves them are is able to care for them just as I have alone for the past 7 and a half years. He lives in a small town (better schools), is married (stability) and financially sound (able to give more than I am), besides all that, he is their father. They need him and want him and I want what is best for them!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My Prelude

This is my practice run, my rehearsal, my prelude to a new chapter in my life.

It's a clear day which is ironic considering the messy pace of my thoughts. The windy roads and tall pines are beautiful through the Uintahs. The rounded snow has fallen on the branches like perfect mounds of whipped cream.

The boys are fighting in the back seat and my heart and head are pounding out of sync. Spring Break for them, a sanity break for me. But I'm scared.

In the summer we will do this again, only differece is, they won't be coming back. Why can't we have a peaceful drive before they go?

In the summer, they will punch eachother in the backseat as we drive through the Uintahs again. I will wish that we talked about the trees and how much we love eachother and how our lives will change. I guess we don't always get what we want in life.

Monday, November 30, 2009

SPEDA Single Parent Employment Discrimination Act

Please view and sign the following petition. If you have had enough, as I have in the employment arena as a Single Parent, please show your support and help me advocate for Single Parent rights.
I have put together this petition in hopes of making a change. Every big change in the world had a person with a grandiose,hair-brained idea behind it. As they say, "Well behaved women rarely make history." (or as Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said)

Online petition - Single Parent Employment Discrimination Act SPEDA

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Forgotten Minority

I want you to imagine yourself taking care of three children by yourself for a minute, which usually entails the rare skill of being able to tie a shoe, eat a bagel, hold a baby, type and talk on the phone all at once. You are the sole provider, however right now, times are tough and well? You are not providing very well. The collectors are calling and everyone is tired of Ramen noodles. You thumb through the wanted ads in the classifieds and apply to nearly every job you’re barely eligible for.
While on the phone to set up an interview, you escape into the bedroom and close the door while your two boys punch each other’s lights out and the baby wails and bangs on the door. It’s not that you’re trying to be mean. You feel bad. It’s just that you really don’t want to mess this up and hearing a bunch of screaming and fighting kids in the background might not leave the best impression.
The first interview comes; the boys are off to school and now for the baby, off to the babysitters. She reaches for you and cries. You tell her you’ll be back soon. Your heart is a yo-yo, each step you take the tension becomes stronger until you get to the car, that’s when your proverbial yo-yo (heart) springs out of your chest , rolls up the stairs and into the hands of your baby.
As you pull up to the interview, you of course pull into the only spot available, the one with a big mud pot hole right next to the driver’s side. As you emerge from the vehicle, you try to act casual about the gazelle leap you are just about to attempt over a 3ft. wide mud hole only to miss the clean edge by a good 7 inches. The cuff of your pants and heel are now impressively covered with thick mud. You try to nonchalantly wipe off as much as you can (as if that can be done), and scurry inside the building to make your grand interview entrance. Your phone is buzzing (it’s on vibrate) with frantic texts about a lost bottle and a fever. You know there is nothing you can do about that now and the show must go on (or the bills won’t get paid.)
Once back in the interviewing room, you are so nervous you are sweating; your eyes are darting, and well? You really look like you’re on crack!
“So….” She says nudging her glasses lightly downward, “You do know this shift is from 8-5, is that a problem for you?” (You know in your mind that it is, but you figure you’ll work it out …you HAVE to. You know your children don’t get on the bus till’ 8:20 and get out at 3:25, which means you’ll have to leave before they get on the bus, take the baby to a sitter and then find a sitter to pick them up at 3:25 and then YOU will pick them up at 5:30. Not easy, but what are the alternatives?)
“Oh no, that’ll be fine. No problem”, you say.
“Do you have any children?” (You hate this question…not the kids, just the question.)
With head slightly back, so that you can see her nose hairs and her eyelids almost closed, she asks “How many?”
“I have 3, a 2 year old, a 9 year old and a 12 year old.” (Why did you just volunteer all that? You could’ve just said 3…or..I stopped counting after two?)
“But don’t worry, it’s not a problem. I have sitting arranged. Yep! Everything’s arranged!” (Now you are just nervously blurting things out.)
“Married?”(You idiot, why did you just ask that, don’t you know you’re not supposed to? Of course you do.)
“Um…no.” (You idiot! Why did you just say that! Don’t you know they’ll use that against you? Of course you do.)
“Hmm…” (Here comes the suspicious-sizing you up- investigator look.)
Panicking, you say “Ma’am, one thing I can tell you is that my being a single parent is definitely not an obstacle for me. I am a hard worker and dependable. I have to be, THEY depend on me.” (Oh, great! Now you sound desperate.)
“Well, dear this job is very demanding", she sneers.(It’s a receptionist job for crying out loud. Demanding? Your kids are demanding, this is a damn VACATION.) Here is comes,"Do you think you could handle that while juggling your lifestyle?” (Yes, she just said lifestyle as though it were something you chose, your “style”. You just picked it out of the closet and said “Now THAT’S my style! My LIFESTYLE.” Pfft!)
“Oh sure, I am a multi-tasker 100%!” You say gleefully. (Why are you sucking up to this snotty bitch? Oh yeah…bills.)
“Yes, well there are many applicants. We’ll give you a call.”
Back to the drawing board!
You know, it’s bad enough that we are at a disadvantage for being single mothers, even worse; we get a double whammy of discrimination with the female thing. There is something very strange about the workplace and women; it’s called “Queen Bee Syndrome”. This is real; I swear it on a stack of post it notes.
Queen Bee Syndrome is when a woman wants to be the “Queen Bee” of the workplace and is very competitive with other women and therefore actually discriminates against their own sex in order to keep their competition in check. Some women like being the only woman in the environment and therefore will only hire men, or if they do hire women, it has actually been proven that WOMEN are harder to get promotions and raises out of than MEN!
This is treason.
Who are these women? We are supposed to band together, not make it harder on our sex than it already is. Competitive, Shmetitive. When are we going to let go of the catty, snarky attitudes?
If we don’t, the conditions for our sex will never improve, not with us against each other.
Forward this to your girlfriends and let’s get a chain going. No more female to female discrimination in the workplace! No more single mother discrimination in the workplace!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Single Parent Discrimination

Warning!! This blog may contain several politically incorrect remarks. Please find another blog to read if you consider yourself a politically correct person (the irony is,that I am a Political Science Major.) Nice eh?

I have a few beefs and couple of bones to pick when it comes to the general treatment of Single Parents in this country (and I'm sure abroad.)Are we lesser beings? Ever feel as though you are at the bottom of the Sociotype Totem Pole? And why?? Because we believe the bull that we are fed.

The fact is, we work twice as hard as most families...The DINK's (Double Income No Kids),the Married with Children Types, Religiously Married with Children Types,or those whom are simply too Chic for kids! There are many more Sociotypes of course but these are the ones that really bug me!It's not their lives that I have a problem with. I envy most of them. It's their attitude.

How is it that we receive less respect for doing the job of a village,alone? You would imagine the opposite, but nope. Not gonna happen. Us, single mothers are often times seen as weak and needy and even more,a liability and risky investment. Yep, that's us,as we dustily sit upon the shelf,right next to the clearanced day old bread.

The thing that really chaps my hide is that Single Fathers seem to be treated in the exact opposite fashion. The are praised and admired. (This is all generally speaking of course, I realize the case is different for many.)

Have you ever been to a job interview when they carefully ask with a suspicious eye, "Tell me about yourself..." "What sorts of things do you do for fun...." or maybe they are more forward and just illegally and flat out ask if your married or have children. (It's happened to me several times, probably because they assume that some dumb single mom wouldn't even know that it's illegal or even care?) Of course once you fall into the trap and accidentally mention that you enjoy "Spending time with your Kids" (they notice the absence of the husband part.) Or maybe you just candidly answer the question, and then?....the tone changes. The interest and excitement that was on their face just seconds ago has now been traded in for pity and disappointment.

This, my friends is the Saga of the Single Mother. Who wants to hire woman who essentially has no back up for childcare? Who will inevitably need many sick days for sick children? Back to the 'poor investment' issue. Don't get me wrong though, good employers do exist! (Miss You Vicky and Victor!)

However,I am certain that I was not hired for several jobs that I have been more than qualified for,simply because of my social rank.

And Health Care? Don't even get me started,oh wait! I'm already started...

The discrimination I have seen over the last year and a half for being on Medicaid is unbelievable. My first Oncologist had the attitude that if I were to receive free Health Care, then I should receive the most basic or less than standard care. (The cheapest and least effective of course.)

He would not look me in the eye when we spoke and I felt the presence of death among me. His insensitive approach insinuated that he had already surrendered to the idea that I was not going to make it. Unsurprisingly, after 3 months on the WRONG chemo (the basic stuff), I had almost zero response. The tumors were almost exactly the same size. The words "Ms. Millet, I hate to tell you this,but it appears that you have not responded much to the A/C." The words echoed in my head. What? I AM THE PROBLEM? I didn't RESPOND? Funny how the way something is worded changes everything.I had become best friends with my toilet bowl for 3 months for nothing and in my opinion? All because I was on Medicaid.

I had known of other treatments available but he showed no interest in starting me on them, I had asked for Clinical Trials, but he made excuses. In my eyes? He was murdering me.

I immediately changed Oncologists and to my complete shock, I wasn't spoken to like I had the I.Q. of an Orangutan just because I was on Medicaid. A doctor who actually treated me like a person? I started a new treatment regimen and showed immediate improvement! Are we going to stand for this!? This kind of stuff is going on all over the world and when discrimination goes this far,it could mean a person's life!

If you have never experienced the pain and embarrassment of telling the Cashier at the Grocery Store that "It's an EBT Food Card." (Food Stamps), or if you have never been faced with the Horror of having to tell a Landlord that you are on Section 8 Housing (crossing fingers,toes and eyes just hoping that they will not look down on you and accept you),or if you have never had to encounter the flushed all over,color of of Fire Engine feeling of being told that your WIC check isn't good for THAT kind of Orange Juice or that you tried to cash it on the wrong day and therefore had to put all the groceries are the lucky one!!!!

The brutal truth is that we have a hard time. We try so hard to better our lives for our children and ourselves but attitudes and circumstances can be stifling. I am curently trying to figure out how and where I will receive and pay for,childcare for my 3 children so I can attend College.It's just insane.

And then there are some callous people who dare go beyond just an attitude and would actually tell a Single Mother that she owes society because they are helping her or that she should send back the Christmas presents that the Doctors Office (yes,my Doctor is awesome) bought for her family. It's a good thing that some people care and that there ARE programs out there to help those seriously in need,but it is difficult to say the least at the same time.

You know, on the Housing program now, it is a requirement that you do 8 hours of Community Service a month if you are not working. No problem,it's just that...I don't believe that it prevents abuse.Those with no work ethic will simply claim disability for something as general as Depression, while those WITH a work ethic, struggle to find to find employment but in the mean time, must find a way to pay for day care while completing their community service on top of it.

Just a note (okay,it was more like a novel),to let you know that there is someone out there who cares, someone who has experienced the same things and someone who is FIGHTING for your rights as a Single Parent! That's why I'm going to Law School baby!
To protect those whom have had their basic Civil Rights violated. No more! Enough!

I will have more T-Shirts coming out soon. Let ya know as soon as it happens!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Losers Train

Ever feel like you are perpetually stuck on a ride that you really would like to get off of? I have. Ever get the feeling that your life closely resembles that of a Hamster in a Cage? Me too.
Problem is,sometimes you don't know how to exit.What I am referring to is the 'Losers', you know who I'm talking about. You know the type. Come and go as they please.Can't hold a job. Prefer sleeping their car,or at your pad rather than 'wasting money on rent'? Sound familiar?
Maybe I'm kidding myself and I am the only one stuck in this diabolical amusement park designed specifically for my eternal misery.I highly doubt it though. I have met so many women with the same story.And why do these guys prey on single mothers? Why hurt our children? It is the most selfish,careless,insensitive thing I have ever witnessed.

The thing is,when I meet men that run away from their responsibilities,you know who I really get angry at? The parents. It makes me wonder what went wrong.How was this person not raised with the basic knowledge of respect and responsibility.But I have to admit from my own experiences,I have actually been personally abused by men that have no family history of abandoning their families or abuse.(at least not in their immediate family.)
Then many times,a woman gets the strength to get away,only to fall victim to another user,another loser. Same circumstances,only different scenery. How do we stop this? How can we rally together to save single mothers from this abuse,as extreme as that may sound,I feel it's sadly accurate.
It's a cycle.We,women need to believe in ourselves! Believe that we deserve better for us AND our children! It seems as though sometimes,our self-esteems' suffer so much damage from years of constant deterioration from our significant others that we actually start to believe their garbage,treating us as a landfill for all their emotional trash.
There is some good news.Usually women that get taken for are just kind-hearted and believe that there is good in everyone. The women who are attracted to men like this are attracted to them because they want to help them,because they believe that they can help them change! They fall in life with their potential and not who they are which always turns lethal for the relationship.
So,ladies,I have a new rule (okay,an old principal that I am trying to get back to again.)When meeting someone new,my belief is,that we pick our battles.Naturally,no one is perfect (another cop-out for falling for men like that.),BUT,if there is ANYTHING that you would change about that person,it's a NO!
If you think to your self "Well,when we get together,he will be happier and he is only explosive because of blah..blah..blah.", Or, "I really don't like his drinking,but he says he going to stop." Or, "I think he still has a thing for his ex-wife but once he spends more time with me,he'll forget all about her." Or, "Sometimes he seems to be insensitive to his children and mean to his mother,but he's just frustrated with his job."
Remember, how he treats children,his Mother,and his how he is going to treat you!(even if right now he's "really nice".) And my last dead-giveaway that you are dating a loser is if they say "I'm not like those other guys." From my own experience,they've ended up to be the biggest jerks of all.
Try living on the edge. Next time,you may consider dating outside of your 'comfort zone',outside of your normal attraction.Someone completely opposite. You might give it a chance and find that the right person was always there...just waiting.It may seem foreign or weird at first,but it is just your brain adjusting to the fact that you DESERVE BETTER! (For those of you whom are in a relationship that is so perfect,you actually make others physically ill,this post was obviously not directed at you...any pointers though? =)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"I know what it's like,because my husband is never home"

You know,when others try to compare their lives to yours,it gets a teensy-bit annoying. There is absolutely no comparison on God's Green Earth,for a single mother to a married mother. So,if you are married and reading this? It is offensive to tell another single parent that you understand their strife because your counter-part is gone a lot of the time.
There is money coming in for one, you get to spend holidays together and your child HAS a Daddy!!!(or Mother,in the opposite case) And even though they may not be around much,at least when they are,you are free to go shopping by YOURSELF! (what I wouldn't give...),or maybe he/she is extra cool and helps by making dinner once in a while or giving the baby a bath. Even if he/she doesn't help out much,I'm sure just their presence alone,is comforting to both your children and you! .I was afraid to sleep for years after my divorce,especially when living in some 'not-so-great' neighborhoods at times. Even just having someone to kill an occasional spider for you is nice! ;) (okay...maybe just remove them to the outside for you spider lovers.)

But, you get my point right? I don't mean to rant,but going through Cancer AND keeping this four man ship afloat,is definitely a juggling act to say the least and when I hear remarks like that, I just cringe. This is not my most eloquently written post,as it is more venting than anything,but at least I dropped in to say hello!

P.S. Please send me your stories of 'Being Demeaned as a Single Parent'.(especially mothers). There seems to be a generally very low opinion of many single mothers,while single fathers often remain upon a pedestal and highly revered. It just doesn't seem right to me. We are one person doing the work of a village and I want to let other people know how single mothers are being treated by society as a whole.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rising above "The Ex"

This is a big toughy for most of us, rising above "The Ex", that is. It’s so tempting to remind them of “what went wrong” or “who was to blame”.
The most important thing to remember when communicating with your Ex is, it really doesn’t matter. It’s not relevant(none of it is)and therefore should not ever be discussed. I know what you are thinking, “But they are the ones who bring it up”, “He/She is the one who starts it”, right? As difficult as this may sound, let them! Let them start it, talk about it, put you down,push your buttons ...whatever. The key is biting your tongue and sometimes you have to bite real hard, so hard it hurts. The more you do this, however, the less painful it is. It does get easier and will eventually become second nature. I am not saying I am perfect in this department,far from it.I think we’ve all been guilty of being “egged on”.
Your Ex may not realize it now,that you have risen above him/her, but some day he/she will (don’t expect an admission though.) Most importantly your children will notice. Again they may not right away, and you are probably thinking “With all the games he/she plays, how could my child know?” Well, while the children are small, it’s true,they can become very confused, but as long as you do not waver and do not stoop to the other persons level, it will be okay in the end. Your child will grow up to respect you. They will look back and remember and the picture will become clear. The parent who did the slandering will, in the end, only hurt themselves, so let them dig their own hole. Time has a way of sharpening the image. Best of all? You can feel good about your self...and hold your head up high.

Friday, April 25, 2008

How to Beat the Childcare Blues

Guilt is the number one ingredient when it comes to leaving the care of our children to someone else. So many worries…”What if my baby becomes attached to them?” is a big concern. I have known more than one instance where friendships were actually severed over this.

It is difficult to come home and realize your child doesn’t want to go home with you or says they “love” their babysitter and maybe they even miss them when they are not there. Although it’s a tough pill to swallow, remember it’s better for your children to be somewhere they are they are happy and content...with someone they trust and enjoy!

We already suffer enough and so do they, being away from each other so much, so let them be happy! Better for them to be attached to their childcare provider than afraid of them! Just know that if they “love” their provider, you can sleep well, knowing it is probably a good place for them to be!

When you're home, try not to get caught up in the the downward spiral of beating yourself up about not being there enough.That will only put you in a bad mood when you are home.
If you are single,working mother reading this,I dont even have to know you to hold a tremendous amount of respect for you and so will you child as they grow older. You are doing everything you can to take care of you and your children and that is very noble.
When you are home,try ignoring some of the household chores,(I can assure you, they aren't going anywhere and will still be there waiting for you tomorrow.) and get out of the house! It's okay to have some fun once in a while! (And you don't have to feel guilty about it.) You'll be amazed at how a little 'one-on-one' can stomp out the guilt.
Another cycle is,sometimes,we feel so guilty that we continue to fill up our time with as many tasks as possible believing that it can make us feel better,knowing that we are 'accomplishing' something. But it's a trick...(who knew our sub-conscious could be so cunning.)The method to the madness? The busier we are, the less time we have to think about how guilty we feel. Slowing down when your on overload takes a little practice, but I believe in you! Give it a try...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How I manage to be a Single Parent battling Breast Cancer

Sometimes when I lay down with Azalia(my 1 year old daughter), she likes to lay her head on my chest. And she's not very gentle about's more like someone dropping a 5 lb. weight on me as she plops her little head down. I try to guide her in mid-air occasionally so she doesn't land on my porto cath. (the device on my clavicle used to administer looks like a button under my skin.) She can be pretty rough! As she climbs on me,she pushes all her weight on to my breasts,the left one has two lumps and they are painful if pushed on. I try not to stop her though when she lays down even if it's uncomfortable or I'm not quite sure even...if it's okay? I don't know how much trauma my breast can safely handle.

I look at her though and think to my self "I'm glad you still have your 'pillows'." She should take advantage of them while they are still here. I will be undergoing a radical bilateral mastectomy in September.

I know it's kind of boring sometimes...just the two of us here, bumming around the apartment all day. Whenever I open the front door, her eyes open wide with amazement to idea that "there's an outside world?" I want to go places with her, but I don't you know? I am so tired and the thought alone is draining, yet I am so infected with Cabin Fever, we have got to get out of here!

My two little men, Canyon and Ocean are at their Father's right now. There was really no other way around it. It was the hardest thing I ever did. I have nothing of value in my life,but my children. They are my most precious cargo. It was like taking everything in the world that matters to me and saying "Here you go!" Of course not true...I still have Azalia here and what would I do without her? I have no idea.

I know it's difficult for them, but sometimes I think they are stronger and more mature than I am.They know we are all just "doing what we have to do" right now. They want to come home and sometimes ask when it will be, yet they understand. I am so proud of them. I have always thought myself to be such an inadequate mother and I know I am. But when I look at them I am beside myself. "How did they turn out so good with a Mom like me?" I think. I'm hard on myself, but I think I should be. As a single parent I have to up the anty. What kind of mother would I be if I wasn't hard on myself? There is always room for improvement and right now especially, I just feel that I am failing them. The Cancer is out of my hands,I understand. I wish though, that I had the key to unlock the past and undo whatever caused this. The hardest thing about of all of this isn't what I'm going through (I can get through anything...tough as nails),it's what they are going through. If I find myself falling short when I am healthy, how will I fare for them being ill?

The only comfort I find in it all is knowing that it is only making them stronger and more caring and sensitive to others.And that in the end,it is a "thorn" that they will learn from and hopefully,carry good character from it into their futures.If I can bring 3 more good people into this world then I have accomplished everything! Besides that? Anything else is just a bonus!

Wanna check out my Breast Cancer T-shirt for sale? It's my design....check out my store at

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Trauma of Divorce

Many would not link the word ‘trauma’ with ‘divorce’. However, divorce is extremely traumatizing for all involved. I relate divorce to death. Someone you truly love has now been permanently omitted from your life. Someone that you always expected would be there. I mean, no one gets married with the premeditated idea of getting divorced. People get married because they truly believe they will be with that person ‘till death does them part.’
If you are anything like me, you are more concerned with the PTSD symptoms your children may be experiencing than yourself.
Some symptoms of PTSD are overly-exaggerated fears (screaming if some one steps up from behind, etc.), anxiety, depression, despair, re-occurring anger, self-blame and guilt, compulsive or aggressive behaviors, sleep disorders, concentration difficulty, nightmares, emotional numbing, avoidance of people, places or activities that remind them of the event and a feeling of detachment.
Just reading the symptoms is enough to trigger the disorder, it’s pretty overwhelming, but not hopeless.
The best things you can do to repair or prevent the damage are A. Talk to your child and acknowledge their feelings. B. Let them know you understand and even feel the same way sometimes (if you do.) C. Perhaps, ask them what you can do to help? D. Find someone, a counselor, friend, or family member to talk to, ie., vent. (Hey, or a group like ours!) Validation is a powerful tool. If you validate your child and others validate you, you will be amazed at how much better you feel!

Single Parent Statistics

Our mission is to better the lives of Single Parents and their children through a myriad of resources and a network of helpful friends who can always relate!
Single Parent Family statistics are alarming!
These odds can be beat! Knowing is half the battle, doing is the other half.

· One study, which followed 100 children of divorce through 25 years, found that, while the divorced parents may have felt liberated, many of their children suffered emotionally.

· Although 20% of all dependent children live in lone-parent families, 70% of young offenders identified by Youth Offending Teams come from lone-parent families.

· American studies have shown that boys from one-parent homes were twice as likely as those from two-birth-parent families to be incarcerated by the time they reached their early 30s.

*At age 15, boys from lone-parent households were twice as likely as those from intact two-birthparent households to have taken any drugs (22.4% compared with 10.8%). Girls from lone-parent homes were 25% more likely to have taken drugs by the age of 15 (8.2% compared with 6.5%) and 70% more likely to have taken drugs by age 18 (33.3% compared with 19.6%). After controlling for poverty, teenagers from lone-parent homes were still 50% more likely to take drugs