Evolution: Heiddi 2.0

Evolution?

I should say so. After a year-long hiatus preceded by a two year hiatus, you figure why do I keep doing this to myself? Haven’t I figured out what I’ve wanted to do yet?

Frankly, no. Here I am a college graduate and bilingual licensed mental health counselor working with low-income families in New York City. As of 2011, when I received my licensure, I also accomplished my goals. Which is an amazing feeling and a proud moment for me.

Turning Point

But, with all my accomplishments and achieved goals as of 2011, comes what next? For the past few years, I’ve been trying to find out. I’ve reduced a lot of my extra-curricular activities such as playing guitar at my local church (12 years), paid blogging (6 years) and writing in general (too many years to count).

Self-Evaluation

I’ve been spending more time in self-evaluation mode while also prepping for the arrival of my second son, Benjamin who arrived on June 21, 2014. Yes, Andy’s a big brother now and I’m still the single mom of now two amazing boys. I’m a very happy mom.

While being a proud mom is great, I still have goals simmering within me waiting to be unleashed in the world. I’ve found that I need to set new goals and discover new passions.

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What I hope to share on this website is positivity and wellness – whether I’m writing about mental health or the simple things that bring me joy. I’d like to keep writing and sharing these with you.

The Heiddi 2.0 Evolution is here – will you join me?

Parenting: Credit Where Credit is Due

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!

9/11 – Reflections

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.

9/11 Memorial in NYC

Reflecting over the reflecting pool. (Danielle Elwood)

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

This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Read Heiddi’s Full Disclosure here.

Featured on MamaDramaNY

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! 🙂
Thanks MamaDramaNY.

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New Job: First Month Report

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! 🙂

Proud Mommy Moments

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!

Glam-Me Bronx Edition

MommysLinks GNO

Mommy’s Links is back with another edition of Glam-Me: Girls Night Out this time in my home zone of the Bronx! On June 9th from 6 – 10pm, ladies 21 and over will be glammed up with hair, make-up and more in conjunction with Zumba Mamas of Fusion Fitness. With over 25 vendors (and more!), Mommy’s Links with have the ladies fit, gorgeous and satisfied with a fun workout, drinks, giveaways and raffles plus a dj to give you some shimmy to your shake!

Come join Mommy’s Links in giving you the pampering YOU deserve. Get your tickets today and use code 5Off to save $5 off of your ticket! What a great way to celebrate Girls Night Out saving money and having a blast!

Make sure to purchase your ticket soon to guarantee a swag bag of goodies to enjoy at home. And make sure to let them know I sent you. See you there!

This post has a Compensation Level of 8. Read Heiddi’s Disclosure Policy.

The Highs & Lows of Solo Parenting

Now that Mother’s Day is upon us, I’ve been thinking about my life as a single mom. For the most part, I’m happy. I’ve got a great kid who has been a blessing in my life, my education and a great home.

A couple of weeks ago, kiddo scored second honors (90 average)  at school for the first time ever. I cried, I was so happy and proud of him. Hugging him tightly I told him how much I love him and how proud I was. I also thought of all of the work it took to get him to earning second honors.

I thought of the hours of work to earn money for  tuition, uniforms, after-school. I also thought of the time and money spent on therapy, evaluations and finally medication to address his ADHD, which was severely hampering his ability to focus on his schoolwork. Even with very little support from family (who disagree with my parenting style/decisions), but great support from my friends, I kept going.

There have been many times I’ve wanted to quit, run away or stop the world from happening because things were so bad for me. And before my son, I did. I went from college to work to college to work and had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I had no direction and indeed not much love for myself.

And the voices of people who doubted me became my truth. Until kiddo showed up. I was a young mom, very naive and unprepared. And even though I was legally an adult, I was VERY immature. I’ll be the first to admit that. But, I learned. And learned and learned. I’m STILL learning. Every single day. I learned my own strength is very powerful. My love endless and boundless. And my son, precious.

One family member (an old-school person with old-school parenting ideas) told me that he wished I had kiddo later on in life. I was 22 when I found out I was pregnant. My reply: I’m glad I had kiddo when I did. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today.

Here I am without a full time job, bills to pay and a child to raise – and yet, I KNOW I will be just fine. Kiddo’s being taken care of, I’ve got the resources to pay my bills (haven’t fallen behind) and I’m happy. No, life isn’t perfect, but being a mom, and now a single mom for two years, I’m happy.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. And Happy Mother’s Day to me, because dammit! I deserve to give myself a huge pat on the back.

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Country Guy in the City

Last week, I had the chance to meet a true country gentleman in the form of Clint Black starring in Flicka: Country Pride now available on dvd. “I’m a bit under the weather, so please understand if I don’t shake hands. I don’t want anyone getting sick.” My city girl heart melted at the country gentleman’s kindness on the spot.

Appearing reserved, Black lit up when asked about his family. He shared his thoughts on parenting (one pre-teen), working (filming) and how to balance both.

When asked about his family, Black shared how he chose to work on this project as it allowed him to work not only with his wife, Lisa, but also with his daughter (first acting job). He explained that working with family is a unique challenge (especially with his daughter) because he couldn’t threaten to take away her candy if she didn’t listen. Sprinkled throughout his interview were several anecdotes about his family life. Black was candid about his parenting style and how he and his wife work to ensure that their daughter is safe and happy.

His biggest concern?  “Will other people’s views of my daughter change her view of herself?” Black wants his little girl have a sense of self that isn’t elevated by other peoples. He stated that she needed to be prepared not to change in a changeable world.

And just like us regular (and unfamous) parents, Black experiences parenting struggles. His biggest? It’s hard to say no. Black has a difficult time to stop his daughter’s pestering.

Black also shared some parenting tips:

1. Help Kids stay grounded. He and his wife make a team effort to help their daughter be a human being before getting an image. Teaching her responsibility and giving her a sense of normalcy despite Black’s celebrity.

2. Help kids adopt an accurate self-image. Black talks to his daughter about privileges and why they (as a family) get them. He’s also talked with her about being a nice adult.

3. Look to the past. Black shared how his parents’ example gave him a great example on parenting and how to say no.  For him, it is hard to stop the pestering. Black was reminded of his pestering days with his parents and shared how he often pestered his mother until she gave in. Laughing, he explained how she did it to shut him up. Black also shared how his father’s one-two “NO” punch that usually stopped pestering in its tracks (and how it doesn’t work well with his daughter).

And after sharing his NYC adventures with his daughter (and his parenting stories), Clint spoke of his newest movie Flicka: Country Pride. The film is about – zany mayor Toby helps out a teen in need as well as an injured cowboy who needs a place close to town for therapy and to stable his horse. Mr. Black  stated that the teen falls in love with Flicka and with Flicka’s help (and love) heals.

I just wanted to thank TheMoms for inviting me to meet and chat with Clint Black as well as Coffee Bean NY for hosting such an awesome event! Be sure to look for Flicka: Country Pride out on dvd at Walmart now.

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Glam-Me Brooklyn Edition – May 10, 2012

Hello ladies! I’m back to announce that Mommyslinks first Glam-Me event was so successful, two more Glam-Me events have been scheduled.

Mommy’s Links has a great lineup of pampering events, ALL INCLUDED FREE with admission!  Plus, they are giving away some awesome door prizes and raffles!  If you are waiting for the last minute to purchase, the last minute is here!  Go to  http://bit.ly/GlameMeBKand enter code “MommysLinks” to get the last minute $10 off discount, so your ticket is only $25!  Where else can you get so many services, win prizes, mingle with old and new friends, have a few glasses of wine and celebrate National Moms Night Out for that price???  Be sure to mention that I sent you!

Visit Mommy’s Links for the most up to date info on the event, including vendors, services, prizes and goodie bag goodies: http://mommyslinks.com/events-2/glam-me-national-moms-night-out-51012/

I’ll see you on May 10th. Be there or be square! Cheers!

This post has a compensation level of 8. Read Heiddi’s Disclosure Policy.