Running with Little People. Bear Creek Trail

If you have never had the opportunity to run with my Little People, I’m sorry! They are by far some of the funniest running partners you can find. They had the opportunity to play with a GoPro on their run on the Bear Creek Trail the other day. As you can see, they enjoyed it! Tajh spend the next day editing and I promised I would share with the world!  (Do not blame me if you get motion sickness! These kids are not pros… yet…)

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Crewing is Harder Than Running 100 miles.

Crewing is harder than running 100 miles. That’s right, I said it.  Look, you train for 100 miles (in theory). It’s you goal to finish, to PR, to win, whatever, but it’s yours. Then you rope in friends, family, whoever to spend day and night (and maybe day again) taking care of you. There is no training to crew (unless you count daily life with children). We are thrown into this crazy world that YOU chose and we play the hurry up and wait game. All the while you run, that’s it! You just have to put on foot in front of the other! How nice that must be…

I have 5 kids, I know how to handle little people, this makes me a great crew person. Every ultra runner pulls a Benjamin Button at some point in 100 (even front runners to a degree). They forget to eat and drink, can’t speak, and possibly have soiled their pants. They need a Mom. They need someone to think for them. They need help. As the crew person it is your job to know your runner. To know when they will make mistakes. To know when they need help. To brief their pacer even after they have, “now he said he won’t want you to tell him to drink more, but do it anyway”. So Mom you become, and being a Mom is hard.

Now lets add in the driving all over the place. Directions are great in theory, but when you are in the middle of nowhere with no cell service and directions that the race director came up with, “yeah that’s good enough, everyone knows where mount Timmy is and they will totally understand the aid station is to the left most corner of the right face”,  it’s stressful. What if you are late? You have everything they need! What if this messes up their entire race? It’s a lottery race they will never get in again! YOUR race lies in MY hands and I’m in the middle of nowhere…. Heart attack time.

And now it’s dark. Yay. I really don’t like the dark as it is, and I’m tired. A little nap? No time for that. All those splits they gave you? yeah they are totally off them now. You have been trying your best all day to predict when they will come in and they screw with you every time. Don’t they know this is messing with your game? No nap, push through, light will come, shit I haven’t ate or drank anything all day…

Eventually they finish. You are elated for them. Now they want to relive EVERY second of the race with you. While you try and pin your eyelids open and convince then you aren’t sleeping through their exciting tales they decide they need EVERYTHING from the care parked nearly 20 miles away (or 50 yards, whichever). You feed them, change them (maybe just bring them a change of clothes but it’s all the same), and get them warm. Sleep? I would love some… Then they ask about your day, how everything when for you ALL day long. The moment you begin sharing they beginning snoring… Sigh…

Now if your runner drops it’s even worse! All you will hear about for the next 2 months is the “shoulda”, “coulda”, “woulda”… There is no winning. You will agree they shouldn’t have quit and they will be upset that you didn’t push them. You will tell them they could have kept going and they will convince you they couldn’t have walked another step (although they did walk down to the car to leave, but who’s counting).

Alas, the panic attack, Mothering, stressing, multiple runs to the car, driving, getting lost, lugging huge bags, planning stuff, overthinking, organizing, reorganizing, life of a crew person is hard. You silly runners putting one foot in front of the other for 100 miles have it pretty darn easy.

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Island Lake? Psh my 4-year-old can do that.

Did someone say epic? Oh yeah, that’s how we roll. A journey with 5 kids into the unknown? Yes please. Even better, let someone tell me there is “lots of snow up there” and apparently I decide it’s an even better idea. With +1 at the lead I strapped Tru on my back and headed to Island Lake.

Now we have done part of this journey before. Last year we drove to the parking lot at the end of South Mineral campground and headed up Ice Lake trail. To head to Island Lake you take a turn at some point, that’s all I knew. Last year I was in shape, this year I haven’t done anything in a nearly a month, I knew this was going to hurt, at least a little.

Now let’s remember, little Tenny is 4. I had NO clue how long this hike was going to be, but I knew from the start she was going to make it on her own 2 feet.

Off we go!

Off we go!

The first hour was a nice hike. Upness was there, but everyone was moving pretty well with Tenny moving at “4-year-old who randomly gets boosts of energy to catch her siblings” pace. River crossings were met with helping hands from siblings, and Tru took his first nap of the day. I’m pretty sure this kid only likes hiking for the naps!

First river crossing. They got larger!

First river crossing. They got larger!

See, larger.

See, larger.

I get by with a little help from my siblings.

I get by with a little help from my siblings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I figured snack after an hour and then maybe another within the next half hour, they had other plans. These kids were hungry! So they ate and hiked and Little Miss Tenny got a second wind, even if it only lasted a little while.

Snack break turned into birdwatching time.

Snack break turned into birdwatching time.

Upness

Upness

"Mommy van!" -Tru

“Mommy van!” -Tru

Now about snow, I don’t like it. I am not a fan of being cold. So we hit some snow fields, and some more, and some sketchier ones. I spent a lot of time asking the kids to watch their feet and asking (re-asking) +1 if it was safe.

More snow.

More snow.

Snow

Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still snow.

Still snow, and Tenny!

Tenny does not like having cold and which did lead to some freak outs EVERY time she fell…which was a lot. Luckily +1 did help her through some of the extra crazy spots. And then we saw it:

 

photo-12

The amazing blue of the water could been seen through the ice layer, which the kids promptly began throwing rocks at. What kid doesn’t want to watch ice break? We had lunch, threw more rocks, and laid our shoes and socks out to dry. And then got attacked by marmots-

 

I can confidently say the best playground for children is a giant frozen lake over 12,000 feet in the sky. The only way to live.

 

Ice Breaking.

Ice Breaking.

More Ice Breaking.

More Ice Breaking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock throwing,

Rock throwing,

Time to leave.

The snow fields on the way drown were beyond sketchy. Sadly my phone died (then came back to life further down the mountain) so I wasn’t able to get any of the epic shots on +1 skiing on his feet down crazy snow fields at 12,000 feet or my Littles getting cold butts as they sledding (sans sled) down. We will have to head back and make it happen.

Drinking from waterfalls "best water ever!"

Drinking from waterfalls “best water ever!”

"Mommy next time lets bring no water and just fill in the waterfalls" Good plan kids... good plan.

“Mommy next time lets bring no water and just fill in the waterfalls” Good plan kids… good plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenny napped on my back (girl deserved the break!) , Tru on +1′s (so thankful to have another adult for this trek) and we all made is safely back down. In case you are keeping track, My 4-YEAR-OLD hiked for 3 1/2 hours over 4 miles up with nearly 3,000 elevation gain. Yup, she is bad ass. All in all it was nearly an 8 hour day and so worth it! If only for the marmot eating Tay’s pee off the ground story…

 

Dirty shoes picture requested by Tay.

Dirty shoes picture requested by Tay.

and some others.

and some others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And let me say, my Little people who have been fighting and struggling to be friends the last few months were AMAZING the entire 8 hours. Helpful to one another and kinder then I could ever ask for. Thank you nature!

Oh yes, and my adorable pollen nose little buddy. Best hiking friend ever! Anytime I fall and give a "shit" under my breath I'm met with "ok mommy?". Love him!

Oh yes, and my adorable pollen nose little buddy. Best hiking friend ever! Anytime I fall and give a “shit” under my breath I’m met with “ok mommy?”. Love him!

Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Silverton!

It’s Silverton time baby! Headed up a little late Friday with all the Little People. Van pack full of food, breakfast in their snack bins, and no real plan in mind. Decided to keep it simple this trip and not think too much, if you know me, that’s a clear lie.

I will say my planning sucked for this trip. Nearly everything I have for the kids I have bought myself in the last 6 months. I like matching shirts (so I can find them easier if they are lost), comfy clothes, basically whatever it takes to keep things as simple as possible. Yet, I found myself with nothing, and a whole lot of shopping to do. With drama always on my door step, getting out of town took longer then I wanted.

So we drove, FINALLY, the 6 of us. We stopped when we wanted, snacked when we wanted. Other then a little more whinning then I would have like, it went well! And then they saw Silverton:

 

Obviously they are a little odd… but I kinda like how Tay calls marrying the same gender “flavor”. He is well on his way to a comedy career.. or incarceration… a Mother can never be too sure!

 

They talked about how much they love small towns and they ran around on the playground and all came back out of breathe! Oh, a Hardrock loving Mothers dream. They were all so happy to be “home”.

We headed off in the mountains to sleep. It was too late for me to care to put up a tent, van it was. Tru laid on me for a while and was nice enough to inform me “no poop Mommy, no poop”. Thanks Buddy, glad you don’t plan on pooping on me tonight. Everyone found their “spot” and sleep came. The morning was my favorite:

 

On to the fun adventures! I have some exciting plans for my out-of-shape little ultra runners! Stay tuned!

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sorry, Momma don’t pay.

I do not believe in allowance, I never have. When I was growing up we didn’t have much money. My mom worked hard to be sure we had the things we wanted. Did I get every new toy I wanted? Hell no. Did I get the newest fancy clothes? Nope. But when it came to things that were good for me (activities, classes), I had them. My family owned a business and I began working from a young age. at 15 I had 2 jobs over the summer, one being full time. I was always working hard because no one was ever going to hand me anything.

My kids have always grown up being a part of the household. If I ask you to sweep, pick up someone elses’ mess, wash the dishes, anything, you do it. I have always been met with a “yes mommy” because we are a family. You eat here, have a roof over your head, toys, clothes, everything you need, so you participate. I do the majority of the work, but you must be willing to help when I need it.

Divorce sucks. When you have been the “on call” parent your children’s entire life, you have done a lot of research and come up with a pretty concise parenting plan. And then the game changes on you…. All of the sudden kids are given an allowance, not taught to save and instead buy toys that would to totally be off-limits with your parenting, and food choices seem like Halloween at all times…. ugh…

Learning to parent through this is far from easy.  I refuse to change my values, the values they are grown up with, but of course they wish I would. They are little, you can not expect them to understand “because its good for you”. So alas my helpers are harder to deal with. There is always push back, asking to be paid, expecting things that were normally held as “treats”.  Does this anger me? absolutely. I wish they could hold on to the values I have instilled in them. But, that’s not the case. Now I must learn to hold my emotions. I must learn everything will take a little longer. Nothing will be as simple as it once was.

I suppose just another episode in the saga “Divorced Parenting”

 

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Time to get out of this place!

I still consider myself homeless, I am currently squatting. Yes I am in a home, but it is not my home. It is one room for my kids and I, which really is fine, but again it is not my home. Now that the kids are out of school is time to take this homeless show back on the road. Back to Colorado, back to tent living, back to spending our days adventuring and not inside.

I hate raising my kids inside. Although I love their schools (Tay is heading to school next year too) I still daydream about unschooling (google it) in the great outdoors. I daydream about having a home sometimes. Nothing crazy or big, something small and comfortable. I love having my children close, the idea of having space for them to get lost inside is silly to me. Also, all that stuff to fill a giant home seems ridiculous and materialistic. A tiny house with a wonderful outdoor space sounds lovely to me. A giant garden, outdoor living/cooking space, chickens, dogs, forts, and everything else that comes with it. A space I could lock up and leave for months at a time as we wander the world seeking adventure.  Oh that would be the life…

So on to our summer fun! Tea has picked a bunch of races she is really looking forward to (Sky Series is calling my little mountain Lady) and has requested we hang in Silverton for her to train. All the other Little are looking forward to being free and dirty outside. We are hoping to hook up with some of our Vagabond friends to party all night with. My plans to bag some crazy peaks alone with 5 Littles my seem optimistic, but I like a challenge.

Now it’s time for me to plan, clean, pack, unpack, repack, over think, get stress, and finally head out on my next great adventure. Being a single, vegan, homeless, poor, running bum, Mom to 5 Littles is always an adventure, I’m ready to take that adventure up in elevation.

Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids, Parenting, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crewing for 5.

What did I do this weekend? Well crewed my +1 at a 100 mile race with my four littlest Littles of course!

Let me just say here, my +1 is a very talented runner. Not only is he talented, he has a no quit attitude everyone should be jealous of. I often spend my “free” time crewing telling people how wonderful he really is. Watching him race is always a mixture of pride, admiration, stress, anxiety, and joy. I love every minute of it! But enough about him (he can write his own report!) this is about ME!

We left Friday, late. Now mind you, we had ZERO plan, but I like leaving early in the morning and that just didn’t happen. We honestly just decided to head out around 10:45, with zero snacks, toys, music, or any other “keep the kids busy” activities. I am the Queen of road trips so this is very unlike me. Between leaving late and overall feeling terrible, I was off my game. I spent the ride sleeping, sternly informing the children of how I WAS trying to sleep, and passing them snacks when they refused to say quiet. Oh and freaking out at them to not make a mess since we were not in our van. Yup, I am a clean nazi at times. We arrived at the end of the pre-race briefing and headed to our camping spot.

Like I had thought, camping was way too close for comfort for me. I wouldn’t normally mind, but a bunch of people trying to get to bed early while my little hoodlums who have been trapped in a car or hours throw a tent party did not seem like a good idea to me.  I sent +1 to the tent for the night and the Littles and I took the car (no big deal really). We listened to music and chatted until way too late and finally fell asleep.  You know what is awesome? Being awoken at midnight to a toddler SLEEPING ON TOP OF YOU POOPING IN HIS PANTS. Yup, fully asleep and having terribly sick poop in his pants… perfect. Life? yeah, couldn’t be better. So I grab some paper towels and get to cleaning. Ugh… who needs sleep before crewing all day?

It sure was a pretty view to wake up to though.

It sure was a pretty view to wake up to though.

We awake and head to the start. Nothing too exciting here… just a bunch of people heading out for 100 miles

+1 is there somewhere. Photo by a 9-year-old that clearly is still asleep.

+1 is there somewhere. Photo by a 9-year-old that clearly is still asleep.

 

And off we headed back to camp. A spot the runners would come through but we could not crew from this time. The kids hung with friends, well except Tru… He got exiled to the car for a much-needed nap. See, here’s where I am a genius (actually not just here, I am a flipping genius always),  I bought an awesome baby monitor. Before our trip last summer I needed a way to leave the children in a place (car, tent) and walk a short distance away (locking said car AND with them strapped in their car seats). If anyone wants in (or out!) I will hear the car AND I can hear if someone in the car wakes up and needs something. So Tru napped, Bigs played, and I watched across the lake for +1. He rolled in, I waved, he didn’t wave back, and we headed to the next spot we could crew from.

Kids and new friends. Life is good. so far...

Kids and new friends. Life is good. so far…

I tried to nap, kids made a mess, I cleaned it up, gave +1 his two new bottles, he ran off, headed to the next spot. My head hurts… Oh the crew life.

Honestly, things were working alright.

The kids passed the time-

IMG_0930

A little racing up mountains.

Oh and playing with nasty horse water. SAVE THE BUGS!

Oh and playing with nasty horse water. SAVE THE BUGS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I should have offered him his ultimate direction pack with ice in it here, but I didn’t. I promised it at the next crew spot and sent him along. Moving on.

Now +1 can usually be found in the front of the pack at a race. I count on him being near the same people he has been so I can usually judge when he is coming in. Not only that, I can usually look at the distance and elevation (guessing terrain) and guess pretty well when he will be coming in. So when he was late, the kids were pissed. The questions, interrogations really, of when +1 was coming in, where is he, what happened, and WHY oh WHY is he not here yet?!?! began flooding in.

“Snacks, we need snacks lady!”

“No, I need to watch for +1. He can come in any minute!”

Tru falls asleep on my back

IMG_0937

Tenny falls asleep on the pavement, basically in the runners way.

yeah...

yeah…

Tru wakes up.

“SNACKS”

Tay who has been holding +1′s pack with ice like a diligent little crew man gives up, hands me the pack, and heads to play.

Finally get word +1 missed a little out and back section and went back to check in at the aid station… Oh goodness this is no good…

Tenny wakes up.

“SNACKS!”

Me- Watching…watching… watching… not +1 not +1 not +1

Oh shit I haven’t seen Tay in a while…send Tea to check on him… OH! There is +1! Tea come help!

He isn’t in the best of moods but also isn’t a disaster like I would have expected. I give him some caffeine, his pack, and food and send him on his way. Tay apparently was building an awesome fort with a friend he had met and was having a great time, thank goodness someone had fun on this stop! On to the next one, and some snacks., lots and lots of snacks.

More fun was had! Apparently sticks and pine cones make for a great crew game of baseball!

Creativity makes the time go by.

Creativity makes the time go by.

Next stop the kids saw their friends from camp and were super stoked to play for a few minutes. I started to notice +1 was making a move up but tried to not show my extreme excitement. The kids had a ton of snacks but were definitely showing signs of the long day.

Somehow shoes became an issue. Crew lady and baby mover, I'm on it.

Somehow shoes became an issue. Crew lady and baby mover, I’m on it.

Back to our horse water/running up a mountain spot from before. We met some nice people who offered my kids a warm shower. Should I be offended or not? The Ladies decided to clean up their hands and feet a little and Tay checked out an awesome conversion van with a pop up. Tru wrecked himself-

"It's blood"

“It’s blood”

PLEASE don't clean it!

PLEASE don’t clean it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenny wrecked herself, and in all the waiting Tru fell asleep on me and +1 came in. Crewing with a sleeping baby in your arms is not so easy. Luckily he isn’t too needy and headed off.

One sleeping kid stayed sleeping, another fell asleep in my arms while waiting in the dark at the next aid station. Said Little Lady who shall remain nameless decided to awake from the dead (asleep) to scream, since clearly she needed to crew +1 and not sleep in the car. Look, it was dark and she fell asleep, I needed hands free. +1 had been slowly moving up and I knew that would only continue. Tea join her in the car, I spotted +1′s light coming in, Tay and I gave him what he needed and set him moving again as fast as we could. I was giddy inside with how well he was doing and that brought a new but of wind to my tired sails.

Now the drive to put everyone to sleep. I had one more spot (campsite) where I could crew him before the finish. For once this crewing journey I was alone and so happy to see my +1 roll in. He had an amazing couple miles and I could tell he was ready to race to the finish. I sent him off again, excited to have my day of crewing with kids coming to and end, and excited to see him finish!

I hoped back in the car…Oh shit, what’s that smell?? Oh yeah.. shit… So Tru and his *poop in him pants while sleeping* last night was special, but again tonight?!? Then it all makes sense, he REFUSED to use a non real bathroom all day AND refused to go outside. Ugh… does he know what family he is a part of?!?! Pooping outside is what we do! So now I find myself at a boat dock restroom in the middle of the night cleaning poop off a toddler I had to stir awake… luckily he was someone cooperative. Off we went to the finish!

Watching +1 finish was amazing. Not only did he wreck the second half (I told you he was talented), but I also managed to pull off crewing with 4 Little People in tow. YAY! Although exhausted from the day, they did (mostly) enjoy spending their day crewing (or is that just the promise of a beach day?).We all survived! With some cuts and bruises maybe, but we survived!

Let me just say it here, Crewing IS harder than racing. Yup that’s right, and I’ll say it to your face! I am tired, sore, and I’m pretty sure I could eat my weight in food. So now I’ll get back to letting the children watch TV while I *try to nap.

My life currently in a panoramic photo.

My life currently, in a panoramic photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

BababaBabywearing!!

I love baby wearing. Even before I knew what is what, before I gave birth to Tajh, a stroller seemed crazy to me. Why push my little person in a giant wheeled contraption when I am perfectly capable of holding them?  I really didn’t like extra “stuff” of any kind… (shhhh I did use a stroller a little… live and learn)

So I bought a ghetto front pack and made it work. Was it perfect? Hell no. It did allow me to have Tajh close and get shit done. Win.

With Tea I gained a wonderful Mommy friend that helped pull me into the endless beautiful options baby wearing has to offer. I mean, I had a pouch, but that wasn’t even scratching the surface. So I became obsessed (shocker, I’m an extremist!). I research and bought 2 of everything, almost. I loved my endless world of possibilities. I even loved kicking it with super militant breastfeeding/babywearing extremists at time! (It was pretty entertaining)

Recently I was talking to my favorite (and possibly only, unimportant, still favorite) French Canadian friend about life and something like it. We spoke about the Copper Canyons (Ultrarunning peeps, Mas Locos, Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco stuff. Born To Run? If you don’t get it, no worries, doesn’t change the story). I told him how in love with traditional carriers I was and how a Rebozo is one of the carriers I have never had, sad face. He told me he had one and would give it to me, YAY! In the wee hours of the morning as he was about to start a 50k (ultra runner talk), he saw me and yelled “i have something for you!”, ran back to El Capitan (his vehicle/home) and pulled out the most beautiful piece of fabric I have ever seen. Seriously, I am one HAPPY Lady. Thank you again Frenchy!

Here I sat tonight wondering what to do with myself, well, carrier photo shoot of course! So here are a few of my favorite (or not so favorite) baby tying devices. (I don’t have that old front pack to share, thank goodness)

The Pouch. A Hotsling pouch circa 2005. Vintage.

The Pouch. A Hotsling pouch circa 2005. Vintage.

Her Baby needed a photo op.

Her Baby needed a photo-op.

 

Hotsling ring sling from back in the day. zipper pocket and is perfect for in the water. It's a winner!

Hotsling ring sling from back in the day. zipper pocket AND it’s perfect for in the water?! It’s a winner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer- Photos were taken by people under 5 feet tall… Quality is a little lacking I know…

Didymos wrap. A huge favorite! With a photo bomb.

Didymos wrap. A huge favorite! With a photo bomb.

Great for dancing.

Great for dancing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s where I will tell another little story. So I have a friend from Sierra Leone, of course I asked her about the traditional baby wearing. She was happy to share with me, I just needed to bring a towel to practice. Yup, that simple, a rectangle of fabric. Being as wonderful as she is, she brought me some fabric her husband had brought back from Ghana, much prettier than a towel :)

We really like this no hands thing...

We really like this no hands thing…

 

Things got weird….

 

Awkward.... Though I do love me some Mei Tai!

Awkward…. Though I do love me some Mei Tai!

And finally, My beautiful present!

"Back Mommy Back!" of course I can!

“Back Mommy Back!” of course I can!

 

 

So perfect. I still have some work to do on perfecting the knot.

So awesome! I still have some work to do on perfecting the knot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I seriously LOVE babywearing! I may get a little crazy with it at times….

Crying with a sleeping baby in a mei tai on your back at 13,000 feet? Oh yeah, I've done that.

Crying with a sleeping baby in a mei tai on your back at 13,000 feet? Oh yeah, I’ve done that.

Creek hoping with one on the front and one on the back? Done that too.

Creek hoping with one on the front and one on the back? Done that too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, maybe I’ll share some better pictures sometime, maybe not. I think you get the idea.

Big news on the “Babywearing I’m a crazy Lady who likes to do epic shit front, stay tuned!”

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Ladies need Mommy friends.

As a mom you spend a lot of time talking to little people who can’t talk back to you. You talk to yourself everywhere you go. Social interaction with other adults becomes awkward almost.  You can go to baby classes, mommy and me class and make friends, but all those “before kids” friends have a hard time understanding why you don’t text back. Why you cancel plans at the last-minute. Why all around it seems like you are distracted and no longer  cool.

I struggled to make mommy friends. As a young mom doing things differently (attachment parenting, babywearing, cloth diapering) I was confusing to other mothers. It’s that “well she must be judging me for my choices” mentality.  I made a really amazing friend (we met on babycenter which neither of us are willing to admit) when Tea and her daughter were 6 months. I met another wonderful mom friend when Tajh was in preschool. I met another beautiful friend when Tajh was in first grade (despite the fact that she refused to tell me what her husband did for a really long time. Apparently she thought I wouldnt be ok with a youth pastors with! I still love her!).  My Lala, my bestie, I met when Tea was in kindergarten with her son.  Otherwise is was hit and miss…

When Tajh was in kindergarten a crazy mom (legit she was crazy) organized a park day. Despite the fact that she was crazy and I can be completely awkward in social situations I went. The park days continued and turned into a core group of ladies (crazy lady left). Our children went lord of the flies (every boy with his shirt off, and one little lady who is pretty awesome ditched her top too). After school each Tuesday our kids ran, played, did whatever they wanted, while us ladies talked. We shared our lives, it was my world. I looked forward to those Tuesday’s at the park when my life was in chaos. From kindergarten through 3rd grade these ladies were my peeps.

When we moved school this stopped. All our little people where getting older and things were slightly fizzling out as it was. But now it ended…  These moms and I had shared years together, not only with our kids, but also on drunken moms night outs. For a year I missed them…..

When the chaos started in my life again (ie nowhere to live) I knew who I needed to call. I knew who I needed to see and talk to to feel like I had a chance of getting my act together. I called a Tuesday park day, and they showed up! We talked, caught up, and sent our children off to play. How beautiful is that? These ladies were there for me! Time didn’t matter, when I needed them they showed up. I can not even begin to explain how wonderful life is when you find a core group of Mommies to hang out with. People without judgment, that share similar experiences, that love you despite time and space.

Hey my park Moms, Tuesday park day soon?

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes things are harder then they look….

I don’t know how single moms do it. I never truly thought of how hard it would be to be “on my own”. Yes I have five kids, but I can imagine even with one things aren’t easy. My 6 biggest gripes of being a single Momma (these can totally apply to single Dads too!)-

No one to watch kids while you make a quick run to the store-

That moment when you wake up and realize there is nothing for breakfast so you run to the store super quick before the kids get up? Yeah, single moms don’t have that. There is no “oops I’m out of flour!” moment, you have to plan ahead. I don’t have the option to make a quick store run, if I’m out of something we are all hoping in the car. Luckily I do have a 11-year-old that I trust and send into the store for a couple of items at times. But on the whole, I have to be sure I’m super prepared.

No one to give me a break at the end of the day-

Some days are rough. Some days you just want someone to read to the kids while you clean up after dinner. Some days you just want someone to watch the kids while you go out for a run. There is no “break” until the kids are in bed. Yes I have days that are totally “free”, but what that means is when I am with the kids I’m 100% there. No break, no help, all me. Yes, it is exhausting.

No one to bounce ideas off of-

What should we do today? What should the budget look like? What should we eat for dinner? Look, I’m terrible at making decisions. I like to come up with ideas and run them by someone else. When you are single, there isn’t anyone to take on this job. You can outsource to friends, family, but it’s not the same as having someone else in the home. It is nice to have someone to collaborate with.

No on to back me up (especially when a tween sucks)-

Kid is being highly disrespectful and all you need is another adult to help defuse the situation. Clearly I can handle this on my own, but sometimes it’s nice to have some “back up”.

No one to do the “yucky stuff”-

We were hanging out at Zane Grey watching all the runners and it was cold, snowing cold. We played a bit then they all wanted to get in the van to warm up, perfect, they are contained! I starting hearing that all to familiar “Moooooommy” call… Yay. Come to find Tru has vomited in the van, on himself and Tenny. So now I’m cleaning vomit, alone. Sometimes it nice to have those extra hands to help, or someone who can take over. When you’re a single mom it’s all you, yuck.

No one to sit down with at the end of the day and just talk-

At some point you realize you are actually alone. They are all in bed, and it’s just you. No one to listen to “war stories” from the day: Tru threw a fit, Tenny got paint all over the floor, and I cleaned up poop off the wall (True story). No one to tell all the funny, cute, awesome things the kids did during the day to…  The silence when they kids are in bed is almost haunting.

In the end these are all “doable”.  My Littles are pretty amazing and our little life together is starting to come together. The reality is being a single parent is hard. Having a partner to share the good, bad, and ugly with makes life easier in many ways (and harder in others too!).  Even if your partner sucks, sometimes just having another body in the home can be beneficial. I’m slowly figuring this all out and getting use to taking care of the vomitty situations (I don’t do vomit well…). There are plenty of benefits to being a single Mom as well! I mean, not having to shower until your friends decide to call you out for your stinkyness is pretty sweet….

 

 

 

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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