Single Mom Out Loud

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


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2017- A Restrospect 

Today I took my son’s  favorite Christmas toy to the park. His happiness was palpable. 

He actually said “mommy this was the best Christmas ever! I got so many cool toys but I was naughty some days. Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten so many” and I told him that what matters is that he was nice most of the days and that nobody is perfect 100% of the time. He then replied “I love my gifts! but my favorite thing is that you are not going to work (I am off Till the 2nd) and we are playing Every day! That’s my favorite about this Christmas!”

Every child loves toys. But they love affection and attention way more. That helicopter would have meant nothing to him if I wasn’t there playing it with him and cheering him on. 

I know a lot of feminists these days are anti children. I have felt the discrimination more than once. Having a child is a choice. I made my choice and I don’t regret it. And it doesn’t make me any less of a feminist. In fact I think it makes me an even stronger one. I like to think of my son as my progressive contribution to the world. And to be honest if I had the means financially I would have at least 3 more. God knows the deplorables are doing their part in overpowering the good people in this country. 

And let me tell you that these little beings are the most innocent beings alive. They are filled with love and they see the world with so much purity it hurts because deep inside you know one day their pure soul will get crushed by this shitty world of ours. 

Children are the future. They are ones capable of changing this country, and our world for the best. And there is nothing, I repeat, there is NOTHING more fulfilling than raising our country’s future. 
But this “fulfilling” feelings comes with a huge price tag. And you work and you work and it never seems enough. 

Most of you know that I work a shit ton to support kaio which means he is at pre school from 7am Till 6pm every day. It means the poor kid has to be up at 5:30 every day. It means We don’t get much time together. It also means I don’t get much time for myself outside of work and motherhood. 

It’s hard. Because unless you are very privileged, life is hard period. 

But 2017 was more than just your regular hard. This year broke me. It whooped my ass both financially and emotionally. It matured me. It humbled me. It fuxking exhausted me. But it also made me smarter and wiser. It showed me snakes and Shitty people are everywhere. Friends is just a title and family is more than blood and both means nothing if the love and loyalty is not there. 

2017 taught me to be a better parent regardless of others think of me. It taught me to fight fiercely for my son. It taught me to have more patience with both Kaio and myself. And it was also extremely exciting because I got to travel to the beautiful state of Alaska and ended up going on a solo trip to Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.   

So basically 2017 was the best and worst of my entire life. Hoping for a calmer 2018. 

May y’all look at my son’s smile and remind yourselves that the future is still bright and pure. Let’s not fuck it up. You have kids in your life? Either your own, or nieces and nephews? BE KIND TO THEIR SOUL. it’s easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult. If you want a the next decades being governed by kind and SANE people, Handle them ALL with care. We don’t want them turning into Paul Ryan’s and Donald Trumps. 


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A very short story

Here is a little story about irony and karma (if you believe in it).
I was at this custody hearing lately (of a friend of course) where the absent father told the judge (in writing and in person) that the mother was crazy and a psycho and that he (the father) wanted custody of his son (which he hadn’t seen in 4 years) and he wanted the cray cray mother to go to therapy and report back to him (the excellent mentally stable father). 
The judge instead, after hearing both the mother and the obsessive hate filled rant from the father, grants the cray mother (my friend) sole legal and sole physical custody of the child and forces the FATHER to see a psychiatrist 3 times a month for an undetermined amount of time until the psychiatrist clears him to be in the SAME ROOM as his son. 

You simply can not make this shit up. It’s beyond Hollywood’s wildest plot twists. 

Moral of the story: Irony is not dead.  Life is a mirror and what you project in others is just a reflection of what you see in yourself. What you wish for others, you get back to yourself. 

Thats all =)


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The Tragedy of Every Life

“It’s a tale…Told by an idiot…Full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”- Shakespeare

The quote above is from The Tragedy of Macbeth, one of my favorite plays by Shakespeare. This week it just popped into my mind over and over again.

Life is a trip. It really is. Most of the time our lives are narrated and judged by imbeciles who have no idea what they are talking about. Their judgement is full of loud words and anger and in the end it really means nothing. And it doesn’t seize to amaze me how quickly things can change. Marriages dissolve, family members die, and friendships end. We lose people and things every day and some losses are just harder to accept than others. Struggles are real. Each one of us with our own.

I for once never thought I would be raising a boy on my own. I dont believe any woman ever dreams of being a single mother.
But life happens.

And each person deals with the cards given by life differently.

Some drink. Others overeat, others lie, others are lazy, others trust too much. Others are depressive. We all kill ourselves a little bit differently, but somehow we all also manage to judge each other’s euthanasia choice of getting there.

Yesterday  I won sole custody of my son after 4 and half years of raising him alone and after a year of a nasty court battle with a man who hasn’t seen his biological child in 4 years and never even bothered to call on any of his birthdays.

Yesterday after that weight came off  my shoulders, I took my son on a date and then I sat and thought about the court hearing, the last few weeks, and years, of my life.

At 31 I have had enough time to come to terms with who I am, my flaws, my qualities,  my horrible shameful mistakes, my shortcomings and my achievements. At 31 I’ve learned what my strengths are as well as my weaknesses and as much as I try to change who I am, I always find myself right back where I started… struggling to change everything about me.
No one said change was easy right?

I have always had a hard time listing my qualities. Maybe because my entire life I was told they weren’t good enough. My A’s in school weren’t A+. Getting 95% on a test wasn’t as good as getting 100%. And that 3.9 GPA was just so close to a 4.0, obviously I slacked off at some point to not make it happen. I grew up always thinking that no matter what I did, it was never good enough. Recently a good friend told me she coudnt watch a speech I gave in front of 400 people because I paused too much with words such as “hmmmm” and it gave HER second hand embarrassment. Since then I had to lead a meeting at work and couldn’t. That insecurity from my teen years crippled me. And I still feel embarrassed when I think about the speech I gave.

The sad part is that I was extremely proud of myself for getting up there and doing something I am so terrified of doing. I felt good. It gave me a boost of confidence that I haven’t had in a while. Until that one comment, from one single person, changed my entire opinion of my accomplishment.

And even worse… the custody case I won was done so with no legal representation. I did it all by myself. I had to stand there and talk in a courtroom in front of an ex who obsessively hates me, strangers and lawyers and a judge and everything was so intimidating and I gasped and chocked because my mind kept taking me back to what that friend said about my speech.

But I pulled it through. Like I always do for my son. I pulled it through in front of a man who all he did was bash me as a person and point out my past, instead of highlighting HIS accomplishments and HIS qualities. Because that’s what people who have nothing to show for them do.

And winning that hearing, on my own, felt like a huge accomplishment. But somehow it still made me self conscious of everything I said. This is how I have always been. Always too worried about being perfect, being liked by everyone, and always afraid of what others think of me.

I graduated high school at 16 when both of my best friends at the time were dropping out. I moved out of the house at 17 and haven’t moved back in since. Today at 31 while I work 50 hour weeks supporting my child alone, some of my ex friends are still living at home, sleeping until noon and not working at all. One in specific dropped out of high school at her sophomore year, falsified a high school from another country (a felony) to start taking some community college classes. The person who bashed my past yesterday has lived his entire life hiding behind his childhood traumas and blaming everyone else for his failures and defeats (including the one yesterday).

Ironically these people are the ones who have the most to say about my shortcomings and how it’s MY life that needs fixing. Isn’t that something?

I can confidently say that at 31 I have lived a life of a 50 year old. I’ve traveled. I’ve been engaged. I had a baby with the man I thought was the love of my life (don’t we all think that at some point?). That baby and I were abandoned to support ourselves without a single dime or note left behind on the fridge door. I’ve been arrested. I’ve fought the system. I lost everything it took me years to build only to rebuild it again years later.

Unlike my qualities, My shortcomings are easy to list.

I’ve had a hell of a stumbling life.

It has been fun and exciting but it hasn’t been easy. I don’t play victim, but sometimes I find myself in that position. Because unlike many lucky people I know, this is just the way my life was from the beginning. And as much as I have improved this life, with both merit and help from others, my life is still far from perfect.
And it scares me. It weights on me. It sends me in a spiral of panic.

To those who have it easy it’s hard to understand these feelings of impotency.

Lucky them.

I sometimes wish I could walk around the sidewalks of my neighborhood and look at the homeless people and see nothing but lazy moochers. But I see victims. Victims everywhere. Victims of parental abuse. Victims of substance abuse. Victims of mental incapacitation. Victims of a variety of circumstances that I am fortunately enough not to have ever experienced it.

People suffer differently. People solve their problems differently and no one has the right to judge the human next to them.

My flaws are clear to anyone paying attention. I have personally suffered from depression and anxiety. I have so since I was a kid. The expectation of being perfect has put tremendous amount of pressure on my shoulders. After I had my son, that pressure quadrupled.

You don’t know anxiety until you experience a newborn in your arms and no job to support him/her. You don’t know depression until you lose a family member or you look at your child’s eyes and wonder why the fuck you couldnt have picked a better father for him/her so your child would never feel rejection. You don’t know fear until you wake up with a fever and worry that it could be something worse than a flu because you can’t miss work since you already used all your sick days caring for your sick child.

As much as my life is hard at times, I am not jealous  those people with great families with whom they can live until they die. “Oh you are 30 honey? Don’t worry mommy and daddy would love to have you here. Just pay us the bare minimum so you feel better about not being on your feet”.

I am not jealous of  those women whose exes pay child support so they never have to worry if they will have money for groceries In The end of the month.

I am not jealous of  those women who can sleep in until noon, go to yoga and daily brunch at the beach because their husbands or boyfriends are the ones making sure they have a roof over their head.

And I am not jealous of men who can just father children and leave them. I am not jealous of men who can live their lives as they see fit, with all the freedom in the world, because someone else is raising their children for them.

I am not jealous. I am not bitter. I am not envious. I actually pity them. I pity them because they don’t know the value of hard work. I pity them because they don’t know what it feels like to accomplish something on their own, without their parents or a boyfriend(girlfriend) helping them. I pity them because they dont know what its like to be a good parent to their children. What a horrible feeling that must be…. to go to bed every day knowing you have failed your child(en).

And I pity them because I know their judgment comes from a place of jealousy. Because they can’t accomplish what you have, they feel the need to belittle your accomplishments and point out any little mistake they can find in your life so they can feel better about their failures.

But while I Pity them I am also impressed by them. Those people, with such easy lives, find ways to judge those who weren’t as fortunate. It would be like me judging someone for being depressed because they dont have two legs like I do, or someone who is suicidal because they lost their children when mine is still safely asleep in bed.

I’ve learned that everything we judge in others are things within ourselves we are not willing to face. And these judgemental people are just not willing to face they are losers in life. In every definition of the word.

They have failed in school. They have failed at their careers (lack thereof I mean), they have failed at supporting themselves, they failed their family and they have failed at being decent human beings.

So I try to let it go. After all, what Susie says of sally, says more about Susie than it does about sally. I’ve always thought Susie didn’t own a mirror. Now I am convinced.

I am not Susie. I am not those privileged people with time in their hands to judge their neighbors. And here is where my overseen qualities come in.

I support my son alone. And when I say alone I literally mean alone. No help from the biological father. No check from mom or dad to help out with my car payment or my son’s pre school. If my car breaks, I will take the bus with my kid until I have money to fix it. If I fail at work, I lose my job. If I lose my job i will lose my apartment and I will be homeless with my son. Because guess what? I don’t have a boyfriend or family with an extra room to take us in.

I wake up every day at 5:30am to go to work. I take a shower. Wake up my toddler who is crying because he wants to sleep more (not his fault mom is broke and has to work). I Feed him. Change him. Drive an hour and drop him off. Go to work. Be there for 9 hours. Get yelled yet if I drop the ball on an account. Miss a bonus (or get a bonus). Pick up my kid. Drive another hour home. Make dinner with my work clothes still on. Feed my toddler. Bathe my toddler. Read my toddler something. Play with him for an hour or so (although my feet is swollen and i am exhausted) because that’s the only time i have during the week to. I Put him to bed. THEN, ONLY THEN I can take a shower, eat my dinner and get my self to bed by 11pm so I can get 6 hours of sleep and start over.

The bills are paid. The house is clean. The food is fresh. The child is bathed.

THIS IS MY PATTERN. And I am holding it together as best as I can.

And let me make it very clear: I won custody of my child not because the system is rigged against fathers or because some men are “victimized” by the system or by “crazy women” like I had to hear yesterday. I won custody of my child simply because I am a better adult AND a better parent. I will not let ANYONE tell me otherwise.

Being a good mother while your heart is breaking, your life is struggling and your mind spinning, is the hardest role I have ever had to play. But I do it daily because I am an ADULT who knows her responsibilities.

And above all…. I do it daily because my only goal is to raise a child who doesn’t have to recover from his childhood.

And the cost of putting his needs before my own is high. I have serious panic attacks which wakes me up in the middle of the night suffocating me as if there is not enough air in the world. I have anxiety attacks where my whole body shakes non stop and my vision goes blurry. I catch myself crying in the bathroom so my child doesn’t see that mom is worried about the bills this month.

And that doesn’t make me crazy. It doesnt make anyone crazy. I don’t need pills or a straight jacket. I need a better job, more money, more support and a better way to provide for my child. I need a society that understands the pressure single parents are in. Those are the ONLY things that will make my anxiety and panic attacks go away. Not some goddamn Prozac or benzo. Americans are overly medicated anyway. We are taking adderall to wake us up, Xanax to calm us down and Ritalin to concentrate. We are a pill popping nation who believes everything and everyone’s problems can be solved with medication.

There is no lack of Prozac supply in the world. There is a lack of understanding and a clearance on the judgement isle.

This is life. It’s messy. It’s ugly. It’s tough. It’s a constant struggle. And my heart goes out to those who understand struggle but wake up every single day and pull it through.

Keep going. Keep trying. Because NO ONE knows your struggles more than you. And you should NEVER waste your time explaining to people things that they are committed to misunderstanding. Because this is natural human behavior: we are great lawyers when it comes to our mistakes and flaws but great judges when it comes to everyone else’s.

So let them judge. Let them be cruel. Let them sit in court and try to paint an ugly picture of you because they cant paint a pretty picture of themselves. Let them think whatever it is they want to think. Focus on you. Focus on improving yourself and waking up every day at 5:30am to feed the one depends on you. His approval is the only one that matters.

Live your life and be always try to be better. Those who spend their time judging and bashing you are ALWAYS the ones who can’t to do half of what you do.

Ps: special shout out to all single moms out there pulling double duty every day. I see you. I recognize you. Cry if you need to. Lose it if you have to. It’s your life. Your struggle. If you are pulling it through alone, You’ve earned it to be left alone.


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You Will Never Be Like Him 

Dear son, you will never be like him. 

No matter how many people assume otherwise, you will never grow up to be him. 

I know that you’re looking to see yourself in me.

But in truth, I am sorry that you are so much like me.

~

I’m sorry that I gave you a heart stronger than a thousand warriors, because it will take you years to learn that not everyone loves like you do. It’s a hard lesson, and its scars gleam from you never giving up on what you truly desire.

There are moments that I look at you in this beautiful world and see you mesmerized by the simple brilliance of life unfolding. In these moments, my heart splits open a little bit wider for you.

I see your innocence and desire to help others, and I wonder when it will be that you first feel the sting of being used. I wonder if your faith will be tested in the world or if you will hold onto to your morals against those who have blurred the lines of theirs. 

I’m sorry that you see only the good in everyone.

Childhood is about seeing everything with wonder. You look around, and there is no evil, no danger lurking around hidden corners. It’s inconceivable that the greatest pains you will ever encounter will be at the hands of those you love the most.

I wish that I could instill all of my lessons into your warm heart, but I know that you need to learn on your own. I can spend days with you in the sunshine telling you life’s truths, but in the end my experiences won’t necessarily become yours.

I’m sorry that you feel everything as deeply as you do. It’s both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply. 

There are caverns inside of your soul that ache to feel everything that this life has to offer. I can see the way that you feel compassion for strangers, and how you sometimes just stop to look at me as if I hung the stars in the sky. I can see the way that you are brimming with the ability to feel the world around you and with it, all of the heartache and passion it can offer.

~

You might have moments where you wish that this wasn’t so, and while I’m sorry that I have given this quality to you, in time I hope you see that it is truly a gift, not a burden.

Many parents delight when their children exhibit the same qualities that they have, but in my heart I secretly send you a thousand sweet apologies, because even though one day I know you’ll gain strength from these attributes, I also know that the pain they can inflict could tear you in two.

And so, while I am sorry that you are so much like me, I also couldn’t be more proud of you.

I see the way that you forgive everyone around you with such a delicate tenacity, and how you already have learned to stick up for yourself and your needs. I see the way that you’re already so much smarter than I was, so much better equipped to handle the ways of the world, and in those instances, I know that there is no doubt you will one day learn how to use your wings.

While I may not be perfect, I am precisely the mother you need.

I may have given you my giant heart and sensitive soul, but I am giving you my strength too, so that even on the darkest nights, you will know you can get through anything life may toss your way. And I will always be there, too.

You are a little warrior.

I know that you have heartbreak ahead of you, but I also know that you will change the world simply by loving how you do. You have a gift of lighting up the room just by being yourself; my only hope is that you won’t let any encounter change that.

As you grow older, the world will begin to tell you that magic doesn’t exist, and while I know that you may have your faith tested, I hope that you continue to wish on falling stars and believe in all that is unseen in this world.

I’m sorry that you are so much like me, but only because I know how hard this world will try to change you and at times break you. 

So, while one day you may strive to show how different you are from me, there is no doubt—nor has there ever been—that you, my sweet warrior boy, are my son.

 You are not him. You will never be him. You are me. 

And I couldn’t be more proud of that.


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Waiting Line

You are a wild horse running alone

and he tries to tame you

compares you to an impossible highway

to a burning house

says your smoke is suffocating him

He mistreats you, pushes you away 

There is something about him that 

simply can’t treat you the way you 

Treat him 

And you tried to understand 

But at what point will you choose 

yourself over understanding him? 

You are always too intense

frightening in the way you want him

unashamed and sacrificial

he tells you that no man can live up to the one who

lives in your head

and you tried to change didn’t you?

closed your mouth more

tried to be softer

prettier

less volatile, less loud 

but even when sleeping you could feel

him travelling away from you in his dreams

The truth is darling, he doesn’t think you are good enough

There is nothing you can do to make him see your value 

To him even the cheapest is better 

so what did you want to do love? 

split his head open?
You can’t make homes out of human beings

someone should have already told you that

Some men are just not into good loyal women

So if he wants to leave

then let him leave

Don’t let him come back 

Eventually every ending  becomes final and every unreciprocated love dies

You are a rare diamond

A jackpot waiting to be cashed in

You are smart but intimidating 

something not everyone knows how to love.


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After A While You learn… (Poem)

After a while you learn the difference,

the subtle difference between

holding a hand and chaining a soul

 

And you learn

that attachment isn’t love 

and company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn

that kisses aren’t contracts

and presents aren’t promises.

 

and you begin to accept your defeats

with your head up and your eyes ahead

with the grace of woman,

not the grief of a child.

 

And you learn

to build all your roads on today

because tomorrow’s ground is

too uncertain for plans

and futures have a way of falling down

in mid-flight.

 

After a while you learn

that even sunshine burns

if you get too much of it 

 

And you learn that it takes years to build trust

but only seconds to destroy it.

And that you can do things in a split second

and regret it for the rest of your life.

 

You learn that the true friendships continue to grow

even with long distances.

And that what matters is not what you have in the life,

but who you have in life.

 

With time you learn that good friends

are the family we were allowed to choose

and that you and your best friend can do many things together

or nothing at all but still have a great time.

 

You start to learn that It takes a lot of time

to become the person we want

and time is short.

So please don’t compare yourself to others,

but to the best that you can be.

 

 

After a while you learn that love,

just like patience,

requires practice.

And its not because someone didn’t love you the way you expected them to

that they didn’t love you at all. 

 

After a while you learn that

it does not matter in how many pieces your heart was broken;

the world will not stop for you to fix it.

 

So plant your own garden

and decorate your own soul

instead of waiting for someone

to bring you flowers.

 

And you learn that you really can endure

you really are strong

you really do have worth

and you learn

and you learn

with every goodbye you learn…


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Wishes 

Well, first I wish you love. And I wish it’s easily reciprocated. But if it’s not I hope you find the strength to pursue it. 

There is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away. 

But you lose it, I hope you are quick in forgetting. And when you do, do it without resentments. 

Later I wish you are never alone. 

But if you are, feel the loneliness without despair. 

I also wish you have many friends and even if they are irresponsible and reckless, I hope they are courageous and loyal.

I wish in at least one you can trust without doubts. 

And because life is the way it is, I also wish you enemies.

Not many. Not few. 

Just enough so sometimes you can reevaluate your certainties.

I also wish you confidence, but never enough to make you think you are irreplaceable. 

And in bad times, when there’s nothing left, I hope this confidence is enough to keep you on your feet. 

While at it, I wish you tolerance and understanding. 

But not with those who make few mistakes, because that’s easy. 

But with those who screw up repeatedly and irreparably.

I hope this tolerance and understanding can be a good example to others. 

I wish that while you are young, you don’t try to mature too quickly. 

But when you do, I wish you don’t insist in getting younger. 

But above all, when you finally get old, do not feel desperate. Each age has its pleasures and its pains and you need to let them run their course within you. 

I also wish you some sadness. 

Not the whole year. 

Not a whole month or a whole week.

Only for one day. 

And on that day, I hope you learn that daily laughter is good 

But constant laughter is insanity. 

I hope you discover, with the utmost urgency, that there are oppressed people all around you.

Be grateful you are not one of them.

Be their voice. Join their fight. 

I wish you money, because its practical and fun. 

But at least once a year, put a portion of it in front of you and say: 

“This is mine.”

So you remember who owns who. 

I also hope none of your loved ones die. Both for them and for you. 

But if they do, I hope you can cry without self-blaming and suffer without resentments. 

I also wish you change. Not much. Just a little every year. Not for others. But for you. Change is progress and it’s important to improve ourselves every day. 

Finally, I wish you integrity and I hope you become a good man. 

And you find a good woman that will love you just the way you are. 

And when you do, appreciate her. People come and go, but to a precious few you should hold on. 

And when you do, I hope you learn to love her slowly. 

Love at first sight is infatuation. Real love grows. 

And as weird as it may sound, I also hope you two argue at least once a week, so you both remember you are unique individuals with independent personalities.

And if all this happens, I have nothing more to wish you.