Sunday, March 23, 2014

"Men Without Children Have To Get It To "Get It"-Continuation Of Women Who Have Children Are Not Contagious"

Sometimes I blissfully reminisce about my life prior to being a mom. It seemed like I had an endless amount of time to do whatever my heart desired. Actually, I often felt like I had too much time and found myself bored when I was idle and had no agenda. What is it they say? Don't know what you got till its gone. 

Fast forward to me being a mother and its more like there just isn't enough time in the week let alone the day. As a single mother who co-parents, I am lucky to have help. Part of me and my ex's agreement is to alternate weekends so that both of us are afforded the luxury of having two whole days to ourselves. For those of you who are reading this who have your child/children full time, you may be a little envious. However, I'm pushing myself to be honest and recognize that there is a downside to this type of schedule, or rather challenges. 

On weekends when I don't have my son, I find myself trying to cram in a zillion things that I need to get done. Thinking back to the past several months, I've only been successful at getting about 40% done of my to-do list during my free weekends. I am frustrated with the fact that I feel like I blink and it's already Sunday evening. And then of course, the following week, I have my son for five days straight so pretty much everything not having to do with him gets put on hold. I'm exhausted and I fail to give myself credit for what I have done and focus on what's left on my list. Did I drop off my laundry? Did I get enough groceries for the week? Did I get a chance to clean the toilet?

Sigh. It's not easy. And on top of that, I had to reflect on how this new schedule as a mom would affect my dating life. As a newly single woman who has been through major breakups and heartbreaks (who hasn't?), I have emerged confident and more aware of what I am looking for in a partner. What's frustrating is the lack of understanding many men have when it comes to dating a single mother. They say they are open to it, but a lot of them don't get it! So I have compiled a list gentleman to give you a heads up of the do's and don'ts when it comes to dating a woman with a child: 

Don't: Call me at midnight with the intention of convincing me to either come over or have you come over so we can screw like rabbits. Chances are I'm already in bed fast asleep and my child is sleeping in his bed next to me so that's just wrong.

Don't: Show up at my door and tell me you've made a reservation at a romantic bed and breakfast for the next weekend and that I need to pack right then and there. My spontaneous days are over.

Don't: Cancel a date that we have made far in advance and expect me to be able to reschedule for the following evening. That's not gonna happen!

Don't: Ask to meet my child on the third date. (Do we even have to discuss this one?)

Don't: Get angry if I can't just drop everything and give you 100% of my attention at any given time. Especially if I am in the company of my child.

Don't: Expect me to spend endless hours with you on the telephone. When I do not have my kid, I like to sleep as much as I can. I can talk to you when I see you in person.

Don't: Get angry with me if I text or take calls while I am out with you. I guarantee it is pertaining to my child.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way gentleman, here is what you can do:

Do: Understand that my child will always come first and while I welcome the company of a man who is as motivated and driven as I am, you will never take his place.

Do: recognize that although I have limitations, I am flexible within reason and if you are worth it, I will actively make time for you when I can.

Do: Understand that I won't let you in easily. You have to earn my trust and respect and I have to be secure in the fact that we may have a future and only under those circumstances will you meet my child. 

Do: Understand that I do not want you to raise my son or put money in my pocket. I do however want you to be present mentally and emotionally and open to the idea of being involved with a child who is not your own.

To sum it all up if you can't not do the don'ts and you can't do the do's, then dating a woman with children may not be for you. And that's ok. It's a preference. But if you are open to it, you have to GET IT and recognize that single mothers are different from women without children. But different can be good.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Three-Year-Olds Aren't Assholes..They're Bi-Polar (Manic Phase)

As an MSW, I feel qualified to write this post. My dear friend Sarah Fader who is a fellow blogger wrote this amazing post about how three-year-olds are Assholes. You should read it . Sarah has some good points. However, I've got a different theory.

Three-year-olds aren't assholes. There are some serious deficiencies in terms of mental health and I'm convinced that they all have bipolar disorder (manic phase) . Lets evaluate this situation people.

According to the DSM IV people with bipolar disorder (manic phase) exhibit the following symptoms:

Easily distracted
Little need for sleep
Poor judgment
Poor temper control
Reckless behavior and lack of self control
Very elevated, expansive or irritable mood, such as racing thoughts, talking a lot, false beliefs about self or abilities

Yeah, that pretty much fits. I ask my son to focus on his homework and he walks away to wash his hands, do a cartwheel, and knit a sweater.

I try to ensure that my son gets a solid 7-8 hours of sleep at night so I put him down at 9pm. He stays up until midnight, and then wakes up at seven..

He does headstands on the couch in such awkward positions that I fear he will break his neck. I tell him to be careful. He laughs hysterically and continues to engage in activities that could have him ending up in the E.R.

I tell my son that we are not buying new toys. He yells at me and insists that I am trying to ruin his life. In that moment, I am the most horrible selfish bitch you can imagine for getting in the way of him having a new toy.

I tell my son not to run into the street. He runs into the street.

Endless babbling, asking why about pretty much everything, and convincing himself that the cat is going to eat him alive pretty much sums up the fact that my son is bat shit crazy.

Common treatments for this serious mental illness include psychotropic medication, long-term therapy and hospitalization. But we're screwed because apparently these options are not available for children.

So how do I cope? I vent, I pull my hair, I pray, I cry, and occasionally drink heavily. I also will continue to bombard the American Psychological Association or whatever it's called and demand that we stop making bullshit excuses that this is age appropriate behavior and medicate our children to the point where they are too doped up to know their names!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Whoops….Women With Children are Not Contagious...

Before I became a mother, I had the perfect vision of what my life was going to be like. I was going to get married to a wonderful man, move to the suburbs, pop out a couple of kids and live happily ever after until my husband cheated on me with the nanny or I ran off with the Mexican gardener. Although I knew deep down that the American dream was complete and utter bullshit, I still wanted it.

When I was in high school, my friends around me were getting knocked up and dropping out of school. This dream did not include getting knocked up before I graduated from high school, my friends around me succumbed to the numerous stereotypes prescribed to Black people. Some of these included: getting on welfare (and staying there) and most importantly, getting involved with a man who had children. That wasn't the way the dream was supposed to go. Getting involved with a man with children meant that I was getting a piece of his dream, that those children would never be my own and that they would never see me as their mother. The last thing I ever wanted to hear was "you can't tell me what to do. You're not my mom". I didn't want to get caught in the midst of the drama between him and his "baby mama" or "ex wife". I also didn't want to be seen as a threat to someone else. There was just no way in hell I was getting into that bed.

 I was an ASSHOLE who prescribed to a series of stereotypes that were completly untrue: people with children automatically come with drama.  As a single mother, I now have a completely different perspective. You know what they say: don't talk shit about what you don't know. After my husband and I separated, I gave online dating a try considering I don't enjoy skulking around in bars and lounges. I like places where you can actually have a conversation with someone. Once I got online, I discovered a world of what I characterize as "haters". A rather large pool of men who had no desire to date a woman with a kid or kids. Here was the main the reason: these men had no interest in drama or raising a child that wasn't their own. Men also seemed to be concerned with single mothers wanting their money and asking for their bills to be paid. Most importantly, the idea that they would never be number one to the woman seemed to be a major source of resistance.

I'm here to set the record straight. No judgment, because I was once there too. I don't need you to raise my kid. He has both his dad and mom. Would I like you to play a productive role in my child's life if we were to get into a serious relationship? Of course! Who wouldn't? The last thing I need is dead weight in my life. As for theatrics, there is minimal drama between my ex and I. Yeah, we get into it every once a while but for the most part, we are able to get along. And don't worry...I won't be discussing disagreements we may have with's none of your business. As far as finances are concerned,  I don't want your money. Clearly there are benefits to a combined income and I'm all about things being as fair as they possibly can. You won't find a high maintenance woman here! Its supposed to be a partnership and I want you to work as hard as I do. Lastly, you will never be NUMBER ONE. My son always comes first. Get over it!

That being said for all you men out there who are adamant about not dating a woman with children: check your biases at the door. Are they coming from personal experience or what your buddy said about that chick he took out who brought her two brats, who asked him to pay for everything, and had two fights via phone with her kids daddy about how he was late with the child support payments? The truth is, we feel the way we feel for a reason and usually it's based on assumptions rather than the truth. Open your minds and hearts because you never know what you could be missing out on! I'm pretty fucking awesome!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Single Mothers Deserve So Much More Respect Than They Get!

I must admit, I admire and respect women who take on the major responsibility of being a parent by themselves despite all the flack single mothers get. I follow a natural hair blogger. She's intelligent, dynamic, funny, beautiful, and a mother of three children. Despite her social media success and her overall awesomeness, people still chose to point out the fact that although her children appeared well rounded, there seemed to be a male figure "missing" from the picture. One person actually went as far to ask her directly (I kid you not) "where is your husband?"

"Where is your husband?" WTF? Does it even matter? Was she somehow insinuating that without a male figure, her children were going to be messed up? I'm so over people "projecting" their values and morals on those who do it differently. I think one crucial factor that people are missing is that not many mothers "choose" to be single mothers. I sure as hell didn't. I was married. Yeah, no joke. Black people get married people. And then you know what happened? I got pregnant. my husband. The overall stress of parenting, full time jobs and life in general caused us to grow apart.

 I was not afraid to admit to myself that I was no longer happy and I came to the conclusion after much soul searching that it wasn't fair to my child or myself to stay in a bad marriage for the wrong reasons. And no surprise, it was terrifying. I worried about how I was going to keep a roof over my head, how I was going to pay my bills, and how my son was going to respond to the dramatic change in lifestyle. I was in a consistent state of anxiety, but I pushed myself through my fear because I knew that I deserved to be happy.

I had supportive family and friends that helped and more importantly, somehow it all worked out. My ex and I were able to set aside our differences, work out an arrangement that was ideal for both of us and successfully co-parent. Sometimes it works out! My child isn't in distress, and we are providing two healthy environments for our son to thrive in. I think I deserve some brownie points for that. Now granted, it doesn't always turn out that way. I get that. However, we need to show more respect to the mothers who do step up and take on this endeavor without the ideal support.

Being a single parent is not easy, and I guarantee most of these single moms felt just as scared and unsure of themselves as I did whether they ever had a partner or not. Instead of telling single mothers what we "need" to be doing, who needs to be in the picture, and that we shouldn't be raising a child/children on our own, think before you speak and take the time to recognize that we are doing it, that we do the best we can despite circumstances that may or may not be ideal according to societal expectations.