Single Mom Out Loud

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


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The Familar Stranger 

I met him in a beach town during a beach winter.

This was never our love story. It was MY love story. I lived it alone. Both the love and the pain.

I loved him unconditionally. I loved him desperately. I loved him purely.

But I was no angel.

My hands are dirty with all the mistakes I have made and all the unnecessary distress I have caused.

My shoulders are heavy with the weight of the guilt and the lessons I have painfully learned.

I was a wounded and damaged 23 year old child who know nothing about the real world. He already knew who he was and he had the experiences and the world in his hands.

I wanted grand gestures and proof of an unconditional love I wasn’t willing to give myself. I wanted passionate and dramatic fights. I wanted an adrenaline life fueled by chaos, which I thought was an antidote to tedious routines and dull relationships.

I was broken and didn’t even know.

He just wanted to come home to a calm house and to feel at peace in my arms. He wanted to focus on his job and not worry that I would ruin it all.

I loved him way more than he was ever capable of loving me. And that love, uncontrollable at its core, destroyed everything I was always terrified of losing.

I loved him and I bled knowing he didn’t love me back.

I loved the way I used to look up to him.

I loved the way I would ask him questions expecting the most intelligent answer.

I loved the deep conversations about politics and life and how it used to feel whenever he taught me something new.

I loved his roughness. His beard. His gray hair. His wrinkles. They were like scars, reminding the world of the battles he had fought and all the pain he had endured.

I loved his masculinity. But I would  disappointedly hurt every time it wasn’t enough to stop him from running away from his responsibilities.

I loved his bright mind as well as his darkness. Although I knew one day both would destroy me.

I loved his simplicity and the softness of his shaved head.

I loved his basic white shirts and how he cuffed his jeans; Just as much as I loved him in a suit and how classy and sophisticated he would look.

I loved the dive bars and the way he used to get dirty working on this bike.

I loved his smile but hated the immature faces he would make for pictures.

Maybe he thought it was cool. He was already so cool in my eyes.

I loved that he hated pretentiousness. Pretentious is now his middle name.

I loved how he hated serving people and wanted nothing but to stop.

I loved his strength but hated that it wasn’t enough to control me. I needed to be saved from myself, so I loudly and desperately screamed for his help.  But in the perpetual state of fear I put him in, all he heard was craziness.

I now wonder if his inability to handle me was his ultimate gift; it forced me to learn to handle myself.

I loved our bike rides to the beach and the endless summer we lived in. I loved his toned body and his dark tan. This tan is long gone now. A reminder of his new colder Northern life.

I loved the dreams but hated that somehow I could never make them reality.

I loved the tiny dimples under his eyes whenever happiness would take over the seriousness of his face.

I loved our chemistry, the sex, and how we just couldn’t get enough of each other. Ever. but I hated the fights, although I was mostly responsible for them.

But most importantly, I loved who he once was and I miss how perfectly I used to see him.

I now spend my days reliving the past through the eyes of my future.

The tiny big hands.

The exact dimples.

Every gesture.

Every look.

It all brings me back to that time and that person.

It’s the part of him that will always be mine. Just like the permanent wound that doesn’t show on my body but its deeper and more painful than anything that bleeds.

What happened to him? Where did he go?

I do know who he was is no longer here.

I hurt for the tiny part of him who never got the chance to meet his past and who will only hear the stories I will always fondly tell….

Of a man who once existed but is now long gone.

A body so familiar but whose new soul I haven’t met before.

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Real Men and Why I Can’t Resist Them

The other night a friend and I were talking about boys and men and how to spot one from another. Being able to differentiate the two is an art acquired after years of dating. With age and experience, comes certain abilities and wisdom, and being able to spot a real man in an ocean of guys is definitely a good skill to have. It will save you a lot headache and heartache and it will even save you from horrible sex.

Real men are awesome. I am not talking about guys who aren’t done being boys yet, or guys who think being a man is being an asshole. I am talking about real men. The ones who have lived enough to know exactly what it means to be one, the guys who are done growing up and are comfortable in their own skin. I love those men.

I love how they dress, how they stand and how they move. I love how they kiss and how they hug. I love how they discuss politics, grill a nice steak and are obsessed with their single malt. I love how they take their team seriously and how they genuinely hurt when they lose. I love rough hands but gentle touches. And I am absolute sucker for neck kisses and that passionate grab that makes your legs tremble.

I love how confident they are and how confident they make you feel. There is nothing sexier than a man who owns his body as well as his mind. He owns his triumphs as well as his mistakes. He doesn’t make excuses for his shortcomings and he takes responsibilities for his bad choices. He is just all around confident in who he is and who he used to be, even if that means accepting that he wasn’t all that great at some point. Real men learn and they are eager to share their lessons with you.

I love how they take control. How they open the car door and carry my groceries. I love how they can surprise me by paying the bill on their way to the restroom because they know I would insist in splitting. I love how they can pick me up and put me against the wall with so much intensity but yet so much gentleness. Maybe it’s a reminder that he is bigger than me or maybe it’s a power thing. Whatever it is, its sexy.

I love how they take care of their home and their car. Boys are messy and dirty but men are clean and organized. When a real man invites me over to his home I can’t help but fall in love with it’s details, its smell, it’s inviting neatness and how comfortable it makes me feel. When he picks you up, his car is neat and the captivating smell of his cologne is not overtaken by the smell dirty socks or cheap burgers. Real men take care of their things with the same attention to detail they take care of their women.

I love how they initiate sex in the middle of the night. And not like some boys who are thinking only about his urges. Real men know how to do it right. They do it slowly and softly. I love the way a man who knows what he’s doing carefully rearranges and positions my body for me. The fact that he’s guiding the situation, softly but firmly in control, means that I can just enjoy the ride. Yes, please. Once, twice and three times on weekends.

I love how they can do things. They know how to change a tire and the oil. They know how to fix my bike last minute because I forgot to check it before that well planned bike ride. I love how they can cook better than me but pretends mine is better. Real men just know shit. Period. But they are not pretentious for knowing. They are modest. They are humble. They are simple. They might be the best at his career/job but they don’t act like it. Real men are never douchey.

I love how solid they are when I am freaking out. I have gotten way better at controlling my emotions and acting rational. I think overcoming my initial reaction to lose my shit has been one of my biggest accomplishments this year. But I am still me and I am still a Brazilian Woman with Latin blood, and sometimes I still lose it. And when I am losing it I don’t need a guy to lose it with me or to try to fix me. I don’t need to be told to calm down (that’s never a good idea) and I definitely don’t need to be preached on my behavior. I just need to be heard and to be guided. And a man that can guide me, has me. Real men know how to handle a woman having a meltdown. They understand women and our hormones and they know how to take control of the situation, to calm it down and to guide his woman back to sanity. They are sexy in their firmness during the storm. They are not intimidated by my freakout, they are actually somewhat (and respectably) entertained by it.

But the ONE thing I cannot ever resist is a man who likes children and who loves being in a family environment. There is nothing hotter than a man who enjoys playing with children and who does it genuinely and not just to get your attention. And trust me, we women know the difference. It’s extremely sexy, It’s a turn-on. I literally feel my private parts tingling. It doesn’t make me want to have babies with them, but it definitely makes me want to practice making them.

As a single mother I make sure that no man ever meets my child. I keep my son from my dates because I know how important it is for my child to not feel confused about my sex life. I don’t want my son to feel the rejection of his father every time a man leaves my life. But seeing the way a real man deals with children makes me feel safer if I ever decide he is worthy enough to meet the most important man in my life.

In general real grown up men are just amazing. When I am in their presence, my entire being gives in. I become less defensive, more gracious, smarter and gentler. I am expressive without being reactive. I am a better version of me without being perfect.

I feel like a woman. With a man. And that’s just irresistible.

amorous Couple on grey background

amorous Couple on grey background


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The Dangers of Passion and Great Sex

Growing up I remember my mother talking to me about drugs and alcohol. She warned me repeatedly about the dangers of smoking and getting drunk at parties. She spoke, and spoke, and like a sermon I would hear her preaching every time I left the house.

But my mother failed to talk to me about the most dangerous drug known to mankind: Passion. 

When I was 23 years old I learned the dangers of passion for the first time, the destruction it can cause and the powerful addiction it can create. Passion will draw us in with its alluring high. It will consume every part of us and when we find ourselves addicted, it will spit us out and leave us to die under the hot sun. I know it might sound like an exaggeration, but anyone who has experienced such passion knows that this is exactly what it does.

Do not fool yourself. Passion is not love. Passion is its evil twin. The one who likes to fuck with our heart and play with our emotions. Passion is that intense irrational feeling we get that makes us act like complete lunatics just so we can secure another dose of its high. It makes us addicted to the most vile people because for some inexplicable fucked up reason they are the ones holding the last drop of what we think is life itself. Passion makes us addicted to the drug dealer.

So how does passion become such a powerful evil force in our lives? It comes down to biology and psychology. Science has proven the affect of sex on the human brain is like a drug. That cloud nine feeling we get during sex is the body flooding the brain with neurochemicals, which create emotions, feelings of attachment, and even… argh..love. And this is where things get fucked up: During an orgasm, the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (whatever that is) SHUTS DOWN. This region is considered to be the voice of reason and controls behavior. During an orgasm the brain of a woman is said to look much like the brain of a person taking heroin, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

How fucked up is that?

So this is how passion forces itself into us. Through really good sex.

Most of the time we know that charming person we met at the bar is not good for us. We’ve all heard their stories of bad luck, lack of money and crazy ex girlfriends. By the way, have you noticed how every asshole has a crazy ex girlfriend or/and 100 ex wives who monstrously keep his 100 kids from him? They are all unlucky victims of the world and mean women. Just poor souls with bad luck. We all know those men. They are charming, exciting, sexy and extremely complicated. They fit every characteristic of a sociopath but we don’t care. They are the famous bad on paper men. The ones we end up choosing over the boring good on paper men our mothers try to set us up with.  We know they are bad for us the moment we meet them, and our brain warns us to keep a safe distance because it knows attraction is not nearly as destructive as passion.

But most of us don’t listen to our brain, we listen to its slower friend: the heart. Most of us believe that the charming soulless wanderer is just a victim of society; a poor soul misunderstood by the world. And we decide to sleep with him. If only just to know what it feels like to sleep with someone so sexy and exciting. And that’s when all hell breaks loose. The passion will take over our mind like a San Francisco fog in the middle of July; leaving us completely blinded by its high. The sex will be so good that we will start to fantasize a relationship and start to project upon him all these great qualities that he never cultivated in himself.

Way too often, a person will find herself completely devoted to this poor soul who in reality is nothing more than a destructive self centered baby, not capable of loving anyone but himself. Passion will literally suck the rationale out of us, turning us into delusional beings who blindly believe that one day this baby will magically turn into an adult capable of leading and raising a family. We put them in a pedestal and we idolize them. Passion convinces us that they are good souls who just need to be rescued. Passion turns us into those rescuers. And once we officially became a rescuer, passion turns us into even bigger addicts. We start to believe we can fix them and we turn the challenge into a reflection of our own worth, which makes it even harder to quit. After all, by quitting we are admitting our defeat and our failure.

But passion is not all about the bad, otherwise it would be easy to set ourselves free. There needs to be good. A reward. A high. Because just like every other drug, passion’s addiction lies on the cycle of the ups and downs. The good and the horrible. The pain and the reward. Passion thrives on those rare moments of calmness and connection. It’s those rare moments that make the drug even more addicting than it is. Those rare compliments and those rare calls shoot you through a rocket trip through the solar system. You forget all the bad and you start to live for the good, like a junkie. And you crave that moment forever. Long enough for it to come crashing down on you for the hundredth time, leaving you even more depleted than the time before.

And that’s passion. It’s highly seductive and dangerous. And I know this because I am a recovering addict, struggling daily to overcome my addiction.


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22 Things Single Mothers Should Teach Their Sons

Being a single mother is a tough job. You constantly go back and forth between acting like a mom and dad. Playing two roles is an even harder task when it involves a boy. We are not men so it’s hard to teach our boys how to be one. Many of us wonder which important lessons we should be focusing on, and which ones we should let them learn on their own. Below are 22 things I think every single mother of boys should teach their sons.

1. To be a kind
This is the second most important lesson you can teach your son. Its not your job to toughen him up. That’s the world’s job and I promise, it will do a good job at it. Teach him to be kind. Kind to people. Kind to animals. Kind to himself. And kind to you. But most importantly teach him to be kind to those weaker than him. Kindness is a strong man’s virtue.
2. To always be a gentleman
In today’s world sometimes acting like a gentleman can be looked upon as sexist. Its not. Start by teaching him to open the car door for you. To hold the elevator. To carry the groceries. Teach him to pick up the check if he can afford it. To buy flowers. To walk a girl on the inside of the street. To give her his coat if she is cold. To get the car while she waits if she is in heals. Being a gentleman NEVER goes out of style.
3. To be selective with his sexual partners
This is probably the hardest lesson to teach a boy these days. Boys are expected to have as much sex and with as many women as they can. Teach your son to be selective. To value his body and his time.
4. To play a sport
Every boy needs to play sports. They need to burn off that energy and they need to learn to compete. Make him pick a sport he enjoys and teach him to focus and better himself.
5. Discipline and self accountability
Teach him discipline and self accountability. To wake up on time. Go to bed on time. Turn his homework on time. Don’t enable his bad behaviors. Don’t let him get away when he does something wrong. Teach him that there are consequences to his actions. Punish him when necessary. There is a difference between raising a man and raising a delinquent.
6. How to throw a punch
Being gentle is a virtue but knowing to defend yourself and others around you is an even better quality. Teach him that there are only three circumstances in life in which he can and SHOULD throw a punch: To defend himself. To defend his lady. And to defend those being physically attacked by bullies, racists and homophobes.
7. To be none of the above
Teach your son from an early age that bullying, homophobia and racism is unacceptable and he will grow up believing it. There is nothing more manly than a man who defends those oppressed by society.
8. When to walk way
As important as it is for him to learn to defend himself, its also important he learns when to walk away from an argument or situation. Either be with you, his wife, his boss or a stranger. Knowing the difference between standing up and walking away is wisdom.
9. How to tie a tie and tie a knot
Both are essential skills. And while you are at it, also teach him to iron his shirts.
10. How to change a tire
If you don’t know how find a friend who does. Teach your son the importance of knowing how to change a tire. One day it might go flat when he is driving that special girl home.
11. How to cook
Cooking is an art. Teach him to be an artist and to never depend on others for his meals.
12. To apologize
He can’t always be right and he needs to learn to apologize when he is wrong. The world is not a kind place to those who are arrogant enough to think they don’t make mistakes.
13. How to drive a stick
Every man needs to learn to drive a stick. Maybe he will always buy automatic cars or maybe he will be into manuals. Either way, teach him to drive both. For both emergencies and self pride.
14. To lose with dignity and win with humility
Sometimes he will win and other times he will lose. Teach him to lose with dignity. Without excuses. Without pity. And to win with humility. No cheating. No making fun of those who lost.
15. To be strong
Its okay to cry. Its okay to feel pain. But every boy needs to learn how to be strong from early age. Teach him to be tough and brave. Teach him to pull his own bandages. To fall and get up without crying. Pain is weakness leaving the body so teach him to endure physical pain with strength. And be there for him when emotional pain brings him to his knees.
16. To drink responsibly
Almost every person drinks alcohol. When he is old enough, teach him the art of alcohol as well as the dangers of it. If you teach him this, the police won’t have to.
17. To never hit a woman
Violence is never okay. A woman should never hit a man and a man should never hit a woman. But teach your son that if he is ever hit by a woman it’s NEVER okay to hit back. Teach him to walk away. Teach him to restrain her kindly. But teach him that he is never allowed to hit her. He is a man. And being a man comes with advantages as well as responsibilities. Never hitting a lady is one of those responsibilities. There is no exception to this rule.
18. To tip
It’s important to learn to appreciate the service others provide us. Teach your son to always tip. And to tip generously. If he can’t afford to tip he shouldn’t be going out.
19. To choose his shoes wisely
Nothing says more about a man than the shoes he wears.
20. How to fix things
Every man should know how to fix things around the house. Teach him how to change the light bulb, to hang frames, to put together furniture, to unclog the drain. Once he learns how to do them, let him do it for you.
21. To dress with class
Teach him to coordinate pants, shirts, jackets, ties, belts, socks, etc., Its important to let him create his own fashion and be his own person but it’s just as important to teach him to dress appropriately to the occasion.
22. To be an exceptional father
This is the most important lesson you can ever teach your son as a single mother. Maybe your son has a good relationship with his father or maybe he has never met him. Either way, teach your son to be an exceptional father. Teach him the responsibilities of fatherhood and that its never EVER okay to abandon his children. The value of a man is not measured by his muscles or paycheck. Its measured by how he cares for his children. Make sure he learns this.

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First Things First

I spent the whole night thinking about this entry. I kept going back and forth in my mind on which topic I should write about for my first bog entry. I wanted something funny. I wanted something uplifting and somewhat cool. But something kept telling me to write something real. I could see sit here and write about a great time I had in Colorado last week, the time I had my vibrator confiscated by TSA for being a potential weapon (true story), or I could even write about my friend’s tampax birth (you heard that right and I promise this story will be coming soon). But I realized none of these funny stories would actually tell the story of my life and how I got here in the first place. I had to start from the beginning.

For starters, I never dreamed of being a single mom. As feminist as I am, I am a firm believer that children will always do better in a two-parent home and that boys need a daily father not a distant relative to visit every few months. I never dreamed of raising a child on my own, let alone a boy. And I definitely never dreamed that if I had to, I would actually be good at it. When you spend years of your life being told negative things about yourself, you start to believe it. For years I thought I would never succeed in a career, that I would never be able to hold a job or friends or a relationship and that I would “fuck my son up”. For years I believed I was crazy, inadequate and unlovable and therefore I was doomed to be a bad mother too. Turns out I am none of those things. I can succeed in my career (very well for that matter), I have tons of friends (many whom I have known for more than 10 years) and my son is a happy and healthy child. Those who know Kaio, know how absolutely brilliant and beyond his age he is. I don’t mean to sound cocky, but I do like taking partial credit for the amazing child he is.

Kaio’s dad or, as I like to call him, Mr. Big, is not around. He hasn’t been around from the moment I told him I was pregnant. You might be asking why I am referring to him as Mr. Big and it’s not because he is some wealthy big shot like Sex and the city’s Mr Big. That couldn’t be farther from reality actually. But because at some point he was a big love and because he is just all around big; like my son. Big hands, big feet, big dreams and an even bigger ego. Unfortunately.

Mr. Big and I dated on and off for 3 years before I got pregnant. Things were never perfect. Quite the opposite. It was chaotic. But always passionate. Some people say that we are so alike that that’s why we never worked out. In Brazil we say: Two biters don’t kiss. And its true. But I think the reasons that ultimately made me a single mother are lot more complicated than a Brazilian saying can explain. I don’t want to get into details of our relationship or how he ended up completely bailing on my child because that’s not what this blog is about. I am simply here to share my story, my struggles and the laughs that is my new life as a single mom. I know I am not the only single mother out there so I am sure many can relate. Its scary, its challenging but it’s also so rewarding and fun. People constantly ask me if I could go back in time if I would have an abortion and my answer is always the same: No Fucking way. Kaio is the most amazing human I have met and its kind of cool that I made him. He makes my days a lot more fun. I constantly catch myself laughing when I see him do something dumb like trying to put his left shoe on his right feet or trying to fit under the couch, and getting angry because he can’t. And there is nothing more soothing than drinking a glass of wine in the end of the day, watching some TV while hearing his giggles in the background. I swear his giggles heal.

So lately I came to the conclusion that although it wasn’t something I dreamed of, my new life as a single mom is quite interesting. There are diapers, laughs, poop eating, horrible dates, great commitment free sex, lots of temper tantrums and a lot more wine. Kaio came to teach me that maybe our future is something that happens when we steer off the course we had drawn for ourselves.