Our kids have personality. That’s okay!

Our kids have personality. That’s okay!

Parenting is tough. Whether you’re a single parent or you have help, I’m sure you’ll admit that this is the one job that you can’t fall asleep on (Hopefully none of us sleep at work). But, it is ever changing and full of surprises.

When I became a new mom, I was excited and afraid at the same time. I had my ideas on how I would raise my kids mostly built on what I had seen and heard in my own environment. None of this is bad, but as they grew, I needed to adapt.

See, what worked for me, just doesn’t work for my boys. Are you and your kids there? Are you wondering why they don’t behave the way you did when you were a kid? Well, truth is they aren’t you, times have changed, and they are not you. So, what will you do about it? Will you continue to talk about how you were or will you see them for who they are?

Adapting does not mean lack of parenting, but it means you are allowing life to do what it does- show you its unexpected beauty in the stuff you can’t control. It’s wonderful that your kids have personality, their own ideas, and drives. Let them! Be okay with that. Of course, still shape and guide them. But, as they age, their personality will come through and I warn you- It may be very opposite of how you dreamed. That’s okay! Allow them to grow into who they are.
Do you really want replicas of you? Nah, you want to help mold some awesome babies into beautiful, brilliant, and brave young men and women. There is no book for that (Well, technically there are). Trial and error is usually how this goes infused with a lot of love.

Let their little lights shine no matter how different they are. I have two quirky, athletic, goofy, messy, smart, hilarious boys who I hope one day become men very happy in their own skin.

Letting go of the reigns is tough. I know.

Do It Anyway!

The Single Moms Club Really Exists

The Single Moms Club Really Exists

I watched Tyler Perry’s “The Single Moms Club” yesterday. I laughed, I almost cried, I understood the ladies trials and triumphs. This is my life and that of many of my friends daily. So, I wanted to write a post on lessons learned from the movie. 

Lessons learned from the Single Mom’s Club:

1. Moms, dads, single parents are not perfect (That’s okay)

2. Friendship and support are pertinent (People were made for relationship. Be there for them.)

3. No matter where you come from, if you’re a single parent, we have something in common (Diversity is good. I love my mix of friends. I learn something new about their culture and they learn from me. It’s great!)

4. Loving your kid(s) really is what it’s all about

5. You’ve got to de-clutter you so you can focus on what really matters (Resolve your issues with your ex, work, whatever, so you can focus on being the best parent. You may have to heal as you go, but do it.)

6. Find like-minded women or men that you trust to form a “club” where you trade babysitting days or nights

7. Always be willing to help your single parent friends

8. In this group, you’ll make life long friends that improve your journey, your experience, and that of you children

9. Your kids will thrive because they have more friends and different peers to talk to (Everyone needs to vent sometimes in a place where they feel safe)

10. Overall, you and your children will find a new family in the Single Moms Club that you did not have before (Be open to making new friends. They can bless you.)

I will not expound on each of these points, but I think you get the picture. Seeking out people who are in the same predicament and that you trust can have so many pluses. In the movie, the moms were forced to work together. In real life, that usually doesn’t happen. Their kids did some things that hopefully mine and yours never will, but they all do something. It was good to see how punishment was handled. That’s another post in and of itself. I laughed at what was doled out as punishment. I think in real life, we all would have done some things differently.

I do have a circle of girlfriends (single and not) that assist me and assisted me when my boys were younger. It was so great to be able to be young and still grab a bite to eat with friends or go out on a date. As a single mom, I struggled with the guilt of wanting to do those things and my girlfriend said, “Hey, no worries. I’ll watch the boys and you go have some fun.” Amazing! I didn’t take advantage, but every now and again, I would escape and have what I call a “Mommy Break”. We traded turns and I was able to de-stress, as we all need, at times. I also had a married couple that I was (and still am) great friends with help me out. I got to go into the city to hangout and see a play, concert- you get the picture and they watched my boys. When they wanted to go away for the weekend, I had their three and my two. The point is that help comes in a variety of ways, but it’s still appreciated. Please support your friends who are single and parenting alone. The challenges they face personally and with their children can be daunting. Allow them an opportunity to spend time and space with a love interest. Not being able to date and be a single parent can feel like torture. I know I need to find a better word but that is what comes to mind. We can love more than our kids at one time. No matter how much you love your kids, sometimes you need a break to do adult things with adults.

Life is hard. Having friends along for the journey makes it so much easier. If you can form a group, do so. If you have no support, stay open and maybe a group at church, or a married couple will come along and bless you. As always, check the folks out, our kids are our number one priority.

Single parenting is hard, scary, rewarding, exhausting, filled with love and fun times, etc. Do It Any Way!