December 29, 2010

Healing Powers

Has it happened to you? Sometimes I go through my busy day, with so many thoughts in my head about the tasks ahead, and suddenly I stop, breathe and remember "I am a!"... back to being a busy bee again...

I love looking at my son's face, hearing his laugh, listening to his voice, his cries break my heart, but I have never felt so much as a mother as when my son is sick.
When he is sick, he wants nothing but mommy, and no matter how tired I am, or how much tasks I have ahead, one look at his droopy eyes and his cheeks rossy from the fever, for me to drop all else.

One of these winter days, my little one was at his dad's for the weekend, he was sick, he cried when I called him and asked me to pick him up. My heart broke and I was there as fast as I could. When I got him, he said "kids need their mommies when they are sick, mommy. I need you."
From then on, my call as a mom was more real than ever.
I am needed by this little boy, I am needed as a comforter.

There is very little I can do against the flu, or tummy aches, or any ache, but a mother's touch and a kiss on the forehead is all he is asking for, for him to know its going to be OK.

So, when your day is bad, and your hopes are low, remember: you are needed, you are important in your little ones lives, and even when they don't tell you - just watch who they are calling when they are sick - their healer - you, mom.

And I know it will not end. I still call and long for my mom when I am under something.

Is just the gift given to us, to be mothers, and have those "healing powers"

Have a blessed 2011 celebration and love your kids today!

September 20, 2010

false expectations...

Just when I was getting accostumed to the difficult threes, my boy leaps forward once again - and I am not ready!

My son is a very versatile boy, well he comes from two VERY different parents. I am an art lover, independent movies, theater, opera, yoga, crafts and over-thinking your way through life.
My boy's dad likes MMA (new fighting style) and other stuff.

I have been paying close attention to where my boy was going to turn, art lover or nose breaker...

I was ecstatic when my boy said he really likes movies, when he watched the Phantom of the Opera with me, when he is insistant in making his own halloween decorations, and taking theater classes - WOW!
But little by little I began to realize that his goals and what he takes out of those activities is not what I had in mind.

While I love the results, he loves the process. As I love to watch my movies quietly, he loves to act them out, as I love a good final performance, he loves the journey and watch the play unfold. Those differences took me by surprise and gave me a slap in the face.
This is not mommy's boy made unto her image, nor daddy's boy made unto his image (since he also loves practicing karate moves and is a picky dresser) This is a little boy growing up to be his own.

I think it is difficult to have our kids in a shared physical custody situation, since we are not witnesses if the time spent with the other parent. We wonder if what he has learned with us is going to be erased and replaced with another type of thinking and jealousy for the child's heart sets in. A tight grip is a normal desire to have in a separate home situation, but not when starts to interfere with the growing desires of the child.
Of course he will share some of our interests (until the think we are un-cool anyway) and the other parents as well - they share DNA and kids mimic behavior, but there is a point in which we have to let go and let them be.

It is important to love and support our kids no matter what - but in the proper context, allowing correction of course. To step back and let them be is hard, since it is natural to tend to over-compensate when in a divorce and separate home situation.

It is important to acknowledge their feelings and allow them to have them without us knowing why sometimes - my little boy left to go to his dad's house with such expression in his face, saying he was sad, he didn't want to state the reason, and that broke my heart - but I have to allow him have emotions that I don't have to be in control of - that is part of his growth.

Freedom and independence is a great thing to receive, but a hard one to give.

Let's love our kids enough to see them and respect them for who they are, their interests are their own; and let's wonder as we discover this new person blossoming in front of our eyes.

Love your children today, tell them how proud you are of them and what a blessing they are to you.

Have a blessed day!

June 23, 2010


CHANGE - Fearing the very sound of the word as I write this.
Before kid I remember being fearless of change. I welcomed the excitement, the newness and possibilities. Loved to travel, to adjust to different cultures, the process of surprise and adaptation. Now, not so much.

When my toddler was baby, I was very much advised to keep a routine and a schedule for the good of the baby. Change meant stress and sleepless nights due to over simulation J
So, I learned to live “with your feet planted, knowing exactly where to go during the day and in life” sort of thing.

When court dealings came, I tried everything possible to keep my child on a emotionally secure place. Trying to keep a routine with the dad, keeping naps the same, feeding the same, etc.
But on a more personal level, I learned to train my attitude, and at that time, volatile emotions, tamed. By practice and learning from failure I learned to be emotion-less, guarded, very business-like, not going beyond duty when it came to my son’s dad. I came with terms that out relationship was going to be wordless, simple, unmoving, stick to the court orders and nothing else to make it worse (nor better for that matter). And I learned to like it just like that.

Now, my little child ,that I so much tried to protect with routine and security , started to change (as he should) he is in pre-school now, he has mood changes, behavior changes, toy changes - and you’ve been there, when we finally thing we have learned to master the terrible two’s, the kid turns three and like magic, everything in them change - overnight! And what we thought was were going to experience when they are pre-teens, we are experiencing at three years old - and vice versa, I heard.

Well, there are other changes I didn’t anticipate, they are good, but requires a completely new life style - the life style I learned to suppress, I have to take it out of it’s dusty urn now.
What about getting along with the dad (yes for the good of the child), talking during exchange, have a civil conversation, even spend time at any event involving the child - WHAT?! Do you mean I actually have to talk and smile?! That thought terrifies me. And I know I am in the wrong here, because a good interaction is good for the child. My son gets very uncomfortable when he sees his dad and I together (other than the 10 seconds at the exchange) because he is picking up from the tension we have, and even when there is no tension, we have mastered the coldness for survival sake.

His dad brought up the possibility on a change of attitude from our part - and I am trying, and many times I feel like I cannot see any change from my part. For my son I am trying, and forget about my own anger and mistrust issues, are they founded? Yes. Should I live with a sword and shield by my side? No.

How do I get to the point of taking a step to the right, when I had my blinders on, in order to keep walking straight. Well, I’ll take the steps I took to come to be in this place. Little by little, practice, practice, practice. It will be very uncomfortable at the beginning, but change in this situation is needed.
Where do I want to be with this change? Best friends? No. Pals for life? No. Strangers? No… Maybe just parents…
But, my son is worth the effort.

Where are you when it comes to your kids’ father? Do we want to be there forever? Should we aim for better?
Maybe wiser. More mature. Making things simpler. More optimistic - but it is time to move forward, for the good of our kids.

…I’ll let you know where this change takes me J
Because I know it will be much better for my child.

Love your kids, they are the reason we become better people - even when we don’t like it J
Let’s share in their quest for adventure, growth and newness.

May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!

Today was my first official Mother's Day presentation I got from my son. His school had the kids singing, and they made little presents for us.
I remember when I was little and I asked my mom what she wanted for Mother's Day, she'd always say "a hug and your love" - I always thought THAT WAS A LIE! Presents are cool, you must want something big, shinny and special!
It wasn't until now, that I am a mom, and that my child is in that stage of pure honesty and innocence that I recognize the desire my mom had - a hug and his love, a smile, a look from him that will validate my role as his mom.
After all what has been going on and all the fighting and court dealings, a moment of peace and a hug from our kids will make it all better. And at that moment, if you are like me :) the worry if we are doing a good job as mothers will dissipate, and we just enjoy the moment.
Today, it didn't go as I expected, but hearing him say "I love you mommy" just melted me to the core and gave me energy for another year.
And as we grow, I think my mom had the right idea, we ought to spare some moments to pause, be thankful, hug and show love to our parents, because they hunger for those moments when everything was simple and pure and innocent, and a hug was all it took to make all things better... and of course I still run around looking for the biggest, shiniest way to show her that :)
but I understand now, that she wants time and love manifested.
Love your kids, allow yourself to be loved their way. Let's stop, pause and just take it in, and store those moments in our hearts.
Happy Mother's Day!!!!
and to the single mom - BRAVO!!!! because you go the extra mile to make their rainbows look brighter, and to bring a smile to their hearts, even when it is cloudy outside.
Blessings this Mother's Day. You are magnificent and YOU ARE LOVED - just look at those faces, even if they have a frown right now, you are loved.

March 21, 2010

Raising my superhero

I have the pleasure to daily interact with a lively toddler, who is ready to take on the world.

He wants to be a superhero day and night. He oftens goes from Spiderman to Superman to Batman and the whole Marvel characters in the blink of an eye... to the point that I don't now what regular clothes look for a little boy, he only wears his superhero costumes, and laundry is a daily routine now... I love it though...

One other thing that I also love, but makes me stop in the tracks of the made-believe games, is how he always has to protect mommy.
He recently had a nightmare in which he saw me falling, he was at his dad's house at the time, and he stayed pretty shaken up from it, and from that point on he's had a mild case of separation anxiety.

How does my toddler son views me? how does our kids view us? the single parent.

Do we seem broken to them? because we are not.
Do we seem pretty put together, needless of any help offered? because we are not.
Do we seem heavy burdened and with a could on our heads? because we should not.

I certainly hope he sees me as human, but I know it is too early for that ( I know that at his age, I should be the one that can do everything to protect him)

I remember when my parents where getting a divorce, I (as the eldest) was given the title of the best friend of each of my parents, the one who had to keep things together for everyone else, and the one who had to hide the emotions as an example for my siblings - what a heavy title, what a terrible burden for a kid itself.
And I pray, that I don't ask that from my toddler. I hope he doesn't see himself as my beacon, as my rescuer or my flotation device, I certainly hope not, because he is, after all, just a kid.

Our children nowadays loose their innocence in the blink of an eye, our society is obsessed with rapid growth, and most things from television to literature are like shots of hormones for our kids.
A worker from Toys R Us recently told me they are going into bancruptcy, Toys R Us? why? I asked, kids are already asking for phones, iPods and video-games from early on, no room for toys anymore...

I want to keep my child a child until his age allows it, I want him to enjoy saving the world, without worrying about saving mommy - that's my job.
My, our job is to get up after a blow, our job is to be a parent and keep on walking.

I am forever flattered that I have my own personal superhero, or set of them, and I hope he grows up to be a gentleman for damsels, but I am also ready for when he is ready to move on from Superman onto trucks, or baseball bats, or coloring books.

Are you ready?

LOVE your kids today, let's enjoy every stage on their lives and easy the burden they may be carrying. DIVORCE, SPLIT HOMES is very hard, for any age.

Blessings to you my friend! Love your kids, love yourself and carry-on.

March 7, 2010

when the silence is too loud

I usually take some time to write and update my blogs when my child is with his dad. But this weekend has been torture, the silence has been deafening, and, as busy single moms we do welcome the down moment and time alone, but when our kids leave, our hearts scream and a void opens up - for me at least...

How do you cope? how do you fill the days of silence on these long weekends?

I do tend to get busy. I call friends, update my facebook and blogs, WORK!, movies, books and not a dull moment - because silence brings to my mind thoughts of regret, voices of doubt and fear for the future.

Was is OK to give him that time out? was it fair to put his toy away, am I doing the right thing? am I a good mother? and my heart gets heavier and heavier...

I know almost each single mother faces these damaging thoughts, are they true though? and I know that at least one person would tell you they are... you and I know who I am talking about ;)
But also know that if God has chosen you to be your kids' mom, and He never makes mistakes, then you are the best choice for a mother for those kids.

If you read my previous posts you will know what my thoughts are on discipline, and kids, etc. - but I do doubt myself a lot of times - and then I have to let go.

I think that sometimes I am trying to keep too much control, because I lost control with the court dealings (meaning the decision on spending time with my child was not mine, but an stranger's)
I think that sometimes I am so eager to over-compensate for what is lacking in my child's life that I loose my vision on what it is there and what is real.
I think that sometimes I am my own ghost and my own demon.

... Life is much simpler, or at least the answers to my doubts are much simpler that what I think.

Against what therapy and what movies say about crazy killers - it is not the mother's fault.
Single mothers' children will not be sociopaths just because they grew up in a broken home.
I think that people should take responsibility for their actions without having to continuously blame the past and lack of this and lack of that...

So, how do you quiet the doubts? by keeping focus on your family and being thankful for what we have, not for what we lack.

I know I need to get better in dealing with the silence, and it is OK to think about my son, but I also need to keep in developing the person side of me, because I am a woman, a mother with talents and passions, and so are you.
Let your kids get to know this amazing person that is their mother, because you are amazing, and they have a lot of you in them - so explore that side together. So your kids come back to home, not to mommy's house.
And when the silence rises, you should sing YOUR song, loud and proud.

And let's forgive ourselves, our parents made mistakes as well, and here we are...

Be blessed and LOVE your children today!
As for me, I need to go on singing :)

January 27, 2010

life goes on...

Well, life goes on. 
Kids grow, time heals wounds, court issues come and go…but life goes on…

Now what? What about the questions that will come from our kids about their living situation, bouncing from mom’s to dad’s house. How to deal with the attitude of the teen who is rebellious (because he doesn’t know how to cope better), or how to help our kids overcome the frustrations of the split housing and the lack of stability. You bet that questions will come, and attitude will develop and manipulation will be there.

As I write I don’t know what the future will hold for me and my son, but I am familiar with the process of divorce from a child’s point of view, how painful it is to be in the middle of a fight, and how easy is to manipulate the situation to my advantage - not maliciously, but in a desperate call for attention or to bring the focus to one’s needs.
Growing up, my siblings and I were put in the position to choose our household and the parent with custody, so, after the choice was made, we lived with the guilt of leaving one parent behind, and for a 11, 8,7 and 4 year old kids, this type of guilt is hard to live with.
PLEASE don’t put your kids in that position. Our kids should not be put in the position to choose between parents, or be manipulated to choose between households or activities.

I also understand we do want to be the cool parent. Specially for single mothers, we don’t want to be the ogre who denies the candy for dinner and bed time pass 10pm - we want to bring fulfillment to our kids lives and to ours, we want to hear - “thanks mom, I love you despise the choices made and I will be OK no matter what” - well, we know that is not always truth.
This brings me to my next point - do we really need to treat our kids extra special because of the divorce or split housing? Do we need to supply their every request and overlook some issues in discipline? It is easier to respond “no” than to do it.

My kid is three years old, and he is pulling an attitude. Since he was two he knew my attitude changed when it was about time for him to leave for dad’s house. I gave him candy, toys, promises so he can be more agreeable to the visitation time - nothing helped for too long. 
When he came back, even until now, he does have an attitude (even at this age!) he is more volatile and tests the limits, when he comes back from the weekend visitations is even worse. If this is with a kid that this is house interchange is all he knows, it is specially hard for kids who move from a household with mom and dad in it to a split situation.
But, my advice, as a child growing up in this situation - no special treatment should be given. Those re-assure fears, intensifies the enormous change in the kid’s life and the need for “candy” to make it feel better.

When I was little I cried and cried to the One who I considered my only friend, - God. I did received an answer that satisfied me then (at 11 years old) satisfies me know and will tell my child as he grows.
Mom and Dad are great, but they are also human, and as humans, they make mistakes. Mom and Dad are also children of God and are living their lives, mistakes and all. I will hold you, I will protect you, I will guide you, I will never leave you”
This worked for me, because it was (and is) the truth. My parents are supposed to protect me and be my home and bring me stability as I grow up - but that is not always the case, mistakes happen, hearts get broken in the process, unfortunately - but life goes on.
This truth made me grow ten years in just one day, but that is what happens with children of the unfortunate divorce, they have to grow twice as fast - but GROW is the key word.
I did throw my tantrums, I did try to get my way many, many times, but I do thank my mom’s strong hand and heart and my dad’s compassion.

My mother made me understand that I had to be disciplined regardless of the situation I was in. There was room for sorrow, but life goes on, and I had to keep going with mine, for my sake and the sake of my siblings.

As my child grows, discipline needs to happen. Respect for both parents needs to be enforced, and a great deal of maturity from his part is what is happening.
Please, don’t allow your kids to think that they are in a hopeless situation, that the only way to cope is to satisfy the material needs and to resource to addiction of any kind. Even in this situation, you, as a parent are irreplaceable. Your kids will have friends, but needs you as a parent, the discipline, the stability in the midst of instability. You kid needs you to be the mom they knew, wiser, freer - YOU, mistakes and all. They will focus on your face, and on your smile, they will know that life goes on.

Shortcomings in their lives should not be blamed on the divorce, they should be known for rising above the occasion, and they need you for that.

Love your kids as well though, take your time to listen and to be there. They need your strong and soft hand.

I’m praying for our journey and wish you the best.