Parents need time-outs? Yup, you read that. Not time-outs for the kids, but time-outs for themselves. But, Heiddi why should I give myself a time-out? How will that help me? I’ve got answers for you.
Independence. Everyone has to go through it sometime or another. Now, it’s kiddo’s turn. And I’m petrified! Kiddo’s a pre-teen who will be 12 in a couple of months. He’s been asking for more independence – to walk to school alone, a cell phone and an alarm clock.
So far, I think I’ve done pretty well with the adjustment. Err, maybe not. We’ve been working on this since last May. Kiddo’s still not walking to school alone, though we’ve got it to 60% alone. At first, it meant dropping him off at the corner closest to the school and watching him cross. Then it was the corner before that (which was a straight shot to the school so I could still watch him). Slowly, we ended up around the corner.
The school sits at an intersection and from our house, it is a zig-zag pattern. And we live in the South Bronx. Don’t get me wrong – it has improved a great deal and there’s a bigger police presence than ever. But, I’m realistic. I know where I live.
With guidelines on how to walk on his own, plus using it as a way to modify his behavior positively (ie if he screws up, I walk him all the way to school; devastating to a pre-teen), I’ve been a
big girl mature mom and let him go. Independence is a PITA, but it’s a part of growing up. Only I’m the one feeling the growing pains. Sigh. On to the alarm clock.
Parenting is a very tough job. Parenting while in a relationship and feeling alone as a parent is even tougher. Everyone knows that, right? Nope. There are people out there who have no idea what it is like. There are some men out there who don’t acknowledge everything a mother does for her child. One man who used to be that way is Austin Blood.
In his post about the chaos of fatherhood, Austin had the courage to admit that he used to be one of those men (like my son’s father) who left parenting to the mom (more like ran away screaming) and continued on his merry way. Austin scored bigger points with me by acknowledging how amazing his ex-wife was (and is) as a mother. His words had a profound affect on me as I read his post during my lunch yesterday.
As I sit here writing while kiddo sleeps, my eyes tearing, I feel Austin’s appreciation. For roughly 10 years, I felt alone as a parent – running around doing everything to make sure kiddo had everything he needed. Sure, kiddo’s father pitched in sometimes, but I held the reins (had to or things wouldn’t get done). After 10 years of feeling like a single mom, I made myself one by breaking up with kiddo’s father.
For the last 3 years, kiddo’s father has been like Austin – having to figure things out on his own without “the blissful days of yore” of having me around to do everything. When he’s on kiddo time, my ex has to figure out pick-ups (we’re affected by the school bus strike here), meals, homework…EVERYTHING. And after 3 years, kiddo’s father isn’t willing to say how amazing I am as a mother to his son. I hear it from my family, friends and co-workers. But, not from kiddo’s father. In fact, I had to tell him a few weeks ago (via text because sometimes we just don’t talk ) that he should be thankful for the mother kiddo has because I’m a damned good mom! But, Austin said it for him.
Thank you Austin, for being man enough, adult enough to give us moms the thanks we deserve. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
It’s once again Tuesday, September 11. 11 years have gone by and I STILL have a clear picture of what happened that day.
A few weeks ago, I spent part of a Sunday afternoon with my pal Danielle and her beautiful family. They were coming in from Connecticut into the city and wanted me to join them. One of our stops was the 9/11 Memorial.
Ever since it opened, I had not thought about going there. In fact, I wondered if it would become yet another tourist trap like all of the other places in NYC. And so, I avoided it. I didn’t need to see it (so I thought) because I was here that day. I walked home on 9/11. I thought my mother died on 9/11. And I wept on 9/11 when I finally arrived home that night and watched video of that horrible day.
Yet, when my pal invited me, I went. Having support really does make a difference. Here I am reflecting. Danielle (Elwood) took this picture of me looking out over the pool. It was so quiet and peaceful. As if nothing had truly happened.
But, it did. We then went to the gift shop, which also had items of that tragic day. And that’s when I fell apart. I saw a powder covered fireman’s helmet and burst into tears. I instantly remembered my mom’s powdered sneakers (which were black originally) and thought about that Tuesday, 11 years ago.
I thought that I was okay, but I realized that for me 9/11 will NEVER be okay. It’ll be a part of me always.
In loving memory of all those who lost their lives that day, those first responders who’ve lost their lives since then and for the rest of us left behind. “We will never forget” 9/11/01
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Note: This contest is now over. Thanks for all of your support!
Because I’m a damn good writer who needs lots of support, that’s why. I’ve been writing for a years and have a few print and online clips under my belt. But my ultimate goal (has been for the last five years) is to break into magazines. I’ve been struggling with this goal while having achieved others along the way – grad school, becoming a licensed bilingual therapist and being a blogger in my own right. But, breaking into a nice glossy, shiny magazine is the one writing goal that hasn’t happened yet. My hope is that a year in the Freelance Writer’s Den will get me there. So what’s my problem?
My struggle isn’t having the money in my budget to join the den. It isn’t putting words together that make an impact. My struggle is simply that I need more cheerleaders and accountability partners to keep reminding me that I need to get out of my own head and get my head in the game. I can write, but I’m afraid of succeeding.
I go through this with anything new I try. I get anxious, then need support (sometimes a lot of it) then get comfortable and confident. It’s my pattern of behavior. I’m confident as a mom, therapist and blogger. I want to be just as confident as a freelance writer – seeing my name in print magazines that I can show to my dad and my son who are my two biggest cheerleaders.
So please, if you think I deserve a free year in Freelance Writer’s Den, share my post via Twitter, Facebook, Linked In (anywhere else you can think of is great, too thanks!). Then check out this contest courtesy of Carol Tice & Linda Formichelli. Thanks friends.
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Well, don’t I feel special? I sure do after being featured on MamaDramaNY. Yesterday, MamaDramaNY had ME (can’t believe it – thanks for the honor) as a featured network member. I was so excited when I received the invitation, so please check me out! 🙂
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Well, it has been a whole month since I started my new job. I’m a child & family therapist with a small non-profit in my hometown.
It has been quite a learning curve since I was out of the workforce for four months. Yes, only four months. It was the first time since age 19 that I’d not worked at all. I went back to work when kiddo was six weeks old. (Another post on that some other time.)
So after four months of being home, bummed out because I felt so rejected (even spent 2 weeks so depressed my social work bff was so worried about me) and feeling like I wanted to quit the field entirely – a job came my way.
And I’ve been working it.
The hours feel long, but I’m slowly adjusting to it. I’m getting used to having a work routine (though I think it’ll take longer because I’ve not worked this schedule before) and because I’m putting pressure on myself. I know this will get easier with time (have to repeat this to myself everyday; several times a day in fact).
In the meantime, early bedtimes and lots of coffee will keep me going. Lol Wonder what next month will bring?
PS – thanks to all of my pals online and off that supported and carried me through this challenging time. Couldn’t have done it without you! Love you! 🙂
Just had to share that my son ROCKS! This year has been full of challenges, but also many amazing moments. As mother to a child with ADHD and a smartypants to boot, I’ve been challenged to step up and be a better mom. And while I’ve felt like the world’s worst mom sometimes, my son shows me how amazing he is and how truly blessed I am just to be his mom.
For the first time he received second honors in school with a 90 average. He earned a ribbon also for “Most Improvement.” See how proud he is? I’m so very proud of him.
Even more awesome is his generous heart. Last Thursday, he won his class spelling bee and won two tickets to tonight’s Yankee game. And what did he do with them? He took his father to the game for a Father’s Day gift. And no, I’m not jealous that he didn’t take me. It’d be nice to go to a game with him someday, but I’m happy with knowing my son is a sweet, persevering kid who just doesn’t quit.
Mommy loves you kiddo!
This is weird for me, but it’s the first time I’ve thought to do a tribute to my father. Now before calling me a horrible daughter, let me share about this father-daughter relationship.
My father and I weren’t very close during my childhood. He worked many hours as a truck driver and only came home to have dinner and then sleep. We (my younger brother and I) tip-toed around the apartment to avoid getting into trouble (from both parents) for disturbing him. Summers were great because we took family trips to Lake Welch (NYS) and had a great time. Or we’d plop on the living room floor to have a crab picnic.
I spent even less time with him as a teen. With my parents arguing often, avoidance was my defense mechanism. My father left during my freshman year at college. Really, there was no relationship.
And there wasn’t one until after I had my son AND my mom died. Something happened inside of him when she passed away. A nurturing instinct kicked in. He began calling me, looking for me, coming to visit. WTF? I’d forgiven Papi years before and made peace with the fact that this was the father I’d been given. I didn’t expect him to change. He told me, “I need to watch over you because you’re the only girl and your mother’s not here.” At first, it was weird. I didn’t know how to react. It took me awhile to start calling him and visiting him more. I didn’t know how to feel. For years I didn’t even know HOW I felt about Papi. He had surgery for blood clots in his left leg six years ago. When I saw him unconscious in the hospital bed, I realized that I loved him.
And I do. Now that I’ve been single for over 2 years, he’s even more of a presence in my life and my son’s life. Over the nearly 10 years since Mami’s been gone, he’s slowly wiggled his way in my heart and redeemed himself for my youth. The fact that I had already forgiven him was what helped me see that I do love him SO very much and am blessed to have him in my life. So happy Father’s Day, Papi. This ones for you. From your negrita. 🙂
Hiya readers! I just had to come back to share my thoughts on Glam Me: Bronx Edition presented by Mommy’s Links and Zumba Mamas.
Glam Me was AH-FREAKIN-mazing! And I’m not saying it just because I attended. As Mommy’s Links Mombassador, I had a great view of all the glammed up action.
With over 25 vendors and sponsors represented, it was no wonder that so many women came out to get their glam on! One of our divas made a stop at the make-up table and look at her after:
This diva’s cookin’ with her good-lookin’ self!
She and so many ladies came out to glam up, do Zumba and have fun. And being a part of Glam Me is so much fun that it doesn’t feel like work for me. The best part? We’re doing it all over again on July 7, 2012 at the Long Island Children’s Museum! Check Mommy’s Links for details & tickets. See you there!
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