Posts Tagged With: single parent

Kindness

On the drive to school today I opened up a discussion on kindness. That word use to be huge in my home. With foster children coming and going I was constantly repeating myself, “remember sometimes people are mean because they are sad inside”. I bought every book I could find on the subject and read them to the Littles often. My favorite “Have you Filled Your Bucket Today” became a staple in the house. The children knew to not take others anger as a personal attack and instead to try to understand why someone else would behave that way. They were usually kind to each other (usually) and would work situations out among themselves. That kindness is long gone…

They now fight often. They speak rudely to each other as well as to me. They scream, take things away from each other, and overall just aren’t kind.

I remember the promise that was made to them when the divorce was first spoken of  “it’s ok, we’ll still be friends. Things aren’t really going to be that different.”

A lie.

So I asked the Littles, where has the kindness gone. “You all use to be so kind to one another”, “you used to have compassion for others”, “what happened?”

From the far back of the van Tea responds ” I think the sadness has made the kindness go away”

And with that I’m crushed. Duh that’s why they aren’t kind. Obviously, it’s what I always taught them… Being kind when you are sad in your heart is difficult. Give those people space, try to help when you can, never be mean in response. Well, again I fail. I have been punishing them for their unkindness, sadness. I don’t take them to do fun things when they are all being especially unkind. I don’t take them to the park if the day  is going terribly. I send them all to separate areas and have them read quietly. I take away toys and books. I, in response to their lack of kindness/sadness (Tea pointed out), am not kind in return.

I fail.

Now I sit here researching. Trying to remember all my old “go-to” resources so I can help my Littles. So I can help myself to understand and respect what they are going through. Amazon will be getting a lot of business today as I don’t have any of my old books. I need to remember that maybe when they are being terrible and mean, they need that bonding time. They need to do an activity together, play together, adventure together. I use to know all this… but sometimes you get lost in the chaos. Sometimes the screaming it too much. Sometimes your own kindness gets lost in the mess.

Sometimes it takes the genius of a 9-year-old to remind you, others might be struggling, kindness is always the best approach.

 

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

Sometimes a little Duct tape is all you need

There was a time in my life where I was an amazing mom. I had everything together and my children spent their days doing crafts, baking and making memories. I felt in control of myself. I felt on top of the world. I felt whole…

At some point that got lost. While some days felt the same, others felt broken. I felt lost in myself, unable to handle simple tasks. Everything felt overwhelming, so I would go to bed and hope for a better day tomorrow. Those “better days” became few and far between. I found myself in “survival mode” all too often. I took on the “fake it till you make it ” approach, but at some point even that didn’t work. In the moment it didn’t feel as bad, but looking back now, I was a mess.

I let go of the simply joys, and began seeing everything negatively. I was not finding the joy in my children as a use to, which lead me to be a more “hands off” Mom. While I have always done things differently parenting wise, I still received praise from others in the off beat approach I chose. While I was still receiving this praise, I no longer believed it. No, I was not a “awesome Mom”, I wasn’t even a good Mom. “How do you do it?” I try and not spend my entire day crying and at least feed them three decent meals a day. That counted as a win for me…. Mind you, I did have my good days. Days where we made a mess, painted our bodies, played in the mud, but these days were now work for me. I had to set aside my OCD feelings of needing to clean everything and force myself to let go. Force myself to have fun. How pathetic.

This all made me angry with myself. I was failing, which happens to be one of my biggest fears. I would try, but I just could not get myself together…

I had some silly childish grand idea that moving on in my own life would help….

Its taken a lot of soul search, breathing, and letting go of others opinions. Its been a breaking free of the hole I was pushed in and standing on my own two feet. Its been work, but I am feeling whole again. I am truly thankful for all my friends that have stood by me. Those that have listened and I’m sure wanted to shake me. Although a shaking wouldn’t have been terrible, I am thankful you didn’t. I am grateful you let me learn these lessons on my own, I needed to. So what do I do now that I’m healthy? The sky’s the limit! (you’re welcome for the cliche’) I honestly don’t know. I know that my children are going to benefit. The Mom I was helped to mold Tajh and Tea into the amazing young people they are, the rest deserve that too. I stopped being amazing, I don’t ever want to lose that again.

I’m back baby!image

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

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

Six Wild and Free

How do I explain what has been going on with me in short? Chaos. I must have been living in some dream world but I honestly never thought I would find myself at 30 with no real possessions, no home, no car, no money, and no education. When I became a full time Mom I believed it was forever and never saw the need to prepare myself to be independent. I get it, I was delusional. In the end I can only blame myself for the terrible spot I am in today. So here I sit trying to decide what I become when I grow up….

My blog will remain Seven Wild and Free, but currently there are only 6 of us. We are Six Wild and Free looking for our number “Seven”. No don’t take “Looking” as waiting around twiddling our thumbs. We are living our lives to the fullest. Adventuring, exploring, and doing epic shit together. If our “Seven” comes along during that time, great. If not, oh well. Now you may ask yourself “but doesn’t she have a +1”?? Why yes, yes I do. My +1 is awesome and has helped me out a ton during this crazy time in my life. Is he “Seven”? I’m not sure yet. I get it, buying in to an existing family with a ton of kids is a lot to take on. Our “Seven” will see how fulfilling a life with us can be and how much my Littles and I have to offer. I made a promise to my Littles that I will not ever marry someone that does not love them as much as I do. That is a promise I will not break. So my little family of 6 is going to continue to be awesome (now that I’ve gotten my shit together somewhat).

Currently I am attempting to train for Zane Grey (yes laugh now). I have been such a mess that no training has happened, well unless you count my 3-4 mile run every Wednesday night leading the group run. So yeah, let’s take a super hard 50 mile, a crazy lady trying to get her life together with ZERO time to run and see what happens. I mean, this should be fun right?? Also let’s add to that, my blood clots seem to be back (superficial vein thrombosis)  and I have no insurance… Yes I’m winning! So who knows whats going to happen. Maybe chaos in your life and loosing everything you thought you had makes you tough enough to run 50 miles with little training? Don’t bet on it, but I promise I’ll try!

I LOVE Zac Brown Band. I have a really awesome memory of a friend who helped me to remember I am special, worthy, and important. One night he sent me this song, it still makes me smile every time I hear it. 🙂

Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Tajh my Tajh

Some days I feel like Tajh (10), the sweet, loving, innocent boy who would always protect his Mother is lost forever. I seriously start to wonder if he is possessed or possibly has had his body take over by some hormonal, angry, confused, loud, frustrating, obnoxious alien. Either way, it sucks! And then occasionally I get the joy of having my little man back, and I am thankful.

IMG_5796

Since Facebook has become the “repost every article you find mildly interesting” forum, I have felt inundated with articles I would normally never read, but now feel the pressure to. Some articles do catch my attention though, mostly the ones having to do with parenting. Recently I read one about raising boys, a subject very near and dear to my heart. I want to raise my boys to be the best husbands (or partners) they can be. I want them to open doors (screw feminism) and make their partner feel special. I want them to think of others, be kind, be polite, and most importantly be an asset to society. I feel like most Mothers would say the same, but how many follow through? I literally stand at doors until one of my boys open them. I have an expectation that my boys will be taking care of me, and in return I try to be the Mother they deserve.

I send Tajh into the store alone on occasion. I have 5 kids, sometimes it’s nice to not have to drag them all in, and I trust him to behave appropriately. Today I sent him in list in hand to grab a couple of things. He returned as always with money in his fist (he literally never puts it in his pocket, I find this odd… but then again he is a tad odd), bag in hand, and he hoped into the van casually. As he got in his seat he says “well mommy the rolls were on sale so I got you something”. I peek in the bag to find my favorite special drink. What 10-year-old boy grocery shops for his Mother and then thinks about how he can surprise her? How many husbands/boyfriends are absolutely incapable of grocery shopping, let alone are able to think of bringing their partner a surprise? My little Tajh is such a beautiful young man. The compassion he has for animals is incredible, and his drive to learn more about them is intense. He spends his days reading, thinking, dreaming. He loves nature, weaves sticks in his crazy hair, and finds beauty where most would miss it as they rush by. This little guy made me into a Mother, he stole my heart, he helped me become the person I am today. Life with a tween can be rough, you just have to remember the little things.  So whatever alien gave him his body back for the day, thank you!

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Silence is Golden

All too often I find myself contradicting the way I “want” to parent and going against any and all research I have done, basically taking the easy way out. Many days I find myself raising my voice to them, as if the problem really is they can’t hear me and not that they are just being little assholes. The reality is no matter how much they pretended they didn’t hear me, they did, they simply didn’t agree with what I was saying. So now I have basically taught them the less someone listens the louder you should get, problem fixed right? THEN when they do get loud as I don’t respond to their constant requests for a snack while I’m on the phone, I get upset with them for being loud? Shocking right?

Today I have barely any voice and my throat hurts, always awesome feeling terrible and taking care of 5 little people…sigh…  Talking in a whisper doesn’t hurt as badly, so whisper it is. Now here is the amazing thing people, my children can still hear me! When they ask a question they actually pay attention to the answer I give knowing I will not be speaking any louder. Fancy right? Even better is how quiet their voices get, like there is some awesome chain reaction of not screaming at the top of our lungs in a tiny house with too many people in it!

I remember back in the day when I only had a couple of kids and my go-to was always a whisper. Even with tantruming toddlers, it throws them off just enough to mess with their “I want what I want mood”. It slows everyone down and forces everyone to actually pay attention to one another. I know I sound crazy, but just give it a try! The next time you have 10 people talking to you at once, respond with a whisper. Watch as the chaos stops so they can hear you, the small bit of silence is golden! I make no promises that it will last more than 20 seconds, but sometimes 20 seconds can be all you need to get some sanity back!

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Christmas Thoughts

I have been toying (pun intended) with not actually giving my children “toys”, the kind most people picture when they hear the word. Nothing purchased in brightly colored packaging and probably made by a small child in another country who will never be able to play with one themselves. Instead opting to give them something made by myself, put together by myself, or just with a little more thought. Clearly my children ask for normal things, but they have also been taught that “things” don’t just come to you. As it is my kids don’t have all that much when it comes to traditional toys, but walking by their rooms I feel like it is still too much. Maybe it’s the summer spent with nothing but nature to play with, but I am even more over plastic then I already was.

For the girls I feel like I can make some super cute felt headbands. You can find them everywhere on ebay, and great ideas on pinterest. I do feel like I’m at least a little crafty, and I’m fairly certain I can make a couple of cute ones. Although this won’t be their entire present, it’s a start. Maybe some new clothes as well? They both have a funky fun style and love getting new clothes. For Tay my idea came fast, a fort kit. Obviously we have plenty of blankets and other fort building materials, but a kit of everything that is just for him? The kid will love it! Some fun blankets (maybe from goodwill), cloth pins, and a bunch of PVC pipe with all the attachments to put them together, what else does a little boy want? I can even throw in some more “outdoorsy” things (new flashlight?) and I think he will be a pretty happy  camper.

So I’m left with Tajh and Tru. what does a 2-year-old really need? A ball? Even as I type that I have that overwhelming guilt, “but it’s christmas, a ball isn’t enough!” The reality is, what does it matter? Nothing would make him happier then a ball and a box, well except a puppy… No puppy. So Tajh, what does he need? Nothing at all. He reads, more books? Ugh… for this one I will need a little more thought. Ideas?

The kids all get 1 present from the parents, the stocking is all from santa (small toys and the like), and they draw names and get each other a small present. My mom will get them something they don’t necessarily “need”, and maybe a couple of other family members too. I enjoy our small present Christmas, it gives the opportunity to enjoy special time together with our traditions and not get too caught up in the chaos of want. We go ice skating, go to lights at a couple of venues, have an ugly sweater bike parade, and go to the snow on Christmas Eve. If only I could add going to Disneyland on there every year… hmmm…

I suppose it’s time to get crafting!

Oh and we go to the park, because the park is awesome.

Oh and we go to the park, because the park is awesome.

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Yup… That’s poop on my floor

And yes, its human.

How we roll... literally. At the time of this picture, at least 3 of them regularly used the bathroom and the other 2....

How we roll… literally. At the time of this picture, at least 3 of them regularly used the bathroom and the other 2….

As I’ve said before, my parenting has always been very natural. Even in my babysitting days the idea of changing an older toddlers diaper just bothered me. Why does a 2-year-old want to sit in their own excrement? So when Tajh approached 2 I knew I had to handle this before it became a disaster. By his second birthday Tajh was out of diapers, Mommy win.

Teagan was for sure my first super hippie baby. everything I had done with Tajh was now done to an even higher hippie degree. I wore her, all the time. I nursed her, everywhere. Disposable diapers were for the people who clearly didn’t care about the environment, I cloth diapered. I started looking into all the “extra” hippie mom stuff and came across Elimination Communication (EC).  Basically the idea that if you connected with you child (in all the hippy ways I was) you could start having your baby use the potty as early as 6 weeks. Now I thought this sounded crazy, so I waited until 6 months. I simply put Tea on the potty when I thought she needed to go, and by 9 months she was using the potty regularly. By a year we were completely out of diapers. Time consuming you ask? Not really. She sat and we read books, played games, had a snack, we made it work. The only real problem being, they don’t make underwear small enough for a 1-year-old. She did however go back down in clothing sizes due to the lack of diaper which meant less clothes to buy. Mommy win.

Hippy I still was, but this Little Orangie threw me for a loop. Around 18 months we were out of diapers again (yeah EC took a little longer with this one) but then he got sick. I don’t really know what it was, but he had terrible “sick poop” and it just wasn’t working. Also around that time he had a fun “habit” of peeing in random bowls, cups, boxes, anything he could find. Always up for keeping life interesting…. Still at 2 for little Orangie Tay, there were no diapers. Mommy, still winning.

Now it was on to Tenny. This Little Lady had the joy of being our first little one as we lived outside more. Being naked was the norm for her (and still is) so obviously going to the bathroom outside was normal too. She also was around a lot of ultra runners during those formidable years, and for those that don’t know, ultra runners tend to use the outdoors as restrooms. So my Little Tenny made the world her potty, sigh… honestly I didn’t mind except when it was in the front yard, in front of the neighbors (which FYI, she did last week). No diapers after 2 again, just a pooper scooper…. Mommy win?

On to our adorable Mr. Tru. When I realized Tru would turn 2 during our crazy homeless summer, I decided he would spend time naked as much as possible, but I still wanted diapers on in the van. Why you ask? Laziness. I’ll admit it, I didn’t want to stop 30 times during a 9 hour van ride. Having Miss Tenny already who required frequent stops, I just couldn’t handle another. The plan was after we were settles into a kid house diapers were gone. Somehow I hadn’t counted on a broken femur and the amazingly large awkward cast that would come with it (SPICA cast). I felt guilt and decided diapers would leave when the cast was off. So here we are… my 2 1/2-year-old has decided he doesn’t mind diapers and would much rather have them on. Sitting on the potty? Well screw that I’m busy! Ugh… As you can see, this Mommy always wins, so yes, he is diaper free. And yes, that is poop on my floor. Currently the potty is his least favorite thing and he will avoid it at all costs. He loves his train underwear, so why does he soil them so often? Sigh… And I thought the Orangie was bad!

Right now we have a work in progress. Little Miss Tenny still needs to “sit” for a couple minutes sometimes until she can stand and make her way to the bathroom (to be honest I did that when I was little too, too much fun stuff going on to miss), and Mr. Tru still poops ad pees where he pleases. While you sit back and judge think about this, people stick their hand in a bag and pick up dog poop all the time. At least the fecal matter on my floor is all fruits and veggies, totally natural and not weird at all… Not a Mommy win… YET!

Categories: Parenting | 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!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ex’s Suck

Sometimes its hard to remember to breathe. To remember that you can’t make everything perfect and the pretty picture you would like. To remember that everyone has to make their own choices in the world and that you can do nothing about it. Deciding to be friends with an Ex takes that to the extreme. Attempting to look at your kids happiness, you ex’s wants, and your own happiness is a lot to keep in balance. Every day is a new learning experience and a new chance for growth.

Seth decided to run Cascade Crest 100 before our big summer adventure was planned. The kids would be in school the week before so flying there for the weekend was always the plan. Slowly the plans changed and instead of myself going with him it would be his +1 and instead of just a weekend trip it turned into a week long trip. Already this was slightly disheartening, but when we got back to Phoenix and realized finding a home would be harder then we had thought, remembering to breathe became harder.

I wanted to assume Seth would alter his plans. I mean, your kids are still not in their own space, they don’t have a place to call home, and you are pushing back the home search an entire week? To me it seemed to make sense to just shorten the trip a little. Come back early and continue in this house search. I thought doing this would be best for the kids, I thought it was an obvious plan. With all those I’s clearly I was forgetting to breathe.

Its takes a lot to step back from that situation and realize Seth is an adult and can make choices for himself, I can not change them. In the end I figured out where to stay, how to keep the little ones happy in this crazy situation, and that’s my job. The choices your Ex makes have nothing to do with your relationship with you kids, it only affects them. In the long run you can not make anyone change their behavior, even if you think it would be in the best interested of your kids. As a Mother my job is to keep the kids healthy and happy in whatever situation I am thrown. If down the line choices your Ex makes affect your kids, that is on your Ex, and their relationship with the children will be affected.

So, make the best of what you are given. We spent days at the park, time doing homework at Starbucks, did a crazy turn around trip to beautiful Colorado, and overall had an awesome adventure. Although remembering to breathe can be difficult, in the end silly arguments aren’t going to get you anywhere and will just negatively affect everyone involved. Let things go when they don’t really matter, make the best of everything,  take the chance to have a new adventure.

See it's so hard for me to remember I had to get it tattooed on my wrist!

See it’s so hard for me to remember I had to get it tattooed on my wrist!

Categories: Divorced Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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