Tag Archives: parenting

Working Mothers

11 Apr

I’ll never forget the day I left my son at day care when I first went back to work.  I knew I had no choice.  DB wasn’t going to support us in any real way nor was he interested in taking care of our newborn infant on a full-time basis (nor could he be trusted to do so).  It was a very difficult decision and one that I relented over for a very long time afterward – how I would be missing all of his growth and changes that occur so rapidly when they are that young. 

Of course, pain has subsided over the last 4-5 years but I will never forget the agony of leaving my infant and the anger I had at the US government for not supporting working families in a way that would allow a women to spend more time with her infant – even if unpaid – 12 weeks doesn’t seem to be enough time to bond with your baby when they just seem so small and helpless at just 3 months old – weighing at times less than 16 llbs!  What I learned is that many women are back in the office after 6 weeks for financial reasons – I can’t even imagine that!

Our country has so many problems but if we can ever clean up our current problems (like getting people employed, tax reform and saving the middle class from extinction), I would love to see our federal government sponsor some type of legislation that supports Working Mothers returning or not returning to work so soon after the birth of their children.

I saw this clip of iVillage’s Woman of the Week and I thought I should share it.  I think this women is a great role model for her daughter and for the Working Mother’s of Italy.  We are not all able to bring our children to work but she found a way to do it in the public eye raising awareness about the dilemmas of working mothers.

Here’s the link to the video – I can’t figure out how to actually embed the video here:

http://www.ivillage.com/ivillage-woman-week/1-j-392786?ice=iv:dailycandy:promoweek2

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Peter Pan and Pixie Dust!

10 Apr
Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods

Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are days I love being a single mom.  This past Easter Sunday was one of them.  My son has been into Peter Pan since we returned from Disney in October.  He saw Peter Pan during one of the productions and at Magic Kingdom he just related to this character so much!  We’ve read the original story of Peter Pan before bedtime and  watched the guest appearance of  Peter Pan on Jake and the Neverland Pirates last month. 

The Easter bunny left some chocolate for him in his Easter basket but the highlight this year for my little guy was not the chocolate bunny from Lindt or the Peanut Butter Easter eggs – it was a Peter Pan costume.  He immediately decided to put it on and act in full character for me.

Later that day we had dinner with family near the beach and my son and I went for a walk on the beach (with Mid-Western Boy, as well).  My little guy was dressed in his Peter Pan costume and was an amazing sight to see as he searched for treasure on the beach and threatened to fight Captain Hook (aka. Mid-Western Boy) with “one hand behind his back!” 

It’s his imagination and creativity that I love!  I try my best to nurture this part of him because I know at some point I lost my imagination and find it hard to create – I want my son to know the importance of being creative and thinking freely.  I know that it is as a single parent that I am able to do this…the man I was married to, whom I conceived this beautiful child with , also known as DB, would never permit this in his home.  In fact, his father has repeatedly asked  me why I allow my son to run around outside the  home in costume.  My son has also confided in me many times that when he is at his father’s house he cannot choose what to wear on his own – his father choose his clothes for him….

Allowing my son to dress himself and wear his costumes and act out his favorite characters, I believe, allows for the full development of this little person — without interference from me or anyone else (except for maybe correcting on manners and other social skills) and allows him to be free from judgement, negativity and helps develop his confidence.  Something, that I think an overbearing father, like DB, would not allow to have happened.

My only regret is that I didn’t bring my camera along to capture this very special afternoon!

An Inspired Breakfast by Haagen-Daz

4 Apr

I have been totally inspired by this exquisite bowl of ice cream. 

  Mid-Western Boy keeps bringing me a pint of this Haagen Daz ice cream. It is white chocolate raspberry truffle.  There is something so delicious about the sweetness of the raspberrys against the richness of the truffles with a sweet taste of the white chocolate ice cream.  I’m addicted to it and I”ve been eating it almost every night after dinner. 

I didn’t think much about this new indulgence until Sunday evening as I watched one of my favorite television programs, Mad Men.  Betty Draper (Francis) has been depressed and it appears that she has gained a significant amount of weight.  One of the last scenese of the show is of Betty eating ice cream with her daughter after dinner.  Her daughter didn’t finish her bowl of ice cream and so Betty pulled it to her and finished it as well as her own.  At that moment, I stopped breathing – hadn’t I just done the same thing with my son’s bowl of my new indulgence?    I knew I had to stop eating the ice cream every night but I can’t stop thinking of about the raspberry and chocolate combination. 

And so, this morning, I figured out how to satisfy the craving with a much healthier version for BREAKFAST!  On the weekend, I usually prepare some steel cut oatmeal and leave in our refrigerator and then warm it up during the week to vary our breakfast.  I usually simply toss in some almond milk, chopped almonds and some honey or cocunut to sweeten it for us.  Other times I toss in blueberries and brown sugar.   This morning – – I created my newest addiction — I warmed up the steel cut oatmeal with some almond milk, mixed in a a teaspoon of local raw honey and tossed in some frozen raspberries and dark chocolate chips and ……I’m back in heaven – with a lot less calories and guilt and my four year old can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow!

A Date with My Four Year Old

1 Apr

My little man and I spend at least one day a week (usually a saturday afternoon) on a date!  One of my very favorite things we have done together recently is enjoy New York City’s generous music/art scene designed specifically for children.  

We attended a performance by the Little Orchestra Society of Cinderella and the Prince who Slayed the Magic Dragon at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.  A few weeks later, we attended the performance of Lucky Duck at the New Victory Theater.   For both events, I spent last then $25 on our tickets combined!   I usually choose the cheaper seats in the house and then politely request to move to better seats if the show is not sold out  (this has been successful on almost every single occasion – except one so far – event was sold out).   I also almost always look for discount codes before I purchase tickets.  Every performance I have taken my son to was purchased at a discount – including these two performances.

Finally, one of the keys to saving money on this type of event – we always take public transportation (in our case the subway or bus) and pack our food.  I usually pack my son’s favorite meal – peanut butter and jelly sandwich – cut into fours apple slices, a squeezable yogurt and a thermos of ice-cold water.  We always arrive to the performance early so we can find a place to sit and eat our “picnic” lunch and use the restroom!

I hope that exposing my son to music and theater at a young age will help him to appreciate the arts as he grows into a young man.  I hope you have a chance to enjoy a performance with your little person in a city near you soon and see how it impacts their imagination and view of the world! 

My Wise Four Year Old

1 Apr

I was enjoying a little Saturday Morning Dance Party in our living room with my four year old son.  When we were done grooving to LMFAO‘s “I’m Sexy and I Know it” and Rock Party Anthem – I told him I loved spending time with him and that he really is a blessing in my life.  Then I impulsively asked him – “are we best friends, goose – goose?” 

He replied in his sweet little voice (I wish I can record it forever) – “Mommyyyyy, we can’t be best friends – You’re my mommy and I’m your son!”

My wise four year old.  He reminded me of my place in his life  – I am his parent and I don’t want to be his friend – I need to be his parent so he can grow into a well adjusted gentleman.

Persistence of Time

1 Feb
Old Post Office Pavillion clock tower

Image via Wikipedia

It has been a very long time since I’ve had a few minutes of time all to myself.  A few moments of time to gather my thoughts and write about city life and my son.  Time  to be creative and passionate.

I never realized how important this time to  myself was until I didn’t have a whole minute alone.  I always knew I was a person that liked to be by myself but I never realized how much I would crave solitude as I have over the past several months.

My son’s father hasn’t taken my son for an overnight visit for over one month now.  My days have been exclusively dedicated to spending time with my precious four year old son, who demands my attention, with screams and constant yells of “mommeeee!”  All of this time together has brought us closer together.  I wake up to my son calling out to me, we spend the morning commuting  to the office on the city bus doing puzzles or reading books.  I spend the day at my office working, negotiating and thinking about various issues that each day brings.  At the end of the day, I pick up my son from school and we spend the evening talking, eating dinner nd getting ready for bed.  All of My time is either spent at the office or doing something with my son.    If my son is cooperative in the evening and gets to bed at a decent hour, I can have a few minutes to myself to clean up the kitchen and pack up our food for lunch.  However, this is not my time.  this is what i call Family Time.  Just like cooking is Family Time.  It is an activity that is meant for the family to enjoy.

What I really want is a break – some time to myself; so I’m not rushing from work to the bus to the connecting bus and then home.

I have no one to blame but myself.  I wished for my son’s dad to fade out of our life.   And now it appears he is fading out.  I feared that the fading out would have a negative impact on my son because he was losing this male figure in his life.  His Dad. 

What I instead observe is that my son is better adjusted.  He listens to me, is not as aggressive and is very affectionate with me.  I don’t sense that underlying anger that my son seemed to have exhibited during the summer and early fall when he was seeing more of his father. 

Yes, I feel a sense of justice.  I feel that maybe my son will have a fighting chance at growing into a well balanced man if his father fades away into the background.  My son won’t have to learn to deal with the lies and manipulating thoughts he was infecting my son with during the latter part of last year.  Yes, I feel a sense of victory.  I only hope this fade away is consistent because the only thing consistent about DB is that he is inconsistent.

While I do feel a sense of victory, I feel that the battle has been devastating to the warrior (me).  I’m exhausted, I’m spent and I’m searching for time, time to be by myself, time for solitude and time for “being” instead of “doing.”   Maybe this is how all mothers feel at one point or another.  Even if it is how all mothers feel. . . I just don’t think it is acceptable. 

Last night I worked on building in time for solitude in my schedule.  I’m decided o begin with 15 minutes twice a week.  I’m going to deliberately unchain myself from my desk at the office and sit on the benches outside my office building. I’m not going to bring my blackberry or my iphone.  I’m not going to bring documents to review with me. 

I’m going to sit for 15 minutes and do nothing – twice a week.  The idea of it just relaxes me already.  Today will be my first day.  Wish me luck!

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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