Category Archives: Parenting

Freedom Isn’t Always a Good Thing

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He’s out.

As I was standing there, getting ready for bed, I received a phone call. My phone read “Robert”. I just let it ring, and ring as my throat closed up. It took me a while to really process what was happening, and I realized, he’s out. My ex has been released from prison, you can find my post about that whole situation >>> here . Before he was incarcerated, he was on trial for two years and he made my life hell. He was able to swindle 50/50 custody out of the court system and on top of that, made co-parenting extremely difficult. How did he manage to do that? He has a lawyer, hell he even took me to court while he was IN prison! If he cared about our daughter, he would know that it is in her best interest to be close to me because I absolutely love her so much. No. He does things for his own benefit, and just to hurt me. He doesn’t care about her well being, he doesn’t care about what makes her happy, he only cares about revenge. He’s upset because I never took him back (naturally) and now he’s upset because he actually got convicted (he was so sure he wouldn’t be because he thinks this is the Azores). Court is in April and I’m so scared, anxious, and nervous. I know I have my daughter’s best interest in mind, but he has a lawyer and money….And all I have is love. It’s crazy to see one parent try to take their children away from another parent, even when they know that parent absolutely loves their children. They just do it for personal gain, it’s sick. I know so many people who are like my ex in that sense, and they get away with it. Here’s hoping court goes well because I don’t think I could handle anymore bad news at this point.

 

Thank God for my amazing support system and the strength my gorgeous daughter gives me. I don’t know where I would be without it.

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The Tank

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I picked up my daughter after work yesterday, like any other day. Her father called to speak with her from prison, which I allow, and they have exactly fifteen minutes to talk. I feel relieved that he called during our thirty minute commute back home because I needed a moment to myself to get over the crappy day I had; I always need a moment like this if I’ve had a bad day to make sure my attitude is positive around Victoria. Once finished, Victoria hands over the phone and I ask her about her day, as usual. We talk about the Thanksgiving lunch they had in class and she tells me all that she’s learned about the Pilgrims and Indians. I smile and tell her how much I love her. I always feel the need to reassure her, to make sure she understands that I will never leave her side…

“I love you…So, so much Victoria. I’m so proud of you honey.”

“I love you too Mãe. Thanks.”

“You’re my absolute best friend.”

“Mãe, you can’t be…You’re my mom.”

“What?! Sure I can!! I love you thiiiisssssss much!” *stretches arm out*

“Wooooow that’s a lot! Well I love you thiiiiiisssssssssss much more!” *extends both arms out* *pauses for a minute* “Actually…No.”

“Hmm…?”

“Actually Mommy…I have a tank!”

“I don’t understand amor.”

“Yeah. I have a tank inside of me. Actually Mãe, we all have tanks inside of us. I fill up my tank with love. Love for you, love for Avó, love for Avô, love for Pae and Titias and everyone!”

“Oh, is that right?”

“Yes! But my tank is mostly full of love for you mom. You’re my favorite mommy! But sometimes, my tank feels empty. Like when daddy doesn’t come and see me. But then! Then mommy comes and fills it up again! You’re a good tank filler mom.”

“Honey, daddy will see you soon. He loves you so much, he always wants to see you.”

“Yeah…Well…I know. It’s okay, I have you right? Always?”

“Yes, honey, always.”

“See! Mãe, do I fill up your tank?”

“As long as I have you, my tank is never empty”

She moved on to a different topic, as she normally takes control of our conversations. For some reason I couldn’t shake our previous conversation, I wondered where she got that from, or if she made it up on her own. A tank. My six year old has a better concept of how love works than most people, and how it affects us. We all have tanks that can be emptied and filled every day, depending on the circumstance. Some situations empty us, and others fill us, and some people do the same. We all have one, but is it empty? Full? Functioning? Cracked? Leaking? Who fills it? Who do we allow to empty it? Are we in control of this? I spent years with an empty tank not realizing that my “tank filler” was always there, staring up at me. Sitting there in all of her youth…And oddly, all of her wisdom. This little person teaches me something new every day.

I think what I would like to teach her down the line is that we shouldn’t rely on anyone to fill our tank…We should be able to fill that ourselves; everyone else is just the “top off”. How could I, when she’s the only one who fills my tank to the brim? Overflowing, making a beautiful mess inside me of emotions.

Is your tank full?

Father’s Day

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Father’s Day.

I love love love my pai. We had an extremely rocky upbringing with him, and up until 3 years ago, we didn’t exactly see eye to eye. But I’ve come to realize that he’s my rock and the only man I can trust. He’s been there for me through my recent turmoils, and continues to push me as a parent should. He’s too honest for his own good, he picks up bitches with nothing other than his awesome accent (without meaning to), and he loves me unconditionally (only after he stopped talking to me for 5 years, which is a completely different story). My ultimate test of forgiveness.

Anyway, enough with the sappy bullshit, let’s get down to business.

Father’s Day, as well as Mother’s Day, is every day. This is just a day where we have an excuse to dote on our parents and they don’t have to feel guilty about receiving gifts from us. All I saw this weekend was Facebook post after Facebook post of pictures of fathers who are still around or who have passed. For those who have lost their father, I’m so sorry. I can only imagine how much that must hurt, especially on this day. A reminder that he is no longer around to give that obligatory gift to, to take out to lunch, or to hug and say “I love you pops”. He may have missed walking you down the aisle, first child birth, achieving your master’s degree…Whatever it is. I feel the deepest sympathy for you.

You know who I don’t feel sorry for? Cry baby, pansy bitch, single moms. I’m a single mom. However, I chose to reserve this day for FATHERS only because it is FATHER’S DAY. It isn’t SingleMomDay or MyBabyDaddyAPunkDay or DeadBeatDadDay. F.A.T.H.E.R.S D.A.Y. I cannot tell you how many women posted “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ME”. Listen bitch, you don’t get two holidays. EQUAL RIGHTS! I almost wanted to comment “whoa whoa I didn’t know you grew a penis!”. I get it. Your baby daddy is a pot smoking, slut screwing, prison happy, meth selling asshole. Guess what? SO IS MINE! Well, two out of four anyway. However, I refuse to teach my child how to be petty and hateful. I will not teach her how to focus on the past, dwell on the negative or to keep hate in her heart. You hate your ex? Hey so do I! You’ve been raising your child/children on your own? I applaud you, so am I! But look at how stupid you look posting “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THE MOMS OUT THERE WHO ARE DOING IT ALONE”, and tagging all of your friends who have dead beat baby daddies. Also, the “Happy Father’s Day to the REAL men who take care of their children, who step up to the plate!” crack me uuuuuup! Please shut up. Just because a father is “present” doesn’t make him a good parent. Let’s not assume that all of the men who decided to spend that particular day with their children, spend any time with their children outside of that.

You look weak.

Maybe I’m the only one who was bothered by this. As a single mom, I take pride in what I do, but I don’t sit there and blab on about how my child will turn out to be amazing because of me, myself and I. How I’m broke because, you know, it’s just me, myself and I. I get it. Why not be an independent woman and just do it ? Shut up. Quit the griping. Teach your child how to forgive, but never to forget. If you didn’t need him anyway, why is it such a big deal that he’s not around? Don’t give me the “well I’m upset for my child” bullshit. Your child will be upset about it when the time is right and they WILL get over it when the time is right. They will understand that they are okay. They are resilient. They will reach an age where they will understand why it all happened. They will realize that mom did her best and that’s all she could do. Don’t let your child look back and all they remember is you complaining about how hard it is to be a single mom. They’ll feel guilty, they’ll feel like it was their fault, they’ll feel hatred. And guess what? All of the negative feelings, will be your fault, not the sperm donor’s fault. I understand your anger but please just stop.

Have some self respect.

Young Girl

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Young Girl

I see you. Holding his hand as you walk across the street, and I wonder. At nothing more than 15 years old, do you worry about what might/will happen? Or are you what I was like at your age? Are you so sure in your mind that it’s going to last forever, that you don’t dare think about this fantasy evaporating into thin air. Do you feel like he’s the perfect boy and are you positive he’ll grow into the man of your dreams? When he touches you, do you feel like no boy could ever possibly feel better than this one? Do your parents approve? Do you care? Does he call you names when he’s upset? Does he ignore you because he feels like it? Does he say things just to hurt your feelings because that’s what teen boys and girls do? Does he respect you the way he should? Are you ready for the heart break that is ahead?

We’ve all been there before, young girl. Just know that we are all rooting for you and your happiness, and if this teenage love does flourish into a relationship that lasts forever…You’ve beat all of the odds. But, young girl, please remember that if it doesn’t work out, you’ll be okay. There is a love that exists much deeper than the one you are feeling now. There is a man out there who will make you feel things, in your future, that you couldn’t possibly be feeling with this boy. This love you feel at this moment is shallow. It’s based on appearances, and popularity, and cool shoes. It’s based on pretty hair and the fact that everyone else is doing it. It’s based on his smooth way of making you feel giggly and your short shorts. Thinking about it now, a lot of adult relationships are like this. That’s not what you want. You want more. You want it to be based on the way he calls you every morning to hear your voice, not just some text. You want it to be based on how he talks about you to others, the twinkle in his eye when you’re brought up in conversation. The respect he shows you every day. The way he holds you when you’re upset. The hair on the back of your neck standing up when he brushes your skin with his hand. How he makes you want to do things for him, not out of obligation, but out of love. Those flowers just because it’s Wednesday. Those sexless nights filled with deep conversation and understanding.

This boy might break your heart, or you might break his. Focus on your well being and your future. Don’t let him pressure you into having sex at such a young age. Don’t let him treat you like shit because you are worth so much more than that. There is time for love. There is time for children and marriage….And sex….And passion. It may not seem like it now, but there is time. This boy will not help you finish school, he will not help you mature, he will not turn you into the successful woman I know you can be. He may not be a bad person, or a boy with bad intentions, but guard your heart for it is fragile. You’ll find that it will harden as you experience and grow, but there will come a time when you meet the man of your dreams and he’s able to soften your heart again. You’ll look back at this current relationship and think…Wow, I learned a lot from that relationship. I don’t even remember what I felt with that boy, because it was smothered by all of the things teenagers go through…Including hormones.

When you’re young, everything seems like it’s the end of the world. But it’s not. It’s just the beginning. When you love life, it’ll love you right back. I promise.

Happy Mother’s Day

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I survived Mother’s Day.

A day in which gifts and praise are expected by mothers across the country. A day in which you have to at least be nice to your mother if you don’t normally get along, a day in which you have to surround yourself with all of the mothers in your family and pretend that you like each other. A day in which you have to mass text all of your friends who are mothers and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day and tag all 250 mothers on your Facebook page and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day with some sappy bullshitty quote and a picture of red roses garnished with baby’s breath.

I am a mother.

I didn’t receive a gift from my daughter because she’s five. She missed the day at school where all the children made their mommy’s a gift. When she came home and told me that she wasn’t able to make a gift for me like all of the other children did, I just gave her a hug and explained that gifts aren’t important. All I wanted for mother’s day was a hug and a kiss and to spend time with her. Then I walked into the bathroom and cried. I cried because I didn’t want my daughter to feel left out. I cried because I’ve been an emotional wreck lately. I cried because, for weeks, I had been looking forward to seeing what she was going to make for me because I LOVE it when she comes home and brings me a drawing or some craft her teacher had her do. What the hell is wrong with me? This day is not important. There are women who aren’t given the opportunity to be a mother. There are women who will never hear a child yell “MOMMMMYYYYYY” in excitement, when they get home from work. There are women who will never have the opportunity to feel those little hands on their face, telling them how beautiful they are, or those little arms wrapped around their neck. There are some who will never experience a long car ride with their toddler who talks too much about everything and nothing at all. Who sings their little heart out to Katy Perry. Who will tell everyone your address, phone number, what school they go to, your natural hair color and the fact that you have funny lines on your body when you’re naked.

I am a mother every day. I am blessed every day.

My mother is a mother every day. So why on this day, did I feel the need to spend the entire day with her and buy her a gift? My mother and I don’t exactly get along, but she is my mother. I should try to spend time with her every week. I should buy her flowers to show my appreciation for her just because. I should keep our conversations cordial all the time, despite her stubbornness and snarky comments. Why? because she’s my mother. Not everyone gets the opportunity to have their mother around. Not every one has the chance to call their mother when they’re in need of a babysitter. Not every one has a mother to call them over for dinner because she knows you’re struggling with money that month. Not every one has a mother to put them in their place when they’re out of line. Or tell them they’re failing but that’s okay, it’ll get better. A mother who will teach you about life through her own experiences. One who will call you every sibling’s name except your own. One who will say things about you but drop kick anyone else who talks about you. One who will tell you you’re getting too skinny or too fat or too mouthy or too blonde or too tan. Mom’s aren’t all perfect, they’re not all Brady Bunch quality. But the ones who try, who stick around through all the bullshit, who work their asses off, the single ones, the ones in abusive relationships, the ones who don’t always bring you up but when they do something in you changes. They’re worth it too. They are all worth it.

My mom is worth it. Every day. I have to be better about reminding myself that, because when she’s gone. She’s gone. That’s it. There will be no turning back, there will be no frequent visits, or see you laters. Or random trips with my daughter to the GoodWill. Or letting my daughter have all the cookies she wants. Or surprising me at my grandmother’s house when I show up to take Victoria to school because she knows just by taking her to school for me is a huge load off of my shoulders. For that day anyway. Or telling me I’m stupid and I make stupid choices because that’s her way of encouraging me to be responsible and telling me that she knows I’m capable of much, much more. Or telling me it’s ridiculous how photogenic I am. Or telling me to leave my job and find something more rewarding because I’m selling myself short. Or telling me how sometimes I remind her of my father and she just wants to smack me because of it. All of these things will be gone. All of these moments will be nothing but memories and I’ll ask myself why? Why didn’t I change things when I had the chance? Why did I argue with her AGAIN? Why didn’t I just let it roll off of my back? Why didn’t I visit more? And I’ll regret it. And I’ll feel guilty. And I’ll cry and get angry and yell and she’ll be gone.

She’s here now, and I need to cherish that.

p.s. I got my hug and kiss for Mother’s Day and it was just as sweet and beautiful as it has always been and will always be.

‘Tis the Season to be Selfish

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Oh the holidays. Give a little it’s the holidays. Volunteer it’s the holidays.

That poor man that has been standing on exit 215 for the past year, well, maybe you should give him some money. It’s the holidays after all.

Oh gosh, that little girl who hasn’t worn a jacket all winter. It’s Christmas time, maybe I should give her some of my child’s old jackets.

Toys for Tots!

Feed the poor!

Soup kitchens!

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Christmas!! GIVE GIVE GIVE GIVE RECEIVE GIVE!

Hey assholes. Did you know that these people you’re giving to, need it just as bad, all year around? Did you know that the hungry child in your kid’s class is hungry all of the time…Yes *gasp* even in June! Did you know that feeding that man’s addiction on exit 215 is not only hurtful to him, but a waste of your money. Why not try giving to shelters? Why not try giving to organizations that help those in need? Get this, you can actually donate ALL YEAR LONG! I know right? MIND BLOWN! Why do you feel compelled to give ONLY during this time of year? Is it because you feel guilty that you’re giving/receiving all of these gifts and eating all of this yummy food when there are people who don’t even know what it feels like to wake up to the aroma of a fresh Christmas tree? Is it because you’re children won’t settle for just one gift, or because of the faces they make when they open up their gift and it’s JUST socks?

Whatever the reason, you’re doing it wrong.

I understand that it’s most important during Christmas because these children, these adults who are without, deserve to have a great Christmas. I agree with that 100%. However, my concern are those who won’t volunteer all year long but feel compelled to do so only during this time. How about you don’t buy your 2 year old an iPad and split that money between 6 different school children who need backpacks in August? How about instead of you buying your 10 year old $100 miss me jeans, try buying 10 pairs of normal jeans for a few children. Now that’s an idea! I try my best to volunteer my time and efforts throughout the entire year, and I understand that not everyone has the time to do that. I just don’t understand how warped people’s perceptions are.

Well, I work for my money, so my kids deserve the best! Yes, maybe you do, and yes, maybe they do.

Count your blessings. That man you see talking to himself while walking down the street with holes in his pants and an ashy grey t-shirt that used to be white, might not be what you think he is. Most people who see homeless people automatically think “uneducated” “poor family background” or whatever else. Guess what? Some of those people have degrees! Some of these people are qualified enough to be YOUR boss. Things happen in life that we can’t always explain and wana know something else? It can happen to YOU, or YOU’RE precious spoiled children. If your child was on drugs or homeless wouldn’t you pray for someone to help them? If you didn’t play your cards right and got a shitty hand, wouldn’t you hope to get some help yourself?

Teach your children that life isn’t just a rainbow shitfest, there are people out there who are actually hurting. Teach your children how to be selfless, and appreciate what they have. My child is going through a spoiled brat stage that my family has sucked her into and I’m desperately trying to pull her out because that is not the way I want to raise my child. SHE. DOES. NOT. KNOW. HOW. TO. BE. POOR. I was raised way differently than she’s being raised and I’m not sure I’m okay with that as far as reality checks go. I do not want a sheltered child, I want her to know that she will NOT always be happy and she will NOT always have the best things (especially in college). However, she will always know that I’m trying to make life as enjoyable as possible for her.

We’ll be sorting all of her toys out and limiting her to ten toys instead of the 600 she has in her closet and giving only the GOOD toys to children in need. Her clothes always go to a good cause and when she asks me why that little boy in her class is always filthy and stinky, I’ll tell her EXACTLY why because it is NOT okay to judge others. She’s five years old and already has more sense than most of the adults I know.

All I ask is that you remember others, even when it isn’t Christmas.

I Dare You

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My Lovely Victoria Isabel,

I dare you. 

I dare you to grow up.I dare you to set goals for yourself. I dare you to accomplish those goals and continue to set more. I dare you to encourage. I dare you to inspire and to be inspired. I dare you to stick up for others and to do the right thing when everyone else is doing wrong. I dare you to be hungry, to crave knowledge and to use it. I dare you to love deeply and unconditionally. I dare you to never need a man/woman, but to want a companion. I dare you to go to college, and get a degree. I dare you to be independent and make your own money. I dare you to have just one great friend. I dare you to laugh and enjoy every minute of every day. I dare you to work hard, and appreciate the ability to do so. I dare you to take a day off from work just to explore. I dare you to appreciate family, the ones who are there for you. I dare you to appreciate the people who aren’t there for you, as they will make you stronger. I dare you to embrace the bad times, and accept that these moments will help you grow. I dare you to respect others, but to not let anyone disrespect you. I dare you to stand up for something you believe in. I dare you to write letters, as it is a dying art. I dare you to be honest, and confide in me every time, as I will love you unconditionally. I dare you to be audacious.

I dare you to be honest with yourself.

I dare you to kiss passionately. I dare you to go against the grain. I dare you to think for yourself. I dare you to not jump off that bridge if Emily chooses to do so. I dare you to forgive your father. I dare you to forgive me. I dare you to choose your own religion. I dare you to have children if you wish to do so, but to wait. I dare you to have an adventure first. I dare you to travel the world.I dare you to land in an unknown country without a plan, and just take it by storm. I dare you to not worry about me and know that I’ll sit tight until you come back. I dare you to learn multiple languages, and read books in those languages.  I dare you to play music, listen to it and love it. I dare you to love animals even if I don’t. I dare you to smile at strangers. I dare you to hug. I dare you to be selfish, I dare you to give.

I dare you to accept death, as it is very real. To celebrate the lives of those lost.

Victoria Isabel I dare you to make a difference. I dare you to dream. I dare you to dare.

Daringly, Mãe.