Doling out unsolicited advice on parenting, writing, and living the single life
This single, writer, mama is all about living life to the fullest and realizing her dreams. My pursuit of making a living as a writer from home so that I can do what I love while spending more time with my kids is the biggest dream that I have. My journey is not unusual but, my experiences are unique. I'm learning new things everyday, strengthening my spirit, and having a fun time while doing so. I just want to take you along for the ride. Maybe we can share and grow together.
It is late night and my mind cannot stop wandering. This tends to happen all day long and especially at night. As a writer, I find the beauty in words from all around me and then my mind gets to wandering. There are so many ideas that I want to come to fruition. I realize that I have to take it one project at a time. I have taken a short break from my novel to write children’s books; so far I have written two. I am really nervous to write my query letters and submit, but it is 2015 and I know that this is “My Year”.
This year, my focus is on my health and in order to keep my MS under control, I need to take care of myself and zero in on peace and happiness. Stress had taken control of me for the past decade and it cannot happen any longer. I notice that I feel so much better when I write, especially for this blog, when I complete a poem, and when I share what I have written. My writing has been a long journey and I will hold onto hope because it is the anchor for my soul.
These words that are in my head are constantly floating around and they make me someone else. I am a different person with each poem or novel/script idea and if I don’t write it down, then I lose that person. My goal is to get to a place where what I do for a living is write down those floating words. And those floating words will support me and my kids and transform the world around me.
So, these were just some things on my mind and if I could offer any advice, it would be to use your gifts. That’s what they are, gifts, and if we don’t use them there could be a time when we lose them.
I had to write this post as I am nearing the end of the best movie this season thus far. Every winter, around the holidays, I watch all of the Christmas movies that I can find on Lifetime, ABC Family, Hallmark, and Hallmark Movie Channel. The kids and I love to watch these movies together because they get us into the holiday spirit and come are inspirational. Another channel which is new and I have not had a chance to pay as much attention to is UP, which I am sure has great programming too.
Anyway, a dream of mine would be to write a story that would be adapted into a movie for one of these channels. Each year, they outdo themselves. My cousin in New York and I call and compare notes on the best movie or what we are currently watching. As I type this post, I am watching “The Christmas Secret” on the Hallmark Movie Channel. It is a moving story of a single mother with two children who moves to a town to reconnect with lost family. Her humble and determined nature sets her up for fortune that she could never have imagined. Check out the trailer below, courtesy of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
I guess I’m at the age where myself and my peers are wondering what our purpose is on this earth. We are leaving long-term relationships, re-assessing finances and the way in which we spend money, switching careers, more conscious of our health and planning for the future of our children. Some of this may sound like it’s out-of-order but, it seems to be the same spot that everyone I know is in and we are all in the same age range mid 30’s- 40 years old. Speaking for myself I am even more focused on owning my own home and planning for the future. I keep contemplating leaving the classroom and just going for my dreams of being both a novelist and songwriter. It’s scary and I often consider going into real estate because it will allow me some flexibility but the market is so volatile.
Again, scary territory. What about getting up and moving back to my hometown of NY? That’s even an option on the table. I know that there is a huge change coming for me because I can feel it but in the meantime I find myself struggling with feelings of anxiety. What am I anxious over? Mostly, things that are not within my control. And speaking with my peers, I am not alone.
So, I never harp on a problem for too long. I usually go into solution mode and the solution I recently came up with was journaling more consistently (handwritten). It makes me feel good to get out my true feelings and just release. I usually look back over these entries when I am in a different state of mind and learn even more about myself. If you are feeling overwhelmed by life and your path, please consider journaling and those of you who do not like writing or typing can use voice memos on your cell phone or laptops. Let some of it go. It becomes too much to hold on to and creates a daunting outlook.
We are all here to do great things and in order to do those things we must keep ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally renewed.
Yesterday, a thought passed through my mind that I should get the new iPhone 6. Of course a marketing email sent by Apple spurred this thought. But, that’s neither here nor there. I usually try to educate myself before making big purchases and as I have already mentioned in previous posts, I’m really focused on owning my own home. Saving money is challenging when not enough of it is coming in so, I have to be really careful what I spend my money on.
I called T-Mobile and spoke to one of their sales representatives and she explained that I could turn my iPhone 5s in and switch out for the new phone. It sounded easy enough until I started asking other questions like: how much money do I still owe on my current phone, how much would my bill increase, what is the difference in original price between the two phones, and what was so much better about the iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5s.
What it came down to would be starting all over on a new, more expensive (by $50) payment plan, adding about $3 to my monthly bill for a phone that really only has a faster processing system.
After knowing this, I went into the store and spoke with a salesman who showed me how big the new iPhone was. Wow! Too big for me. After more probing, he finally said that he didn’t think it was worth it and to save my money. That’s just what I did and I am so proud of myself.Lesson to all who read this: Dig a little deeper and keep your cash in your pocket.
Justin, my two year old, has some behavioral issues. See how I am dealing and follow the saga.
So, my two-almost-three-year-old gives me the worst time when I take him out in public. It has gotten to the point where I am afraid to take him anywhere, including church! I have good reason, he randomly yells at people passing by, hits other children, and makes faces at strangers. Of course, I researched and came up with a load of possible reasons why he is the way that he is, my little sprout watching bundle of joy. I had narrowed it down to just a few, oppositional defiance disorder, severe ADHD, and borderline personality disorder. I’ve already taken him to a child psychologist and she prompted me to use the program 1,2,3 Magic! I hope that it works because it is getting hard to find a babysitter to watch him while I go to the grocery store.
After my own analysis of the situation and then speaking with the child psychologist, I came to the conclusion that it “should” be hard to label a two year old. For goodness sake, one of the guidance counselors at my school thinks her son has sociopathic tendencies. Of course we don’t truly believe that there is anything wrong with our children but what we do know is that the behavior being exhibited cannot continue and we want to take action now. Justin’s (my son) pediatrician said that his behavior is normal, especially for a child who spends all day with his older grandparents and is not used to going out and interacting with other children. He stated that the negative behaviors should start to diminish after he starts preschool.
But, guess what? He must be potty-trained to start preschool. And Justin’s response to potty training…. a resounding “No”!
I believe it is the hardest thing to be sick as a single parent with a small child at home. You don’t want to pass your germs on to your bambino but you are the only one in charge of taking care of them. I am lucky enough to have my thirteen year-old daughter who was so responsible and made me tea, a pot-pie (in the microwave) and entertained her little bro. Trust me this is not an easy feat as he is super active. I was able to rest when I got home from work so that I can go in tomorrow. This week, I have back to school night and I need to prepare both my classroom and my presentation for my new parents. I just can’t afford to take off now as it isn’t even winter yet, which is when I really get sick.
I sometimes wonder how some other single parents handle a situation like this? Sometimes, I know that I get overwhelmed and I need to take a step back and fill my bucket with some sort of positivity and inspiration. But, I also know that I may not always have the time to do that. One thing that brings me peace is knowing that I am not alone in this journey. I know that there are other single parents out there dealing with the same issues, some even more pressing and they and their children are coming out on top. Wow! That gave me inspiration for some other posts. I chat with you later. Stay strong!
When I think of my mother, I think of a strong woman whom worked hard all of her life until she retired on disability. This is the same woman who had two children early in life and then was surprised by another (myself) in her late thirties. Needless to say there was a lot of adjusting that needed to take place. With an 18 year gap between myself and my sister and a 20 year gap between myself and my brother, my mother and I have always struggled to bond as she wasn’t used to children any longer.
Now don’t get me wrong, she was the best mother she could be but, she, herself had grown up with a mother whom did not show love in the emotional sense, but through her ability to provide for and take care of her kids. The emotional piece had been missing for generations. I’m sure the fact that my grandmother growing up in the south and experiencing racism to an extent that I never had probably contributed to the hard demeanor that she presented. I am also sure that that was passed on to my own mother.
Now, as a parent myself I find it easy to show affection to my children while they are young but not so much as they get older; please do not beat me up for saying this. I currently have a 13 year old whom is going through her own hormonal changes and in need of emotional support of which I am not familiar except by the examples set forth in the family sitcoms I watched growing up.
I am thankful that I noticed my waning emotional support immediately (thanks to being a teacher and experiencing it firsthand with my students and their parents) because I was able to dig deep and surface the source and then research ways to remedy it.
I am happy to say that it is possible to break generational strongholds. I believe in purposeful parenting because you can never get back the years lost with your children but you can make a significant change for the better at any stage that will positively impact their lives. I am constantly searching for opportunities and creating opportunities to provide that emotional support to my daughter. I can’t say that I am an expert or that I am doing it correctly, but I am trying.
Purchased Groupons to brunch in the city for just her and I
We read a good book together or talk about whatever she wants to freely
We have created traditions that are unique to us and will be different for myself and her brother once he gets older
I purchased a devotional geared towards mothers and daughters to read with her every night
I do not allow electronics at the breakfast/dinner table to allow for conversation between her and myself
I have recently looked up more volunteer opportunities that we can do together
I am constantly looking for ways to create the emotional support that she needs as it is vital to her self-esteem and self-awareness. Recently, I read a book called How Full is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and my goal is to fill her bucket daily with positivity. I recommend reading this book and also StrengthsFinder 2.0. Just because something has been a certain way in your family for generations doesn’t mean that it can’t stop with you (and I am referring to something negative). You must proclaim that it will be different for you and yours. Purposefully parent!
Did your Narcissist recently leave you for a new lover and is now having “second thoughts”? Or, did you finally leave and are now being stalked like an episode of Investigation Discovery, complete with love-bombing and hoovering to the nth degree?
As convincing as it may seem, this has nothing to do with love. Every single action employed by the Narcissist stems from a pathological need to control others. In order to prove your love to a Narcissist, you must surrender all power and control to them and become a real-life Marionette, whose only purpose is to enhance the Narcissist’s false image, take care of their every need, and accept their self-serving abuse.
The Narcissist has no real identity, only an illusion of themselves built on their ability to control other people. When they lose said control, this illusion is shattered. This explains why they shift into turbo gear when you…