Archive | December, 2011

Running Away From Home

22 Dec
 

My four

 

year old son told me he was running away from home yesterday because I was always yelling at him.  He told me he was going to go live with his daddy. I decided to call my precocious four year old’s bluff but he didn’t even blink an eye.  I told him if he wanted to go live with his daddy he can leave right now!  I opened up the door to our apartment.  He looked at me like he thought this opportunity was too good to be true.  So he ran to his room, grabbed a car and gave it to me.  He told me that this car was something to remember him by and  ran right out of the apartment, called the elevator and jumped in.  He actually left the floor and went down to the lobby.

I, of course, ran after him using the stairs.  When I got to the lobby I heard him telling the Doorman On Duty that he was running away to live with his Daddy in Brooklyn.  The doorman told him that he couldn’t leave the building without shoes on so he told him he was going to wait in the lobby for his dad.  I asked him to come home and he told me “it was so much fun running away from home!” 

It hurt my feelings that he wanted to go live with his Daddy but in all honesty, all I do is keep disciplining him.  He doesn’t seem to listen anymore.  He told me that he doesn’t want to be naughty but he can’t help it. “His ears are frozen” and when the summer comes they will melt and he will be able to use his listening ears better! 

My son and I have reached an impasse. I am tired of repeating myself to clean up toys, get dressed, take a bath, put on pajamas and go to bed and he is tired of hearing it. 

I think we both need a break from each other.  It’s impossible for me to get a break.  DB doesn’t work but only elects to visit with my son for two saturday overnight visits in a month.  While is it better in the long run for my son to spend more time with me, it does mean that he is ALMOST ALWAYS with me.  I am so feeling like I need a break.  I, too, want to run away from home.

I’ve never regretted my divorce and my life experience.  However, lately, I’ve been stuck somewhere in my feelings thinking I wish I can do it all over again.  I would have such a better life now.  I could still be living in my really cheap apartment and I could have time for myself, time to do things like, blow dry my hair, shop in a store instead of online, get a manicure and pedicure, walk around my apartment naked, read books at the end of the day without being interrupted, go to a real gym instead of doing workouts on DVD, run more and maybe even train for a long distance race again, not be responsible all of the time.  I’ve been fantasizing and fantasizing a lot about these things and I feel guilty about it. 

Is there anything a single mom can do to snap out of this negative place, this fantasy world? How can I  stop the regrets ?  I’m usually so positive but between working hard toward end of the year deadlines, christmas shopping and being a full time, present mom, attemtping to raise a perfectly well adjusted child.

 

Tonight, at least, I too wanted to run away from home too.  I wanted to be bymyself at least one night when I get home from work so I don’t have to be the person to do everything.   Maybe I should just take an adult vacation – maybe that would help ease this tensition in our home.

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Negotiating with an Emotional Terrorist

15 Dec
The Terrorist (film)

Image via Wikipedia

My office has been quite busy for the last few weeks and I have been totally exhausted in the evenings – unable to think a single creative thought.  In addition, to the end of the year hustle and bustle in and outside of the office I have been dealing with DB and his emotional terrorism.  He, as you know, was quite abusive to me in everyway – physically, mentally and emotionally. 

My family and I called him a terrorist during my divorce proceedings because we felt like I was being held hostage to his unreasonable demands for alimony and other financial rewards as a result of our marriage.  We agreed with Israel’s position that we can’t negotiate with terrorists (well until the very recent exchange for 1000 palestinians – but’s that another dicussion for another day).

DB is now trying to unsuccessfly manipulate the holiday schedule in our Separation Agreement with respect to my son.  He is sending me emails, calling me, texting me and incessantly insisting that he has my son on days that he clearly does not have my son.  Our Agreement is clear that holidays supersede regular parenting visits.

Last year, at this time, I probably would have given up.  However, I’m ready for the fight with him.  I am by nature a person who likes to negotiate and compromise.  I’m typically a people pleaser who wants everyone to be happy.  At times, I sense a compromise coming on me but I have decided not to take that route this time. 

There will be no compromises, especially since he is again trying to insert his will to control me, my son and my schedule.  I will not negotiate with this emotional terrorist regarding the parenting schedule.   I will not allow him to keep taking advantage of my good nature.    I keep telling him there is nothing further to discuss with him.

I know him and I know him well.  He will not be able to walk away from this fight until he scars me again – emotionally or in some other way.  However, I am no longer afraid of him.  I have come along way since the days of doubting myself.  No, I know I’m right and I know that I’m acting in the best interests of my child – which is the most important details that is suometimes left out in a heated discussion with an emotional terrorist who has no remorse for his actions.

I’m wondering how other single moms deal with the complext issues that are a result of this no so untraditional life.

Would you like Some Cheese with that Whine?

7 Dec

I don’t usually rant about being a single mother.  I know I have a great situation with a great kid.  I like being able to make decisions for the both of us with little involvement by his father.  However, lately, I’m feeling like my son is exhausting me and I wish I had someone else to help, to intervene.   I don’t know if it is him being a normal developing four year old or if I’m just literally exhausted from doing this on my own for his entire life.

ISSUE #1.  He has begun whining – a lot.  It is driving me crazy.  I don’t know how to deal with the whine.  He whines about anything of whiche he doesn’t get his way- his result.  He wants water when we are walking home from school, he wants to watch television while we are eating dinner, he wants to play with puzzles when it is time to go to bed.  He has never whined before and now it is incessant.  I give in. I think every parenting book probably says don’t give into this behavior but at the end of a long work day, I just don’t want to hear it!  I am not a saint.  I am exhausted too!  I sometimes feel like I had somebody to whine to after a long day.

 At the end of the day, I need quiet time to decompress.  This time of year, I need that quiet time even more than ever because of how busy I am at the office with end of the year projects.  In addition to the end of the year projects, we have Christmas and holiday stuff to prepare for – so when I’m not thinking about work, I’m thinking about Christmas presents and how I’m going to fit it all in (although most of my shopping is completed online).

ISSUE $2. He doesn’t listen.  I need to repeat myself several times for him to do something. Pick up your toys from the floor, put your coat on, we are leaving for school.  He deliberately ignores me and has already developed selective hearing.  I have bcome a nag to my four year old son and I can’t take hearing myself.  I just wonder if other parents have this same issue with their children?  I feel so alone in it and I don’t share much about it to anyone. 

ISSUE #3. Beating himself up or Manipulation? The other thing that is driving me nuts is that when I do lose my temper or raise my voice to discipline him, he throws a total crying fit.  His words are hurtful.  He says to me – “you don’ t love me mommy”, “you are not proude of me”, “I think I’m a bad guy” and “Someone should kill me I’m so destructive.”  Upon hearing this language, I immediately run to him and start holding him and kissing him telling him that Mommy loves him very much and thinks he is a good boy but just would like for him to listen to me better and control himself.  I kiss him and hold him and wait for him to stop crying.  I even start to tear up when he articulates these thoughts outloud.  I just wonder if he is trying to manipulate me and distract me from his behavior that I am trying to correct?

Last night I just wished I had someone else to tell him to listen to me.  I wish I had someone in the house to defend me – to help me – to be the bad guy for once.  I feel like I’m always the bad guy because I am the only one that disciplines him on a regular basis. He even told me I’m a bad guy because I yell at him!

What other choice do we have as a single mom?  I guess we just have to hope and pray that our kids turn out alright and they look back on their life and think about how lucky they were to have a mom  that sacrificed so much to give him the best possible life she could.

I think that’s a long time to wait for a return on this investment.  So, instead, last night I did what any frazzled mom would do, I turned on the television, went into the bathroom, lit a candle and took a warm bath by myself while he was occupied with Go, Diego, Go.  I did feel a bit better before our bedtime story.

Rose Colored Glasses When it Comes to New York City?

6 Dec

I had an interesting conversation this weekend about that special character that plays a huge part in the background of my life – New York City.  But before I get to that conversation, I want to tell you a little bit about my love for Manhattan.  I am a born and raised New Yorker.  I grew up in Brooklyn and I have always been fascinated with the energy of Manhattan.  As a child, I recall the grafitti covered trains that ran from my Brooklyn neighborhood into Manhattan.  I recall going to see my dad at his Tribeca office and the artists sketching and painting in the cobblestone streets of Tribeca. I recall learning about the streetwalkers on the westside highway looking for a John.   As a teenager, I remember walking in the West Village and the East Village and marveling at the shops selling bongs and other drug related  paraphenalia along St. Marks Place.  I remember the first time I drove over the Brooklhyn Bridge – the inspiration I felt as my car entered the streets of Manhattan and I had NO idea what I was doing in my parents HUGE 1970’s car.  I just wanted to feel the energy of New York City run through  my veins.

As I grew, so did New York City.  It became gentrified, it became home to fancier and fancier restaurants.  As  I grew I was fortunate enough to have a career that exposed me to that part of the social scene in New York City.  Notwithstanding this exposure, I also have been keenly aware that this slice of Manhattan society is just that – a small slice.  New York is home to poverty – 1 in 2 students attending the New York City public schools  are living below the poverty line.  I dedicate much of my free time to organizations that offer services to the residents of New York City who are struggling everyday in this tough economy and this expensive, overpriced city.  I believe these organizations can and do make a difference to the lives of my fellow New Yorkers.

New York is indeed an expensive and tough place to live  – the small island of Manhattan has become an even more difficult place to live in more recent years as it becomes more gentrified.   But it is still New York and I believe this is a place where dreams are made.  No, life in New York City ain’t going to be Mayberry everyday – it’s going to be tough and it might even be rough.  But that’s what makes it even more special once you start to feel a part of that  energy of the city – while you try to fight your way through the crowds and compete with the greatest competitors you might ever find in your field.  I believe it is the satisfcation that you know you gave your dream a shot – a shot at doing the best you can in a city that welcomes you with the Statute of Liberty in her harbor – a place where people from all over the world are welcome and come to seek their dreams. 

New York City is really not about people like me – the people who live in New York City and call it home.   People like me keep the city stable and constant.   New York City is about the people who come to New York with their dreams – they are the ones who give the energy to the city.   It is these people that make Manhattan one of the most special places in the world and maybe the only city in the world to represent the diversity of the human culture on the planet.

Yes, I’m not naive, it’s a tough place to live.  Yes, a penthouse on Park Avenue and shopping on Madison Avenue may always be inaccessible to you – but knowing that you have come to New York and have experienced the energy and melting pot of people in this great city should be at the very least appreciated, don’t you think?   I think these dreamers who come to New York to make their dreams come true should give a gentlemanly nod to Lady New York and say thank you for giving me a shot to try to make it in this fiercely competitive city – I did my best but my competitor beat me. 

I was told this weekend that New York City is all hype.  This person argued that there’s nothing special about it – you can get the same things in smaller cities across the country for cheaper.  Yes, maybe you can get the same beer in a small city out west for half the price – but are you going to be able to have the same conversation at the bar with the bartender and your fellow patrons.  I’m not so sure – because what New York is about is the people who and New Yorkers born and bred and the ones who adopt this city as home – are not like any other people I have met – New Yorkers (born and raised and adopt this city as their home) are the most passionate of people.

Yes, I was insulted by this insult toLady  New York.  I took it personally.  I know I probably shouldn’t have but New York runs in my blood.  And so, I vehemently disagreed.  I think one is closed minded if they think New York is all hype – there is no island in the world that acts as a commercial center and at the same time filled with art and hundres of different foods and languages.  I challenge you to find one other city that delivers what New York City can deliver in culture and passion.

 I don’t have rose colored glasses – it is my hometown and I do love it and I love the people and my daily experiences; notwithstanding that, I know New York City is  a tough city but it is not hype – New York is exactly who she presents to people – there is nothing hidden – New York is a place filled with dreams – dreams that can be achieved so long as you are ready for the competition and hard work.  I know this because I worked hard to achieve success and I need to believe it for my friends and for all the beautiful residents of this city who make this place their home – they live in the city, have their own dreams – not matter how small or how big – and are working hard to achieve thei dream for themselves and their family.  So, yes insulting New York City is personal to me – it is my life line and it is the life line to millions of people who love this city and call it home.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMX1sc3eOTE&feature=related]

 

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