Category Archives: Single Mothers Chronicles

Single Mother Chronicles: Samantha Who Is Not You.

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“Samantha Who?” was an ABC sitcom that ran from 2007-2009. It chronicled a woman who gets into a car accident and develops amnesia. She completely forgets everything about herself and the people around her. Evidently, Samantha was a miserable, backstabbing, conniving female  according to her “friends”, associates and family. Through all of their eyes, she sees what type of person she is and she wants to make amends for all her past actions. It is was an interesting concept for a television show, Could you imagine only being able to live your life through the eyes of everyone else? Samantha’s life changed dramatically after the accident.

Becoming a single parent from a failed relationship, life decisions – or just dealing you a cruel blow – can seem life shattering and definitely life alternating. Ever have days when you just want to throw your hands up and quit, sleep for days, or wish that you could just start over? If given the chance would you like to develop amnesia and forget everything and every experience from before? Could you, would you want to begin your life anew like Samantha? You couldn’t change past relationships, because you wouldn’t know they existed. The people you knew before would have a vision only of how they knew you, which more than likely would be completely different from how you see yourself.

Single mothers starting their lives over. Samantha Who? , a sitcom about amnesia and who you really are.
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It would be interesting to see yourself through someone else’s eyes, especially if you had no idea who they are talking about. How wounded would you be if they rejected you based on your history? When all along you believed yourself to be a pretty decent person, would their opinion of you be valid? Have you disappointed or disregarded them in the past? Are they holding a grudge, just because … you were Samantha?

I ask all of these hypothetical questions to prompt you to not only to think about what you give off to people, but also what you allow yourself to receive. Even in the depths of being a single mom, and others not understanding what you are going through, or not having help at home…you are always in control of what you give off to people.You do not have to start your life over in order to live in its altered state. Stand strong in your new role as a single parent. Everyone will have their own opinions of how they see you, but if you embrace who you are, their opinions will not have any impact on you.

Samantha, who?

Single Mothers and being stronger by getting over a break up and moving on with their lives. Single mothers not letting other people define who they are what they need to do.
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Single Mother Chronicles: What’s in Your Bank Account?

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Are you a wealthy woman? Not the type of wealth that comes from how many zeros you have behind the 1,2, or 3 in your bank account, but the type that speaks about your mind-set, home life or the relationships you have with others. One financial guru and pretty much my financial hero says that the eight qualities of a wealthy woman are harmony, balance, courage, generosity, happiness, wisdom, cleanliness and beauty.

Some of the qualities at first glance seem a bit strange. I was perplexed and intrigued at the same time when I first read them. However, once I looked into what the qualities were trying to convey, it became crystal clear.
Quality 1: Harmony – What you think should be a direct reflection of what you do.
Quality 2: Balance – Pay attention to your feelings.
Quality 3: Courage – Speak the truth even when others may not want to hear it.
Quality 4: Generosity – Giving the right thing to the right person and it benefits you both.
Quality 5: Happiness – Being open and accessible to possibilities.
Quality 6: Wisdom – Do not do what is easy; do what is right.
Quality 7: Cleanliness – To bring in true wealth, you need to clean up your life.
Quality 8: Beauty – What is possible when you achieve the other seven qualities.
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When I first took my inventory with this list, I was a single mom working my way through life and believing I was doing an adequate job. Nonetheless, knowing that I could do better. Initially, I checked off five things on the list. After reading I decided to make it a goal to successfully be able to check off all eight. I believe this list was crucial to me at the time and they all still ring true today. While it can be an important list to all women, single moms can benefit greatly from it.
Your harmony and balance can be thrown way off when you become a single mom. It takes time to gain them back, but not impossible. Even if the struggle for you is not financial, what you have known for years is now different. Even though it may seem impossible now, accept this shift in what was normal and embrace your new norm.
Courage comes in many forms. Know that being a single mother is one of the most courageous things you will do in your life.
Your generosity as a single mom can be as small as offering your shoulder to another mom that is having a difficult time coping or as large as donating time to a cause you believe in.
Happiness does have ebb and flow, but it does include optimism. Some days will be hard, but know there are better days ahead.
You will become the master of many things. Wisdom does come from doing. Even some men will have to ask you how to fix the plumbing and what that mysterious noise is coming from their car.
Single mothers schedule camps, tutoring, child care, sport activities and sleep overs all while cooking dinner, putting hundreds of miles on their cars from all the commuting and working a full-time job. A single mother’s organizational skills are on point.
Simply cleaning out your purse or donating clothes that have been just sitting in your closet for months can help you in making room for abundance in any of its forms.
My financial hero says that being able to check off the seven other qualities on the list creates beauty in your life. I also say that putting your strengths into practice, realizing your weaknesses and then being able to study your success rather than analyzing your failures is beautiful.
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Keep your chins up single mommies, being soul wealthy is within your reach.
 

Handmade Mother’s Day

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When my daughter was in elementary school, her class always made those precious mother’s day cards. Sometimes they even had little plants, handmade coffee mugs or painted plates to accompany them. I am sure there are many moms out there with kitchen drawers or plastic bins filled with these delights from last year or many,many years ago.

 My daughter is now in middle school and apparently this tradition stops in the 5th grade. I suppose teachers no longer have time to encourage this; with having to cram so much information into a single year and prepare the children for End-of-Grade testing. Or perhaps, it could be that when children reach their teen-age years, even though they still love their mothers with reckless abandonment; they do not want to exactly trace their hands, cut out flowers or draw hearts on a card in front of their friends. It could also possibly be; they just don’t get the opportunity to create those little treasures anymore.
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All of the cards and plants you have received, start to mean so much more when you are a single mother or you suddenly become one. No matter how aware you are in your heart, how much your child loves you, recognition is always twice as sweet. Of course, your child can still make you a card in their room and bring you breakfast in bed. But, it would be nice if they had another option. After all, your child is still eager to celebrate you on this day.  However, who will take them shopping for a gift or a card, if you are the only parent in their life? I think children enjoy the process. Almost like shopping for birthday gifts, Christmas presents, etc. They want to be apart of the tradition to.
So I write this mock letter to Middle and High School Principals/Teachers in hopes that the might consider a small change in the curriculum one day out of the year…
Dear School Administrators,
I  know a child in middle/high school has so much to learn in such a small amount of time. I  also know that you all are doing the very best that you can to make sure that our children can compete and excel in their education and furthermore in their lives.  In saying that; I ask that you allow the time-honored tradition of letting the children create things for their mothers for Mother’s Day continue. I know it may seem trivial and how you could have the thought of, ” How can we possibly be able to squeeze another activity into an already packed day”.  Nonetheless, I assure you this small gesture will have a massive impact on their lives…forever.
  The children at your schools all come from different backgrounds and circumstances. These treasures created by the children for their mothers can make a great difference in the lives of the women who are raising them, if only for a  single day.  A content mother makes for a happy child.
Now, I know with teenagers comes attitudes, grumbles, impatience, moodiness. So the announcement of a craft that includes glitter, markers, paint, sequins and glue may not illicit a resounding roar of excitement, but just have the teacher place the materials on the table and step back. Watch how silent the room becomes as the children start creating.
Sincerely,
Mom
Happy Mother’s Day Single Mamas!
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P.S. I wrote this article originally when my daughter was in middle school She is now a high school junior graduating with a high school diploma and Associates Degree next year. As, I was reading this article the emotions from so long ago resurfaced. We are now in the midst of college applications and SAT prep and she still found the time to make a Mother’s Day card for me today. Cherish your time mommies; it goes by in a blink of an eye.

Single Mother Chronicles: What Is On Your List?

Photo Credit: Blogvila
Photo Credit: Blogvila

The subject of “settling” has come up in quite a few of conversations I have had with friends lately. It was discussed as if it was a disease. Something you should avoid and take medication to defend yourself against. It was interesting to me how the tone of the conversation changed when I was talking to friends who were not single mothers. It was almost as if they decided years ago that if you are a single mother, you take what you can get. That your options are limited so why be ” so picky” about who you date. I had to give a single(mom) while dating tutorial to all of them. After they got over being offended by my decision to speak about something they clearly had no clue about, everything settled down into a deep understanding among us all.

In saying all of that, you would assume that I think settling is something that should be avoided at all cost. However,  I think the term is overused and unnecessary. I believe in the 80-20 rule. Most potential dating partners you meet will only be 80% of what you want/need and the other 20% is a wash. The probability that your “special one” will give you 100% of what you are looking for is nearly impossible. So if we believe this to be true, tell me again what is wrong with “settling”? And wouldn’t you have to believe that you are very close to perfection and need little to no improvement to actually say that you will not settle.The problem is not believing that you are worthy of great things. But, the thought that no will ever measure up.

Long list of relationship rules for women described as settling for any man.
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What happened to accepting a person, opposites attracting… compromise even? We have started dating with these long list of 200 things a person must have in order for their potential mate to even become a consideration. Now, do not get me wrong. We as single mothers, and everyone else for that matter should have standards. Standards are things a person should possess in their personalities. Manners, loyalty, trustworthy, etc. Those are standards to me. Almost like what comes standard on a car; things you expect that should always be there. However, the list of 200 things includes things like, must own a home, drive a certain type of car or a nice benefit package from his job. Those things come with the luxury model and you will pay extra for them. What exactly are you willing to pay for these items, that at the end of the day, will not add any value to your relationship?

What is the dilemma in embracing and trying with someone who has most of what you are looking for? That except for one or two luxury items, they are exactly what you need. As single mothers, who have been through difficult relationships and then the fallout from their demise, I know we can be gun-shy. Nonetheless, learn from the demise. Do not limit your perception on men because of it.This does not apply to just taking anyone who offers a smile. Please do not create, then live by an Excel spread sheet and ultimately end up alone.

Photo Credit: Toopfun .com
Photo Credit: Toopfun .com

So if a person makes you feel desired, cherished, loved or makes you forget life’s stresses for just a moment and elicits a soft smile by merely existing in your life, yet does not meet numbers 16, 28 and 47 on your list…I say to hell with calling it settling. Let’s call it living.

Single Mother Chronicles: Cupid, Come Sit By Me

Photo Credit: crosswalk .com
Photo credit: crosswalk .com

February 14th can feel like doom’s day for a single mom  presented in shades of red and pink. It’s hard to pretend it is just another day when your office smells like a rose garden and you can barely see your co worker through the cloud of helium balloons surrounding her desk. (Insert -side eye- here). Yes, that IS balloon envy you detect. Hey, Valentine’s day can turn  a single people into The Sarcastic Club for 24 hours. I will confess some of my friend’s  membership a time or two in past years.

And while I am confessing, I know a few single mothers who have become lovelorn on Valentine’s Day. They participate in direct message (DMs) conversations with guys who continually confuse “they’re” for “there”, want to show you their abs instead of their face and misspell argument 30 different times… just to have opposite sex interaction on this day made for love. Step away from the computers and tablets ladies. Realize that you can show love for YOURSELF and others this February 14th.

Photo credit: pinterest.com
Photo credit: pinterest.com

1. If you are not a member of a single mommies support group, I encourage you to find one now. The right group will offer you a safe haven to share what is on your heart during those moments when you believe no-one understands, have opportunities for you to meet women that have similar interest/hobbies and also potential business networking. On Valentine’s day, when admittedly your emotions can throw you for a loop,  you and the members of your mommies group can send each other anonymous notes of love and encouragement. The connection established through these acts of selflessness will last long after this single day in February.

2.  Go to the Valentine’s day party at your child’s school. You will be surrounded by excitement and puppy dog crushes. You may even get a foiled valentines while in attendance. It may have SpongeBob SquarePants on it. But, it was given in the purest form of love. The innocence of children is nothing short of magic.

Photo credit: cityline.ca
Photo credit: cityline.ca

3. Buy yourself beautiful lingerie that you look amazing in and get your hair done in a style you have never tried before. Continue to pamper yourself by getting a massage, pedicure and your nails done. Maybe also try going to a department store make-up section and have the artist give you a dramatic look. Then take all your fabulousness and have boudoir pictures taken. Confidence is sexy on any day of the year. 

4. Have a corny love movie mini-marathon with your best girlfriends. Pop some popcorn, drink sparkling wine ( or the real thing) and laugh until you cry. Sisterhood is a bond that not only lengthens your lifespan. But, also allows you to stumble from time to time. Your sisters will be right there to help you up.

Photo credit: winetime.co
Photo credit: winetime.co

5. Have a small get together at your home or a venue. Ask each of your single friends to invite all the single men they know. You all can have appetizers and wine, then mingle. In a group, there is no immense pressure for everything to be perfect, like on an one-on-one date. There could be a potential love match for many people in the group. Who knows, one of them could be you.

6. Go out with fellow single moms and dance ’til you drop to Beyonce’s ” Single Ladies ( Put a ring on it)”. Remember the dance is not complete unless you do the hand move also. Sing “Stronger” by R&B crooner Tank, at the top of your lungs. ( This particular song has great testimony weaved throughout it. Very powerful. ) Just get out on the dance floor, let go and have an absolute ball!

Photo credit; fungroup.co
Photo credit: fungroup.co

So if you are single this Valentine’s day ladies, know that you are not alone, balloon envy is normal, DMs are not your friend until the 15th and you do not have to suffer through this day without simply loving yourself and having a fun.

I am my daughter’s valentine every year. I make a card and buy her a single red rose. She is still thrilled by this after many years and what mom doesn’t love the painted hand print heart card from her child? Who needs a printed thousands of times card from Hallmark…not this year anyway.

 

Single Mother Chronicles: Happy New and Old Me

TS Eliot 

‘ Tis the season for New Year’s Resolutions as some of us decided a couple of days ago, some of us may have broken them already and it is only January 2nd. (lol) The 31st of December either brings about a feeling of hope or dread. We promised to lose those last 10 pounds, reconnect with a lost friend, become more spiritual, start a new career, leave the negative folks behind or we believe the new year will bring about new attitudes, new opportunities or new loves.  And let’s be honest, for some single mothers they hope that this will be the year that the father of our children will understand what it takes to be a responsible father. And we silently pray (even if we do not want to admit it) that this will be the year we happen upon a man who will embrace us and our little ones. This is not silly or desperate, its human.

We tend to keep that last resolution to ourselves because we fear the appearance of desperately seeking…someone. However, what is wrong with wanting to share your fantastic self with someone else? Despite what some may say or wrote in those nauseating self help books, no one is meant to be alone. And most people desire some one to share their failures and triumphs with.

I usually do not make any type of resolutions. They have always seemed like a promise people do not want to really attain. It all sounds right at the time. They inspire you to feel as if you are starting over and hopeful in the year that follows. So this year, I  decided to start over in some instances and be hopeful in others, which included starting this blog. I set attainable goals for myself.

I have slowly lost contact with my best friend of 13 years. This is some one I use to stay on the phone with for at least  6 hours a day. We are each others confidant, soft place to fall and warriors. Through the birth of children and the death of  marriages we have been there for each other. At some point it began to feel like I was only bringing bad news and drama to our friendship table. So, I allowed us to drift apart. I feel like this is a friendship that deserved reconnection. Hopefully she feels the same way.

So, this year I did make some thing like resolutions. No, I take that back, I made New Year’s Affirmations that will speak truth into the things I want in my life, welcome the fact that they may not turn out exactly how I want them and stand in whatever the outcomes may be… knowing that at least I was finally open to them all.

Even through my trials and stumbles, I know I am blessed. This year I need to find out why and say ” Thank You”.

2015 here I am!