Final Blog

Posted in Uncategorized on February 10, 2017 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

I started this blog years ago, when I was a newly single woman trying to navigate the dating world and relationships. It served as a form of expression for the hilarity, heartbreak and utter frustration that can exist in both those realms.

In the years since I’ve started it, I’ve been through a couple of relationships and many first dates. Now, I’ve been involved with the same person for over two years. Do I think he’s the one? Do I think it will last forever? You know what? I don’t even need to speculate or process that because it will be whatever it will be and I’m ok with that. I’m in a very different place than I was when this blog began.

I’ve learned some valuable lessons from writing here and corresponding with some of the readers. One of the main ones was the knowledge that people will do what they wish with my words, whether what they do with them or think about them is an accurate reflection of what I meant or not. So whether posting about myself or about someone else (and avoid posting about someone else!), be willing to face the consequences that might come from that. Nothing on the internet is anonymous and I made the mistake of thinking because I didn’t attach my name that I could use this site freely and honestly.

I’ve realized it’s time this blog ended. Both because I don’t need it any longer and because there are people who still have animosity and will behave badly to try to mock and belittle me. That’s ok too–I hope they’re somehow able to make their peace with things and move on.

I’ve started another writing project, one which won’t have the negative connotations that this blog has acquired. I’ll carry the lessons I’ve learned into this new project and once again be able to write without the constant knowledge that my words are being used against me by those who are not friends. I’m excited!

To those who have been readers from the beginning–thank you for bearing with me through what often seemed a muddled, crazy mess. Again, I believed this was a place I could process, so I wrote about things I would probably rarely talk about to anyone except my closest friends. I let all the crazy hang out. I still think there’s value in that, because we all have crazy and just try to pretend we don’t. Sometimes seeing another person’s insanity helps us realize we’re more normal than we thought! Still, when your ex’s wife is a reader and it has resulted in all kinds of drama, it gets a lot more interesting in an unpleasant way.

So, this is my final blog on this site. Thank you again to all who have taken the time to read and send me emails and comments. Many of your emails have meant a lot to me when I was going through a hard time; I so appreciate the support!  I wish you all love and joy every single day!

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Choosing to Leave The Madness

Posted in anxiety, awakening, resolutions, Social media, stress with tags , , , , on June 14, 2016 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

Yesterday I deleted the Facebook App from my phone and decided to take a nice, long break from it.

For weeks now I’ve been reading post after post filled with vitriol over any number of subjects: The current political climate, the tragic shooting of a beloved gorilla in the zoo, the sentencing of a convicted rapist. News stories posted and shared repeatedly, personal opinions from friends and acquaintances, speculation about the world and future we’re creating for ourselves and our children. All mixed in with selfies, memes and videos.

Usually I enjoy Facebook, because who doesn’t like a tiny peek into someone else’s life?(Even if it’s been proven time and again that the “peek” doesn’t really portray reality). I enjoy seeing pictures and posts about my nieces and nephews and reading the often insightful thoughts of my friends.

Lately, however, everything feels like it’s rubbing my emotional skin raw. The more I read, the more I started to feel like most of humanity just plain sucked. Comments on news stories left me wondering if most people were really as cruel, petty and shallow as they appeared on social media. Coverage of the Stanford rape case filled me with uneasiness about the world in which I’m trying to raise two daughters. Seeing news clips about an actress, and speculation over whether her unusual appearance was due to plastic surgery, the day after the largest mass shooting in the history of the U.S.? I felt sick.

I’ve felt myself on the verge of tears just from feeling overwhelmed by data, much of it negative and heartbreaking; Suddenly, I had the realization this was something I was inviting into my life multiple times a day. I was constantly feeding on negativity, getting sick from it, then convincing myself the world is a really horrible place. How crazy is that?

The last week with my kids has been better. The arguments (a future post on that!) with my nearly fifteen year old have been less frequent and I’ve had an easier time staying calm in the face of frustration. We’ve cuddled and talked, enjoying each others company. One day we decided to go out and dance and splash in a sudden rain storm, getting completely drenched and laughing hysterically. We made hot chocolate afterwards and spent the evening between reading and watching a favorite show. Another day we pulled out an old Wii game, all three of us giggling over how bad we were at it. My daughters drew, they helped more in the house and I felt more relaxed than I have in weeks.

I was reminded that so much of the world is what I choose to create for myself: Beauty or ugliness, depth or pettiness, it’s within my grasp to choose what to focus on. I believe sometimes we need to see what’s wrong in the world so we can choose a response to it, so we can take a stand to effect change. But most of what’s wrong with the world can only be changed from one place: Within ourselves.

I can’t say I’ll be done with Facebook forever, but it feels good to have made the decision to take a break and focus on the beautiful things in my life: Family, friends and the wonderful community I’ve chosen. More dancing in the rain and less ranting about Trump and Clinton. More giggling hysterically with my kids and less focus on the terrible injustices in the world. Lots more doing my part to be love and compassion, in the face of horrific and almost incomprehensible tragedy.

So long for now, Facebook!

 

Mother’s Day Approaches…

Posted in blended families, Mother's Day, Mothers, Parenting, parenting after divorce, raising daughters, single moms, single parenting with tags , , , , , , on May 5, 2016 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

Mother’s Day is Sunday and the retail circus is in full-court press when it comes to trying to increase sales. I, of course, start thinking about what I want to do for my own mother, as well as the other mothers in my life. How can I honor them?

That led to wishing I had a partner who would help the kids do something sweet for me…or buy me flowers…or take me out to lunch. Before I knew it, I’d gotten myself in a funk. I thought about the time when my kiddos asked me what special thing I was going to make for dinner and dessert to celebrate Mother’s Day (which is actually kind of funny), because they got the concept that Mother’s Day was about celebration, but they were too young to understand what that meant. I was always the person who planned celebrations, so why wouldn’t I be the one to make this special too?

So, on a PMS low and still smarting from some recent ugliness, I got in a feel-sorry-for-myself funk.

It lasted for about an hour, long enough for me to ask my other single and divorced mom friends if they ever had Mother’s Day sadness. Everyone who answered came back with “yes”. As usually happens when I talk to friends, not only did I feel supported, but it also allowed me to take a step back and see things a bit more clearly.

The truth is, I’m amazingly lucky. I’ve got two children who are healthy and gifted with so many wonderful things: Intelligence, creativity, humor, beauty. They have a father who wants to be a part of their life and who assists me financially. They have a stepmother who tries to be a meaningful, positive presence in their lives. I have a tribe of family and friends who are there for us when we need them. My own mother is still alive and healthy and a constant presence in my life.

Not everyone has these blessings.

There’s my friend who lost her firstborn to cancer when he was a very young boy. I know she has a constant ache in her heart that will never leave.

There’s my coworker who had two miscarriages within a year, who still grieves those losses. She’s still dreaming of the day when she’ll become a mother.

There’s my friend who is a divorced mother of three, two of whom were diagnosed with Autism. Not only does the father not provide any financial support, he also makes no effort to be a part of his children’s lives. This mother does whatever she has to do to support her kids and give them every advantage she can, while also being the one daily who cares for their needs. She’s stated before that she’d be grateful if her one child was even able to verbalize “I love you”.

There are the women who’ve lost their own mothers and every Mother’s Day is a remembrance of grief.

Then there’s me. Two living, healthy, amazing kids. An ex-partner who despite our many differences still supports his children and wants to be a good parent. A mother I get to talk to daily if I want. Yet I grieved for the breakfast in bed or flowers I wouldn’t get. I felt sorry for myself that Mother’s Day ends up feeling like every other day.

Perspective is a wonderful thing and I went from sad and feeling sorry for myself to grateful within a very short span of time. I’m blessed and I need to realize it every single day.

Being a mother is amazing…and hard…and very often a job where the recognition of all the effort put in can be scanty. A day that honors mothers is nice, but it’s only one day. It’s the unexpected look of gratitude and the soft “Thank you” that comes with a hug that recognizes me. It’s the surprise cards, poems, and acts of thoughtfulness that touch my heart. It’s the sincere, “I know you do so much for us and we appreciate it.” that I get once in awhile that gives honor to the effort I put in. Most importantly, it’s watching them grow and become lovely, strong, capable young women. It’s knowing that if I do my job well enough, they’ll get to a point where they can stand on their own.

To all the mothers out there putting their heart and soul into raising kids into healthy, happy, competent adults: You are amazing. You are worthy of breakfast in bed and flowers, gifts and cards; I hope you get them. You are worthy of honor, respect, and gratitude. No matter how you came into being a mother, you are special. So happy early Mother’s Day, Sunday and every other day of the year.

 

 

Mean Girls and Motherhood

Posted in awakening, blended families, dealing with ex's, Mothers, Parenting, parenting after divorce, raising daughters, single moms, single parenting with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2016 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

Tonight I got cyber-slapped and it stung.

Noticing my blog views were crazy, off-the-charts high, I wondered what was going on. So I opened up my app and looked at some of the referring websites. One in particular seemed strange to me, so I followed it. What I found was a nasty surprise.

Mean girl syndrome can, apparently, last into middle age. I won’t go into a lot of detail about what I found there, except to say that it was a nasty critique of my blog and even worse, what they perceived as my failings as a human being and as a mother. Followed by lots of others jumping on the bandwagon. The person who began this has a slanted, peripheral, yet weirdly connected view of my life. They also clearly have a lot of issues with me personally.

Ironically, you might even say I got the ball rolling in the mean girl cyber world. Approximately 4 years ago, I posted something in my blog that reflected my most petty thoughts. They definitely weren’t a reflection of my best self, nor the person I wanted to be. However, despite removing them as soon as I found out the subject of the blog had read it, the damage was done. The hurt could not be apologized away.

Today, I’m the recipient of petty thoughts and meanness and it feels bad. Yet…hard to cast stones when I had to learn that lesson myself. I can wish all day long it was different and that the individual hadn’t chosen to perpetuate the cycle. But in the end, the words we put out into the world move in ways we can’t always control and can sometimes have ramifications we can’t predict.

So today, rather than continue on with the she said/she said drama game, I would like to offer an apology again. That thinking my blog, years ago, was anonymous enough that she wouldn’t find out and it allowed me to post things I’m not proud of. N0 excuse for putting it out there, but it was a powerful lesson to relearn. Once we put it out there, we can’t control it anymore. I’m sorry for the pain it caused and for the ways in which it is still living today, despite removing it from cyberspace years ago. I’m not proud of it and I wish I hadn’t done it.

The truth is, I’m flawed and I’m continually trying to battle those flaws. As anyone who’s read this blog will clearly know. Those who know me and read it see such a fuller picture and so my flaws are forgiven by them.

They see a mom who has been honest about her struggles with depression and the ways in which heartbreak has sometimes triggered that. They also see a mom who never lets it prevent her from taking care of her kids. They see kids that can witness a mother struggle with depression and sadness, a mom who cries sometimes, and realize that it’s okay to struggle. The victory is in the ability to continue doing your best, day after day, and getting up to face the world. They’ll see a mother who never gives up, who is always there for them and who works through her feelings rather than stuffing them. Do I lean on my kids too much? Perhaps if you only know me through my blog, you might read about my wise twelve year old who says something profound about love and life and think she has to constantly care-take me. If you know ME and my children, you’ll absolutely know that I’m teaching them that empathy and compassion are vital in human relationships and that sometimes we need people and sometimes we are needed. Is my child giving me a hug or telling me I just haven’t found the right person wrong if she finds out a relationship ended? Is she care-taking and having to be the adult? Have I overshared if she knows I’ve been involved with someone and that it’s ended? As I found out tonight, clearly there are some who think so. That’s ok-they get to make those decisions for themselves and their kids. Or maybe they’ve not been single, with kids. Who knows?

I know I’ve never dragged men in and out of my children’s lives. I know that in eight years of being single, they’ve met one of my significant others that I was involved with for two years. My children are sacred and so is my time with them. When I have them, it’s their time. When I don’t, they have known that I date.

And yes, I perhaps talk about my feelings a lot in this blog. That’s sort of why I started it. 🙂 It was a place for me to process and be vulnerable about things I struggle with. Clearly, the problem with vulnerability is that it leave you…well…vulnerable.. That’s ok too. There’s been plenty of times when I read something vulnerable someone posted and felt so soothed, because I could say “Hey! We’re all human beings. We all go through shit sometimes.”

As a single mom, I don’t have all the answers. There are days that I feel like my girls and I could take the world by storm, because I feel like as a mother-daughter team, we’re invincible. There are other days I sit and cry at the end of it, because I’m scared I’m screwing it all up and I just wish I had some support.

That’s the thing: I don’t have all the answers. I don’t expect other mothers, birth or step, to have all the answers either. We’re in this because we have been granted the amazing, terrifying, exciting and sometimes heartbreaking privilege of guiding amazing human beings into adulthood. The most beautiful and difficult challenge one could ever take on. Whether you carried the child in your body for nine months or you fell in love with the child’s father and the child and became part of their lives later.

What would it be like if we actually supported each other? Instead of cutting each other down with petty criticisms designed to make one person superior and the other inferior. Everyone needs to vent sometimes. But maybe…just maybe…if you tried to see that person as a human being who is doing their best, instead of as an adversary you need to have others rally around you to tear down, we could do an even better job parenting these amazing kids we’ve managed to have brought into our lives.

So…I’m going to keep writing my blog. Which is scary, because I’m making myself vulnerable. By doing that, I know you may use the opportunity to try make me appear small or one-dimensional to others. You may use the chance to pick apart my flaws–trust me, you’ll find them. You may mock me and use it against me. I’m still going to keep writing my blog. I hope you don’t. I hope that perhaps we can just band together to work on behalf of the human beings in our lives, who love us both.

However, that is up to you. It’s up to all of you. Be the light or be the darkness…which, yes, one of my flaws is a tendency toward the melodramatic when I write. Sue me. 🙂 I was part of the cycle and I’m really hoping the cycle ends with me. Mothering is hard, whether the babies came from your body or not. Amazing…and hard. Why don’t we try building each other up?

An Important Note To Lurkers

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25, 2016 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

A really neat feature of my blog app is that it tells me exactly how people got to my blog, complete with links to the websites. Cool feature, even if sometimes it does lead to some interesting, if not surprising, revelations.

It’s true that putting yourself out there, even without attaching your name, opens up the door for criticism. I think “pathetic” is a bit harsh, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. I’m glad at least one of my readers has found an outlet for their pain and resentment and a place they can feel free to express their very clear anger toward me. It’s a shame they’ve managed to point people toward my blog in a hateful way, but then again, trying to process painful feelings in cyberspace is something I’m familiar with. So perhaps it’s a taste of my own medicine? 

Still, for future reference, it’s good to know I can see the websites that lead you here.

Cheers!

Podcasts and Vibrators

Posted in Masturbation, raising daughters, single moms, single parenting, women's liberation with tags , , , , on April 24, 2016 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

So, something different and interesting happened to me the other day: I got interviewed for a podcast. I was a little nervous when he showed up at my house with very official looking equipment (soundboard, microphones, headphones and lots and lots of wires), but I managed to relax and enjoy the experience.  The interview questions and organic conversation led to discussion of my blog, as well as several fairly explicit subjects. Not a problem for me, but it will make it a bit awkward if friends who knew about the interview want to have the link for the podcast.

This is the same scenario that led to one of the most frank and, for my daughters at least, mortifying conversations over lunch ever.

They both knew I was being interviewed. Over a lunch out at one of our favorite local restaurants, they asked me how it had gone. I described the equipment and what it was like in detail and they both seemed excited.

“So, we’ll get to listen to it, right?” Asks my twelve year old, her face beaming with excitement over what she probably imagines is my famousness.

Awkward pause as I quickly think back to the some of the topics of choice: My recent purchase of a vibrator, butt plugs and anal sex.

“Uhm…” I stall, trying to think quickly. “Probably not. It has a lot of bad language in it.”

“Mom.” The fourteen year old looks at me with the sort of disdain only a teenager can manage. “We’ve heard lots of bad language.”

“Yeah, but this was excessive.” I insist.

“We don’t care, we just want to listen to you.”

“I talked about several things I don’t think you guys would want to hear about and you wouldn’t really understand.”

Another eye roll from the teenager. “I’m sure I would.”

I take a deep breath and say, “Well, do you guys know what vibrators are?”

Much to my surprise they both nod.

“Oh.” I’m a bit stumped now. “Well, I told a story about one.”

“What sort of story?”

“Well, I told a really funny story about the last time I bought one.” I take a sip of my tea and watch their faces carefully. They just look at me with no expression, then suddenly I watch a look of horror cross the face of the fourteen year old.

“What?” She exclaims loudly. “You bought one??”

“Well, yeah.”

She stares at me in mortified horror. “Do you keep it in the HOUSE?”

“Of course I keep it in the house. Did you think I’d keep it in the storage shed out back?”

The twelve year old pipes up: “Because then spiders might crawl on it and it would get spiderwebs and stuff.”

Keeping a very straight face, I nod. “That probably would be bad.”

Fourteen year old: “YOU KEEP IT IN THE HOUSE???”

“It’s really not a big deal.” I reply calmly. “When you get a few years older, we can go and get you one if you want. It’s a normal thing and I’ve already told you that if you were curious about your body then you could…”

“Oh my god!” She moans, burying her face into her hands. “Please just, just stop talking.”

“Okay, okay.” We sit there for a moment. “But when I was your age…”

“Stop. Talking.” Hissed at me from behind her hands.

I can’t resist. “But you certainly don’t need a vibrator, you could just use your hands.”

Let’s just say that if looks could kill, I would be very, very dead.

Perhaps it’s strange to have a mother-daughter lunch that involves discussion of vibrators, but I always want them to be comfortable with their bodies and sexuality. Growing up, every time I touched myself I was certain I was doing something unholy and wrong. I want my kids to know I won’t judge them for something natural.

Still…perhaps over burgers and fries at lunchtime isn’t the best timing. And the podcast, for them at least, will have to wait a few more years.

The Bittersweet Taste of Closure

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20, 2016 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

Tonight, I followed my heart and found that my heart didn’t steer me wrong.

Two human beings, both flawed and both knowing the face of our demons, agreeing to have an honest, vulnerable conversation about how to honor an ending.

I love him. I see him. Even through the anger, hurt and loss. I feel like I’ve seen his heart and he’s seen mine. I know he didn’t mean to hurt me. Even though I know anger and hurt will resurface as I process this end, I’m glad we had tonight to honor the relationship we’ve had with respect and love.

I don’t have all the answers tonight, I just know it feels more bittersweet than bitter. Love is always the answer.