It kills me when my son cries himself to sleep

It kills me when I can’t give my kids something they really want because I just don’t have the money for it. When I have to tell my 8 year old that sorry he cannot go to the Tae Kwon Do board breaking competition because I just can’t afford the entrance fee it kills me. It kills me even more when I then have to watch him break down and cry himself to sleep over the disappointment.  I had not realized how much he had his heart set on going this year as we had to skip last years event  (it was on his dad’s weekend and his dad would not take them). My 7 year old was also hurt and disappointed over the cost issue, but he’s a bit more accepting of it at least outwardly but I know that inside he is hurting just as much as his older brother.

Yes, I wish things could be different. Yes, I’d pay for it in a second if I could. Yes, it would be nice if his dad would help pay for it, but unfortunately there is so much it would be nice if his dad would pay for that I’ve lost count. (Hell, if he’d just pay the support payments on time I’d be happy).

So for now, I will stay up all night trying to juggle the numbers to see if and how I could possibly swing not only his entrance fee, but that of his younger brother as well, and of course the fee for me to enter and watch them and possibly the fee for his youngest brother to either watch or participate as well.

I’ll do this because:  (1) I am a mom who loves her kids and wants to see them happy, (2) it would be a great experience for the boys, (3) it would be fun to watch all the board breaking demonstrations, and (4) most importantly it means so much to both of my oldest sons to go and participate.

But the more I try to find the funds to help my boys realize a dream they had the more I know I will have to end up dissapointing them and it kills me to do so. It is just so heartbreaking to know you have to disappoint your sons because you just don’t have the funds when their dad could help but refuses to do so. Yes it is not going to be the end of the world if my boys can’t participate in the board breaking contest, but it is the shattered hopes and dreams that hurt me so much.

While this is not the first time since the divorce that I had to tell them no due to money issues this was the hardest because this event means a lot to them. (And because this event has a deadline after which the opportunity to participate in it will be gone.) It means more to them than any video game or toy or thing they have ever asked me for that I had to say no to due to lack of funds. I hate to see their dreams shattered over something that can be fixed so easily with a few dollars. Hopefully a miracle will occur and I will find the money to do it, but for now I will just have to cry myself to sleep along with my boy.


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Brave Face – Tough On the Outside

As a single mom you learn to put on a brave face and be tough on the outside. We need to do this to project a confident controlled self to our kids and the world in general. However this brave face we put on comes around every so often and bites us in the ass. Nobody can be tough and brave all the time. Unfortunately lots of us don’t get the support we could use from friends and family because they buy into our facade.

It is just not possible to always be in control to never get any help – especially when you have more than 1 child. Those of us who put on a better show of being in control and on top of things are the ones that tend to suffer the most internally. Because we are such good actresses people (even close friends and family) don’t notice the signs that we need help and of course our brave front prevents us for asking for it.

Those of you who know someone like us may wonder, why don’t you just ask? We’d gladly help it you just told us you needed help. The answer is simple, for if we ask and are turned down we will fall apart. By the time we get to our breaking point and ask you to help with even a very simple or trivial item we are already past the point of breaking and are on overdrive. To break our concentration on maintaining the status quo and being able to function is hard. Once we break out of our facade and ask for help it is too late… either we get the help we need in the exact form we are asking it or we will break down and lose it.

So what can you do as a caring and loving friend or family member… the answer is simple… just ask. Ask us if there is anything you can do to help us this week. Tell us you’d like to do something fun with us and ask when might be a good time for us to do it. Offer to  take us out to dinner or bring us dinner for the kids one night in that works better for our schedule. You can even offer to treat us to mani/pedi or a spa day while you take care of the kids for the afternoon. Sometimes a few hours off duty and some time for ourselves is what we need to recharge. Basically, just be there for us and make sure you follow through on your offers and promises.

Just remember, single moms run on overdrive 24/7. We make sure our kids have all they need before we take care of ourselves. We need to put on a brave face and seem like we are tough to make it through the day, day after day. It is your job as our friends and family to help us feel strong enough on the inside to make it through this. So please ask us if there is something you can do to help, offer your services, and follow through on all your promises to us. (This advice holds true for all the moms out there not just single moms, but it is especially important for the single moms who may not have as much support as moms with spouses). Your help will make us stronger on the inside as well as the outside and allow us to be better moms and friends to everyone.

Posted in Frustrations, Help, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Common Core Math or Stupid Math?

While I completely understand the purpose behind Common Core Math I am very upset with the level of the math my kids are now learning. Do they really need to learn so many different ways of showing that 9+5=14? Really??? How many months can they do basically the SAME math over and over again? Yes I do understand that there are a few kids who still don’t get it but come on… there is a time and place for remedial or extra math help for those kids. Why must the system drag every kid down to the lowest of the low common denominators? Why hold back the smart kids with this for lack of a better word… bullshit?

When it comes down to Common Core I understand the need to try to “level the playing field” but at what cost?  The teachers seem to have their hands tied with this system and the smart kids are suffering with extreme cases of boredom as a result. Why must we dedicate a whole system across the board to do what teachers are supposed to do in the first place? After all isn’t it the teacher’s job to find a way to teach the material to the kids? If a child does not understand something it is the teacher’s job to find a different way to get through to the kids. Why are we trying to turn the teachers into robots rather than living breathing organisms that can adapt to the environment and find the best way to reach each child on their own without holding the smarter ones back?

All I can say is that my boys are bored to tears by this Common Core Math. It has gotten to the point that we are all openly calling it STUPID MATH. As it appeals to the stupidest of the kids. Yes this is mean, but it also seems to be true. To ask kids in 1st grade to add 9+5 and show their work many many different ways over many many months is asinine.  Why must we hold kids back just because a few kids don’t get it? Why not let them advance and give the other kids additional help?

What I fear will happen here is that we end up turning off the kids that are good at math and make them hate school and hate learning. This is what I see happening with my kids and their friends. They find math stupid and boring. Rather than raising the level of our kids math abilities we are going to end up hurting them in the long run with this foolishness.

As moms what can we  do to keep math fun for them? To be honest I am not sure… as after months of basically the same problems over and over again my kids are bored and going crazy with the stupidity of Common Core. So what we are doing is embracing the stupidity… we are acknowledging that this is stupid, while grudgingly learning yet more ways to show the work behind simple math problems. I find that at this point the ONLY way we can make it through the repetition of these asinine homework assignments is to make a joke of it. (Yes I know it is not politically correct, but at this point I give up and need to do what I can to keep their interest in this stupid math). So if I need to pretend to talk like a moron when reading the homework assignment and make jokes at the expense of the math work I will and I will allow my kids to do so too. All the while saying, we have to do this incase you take a standardized test and they ask you to show this stuff you need to know it.  So basically, I am spending my days checking the same homework over and over again but with slightly different “work” showing how they got the same answers to the same questions week after week.

So bring on the stupid math… we will survive it, but it just makes my life as a single mom more difficult as I now need to be the cheerleader and teacher to my kids (something they should be getting from their teachers in school). I need to cheer them on with my silly voices and faces to get them through the very boring assignments day in and day out. I also need to find the time to teach them more advanced concepts on my own so their math brains do not shut down due to boredom.

So let me personally thank all you politicians out there who believe this would help everyone and advance America in the field of math, you have handicapped our teachers, bored our kids to death, frustrated most of the intelligent parents out there with this stupidity, and helped only a small portion of the kids out there learn anything new. Instead of bringing everyone down to the lowest level you should have concentrated on funding programs to help those kids who were struggling rise up and developed programs to give teachers the tools to help those kids. I only hope that 10 years from now we all don’t live to regret this stupid nationwide math experiment.

Posted in Frustrations, Humor, kids, Why? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

To all the crazy drivers this time of year… Is it worth it?

This is a message to all you crazy drivers out there. Yes. I understand it’s the holiday season and you have alot to do. Yes, I understand it’s the end of the week and you want to get home ASAP. Yes, I understand you feel rushed and stressed. All I ask is that you STOP and THINK for a moment and answer this simple question… is it worth driving like a jerk and squeezing in where you don’t belong just to get somewhere 5 seconds earlier? Do you really need to cut in front of me where there is no room for your car and you cause me to slam on my breaks when there is ample room behind me?

Yesterday on the way home with the kids from their karate class I had one of you jerks cut me off by squeezing between me and the car in front of me with no warning, no turn signal and no room for you to do this maneuver safely. Meanwhile, behind me was enough space for 2 box trucks to merge into. So why did you need to cut me off? Was it because you needed to get to the red light 5 seconds sooner? Was it worth it to almost cause a major accident? I think not!

Yesterday afternoon I also had a nut decide to make a left hand turn from the middle lane cutting me off and almost sending me into on coming traffic as I was turing from the proper lane. Again, was this worth it? I think not!  Look I understand you may have missed your turn, but you could easily have gone 1 more block and then turned around. Not a big deal. After all isn’t it better to be safe than sorry???

Luckily, I always keep an eye out for you bad drivers so I can avoid you. I am especially extra diligent about this during the holiday season and on Fridays. I am already teaching my boys to watch out for people like you. I am showing them how to study traffic patterns and look for idiots like you in the hopes that when they start driving 10 years or so from now they will also be able to avoid the likes of you.

I only hope that all of you one day find each other and end up in a spectacular crash that only harms you and no innocent bystanders or passengers. After all you deserve it… for your efforts to get to where you are going 5 seconds sooner endanger all of us on the road. Maybe if this happens you will learn to drive less recklessly and be more careful.

What I really want to know is…  do you really think it’s worth it to cut into traffic in a dangerous manner rather than following the rules of the road? Do you think cutting people off just so you can try to get someplace sooner is worth the risk of never making it there at all?

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The Sweetest Things Can Come Out Of The Littlest Mouths

Nothing warms my heart more than my kids. Sometimes when I’m run down and exhausted (as all you single moms – and some of you that are married too – know this is basically our normal state of being) all it takes is a heartfelt comment from one of my kids to make my day.

The other morning my 4 years old said the sweetest thing as I was buckling him into the school bus seat. He said to me, “Mommy, when I go to school you can take a nap cause I know you are not feeling good and did not sleep well.” I told him I would try. After all, I’ve been dealing with sick kids all week and had barely slept in days. A nap that day would have been a pleasure I would have loved to do, but of course as a single mom I had too much to do and the thought of a nap during the day was just a distant dream. But it still warmed my heart that this little guy cared enough to tell me to rest.

Other times, my oldest (who’s only 7)  helps me out by offering to give his little brother a bath allowing me to clean up a bit and sometimes even have a minutes to sit and rest. He also helps clean up without being asked and tells me on a regular basis that he is thankful for all I do for them. Hearing those words “Mom, thank you for everything” makes it all worthwhile.

Another one of the best things they can say to me is something my 6 year old tells me just about every night. “Mommy, I love spending time with you.” Yes I know the day will come when my boys will want to be with their friends rather than with me. But for now I’ll enjoy their love of being with me and doing things with me.

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Don’t hide the fact that your partner is a s**thead!

This letter is to all the women out there who cover for their man, who make excuses to family and friends for him, who let him get away with bad behavior because they love him and don’t want to paint him in a bad light to others.

I was one of you for many years. I covered for my ex. I made excuses. I basically allowed his behavior to go on and made excuses for him to family and friends rather than say, “Yes, my husband is a s**thead!”  “Yes, he’s a jerk who is a lazy pain in the ass!”

The thing is when my ex would get his butt up and about he was a pretty good father and husband. The problem was he always acted like a perpetual teenager. You know the type… always wants to sleep, never wanted to get up and help around the house or with the kids. He would be “watching” the kids and I’d find him fast asleep and the kids destroying the playroom.

When we’d go to my family’s house he would go off someplace and sleep (or play/flirt online). People would comment and I’d say “Oh, he’s tired he had a rough week at work” or  “He has work to do”… etc.

I’d never say what I wanted to say… “He’s a lazy ass and he’s driving me crazy”,  “He never helps unless I nag him to death over it… it’s like having another kid – but this one’s an annoying teenager”… etc.

Instead of telling my friends the truth… (telling them he was a lazy bum, telling them yes when he helps he can actually do a good job but it takes all my energy to get the jerk to move his ass, telling them it is more tiring to deal with him than the kids, letting them know he never did anything special for me for my birthday or holidays despite me going out of my way to make those events special for him, telling them he gets angry when I ask him to help and sometimes hits me, telling them how miserable I was having to deal with this everyday…) I told them everything was great, that he helps alot, that he’s wonderful, that we’re wonderful.

If people knew what I had to deal with on a daily basis they would have felt sorry for me and I was always taught not to air your dirty laundry in public, to keep things private. Maybe I’d even have gotten some help or support from them had I let them know what was really going on in my life. But I’ll never know as I kept things to myself and painted a picture to the world that all was well.

I was lucky in that the s**thead cheated on me and finally walked out on me. Yes it was a shock to everyone around us, but to me it was a relief. I got to get away from his oppressive self-centered behavior. I escaped the daily trials of dealing with this man. I never have to wonder if he will get his butt up and help today, if he’s in a good mood and will be around to help or if he’ll be a jerk today and sleep the day away while the kids and I wait for him to join us in our activities or just blow up at me or the kids. I am free.

While in my case freedom was my salvation, for those of you still dealing with your own s**theads talking is a start. My s**thead would never talk about anything nor would talking with him have changed the outcome of our marriage as he was not (and still is not) ready to change. But maybe some of you will be lucky maybe your guy will change and if not at least you can have some friends and family to help carry this burden. Maybe talking about it will help you

The lesson I learned from all this is by not telling the truth about what is going on all you are doing is enabling and helping the s**thead and it is so not worth it! So please if you have one of these guys in your life don’t cover for him… let the world know who and what he really is… you’ll feel better for it. And remember, his behavior is his fault not yours and letting your close friends and family know what is really going on will not reflect badly on you as you have done nothing wrong. The only one who is in the wrong here is the s**thead who does not know how to act like a decent human being.

Posted in Behavior modification, Cheating, Frustrations, Why?, Women vs. Men | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What kind of father…

What kind of father does not call his kids on their first day of school? What kind of father does not want to see his boys participate in sports? What kind of a dad has no idea who his children’s friends are? What kind of father does not want to spend every minute he can with his kids? What kind of father refuses to own a car that can fit all his kids? What kind of father does the bare minimum when it comes to his kids? What kind of father refuses to pay for his kids?

Apparently my ex is that kind of father. While when we first separated I did my best to build him up to the kids, to have them see him even when they didn’t want to, to tell him they loved him when they didn’t even want to talk to him, to hug and kiss him when they saw him. While other divorced moms try to keep their exes out of their children’s lives I pushed for him to see them – as I believe this is important for them to have him in their lives.

While in my heart I know I did the right thing for my kids by doing all that I now wonder if I should have done so or not. For one thing, my ex does not seem to appreciate my efforts. He has proven to be a constant disappointment to my boys. He has let them down and broken their hearts many times over with his actions. At this point our oldest (who is only 7) is disillusioned by his dad, he knows he cannot count on him to be there for him or to keep his promises to him. His younger brother who is 6 is about 85-95% of the way towards disillusionment as well. Our youngest who is 4 is about 50% of the way there too. This makes me very sad, for them and for what has become of our lives due to my ex and his actions.

Yes my boys love their dad, but do they go running into his arms when they see him? Not so much. Yes they say I love you to him, but do they mean it? I am sure they do to a certain degree, but not as deeply as they did prior to the separation. One has to wonder how much of this is from a sense of obligation and how much is genuine. I personally believe that the ratios fluctuate back and forth from day to day.

While at first I tried to cover for him and make excuses for his behavior to the kids I find I can no longer do that (and not out of any sense of anger or hurt on my part – as I am much happier and at peace without him. Even though I am certainly entitled to ill will towards him I truly and honestly harbor none). I just simply refuse to lie to my kids on his behalf any longer. Besides they can easily read all the texts on my phone and see what he says for himself. They can see that yes I did text daddy as you asked me to to ask him about such and such and yes I have not heard back from him yet or this is what he said.

While I find this all very sad, all I can do is fill the void. I am the only one my kids know will be there for them no matter what. I am the one they can count on, the one they can talk to about anything, the one they love deeply. I gladly fill this role, but I do miss sharing it with their father. I feel he is missing out on so much that he will never be able to regain.

I can only hope that one day their dad will realize what he is missing and work on re-building their trust and his relationship with them. So for now, I am the one that is there to greet them and ask about their first day of school, the one who makes sure they have clothing on their back, food in their bellies and a roof over their heads. The one who goes to every school event, takes them to every party, play date, sleepover. The one who not only knows all their friends but also has their friends over for play dates & sleepovers. The one who takes them to the zoo, park, pumpkin picking, apple picking, bike riding, karate class, museum, etc. I am also the one they tell their fears and worries to, and the one who helps them work through them. The one they tell about their hopes and dreams. I am the one who is there in the moment with them building memories and teaching them how to grow up and be a better man than their father.

Maybe one day a miracle will occur… but for now this is our life and I love my kids too much not to be there for them, I can only hope that one day their dad will be there for them as well.

Posted in Differences, kids, Women vs. Men | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments