Children need parents not more friends

Children need parents not more friends

Today, I received a reminder that parenting is hard. Not just single parenting, but parenting in general. Short story: My elder boy was sleeping in class. His teacher assigned him a 0. She may or may not have been shocked by my reply, but reply I did. It went something like this: ‘Good! And give him a detention, as well.’ You see, I’m not my kids’ friend. I’m their mother. Parenting means a little tough love every now and again will undoubtedly occur. He also is losing his cell phone and no PS3 for remainder of school year. Oh that’s not mean! That’s the consequence of staying up late when you were told to go to bed. It is also the added consequence of disrespecting an adult by sleeping in their class when they’ve planned a good lesson to teach you.

So, why this post? I share this to say if your kid makes silly choices, you’re not alone. If you are your kids friend, you need to stop. What happens when you’ve gone years without assigning consequences designed to deter negative behavior? Oh yeah! What happens is they go into adulthood with no limits, no respect, and are oblivious to why their lack of manners is offensive.

Please, parent your children while you can. They have enough friends.

Parenting is tough. Do It Anyway!

Kaydy

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day

Hey moms, you rock! Single or married, with kids or not, life is so much better because you’re here. Remember the great contribution to history you’re making with your seemingly minuscule tasks. But, it’s a safe love-filled world of wonder you create for your babies. You are loved!

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Being Happy Is a Choice

Being Happy Is a Choice

Today is my birthday. I’m home writing, working, and researching. But, I’m happy. Happiness is a choice. I write this little note to remind you- Choose to be happy. No matter what is going on around you, find your happy place and enjoy your life.

My life is not perfect. You can read past posts and find my kids are not perfect either. We are all imperfect people who love each other perfectly. We happily come back together and keep living. As happy as we can be.

So, with that in mind, I choose to be happy. I will enjoy my day and pray you will choose to enjoy yours. On the road of life, there are wrong turns, not so nice people and circumstances beyond our control, Do It Anyway.
Be blessed!

Kaydy

5 Challenges to being a single mom to boys during the teen years

5 Challenges to being a single mom to boys during the teen years

As my boys enter the teen years, I have begun to see changes in them. And in me. No one wants to see their kids go in different directions than originally planned when you first held them in your arms; but, sometimes, they do. I am witnessing the “Twilight Zone”. Some of you may be there with me. You know, the monosyllabic responses, no more hugs (because hugs are for little boys), and the “I heard you the first time but I will clean up when I feel like it”. (Previous items thought and not spoken of course. Mama don’t play that). Yet, I go through it because I love them, and I know deep down that this is “their” journey and not mine. I have to let them make some mistakes to learn. After all, isn’t that how we got to be so wise as adults?

Challenge 1: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 2: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 3: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 4: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 5: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.

Yes, I noticed all my challenges are the same. And yes, currently, this is my hardest task. I remind myself they are boys becoming men. Hormones are raging and things are happening to them that they do not quite understand. And the Lord knows that neither do I. This is why I have sought out mentors. I’m placing good godly men in their lives. I make sure to keep them in physical activities so that they can let out that steam. Is it easy? No! I cry inside missing my babies. Yet, this is new frontier and we have to brave it together. Discipline does happen at my house. I take things like ALL the ELECTRONICS. And there is no returning them until politeness and actual speaking English to me and not mumbling has returned. Let’s face it. My kids are almost as tall as me and one is bigger, so spanking went away a while ago. But, what I do is talk to them and let them know why they are losing their beloved toys. I call them on their bad attitudes and remind them that we operate in respect in this house. Is it easy? No. But, I have been a teenager before and this is how I know they will survive and so will I. Got the above challenges in your home? Do the work and assess what needs to be removed to get order back. I have some peace right now and it feels good. It’s amazing what no Call of Duty or PS3 will do for the morale in your home. I also recognize that they need someone to talk to about guy stuff and life as a teen. I’m not capable of fully understanding and guiding them in that department although I do my best. I will see them through this even if all my hair goes gray. Challenges come. We nor our kids are perfect. Dig in, do your best, and refuse to lose.

On the road of life, nothing is easy. Do It Any Way!

Kaydy

9 Lessons Life Has Taught Me

9 Lessons Life Has Taught Me

I have come into my own in my thirties. I know a lot of “twenty-somethings” dread the big 30, but it is truly a great time in life. I say this knowing that I am quickly approaching 40. Yet, I still have a few years before I get the “Oh Lordy, she’s 40” cake. But, in all seriousness, I am approaching a beautiful time in life. I want us as women to stop dreading getting older because we learn something valuable each year as we age. We get better with time in appearance, in wisdom, in our careers, and most importantly in parenting. So, I have compiled a list of 9 lessons I have learned in my own life. I believe they will resonate with you.

1. Take care of yourself.
I get better with time. I know you do, too. It’s just a fact that we are more beautiful and confident in our thirties. No longer a babe or a twenty-something finding her stride, we blossom into “grown woman”. I don’t about you, but I really found my fashion sense in my 30’s. I think I looked good in my 20’s but let’s face it, somethings need to be left in the past like midriffs being out and “too short” shorts. (Ikr) After my first child, I immediately felt ashamed of “short” anything. After all, I was a mom now. I really started eating better and wearing makeup (here and there) in my 30’s. I learned how to properly workout. Gone are the days of fine with no work. So, in short, take care of your skin, eat right, exercise, get rest, and leave the little clothes to the little girls. It will bless you now and later.
2. Be authentic.
I know who I am now. I feel like I have always known, yet I was not okay with being different. I was and still am “different”. I never ran with the crowd, never wanted to do the “cool” thing, and now I know that I made the right choice. I can without any qualms be authentic and stare any onlooker in the face and say “So what!”. Take it or leave it. I’m me and being me with my quirks is A-okay.
3. Chase your goals.
I know what I want to do in my career. I have always had a knack for talking. I’m an encourager, and I love to read. I’m curious and research is cool to me. None of those descriptions add up to Spanish teacher, but that’s what I do. I also do other things besides that like encourage single parents and that is a passion I know I’ll always chase along with a myriad if other things. Who says you have to do one thing? That dream that won’t die keeps nagging you for a reason. Chase it. It’ll free you.
4. Create the family you desire.
I know I want a whole family (mom and dad at the helm). I always knew this. I didn’t always make the choices that lined up with what I wanted. I know better now. In life and love, be courageous and ask. No, demand what you want. You’ll weed out who doesn’t belong and have room for who does. Amen.
5. Go when others do not see the path.
Sometimes people will think you’re nuts. That’s okay. That spark in you must be allowed to grow into passion. Chase it. You’ll be happy. When I left mortgages to be a Spanish teacher, my family said “for what?” Now, they can’t help but brag to people who could care less that I have my Masters. I didn’t do it for them. I did it for me. Be comfortable going alone. The rest will catch up.
6. Be brave.
I moved to Texas to chase a dream. It was the best move I ever made. I was fearless as a single mom with small boys. I was fearless because I had peace that God had opened that door. Be sensitive to the direction your life needs to go in, bite the bullet, and go.
7. Be available.
In your growing, chasing dreams and staying fabulous, be available to your babies. My years of working on my Masters are a blur and at the same time a joy. I say a blur because it was hard. A joy because Zi love learning and it’s a big accomplishment. I made it. My boys made it. But to say I was as present mentally as I should have been would be an understatement. Tired was the place I lived. I took breaks and had family time, but it was a time of sacrifice. I made a deal with them that they couldn’t do sports in those three years but after I finished they could. I made good on that promise. It just was not possible to do due to my taking three grad classes every semester and working full-time. I now see I was crazy. Lol! What was I thinking! Praise God we made it.
8. Being alone is better than being in the wrong relationship.
In love, you have to look out for you. Choose the best from the start and you can avoid some unnecessary lessons. I had to grow up in my twenties quickly as a single mom. I didn’t know how to date. But, Lord have I figured it out now! Simply put, If he does not bring peace to me and my house, he is not a good fit. He has to love me and my boys. We come together. No exceptions. I’d rather be alone than spend my precious time on a “temporary man”. Older women are attractive because we’ve figured out what we want and don’t want. Most importantly, we’re not afraid to say it.
9. Do It Anyway
This last lesson is key! Life is hard. Single parenting is hard. Building a company or chasing a dream will be hard. If it’s your dream, you owe it to yourself to see it to the end. Many may not come to help you, do it anyway. Do it alone, with tears in your eyes, broke, tired, hungry, but do it. You’ll find out how strong you are and that God really does make a way.

May what I’ve learned inspire you to keep going no matter what season you are in. Life truly is beautiful and you really rock! Remember that.

Kaydy

Seeking help when life hurts

Seeking help when life hurts

As single parents, we tend to bear all things. Every bill, every sickness, whether our own or our kids, and every hurt. We have to learn to release negativity and not dwell on all the bad. Our job is difficult enough as is. We must make room for the good. I’m not saying to pretend or wish the bad away. I’m saying to not let it take over your life. Deal with the bills, the money, the shortage of this or that, and spend your energy on the good. Life has so much beauty to offer us. Let’s show our kids that although life can be hard at times, we know the art of Doing it Anyway.

With all the positivity of the previous paragraph, I digress to say that I recently learned of the passing of a young woman who was doing great work in the world to inspire women of color to love themselves. She ended up being a light for women of all colors, but she took her own life this Thursday. Hearing her story, I thought about how hard single parenting was for me when my boys were small. Praise God, I never thought of hurting myself or my children, but I remember being tired and wanting to just quit. I wanted to sit in my house and complain about how hard it was to do it alone. I wanted to just have a moment to be where I didn’t have to do everything. I was tired. I was bitter. I was sad. Luckily, I had family and friends that encouraged me to keep going and also chipped in to help. And, I had my faith that would not let me quit. For these, I am thankful. But, I now wonder if I was depressed and did not know it. So many of us are taught to keep going when we hurt, when we’re tired, when we’re wounded. I know I was. I was hurt. I was in a position I had no expectation of being in and I had to deal with it mostly alone. Because of what I’ve gone through I am stronger. I work well now because of it. I can tackle deadlines and handle a million things at once. It made me tough. But, I wonder what of the ones who are not as strong, or do not have the support? I write this post urging us all to take time to find balance and get medical help, if needed. Sometimes what we battle cannot be cured by a night out, a vacation, or a self-help book. Sometimes, we need assistance our family and friends cannot provide. I’m a Christian, and I believe in the power of prayer. I also go to the doctor when I’m sick. One doesn’t cancel the other. Be brave enough to share the great things of life and the dark with those you love and trust. Your kids need you here and no one or anything is worth your life.

So, as I close, if life is roses and peacocks for you, that’s great! But, please check on your loved ones. When friends come to mind, call them. We are losing people too young and too old to senseless things. I wrote a post recently about engaging our kids. I find it is absolutely important that we are listening to our family and friends and really being present. We don’t know how people internalize our words and actions. Life hurts because people do the hurting. It’s easy to say “I wouldn’t let that bother me”. But, it really does bother the person who is hurting. Allow them to deal and heal. We can all stand to be more compassionate. Who knows what people are really going through behind closed doors? We must make it okay to be authentic.

Live your life to the fullest and love those who love you. Do It Anyway.

Kaydy

What Does a Hard Time Have to Do with Flowers?

What Does a Hard Time Have to Do with Flowers?

This post is not about parenting per se. It’s about working on your life’s outlook. Having a great outlook helps you become a more balanced parent. Most importantly, this post is about not thinking your life is useless.

Life is crazy. It’ll throw a bad moment right behind a great triumph. It’ll seemingly place a moment in time (that seems to last forever) right behind. But, it is still so worth it. Life is hard. Life is scary, challenging, and gut-wrenching at times. But, it’s worth it. I hate when I hear people say they cannot do life or can’t take it anymore. The truth is that they can. What they should say is “I don’t want to endure this anymore”. But, we CAN take it and get past it and conquer it. Whatever it is. We’ve just got to get in the right space. If all one dwells on is negative then there will be no solution. You’ve got to think positive, wrap your mind around another idea. If you can’t, it’s time to get help from a friend who can look at it differently with less tired eyes. I’m not saying thinking positive will solve the problem, bring that person back, or pay your bills. But, it will help you get to a place of clarity and then only can you work on a better solution for you. But, life is worth it. You are worth it.

When times are good, we’re good. When times are bad, we fall apart. Why don’t we prepare for the inevitable? I don’t know. But, we need to remind ourselves when trouble comes to see life differently because life is beautiful. I challenge you to change the channel if it depresses you, change friends if they don’t support you, drop that love interest if they don’t love you. But see life as the beautiful, complex gift that it is. You only get one. Don’t let anyone or anything make you think less of your time here on Earth. You are unique and uniquely designed to soar. Life is not a bed of roses, but it sure sends the most beautiful bouquets from time to time. The bouquets are those sprinkled moments of joy that you have to experience for yourself. Keep living to see what delivery awaits you!

Life’s hard. 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!