Funny Observations From My Life As a Single Mom: 12 Times Fashion Failed You

1. Girl, if you are out to brunch and working hard at finding the bottom of the "bottomless mimosas" don't teeter around town in 5 inch platform wedges.  They look cute one drink in, but by the third you're falling flat on your ass on the way to the bathroom.

2. Let's talk about rompers.  First of all, if the romper rides up in the back then let's assume its riding up in the front.  That's not cute, girl. NOT CUTE.  Also, if your ass checks are falling out of said romper you would consider upsizing.  Real Talk: it's complete rare that a real human can pull off this look, so maybe just don't.  OK?

3. I am all for leggings, don't get me wrong.  But, in the unfortunate event that the pattern of a kitten, unicorn, rainbow, or any other majestic being looks like is leaping from your ass (or even worse...vag) just don't wear them in public.  Remember that the internet it a cruel place and you don't want to end up next weeks most popular meme.  

4. If high-wasted jeans are making you look like you have a mile-long-flat-ass and a "front-butt", please consider that some trends are for 17-year-olds with a lightening fast metabolism...and thats not you.  

5. If you are wearing leggings and I can see your maxi-pad outline you may need to find a longer shirt. (You have no idea how common this is...for reals.) 

6. If your bra makes you look like you have four boobs or one big mono-boob you may want to rethink the size of said over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.  

7. Fellas can have a fashion fail, too.  If your shirt reads as a dick/fart joke, you've failed BIG time.  

8. If you wanna smoke weed, thats cool.  If I see you at the school function wearing your pot leaf necklace circa 1994 you're gonna retire that shit ASAP.  

9. Over the age of 14 ironic t-shirts are no longer cute or ironic.  

10. Crocs are not shoes for every occasion.  If you think they are you need a smack in the face with one.  

11.  When heading to the beach or the pool, please remember that the rules of swimwear are not just a loose interpretation.  Seriously, some of y'all need to get a grip on that shit. I'm not your doctor or your partner so I don't need to see that much of you in public. 

12. If you aren't sure about whether or not you are a walking fashion fail just go to places like WalMart or Disney and look around.  If your outfit looks like most of their outfits, you fail.  If not, you should be all good.  (We all know WalMart and Disney are the two places fashion goes to die, just admit it.) 

 

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: 20 Times You Became Brutally Aware That Some Self-Care is Needed ASAP!

1. When you realize that if you ever decided to go for a jog (stop laughing, it may happen) that your leg hairs may cause a friction fire.  

2. When you realize that your last actual pedicure was when that "Jenny From The Block" song was popular AF. 

3. When you realize that your last bath was a 15 minute soak to remove the filth of the day and that you used bubble gum bubble bath and had to try not to accidentally goose yourself with a naked Barbie. 

4. When you realize that the last time you went to Yoga you were A. flexible and B. didn't pee a little bit when you attempt Dolphin Pose. 

5. When you realize you've had a gummy bear stuck in your messy bun (BTW, Mom's invented this look with NO credit from Pinterest.) 

6. When you realize your eyebrows are either reminiscent of tow caterpillars mating on your face or you've just gone full Whoopie Goldberg and just don't care to draw them bitches on anymore.  Either way...it's just bad news.  

7. When you realize that your daily meditation is "Please don't punch that bitch who cut me off in the pick-line..." 

8. When you realize Pinterest is your only real mental break in the day...but it's 3AM and you're still pinning projects you'll never do.  

9. When you realize your wardrobe went from "Hey, look at me. I'm the hot party girl." to "Hey, Please ignore me and if you do speak to me don't expect me to be happy about it."

10. When you realize the last date you went on was with yourself and even you disappointed you on the date.  

11. When you realize you once had some bras what made you say "Oh damn, I feel sexy" and now all of your bras just make you say "Please just don't let a tit fall out when I bend over to pick up the groceries." 

12. When you realize that you're well past the point of no return...leggings are just now the only "pants" you own.  

13. When you realize you've been driving around ALONE and singing the Moana soundtrack as loud as you possibly can.  Remember when you had good taste in music? Nope, not any more.  

14.  When you realize that the days of lingerie, thongs, and sexy thigh highs have been replaced by big, beige, control-top type situations that cover you from Boob to Kankle. 

15. When you realize that your last girls night out ended in an epic conversation with your Uber driver about that time your kids had explosive diarrhea.  

16. When you realize the last time you had a good cry was at the end of the movie Coco.

17. When you realize you the last meal you made just for yourself was a bowl of cereal and a vodka tonic.  

18. When you realize the last book you read was What to Expect When You're Expecting...and it was a book of LIES, so now you have trust issues.   

19. When you realize the last time you saw a therapist was on the show Intervention. 

20. When you realize the last selfish thing that you've done is get a Pap-Smear. 

 

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: Spooky and All Together Ooky...A Halloween Edition

1. Halloween has become about discussing Halloween and everything Halloween related all day everyday for 3 months, only to have your kid see an early Christmas display at Target and now he gives ZERO F*&%s about any of your costume or decorating efforts.  

2. Who else thinks that Halloween should only be celebrated on the weekends? This mid-week BS is the stuff of parenting nightmares.  

3. If you want any kind of adult "school-classroom-appropriate" costume you should break out the old sewing machine and throw something together on your own...unless you think "sexy corn" or "sexy shoehorn" or "sexy random kitchen utensil" is welcome at the preschool Fall Festival, because that's all that is for sale at the Halloween stores.  

4. Speaking of Halloween stores, we took my soon-to-be-five-year-old son to one to pick out a costume.  He freaked out, had a mini-panic attack, and wouldn't let go of his Dad.  We literally bought the first two decent costumes we saw and had to book it out of there before we did any kind of major psychological damage.  (I need to stop watching Mindhunter on Netflix...) 

5. We happen to live in the Sunshine State, so trick or treating or anything fall related is more about managing an overheating kiddo, my boob sweat and making sure everyone is chafe-free and doesn't end up with heat rashes and dehydration.  

6. We have 5 costumes because he will either make a last minute final decision or just throw together some homage to Cybil and be 5 personalities at once, which sounds more fun than the typical Ghost or Paw Patrol character to me.  

7. Halloween candy...every mom's winter-weight nightmare.  I say give it to Dad.  I hear 'Dad-bod" is actually a "thing" now.  

8. Pumpkin flavored everything is gross.  Fact.  Stop it.  

9. Question: How the F am I supposed to get my kid to school after a solid 24 hours of him operating on adrenaline, sugar, and the sheer willpower to keep up with the bigger kids on the trick or treating route? I feel like he will be going to school with a Halloween Hangover...and we know how awesome those can be if you've ever tried to go to work the day after drinking way too much dressed as "sexy corn."  

10.  The most annoying thing about Halloween? Trying to figure out if I need to dress and act a little LESS like Morticia Addams for this one day a year.  

11. Candy corn is made of what, exactly?

12. How many kids will be dressed as a Poop Emoji and do we find this cute or just weird? I mean...the kid decided to dress as feces.  

13. You know what's really fun? Cleaning up the gelatinous remains of what once resembled a carved pumpkin.  Ew.  

14. I lost count on how many times I've threatened to "cancel Halloween" due to bad behavior.  

15. How to traumatize a person with anxiety: dress your child in a costume that blends with all the other kids costume, let him lose on the streets, around strangers and with plastic weapons...and do all of this in the dark.  

16. Is it me or is there always at least one asshole kid in the group? 

17. Is it me or is there always one drunk AF parent in the group? 

18. You can always tell the houses that ate all of the "good candy" by the look of guilt on their faces and the hurried manner in which they threw in some loose Certs and cough drop into your kid's bucket. 

19. The trick or treat route is only as long as the length of time it takes the lead parent empty their giant Yeti cup of adult beverage.  

20. Is Tired AF a costume? 'Cause I got that look on lock. 

Truth Bomb: Why Our Modern Framily Goes to Pride

Recently our family participated in our fourth annual Orlando Come Out With Pride parade and celebration.  Our entire family, including my almost-five-year-old son.  To us, this is an exciting and much anticipated family event that we look forward to every year.  We wear rainbows, and catch beads, and give hugs and blow kisses to all of the beautiful people walking in the parade and chant "LOVE IS LOVE" at the top of our lungs for hours on end.  It's fantastic. In past years my son was definitely more interested in playing in the grassy lawn with the other little kids, but this year he was engaged, asking a lot of questions, dancing, finding shoulders to sit on, giving high fives to Drag Queens and waving a rainbow flag up and down the streets with a smile and light in his eyes.  It's that light that inspires me to write this for you. 

Children have an innate sense of happiness and love.  So it is our choice to show him that ALL types of love and those expressions of love are natural and normal.  We want the kind of child who isn't afraid to be a caring person with compassion who can act on his feelings.  Whoever he becomes is totally fine with us.  We cannot dictate the person our son will grow up to be in this world, but we can offer him unconditional love and support. We can dictate the environment he grows up in and show him love through actions and not just words. That is who we have chosen to be as parents.  We do have lengthy discussions about whatever questions he has.  This year he asked his father why everyone was smiling and so happy and his father explained that they were all very joyful about celebrating LOVE.  Our boy immediately said with, "I LOVE this!" You could visibly see how excited he was to share in that feeling of joy.  It is in those moments that we, as his parents, brush our shoulders off a bit and high five one another, because thats a sign we are doing something right.  Parenting win! 

We don't look at it as "exposing" him to anything.  I don't find that complimentary at all. In fact, this is an insult beyond measure. To imply that we "expose" makes it sounds as if we are putting him into danger, or forcing him to be around something negative.  We simply choose to let our son be part of our lives.  We introduce him to our friends and colleagues who are positive influences in our own lives.  We try to make new friends all the time, and in turn give him a wide social network of people.  The expression "it takes a village" is very true.  I want my son be given the opportunity to know many different kinds of people and for him to make connections to those people based on how he feels.  I want to raise a son who is around strong men with character and manners, social conscious, ethics, and honor.  I want my son to see strong women who have drive and passion, who are to be seen as equal to him and to be respected.  I want my son to use the language of love and not to play into the social "norms" and callous disregard for others. This isn't who we want our children to be.  We want them to hold on to their natural sense of warmth toward people.  

I also want my son to see that families come in all forms.  I want him to be proud of his family, albeit not the "norm" of the "typical" family we are a strong unit and parent him with the same morals and ethics as any other...just from two households.  He had the opportunity at Pride to see families of all kinds and to support families of all kinds. He loves to play with all of the kids that show up and trust me, Orlando Pride is all about kids and families.  Every year we see the same kiddos and B loves making new friends, he talks to grown ups and just like any other little boy if hand him a flag and he will wave that thing with all of his might. We are fortunate enough to have some very cool hosts every year that really enjoy seeing our son's presence at Pride.  Just like we ask that acceptance from our community, we return that encouragement and support. 

Pride to us is about so much more than rainbows and glitter and parades.  Its about having the opportunity to allow our son to be a citizen of the world that he, and his generation of children, will mold and shape and change and better through their own life experiences and the compassion that they have cultivated by learning inclusivity and appreciation for all types of people.  We need that more than ever these days.  

One Love.  

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: The 'What Ever Happened To...' Edition

 

1. What ever happened to children's birthday parties that weren't out of control? Remember birthday parties as a kid? They consisted of 6 or 7 of your best buddies, maybe a cousin or two, a cake, some paper hats.  Well, not anymore. Now we have elaborate soirees where we invite 40 kids AND THEIR PARENTS (because no one just drops their kid off anymore, like our parents did) cupcake towers that would put your wedding cakes to shame, and truckloads of gifts that we know our kids don't need (or deserve, because...when is that last time they picked up their own room?)  

2. What ever happened to "be home when the street lights come on" parenting? We don't live in that type of world anymore. Kids used to be able to get together with friends and explore the world around them. Remember The Goonies or Stand By Me? Yeah, no.  That shit would never happen nowadays. Instead, we have to helicopter parent and monitor every moment because the streets are filled with crazies making even the best of neighborhoods feel unsafe and thereby creating a culture of over stressed parents and overly uptight kids. 

3. Whatever happened to quality toys? Every toy I buy is a piece of crap.  It falls apart or is flimsily made and sometimes barely even makes it home before its broken, creating meltdown after meltdown.  Dear toy makers, you suck. 

4. What ever happened to kids having the time to play after school? I've heard horror stories from countless parents about hours of homework...starting in kindergarten.  Not gonna lie, this freaks me out.  I'm terrified of having to confine my child to the house for additional school work instead of letting him run around the backyard getting exercise and releasing the pent up energy he already has before eating a good dinner and going to bed at a decent hour.  How are you parents surviving this?? 

5. What ever happened to just packing a school lunch? We all know how difficult the rules have become.  (No, I am not saying that I don't respect the fact that allergies are real and dangerous.) But damn, packing lunch sucks now.  Old school parents just threw in some bologna sandwiches, Cheetos, and some Snapple. 

6. What ever happened to parenting while quietly judging everyone else, instead of putting it all over the internet? Remember the days of your parents and your friend's parents sitting around (possibly while smoking and drinking cocktails at 4:30pm) and talking shit about other parents? That stayed in the inner circle.  It was never splashed all over Facebook or brought to everyones attention in a group text.  

7. What ever happened to customer service? Remember when you could give a person money in return for goods or services and DIDN'T have to go through an automated phone service or were required to go online? Gone are the days of just buying some shit...now we have to deal with the website first.  I don't get it.  

8. Whatever happened to making friends? Now we just friend request each other or follow each other instead of actually hanging out and doing stuff.  

9. What ever happened to babysitters who were the teenage daughter of a family friend or a college girl that lived down the street? They were the coolest, got paid twenty bucks for the whole night and barely supervised anything because they were on the phone the whole time talking to friends.  I learned SO much from my babysitters.  How to get my bangs to stay up like a huge wave coming off my forehead, who the Thompson Twins were, how to call a boy...the important stuff.  I'm pretty sure my babysitters had no real child care experience, no CPR certification, no background checks and absolutely no ability to make sound decisions on nutrition. 

10. Whatever happened to walking? It was never a big deal to walk to the store, or walk around the mall or walk all over the Disney World when I was little.  Now, kids avoid this walking thing like the plague.  I've seen kids in strollers that look like they're graduating from high school any moment now. 

Truth Bomb: How I Sometimes Suck At Life, And I'm Learning to Be OK with It

I am going to just go ahead and say it...  I suck at life sometimes. Of course I could list the personal failures in my life, such as: a tanked marriage, train wreck relationships, career goals taken a backseat to being a mother, collapsed fitness goals... I have failed at it all and yet, here I am, still standing, still trying and still handling it all day by day. 

Being a parent means failing at something daily.  We don't like to admit it, but I am just putting it all out there.  I fail at parenting ALL THE TIME.  Burned the cookies, washed a red sock with the white laundry, packed the wrong stuff in the school bag, missed the bus...any of that sound familiar? Some days are better than others and some days are epic failures that take it all to another level.  I have tried so hard for years to look and act like I have it all together. Most of my friends would look at me and say I can handle anything, but I can't.  I mess up all the time.  It isn't because I don't try. I do. I try really hard to have it all organized...except when I don't have it all organized and it all falls to shit.  Being a single parent and having my son go between two houses means trying to balance it all and make it look easy.  It's not.  Most of the time I feel like one of those circus acts that spins those plates on the sticks and makes them all balance in the air...and then they fall and crash to the floor, breaking into a million pieces.  I have the calendar, group texts, e-mails, newsletters, note from the teachers, Daddy's schedule, Step Mom's schedule, Grandma's schedule, a house to keep organized, a business and dreams I attempt to keep going, a dog to keep from neglecting and some fish that I'm surprised haven't ended up in a toilet funeral, making sure kiddos things gets from one house to the other and making sure that everyone is some version of happy all the time.  

Are we over scheduled? NO! We don't do after school activities or extracurriculars.  If we did I think I would feel like he wasn't getting enough family time between the two houses.  So, there's fail number one.  He isn't playing sports or going to piano lessons or learning Mandarin any time soon.  Another fail? We barely ever make it to birthdays or playdates.  All these parties are on the weekends.  The weekends are difficult. I don't think people really understand that on the weekends we are doing our best to get time with the kiddo that is solely ours and uninterrupted.   Is it selfish that we don't go to every single birthday party we are invited to? Yes. I want my time with him and I want his Dad to have time with him to be able to do the things we enjoy. Is it a complete fail on my part to make more time to do the parties and the playdate stuff? Yes.  I am probably depriving him of having a full and active social life, but he's 4 and he has his whole life for that.  These are the fails that we have chosen and as a family decided to NOT prescribe to the idea that we have to do everything that everyone else's family does all the time.  Some fails are completely accidental and inevitable given the nature of our two-household-parenitng lifestyle. I have read an e-mail wrong, or missed a room meeting, or find an invitation lost in the SPAM folder or stuck to the back of a school project I have discarded into the pile of random drawing and workbook pages. No big deal, right? NO!! When this type of fail happens, the involuntary screw up, it devastates me.  I don't know why.  It's not like I missed anything so important in his life that he would be changed forever.  It's the little things.  But the little things are what kills me the most.  It's those times when I just pull over into the parking lot and cry into my hands and think, "How am I supposed to do this for the rest of my life? I am awful at this.  Why can't I just get it together?!" It's in those moments when I feel alone and overwhelmed and incompetent.  Let me just say this:  I am not alone.  I have help.  I am competent. That being said, the loneliness and inadequate feelings still linger there in my head and in my heart.  It's just a fact.  The reality of trying to keep it together for everyone all the time is that when I screw up, I feel it to my core. It's like a punch to the gut or a swift kick to the crotch.  

Most of the time the guilt of failure is not because I am disappointed in myself, but in the fact that I don't want to let down everyone else who is counting on me. I am supposed to be the one who leads this family. I am supposed to be the one to be the HBIC, the captain, the ringleader and the lady boss.  When it all goes wrong, I blame myself.  It can be a very difficult place to dig myself out of sometimes, but it's reality.  Confession: A lot of us are just deceiving the world when we put out this filtered, picture perfect image, when we know it's very rarely ever picture perfect. The difference is that I am learning to be OK with being the hot mess express sometimes.   

I'm learning to be OK with sucking at life sometimes.  I'm honest about it.  I tell the people around me when I am feeling like a complete screw up.  I am not the only mother on the planet that feels like a dipshit sometimes. I don't have to be perfect.  I don't need to have it all together, or to even pretend like I know what it looks like to have it all together. I am learning that the mistakes that I make and being fallible is lesson I want my son to learn. Perfection is not real.  I want him to be honest and be accepting of his greatness, as well as his faults. I know, I know...Its a process. We don't all just wakeup one day and say "F#%$ it! This is me, world!"

Real talk: I struggle with accepting myself everyday, but I have also learned to forgive myself.  Without that forgiveness the weight of trying to be everything to everyone all the time would swallow me whole.  Embracing who we are as complex people with likes and dislikes, skills and deficiencies, moments of superhero-like grandeur and times of absolutely soul-crushing embarrassment makes life a lot more interesting than the faux filtered Instagram worthy ideal of perfect we set ourselves up to believe in.  

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: Verbal Blunders Vol. 1

1. While diligently working on a project for Parent Night at school, teacher asked my son "What is your favorite food?"  Kid's response, "a Crappy Meal...That's what my parents call McDonald's." Needless to say the teacher had a great time telling us this story during Parent Night.  Disclaimer: don't get your underpants in a bind... we use fast food as a treat on very rare occasions and it isn't part of his regular diet, but what kid doesn't love a shitty little toy in that goofy ass box? 

2. When we go over train tracks or a big bump in the road my son will often yell out "That scares my penis!"  I literally have no clue what this means, as I do not have a penis, but I imagine said body part being 'scared' is a not good thing...Amiright?

3. As I was standing in the shower the other day trying to get my head together and my son came in and said "nice perky boobies, Mom"... WTF? Note to self: shower at midnight when he's asleep...

4. Me: Come eat your dinner!  Son: I hope it doesn't taste like poop again. Me: (dead silence and face on floor)

5. I overheard my son tell Darth Vader "not to be a dick" one time and it took everything I had to keep it together.  I laughed so hard that tears soaked my face.  

6. This also reminds me of the Thanksgiving when my son called Donald Trump a "Dick" to my very ultra conservative family member and all I could do is shrug and say "he's not wrong." Needless to say, it made for great holiday awkwardness.

7. I asked my son to please not touch the toilet seat when in a public bathroom and he exclaimed, "Are girls THAT DIRTY when they pee?!" Roars of laughter are heard from the surrounding stalls...

8. Son: Did you get me a surprise for being so good? Me: No, but you should be proud of yourself. Son: I'd rather be proud of you for buying me a new Pokemon.  Me: (smacks forehead)

9. While getting my sons bathtub ready and he walks in and says, "I'm gonna need a bath bomb in there, it's been a long day..." I feel ya, bro.  

10. So, I finally go the first call from the principal.  Apparently a teacher asked the kids, "What is an F word?" (The letter of the week is Letter F)  My son retorts with "FUCK, but my Mom says I shouldn't say it. It's a grown up word." Technically he was correct and therefor, couldn't be punished.  Honestly, I was pretty proud.

 

 

 

Truth Bomb: Modern Framily and How we Make It Work

"You all get along?" -Everyone all the time

"You go on vacations together? And how does that work?"- Everyone on social media

Trust me when I tell you that I have heard my fair share of comments and seen plenty of awkward facial expressions when I describe the close relationship I have with my son's father and step-mom.  Let me just preface this all by saying, we get it.  It's weird.  Most relationships that end don't end well.  If you have a child together that just adds some fuel to the fire.  Here's a fun little twist...lets add another adult into the mix.  It's only natural to be a bit put off by all of the gross niceness that my family displays, but honestly its other people's preconceived notations that make it weird.  We live in a society where we just expect one another to be assholes and bicker and fight to the tenth degree over every little thing. We satirize it, we make movies and sitcoms about it, but that isn't REALITY.  

As a child of divorce, I can honestly tell you that it takes a lot of calculated choices to raise kids in a co-parenting situation. My parents fought over everything.  Money, birthdays, holidays, weekends, relationships....EVERYTHING. Every momentous moment in my life held tremendous amount of anxiety and stress for me because I was afraid of how my parents would react to being in the same room with one another.  Hollywood movie magic makes that shit look funny, but when you're 11 and your parents get into a screaming argument at camp in front of everyone it can make you seriously question any and all parties sanity. It also makes you question whether or not actually HAVING moments in life where family would come together is worth it.  I think it led me to be the kind of person that never really wanted to be in the spotlight and never have attention drawn to me. Inevitably they would all the in the same room to see me and it would end in some sort of verbal altercation of epic proportions.  

In our framily, we have chosen the path less followed.  It doesn't come easy.  We ARE exes for a reason, people!  Duh.  BUT, we also have a lot invested in each other's happiness, health and wellbeing...OUR child.  Oh, yeah.  That's right.  Theres a kid involved. I think sometimes adults fail to remember that it isn't about US its about the CHILDREN.  Sometimes when I try to communicate with people about raising my son in a blended family they can't seem to realize that the end goal is to raise a well-adjusted person who feels a close connection with all of the people who love him in this world.  As his mother, I would like to provide him with the best opportunity to be a good, kind and decent MAN.  That is why he has a close bond with his father.  That is why I have embraced his step-mother as another advocate and confidant that provide a shoulder to cry on and a perspective in life to learn from.  I mean, how many times have you sat around and thought..."gee, too many people love me." NEVER.  So why wouldn't I want my son to feel endless and boundless joy and love from people who actually care how he functions in the world?  Seems like a simple answer to me, we all want our children to feel loved.  

Beyond all of the obvious, there's another component to this whole situation that I feel like people have a hard time seeing.  We call ourselves the Modern FRAMILY.  That's to say that we are not only family but we are also FRIENDS.  We genuinely care for, respect and LIKE one another.  Has this always been the case? Sometimes, yes.  Sometimes, no.  We have been through it.  My son's father and I have been to the darkest of places and back together. To be honest, there has been pain and resentment.  There has been anger and frustration, fear and fury.  It took a lot of time and communication and CHANGE to get back into the light.  We both had to make CHOICES to change and we both had to resolve to put the past where it belongs and move forward for our child.  I am not saying it's easy.  I am not saying it's possible for everyone to accomplish even a tenth of the progress we have made.  I'm not saying that how we function as a family works for everyone, in every situation, but it can be a goal.  Often I catch myself imagining what it would be like to live in all of that drama, chaos and bitterness that my parents lived in and I think about how awful that would be.  Granted, their situation was different than ours.  Every story has two sides and the truth, after all.  Doesn't mean I want to repeat that life for myself or my son.  It means I learn from what the past presented me and grow forward.  We all need to play the hand of cards we are dealt.  Even if you're holding a shitty hand, put your game face on and just think about the moves you need to make to allow your child to come out ahead.  If you're willing to double down on happiness than my suggestion is to find a way to make the relationships in your life work.   

Real talk: As single parents, both us feel pretty good about the amount of free time we get, or our abilities to live balanced lives without complete burnout.  We get nights to go out, time to go to concerts, time to pursue goals and dream and careers and all without feeling alone.  We support each other and in that support, foster an environment where we can all spend time together and TRULY enjoy it.  Fun Fact: My son's Step-Mom and I often make time to go to dinner with my son or have a girls night out just the two of us. Theres a few reasons we make the choice to do this: One, we actually like each other, so thats cool.  It's nice to feel like we have our own friendship and connection outside of my ex. Two, it allows for my son to see a united front between all of us and shows him that I trust her, and therefore, so should he.  That's important because I want him to feel like she is there to disclose his emotions so that she, too, can be there to work through the hard times and the happy times when his Dad and I can't physically be there.  Like I said, you can't have too much love.  And three, my life is a lot easier knowing that I have someone to advocate to my ex for ME sometimes too.  Although we are very close, he is also him and I am also me.  She knows us both and knows how to talk to her partner in ways I just don't or can't  or sometime just won't, because we aren't a sitcom or a movie...we are real people with real emotions and real reactions to life sometimes and we all have our supreme dickhead moments...even me (or should I say, especially me? I don't know...don't answer that one.) 

I only have a few tips on how we made it happen and maybe they can help you, too:

1. Get over yourself.  YOUR issues are yours. You have to work those out.  Go to therapy  Talk it out. Find the root causes of your struggles and make the CHOICE to make your life better.  It frees up your heart to be more open to a fuller family dynamic.  

2. Talk to each other.  Don't text.  Sit down and talk to the co-parent and step parent.  Set boundaries.  Set expectations.  Allow them to express their anxieties.  Actually HEAR them and allow them to HEAR you.  Words are important but so is actually seeing someones facial expressions and body language.  You can often pick up more than you realize.  We do a monthly "parents only dinner." A lot gets discussed.  A lot of plans get formulated and a lot of resolutions are made during these dinners. We also laugh a lot and trade ridiculous stories of parenting, so that's a bonus.  

3. Make this core group of you and your child or children the top priority.  These are your people.  Holidays, birthdays, special occasions...these are the people that will be there with you and these are the people you should make the sole focus of these moments.  If you guys are cool, everyone else will follow suit.  

Yes, we do school events together.  Yes, we take the time to go to dinner alone and just as parents to catch up on what is going on with our son.  Yes, we try to go on little vacations and outings together.  Yes, sometimes it's just me and the step-momma. And YES, we all get along.  No, we aren't weird.  No, we aren't perfect.  Its hard work to parent.  It's hard work to co-parent.  But it's an easy decision to choose to create a family (or FRAMILY) for the betterment of our child. 

This Single Mom's Bucket List

1. Let's just get the sleep portion of this bucket list out of the way: I would kill for a 48 hour opportunity to soak up uninterrupted REM cycles, preferably in a hotel where I can order room service, wear a fluffy robe and make a mess that I don't have to clean up. 

2. Go on a date and NOT have to wear Spanx.  Seriously, it's just impossible to actively listen to anyone speak when you're realizing your control top panties are slowly rolling down, creating a that-much-more unflattering silhouette and also trying to find the most opportune time to yank those suckers back up to where they belong without looking like a completely unladylike slob of a human being.  

3. Show up at a school event and NOT feel like the black sheep. 

4. Go on a vacation without my son and NOT feel guilty about it.  

5. Create a massively successful business that allows me to spend the majority of my time working braless/pantless.  We are all more productive when we don't have to worry about those formalities, right? 

6. Hit the gym more often and with less insecurities.  I see these people in the gym looking all carefree and unencumbered by years of "fat kid" trauma.  When I go to the gym I am constantly aware of how red my face is, how jiggly some of my parts are and how I'm constantly trying not to cuss like a sailor.  I'd like to just go in there and go full-beast mode and give zero fucks.  

7. Trust more freely and with ease.  This is a big one, and maybe it's an unattainable goal, but I would love to be able to just be the kind of person who makes friends or meets people and isn't constantly questioning motive.  Thanks, anxiety. 

8. Find the perfect haircut.  I know, I know...It's a lifelong journey for some of us.  

9. Roll around in a clean car for more than 3 hours.

10. Have a professional organize my house...and maintain said organization.  I feel like sometimes we live in the center of a tornado made up of toys, laundry and never-ending "to-do" lists.  

11. Meet a man who appreciates the fact that I may not have a perfect body or look flawless 24/7 but I can hold a conversation about world issues, literature, art, music and design...and those characteristics make me sexy AF.  

12. Take a ride out to the beach on the back of a motorcycle or in a convertible just to feel the wind in my hair and feel free for a small amount of time before I get back to worrying about school projects, taking out the trash or hustling to write this blog while balancing my life.  

13. Have someone send me flowers just because they know it would make me smile.  

14. Have a spa day where I am pampered from head to toe.  This is different from when you get enough time to shave both legs past the knees, or commit to blowdrying your hair.  This is the full deal where every part of your body is luxuriated upon, while someone brings you cucumber water and you walk away feeling like you did before you procreated.  

15.  Do all of the laundry without having to run the dryer twice because those clothes have been in there for 2 days.  

16. Leave the house for a night out with matching and even eyeliner for once. (You gals know what I'm saying.) 

17. Eat dinner at a grown up restaurant past 6:00 pm. Preferably someplace that has a longer cocktail menu than a kids menu.  

18. Walk through my house and NOT step over legos, action figures or random articles of clothing. 

19. Convince my child that he does not have to crawl into bed with me at 2 am and proceed to kick, slap or punch me in his sleep.  

20. Meet a partner who can accept and/or relate to the list above.  

 

Truth Bomb: It's Not You, It's Me...and I'm OK With That

There comes a point in your life when you have to stand up and take ownership of your baggage. So I will do that right here, today, for all of you.  I am not perfect.  I make mistakes.  I hurt people with my words and actions.  I don't handle every situation as diplomatically as I should.  And, here's the big one... I'm pretty fucked up.  It's not you, it's ME.  It's how I have survived the hurt, the betrayal, the pain that others before you have inflicted, the fact that many of my issues are that of my own bad decision making and all of these things are now just part of who I am, deep in my core.  I've tried to unpack the baggage, to put it away.  I've tried to sort the issues and burn the subscriptions to the crazy.  I've desperately tried (and failed) to run from if all and start over, but in the end they always find their way back to me.  But here's the other thing about all of this...I am tired of apologizing for it.  Does anyone really want to be unhappy, or lonely, or burdened like this? NO! At least I have the balls to own it all and wear it on my sleeve. 

Walls aren't built overnight, or haphazardly.  They are built over time and with deliberate care.  Each painful issue balanced ever so delicately upon the next and with careful consideration as to where they're placed.  Fitting together like a puzzle to create a barrier to the softest and most vulnerable parts of who I am and what is available to you.  When a part of that wall is prudently removed to let someone in or to open up to an experience it is done so with fear and anxiety.  It does happen.  It happens more often than it probably should, too.  Those are the moments in life when we learn the most about who we are and what we can handle.  If I am met with disappointment and conflict it's a given that the wall goes back up, but not without first knowing that I was better off having been assailable, ultimately hurt and having survived to be that much more aware of my faults. I can't stop living or loving or being a human being.  

I have never claimed to be perfect.  In fact, if you have met me or read this blog it's fair to say that I come off as self-deprecating, less than confident and awkward as hell. I don't always say the right things, and sometimes that's conceived as hurtful or mean.  It's not my intention, but I also don't exactly know how to convey the feelings I have inside of me.  I've never been great at that.  My older sibling was always the one with the moxie to say exactly what was on his mind. My own mother is outspoken and strong-willed and a no-nonsense type of person.  Not me.  I just shut my mouth and took what was coming at me.  In my thirty-something years I have learned to swallow A LOT OF BULLSHIT.  I have always had a tendency to let people walk all over me, to laugh off things that they say that actually hurt me. I've become a master at hiding the overly sensitive and detrimentally empathetic part of myself that feels every feeling with the intensity of a thousand suns, only to come across as hard and cold and cynical.  I did that to myself.  Its no one else's fault.  I created that coping mechanism, and I have never said it's the healthiest thing to do, nor has it always worked.  Some see right through the facade, to the person that I really am.  Some don't bother to look at all and move on.  Some are so used to it that they accept it, and me, and love me anyways.  It's the latter that literally gets me through most of my days.  For those people I am loyal, fiercely protective, love with every fiber of my being, and appreciate more than words could ever really describe, and even with all of that...sometimes I'm still an asshole.  

So there you have it.  I confess.  I'm not perfect, but I am trying to be better, do better and to get rid some of these heavy rocks in my pockets so the I can learn to float and feel free.  I won't accept "this is the best I can do" from myself.  I know that I can do better. But I am not here to offer an apology for who I am or what I have been through. This is not an admission of self loathing, in fact, it's the opposite.  This is an acknowledgment of things that I do or have done that I want to change and that have made great efforts to see beyond and try to move forward with patience and self-love..  I am not a bad person, I am a NORMAL person.  I am not a package that is damaged beyond repair, but one that is constantly trying to evolve and grow.  I am a flawed woman with kindness and caring to share.  There are a lot of things about me that I have learned to embrace and you should too: I'm a bad dancer, I only wear black, I barely ever brush my hair, I cry at animal videos on Facebook, I drive like an old woman, I am terrible at math and I overcook the rice eight times out of ten...I AM NOT PERFECT NOR DO I ASPIRE TO BE SOME VERSION OF THAT. I am who I am and I am worthy of love, acceptance, understanding and value. So, now that I have said all of this I can feel confident in moving forward...  Cue MJ's Man In The Mirror.  

 

 

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: The Beauty Edition

  1. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder..." but that doesn't mean I still don't get a little startled when I catch a glimpse of myself in the rear review mirror on the way to drop off... Seriously, who is that woman looking back at me? 
  2. Remember when you woke up and "got ready" for the day by doing your hair and putting on makeup and an outfit that you planned right down to the perfect accessories? Remember when you spent hours doing beauty treatments and facials and mani/pedis and even cared about waxing? Remember when you got your hair done more than biannually?
  3. I will admit this to all of you right now...I GET BOTOX! Trust me, you don't want to see my real facial expressions anyways.  
  4. When it takes more time to apply wrinkle creams and anti-aging treatments at night than it does to put your kid to sleep, you know you're in trouble...
  5. I don't think doing things to make yourself feel good about how you look, or what your hair looks like, looking younger and fresher, and feel more confident is being a "bad mom", and when people imply that to me they usually look like hot trash too, so I take what they say with a grain of salt.  
  6. I appreciate that fact that the "messy bun" is in style but there's a difference between what Pinterest is talking about and my messy mom hair that hasn't been washed in a week and at one point housed a gummy bear for a whole day without my knowledge.  
  7. I call it multi-tasking when I put on a seaweed mask or clay mask and scare the shit out of my son with my "monster makeup"...
  8. Back in the day I used to oil up and lounge by the pool until I reached the perfect shade of tan.  Now I look like a bee keeper out there, completely covered up and slathered in SPF 3 million...except on the tops of my feet...I always forget those. 
  9. I think a lot of Moms judge each other way too much on this subject.  Either we are too put together to be "super mom" or we look like a pile of shit and are told we "aren't taking care of ourselves properly to be a good mom." F THAT! Do what makes you feel good! Lasers, peels, injections, make-up, weekly blowouts...or nothing at all.  It's up to you and no Mom at the playground should make your vanity or lack-there-of a weapon against you.  (Plus you know that bitch dyes her hair too... Girl, Bye.) 
  10. Summertime beauty is basically all about waterproof mascara and trying not to resemble a troll doll.  
  11. Its inevitable that your child will look more put together than you do 80% of the time.  The other 20% is when they stay home with a sitter.  
  12. Just accept that your winged eyeliner will never match and save yourself the time and the aggravation.  
  13. Being "trendy" is a lot less practical at this stage in the game, ladies.  Mermaid hair or unicorn hair is always the coveted "anti mom mop-top" goal, but its a lot of maintenance...and lest we forget we haven't shaved our legs in three weeks, let alone remembered to use special shampoos and to only rinse that dye job with cool water.  
  14. Shower routine with kids in the house: wash what you can and get out of there before they set the place on fire. 
  15. Shower routine with no kids in the house: Spends a whole hour and all of the hot water shaving one's self as smooth as a dolphin and enjoys the simple sound of the water rushing over your face without anyone bursting in to have you fix an Autobot or take a poop while your trying to wash the stink of the day away. 
  16. My motto is: contour and beat that face until I look like I did when I slept 8 hours a night and ate better than cold leftover mac'n'cheese. No shame in my makeup game, gals.  
  17. If you haven't worn makeup and done your hair in a while and you finally have a night out where you get the opportunity to go ALL OUT...and you end up looking like a contestant on Ru Paul Drag Race...
  18. When someone says "you smell nice" and you reply "thanks, I just wiped my hands with a baby wipe." It's anyone guess why you still have friends.  
  19. Here's a little truth bomb: I keep a black t-shirt dress, sunglasses and red lip gloss in the car, just in case I need to look "some-what-presentable" at any given time. I can give you 'tired-ass Audrey Hepburn' with those few things in under 5 minutes.  
  20. You know you're going out when you adjust your bra straps to pick those puppies up where they belong.  

Bonus: When you're at any makeup counter, beauty supply or cosmetics store and the sales person has a Sally-Jessy Raphael meets Marilyn Manson look going on:

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: Co-Parenting and Two Household Living

  1. Co-Parentig is just like regular parenting, but we don't drive each other into resentment filled fits of rage every time the other person leaves their dirty socks in the middle of the living room floor or doesn't put a dish in the dishwasher.  We have our kid for that. 
  2. Two Household Parenting: there's a good chance you'll need to buy duplicates of everything, or feel the wrath of a four year old who has left his favorite Tsum Tsum under his bed at his Dad's house. 
  3. My ex and I are very close and I can only explain it like this: if a person watches you give birth and still can look you in the eye, you're meant to be connected forever, 'cause trust me...that shit ain't pretty to look at.  
  4. If you can survive talking about your child's bodily functions on a daily basis with another person, you're co-parenting correctly.  
  5. I have to admit that every time my son's father comes in the door looking tired and defeated it makes me feel good.  At least I'm not the only one getting their ass handed to them by a four-year-old.  
  6. Co-Parenting either makes other families super impressed or super uncomfortable. Admittedly both reactions are satisfying.
  7. Fact: It doesn't matter how prepared or how awesome the other parent's house is...your child will still pack a bag to spend the night like they are packing for an Everest Expedition.  
  8. When someone refers to the other parent as your "husband/wife" and you instantly and loudly reply with pride "WE AREN'T MARRIED" like thats some accomplishment or something...and then high five each other and sit back and watch the reactions around you. 
  9. "Ask your Mom/Dad..." The thing every kids hears when they want to do a thing we don't want to do...eventually they will break one of you. 
  10. Thank goodness for step-moms. You can never have too many people loving and caring for your child.  It's a really special relationship and bond they have.  Also, it's really awesome to have another person to explain why women wear bras after I have explained it 4 million times already.  
  11. It truly is a sense of pride and joy for me to see my son with his Dad.  Especially when he is patiently trying to keep said kid calm and entertained and allows the kiddo to climb him like a tree, inadvertently crushing his Dad's manhood on the way up.  
  12. When you look around your car and think "I really hope his Dad's car is just as fucked up and disgusting as this one..." and it is.  
  13. When our entire family goes to dinner it looks like some sort of polygamist outing and the waiter never knows who to hand the check to.  
  14. Each of us has different parenting experiences.  Example: Kiddo flooded his Dad's office somehow, only to tell his Dad hours after the damage was done...a week later at my house, I found that the same kiddo had peed in a random trashcan for some odd reason and failed to mention it until days later when the odor offended him. Awesome, right? This is when swapping stories gets fun.  
  15. People often ask how its possible to co-parent with my ex.  I think the answer is just that.  We aren't together.  I don't have to be responsible for a grown man's laundry or be obliged to watch hours of sports that I don't want to watch.  He does what he wants, I do what I want and the goal is to keep the small human alive and happy. Now that I think about it, we are probably the only parents I know with this amount of free time and no drama.  Probably because we both have full and balanced lives.  

Real Talk: In the spirit of being 100, our family is not typical.  We have been through a lot of ups and downs.  It hasn't always been easy to co-parent.  BUT I will say this, the place that we are in now is a "ride or die" feeling.  I know this person has my back, and I have his.  The goal is to stand up and advocate for your child, be open in your communication, and raise a happy and healthy child together.  However that has to happen.  Pride will be swallowed, humility will be found, and appreciation should be the center of your relationship with the other parent.  Trust me when I say that if WE can do it, YOU can do it.  

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: The Summer Edition

  1. I'm the kind of person that wears all black...then complains about the heat.  
  2. Due to my choice of wardrobe I always end up looking more like Morticia Addams then Carol Brady...even at the pool/beach.  
  3. It's a scientific fact that it takes children about 6 minutes to get bored after the last day of school let's out.   
  4. Summer time means going to the beach and the pool.  Mom's love nothing more than getting sand in every nook and cranny of literally everything they own after a beach trip...well, maybe the idea of swimming in the public toilet, er, I mean, pool is just as thrilling.  
  5. Summer Camp means labeling everything your child owns meticulously, buying new camp clothes and shoes, packing the healthiest lunches and slathering them in sunscreen as they walk out the door... only to end up with sunburnt and hungry kids with one of their shoes, someone else's somewhat moldy towel and a half eaten sandwich that you DIDN'T make in the bottom of their bag.   
  6. Summer is just Mother Nature's way of reminding you of all of the places on your body that you didn't know were capable of sweating.  
  7. To be honest, the only time I remember to reapply our sunblock is when I see some other Mom frantically chasing after her kid to spray him down and I think, "Oh shit, I should probably do that..." 
  8. I am not ashamed of my bikini body. However, wearing a skimpy bathing suit while trying to play with your kids at the beach is literally close to impossible to do without exposing parts of myself that I would rather not have sunburnt, let alone have strangers at the beach see while attempting to build a sand castle.  I choose practicality over making a politically correct statement.  
  9. Fact: It is very rare to hear a child say they have to use the restroom at a public pool...we all know why.  They are all just basically swimming in pee water for 6 hours while you hope to get them home tired at the end of the day.  That's the type of sacrifices mothers learn to make when raising children.  
  10. Summer Vacation in parenting world is more "let me spend money so my kids can go to camp and be someone else's responsibility for a few hours a day." 
  11. They should have summer camp for parents.  Sign me up for Spa Camp, Wine Tasting Camp, Nap Camp and Taco Appreciation Camp.  
  12. Is it me, or does a day at the beach make you feel like an extra from The Walking Dead for about 48 hours? That shit is exhausting.
  13. I went to let the dog out yesterday and I think I heard her say, "oh, F*%# this" as she walked back in the house and sat on the couch.  
  14. Summer injuries consist of the following: burning yourself with the first water that comes out of the hose, sunburns on places that haven't seen sun in 8 months, seat belt burns and burning your feet on hot asphalt.  Basically you spend the next three or four months being a human french fry.  
  15. Apparently my kid thinks nothing is more awesome than standing over the water jets at the splash pad for what seems to be an inappropriately long and now what has just become an uncomfortable amount of time with a goofy grin on his face while other Moms look at me like I should be stopping him.  Thanks kid. 

Truth Bomb: Superheroes, Villains, and The Power Of Trusting Our Children

Trust.  It's a key part of human interaction, but also one of the hardest parts about being a human.   Do we trust? Will we trust? How does one trust? What happens when trust is betrayed? What qualifies someone as trustworthy? Trust surrounds us, engulfs us in her deceptive arms and lulls us into submission as time passes on. She makes us feel safe and secure and gives us emotional freedom when we embrace her whole-heartedly.  She also shakes the shit out of us, can make us feel our most vulnerable, wakes us up from our slumber with a swift kick to the gut and destroys the dream, turning it rapidly into a nightmare. You see, trust...she's a fickle bitch.  

I can sit here and write about the countless breeches in trust I have run into in my 37 years.  Relationships, marriage, friendships, and so on and so forth.  Here's the REAL reason I'm writing about trust.  As a parent, I trusted people at a particular institution and that trust was torn apart.  Without revealing too many personal and intricate details, I will say this: When it comes to our child ANY and ALL trust that we have given is with a degree of hesitation and uncertainty at first, but slowly earned and appreciated...but if it is ever broken, be prepared to feel our wrath.

Recently our family was faced with a situation that fragmented and splintered all of the trust we had given.  Sending your child off into the world is hard enough, but when you have to do so knowing what an awful place it can be, it is even harder.  We trusted his safety and security, we trusted his spirit and his heart would be protected, we trusted his mind would be unburdened of all the harshness of the world and that we would be given a chance to flourish and thrive. We noticed a pattern of behavior in our son that indicated stress and anxiety.  We know him, we observed him and we TRUSTED him and his four-year-old communication and disclosures.  Stories can sound outlandish, but are rooted in TRUTH. As a family we addressed issues that we all noticed, and in the end we believed that the villains in our story heard our concerns and heeded our warnings.

They DID NOT.   They BROKE that trust into a million tiny pieces of anger and sadness. 

Our heads spun.  Our hearts sank.  Or bodies wretched in utter disbelief.  But never, not once, did we ever lose TRUST in OUR CHILD.  That's the thing with raising kids in today's world, if you aren't listening to your own kid and blindly trusting adults, you've got a problem.  In this particular instance we learned very quickly to shut up and listen.  Listen to every word our son said to us and every word he muttered to himself in his room.  To calm down and watch.  Watch every expression on his face and every move he made.  And we TRUST him.  Trust that he's saying what he needs to say and exploring his environment how he needs to explore it in relation to his feelings and experiences.  Those are his superhero powers.  He may not be invincible, or be able to fly from building to building, but does have words and actions that give him capabilities beyond the scope of what we all can imagine.  That is his way of telling HIS truth. 

PARENTS: I cannot express this enough...without that we would have never known to battle his villains and to make the moves that we did to protect him from a potentially life changing event.  Even though we can't possibly shield him from everyone and everything that intends do him harm in the future, it's today that we realized that placing trust in him and allowing the conversations between us be entrenched in sincere certainty that we are empowering him with the right to tell us anything without judgment or punishment, to allow him to communicate feelings that we will validate, and create an environment where he is free to express himself, has created a person who is not easily victimized or taken advantage of by someone he didn't trust.  It's our opinion that he was able to stand up for himself and that power makes untrustworthy people uncomfortable.  

This isn't a blog about advice.  This isn't a blog about telling anyone how they should parent their own children.  This isn't about me telling you that we do it all right and anyone else did anything all wrong.  This is me telling you all that we trusted our child and it allowed us to take on a potentially threatening situation with confidence, even before we knew all of the underlying issues.  We gave our child trust and we took away the trust of the adults in the situation.  We took away the power from the adult and gave it to our son. It was HE who did the right thing and so did every child in the same situation, each in their own way. Every parent trusted their child and the children trusted the parents and in that trust a dangerous situation was addressed.  These kids were the super heroes.  They stood up to their villains and they are the ones that saved us all from certain doom.  Behind every super hero is a parent that believed in them first, and it was then we realized we are actually doing something right.  

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: The Dating Edition, Volume 2

Just a little follow up to Volume 1...

  1. I don't think I'm using Tinder correctly. I'm told that it has other uses beyond screenshotting hilarious profile pics to send to your friends, but I haven't found that to be true.  
  2. You would think that dating a single mom would be more appealing.  Let's face it, we are too busy to be a pain in the ass and we always have snacks in our purse.  
  3. Sometimes as I am falling asleep in my bed I think, "Do I really wanna fuck this up? I have it pretty good right now." And then I burst into tears and cry myself to sleep while watching the Golden Girls.  (I would totally be the Dorothy.)
  4. When people say "Why are you still single? So many guys would love to date you" the proper response is "No, so many guys are trying to sleep with me...there's a huge difference." 
  5. Single Moms in a relationships don't ask for much...movie dates, some tacos and the occasional orgasm...in that order...  
  6. I went on one date where a guy made snarky and judgmental statements about my shoes... I almost had to cut a bitch. Instead I left him with the check, snuck out and Ubered home. 
  7. My Match.com "matches" looks more like a sex offender registry...I'm not really sure what that says about me. 
  8. When it comes to dating, I think I have more feeling for tacos than most of the people who have actually asked me out of the past 4 years.  I'm sticking with tacos. They very rarely disappoint.  
  9. When they say no hookups, then send you a wiener pic was soon as you match...?
  10. When a man approaches me at a bar to introduce himself I automatically think, "knowing my luck, this guy has been here since noon because he has no job." I'm literally the poster girl for cynicism.  
  11. Why do all online dating profiles contain a fish picture, a picture showing nipple, a dirty bathroom mirror pic and a gym mirror selfie? 
  12. Nothing is more startling than seeing the profiles of people you know on a dating site...but you know you read that shit and take a few screenshots just for giggles.  
  13. When a woman starts talking to someone on a dating site she turns into a better investigator anyone on Law and Order. She can find his Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and SnapChat before he can can reply with a clever gif. 
  14. Am I the only one who finds it suspect that so many men over 40 have never been married or had kids? 
  15.  I never know what to say when someone asks, "What are you looking for?" right off the bat...the realist in me wants to answer, "ummm...someone to clean out the gutters and take out the trash" but for some reason I don't think thats what they are asking. 
  16. When you get a DM that says "What's Up?" is really fun to answer "My Body Mass Index" and see what happens.  

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: The Star Wars Celebration Edition

You know you're a part of the best Nerd Herd in the galaxy if you went to Celebration of felt any of these things:

1. You know you've been single for a while if Bobba Fett starts looking like boyfriend material. 

2. That sense of pride you have when your kid is cosplaying Darth Vader and force choking Lando Calrissian.

3. When perfecting "Leia Buns" has never been a more important part of your 'getting ready' routine. 

4. A dudes best pick up line at SWCO 2017 was "Hey girl, what did you think of the trailer?" 

5. When you make eye contact with a 501st and wonder if he's single... despite your penchant for the light side.  

6.  You're biggest decision for the day is which witty Star Wars shirt to wear. 

7. Waiting in line for hours is never something you've had the patience for...unless it's to meet Mark Hamill.  Then you'll wait in line for 12 hours surrounded by people who haven't showered in days because they're part of the "camp out crowd."  

8. You are a total nerd if you've pushed people out of the way to get your pic with a dude dressed as a Wookie. (guilty)

9. After a weekend of Celebration you're planning a whole sleeve of Star Wars themed tattoos despite the fact that you're mother will disown you...it's worth it. 

10. You are now the proud owner of every limited pin, patch, and badge available at the Con and give zero F's you paid that much for anything in your whole life.  

11. You judged every sexy Slave Leia at the con for not being more inventive, but you're also secretly jealous you didn't work on your bikini body sooner.  

12. You've contemplated buying a $400 toy still in the box because...collector's item, duh! 

13. You're kid had to poop in the public bathroom and it took 20 minutes just to remove his full costume (we've discussed this...but my Little Rebel can't poop without being naked and cosplaying just complicated things...)

14. You're jealous of every kid who got to do Jedi Academy...

15. When Jar Jar Binks photobombs you're C3-PO pictures and you're totally cool with that...it's literally the only time you actually didn't want to punch him anyways.  

16. You see other parents with their kids at the Con and nod, like you're all raising the next generation of literally badasses that will carry on the love of the Galaxy Far Far Away...

17. When you've Googled how hard it is to build a remote control R2-D2...

18. You totally spent 4 hours in line for the Celebration store and came away with 6 new friends and one t-shirt that is kinda too small. 

19. You overheard the pregnant lady arguing with her husband about the fact that they "won't be naming this baby Jango."

20. You're sure you're depression won't go away until Disney opens their Star Wars theme park or they announce the next Celebration dates...until then you'll be obsessing over fan sites until Christmas 2018.  

 

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: Awkward People-ing Edition

1. Since having a child I find is more and more difficult to have a conversation that doesn't involve at least one Disney movie quote, my birth story, school lunches, or poop. All subjects the general public frowns upon during an adult social setting, apparently.    

2. Talking to some of the other parents at school can sometimes feel like I swallowed a spoonful of peanut butter and it gets stuck in the place in your throat that makes you feel like you're having a massive heart attack...you know what I'm talking about.  You know its going to end, but for the mean time it SUCKS and feels like impending death. 

3. Socializing without your kid around can go one of two ways: single vodka or double.  Just depends on how much communication with the outside world you've been getting lately.  

4. My face will turn 6 shades of red before any conversation is completed.  Fact. 

5. When you forget to put your sunglasses down to make all the crazy eye rolls and facial expressions... and you get caught.  (smacks forehead) 

6. When you yell "Seatbelts!" in your Uber or when a non-child-having friend is driving, you know your social skills have erroded to a practically unrecognizable level of uselessness.  

7. Someone once told me not to wear all black so that people would be more open to approaching me...now everything I own is black.  

8. After a night of people-ing I get an interaction hangover that is only cured by isolation, Netflix, and online shopping.  

9. If I and showing up to a social event it's in the "I put a bra on for this" category. Thats pretty important so recognize.   

10. I think its probably the nicest thing that you can do for me is if we run into each other at Target, just pretend you don't see me.  It's my happy place.  Let's not ruin it by interacting.  

11. Socially awkward people aren't snobs, we're just silently trying NOT to say the approximately one million weird comments rushing through our head while you're talking about whatever it is that you're talking about.  

12.  When introverts do end up talking during a social moment you look at us like we Kanye'd all over your Taylor Swift moment... 

13. I am awful at playdates. One exchange went as follows:

Other Mom: Your son is so cute

Me: Thank you, I don't know where he gets it...Probably from the milk man.  

SILENCE...

14. If you didn't fit in during your middle school/ high school years, had weird hair, dressed like Ducky, didn't sit at the cool table, had 3 friends and they were way nerdier than you and you were cool with that or any variation of unpopularity at any point... you can sit by me me and we can stare at our phones in silence and feel good about that.  

15. My son got stage fright at a school performance once and I had to sit on stage with him and I was all like: 

Truth Bomb: When you want to "Live, Laugh, Love" But...

Live.  Laugh. Love.  Seems simple, right? Well, I'm sure for some people it is.  It sounds lovely.  Its a goal to aspire to, for sure.  But if you live with anxiety, its damn near impossible.  I just thought I would share some of my struggles with letting go and trying to live a "normal" life dealing with anxiety.  

Most people don't really know what it is, so heres how I see it.  Basically, anxiety is the desire to do something but with overwhelming feelings of uneasiness and worry.  Doesn't seem that bad, right? Everyone has moments of anxiety.  But some of us just battle this dragon daily. Trying new things? Nope. Going someplace where you don't know anyone? Nope. Talking to new people? AHHH!!! People with anxiety play over and over in their heads what they have said, how they said it, and if they said it in. way that made no sense at all. We hear what you said and we worry maybe you don't like us, we worry we may come off like we don't like you.  We're human, so of course we don't communicate perfectly all of the time and it kills us. We will stress out that we have said all the wrong things. So see what I mean? Trying to be happy is a legit daily struggle.  Anxiety pushes people away.  It isolates you.  It causes you to look like a complete asshole, but you're really just afraid to open up and be vulnerable in any and all situations.  It's not that we don't want real human interaction, but people with anxiety are afraid of what happens next. What happens if we catch feelings? Now what? What happens if we don't know whats going to happen? Seems crazy.  And it is. It feels like crazy. Its awful, but I think people need to understand the DESIRE to want to be different and easy going and not nervous is there.  We just need a little help calming our brains down a bit to loosen up and live a little.  

I don't know about most people, but I know where mine comes from.  Emotional Trauma.  I'd say finding out my husband was cheating on me for half of our three year marriage was the beginning of the anxious feelings.  Then, just to pile on to that, a chaotic relationship coupled with pregnancy and my partners struggle with his own depression and self medication during the scariest time of our lives probably didn't help ease my anxiety at all.  After I had my son I just knew I had that overwhelming sense of fear of the unknown.  Well, anyone with kids knows nothing is easy, everything is chaos and everything is terrifying for the first time.  Just to add to all of those "Mommy Anxiety" I had a horrible break-up, and the feelings of utter relationship failure and fear of being alone and a single-mother basically just broke me.  I felt like a shell of a person.  On the outside everything was smiles and sunshine, but on the inside it feels a lot like drowning but with no one holding you under.  Think, being stuck in a rip tide in the ocean. You're just swimming along and all of a sudden your bathing suit is being shoved up your ass and a boob is out and you're sucking in water by the gallon and you only have yourself to blame for all of it because you know you shouldn't have swam out so far with all of the red flags waving in the wind.  

The living part is hard, but doable.  I've worked on getting to know myself but it's still not enough.  The trauma is still there.  The anxiety still takes hold of me some days and steers the crazy train.  Not everyday, not every decision, but some and it sucks.  I'm not the best at making new "mom friends", taking my son to places with new people or crowds it tough, but I do it for him. He shouldn't live a sheltered life because I'm afraid of what is going to happen or might happen or probably won't happen but its just there I'm my head nagging me that it might happen.   And honestly once I do try something new it feels good and empowering and I make the effort to do it again and again and each time it gets easier. Its not that people with anxiety can't live happy, healthy, productive lives.  We just struggle with an inner dialogue that we are pretty sure no one else can relate to.  We can be happy.  We can chill the F*&% out and enjoy life.  But its difficult, thats all we need you to understand.  

The laughing part is easy, but it also masks the anxiety.  Its tricky like that.  I can laugh about it.  I can laugh about myself and I can always just make everything a joke.  Its one of my coping mechanisms.  If I make a joke of it, and laugh about it or how ridiculous I am being, it seems to ease other people and makes me break down some of my own walls and break that guarded cycle of always trying to protect myself from people getting too close.  Letting people in is ok if we are laughing. Under the jokes just know a part of me is screaming "just go back home to your couch and the Golden Girls marathon!!"  But if I'm there and we're cry-laughing about something totally hilarious that means I'm invested. I'm not fighting the urges to isolate and I'm enjoying the moments with you.  That's huge for me.  Know that.  

The loving part is the hardest.  It seems impossible, but I want it so badly. Not just any kind of love but the kind of love that challenges me to be better, do better and to not run away to the couch and the Golden Girls.  It's easy to love my son. But, real talk, I am a total "smother mother" but that's a whole different Blog Post.  Love for him comes from somewhere thats is untouched by any other person.  It comes from an unconditional connection to someone who I made and who makes me want more out of life.  It's the other love that scary and terrifying and constantly feel uneasy and unsure of myself and if I am capable of being complete again.  You see, after all that has happened to me a piece of me heart went missing and anxiety filled it.  Replacing that with the unconditional love of another feels like uncharted territory.  I've never had that before.  There's always been conditions, stipulations, requirements for me to be something.  The perfect wife or the rescuer, the caretaker or the one who holds it all together.  Really loving someone isn't placing conditions on them.  It's just the opposite.  It's loving who they are, good, bad, or ugly...and with me there feels like a lot more bad and ugly than good sometimes.  That's what pushes people away.  Anxiety can make all of the good emotions mix with all of the nervousness and when someone special takes your heart in their hands it feels like someone has put a lid on a bottle and shaken it up.  Those emotions are all over the place. The  thing that was holding you together all of this time, CONTROL, is suddenly out the window and your left just out there and exposed.  Don't get me wrong, thats a good thing.  Thats what life is about.  Finding that is what we all want. It just seems harder for me.  I'm trying.  All I can do is try.  Try to be open, to share those feelings or fear, try to remember that not everyone wants to hurt me, and try to put those feelings of worry and dormant hurt into the baggage and leave them at the door and walk through the threshold of a new life with new feelings of love that can replace the negative. As much as you may think that you've done that, that you've conquered that ...its not until you're really faced with reality that you can say "ok, let's do this." Its not that I'm not ready for love, a relationship or deep feelings for someone. I am.  I know I can do it and I know the person who lets me is the right one for me.  It's going to hurt, and be messy and be hard sometimes but if I don't let that happen then the anxiety wins...and I'm not a loser.  I don't like to let something like that beat me.  I won't let it.  I just have to trust and the right one will trust that I'm trusting them with it all.  

If we breakdown in front of you, thats because we finally feel like its all coming to a head and instead of sweeping those feelings under the rug we are letting them out.  We probably will communicate poorly during this because emotions aren't easily verbalized at this point.  Its just a all vomiting out and we're powerless to it all because we have stopped holding on with such a tight grip.  Its not a bad thing.  Its actually good. We won't do this for just anyone, we just don't show our cards like that.  It's ok.  Just be patient, when we can get let it out it just means we're closer and closer to leaving it all behind and giving you the whole person we want to be.   It's something we can't help feeling.  It's a part of us, and as much as I don't want it, its there and we're trying my best to deal with it all.  

It's so hard to put into words the way anxiety and emotional trauma can affect someone.  I hope this paints a picture of what it's like.  Not just for me but for the people who love me and are in my life.  They need to know it's not them.

I am swimming away from the rip tide, I've pulled my swim suit from my ass, and I am keeping my head above water... and to all of those people who love me as I am, you are my life preserver.

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: The Bathroom Edition

1. How is it possible we spend 75% of parenting most concerned with who is pooping, peeing, where they are pooping or peeing or cleaning said poop and pee...yet, Moms can literally forget to do either for what seems like days?

2. I didn't think it was possible, but I have witnessed my son pee ON an ENTIRE ROLL of toilet paper, without ever removing it from the holder, just to amuse himself.  

3. Theres nothing better for ones confidence than stepping out of the shower and having a tiny person say "I hope I never look like that naked." 

4. Kids give ZERO F*#%S about privacy until its an adult who is requesting said privacy...even in public bathrooms.  

5. Bathroom stalls are for quick pee breaks.  Family bathrooms are for your four and a half year old who insists on taking off all of his clothes and his shoes to take a poop.  

6. Asking a child to "not make a mess" while they are in the bath tub is like asking a pyromaniac to hold your lighter fluid and zippo.  

7. Never squeeze the bath toy thats been unused for a bit, in fact burn it, because if whatever is inside gets out you may need hazmat.  

8. I found out that I could still do the splits the other day...not that I wanted to but I slipped in the tub and now I'm not sure anything about my body will ever be the same again.  

9. I've been thinking about toilet training my terrier.  She seems like she would catch on faster than the kid did, and she probably wouldn't ask me to wipe her ass in the middle of my first cup of coffee.  

10. When you finally have some time alone at home and you go to relax in the tub but you need to first remove 45 tiny animals, a Chewbacca, maybe 1 or 2 naked Barbies, wash the from the tub crayons and glittery bath bomb the kiddos used a few days ago...aaaannnndd now this is just cleaning and not relaxing so you give up.  

Funny Observations From My Life As A Single Mom: Fournado rears it's ugly head.

1. My son turned 4 and he is moodier than our current President on a Twitter rant.   

2. Getting him dressed in anything but his favorite red shorts is much like watching a scene out of The Exorcist.  At one point it's quiet and we're smiling.  I simply state "its time to get dressed."  He starts flipping the F*&% out.  I'm just staring at him waiting for pea soup to come spewing out of his face and his head to start rotating.  

3. His behavior has become slightly...hmmm...how shall I put this without sounding like the worlds worst mother...Defiant. We will call him defiant for lack of a less offensive word.  We will ask him not to do something (I,e. jump on the couch, chase the dog with a lightsaber, etc.) and he will, straight up, lock eyes with us and do said thing repeatedly and with no remorse until he is reprimanded.  Then looks at us with a scowl and says "I don't like you anymore." As soon as he turns his back I find it very difficult not to flip him off.  

4. What the hell is up with my child asking me a question, I answer the questions, then he promptly tells me I am wrong, answers his own question, then walks away?  It's only after exchanges like that when I truly start to question my own sanity.  

5. Is it just MY kid that HAS to be naked to poop? What is that about?

6.  How can someone be so fearless and also need a nightlight?

7. There isn't any conversation that doesn't involve the mention of a fart or a poop. 

8. If I had to relate Fournado someone without kids I would say it is similar to the impulse control of Lindsay Lohan crossed with Scott Stapp on meth with a side of KellyAnn Conway's logic.  

9. At this point no one is a stranger...its makes the introvert in me FREAK THE F OUT! Mainly because when he talks to people then I HAVE TO TALK TO STRANGERS.  I do not like talking to strangers.  Hell, I don't even like talking to non-strangers.  

10.  I will say this about FOURNADO...  It is the most inquisitive and thirsty for knowledge that my son has ever been. Example: Today he asked me to explain how a sound studio is turned into a set to make a movie look real...all before 7 AM and my first cup of coffee.