Tag Archives: parenting

What a beautiful world this can be

May is almost over…and so is (almost) all the shit that has been driving me crazy lately.  My son graduated high school last weekend.  Seriously, I still look at him and remember when he graduated preschool.  Oh my has he grown.  What was most beautiful about his graduation was his joy.  He had a smile that just lights me up…I want to see more of that.

His graduation party was a success….again, too see a young man who was happy and smiling.  I couldn’t ask for more.  However, I was grateful to have a house full of wonderful people.  Former coworkers, new coworker, old friends, new friends, family I haven’t seen in way to long.  The day was beautiful, and the house was filled with laughter and joy.  There is a long standing joke with my friends about how the weather always goes south when I plan out-door events.  Not this time.  I’m going to say that my shift in attitude may have played a huge role in that…for had I stayed in the darkness, the rain would undoubtedly come.

A few weeks ago I was reminded that I needed (desperately) to let go of doubt and worry.  So I did.  What happened was that the little twitch in my eye went away, and good things started falling into place.  Things were finally aligning in a good way….because I was able to embrace the good and let go of the bad thoughts.  What you think about, you bring about.  I was tired of waking up every morning filled with doubt and gloom.  That is a choice, just like choosing to wake up with a grateful heart.

It isn’t as though the next few months are not going to come with challenges.  In just a few short weeks we will be on the fast track to  getting my son ready to go away to college.  There is no way for me to truly express how excited I am for him…and how hard it is for me to grasp this new phase of his life, and mine.  No matter what, I will bring to this coming “adventure” (my son tells me I use that word incorrectly too much, ha!) with a positive and grateful attitude.  He has opportunities ahead of him I wish I had taken advantage of when I was 18, but then if I had, he may not have been one of my greatest blessings.  I’m not sure how I’m going to handle not being able to see his face everyday.  Knowing that he’s not just behind his bedroom door…annoyed at me for popping in.  I am blessed, elated and trying to manage the little bit of fear and loss that will surly stir once he is gone.

Even though I attribute May to having been a busy and highly emotional month for me….there is still a lot of work to be done over these next few months.  Time to buckle down and get my ass back in alignment with my plans.   I gave myself a break in order to deal with the self inflicted emotional rollercoaster I was on, and now it’s time to get back to the real work.  Cleaning up and clearing out.  That includes fear, doubt, worry as well as physical clutter.  It also means focusing more on moving to a better place for work and relationships.

The challenges are not over…and it is a blessing that they never will be.  What is over is allowing negative emotions and thoughts to overshadow those challenges.  I’m moving forward with a renewed sense of purpose and gratitude….and that is how I will face each new challenge.  Even if that challenge is simply to NOT give in to the pesky dark voices that whisper in my ear “You’re not going to make it.”

Yes I am, asshole.  Yes I am.

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Apparently…I’m not the “Fun” parent

It’s not easy being a single parent. It’s especially hard with two teenagers…although it would probably be tough in a two parent household as well. I don’t make a lot of money so our opportunity for adventures are limited. They live with me, so I’m responsible for keeping them on track with school and chores and all the ‘fun’ parenting stuff.

They are good kids though. Both nerdy…and I mean that in a loving way. Recently I surprised them with tickets to Comic Con Chicago. I’ve been trying for two years to get us to the big one in San Diego…I got close this year but still missed missed my window. So when the opportunity to do the one here came up, I snatched it. Last time I tried to take the kids out to do something they complained for a week, so I decided to keep this one a surprise. When we got there, they were excited. I only know this cause I had to ask…teenagers are not as open with their excitement as say a 6 year old would be.

As we were standing in line I told them that I wanted to take pictures and that I didn’t want any of those stupid “I don’t want my picture taken” faces…you know what one’s I mean. I told them to just enjoy it. That’s when the boy told me I wasn’t the “fun” parent. OUCH! That hurt…a lot. It’s not that I don’t try. I mean, really, they don’t give me much help when it comes to doing things they would like. I’ve asked several times what they would like to do…where would they like to go, but they never offer up any suggestions. This adventure was something I thought would be right up their ally, but I can never really be sure.

I stood there in line feeling like shit. There was a moment I thought I might actually cry. This shit isn’t easy. I went from being a stay at home mom to being a full time working parent with a house to take care of on my own, bills to pay, children to feed and take care of all by myself. For the most part I think I’m doing pretty good. There was a moment I thought…I wonder if I would be the fun parent if they were only with me one night a week and every other weekend. What if HE was the one responsible for them 99% of the time. Chores, homework, shopping…as well as trying to get the boy to get a job and taking him for his drivers license. What if the only thing I had to worry about was dinner once a week, and what to do with them for two days every other week.

During dinner I brought it up. I asked them what they would think if they lived with their dad instead. How fun do they think he would be if they were with him all the time. They agreed, that he was probably more fun because he was just making the most of the little time they had together. Living with him wasn’t something they were interested in doing, I think they like the way it is. All I wanted them to understand was that they needed to give me some help in the “Fun” area and understand that I have more responsibility when it comes to them than he does.

Like I said, they’re good kids. They get it. I’m sure it would break their hearts if I said I wanted them to live with their dad for awhile…I’m pretty sure it would scare the hell out him. I don’t want them to. I’d miss them too much. However the house would be much cleaner if they did…my grocery bill would be 1/2 the amount and I’d probably be able to cut all the other utilities down substantially. Sigh…it’s always greener on the other side I suppose.

I think I’m going to have to work on this “fun” thing though. Teenagers can suck sometimes…but I truly believe I’m just the kind of mom to break through that tough exterior and find a little balance with them. Challenge accepted.

What if…

Today I had an ugly argument with my son. The kind that makes you feel like a bad parent.  It got me thinking…
What if…
What if I didn’t get up early and make my teenage son a breakfast he clearly isn’t going to eat, and most certainly isn’t going to enjoy??
What if instead of fighting against something, I chose to eliminate the conflict?
What if I chose to do something different?