Jun
02

Taking A Break For Love

Heart Shaped Bacon Glasses

It was a great date. The kind you walk away from with hope and anticipation for a second. The conversation was easy, not to mention I found him ridiculously attractive – but I couldn’t really tell if he was feeling me as much as I was him.

He walked me to my car after. I had butterflies in my stomach over whether or not he would kiss me. I’d been on many dates prior where there’d been awkward pauses while I waited for men to make a move. Sometimes they did, and other times they didn’t.

This time was different.

He was completely confident and didn’t hesitate at all, which took me off guard. What surprised me even more was how amazing our first kiss was, even though he was virtually a stranger.

When he gently took my face in his hands and pulled me toward him, it honestly felt as if time stood still.

It was the most passionate kiss I’d ever experienced. It sent shivers down my spine and made my knees weak. Although there were people walking around us in the parking lot, it was one of the most intimate moments I’d ever shared with someone.

I could’ve stayed there all night getting lost in his kiss, but I didn’t want things to only be physical when my intuition told me the connection we made that night had the potential to be more.

We’ve been seeing each other for a few weeks now, and after having some serious conversations about my fear of commitment and my reservations about being anyone’s “girlfriend” too soon, for the first time in a long time I’m not anxious or restless about dating someone exclusively.

Maybe it’s because I’m not future tripping or letting my mind wander too much into memories of heartbreaks past. Or maybe it’s because this guy isn’t like any that I’ve dated before. Though my fear tried to find any reason at all to run while things were evolving, he only gave me more and more reasons to stay.

So here I am, embarking on another new journey.

I’m starting this relationship in the now, 100% authentically me – and because I am things feel different this time. Not in a “I’m sure this is forever and this guy is the one” way, but in a “I have zero doubts that this is the relationship I’m supposed to be in right now” way.

I’ve been rather quiet online about what’s been going on, which is a bit unlike me, but for some reason I don’t feel the need to share all the intimate details of my new relationship with the entire world this time. I don’t need people to like Facebook statuses about how I feel about him, favorite tweets about what we’re doing or to even like photos of us on Instagram to know that I’m making the right choice with him.

I probably wouldn’t have even shared this post here, but I wanted you all to understand why my posts have been few and far between these days and why I probably won’t be writing as much over the Summer.

Don’t worry, you can still catch my bi-weekly posts on dating & relationships for single parents over on Patti Knows.

I don’t want to be distracted while falling in love this time. I want to savor every moment and feel every feeling that comes up without running to a keyboard for someone else’s opinion or approval. And frankly, what is happening right now is something special that I’d like to have just between my new boyfriend and I – for a little while, at least.

I’ve given a lot of myself and my time here and across the internet the last few years because I’m often happiest when I’m helping other people. I’ve felt like it is my life’s purpose to inspire all the struggling single moms out there – even if my ways of doing so are often unconventional – but right now I’m going to be a little selfish and take some time for me.

I’m worth it. And love is too.

XOXO

Share Button

May
09

When To Take The Single Out Of Single Mom

Dating-After-Divorce-Patti-Knows

It seems I’ve made a huge mistake by forgetting to mention here that Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger and I are now besties.

Ok that’s a total lie – BUT what is not a lie is that I am a new contributor to her site Patti Knows!!

That’s right, I’m proud to announce that I now have my very own bi-weekly column on Patti Stanger’s site called  ”The Balancing Act“, where I’m dishing advice on love, dating, and relationships for single parents.

This week’s post is for those of you that are struggling with whether or not to get back in the dating game after a divorce or breakup.

Figuring out when to start dating post breakup or divorce isn’t always easy, and it can be especially hard for single parents. Everyone’s situation is different and depending on the circumstances surrounding your split, you may need time for the emotional dust to settle before looking for love again.

Continue reading…

Share Button

May
08

Someone Needs To Be The Hero

Hero Mom with Bacon

I opened my mouth to speak to him, only to have him roll his eyes at me and grin.

“Fuck you, motherfucker” was what I wanted to scream, but the mediator had already explained the rules, and within them were clauses against shouting and profanity.

I could feel the tears of anger begin to well up in my eyes. I was being pushed to my breaking point today, but I knew I could not break. Allowing my ex to win would not only hurt me – it would hurt my son.

Remember who you’re here for…

While this wasn’t really about me, I wasn’t about to be disrespected in that mediation room. I’d put up with it before, but now was different. Now I was different, and if this was how the rest of this session was going to be I’d walk out the door now instead of wasting my time.

My son’s future wasn’t a joke to me, but apparently it was to my ex and his eye-rolling.

It only took a few minutes of watching us interact for the mediator to see how poorly my ex treats me. I think it was then that he realized he’d had the wool pulled over his eyes while talking to my ex alone earlier. At one point during our back-and-forth, he even decided to step in and tell my ex he was being a jerk.

“Why do you hate her so much?” the mediator finally asked him.

“I shouldn’t have to ask her permission for anything!” he proclaimed loudly. “Just because she’s the mother?! She isn’t BETTER THAN ME!”

And there it was. The real reason we were here. It wasn’t about being a better father or our son’s best interests. It was about a narcissist throwing a temper tantrum over his lack of control.

But here’s the thing, buddy. We’re co-parents and whether you like it or not, because of that, YOU DO need my permission for the big things – which is basically what the mediator explained to him next.

We sat with each other for nearly two hours in the mediation room that day and basically got no where. Round and around in circles we went while my ex tried to deflect any and all questions that came at him from myself or the mediator. His only point of being there was to try to convince me that I was a bad mother – but there was no way in hell I would let him.

He couldn’t see that being in that room was supposed to be about our son. All he saw in that room was me and all he felt was rage because I was the one person who could not be bullied to give him what he wanted. And because of that, all he wanted to do was keep pushing me, hoping that I’d break like everyone else always did.

“Someone needs to be the hero here,” the mediator said.

Did this guy not understand I was being as heroic as I could by even showing up that day?! Sitting there with my ex and defending myself alone was the hardest thing I’d ever had to do. And yet it wasn’t heroic enough because it had become obvious my being in this room still couldn’t make things right. There were no words I could say to my ex to make him see that what he was about to do could change our son forever.

Someone needs to be the hero…

“What about a rotating visitation schedule?” the mediator proposed.

And with that he whipped out a 30-day calendar with an arrangement where the amount of days my ex and I would have each week would vary throughout the month so that our time was split equally.

Though it seemed fair, the entire idea made my head spin. We’d had a consistent routine for the last five years. There was zero reason to change that. How was anyone supposed to keep track of that kind of rotating schedule, let alone an 8-year-old?

It was a valiant effort by the mediator to do his job, but I didn’t think implementing this kind of schedule would be good for anyone.

I knew if I gave a firm and final no to the mediator’s proposal that day, the Court would immediately move forward with conducting a best interest evaluation to determine if I was a “fit” mother. This meant both my ex and I would be interviewed and evaluated by the Court, and so would our 8-year-old son.

Following that we would go to trial to determine whether or not our current custody arrangement would stay in place or if my son’s routine would change because visitation time would be taken away from me.

My son’s well-being was riding on my answer that day. I wanted to be the hero, but I didn’t know which kind of heroic act would be the right one. I could compromise my beliefs to say yes to this crazy rotating schedule now and avoid having my son dragged into Court, or I could continue to fight for what I thought was best for him and risk him getting emotionally fucked up because of it.

I despised my ex for putting this all on me while I sat there frozen in fear, terrified of spitting out the words that might lead to a wrong decision.

Somewhere amidst the fear I had a moment of clarity. I decided to buy myself more time by asking the mediator to give me a week to think about the proposal. It was only fair since he had just sprung it on me, and so he agreed and ended the mediation session.

“I’m going to have to ask you two to walk out separately to avoid any fighting on premises,” he said.

My ex left first, and I breathed a sigh of relief after he exited the room.

I’d fucking survived.

“I have to ask this question, and you can choose not to answer if you’d like, but I would love to know…Totally off the record…I’m trying to understand why he has such anger towards you. Did you cheat on him?” the mediator asked.

“Nope. It was actually the other way around,” I replied.

“Then that’s just one angry guy…”

Yes, yes it is.

 

To be continued…

Share Button

Apr
24

Get Your Shit Together…

Bathroom stall with bacon

“Why won’t you just give him what he wants?” the mediator asked, condescendingly.

Was this REALLY happening to me?

It took channeling every ounce of courage I’d ever had to get myself to the Courthouse that morning. The anxiety I’d felt over having to face my ex without my shield of a lawyer nearly paralyzed me.

This was it. My son’s future was riding on whether or not I could keep my shit together during this mediation appointment, and now the mediator was trying to break me by playing “Good Cop, Bad Cop” before my ex and I would be in the same room for our session.

“All he wants is more time with his son. Why won’t you give it to him?”

I didn’t know what sort of show my ex had put on while talking to the mediator in that room when I wasn’t there, but what I did know was that none of this was really about my ex wanting more time with our son.

And THAT’S why I wouldn’t willingly give it to him.

I knew better.

But how could I express that to this man who knew nothing about what had gone on behind the scenes of the five + year relationship my ex and I had? He didn’t know the fear I’d felt as my ex had harassed and threatened me the last two years, all in an effort to remain in control of all things related to our son.

He had no idea who my ex truly was behind the charm he turned on for strangers.

I wanted to crumble and curl up into a ball right there at the thoughts, and if it was only my future at stake I probably would’ve, but I knew I couldn’t. My son needed me to be strong – no matter what my ex or the mediator said to me that day to try to sway me.

After five long months of arguing, accusations, paperwork, and court dates, mediation was my lawyer’s idea. Today was a last ditch effort to settle our custody battle before our 8-year-old son would be forced to take part in a best interests evaluation to prove whether or not I was a fit mother.

We’d been to court three times prior to this, and each time we left with nothing resolved. In between the court dates my ex did everything he could to intimidate me. He was used to me backing down, and he figured if he could find the right button to push I would cave.

Each time we left court he and his lawyer would file more paperwork that deemed me a shitty mother and him a model parent. Then my lawyer and I would have to submit our own retorts.

So much of that shit was hard to read. The lies made me angry. And some of the truths that also came up regarding my imperfections made me question myself.

Emotions were so high that there were even points where our lawyers got into screaming matches with each other – which was better than my ex and I getting into screaming matches with each other, but still.

My ex’s lawyer would go back and forth between saying I was an unfit mother, to saying that both my ex and I were “good and fit parents.” She changed her tactics like the wind. But on what was to be our final court date before being scheduled for a trial since we could not come to an agreement, she decided to swing her stance again, by eluding to the fact that I might be abusive to my child – thus forcing the judge to order a best interest evaluation by the court if we did not settle before the next date.

I could not comprehend how my ex and his lawyer could be willing to make such gross accusations about me or even drag an 8-year-old into court for no reason other than wanting to WIN a court case. As a mother whose only intention was to protect her son’s best interest, it was absurd to me.

What I eventually realized was that I was not dealing with rational people here. I was not dealing with people that were driven by their hearts – they were driven by their egos.

As much as I tried to shield my son from what was going on, I know he could still feel the tension. While I never spoke a word in front of him about the custody battle, he knew I wasn’t myself. His father and I didn’t speak or even make eye contact anymore during pick-ups and drop offs. I don’t think either of us could stand the sight of each other.

The impact the cost of a lawyer had on me financially left me freaking out most months over whether I’d even be able to keep a roof over our heads – which I’m sure he could sense. Then there were days I was shorter with my son than I should’ve been. I wasn’t always as patient or attentive because I was so mentally exhausted and stressed from everything that was going on - but I know I did the best I could.

During the final three weeks that led up to our mediation appointment, my son began to cry to me how he did not want to go back to his Dad’s house when it was time for his visitation. I can never be sure if he said that to me because he somehow thought it was what I wanted to hear, or if he truly did not want to be there.

In any event, his words helped me keep fighting for him.

“I’m not willing to give him what he wants, because I don’t think it is what our son would want.” I finally said.

“Ok. Let me talk to —- alone one more time before I have the two of you sit down together.”

As I stepped out into the hallway I could feel the tears coming. My heart began to race and my anxieties kicked in.

How the fuck was I going to pull this off when I was already about to lose it?

In an effort to save myself I called my mom. She was the only person I knew that might be able to talk me down from the ledge before it was too late.

But the minute she said hello it only made things worse. The sound of her voice unleashed the flood of tears I’d been holding back. I tried to explain to her what was going on, but was failing while I began to sob uncontrollably.

“Get your shit together, Melysa!” she said sternly. “You get your shit together and you go back in that room and fight for your son. He needs you.”

As much as I wanted her to coddle me, I knew that wasn’t what I needed. I needed her to remind me to fight. And she did just that.

I hung up the phone and headed to the bathroom. I locked myself in a stall, put my head between my legs and tried to breathe through the ugly cry I was currently engulfed in.

“Get your shit together…” I mumbled to myself.

It took a good ten minutes before I was ready to fight again, but somehow I breathed through the anxiety and fear to get there. When I exited the bathroom, the mediator was waiting for me.

“It’s time,” he said.

And with that I took one more deep breath, crossed my fingers, and followed him back to the mediation room to stand up to my ex alone, once and for all.

 

To be continued…

 

 

Share Button

Apr
08

You Never Know How Strong You Are…

Mailbox Bacon

How could I have known that pulling a manila envelope out of my mailbox would change me forever? But it did – because it set into motion a series of events that scared the shit out of me, yet also presented me with a huge opportunity to face my fears and grow.

My hands began to tremble as I read its return address and then placed it in my lap. I’d had nightmares about this happening since he’d started threatening me, and in a matter of moments that nightmare was going to become a reality.

While my son readied himself in the backseat of the car for the trip to the toy store that I’d promised, I tore open the envelope and pulled the stack of papers out to read them. Sure I could’ve waited until we got home and I’d locked myself in a closet somewhere to lose my shit in private, but in that moment I couldn’t help myself.

Please be advised that this office represents…

As I continued on to read his attorney’s accusations, I felt sick to my stomach. And once the severity of what I was going to have to deal with fully registered in my mind I could not breathe.

He had a lawyer and he’d filed court papers. As if that wasn’t scary enough I wondered how the fuck a single mom like me, with next to no savings, was going to afford a lawyer to protect myself. While my mind raced, everything began to spin.

I was having my very first panic attack in the front seat of my car.

“Is something wrong, Mommy?” my son asked inquisitively.

This was my fault. How could I have been so stupid?! Why couldn’t I have just given in like I normally did?

You see, I’d said no to something my ex wanted and now this was my punishment – a custody battle born from sheer spite.

This wasn’t about trying to take time away from me for being a bad mother, or about my son’s best interests. It was about my ex getting even, and proving that he was still the one in control.

The idea that my child was being used as a pawn enraged me.

“Your father…” I began to spit angrily, and then I stopped myself.

I didn’t want to be THAT mother. I didn’t want to be one of THOSE women that put their child in the middle, no matter how mad I was at my ex for what he had just started. I knew I was a better mother than that.

“Is something wrong with Daddy?!” he questioned, with fear in his eyes.

Fuck. My moment of weakness had just about driven my son to tears. I knew I had to attempt to pull my shit back together for my son’s sake.

Just breathe. You can do this. You have to do this. For him.

I fought back the tears that had formed in the corners of my eyes and opened my mouth.

“No buddy, Daddy is fine. I promise.”

But I’m not.

Why was he doing this to me NOW – years after we’d separated and our son was already happy with the way things were? I knew the answer before I even finished asking myself the question.

I’d said no, and his entire life everyone else had said yes.

For once I’d stood up to him, and his not being able to do anything about it drove him crazy enough to blindside me with a nasty lawyer that could.

A narcissist will attempt to remain in control of his influence over your life long after a separation. Since our split I’d dealt with him trying to control how my child support was spent, what I did during my visitation time, and every other aspect of our co-parenting relationship.

For the most part I’d followed his wishes and instructions to avoid conflict. As much as I hated him having control of my life, it was just easier than dealing with the temper tantrums.

As strong as I’d become, I was still pretty weak when it came to my ex. The truth was, he intimidated me. He’d turned my life upside-down before and I knew he was still capable of it. For that reason I avoided engaging him as often as I could.

But sometimes I had to choose to fight for my son’s best interests. And right now, whether I wanted to or not, I was being forced to. My son’s happiness was at stake.

While my ex couldn’t see past his anger into the future, I could – and the future he wanted just because it was good for him, was not what was good for our son.

I couldn’t ignore or wish away this legal notice – though I did for about two weeks afterwards out of fear. To be honest, I kept hoping someone would jump in and save me until I realized I was the only one that could save myself.

Eventually I put on my big girl pants, picked up the phone, and called several lawyers. I knew I couldn’t win this alone. Seeking legal counsel was one of the scariest things I’d ever had to do.

It took several consultations before I found one I knew was tough enough to fight for me, but when I met with her I knew immediately she was my one.

We both thought it would be an open and shut case – after all I was a kickass mother; I’d never abused or neglected my son. Why on earth would a judge ever take time away from me?

But what transpired over the next few weeks proved otherwise as both of us were tested in ways we never thought possible.

You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.

 

To be continued…

Share Button

Mar
24

What Fifty Shades Of Gray Didn’t Tell Me

S&M with Bacon

I wondered if either one of us was going to have the balls to make a move. Over an hour had passed since we started watching football, and there was still a decent amount of space between us on his couch.

After weeks of talking, all I wanted was for him to kiss me so I’d know whether or not there was any real chemistry between us.

As comfortable as I was with him, I couldn’t find the courage to make the first move – instead, I grabbed another slice of pizza from the box sitting on his ottoman and shoved it in my mouth.

When my eyes finally shifted from the TV to him, I realized he was smirking. It was as if he could read my mind and knew I was hungrier for him than that pizza. Still, he kept his distance.

Was he playing hard to get? If so, this was new to me. Usually men tried to rip my clothes off the first chance they could get, yet he was taking his sweet old time and I didn’t like it.

Fuck it, I thought. I’m going for it.

It was then that I threw the slice of pizza I’d been holding back in the box, slid myself closer to him on the couch, grabbed his face with my hands, and hastily kissed him.

As our tongues swirled around in eachother’s mouths I completely lost myself. It was one of the most passionate kisses I’d ever experienced.

He let out the tiniest grunt of approval so I’d know he was into it too.

As I manouvered my body on top of his, I could feel his hands getting tangled in my hair. He pulled me closer to him by my head, and my scalp tingled with pleasure.

Now I wanted him even more.

While the kissing was definitely hot, I decided to take things a step further and slide my hand between his thighs to see how into me he really was.

But as I did, he clenched my hair in his hands and pulled my head back – HARD.

I opened my eyes and glared at him with a furrowed brow, while he stared back at me grinning.

Did this fucker just pull my hair?!

I really wasn’t sure how to take it, as it was the first time a guy had pulled my hair before. I decided to brush it off as an accident to avoid any awkwardness, and continued on with my seduction.

But when I started to move my hand up his thigh again he yanked my head back even harder to stop me.

“Not yet” he moaned. “Not ’til I say when.”

Holy shit, this is a little kinky. He’s seriously pulling my hair on purpose – and I kind of like it!

At this point he flipped me over so he was on top of me, pinning my wrists above my head with one of his hands, and caressing my face with his other. He stopped and affectionately looked me in the eyes to read whether or not I was into it.

Though I wasn’t exactly sure if I was, I lifted my lips up to his anyway to let him know I was willing to keep going.

With all of his weight on me now and my arms unable to move, he was in complete control. I was beginning to see he preferred things that way. Part of me was anxious about being so vulnerable, but another part of me liked someone else taking over control.

My day to day life is filled with making to decisions. It was nice to let someone else take the wheel.

I closed my eyes and lost myself in the sensations of his kiss. As he swirled his tongue around mine, he slowly moved one of his hands under my shirt. I moaned with anticipation of what was to come – until he pinched my nipple and I cried out in pain.

I was NOT anticipating that.

And then he pinched it again even harder, only what suprised me this time was not the pain, but that I moaned because I kind of liked it.

What kind of woman was I to be enjoying things like having my hair pulled and my nipples pinched? A bit embarassed and flustered by my reaction to what had just happened, I slowly opened my eyes to see his face and once again he was smiling.

“I knew you’d like that.”

Holy hell his confidence was hot. I’d never met a man that was so willing to let his freak flag fly, let alone be confident enough that I’d also enjoy holding it with him.

Sure I’d encountered men that were into some weird shit before, but none of them had owned it and that’s what usually made things awkward.

This man’s confidence pulled a freak flag out of me I wasn’t even aware I was hiding.

As things progressed that night, he took me places I didn’t even know I wanted go.

While driving home the next morning, I replayed the events over and over again in my mind, trying to wrap my head around what had happened. The independent part of me was slightly ashamed of how much I enjoyed being controlled by a man in the bedroom.

After all, I’d worked hard to free myself from the confines of my last serious relationship.

But somewhere deep inside of me I still craved moments of being told what to do – where someone else called the shots and I had little choice but to follow them.

I could sit and judge myself, or I could accept the fact that what I wanted in the bedroom wasn’t always going to be vanilla – and that’s okay.

Sometimes a girl needs a little strawberry while having her hair pulled.

Being dominated that night was a fantasy I didn’t know I needed fulfilled – yet somehow he did.

I walked around the next day with a smile on my face and a set of Spongebob Bandaids covering my chafed nipples – proof that amatuer S&M is rarely as sexy as a chapter from Fifty Shades of Gray, but it can still be a whole lot of fun if you’re doing it with the right person.

 

To celebrate the relaunch of the Sex, Lies, and Bacon Blogvel Series, I’d like to gift each and every one of you the best chapters from my first blogvel – all wrapped up in a pretty little PDF bow. Want to see what you missed the first time around? Contact me and put “Take Me On A Bacontastic Voyage” in the subject line to snag yours FREE. Limited time only, though. My generous, bacon-filled offer ends at midnight on Friday March 28th 2014.

Share Button

Mar
19

Back To The Start

SLB-Relaunch-Promo

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? ” – Stephen King

When I started this blog several years ago, I poured my heart and soul into my posts. Writing became a release for me as I learned how to navigate my life as a newly single mom.

Each week I released a “chapter” to my story, dancing between fact and fiction in order to keep my readers guessing. My posts were based on things I’d experienced during my first three years as a single mom.

It was easy for people to look at me after the dust had settled from my separation and think I’d always been strong and confident, but those closest to me knew that wasn’t the case.

By creating a blogvel – half blog, half novel – I hoped to continuously tell the tale of how I got from past to present.

But it wasn’t just about telling my story – I also wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Whether it be making someone laugh on a shitty day or being vulnerable to inspire someone else to find their own strength, I wanted my words to touch people.

Not that way you perv…

While my plans for this space were once meant to be extraordinary, it eventually turned into something more traditional.

When the going got tough and my real world and I needed to figure out how to financially support myself and my son, I decided I could leverage my blog to help pay my bills. I don’t want to say deciding to monetize my blog was a mistake, but it definitely changed the way I wrote. There were times it even made writing seem like a chore instead of something I loved to do – plus I felt like a bit of a sell out.

Perhaps I just didn’t go about monetizing in a way that was right for me.

In any event, I decided recently that I would no longer be accepting offers for sponsored posts. I wanted to get back to why I started blogging in the first place – my love of writing and helping people.

Which brings me to the point of this trip down memory lane…

Beginning next Monday, I’m going back to the start.

The Sex, Lies and Bacon blogvel is beginning again!

Each Monday at 9am EST I’ll be releasing a new chapter, and boy are you in luck because I’ve kept more than a few adventures from you guys since I closed the cover on my previous blogvel.

Hey speaking of which, maybe you’d like to catch up on what you’ve missed? And if you were here the first time around (Bacon bless you for sticking with me that long) maybe you’d like to relive all the AWESOME again?

To celebrate the relaunch of what Sex, Lies and Bacon was intended to be, I’d like to gift each and every one of you the best chapters from my first blogvel – all wrapped up in a pretty little PDF bow.

Want one? Contact me and put “Take Me On A Bacontastic Voyage” in the subject line to snag yours FREE.

Limited time only, though. My generous, bacon-filled offer ends on Friday March 28th 2014.

And don’t forget to come back Monday, March 24th for the start of our next adventure xoxo

Share Button

Mar
10

Change Is Bullsh*t. ‘The Rebels’ Isn’t.

The Rebels With Bacon

Let’s face it – Change is scary. Especially if you’re a kid.

From the time they are babies, children like things to be predictable. Regular feedings, regular bedtimes, consistent rituals — all of these things help a child feel safe, secure and loved.

So when I had to talk to my 8-year-old son this weekend about the changes that are about to take place in his routine I wasn’t looking forward to his reaction.

I knew he wouldn’t be happy about the new visitation schedule that is being put into place this week. Frankly, I’m not that happy about it either but it is what it is and it was what needed to be done to end a very stressful and drawn out custody battle.

Of course there was a part of me that wanted my ex to have to break the news to our son – after all, he was the one that started this fight so shouldn’t he be responsible for dealing with our son’s tears? But I knew in my heart I was the only one that could have this conversation in a way that wouldn’t freak our son out.

I thought long and hard about what I would say to him. I wanted to make sure I approached the change in a positive way so he had less anxiety about it. I also wanted to highlight the things that were going to stay the same so he knew that his world was not completely flipping upside down.

While I got through the conversation, it wasn’t an easy one. It hurt my heart when he began to cry and discuss his fears about the situation.

“I don’t like this change,” he repeated over and over again, all weekend long.

I wanted so badly to explain to him that I did the best I could – that if he only knew how hard I fought for his happiness over the last six months he might understand this small change was really to protect him from something that could’ve been so much worse.

Of course I couldn’t, so instead I wrapped my arms around him, reassured him all would be ok, told him to trust me, and explained that while change is sometimes scary it often turns into something fun.

When I put him to bed after our conversation I was drained. I needed an escape from the heaviness of what had just happened.

I’d put on my big girl pants and now I was ready to rip them off. After I poured myself a drink, I sat down on my couch and started flipping through my DVR for something funny to lighten my mood. It was then I remembered I’d started watching a show on Amazon Prime earlier in the week, but never finished it.

Someone had suggested to me how hilarious this Amazon pilot was and from the ten minutes I’d seen already it seemed they were right. Seriously, The Rebels had me snort-laughing from the opening scene.

Now was the perfect time to push play again – I needed a laugh!

It’s funny because as I watched, I not only laughed but I also realized I had more in common with the main character of this comedy than I thought I would.

Julie is facing some major changes when her husband suddenly dies and leaves her as sole owner of his pro-football team, The LA Rebels. I don’t want to give too much away, but this former cheerleader turned “Real Housewife” shouldn’t be mistaken for a ditz – she’s got some lady-balls and knows how to use them under pressure.

Definitely check out this tv show if you need several giggles, or a reminder that while change is scary it often becomes less so when you laugh and treat it like an adventure.

Hello, that’s my motto!

The Rebels pilot is free to watch with Amazon Prime and if you don’t have Amazon Prime, there is a free 30 day trial. If you love the episode as much as I did, make sure you rate it 5 stars – your vote decides whether or not the show will get picked up for tv – and damn it, I’d like it to get picked up so I have another episode in my arsenal next time I need to laugh my single mom stress away!

Share Button

Mar
06

Bittersweet

I’ve wanted to write about this for weeks, but knew I couldn’t until the ink was dry and my son was safe.

Today is bittersweet.

Today my ex FINALLY signed papers to put our new visitation, holiday and vacation schedule into place.

Today marks the end of my six month long custody battle – a battle that truly changed me.

The whole process taught me a lot about myself and helped me grow into a woman and mother I am 100% proud of.  That is the greatest gift I got out of this whole ordeal, knowing and now BELIEVING I’m a great mom. My ex had me convinced I wasn’t with his comments over the years – and especially during the last six months – but I know now what I’m made of.

I don’t think anyone will ever be able to take that away from me.

For a few weeks I looked back at everything that transpired not fully understanding the awesome it took for me to get through this and win the fight. It kind of felt like I stumbled the whole way as I was going through it. It was six months of ups and downs, of always having to be on guard because I never knew what my ex might try to twist and turn into something he could use against me in Court.

But the truth is I didn’t just stumble through this. I was a fucking warrior. I never gave up or gave in to my ex’s ridiculous demands. I faced my biggest fear and I survived because I was stronger than I’d ever been.

While it wasn’t always pretty, I pride myself in doing most of this with grace. I never let my ill feelings for my ex cloud my judgment and always kept my son’s best interests at the forefront of my mind.

I’m proud of myself for taking the high road and doing what was fair – even when my ex and his lawyer did everything they could to try to take me down, but today I’m also sad that this will be my last full weekend with my son.

So you see, it’s bittersweet -the realization of who I’ve become, but also of what I have to let go.

I know the change might be a little hard for Aidan and I in the beginning, but in the grande scheme of things it was a much better alternative to what would’ve been if I did not stand up for us.

With my fear behind me and my next journey ahead of me, it feels like a fresh start. I can’t wait to see where this one takes me.

Share Button

Feb
28

Apparently My Inner Guide Thinks I’m A Judgmental Beotch

School Bus With Bacon

I’ve been on a spiritual journey the last few years. While I’ve always believed in something greater than myself, the idea of God and organized religion never really spoke to me.

What did finally speak to me was the Law of Attraction when I watched the movie “The Secret” a few years ago. It changed my life for the better once I realized I was in control of how I felt about the things that happen to me.

Every day since I’ve tried my best to practice gratitude without faltering, and in doing so I’ve been blessed with a surplus of happiness and good fortune. My life might not be perfect, but to me it’s pretty damn close. Sure there are shit-covered bumps in my road every so often, but my positive attitude has helped me roll over them, wash myself off and start smiling again.

The thing is, I’ve never been religious. I just wasn’t raised that way. And while I was baptized Lutheran as a child, my religious upbringing didn’t go much beyond that.

I didn’t read the bible. I never made my Communion or Confirmation. There was no church on Sundays or saying grace with dinner – which never seemed to bother me when I was growing up anyway.

It wasn’t until I had my son that I started to feel like there might be something missing in my life without some form of religious belief or practice.

As he got older I began to feel a bit guilty for not having anything to teach him about religion or spirituality, so I started reading books from all sorts of spiritual visionaries to try to educate myself and figure out what I truly believed in.

Most recently I’ve been engulfed in a book by Gabby Bernstein called Spirit Junkie which is basically a lesson in A Course In Miracles for dummies.  This week I came to a chapter that speaks about opening up to “spirit” so that it can guide you through the lessons you need to learn to help you figure out your life’s purpose.

One way to do so is to pray each morning to whatever “spirit” you choose and then do five minutes of meditation afterwards with the hope that some sort of answers will come to you.

Yesterday was the first day I decided to start this ritual so I got up early and prayed to my “Inner Guide” since that is what felt right for me.

“Dear Inner Guide, Where would you have me go today? What would you have me do? What would you have me say, and to whom?”

During my meditation afterwards I hoped a message would come through to me, but my mind was a bit cluttered and I couldn’t seem to quiet it – so I went on with my day like I normally do figuring whatever I needed to learn would come to me anyway.

My day was pretty normal. I signed on to my computer for work. I dived into some projects. I actually got pretty lost in the hours until the alarm on my phone went off to alert me it was time to get my son off the school bus.

I put on my jacket and stared out the window just like I normally do, waiting for the bus to drive by and turn into the cul-de-sac across the street. That’s how I always knew when it was time to walk down the block to greet my son at his stop, but the bus never passed.

Or at least I somehow never saw it.

I don’t know how I never saw it go by when I never moved from that window, but I didn’t.

As the minutes passed I started to get irritated that the bus was late – and then I heard a knock on my door.

When I opened it up my son was outside, with a look of fright on his face.

“I thought something happened to you, Mommy!”

Turns out that bus DID go by, and because I wasn’t down the block at the bus stop my son had run all the way home by himself in a panic.

I grabbed him and wrapped my arms around him and apologized profusely, as I could feel his 8-year-old heart beating against my chest.

As tears streamed down both of our faces, I felt like the shittiest mom ever.

And then my phone rang and it was my ex calling me a bit frantic because the school had called him to make sure Aidan had gotten home ok since no one was at the bus stop, and I felt EVEN SHITTIER.

Great. All I needed was my ex judging me now too, and calling me a bad mother after I’d fought so hard to prove I wasn’t during the custody battle we just went through.

But the thing is, HE DIDN’T.

After I explained to him what happened and waited for him to berate me, HE DIDN’T.

“It’s ok, I understand.”

Am I hearing that correctly? After he recently accused me of being an inadequate mother?

Wait, he understands that our kid just ran home alone?! Because if the tables were turned I surely would’ve ripped him a new one.

In fact, I’ve ripped him a new one several times before over even being a minute late to the bus stop – let alone not being there AT ALL.

But for whatever reason, he chose not to dig into me – though I completely deserved it.

It took missing the school bus yesterday for me to see what a judgmental bitch I’ve been towards my ex.

I’ve had many thoughts and written things about him over the last few months that have been scathing.

And to be honest I’ve been on a pretty high-horse since winning our custody battle, though it’s probably only naturally for the ego to deem one of us better than the other when it comes to a case of winners or losers in a Court of law.

But the reality is I’m really not better than my ex, and my Inner Guide wanted me to see that.

My ex isn’t perfect, and my missing the school bus proved that I’M NOT PERFECT. After beating myself up for several hours following the incident, I finally realized that’s ok – because no matter how hard I try I will never be perfect.

SHIT HAPPENS.

Maybe the realization that we’re equals can serve as a turning point in our relationship as co-parents. It certainly feels like a turning point to me since I now see myself and my ex differently.

The next time my ex makes a mistake I won’t be so quick to judge him, and I hope he will continue not to judge me.

All either of us can do is our best. All ANY of us can do is our best.

Seems at the heart of it, we’re all pretty equal in this life.

Thanks for the lesson, Inner Guide.

Share Button

Older posts «