Thoughts of A Single Mom

As I grow, learn, and change

Mothers and Daughters Part 1

The mother/daughter relationship is intricate and complex (hmm means the same thing doesn’t it).  You have mothers and daughters that are more like best girlfriends then on the other spectrum you have mothers and daughters that mix like oil and fire – very combustible.  My relationship with my mom is somewhere in the middle but a bit further to the right.

She had me young and from what I can remember of my childhood she was a good mom.  We  had great Christmas’, I spent the summers out of state with my aunt, I had friends over or I was at friends homes.  Things were good until I got about 12.  I remember going to the store with $20 to get some stuff for the house.  Somewhere in the six blocks from the house to the store or in the store I lost the $20.  I spent about 2 hours looking in every nook and cranny for it.  I eventually had to go back home and tell her what happened.  She beat the wholly hell out of me.  I wound up with a black eye and had to stay out of school for 3 days.  That was the beginning of our end.  She was always a cussing woman.  It was nothing to hear cussing in our house daily, good mood or bad mood; that’s just who she is.  However again at 12 I became all kinds of bitches and motherfuckers.

When I got to high school I wanted to be able to dress like all the other girls and do what they did.  However if my mother wasn’t strict before (I mean at 10 I was riding my bike through the neighborhood without anyone asking where I was going or what I was doing as long as I made it back home by street light time- good ole days); she turned into a warden once I got to high school.  By then I had siblings and the best way to keep me in the house was to have to be the primary caregiver of said siblings.  That means no homecoming game, dance, no after school activities.  None of that.  All that was just a dream for me.  When I tried going places with friends, I had to take the siblings with.  What group of 13 year olds do you know ant to have a 6 and 3 year old with them?  None so I mostly stayed home.  Now I know part of t his was a fear that I would repeat her pattern and have a child early.  If she had ever thought to ask or talk to me she would have known that having sex was the FURTHEST thing from my mind.  I liked boys but quite frankly, sex scared me.  All I had ever heard was that it hurt!  My grades were horrible my first two years in high school.  That was the only place I had a little bit of freedom.  I was too busy enjoying some type of freedom instead of worrying about grades and such.  Needless to say, I spent those entire two years on some form of punishment or another.

Junior year of high school I transferred and things were still the same.  Luckily the type of school I went to there weren’t any sporting events or all the things that traditional schools had (went to a business high school) so I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.  However I would ditch the new school to attend homecoming for the old school.  I came clean and told her about it afterwards and the punishment was well worth it as I had a ball. Only real difference is my grades were much better.  I didn’t want to transfer so there was nothing to do but do the work.  Plus by this being a business school, we knew senior year we would  be able to get jobs and go to school half the day and work the other half.  I wanted good grades so that there was no reason I couldn’t get a job!

Senior year I got a boyfriend (the summer before senior year actually) and a job!  Hot damn I was happy.  My first paycheck was $175. I was rolling in the dough, or so I thought.  My mother politely took $75 from me as now I had to give her $100 each paycheck but she cut me a break since my first check wasn’t that much.  I now was responsible for my own clothing (business high school meant business clothing) and carfare to school.  She was robbing me blind.  I had a little more freedom but still not much.  I was so ready to go away to school I didn’t know what to do.

Once I graduated she burst my bubble and told me there was no way on God’s green earth was she signing for me to go anywhere but the schools here in the city.  WHAT?!  What the hell?! This was so not part of the program. I’m still stuck?  So what else to do but what I was told (I had always done what I was told and just talked shit in my head).  My first year of college still felt like high school cause again I wasn’t involved in any activities or anything.  I went to school and went to work and got robbed by my mother.  I remember the first time I filed my taxes and just knew I was getting a refund check back.  Once she said she still claimed me, my refund check dropped to like $300 which she politely took half of.  My second year of college is a ghost.  Why?  Well financial aid told me I had to pay because my income plus my mothers income made me ineligible for financial aid grants.  She wasn’t about to come up off a dime.  So again I asked could I go away to school.  Answer was still no.  Alright, I’ll fix this.  I can’t go away, I won’t go anywhere.  Yep that’s right, I dropped out for a year.  I did nothing  but go to work.  Just because I now had my days free didn’t mean that I was getting more hours.  I mean every now and again I did but since I was home I had to really keep up with the siblings (by this time another was added) plus cook, clean and all the rest.  I had been doing this all along anyway so it wasn’t anything new.  I cooked more for my siblings then she did.  It got so bad that I went to the hospital for a week and they wouldn’t eat because she didn’t cook things the way I cooked things.  It’s a shame when a mother has to ask her child what her other children like to eat as she didn’t know.

Well after my year of rebellion I secretly applied to two different away colleges.  I got accepted to both!  I was home so I got the mail first.  I had financial aid, housing, book voucher and the whole nine yards.  I started purchasing things and still hadn’t told her a thing.  Finally in like July I told her I was going away to school.  Talk about someone pissed.  She didn’t really speak to me for over a month.  The best month ever.  She still bitched.  She would walk through the house saying what she had to say but it was never directed at me per se.  It was about me, but not said to me.  I didn’t care all I knew was I was out of there!

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Childcare

It is so hard to find someone to take care of your child.  The person who has been taking care of my baby has done a great job since he was almost 4 months old.  She has loved him and cared for him and he loves her but now its time for more of a curriculum, structure if you will.  If she is there it happens.  When she not, it all goes to pot.  She has a helper that my son just hates!  When he walks in if she is there, he loses it.  It takes an extra 15 minutes (and trust I’m already running late) to calm him down enough for me to walk out the door. Many people say that their family member was the caregiver for their kids during this time.  I’m not that trusting of some of my relatives.  Hate to say it but it is what it is.

I’ve been searching for a new place for my cub and I finally found it.  It’s not cheap as it costs a bit more and of course I have no financial help.  I’m ok with that as I’ve been taking care of my cub since day 1.This search has proven to be a lot more then I realized.  Almost makes me want to open a daycare of my own.

So one of the places I reviewed wanted $1250 a month plus a $200 registration fee plus (yep there is more) you still had to fund-raise at least $250 extra dollars.  “Ma’am do you want a tour?”  Umm yeh no thank you.  The other three were much closer to the house.  One place has their marketing down to a science with the brochure, the cards and the website and spouting how they are nationally accredited.  I went to visit and though they have all that stuff the inside didn’t seem inviting and it was a bit too cluttered and not as cheery and bright as you would expect a day care to be.  Not only that they weren’t really to work with a cash paying parent.  Those who get assistance only pay a co-pay of like $50 but cash parents have to pay the full amount.  Well that counts them out.  The other two were nice and bright and I liked them both. One even allows the cub to come in for a playdate to make sure that its a good fit.  I love that so that’s who I’m going to go with.  Plus I got a better feel from them then I did anyone else.

Why is it so difficult?  Maybe because as a mother you know how much you love your child and how you care for them and you KNOW no one can love and take care of them the way you can.  You have to hope for the best and pray you made the right decision.

A friend of mine has an unconventional schedule that falls over into the weekends.  She also has childcare issues.  Luckily up until this point her mother was able to be her caregiver.  Now she is putting her little cub in daycare.  The daycare works great m – f but now she needs coverage on Saturday.  Unfortunately she has to search as the child’s father is a deadbeat and doesn’t even want to acknowledge the fact he has a child that looks just like him. Shame she has to do all of this when the cub that has a dad that doesn’t have to work on Saturday but he can’t be bothered to do his part.  For shame, for shame.

This is short tonight as the cub is sleeping and I’m about to do the same.  We will get into more of my life and my thoughts tomorrow.

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Being a mom

This has been the best experience of my life.  I never knew I could love someone as much as I love this little boy.  I didn’t know I wanted kids to be truthful.  Wait, not true.  I had been pregnant before but never got passed the 6 week mark.  Both of those pregnancies were years apart.  So once I got thirty I didn’t think I was going to have any.  I was dating someone (yep I was dating him but turns out he wasn’t dating me so much) he another entry but no one I wanted to have kids with or be married to and spend forever and ever with.  I eventually got to a point that I said If I have one fine, if not fine.

Wound up going to Jamaica for my 35th birthday by myself.  Had a fabulous time.  Met this pretty nice guy that was my bartender and started a friendship.  Left thinking it was a cool trip.  A year later I went back and went back specifically to spend time with him.  A great trip and this trip was a lot more intimate.  Came back home floating but once the vacation feel wore off and real life set in, I was back to my regular life.  Started re-dating (yeh I re-date at least I used to) a guy that I dated previously.  I should have had no contact with him considering he was married.  So I feel all I’m going through now is punishment for that. As I’ve said before, I haven’t always made the best decisions.  Anyway I was here doing me and he was down in Jamaica doing him. A year passes and I go back.  I’ve already told Mr. Married I’m done.  Walking away for good.  No more back and forth.  This trip to Jamaica was going to do my soul and spirit good.  Mr.Married popped up at my house hours before my departure to say “goodbye”.  Got there and this trip was great.  Spent time in Kingston where it was truly just us.  This was the most intimate trip (physically and mentally) that I had ever taken.  Got home and 2 weeks later the stick turns blue.

Actually 5 sticks either turned blue, had a plus, or the actual word.  Once I accepted it, I was happy.  i had a little life in me.  I was nervous cause I had never gone pass 6 weeks but happy nonetheless.  Then dread set in who is the father?  Oh gracious. NEITHER is a good choice; one is married the other lives 1700 miles away.  What the hell have I gotten myself into.  However I did tell them both and clued them in as much as I could.  As my due date became clear I was able to ixnay Mr. Married.  That’s a good thing cause two months after I had my baby his wife had a baby.

I was scared of this little boy.  I cried nightly just looking at him cause I was so scared of failing him, doing something wrong, hurting him, breaking him, not providing for him, not loving him as much as he needs or being there like he needs.  i was worried that I was predisposed to being a substandard mother.  I had this feelings for weeks.  Whenever he sneezed, sniffled or anything we were at the doctor.  I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.  I was nursing him one day and he looked up at me and the look seemed to say, mom its ok.  We will be ok and I love you.  Some of my fears went out the door and I settled into being his mom.  Now the fears didn’t go far.  If he gets sick even now we rush to the doctor.  If they not open, ER here we come.  I can say that has tapered down quite a bit.

Watching him grow and learn is just so amazing.  The smallest things make him happy.  Playing in the sprinklers on the front porch is just big fun for him.  Sliding down the slide at the park is fabulous.  Running around the house with me and being his jungle gym is the ultimate.  It makes me happy to make me happy and I can say he is truly my heartbeat.  I would truly cease to exist without him.  Fears, anxiety, and panic and all I’d take just to see the smile on his face and wonderment in his  eyes.  I was meant to be his mom!

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Ramblings

Yesterday was a good day.  I felt like the old me.  I was content, no sense of dread.  I felt like I’m used to feeling.  I didn’t realize I hadn’t felt anxious or down or anything until almost 8pm.  So I see that as a good day.  I went looing for a new daycare provider for my son (think I have one); i hung out with my sister.  I didn’t do anything spectacular, I was just living life.

TODAY whoo baby.  I have never cried and prayed so much!  I went to get my hair done and I figure that will make me feel better.  Sitting in the chair I can feel the ball growing in my stomach.  I tried reading (I’m on book 2 of the fifty shades series) and that made it worse (he got issues baby).  I tried to read Iyanla’s Peace from Broken Pieces, I tried reading bible verses, I tried looking in the mirror and telling myself things that I know are true and factual.  Nothing worked.  I got home and broke down and cried.  Not just some tears but I mean a cry that came from my soul where I felt llike I was dry heaving.  I cried and I prayed.  I apologized to God, I asked for forgiveness, I thanked him, I asked him for Peace and healing and protection for me and my baby.  I prayed hard!  I was hoping to feel a little bit better but I didn’t.

I’ve been giving anxiety medicine but I hate the fact of taking medication.  However if I was sick and I was told to take antibiotics, I would take them with no problem so why does taking anti-anxiety medicine bother me?  It makes me feel less then.  Like, I’m a failure as a person, a woman, a mother.  I fake it for my baby.  I smile at him and give him lots of love and tell him how special he is.  I don’t want him to feel what it is I’m feeling.

Why me?  Why is this happening to me? I have felt like this only one time in my life and that was about 7 years ago.  My sister had some issues she was facing and I took it on like they were my issues and the things were happening to me.  I was losing sleep, losing weight (though that ain’t a bad thing) and everything and she was just fine.  Luckily that situation ended with a positive outcome and my anxiety and dread went away.  I didn’t feel another panic attack again until it was time to give birth.

They had me strapped to the table to do the c-section and looking around that room I freaked out.  I had a panic and asthma attack.  I had post partum depression (don’t think I’ve ever admitted that) and I don’t think it ever left.  Truth be told I probably need to take a good month off work to just work on my issues and get back to me. However, I can’t afford that! i still have to feed, clothe, and house my child.  Hopefully he is young enough where this won’t make the playback in his mind when he gets older.

I tell myself that there is a man out there that is made just for me.  He will love me and everything I come with; he will love my son as his own, and he will accept us and love us both with all that he has.  I tell myself this BUT I don’t believe it. I have resigned in my mind that because of my “exposure” i will be single forever and that I will have to fulfill my life with my son ad other outside activities.  I’m hoping with journaling and my therapy sessions, all of this will change.  I want it to happen soon like right now but I know it won’t.

So because this has been a hellacious day, I had to break down and take one of the anxiety pills.  It settles me but it makes me super sleepy.  To top it off, I had dental work done today.

So next thing I need to talk about is how did I get here.  What happened in my past that got me to this point.  I can say I don’t know.  I was loved as a kid, wasn’t really shown it a lot but I knew it.  I was wanted, at least by my mom.  My biological father wasn’t around.  He was in and out of jail and according to him my mom kept him away.  I think that’s bullshit.  As a parent, no one can keep me from my child.  Thought I had a great dad, I’ve always know that he wasn’t the person that helped create me.  I think that in itself was the start of being different.  I wasn’t the popular girl not by a long shot.  I didn’t have the curviest shape, boys didn’t notice me.  I wasn’t all happy bubbly or the cool girl.  I was just me.  I think I spent my entire high school life trying to figure out where and how I fit in.  College was the same way.  I was an introvert but most of the people I hung out with were extroverts.  Folks know me based on who I hung out with.  Don’t get me wrong I did get some great friend out of the deal but I still never felt like I belonged.

I got older started joining stuff.  I love the things I’ve joined immensely but still don’t really feel like I belong. I do but I don’t.  Now that I have a child I really don’t.  I wish there were other moms going through the same things that I am that I could hang with or even moms with toddlers so that I can not feel like I’m just in the world alone.  I feel alone.  I feel defeated but I’m trying everything I can to change that.  I want to feel like happy me.  I don’t care if I’m never popular I just want to be happy with me, internally me.  Me based on nothing but my own thoughts and feelings.  When things come up i want to be able to just pray on it, have faith it will work out, do my part to help it and let it go.  I don’t want to be this worry person.

I know there are those going out here with issues so much worse then mine.  A mother has been told she has months to live and she has 2 babies she willl be leaving behind.  A mom is having a hard time providing her kids basic needs.  Those are real issues.  Me worrying about my exposure that has never exposed itself (knock on screen) and worrying about what if something happen to my boy because of me seems trivial to having to figure out who is going to take care of your child upon your demise.  That’s not really helping me though.

Pray for me.  I’m a work in progress.

So last thing that is really bothering me: I have this mouth ulcer/sore that won’t go away!  Went online to read what it could be and it said everything from canker sore (though it didn’t look like the pictures on the net), herpes (I got it tested, its not); hiv (got tested again, came up negative!!!); or mouth cancer (my dentist and my doctor said doesn’t look malignant.  All this should make me happy.  It also said, stress, bacteria, vitamin deficiencies.  What part did I focus on, hiv, herpes, and cancer.  I know none of those are issues yet I keep thinking I’m going to die, I’m going to infect my son or some other off the wall extreme situation.  I’m going to see the ENT person and hopefully they tell me that I’m good and if I stop stressing I will be fine.  Or tell me its something that super fixable and will go away.  It started by me eating a bunch of flaming hot type chips for like days in a row.  Could that be the cause? maybe but its not gone and that’s bothering me.  Yeh if you havne’t figured it out yet I can worry something into the ground and back again.

I know this is all a process and as much as it may cause some pain, I can’t wait to get to the root of it all, work through it and go on with me life hopefully a happier, improved, more complete me.

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Sunday

Today wasn’t so bad.  I went to church cried, prayed, and praised.  From there went to an event for a friend of mine.  Right now I’m beat!   Sermon today was change of mind.  i need a change of mind.  I need to change my current thoughts plus all of the negative things that have been said to me or about me in the past.  I’m surrendering to God and praying and trying to have faith that all this that I’m going through is for the betterment of me and my son.

I’ve been told I was worthless, unsexy, should have been aborted (I think she meant it as a joke but still a problem), I think I’m better then others and the list goes on.  All I can be is me.  I just want to be a well rounded self adjusted woman so I can give those same qualities to my child.  Don’t get me wrong, i know I was loved as a child as she could only love me and s how me love based on what she was taught and shown.  I’m hoping to show my child more so that he can in turn show his future children more.  At some point all generational curses will be gone.

Right now I feel a ball of anxiety in my throat and I’m not sure as to why. It’s a sense of dread like I’m waiting on some horrible news.  I don’t know what it could be and I don’t want any bad news. What I want is for my thoughts to return to how they were before I got the “exposure” news.  I was happy without it.  Hell ignorance is bliss at times and this is one of those times!

I’m just worried about somehow causing an issue for my son.  That more then anything fills me with dread.  Few weeks ago I thought I was having an outbreak (hell never had one so I don’t know what they feel like), ran to the doctor and she said no, negative.  That news made me happy but now the bad thoughts are kicking in.  A week later my son wound up with a virus and my thoughts are now telling me its my fault.  Logically I can’t explain how its my fault.  Dr wise they’ve all told me I don’t have that kind of power to cause his illnesses however my thoughts say, blame the momma.  How do I combat the thoughts in my head?  I have tried telling myself the truth.  Complete facts.  Does that calm me?  Nope not at all.  As long as I’m busy doing something or around folks, I don’t think about it as much.  When I’m sitting and its a bit quiet, my thoughts do a number on me.

Too bad I’m taking a sabbatical from wine otherwise I’d be about a case in by now!      

God told me its gonna get better; he just didn’t give me a date cause I’m so ready for better.                       

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A bit of everything I’m feeling today

I feel alone and lonely.  My child is here in the house with me and he is wonderful, the light of my life, my heartbeat.  However I need adult stimulation.  Not necessarily male companionship but truly adult stimulation.  I have a sibling that comes over from time to time to help me with my son and I dread taking her home.  It’s truly getting out of hand now.  When I have someone here I don’t think as much.  My brain doesn’t shut off.  Every since I was told I have been exposed to HSV2, my brain won’t stop.  I have been trying to figure out when with who and most importantly why.  None of that will change anything.  I even had 3 HIV tests done just to make sure I would get no more surprises (I’m not active so I don’t know why I thought the results would change).  My fear is I will do something to harm my son.  I fear something will happen to me and my son will be left at the will of my family.  I fear something will happen to him and I will truly be left in this world alone.  I fear that I won’t be able to give him all the things he needs to grow and be a happy proud stable young man.  I fear so much and yet I don’t know how to shut these fears off so I can just relax and be.

No matter  how many times I pray (and believe me I’m thanking God and praising God and asking God for help many times throughout the day) I just can’t get my thoughts, self defeating thoughts, to shut down.  Damnit just let me be calm.  I don’t want ot take medicine. I don’t think I should have to.  If I can find a supplement that works I would gladly take that.  I prefer to be able to just work it out on my own.  Right now working it out on my own isn’t working.  I feel broken into so many worthless little pieces.  How can I put myself back together.

I’ve started back going to church (hadn’t really gone to one consistently in over 5 years) and I’m hoping by getting my spiritual house in order, the mental and physical part of me will follow.  I am trying to read the bible more and just try to increase my faith.  Right now its bruised and I feel so battered and beat up that I feel like I’m being punished for something.  I was never one of those girls that slept with each and everyone (I do know some of them) but I wasn’t a wallflower either.  I’ve had my share of partners and I’m thankful i don’t have HIV as I haven’t always been the most careful.  What I will say is this right here has let me know that my cookies are MINE until I meet my husband.  And since I have this piece of baggage he is going to be God sent and love and accept all parts of me.

However before he can love me I have to figure out a way to love me.  I don’t know if I do. Rather I don’t think I do enough.  If I did, my thoughts wouldn’t be able to break me down the way they do.

Really want to take all my broken unworthy and unloved pieces, wash them clean and make them a nice complete whole me again.

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