Posts Tagged With: Divorced Parenting

The Flow Chart of My Family

I met all the kids, their Dad and their step-mom a super funky vegan restaurant for lunch. It is the kind of place that woman have body hair and my son with dreads is the “norm”. Not the kind of place I expect my family to be the “odd ones out”…

As we are siting having lunch I heard people behind us trying to “place” all the children-

“Well those blondes are theirs (referring to my ex and I)”

“That one (pointing at Tennyson) must be hers (pointing at their step mom)”

Later on Tay was holding the baby and they asked “do you think the baby will have red hair?” clearly trying to put together if Tay and Tag were siblings…

Let me draw this out for everyone-

My Ex and I are the biological parents to-

  • Tajh
  • Teagan
  • Tayer

Together we adopted-

  • Tennyson
  • Tru

My Ex has no relation to-

  • Taggart

I get where it is confusing, all white people with blonde hair look alike and all. This means, Tajh, Teagan, Tayer, Tru, and Taggart all look like my ex and I. Tayer’s hair is a little red which could be confusing, but he gets thrown in with the “all white people look alike” thing most of the time.

Where this is most confusing for people is Tennyson. Tennyson is hispanic, just really dark skinned. My children’s step mom is black and most people assume Tenny is as well, so they “match”.  While I can understand normal curiosity, at some point it’s just frustrating that strangers need to make sense of my family. More then that, it’s frustrating that people like to point out how different one of my children is from the others. As an adult, you should know better. Most likely if you are a stranger and question why one of my children looks so different from the others I will do my best to politely change the subject. There may be a point made of how I did not give birth to all of them, and I will move on… But if you catch me on a bad day politeness may allude me.

 

 

 

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

Parenting Wins

Lately there have been many jokes about sending Tayer to boarding school. Conversations about “if” he does not get into the school my older kids go to where he will end up. There are talks of his potential career in politics, or him becoming the next RuPaul. He is confident, persuasive, flamboyant, fashionable, and intense. Whatever he does he will do it well. (All I can hope is that it’s legal)

I was sitting out front watching the children all play on their various wheeled devises. Tayer, per usual (well about 49% of the time), was being a jerk to everyone else. “Idol hands” as his Dad likes to say or basically just Tay gets bored, or uncomfortable, or hungry, or sad, or his feelings hurt, or ANYTHING and he becomes an asshole to everyone around. So, he was being an asshole and I sent him inside. I’m pretty sure I said “you’re being an asshole, go inside until you can be kind” because, good parenting.

So I sat smuggly proud of that awesome parenting moment. I won. He went inside, see what happens when you mess with this Momma!

And, as I reminded myself of how totally bad ass a parent I am I looked up at the giant picture window that leads into my living room…

Which perfectly framed the 9-year-old boy walking across it…

The 9-year-old boy walking across with such a calm fluid confident stride…

That confident stride with the perfectly well practiced “fuck you” face of a anger teenager…

The “fuck you” face that lead down to…

The double middle finger.

There was so much confidence there. So much swagger. I could not be mad. I giggled (he had passed and had no idea I saw). The other kids asked me what I was laughing about and I had no answer… I texted his Dad “you wont believe what Tay just did…”. This kid gives us a wild ride and I am sure his confidence will serve him well later in life so long as we are able to steer it in the right direction. For now he will keep us on our toes and challenge us at every turn…

Oh Orangie children….

IMG_0429

 

A reminder of how cute he was.. before he learned his middle finger skills….

 

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Stop Praising Dads for Parenting.

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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”

 

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Holding on to trust

I have always been a firm believer that My Littles should have an adult in their life they can tell anything to and know they will not be judged. Someone that will keep their secrets if that is what they need. Someone to guide them on the right path, someone I too can trust. I never thought my children would choose me for this job…

On a hike the other day I wore Tru while the others marched along, Tea holding Tenny’s hand on the steep downhills. We chatted as usual and the kids began sharing some worries they had. I took a deep breath and thought very hard before I responded, even for me this was a bit much. It was eye-opening to me how much they talk to each other. They shared with me that they had talked about this very thing at the park a couple of days prior. I had wondered what they were doing, not playing just walking in a little gang together around the perimeter. Apparently they were sharing all the little spy work they had done with and discussing their feelings. As a Mother wanting my children to have a super tight bond, I was proud. Now that they were allowing me in on their little secret, I was honored.

Sister Love

Sister Love

He always gets excited when we are going on a hike and falls asleep within minutes… apparently we aren't very exciting!

He always gets excited when we are going on a hike and falls asleep within minutes… apparently we aren’t very exciting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So they told me what they knew, their feelings, their worries, and asked me to keep their secret. It is not something harmful to anyone else, something that could easily be avoided if people in their lives made an effort, but I still felt uneasy as I made the promise. I will not tell on you. I still feel uneasy, but I can not lose their trust. If I tell, they will know, and then I will not get the chance to be a part of their little gang any longer. Their counseling sessions with each other will become a secret from me, and I can not have that. Maybe that’s wrong of me? Maybe I’m suppose to “be a parent” and not a friend? Maybe I’m making the biggest mistake every and I’m going to pay for it later…

But I honestly don’t care…

I have a secret that I’m not telling! My Littles have a pretty awesome club and I am excited to be a part of it!

My Gang

My Gang

The hike went on, we wandered with no real direction or plan, and it was perfect. I’m really digging not coming up with a plan even for my own runs. Choosing left or right, up or down, going with the flow and allowing the day to create itself. I find myself dreading the days we have things to do and longing for the ones we can get lost in. The no agenda days of the summer have been missing far too long…

 

 

Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apparently My Birthday Is Soon???

As my 30th Birthday approaches (it’s way too close for comfort) I have found myself googling things to know/ things I should have done by the time I hit 30. Clearly this is a terrible idea, but alas, I continue to do it anyways. Basically I have achieved nothing close to what I should have at this point (blah blah blah wonderful kids, I get it!). Point is, I became a Mom at 18 when I found out I was pregnant.  All choices I made in my own planning for the future involved being with their father and continuing to be a girlfriend/wife and mom. So now I’ve hit a point where taking a look at my life and the life of others my age is very interesting. So for your reading pleasure I give you-

My top 10 favorite the things I should have done by now or should have by now but don’t … damn I’m really turning 30…

1. A purse/luggage I’m not embarrassed to bring in public– I live out of a backpack, literally. At the kid house I share a room with the girls (and Tru sleeps in my bed with me) so the space is limited. My backpack carries everything I need to live homelessly for those couple of days a week I’m not at the kid house. And I don’t own a purse.  Fired.

2. Something perfect to wear if a “special someone” wants me ready in an hour– Again, I live out of a backpack. The most hope I have to have something fancy to wear in an hour is to be able to make it over to my bestie Lala’s house and raid her closet in that time. Fired.

3. Skin-care regime- Look, we call it a win if I shower once a week. Even more shocking is if I wash my hair. Maybe this is why I’m not married? Fired.

4. Money set aside for retirement- To be fair, maybe if I had “extra” money to set aside I would. With no job, “money set aside” is an interesting concept. Fired.

5. A strong start on satisfying my career goals– I feel like this one is just cruel! I have NO idea what I want to be when I grow up. I am happily a mother of 5 crazy little people, but I guess at some point I should probably find a “career” and then I will have this money they speak of to “set aside” for old age. Ugh! Fired.

6. A hobbie I’ve picked up on my own- Yeah no. I’m that girl that only shows up to the yoga class with a friend. Honestly I even despise going to the grocery store alone. Fired.

7. Understand and keep up with current events– Does this include reading TMZ? I hate watching the news and seeing terrible stuff, I avoid this at all costs. SOMETIMES I get into Seth’s car and his radio playing NPR super loudly (seriously he bumps the nerdy talk) and I hear a little something, does that count? Fired.

8. Read regularly- There was a time where I was devouring books on a daily basis, but then I no longer only had children home with me that nap. I do enjoy reading, but have a very hard time making it happen even when I’m not with the kids. I can usually find a hundred things I would rather do (or need to do) then sit still with a book. Fired.

9.  Know my life goals and have a plan for attaining them– Funny thing about that…I don’t wanna! I love being a Mom, but I’m constantly told that isn’t a “good enough” life goal. Like I should find something else nearly as rewarding as spending every second I can with my kids… sigh.. So no, I have no clue what else I would ever want to do with my life. Fired.

10. Accept you ARE an adult- F that! Being an adult still doesn’t sound like fun to me! Maybe I don’t totally understand what being an adult is yet? But from what I see, I’m not really into it. Fired.

As you can see, I’m far from being ready to be 30. Does this mean I get to push it back until I’m ready? I say yes! I think 30 is just jealous that I got called Teagan’s sister the other day and someone assumed I went to the kids school when I had my backpack on the other day.

So 30, suck it! I may have to say I’m “30”, but I refuse to grow up!

You can't make me grow up!

You can’t make me grow up!

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Breathing and Running with a Little Person

Do you ever feel like you can’t breathe? Like the world is just falling on you and there is no escape? Lately writing just seems hard. Almost as if  writing things make them become true. Like if I just don’t share things out loud (or on the screen) I can will them away. Being lost is an interesting thing…

I think this whole being a person outside of being a mom thing is still had work. When I’m not with them I find myself researching fun things do to with them. I think about how the next day will be spent when I see them, and get everything together so my time with then is as worthwhile as it can be. I’m still not ready to be a person outside of being a mom, and maybe that’s my problem.

Luckily Tea has her race coming up so we are training. Runs with this little lady make everything amazing. Honestly she and I struggle in day-to-day stuff, we are a lot a like and she has the ability to push my buttons. When we run together it is just happiness. We talk, laugh, share stories, it’s perfect. Sharing time on the trail with my Little Lady is definitely the highlight to any day.

This weekend was a 15 mile long run for her. Her first time on the Pemberton Trail where she will be spending plenty of quality time at the end of the month. We ended up not having anyone to watch the other littles until almost 11 so we got a very late start, but we both knew we had to get it done. I carried a pack, handheld, and an extra bottle in my pack. Tea carried 2 small handhelds and I honestly thought we would be fine. I had planned on us being out there for 4-5 hours, not knowing how her little body would be feeling in the heat. We ended up whining together about it being hot (because we are both very good at whining, but only to each other) but kept a pretty good run/walk going on. In the end we finished in 3:45 and both felt pretty awesome. Just a nice little training run and day of play with my Little Lady on the trails.

I followed this run up by drinking nearly a gallon of water, and still not being able to pee. It took over 12 hours after for me to actually be able to go (over share?). When you run with little people you tend to give them everything and try and not take too much yourself, sometimes that’s a mistake. Tea was super hydrated and feeling amazing, I on the other hand clearly let myself get a little too dehydrated. Oh well, live and learn. Little Ladies drink a lot of water and I should bring even more next time!

Love this Little Lady. Could she be any more perfect?

Love this Little Lady. Could she be any more perfect?

So although breathing and figuring my own stuff out is hard, I still have training with my Little Lady to look forward to. I love all my little people, but this special time I have with her right now is wonderful. I am thankful to be able to share this experience with my Tea.

 

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

Quick Update

We are finally in a house! No more homelessness or couch surfing! Am I really excited? Not so much… I miss being on the road and quit honestly do not enjoy cooking inside.

We found a nice little place that fits us perfectly. The kids love the yard and I love having a “school room” for homework and homeschooling Tay. I’m not too keen on large houses and this one may be pushing it a little for me. I prefer small spaces, less to clean and keeps us all closer. Oh well, just more work for me!

The Plan-

Seth has them Monday/Wednesday and I have them Tuesday/Thursday. On Wednesdays I will come in for a couple of hours to work a little more intensely with Tay on school work and try to get caught up on wherever we need to. The plan is on your day you come in for the morning and start making breakfast. Whoever was here the day before gets up and takes the big ones on a quick run, then everyone eats together. If you are leaving for the day you drive the big ones to school and then have the day to yourself. Because we have crazy running schedules and are out-of-town often, Friday-Sunday is going to work on a who is available basis.

I am super neurotic about organizing and cleaning so we are in full crazy mode with me trying to get everything in the right place. Unfortunately any crazy adventures will have to wait, but we do have something big coming soon! Miss Teagan has decided she wants to run the Javelina Jundred (100k) and get herself a belt buckle! With how well she did at SOB 50k, and the true determination this girl has I think she has this! Seth and I are careful about the races we let the kids do and try to set them up for success. We don’t want to throw them into something that could potential have a bad outcome not to say we don’t let them fail in other areas but obviously we want them to stay safe in a race setting. So Tea has four 25k loops that she has plenty of time to sleep after the 3rd and then finish the 4th early the next morning. I will be running this with her and couldn’t be more excited!

So that’s what we have coming up, just some fun training to get a little lady through 100k as happily as possible so she can reach that buckle.

Any questions on our crazy life? I’m in need of some inspiration for future posts and would love to fill in some details about things you may want to know. Ask away, thanks!

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