Monday, July 27, 2015

This Single Momma Stuff is Hard

Being a Mom feels like being on autopilot most of the time.  I feel like all I ever do is feed my kid a meal.  (He's not a snacker, so I'm really only feeding him three times a day, but I swear every time I look at the clock, it's time for a meal!).  I just go with the motions day in and day out.  I am reminded how difficult being a SMC is when I go on vacation...
 
I had to work two weekends ago, so my mom and I decided to meet half way (2 1/2 hour drive) and she would take Sidekick and Dog.  I drove the 2 1/2  hours home and came home to an empty house for the first time in years!  Even when Sidekick is at school, Dog is still here.  I found myself watching the clock for when I had to pick Sidekick up from school, take Dog for a walk, etc.  I didn't have to do any of that!  It was pretty crazy.  I even found myself stepping over Dog in the middle of the night when I went to the bathroom even though she wasn't laying on the floor next to my bed. 
 
I had four days without Sidekick and enjoyed my freedom even though I was working.  I loved not being responsible for anything!  I went out for drinks/dinner with colleagues one night and had so much fun.  Saying I didn't miss Sidekick sounds harsh, but I didn't.  I knew he was having so much fun at Grandma's and was in good hands. I just needed a break.  Badly. 
 
Four days later, I drove up to join my sister and her family at my mom's for the week.  We had so much fun playing on the beach, renting a boat, walking along the lake, fishing, etc.  I let Sidekick's schedule slide a lot (which I later paid for), and allowed him to hang with his big cousins doing whatever they were doing.  They all had so much fun together, and the house was filled with the squeals of three boys enjoying their vacation together. 
 
As much as I liked being there, I like being in my own home, and Sidekick was asking to go home two days before we left (at that point he had been there seven days).  He missed his house and his bed.  He was tired and a complete mess.  He thrives on routine/schedule, and he didn't have any of it there.  The boy needed to go home.
 
I drove the five or so hours home, unpacked the car, and was immediately reminded just how hard it is to be a single mom.  My many helpers were gone, so everything was on me yet again. It's exhausting.  Sidekick was a bit out of sorts (even though he was happy to be home) because he was alone again.  He didn't have his cousins with whom to play.  He didn't have fun things to do.  He was needy, crabby, and exhausted.  So was I. 
 
It is now day two of being home, and now I'm back at work.  It's back to our little life of a family of two plus a dog.  It's back to a quiet household.  Back to the stress of being a single Mom.  Back to household chores, shopping, etc.  Back to not the most exciting life.  Back to routine.  Back to reality.  I used to love my reality, but lately I find my reality a little empty, if that makes sense.  I find my reality monotonous.  I find my reality a little dull.  Don't get me wrong, I love Sidekick and my life, but there is something missing. 
 
The difficulty of being a SMC with no family in the same state is slowly creeping back into my life.  Being on vacation is great, but it really sucks when I have to get back to my life the way it was. It's hard on both of us.  Sidekick is trying to get in the groove just as much as I am. We'll get back to where we were, but boy, coming back to reality is difficult, and I am reminded every minute of the day how exhausting being a SMC is.  Just having an extra set of hands and an adult with whom to talk is so incredibly awesome. I miss that. 

Time to snap out of this funk and get on with it!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sidekick is Three!

How did this happen?  How is my little guy three years old?  How did time go by so quickly? 

 
 


He was so into his birthday this year that it makes it so much more fun.  I put a bunch of purple (his favorite color) balloons in his bed before he woke up and he was so excited.  (When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he told me a balloon.  He's so easy to please!)  As soon as I walked into his room he yelled, "I'm Free!!!!!!"  He chose pirate cupcakes with purple frosting for school, and we brought in pirate plates and eye patches for the kids.  He was so excited and happy.  (By the way, along with turning three, he is now matching his shoes once again.)

I picked him up from school early, and we went to our favorite park to release a balloon in honor of his Donor.  It's a tradition I started on his first birthday and will continue to do it every year. 

video


I also write a letter to him every year and put it in a treasure box that I made him.  In the letter is money for however old he is, so this year there is $3.  It'll be fun for him to have all that cash whenever I decide to give him the box.  I'm not into the big birthday party thing and haven't done one yet, but this year I decided to have a party for him with a few of his friends at Build-a-Bear.  I like that it's a memorable birthday party for everyone for as long as they all have their bears.  Sidekick hasn't been and I think only one other kid has been, so it's a new thing for most of them. 

When I put him to bed last night loaded up on sugar from cupcakes at school and home, he said to me, "Momma, tank you so much for my birday."  Melt my heart. 



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sidekick's Quirks

So some strange things have been happening in our world, and I'm kind of entertained by all of them. 

Sidekick has been talking about his "Daddy" (or lack thereof) since he was about 2 1/2.  I never imagined I'd be having conversations with him this early on.  He thinks his Daddy is dead and in the sky.  He thinks his Daddy is his Grandpa, who passed away almost a year ago.  I try to explain to him in as easy of a way as I can for a boy turning three next week that his Daddy isn't dead.  We have books about donor conception, and I tell him our story.  He still sometimes wants a Daddy. So, what does he do?  He calls me Daddy.  Yep!  At times, "Daddy" comes out in every sentence he says:

"Daddy, do you like that?"
"Daddy, can I have some milk, please?
"Pway with me, Daddy."


Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!

He wants to be a Mommy when he grows up.  As much as I tell him that girls are Mommies and boys are Daddies, and he understands that, he still wants to be a Mommy.  (I so feel like I'm messing up my kid!)  Why wouldn't he want to be a Mommy?  He doesn't really understand a Daddy.  I've explained that Daddies are boy versions of Mommies.  He'll ponder it and just when I think he "gets" it, he tells me he wants to be a Mommy.  Ugh!

His newest thing is not matching his shoes.  It's a battle I chose not to fight one morning while trying to get him ready for school, and ever since, his shoes are mismatched everyday.  It's a trend he's setting I'm sure.  Ha!  Fortunately I have a lot of shoes for him because I'm obsessed with buying him shoes. (I think he has more than I do!) There is a variety of different thicknesses of soles, so I'm able to pair them up so he'll be even when he walks and not fall on his forehead like he used to do, leaving a goose egg in the middle of his forehead.  I'm not sure how much longer this will go on, but it's now become a natural thing for us.  I give him the choice of matching or not, and he always chooses to not match. 

Tiny (imaginary Monster-friend) is still around.  He doesn't go with us places anymore which is nice because he just hangs out on Sidekick's pillow in his bed all day long. I thought Tiny was gone one night, but I realized he wasn't when I laid in bed to read him books, and I was informed that I laid on Tiny.  Oops!  Just like Sidekick, Tiny needs a drink of water every night before I close his bedroom door.  It's a good thing that Sidekick makes Tiny sit up in bed so they water doesn't spill. 

I asked Sidekick one night if Tiny went home, and Sidekick annoyingly said, "Noooo, Momma.  You ask me dat every night before I go ni-night!"  I often offer to take Tiny home because his Momma misses him, but Sidekick reassures me that she doesn't.  I think Tiny will be around for a while.

And finally, Sidekick now prefers to be a puppy dog instead of a boy.  He pants like a puppy dog, licks (kisses) like a puppy dog, but unlike a puppy dog, he talks!  He tells me "Puppy Dog wants..." "Puppy Dog does..."  etc. 

Never a dull moment at our house!

So... my child seems pretty weird right now!  His imagination is working overtime, and I find it fun!  I encourage it to an extent without it completely disrupting our lives.  It hasn't interfered yet, so it must be okay.  In the meantime, we're just living our lives and having fun!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It's Father's Day... It's Not My Day

Today is Father's Day. I'm not a father.  I'll never be a father. I don't give a shit that it's Father's Day. I chose to have a child on my own knowing that there would be no father. So, why should I waste my energy thinking that this day should also be about me?  I won't.  I refuse. To me and Sidekick, it's Sunday, the day before we go back to school and work after having an awesome staycation for an entire week. 

I also don't focus on Mother's Day, and I'm obviously a mother. Like Father's Day, it's a stupid Hallmark Holiday, and I honestly don't believe that I should get any type of gratitude or praise on a random Sunday in May.  I don't.  I chose to be a mother, and I don't need a day focused on me to feel appreciated or loved.  I feel loved every day because Sidekick tells me he loves me more times than I can count on two hands every single day.  I don't need a day all about me.

SMC are not fathers. While we may play the role of both parents, we are not fathers.  My son will never call me Dad (well, actually, he has been calling me "Daddy" a lot lately, but that's another blog entry).  So, why should this day be focused on me?  It shouldn't.

Many other SMCs feel differently.  Many were upset about the craft that their child made for them at school/daycare.  Why waste energy on being upset because the school didn't acknowledge in some type of way that her child didn't have a dad?  We wanted something so badly and we achieved that amazing goal on our own.  I don't need accolades on Father's Day. 

My mom even texted me wishing me Happy Father's Day.  I told her the day is not mine, and she disagreed.  I know many would disagree with me, and that's okay.  Yes, I'm pulling double duty, but it's a day to celebrate Dads... not the fact that my son doesn't have a Dad. I feel pretty strongly about that.  Why draw attention to a day that doesn't really apply to my son's life?

So today was Sunday... a day when we ran errands, played with dump trucks and mulch, and Sidekick insisted on sweeping the front porch to kill "all da dead bugs" despite how hot and sweaty he was.  It was a good great Sunday with my boy who shows me so much love and kindness every single day. He takes such good care of me, and I am trying to raise him to be a great husband and father.  Hopefully one day, Cooper will be celebrating this day with his kids.




Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Imaginary Friend... errr... Monster and a Big Boy Bed

I have officially moved Sidekick to his big boy bed, and I absolutely love his room!  My mom and I spent an entire day putting it together.  Between converting his crib to a full sized bed, the decal above his bed, hanging pictures, etc., we were pretty worn out by the time it was done.  The stress of that decal about did us in! (The top reads:  Try New Things.  Be Outrageous. Leave your Mark.)  His bedroom looks like a bedroom for an older boy, not an almost three year old, but it just seems to fit him and he'll grow into it. Besides, I've never been into the "babyish" things for decorating or even dressing him, so it fits me too!  Haha. 

 

 
 Along with his new bedroom came Tiny.  Tiny showed up under his bed after he came home from school the day after he slept in his new bed.  Who is Tiny?  His imaginary friend, of course.  Tiny is about an inch tall.  He is a purple monster that thankfully is potty trained, doesn't hit, and doesn't push.  (So I've been told.)  The next morning, Tiny multiplied, so now we have two Tinys.  Apparently one Tiny is visiting, so I'm curious when he will go back home. Tinys have gone everywhere with him... church, swimming lessons, park, eating meals, etc.  Tinys sleep with Sidekick and their little bodies fit on his pillow right next to his head.  Sidekick even wiped one of the Tinys with real toilet paper after he went potty, and Sidekick makes sure they get a drink of water before bedtime like he does.  It's pretty entertaining, and I find it really interesting that he/they showed up the next morning after Sidekick got his bed.  Coincidence?  I think not. 
 
Sidekick has done great in his big boy bed.  I thought he'd have a difficult transition, and he hasn't. It was definitely harder on me than it was on him.  I just don't like seeing my baby grow up.  He'll be three years old in less than a month, and I just can't believe how fast it's gone.
 
Update: I started this blog the other day, and never published it, so I have two things to add:
  • One Tiny went back to his house.  Hooray!  We only have one now! 
  • For those of you following my crazy neighbor drama... her house is under contract!!!!  Double Hooray for that!!!
 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fear of Flying Now

I've never been scared of flying.  My mom was a flight attendant, so we flew a lot since we could fly for free.  However, since having Sidekick (and still no will-- eek!), I have been a little afraid to fly. Not like needing anti-anxiety medicine or gripping-my-seat-until-my-knuckles-turn-white afraid, but just worried that something might happen.  The thought of my son being parentless makes me so sad.  I never speak of my fear the days leading up to flying or during my trip for fear I'll jinx it.

I was at a company meeting last week.  It was bad enough that I couldn't get on a flight earlier than 8:50 PM which landed at midnight, but throw in some storms, and it makes everything that much worse.  It was one of those flights when I was praying/"talking" to whomever "out there" would listen to me to make sure the plane landed safely.  The flight attendants were instructed to stay in their seats the entire time because we were literally flying through the storms the whole way to our destination.  When that happens, I know it's not pretty.  No one talked on the plane.  Not one single person got out of his/her seat.  How many times have I seen that happen even though the seatbelt sign was on?  It was as if everyone was doing the same thing I was... praying/talking to whomever.  I tried to read my book in between the bumps and drops in altitude, and I found myself rereading the same paragraphs over and over again.

And then I thought about my little boy.  The sweet, happy little guy who told me before I got on the plane that he loved me.  As strange as this sounds, I had never talked to him on the phone before.  Why?  Because he's either at school or with me.  The last time I traveled for work, my mom and I decided I wouldn't talk to him on the phone because we weren't sure if it would upset him.  Hearing his sweet little voice just made me smile. He sounded so little even though he has an incredible vocabulary.

I knew we would eventually make it on the ground safely, but the almost two hour flight was worse than the 2 1/2 hours I pushed to get Sidekick out!  I'll take that any day over being 35,000 feet above the ground in a metal tube that till this day, I still don't understand how it can fly. 

When the plane landed, I think everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  As I exited the plane, I thanked the pilot for safely getting us through that storm.  He seemed pretty exhausted and almost pissed that he had to take us through that. I think he was even a little relieved that we are all safely on the ground.

And when I got home at 12:45 AM, I walked into Sidekick's room and looked at his little body sprawled out on his back, arms above his head, having sweet dreams, and I was once again reminded why I'm not a fan of flying anymore.  I couldn't imagine not being around to watch this amazing little boy grown into a man.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Loss of a Child (don't worry, not mine)

I think my last post (or the one prior) I mentioned my new friend of about six months a who lost her son when he was three years old.  He had gone into surgery, and the anesthesiologist made a mistake.  Their son was on life support for one week before they decided to discontinue life support.  Can you even imagine?  Seriously.  The thought just breaks my heart.  My friend has been so sad and has been communicating via text off and on.  I've just been checking in with her off and on to see if she needs anything or needs to talk.

His birthday was yesterday.  He would have been five.  Sidekick and I went to our favorite pond where we feed turtles and released a balloon for the little boy.  We talked about how his friend's big brother died and that he is in the sky/heaven (he put it together that the boy is with Grandpa Jack).  We let the balloon go, and I don't think I've ever seen a balloon fly so high.  Together Sidekick and watched it, and at one point he told me that the boy would be catching the balloon soon, and when the balloon disappeared, Sidekick was convinced he caught it.  So sweet.  My old soul just seems to understand so much.

We sent the picture below with a text.  My friend was so grateful that we acknowledged her son.  Unbeknownst to me, they had released balloons also. Their daughter who is three asked if she held onto all the balloons if they would take her to her big brother.  So sweet.  I cannot imagine what they are going through, and I can't imagine their loss will ever feel less of a loss.

 
 
It's one of those moments with the release of a balloon when you just hug your kids tighter and thank God (or whomever) for what you have.  It's a moment when you realize that the tantrums aren't so bad, that the stubbornness is a good horrible, that the power struggles are just the way that it's supposed to be. It's a moment when life is put into perspective, and all of the shit that once seems so awful just doesn't anymore.  It just doesn't.  They lost their beautiful little boy.
 
So... along with the release of the balloon for the little boy, Sidekick said we needed two balloons... one for the boy and one for his daddy.  Why?  Because he keeps telling me his daddy is dead!  Ugh!  I started the tradition on his first birthday that we release a balloon on his birthday honoring/thanking Donor, but now I wonder if that'll just confuse Sidekick because despite what I tell him, he believes his daddy is dead.  So who knows if I'll do that on his 3rd birthday next month. He couldn't possibly remember that we did it last year when he was two, could he? 
 
Do me a favor and gives you kids an extra hug and kiss and count your blessing before you go to sleep.


Monday, May 25, 2015

"You have tears, Momma?"

That's what my sweet boy asked me when he looked at me at the dinner table and tears were streaming down my face...

Was it the article about how horrible it is to send your newborn to the nursery at night that triggered it?  Yes, I did that.  I had a 23 1/2 hour labor with 2 1/2 hours of pushing, and I was exhausted.  Since I am a SMC, I felt like I needed some rest since I had been awake for over 36 hours and knew when I got home I was flying completely solo.  Also, I could barely walk from all the stitches I had "down there", so I would have needed help from the nurse to get up to even get him. (Holy crap!  I had no idea how much it would hurt "down there".  Seriously.)  So what if I sent him to the nursery for two hours at a time?  He was still brought to me like clockwork to nurse.  But now I feel like a bad mom for doing that. 

Was it that fact that my friend's son's birthday is coming up, and he would have been five years old?  Her son died during surgery almost two years ago when an anesthesiologist made a big mistake.  That anniversary is also coming up in a couple of months. I cannot even imagine.  The thought just makes me so sad. My friend is really struggling with this, is very sad, and is ignoring all of my texts. I met her after her son died, and while she's told me that it's hard to talk about it because it makes people uncomfortable because it's just so sad, I've told her maybe it's easier to talk to someone (me) that didn't know her son and is more detached from the whole situation than others might be. I haven't heard back from her in four days. I feel so damn helpless.

Or is that I just love my little guy so much and can't believe I'm only going to experience all of the "firsts" just one time.  The days are flying by, and I just want to make time stop.  Seriously, slow the F down so I can have my little boy a little longer.

During my episode of tears, Sidekick looked at me, grabbed my hand and said, "Don't cry, Momma. I will take care of you."  And I cried even more.

Sidekick is totally back on track after the last time I posted about a horrible week we had.  He's back to his awesome self!  He's happy, compliant, and a joy to be around.  Thank God that these horrible spurts are far and few between, and in the grand scheme of things they are short lived. 

We've been talking about moving him to a big boy bed.  He's still in a crib, and I just don't want to move him.  He's a great sleeper, and I fear that'll change, and well, he's my baby, so it's hard.  It's the last baby thing to go, and I struggle with it.  So, we been shopping around for a full size mattress, and I think I'm going to order one tomorrow.  I'm going to take a Stay-cation in a few weeks, so I thought that would be a good time to do the transition.  Last night he asked if he could go to sleep in my bed, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  He quietly laid there while I was downstairs cleaning up, and each time I checked on him, he just smiled at me.  He did eventually fall asleep, and I moved him to his crib before I went to bed.  Such a big boy. 

He's so independent, and he just seems to need me less and less.  Unfortunately,  his independence leads to stubbornness because he wants/needs to do everything himself.  That causes some friction between us.  He clears the table and unloads the dishwasher.  He puts his clothes in the laundry basket, helps me load the washing machine and dryer, and puts his underwear and socks away when I fold them.  He's a big boy... almost three.  THREE!  Seriously, where has the time gone???

Friday, May 15, 2015

Playing the Single Mom Card

I don't think I have ever really played the Single Mom card.  I don't think I've ever played the "woe is me" game.  When times get tough with Sidekick, I plow through because that's the only choice I have. But right now, I wish I had another option. 

After this week, I am playing the Single Mom card.  I. Need. An. F'n break from this kid!  He is pushing every f'n button available. He found them all. And he found some that I never knew I had. I have breezed through the first two years and ten months of his life, but that has come to a screeching halt.  For whatever reason, as he is approaching three, I can't seem to get a grip. When he is being a shit, I can't keep my shit together.  I've been warned that three sucks, and those people are right.

I find myself yelling at him and getting more frustrated than ever.  I wonder if he thinks I suck at being a Mom. I think he hates me, but thankfully he always tells me he loves me at the most needed times. I have fought him every morning this week from the minute I get him out of jail (his crib).  He fights me on going potty and then getting dressed.  He then gets pissed that I have made his breakfast (something I've always done before he wakes up), and that turns into a melt down. A melt down turns into a time out.  A timeout turns into both of us yelling. Okay, me more than him, but he has definitely learned how to yell (and, by the way, try to hit me). 

Maybe I should feel relieved that he's been a real PITA at school this week as well, not just with me.  The director has tried to make me feel better by explaining that he's three and he's smart, so he is testing everyone while trying to be independent.  I still don't feel better.  I'm still not his #1 fan this week.


Apparently his ears are broken because he doesn't seem to be hearing me lately.  When he knows I'm getting angry because he's not doing what I asked him to do, he runs to me with open arms saying, "I'm tho thorry, Momma."  If only that fixed everything. 

So, I need a break.  I don't have family in the same state, and for one of the few times Sidekick has been alive, I wish I did.  I want to turn him over to someone and walk away, just for a couple of hours... or a day. I'm not picky.  I don't want to feed my kid meals, wipe his butt, and deal with his temper tantrums at the moment.  I dreaded picking him up from school today because I am now stuck with him until Monday morning on a weekend predicted to have constant rain. 

You know what?  Being a single mom can really suck!  Being a single mom is hard work!  Being a single mom is exhausting!  I feel it right now, and I don't feel it often, but when I do, it's really bad. Regardless of how hands-on a husband may or may not be, I could at least walk away when my kid was sleeping and slowly roam the aisles of Target in peace and quiet because someone was home with him. As a single mom, I don't have that luxury. 

Here's hoping my child is still alive on Monday.  Here's hoping I haven't lost my mind by Monday.

Thanks for listening to me bitch (and ignoring all of my swear words.)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

First Trip to the ER and Mother's Day

Which to start with first???  Well, I'll take it in order, which means I'll write about Sidekick's first trip to the ER. Before I begin, he's fine. He's been mentioning that he tummy hurts for about two weeks.  He's been acting totally fine and eating great so I blew it off.  At his Mother's Day party at school, he kept mentioning it, and would double over for a bit.  I asked him if he had to go potty, and he pooped a little.  I had thought that he was constipated, so we continued our evening with friends at the children's museum.  Off and on, he would double over, cry, and tell me he tummy hurt.  I kept taking him to the bathroom, but he just wouldn't poop. As quickly as he would double over in pain, he would rally again.  The entire time, he was pale and clammy, and he finally asked to go home (not normal).  My friend told me he was definitely not his normal self and that he just looked miserable.
 
We got home and he was crying in pain, I decided to call the after hours line at his doctor's office.  I was told to go to the ER immediately because his symptoms were pretty indicative of a pretty serious problem.  We hopped in the car at about 7:30 and he fell asleep... I think because he was so exhausted from being in pain.  When we got there, he seemed better (of course!).  He was enthralled with the whole ER experience.  The nurse, xray tech, and doctor were great, and he loved them all.  In the end, he was just constipated like I had assumed (even though he was pooping) and had some gas bubbles floating around his intestines.  My kid shows no pain... he's never had a problem with teething (I never actually knew he was getting teeth until they were in), he's had several double ear infections while acting totally fine, and has fallen on his forehead more times than I can count on two hand resulting in massive goose eggs... none of which has really fazed him.  So, when this happened, I knew he was hurting.  After he checked out okay with nothing major, he got his first popsicle and kept telling me that the hospital is not a scary place.  I was so proud of his courage and ability to just go with the flow.  He's now drinking Miralax, and it's helping a little bit.  The last time he's told me his stomach hurt was this morning, so that's progress!
 
Mother's Day... since I am a SMC, I have to make our own plans.  I'm sick of women bitching on FB about how much their husbands suck on Mother's Day.  I just want to tell them to quit their whining and be grateful they have a husband who contributes one way or the other to their family.  I decided that we were going to have a special day and break all rules...
 
I had to wake Sidekick up at 8:15, which was great.  I took him to his first movie, and he was awe at the size of the screen.  We then went to get flowers, herbs, and tomatoes to plant.  I decided on the way home that we were going to blow off nap (a very, very rare occurrence) and have fun all day.  We planted everything, had a water fight, took a bath, played superhero (new idea of his as of today), went to get ice-cream 30 minutes BEFORE dinner, had dinner, watched a 30 minute show, and he was in bed at 7:00.  It was a wonderful day. 
 
When we were having breakfast this morning he said, "It's all about the bass AND Momma and... Sidekick".  I just loved him so much at that moment because the day was really about us (and apparently the Bass-- haha!), not just me because without him, this day wouldn't be a day for me to celebrate.
When I laid him in his crib tonight, he said to me, "Momma, you did a great job reading my books.  I adore you, and I will always keep you safe."  Could that kid have said anything better to me on Mother's Day?  Seriously, this boy is amazing.  I hope you all enjoyed your Mother's Day as much as I did. I never thought it would be as awesome and special as it was.  I don't care how dirty my house is, how I have no groceries, or how I didn't get all of the laundry done. It may have been one of the best days we've had in a long time.