Single Mom Out Loud

The joys (and desperation) of raising a boy without a man


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Cold and Wet Nights 

When I think about the last 5 years of my life I remember it hurt. The memory of it hurts. 

The guilt and the shame can be hard burdens to carry. 

The rain that falls doesnt wash away the memories and bad feelings. Instead it brings ashore all I wish to forget. 

It’s during cold and wet nights that the feeling of despair creeps up like a ghost that you can’t see but who makes every hair in your body stand up. 

I don’t miss him necessarily. I don’t even miss us. But I miss the company. I miss the weight of his body warming me up. I miss the attention he showered me with. I miss the “I love you” every night as he adjusted his sleepy body next to mine. 

Now I hear nothing. It’s brutally empty even though I am not alone. The distance is obvious, although I try hard to close the gap, unsuccessfully. 

It’s during cold and wet nights that feelings of loneliness become even more palpable, reminding me that no matter how I much I lie to myself, I am still alone. 

The battle to get him to see me is endless; His eyes focused on the rearview mirror. 

The desire to continue is slowly being overtaken by the sadness of my own limitations and inability to make him stop chasing ghosts. Even though all I want is to untie him from his past. 

It’s during cold and wet nights that our souls are washed and spirits replenished. As we sit alone we realize we can conquer the dark and the fears it brings. And it’s in the dark that we Learn to accept our defeats. 

At some point our bodies exhaust and our feelings wear out. 

It’s during cold and wet nights that we learn that letting go is not quitting. 

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8 Ways of Raising An Asshole 

I just finished reading Amy McCready’s parenting book, The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic. In so doing, it’s occurred to me that this  generation of parents may be best remembered for their spectacular ability to give our children what they want when they want it.

I understand there are many different ways of parenting a child. Some parents are strict. Others are laid back. Some are controlling while others thrive on freedom. There one hundred and one ways of raising kids but only one way of actually raising a traditional good old asshole. 

Below are the 8 most important tips in how to do so:

1. Make sure your kids have access to all the best toys and all the latest iDevices anytime they want. If you take them to Target for a quick errand and they want the new box of Lego. Buy them! It’s definitely easier than having to deal with a tamper tantrum and being embarrassed when your bundle of joy puts up his show. Also, make sure you allow them to be playing games on an iPad in the car while you are chauffeuring them around and on the dinner table after you cooked them a lovely meal. That way, they won’t bother you and they will never be bored or antsy. 

2. Do everything within your power to prevent your kids from feeling pain. This includes any sort of discomfort, difficulty, disappointment, guilt or shame. Make up excuses for them when they make mistakes. Don’t force them to apologize and don’t allow them to feel guilt when they do something wrong. Insist teachers raise bad grades. That way, kids won’t learn how to rise to challenges or handle their mistakes themselves, and they will feel entitled to a life free from discomfort or disappointment. 

3. When things aren’t going your way, point to the shortcomings of other people. You are entitled to good service from the dry cleaners, waitress, uber driver, etc. Since your kids will never have one of these jobs (see tip # 7), there is really no need to show empathy or compassion towards underperforming service workers. Similarly, when your kids bring home bad grades or negative notes from teachers, listen earnestly to their accusations about how bad their teachers are. Consider complaining to the Principal or School Head, or at least send an angry email! 

4. Give them money whenever they want it. There is no need to make them earn it. After all, who has time to teach them the value of Things? This is definitely easier than enforcing chores, keeping track of what they earned or failed to earn or dealing with their outbursts after hearing a simple NO. 

5. Refuse to consistently enforce bedtimes. One night, nag them until they go to bed. The next night, you’ll likely  be tired from the previous night’s effort, so just let them choose their own bedtime, or ignore them until they fall asleep on their own. That way they will realize that, actually, they are in control of their bedtimes. If their attention or impulse control at school suffers because they are tired, excellent stimulants, like Ritalin, are widely available. 

6. Allow them to eat whatever they want and reject what they don’t want. Who needs vegetables and fruits anyways? Allow your children to dictate the meals at home. This will surely teach them that all their needs must be met and that the family (and the world) revolves around them. 

7. Make sure they never have to do any chores around the house, internships or an entry-level or minimum wage job. Boredom is uncomfortable and unnecessary (see tip 2). Working their way up in an organization is a waste of time if you can use your connections to help them start at the top. I am sure they will learn ethics and hard work by just watching others. There is absolutely no need to make them learn the lessons themselves. 

8. Above all, let them talk to you and others with disrespect. This is normal. Kids are meant to yell at your face, call you names, storm off and bang their bedroom doors. There is absolutely no need to ground them or correct their disrespectful behavior. We all know that disrespectful children eventually grow out of it and learn on their own how to be decent human beings. There is absolutely no need for you to teach them this. 

If you follow any or all of the above 8 steps congratulations! You are on your way to successfully raising loving asshole children!