It’s Sew Amazing! : A Cross-Stitching Challenge

When my daughter came home from school yesterday, she could barely contain her excitement as she showed me what she was hiding behind her back- a cross stitching kit. She was beaming like a beauty queen who just bagged the Miss Universe title when she told me that her teacher handed a kit to each one of them in class.

I couldn’t have been more surprised as I knew that she was hardly the Martha Stewart homemaking type of girl. She was more of a thrill-seeking and adventurous Pippi Longstocking.

She then went ahead and showed me the pattern assigned to her. All I could think to myself was “Wow!” I knew that even I with all my patience wouldn’t be able to finish that cross stitch project. I couldn’t imagine how a grade four teacher can be such a sadist and give her kids a huge task.

But because my daughter was a real trooper, she took it as a challenge that she just wasn’t ready to bow down to. As she ran her fingers through the multi-colored dmc threads which came with the kit, I can almost hear her whisper, “I can do this even if it looks boring”.

And she is determined like hell to finish this project and make me proud. Little does she know that even as I write this, I’m already proud of her.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Maternity Leave

I consider myself to be a fairly congenial woman, but no matter how friendly I am, I guess I’ll never really be friends with time. It always seems goes by so fast when I’m at my happiest. The end of my 78-day maternity leave is starting to rear its ugly head, and time has yet again sped things up. Such a killjoy!

There are simply too many happy moments I do not want to let go of.

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I’ll miss looking down ( thanks to gravity taking its toll on my breasts, I have to literally look way DOWN!) at my little one as he peacefully suckles at my breast in the wee hours of the morning. Everything around us is so quiet and serene.

I’ll miss the endless playback of lullabies and nursery rhymes in versions I never before thought existed.

I’ll miss being home when my eldest arrives from school. It’s quite comforting when we both don’t need to rush doing her homework. I am able to chat more with her and peek into what goes on in a tween’s slightly melodramatic life.

I’ll miss watching reruns of Friends. In my book, it’s still the funniest show ever.

I’ll miss not having to think about my jungle of a workplace. Noisy kids in my library can really try my patience at work.

But the clock ticks on, and I have to move with it. There will be happier moments ahead- whether I’m on maternity leave or not. It’s not the end.

So I guess I’ll just hang a shining star upon the highest bough, and have myself a merry little maternity leave now.

A Tale of Two Pregnancies

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

In between frequent trips to the bathroom and unwelcome heartburn episodes, I pause to reflect on this pregnancy.  This bun is going to pop out of the oven in about six weeks, and I can’t help but compare it to my first pregnancy- nine years ago!

There’s a whole world of difference between my first pregnancy and this one.  For starters, I was married back then.  I was treated like a queen.  My husband and in-laws gave me everything I needed and wanted- from freshly baked pretzels to creamy milkshakes.

I was a stay-at-home wife.  I spent my days burying my head in books by Dan Brown. Umberto Eco’s writing filled every nook and cranny of my expectant brain.  It was a blissful 9 months, having all the time in the world to do whatever my heart and mind desired.

Fast forward to today, I’m the personification of a knocked up, pregnant single mom. This pregnancy came as a shock in the beginning. After I told this baby’s biological dad that I was with child, he chose to just turn a deaf ear. He simply vanished into thin air, like a fleeting yet utterly stinky fart.

With just a few more weeks to go before I give birth, I see how this pregnancy has changed me in positive ways. For one, I no longer care about finding a life partner. I used to spend most of my time going on online dating sites to find my perfect match. I was on a quest to find that which I now realize is not important to my well being.

I have plans for my first-born and this upcoming baby, but I also understand that sometimes, even the best-laid plans go awry. I am taking a leap of faith, gracefully accepting whatever surprises life has in store for us around the bend.

My first and second pregnancy may be different in so many ways, but one thing’s for certain- they’re both miracles.

Unleash Your Inner BadAss

I’m sharing with you this press kit about Patrina Wisdom.  She’s one badass mom whom we can all emulate:

Patrina Wisdom aka The Fresh Start Specialist has kicked off a BadAss Bodacious Moms movement to support moms in mindfully creating a balanced and brazen life!

 

San Diego, CA -Patrina Wisdom is a dynamic speaker, certified life success coach, yoga instructor, retreat facilitator, NLP therapist, vlogger, mother, published author and founder/leader of the Badass Bodacious Life Movement. She believes that in order to live a BadAss Bodacious Life you must connect with, embrace, and exercise every part of yourself.

 

Patrina states, “Motherhood is not for punks. Moms often complain that it’s hard to find time for themselves. Many of them set aside their own dreams and happiness because they still believe it’s their responsibility to be selfless nurturers… They are constantly saying things like ‘I have no time for myself’ or ‘maybe next year I’ll ___’ but I say, why not start today? My philosophy is to exercise Self-Ful Mothering, rather than Self-Less Mothering!”

 

As a single mother of four children and successful entrepreneur, Patrina Wisdom understands the unique challenges of being an empowered woman and mother while also maintaining a career. It can be a real balancing act and many moms have a hard time finding a supportive community. Patrina’s main goal is to cultivate this community and support moms in becoming the most badass version of themselves.

 

Patrina is calling forth moms who are ready to Unleash their Inner Badass!

If you are a stay at home mom, single mom, or mommy-preneur who has a deep yearning to express yourself more, need a little extra push to launch your own business: or if you are looking to feel your best, regain your sexy, and reawaken your sparkle with a supportive community then you are a #BAM- Badass Bodacious Mom in the making.

Join the movement at http://patrinawisdom.com/bam/

 

Her Story:

After losing her husband of 20 years to suicide and learning that she was pregnant with her fourth child the same day, Patrina McDonald, A.K.A. Patrina Wisdom made the tough decision to awaken her life by walking away from the financial business she and her late husband spent 12 years building and began creating the life she really wanted. An expert in assisting with life transition, Patrina provides the vital tools to empower individuals to positively transform and re-create themselves and their lives in a BadAss way.

She is known for inspiring courage and developing successful and responsible leaders. Her experience in the healing arts, entertainment, and financial industry coupled with her passion for personal growth and development, along with her personal journey, and her natural intuitive and healing energy makes her a natural, effective, and sought after public figure.

Through her work with her company Mindful Living, Inc and her non-profit organization Hands of Comfort Foundation, Inc. her Wisdom Teachings have helped thousands of people move into their greatness and create their BadAss Bodacious Life.

How To Get Involved:

Visit Patrina’s website at http://patrinawisdom.com

Join the #Bams movement http://patrinawisdom.com/bam/ to be added to #BAMS private Facebook community and to receive updates on upcoming classes, events and retreats in your area.

Patrina is excited to meet you, hear your story, and help you thrive.
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Media Contact: Katy Fetyko

(805) 550-0050

katy.the3amigas@gmail.com

Book Feature: Because I Said So

The Pranayama breathing exercises I learned in the few yoga classes I went to are starting to prove to be really useful.  They help restore my emotional and mental balance in this harried and frenetic world known as single motherhood.  Because I’m basically going at it alone, I need all the help I can need- both physical and virtual.

In the virtual aspect, I have found something to hold my hand and ease the parenting weight off my shoulders.     Because I Said So: Life in the Mom Zone by Annie Oeth, which was published in April 2014, has become my go-to book whenever I feel the pressure of parenting taking its toll on me.

In this book, solo mom Annie presents various stories of laughter, tears, worries and fears which are all associated with being a parent.  Each story tells of how mothers manage to find strength, love and humor even in the direst of situations.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

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KIDS IN CHURCH

There was a time of retribution like no other in my growing-up years. It was when church let out.

At no other time in no other day did more children get more beatings, spankings, whippings and whatnot than after church.

Now let me preface this by saying our parents were not the “spare the rod” types. If you loved your children, the thinking back then was you would get to the seat of the problem. Rapidly. There were no time-outs back then. We kids would have loved those.

I am not an advocate of spanking children because I think there are more effective ways of communicating right and wrong than hitting. That sentence would have been laughed off the street in the South circa the early 1970s, though. And if one was to call one of those hiney-warmings child abuse, then I guess a whole town’s worth of parents would have been locked up. [Read more…]

Your Kids Don’t Come First

Change is good.  It always is.  And I have to say that I just recently had an epiphany of sorts, and it has altered the way I think and feel in ways I could only previously imagine.

I feel that I have always been overly dependent on my daughter.   I almost feel sorry for putting her in a position where she was my wellspring of happiness and self-worth.  I knew that on a subconscious level, the reason “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” from Frozen keeps playing inside my head is that I have associated it with my daughter.  Whatever she likes, I like too.  It’s as if I’ve lost my identity and wrapped myself emotionally and mentally around her.  That’s just totally unhealthy.

She was my number one.  Everything else took a step back.  But when I started reading the Wealthy Single Mommy blog, I learned how important it is that we don’t put our kids first.

Now before you feed me to the lions, hear me out.

Yes, I love my daughter.  I love her to the moon and back.  But that doesn’t mean that I live for her.  That she’s the reason for my existence.  Eventually, she’ll grow up and have a life of her own.

My job now is to be an example to her, to show her what it’s like to live a full and rich life.  I have to show her that it’s not her obligation to make me happy, that I can do that by myself.

I realize how my old mindset has carried over to my just-recently-ended romantic relationship.  Probably one of the reasons it didn’t work out, was because my then boyfriend saw how much of a doting mother I was to my daughter.  He felt out of place.  He felt less than important.  If I knew then what I know now, it would have made a whole world of difference.

My daughter is staying at her Dad’s for two weeks.  I’m at the halfway mark, and I’m proud to say that I no longer achingly pine away for her.  The gassy anxiety spells I used to have are now a thing of the past.  I enjoy my time alone, like a normal and healthy adult should.

If and when love comes knocking on my door again, I’ll know better to give him the attention he needs and deserves.  If he asks me out to a Gin Blossoms concert even on a weeknight, I’ll go.

Happy parents make happier kids.  If you know how to take care of yourself, then you’ll be better and more effective at taking care of your children.  That’s how it all adds up in the parenting equation.

Advantages to a Center for Surrogate Parenting

If you and your spouse are interested in having a child but cannot do it naturally, take comfort in knowing there are still a number of ways of proceeding. Some couples are interested in adoption, but there are a few couples who want a child who is of their own flesh and blood. These families who have it within their means to do so opt to visit a center for surrogate parenting. A center will typically perform in vitro fertilization on a surrogate mother screened and selected for the task. There are several advantages to this approach, so review these if you are interested in surrogacy to bring your child into the world.

Benefits for the Surrogate Mother

You may be concerned that you are imposing on another person if you choose this option. However, you should realize that there are several benefits a surrogate mother will receive from this process. For one, a surrogate mother is usually generously compensated for what she does, so she does get something out of this deal. The mother receives the money during the pregnancy and post-birth. She can use this money to improve her quality of life. The surrogate mother is also rewarded in other ways. She gets the satisfaction that she helped bring a new life into this world and can give her child to loving parents.

High Success Rate

The couples who choose surrogacy do so because it’s often less risky than a traditional pregnancy. The intended mother may have a serious medical issue such as diabetes or kidney disease that would result in complications during pregnancy. Such circumstances could be dire for the mother or the fetus. In some cases, a baby could inherit a deadly disease from the mother. A surrogate pregnancy is the best chance for the child to make it into the world. Recent statistics indicate a high success rate for surrogate pregnancies. That rate is 70 to 90%, so you don’t have to be concerned so much about gambling away your money. For finding more about your specific chances of a successful surrogate pregnancy, be sure you visit a center for surrogate parenting.

 

Humour in Parenting!

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photo credit: Sean Molin Photography via photopin cc

When you sit down to write a blog you need to be sure that you have something to say.  On my parenting blog, I always try to do just that, from the mother’s point of view.  However, getting a touch of humour into the writing is not easy, no matter how funny parenting can be sometimes.  I’ve found a few dad blogs which have managed to get the right tone of humour alongside other more serious articles.   Being a parent is not easy and writing about it even less so, particularly when what you write is very personal to you.

Writingpaddad.blogspot.com

This is one dad that was born to write entertaining articles.  One of his main issues at the moment is turning 40 and, combined with parenting and his teaching work, he manages to bring the best out of every situation.  His post on his birthday questioned if he should feel bad about the big 4-0 as so many people seem to think he should.  As anyone with children knows, there are bigger issues to deal with, so one more birthday will never make that much of a difference.  His question and answer session is also very helpful for his readers to get to know him.

Stephenlitel.wordpress.com

Because the writer of this blog has a background in sports writing, this is always a great site to read.  He entertains even in the face of serious issues such as autism and depression.   I love the review of a kids’ film where he uses the opinions of his children to put it together – after all, children can be the harshest critics!  This blog also has the added bonus of tackling a number of issues that are not related to parenting, so you do not have to be a mum or dad to relate to what has been said.   Check out his ‘where do I belong’ blog post, where he tries to determine exactly what sort of a writer he is – then comes to the conclusion that he fits neatly into more than one category.  By the end, you will find yourself nodding in agreement.

Flatpackdad.com

Here is a blog that every parent can relate to, and the humour is there in spades.  Flatpackdad talks about parenting and DIY –you initially get the impression that he loves this sort of hobby, but he tries to make out that it is the bane of his life.  Anyone with a DIY enthusiast in the house will be reading this blog along with him, as so many of the stories and scenarios are played out in homes up and down the country every weekend and bank holiday.  If you share your home with someone who can’t resist hammering and drilling at every opportunity, then this is the one for you.

I’ve tried to do something similar with my own ‘mum’ blog, and I hope that those who read it are able to see the humour in it.  As these dads show, it doesn’t matter what happens during the day, there are laughs there, and it is far better to laugh than to cry.

 

 

Pride and Prejudice: The Non-Jane Austen Version

Because I’m too lazy to Google it, and I’m again having one of those memory lapses, I’ll just venture a guess and say that it was the Backstreet Boys who sang “As Long As You Love Me”.  I’m suddenly having this music flashback because an old friend came to me with a predicament:  she and her boyfriend broke up after his mom disapproved of their relationship when she found out that my friend’s mom is a single mom.

Can anybody be any more narrow-minded than her?  How dare she judge my friend’s character based on that alone.  Does being raised by a single parent diminish one’s character at all?  If anything, it should even be impressive that her mom took on the challenge of bringing her up to be a decent adult.

It goes without saying that rearing a kid by oneself is no walk in the park.  It’s a vocation riddled with challenges coming from every imaginable direction.  You learn to dodge life’s curveballs, and just grin and bear it when you have to.

It just baffles me to think that in this day and age, there still are people out there who think lowly of single mothers.  Shame on them.  They deserve to be locked up in a cell with only ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic   music piped in over and over again for an entire day!

It would break my heart to have my daughter subjected to such prejudice when she grows up.  Hopefully by then, the human brain would have evolved to become more rational and less “ass-wipey”.

Of Motherhood and Bad Haircuts

Rain does have its way of washing away sorrow and ill feelings.  Heavy downpour dominated yesterday, flushing out negativity from my system, reassuring me of good things to come.  Ginormous raindrops virtually bathed my soul, leaving me with a sense of calm and overall order.

That sense of peace was suddenly jolted by an email from an old friend.  She felt like she was the worst mother on the face of the earth because of her daughter’s bad haircut.  While at the salon, my friend was so engrossed in the pages of a magazine, that she didn’t notice the hairstylist snipping away at her daughter’s hair, cutting it way too short.

What transpired next was a series of tears, blame and a remote control flying across the living room. Suffice it to say, my friend’s daughter wasn’t the least bit pleased at her haircut.  And she blamed her mom for it.  My friend tried her hardest to reassure her daughter that her hair will grow back, but that didn’t appease the furious 10-year old.   My friend sucked it all in, believing that she the lousiest mother ever.

I felt both of their pain.  I knew how horrible it felt to have a bad haircut, and I knew how even more horrible it felt to let your daughter down.

I just told my friend to let her daughter vent and express her anger.  Her feelings aren’t to be trivialized, because she has every right to feel that way.  But maybe her anger should be redirected elsewhere, and not at my friend.  Moms only want the best for their kids, and that hair disaster was anything but her fault.

I told her to tell her daughter about a similar hair catastrophe she may have had when she was in high school.  That way, the kid would know that that thing too shall pass, and they could just laugh at the situation.

And then I comforted my friend, reminding her that she was only human- that I’m only human.  Whatever mistake she felt she committed didn’t earn her the title “Worst Mom Ever”.  It’s these minor mishaps which make us wiser and add dimension to our personalities.  We stumble, shake it off, and go on with life.

At least now I know better not to take my daughter to THAT hairstylist from hell.