Posts tagged ‘single mom’
You may accidentally meet The Girlfriend inside the grocery store with no makeup on, wearing your workout attire from trip to the gym five hours ago… or maybe you spot her on your way out of a bar, as you arrogantly walk past with your girls at your side. You never know, you may be like me and meet the new girlfriend when she comes down the stairs of the house she now shares with your ex and your son, as you’re picking up your little guy for the weekend. However and whenever you meet, it’s awkward, stressful and laced with anxiety.
It’s taken some time for me to get used to the idea of my ex’s girlfriend. I basically ignored her existence for at least a year, all subconsciously of course. Actually, we all pretended she didn’t exist – my ex, my son and myself – by never really mentioning her, ever. It’s not like I disliked her or wanted to be back with my ex, it was just the idea of her that bothered me for some reason.
After some soul-searching, I realized, her being The Girlfriend isn’t what boiled my blood. It was being a mother figure to my son that really got to me. Since then, I’ve dealt with that issue and tried to ”Let Go” as they say…but the dynamic is still wierd and awkward to me, even after several friendly encounters and even a family dinner at their house (which I would advise against for anyone thinking of doing this… I have two words for you – Neutral Ground)
Is Visitation Just for Dad?
The latest awkward situation began this morning, while listening to my voice mail. In between the work messages, I hear, “…I will be out-of-town for a few days, but ‘Girlfriend’ will pick him on Thursday… Just wanted to let you know.”
I sat there in a daze, staring at the kitchen counter. The phone continued to play back messages into my ear, but my brain was no longer listening. Instead it was asking a string of questions like, “How do we feel about this?” “Why is this bothering us?” “Are we just being controlling here or is this truly not acceptable?”
Unfortunately, here I am, hours later with the brain still asking the same questions. Am I overreacting? Should my son go to his Dad’s house during his normal visitation schedule, even though Dad won’t be there? I know it’s important for him to have a relationship with The Girlfriend, but does that extend to her getting visitation too?
Oh, the joys of Co-Parenting…
It’s amazing what growing a tiny human being inside for nine months can do to your body. While some changes can be positive, like the increase in breast size, most are unfortunately negative.
For those of you who have not yet experienced child-birth (from either end of the stirrups), things look a bit different after a woman “squeezes a watermelon through her nostril.” She will have much fuller lips than before, but in a very different way than Angelina Jolie. It will appear as though a spare tire was lodged underneath the skin of her midsection and her cute little rear end will be replaced with two flat hamhocks.
I remember talking to my mother one day, after having my little boy. I had lost most of the baby weight, by doing Winsor Pilates, but couldn’t figure out what had happened to my once perky and round behind. It vanished and left behind the infamous MOM BUTT.
“My butt is so flat”… I remember mentioning.
To which I didn’t get much of a response…which either indicates some type of agreement or a lack of a positive comment!
Keeping up with the Pilates definitely helped get my lady lumps near their pre-baby form, but they still showed remnants of motherhood. (wow, did I really just call them lady lumps?) No matter how many leg lifts or painful clams I did with Pilates, I couldn’t seem to get the sides to recede.
Pilates successfully eliminated my mom derriere, but I still wanted to get its 20-year-old shape back… if at all possible. So, in hopes of getting back some part of my youth, I ended up ordering my second infomercial workout, the Brazil Butt Lift
In an effort not to sound like one of the women in the commercial sharing her amazing success story, I will just say… This workout is a MUST HAVE for any single, married or divorced mother! (or any woman for that matter!)
It is a difficult workout, but worth every sore muscle…and you will find butt muscles you never knew you had after each workout! It kicks my a@# every time, literally. If I find myself wanting to stop, or perhaps cry at the burning sensation attacking my butt and thighs, I picture the ladies of SNL in their Mom Jeans. I can then block out the pain with visions of my new and improved mom butt in a skimpy swimsuit this summer!
Goodbye Mom Butt, Hello Brazilian Bum!
If I could wave a magic wand and give myself three talents, they would have to be singing, dancing sober and cooking.
I would love to be able to whip up gourmet meals every day of the week and make homemade sauces and desserts to accompany my main course. Unfortunately being a working, single soccer mom with an active four-year old doesn’t really allow for such creations.
Okay, maybe it’s more that I lack the culinary skills… but I definitely lack the time to learn.
If you are like me, cooking dinner on a weeknight can be as stressful as your day at work. Around 5 o’clock in my house, you will find a pot of water about to boil over, burning garlic in the fry pan, a little boy in the background wanting to play with someone and an anxious mom in the kitchen trying to juggle it all!
Luckily, I came across something that has helped smooth out our weekday routine. I have found the Ultimate Single Mom Recipe! This dish is a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table and is guaranteed to please even the pickiest toddler palate. It has become my “go-to” meal whenever I find myself glazed over, standing in front of the open refrigerator door. Not only is it easy to cook, but it’s versatile too. You can pretty much add anything…sausage, peppers, chicken, tomatoes… I’ve even added some heavy cream to make the sauce a little thicker. Thanks to this recipe I can spend the end of a stressful day with a peaceful half hour of cooking and a nice meal with my little team!
(photo by: Romulo Yanes)
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 (10-ounces) packages frozen chopped broccoli (do not thaw) *You can also use fresh chopped broccoli
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus additional for serving
- 1 pound dried orecchiette pasta *I also use penne pasta
With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop.
Cook garlic in oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 1 minute. Add broccoli, water, red-pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is very tender and almost all of liquid has evaporated, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted.
Meanwhile, cook orecchiette in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoon salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.
Toss pasta with broccoli and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water. Season with salt and thin sauce with more cooking water if desired. Serve with cheese for sprinkling.
source: Epicurious.com - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Broccoli-with-Orecchiette-351170
Gourmet | January 2009
I definitely learned the hard way, it’s not the person you marry you have to worry about, it’s the one you have children with. After a divorce, you can choose to never see your ex-spouse again. Have a child with them and it’s a different story. They will be in your life FOREVER. Despite what everyone thinks, it does not just end when the child turns 18. There’s college, graduations, weddings and grandchildren to deal with after the custody arrangement ends. Not only will your ex spouse be an eternal part of your life, somehow they find a way to affect those around you, including family, friends and especially significant other’s.
Looking back, marriage is easy compared to Co-Parenting after a divorce.
Whether you have a good or bad relationship with your child’s mother or father, you are always going to have issues come up. Always.
(and let me tell you from personal experience, it is not easy to work with an ex on touchy subjects such as parenting techniques when the reason your relationship ended was due to the inability to effectively communicate….despite a year of counseling)
Right now our Co-Parenting struggle is over which school district our lil guy will attend for kindergarten next year. My ex wants him to go to school where they live with his girlfriend and her daughter from a previous marriage…while I want him to go to school in my neighborhood so I can provide the stability and structure that is non-existent in their household. My ex is a good dad, for the most part. He cares, he’s there when his work schedule doesn’t get in the way and he is goofy and fun. And we normally get along pretty well, as long as we don’t talk about anything heavy. Without getting into the whole ordeal…I just that I think he and my son would benefit much more if we changed our current schedule so that he was ‘Weekend Dad’ and I was ‘School Night Mom’. That way, our son could have consistency and structure during the week, then have unrestricted fun and sugar overloads on the weekend.
Unfortunately this one looks like it could get ugly…which is too bad. That’s never good, for anyone involved.
The last couple of years have been difficult for me, personally and professionally. I have dealt with attorneys & custody arrangements, struggled with co-parenting issues, learned how to be the maid, the cook and the taxi driver and, most importantly, helped a little boy emotionally deal with divorce. Surprisingly, I did it all while working full-time in the Financial Industry during our “Great Recession.” Not an easy time when the market is down 50%, your employer is looking to go out of business and your phone is ringing non-stop with frantic, concerned clients.
Lately, I have found a significant correlation between my overall mood and the day of the week. On Saturday and Sunday I am a joyful, happy person. Catch me on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and you’ll find a sullen and irritable version of my weekend self. I am the Corporate Dr Jekel, Mr Hyde. The second my cellphone rings or my blackberry flashes red I turn into this angry, hideous monster ready to bite my clients’ head off. I have found the only way to keep my sanity is to silence my phone and ignore my emails. Great customer service, I know. Luckily the antidote that eliminates this monster is picking my son up at daycare. It is the best part of my day and brings the smile and laughter back to my world.
The emergence of my weekday short-tempered beast is probably a sign I am ready for a career change. Well, that and the fact that a total stranger at Starbucks can even tell I am burnt out. After a quick, emotional-less explanation of my sales role within the company he said, “Wow, if I had a Burnt Out Meter, you’d be red-lining!!”
Okay, you can see that within two minutes of speaking with me… Not good.
Leaving my job wouldn’t be as difficult if I just wanted to switch companies. Unfortunately, I want out of Investments completely! No more talking about mutual funds, large caps, asset allocation, retirement or the tax advantages of contributing to a 401(k)! (As a side note though, for those thirtysomething moms out there that have not yet started saving for retirement… DO IT! Seriously. Okay, there, now I’m done!) The hard part is, I have no other experience. I took this job right out of college, thinking it was only temporary, and here I am 10 years later. Not only does the risk of being a single, unemployed mother in this economy scare me into keeping my current job, but the perks are pretty hard to walk away from too; all-expense paid company car, Blackberry Curve, laptop, and home internet/phone…in addition to making my own schedule, good benefits and 4 weeks paid time off.
Every time I think about turning in my resignation, this little voice inside my head says, “Who, in their right mind, would leave this kind of set up, in this tough economy?’ Yet then I wonder, is the steady paycheck worth risking my mental sanity?
I think I would rather risk having financial difficulties than be an unhappy, miserable person every Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm.
“Dear Middle Manager…”
The Daily ‘To Do’ List of a Single Mom
- Make Breakfast
- Clean House
- Do Laundry
- Make Dinner
- Help with Homework
- Shuttle to/from School
- Work Somewhere in Between
- Maybe Shower?
- Maybe Eat?
If you are like me, as a single mom, you barely have time to take care of everyone else, let alone the ENERGY to take care of yourself.
At the end of the day, I would much rather sit down with a glass of wine and a magazine or snuggle up on the couch with a movie, than get on my workout clothes and bounce around getting all sweaty and winded.
Who wants to do that? No thank you!
Well, that’s exactly what my ass said to my skinny jeans after 6 months (okay maybe 8-12) months of being on exercise strike. No thank you.
In an effort to lose the Mom Butt for the more firmer, higher version of my youth, I recently brought out the ol’ workout videos I initially used to burn off the 40 lbs of baby weight I packed on during my pregnancy – Winsor Pilates
I definitely got my monies worth with the DVD pack I bought four years ago.
After having my son, I lost most all of the baby weight within 3-4 months and I definitely see/feel a difference in the just the couple of weeks I’ve been back on the wagon.
The great thing about the se workouts…and what makes them absolutely perfect for us Single Moms…is that most all of them are 20 minutes long! When I start to hear that little voice saying, “Why don’t you skip tonight and have that cookie instead” I remind myself that it’s only 20 minutes. That’s quicker than an episode of Housewives of Atlanta…and much better for the ass of course.
Also, I never feel out of breath at the end of a workout. I hate the gym, I hate working out and I hate sweating… ugh
You’re probably expecting the ShamWow guy to pop out any second and say that you’ll “love his nuts”. My goal is not to sound like a cheesy infomercial. I just really can’t stress how much I love these workouts and I want all other moms out there to know you DO have the time and energy to look amazing!
They really are the Perfect Workout for Single Moms… actually any Mom, of any age. I finally coerced my mother into trying Pilates and she’s hooked now too!