Being a Single Mom Right Now Has Pushed Me to My Limits

Whichever way you slice it, no one has it easy during this unprecedented time in the world. No one is jumping around for joy. Everyone is bogged down with stress and anxiety, and we’re all dealing with the changes the best we can. But I have to admit that as a single mom, this current health crisis has pushed me to the limit.

There are now limits I never thought I’d see before. There are people celebrating how excited they are to have their spouse home and their busy, independent teenagers. I get this. But then there’s me: acting as head teacher, cook, cleaning lady, employee of the month, and mom of the year, 24/7 — with no way to tap out.

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Hang Tough,

Laura

Do Kids’ Sleep Products Really Work?

Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash

From the moment your child is born, all you want is for your kid to just sleep. Not only do you desperately need some peace and quiet, but you also know that adequate sleep is key to your child’s growth and development.

So you do your research and ask other parents how they managed to get their kids to sleep—and you discover that there are a countless number of products designed to help babies and young children get the shut-eye they need.

But just how effective are these products? Here’s what you need to know.

Read More: Do Kids’ Sleep Products Really Work?

Hush Little Baby,

Laura

Your Actions (or No Actions) Show How You Really Feel About Someone

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Photo by Kyle Hinkson on Unsplash

Every relationship is built on actions– lack of actions, plenty of actions, the wrong or right actions.

One of the biggest things that will always tell the truth even if you don’t want it to, are  your actions!

Your actions show if you are full of hot air or, true to your word.

Consider this example– you can tell someone to let you know if he/she needs help, or you can show up on the doorstep and help.

You can tell someone you care about them and they’re important, and never be available for them

Or you can be there when they’re sick, in trouble or just to spend time together.

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Watching Your Parents Grow Old Is The Hardest Thing Ever

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Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

My grandparents died before I turned 2. I didn’t have the lucky privilege of having them around. So. watching my parents grow older is the first time I’ve truly seen people I love … grow old.

Recently, my mom fell and got emergency hip replacement surgery. Seeing her in extreme pain was horrible. Worrying about her recovery now– although she is improving– is hard.

No one warned me how hard it would be to watch your strong capable parents grow into more vulnerable people.

No one told me how hard it would be to sit and stroke your mom’s hair as if she were a child. Not the other way around.

Between work and caring for my daughter full-time, trying to get to my mom as much as possible has been challenging.

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What 3-Year-Olds Think They Can Do Vs. What They Actually Do

I can spot a 3-year-old from a mile away.

The blatant defiance. The haughty confidence. The absolute adorableness, despite those two horrendous flaws. The look of pure stress and frustration on a parent’s face. The tactful negotiations that ensue over even the smallest situations like, “Who’s going to press the elevator button?”

Clearly, the PR campaign for the Terrible Twos was false and simply serving as a distraction and deterrent from you realizing that the Threes are a hell of a lot worse, for there is no one more infuriating, stubborn, or adorable than a 3-year-old. The cojones these children have and their pure drive is almost inspiring — and definitely crazy.

Here are just five things 3-year-olds think they can do versus what they can actually do:

Drive a Car vs. Cut Off Your Toe With a Little Tikes Vehicle

When my daughter was 3, she told me vehemently, “I’m going to get in the car and drive to where I wanna go!”

I laughed (which she did not like) and said, “You go ahead and try,” knowing reaching the pedals wasn’t even a remote possibility. Of course, I didn’t give her the keys.

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Good Luck!

Laura

Being a Mom With No Family Support Is the Hardest Thing Ever

Motherhood is hard enough but it’s even more so when you don’t have family support. It used to be that the family “village” was always there for you when you had children, but times have changed. For me, my parents are much older, so they’re not available to me. If anything, they need me to check in on them. Many of my friends are also in this same boat — older parents that simply can’t be as helpful as they’d like to be. For others, some of their families are far away, absent or plain old dysfunctional.

There is no doubt that without those helpful family hands, having a baby and young children can feel like a huge hurdle. I’m talking to you, working mom with a sick baby and no PTO days left. I’m talking to you, mom with PPD and two kids under 2.

Here are some of the challenges that come about when your family village just can’t — or won’t — be there:

Dreaded Sick Days

Let’s face it — not many college-aged kids or really, anyone, wants to watch a sick kid. But when your kid is in day care or school and germ season hits, the sick days roll in and they don’t stop.

But you don’t have any more paid time off. If you’re lucky, you can work from home and no one in the office will gossip about you. If you’re not lucky, you’ll lose pay or have the whole office gossiping about you being out, again.

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Hang Tough,

Laura

Saying Goodbye to The Parents We Knew As We Watch Them Age

When we were little, we couldn’t fathom our parents aging. We imagined them living forever, just as they were at that time. We couldn’t imagine them getting older or sick, retiring or even for some parents, remarrying. We envisioned them as timeless and in many ways, invincible.

But that isn’t life. As we age, so do our parents. No one is more powerful than time; it slips through our hands faster than we can consider the moment. And in many ways, watching our parents age is tough and heartbreaking. But in other ways, there are many things that are enjoyable about “growing up” with our parents.

When I became a mother, I could finally grasp what my mother had gone through with my three sisters and me. I could finally understand her working mom guilt. Her cranky moments and desires to float away behind a book without a kid to bug her from its captivating narrative. Her undying support of my love of the arts, whether I was in a play, a show, colorguard, band, dance or what have you. All the hours she spent driving to competitions hours away, listening to teenagers and music she probably despised … I can relate as I sit on a floor playing dolls with my daughter. As I drive her from soccer or to dance, watching her become a little being right in front of my eyes.

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Circle of Life,

Laura

4 Perspectives to Embrace When Supporting Your Kids After Divorce

Our children are bystanders in the divorce process. Theyoverave no control in the matter and can often just sit or stand by and watch as their families change, drastically. Depending on the age of the child and the child’s individual personality, some kids will roll with divorce more easily than others. Not to mention, a child will fare better and come out happy despite divorce if the two parents are both active parents who for the most part, get along. This doesn’t mean you and your former spouse have to be “BFF’s,” but that the more you get along, the easier it is in general.

Keeping this in mind that our children are bystanders and the “audience” of the whole divorce debacle, how can we minimize the negative impacts a divorce can bring? Because our kids aren’t part of a passive audience: the divorce changes their lives in many ways.

Whether you’re separating, newly divorced or an old seasoned “pro” at divorce, keep in mind these 4 perspectives when parenting children after divorce.

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Support Them,

Laura

 

5 Things To Never Say Sorry For As A Single Mom

When I ran into parents around town as school was wrapping up, everyone popped the same question:

What is your daughter doing this summer?

I pretty much shrugged my shoulders and said, “Camp Mom.”

When my daughter asked why we can’t go on vacation or why she can’t go to camp like the majority of her classmates, she knew the answer before I responded.

I don’t have the money.

I freelance and have my own business, but I always have a full-time role in addition. However, I along with many other people recently got laid off due to a company liquidation. That means that so far, my summer has been spent interviewing, working on freelance projects and acting as the official cruise director for “Camp Mom.”

Read More: 5 Things To Never Say Sorry For As A Single Mom

Stop Apologizing,

Laura

6 Things I Want My Daughter to Remember About Me, Even After I’m Gone

We always want our children to think the best of us — just as much as they want us to think the best of them. Have you ever sat down and thought about what exactly you want your kids to remember most about you when it’s all said and done? The reality is this — so much of how we are can become how our children are. They absorb so much of us, from our behaviors and habits to our likes and dislikes, even when we don’t realize they’re watching and listening.

As a single mom raising an only child, I really feel the weight of all I do. Worrying about caring for her and having the entire financial burden on my shoulders sometimes makes me think I’m going to break, but I don’t. I keep carrying on and doing my thing. And that’s just one of the things I want her to remember about me: that I never give up, no matter how hard life gets. I take the punches like a big girl, and I dish it right back, fighting and appreciating the little things in life.

Here are the six big things I want my daughter to always remember about me.

Read More: 6 Things I Want My Daughter to Remember About Me, Even After I’m Gone

Love Is Never-Ending,

Laura