Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Hate Noise

I think my biggest pet peeve about parenting in general is the noise. Sam and Kiki are constantly making noise, and it wears on my sanity! Because I'm a divorced mommy, I can't just leave the kids in the care of their father so I can get some quiet time either.

I suspect Sam has Asperger's Syndrome, and he's always obsessing about television shows ~ "saving" them in his head to act out later. We call this "playing inside his head".

Kiki is just a motormouth. She's always talking. I ask her to be quiet for a second so I can concentrate, and she'll say, "Okay mommy, but why is the sky blue?" I shush her again, and she says, "Okay mommy, but Sam is playing with my toy!" It's not that she needs my attention, because she gets a lot of positive attention from me. It's just that she does not know how to stop talking.

The fighting gets to me as well. Sam and Kiki are always always fighting! If they aren't fighting, they are whining or crying or tattling. Right now I have some peace and quiet because they were fighting, so I separated them and sent them both to their rooms to settle down. Five minutes of peace and counting...

In order to keep my sanity with all the noise, I've had to look at things with a bit of humor. This idea came to me once when a grocery store clerk suggested something similar.

Duct Tape as a Parenting Tool: Four Parental Uses for Duct Tape
Duct tape fixes everything, right? So can duct tape fix an unruly child? The answer is yes!
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Monday, December 29, 2008

The Difference Between Divorced and Single Parenting

What's the difference between being a divorced parent and a single parent, you may ask?

A single parent, in my mind, is one who has always been single. Either the other parent is unknown or one who split before or soon after the child was born, leaving the child in the sole care of the other parent.

A divorced parent is one who starts out in a relationship, then adds children to the mix. In my opinion, a divorced parent doesn't have to have married the other parent, but they were in a committed relationship where both parents took care of the child.

I've never been a single mommy, so I can't say which is easier. However, being a divorced mommy has its own unique problems. Going from having consistent help to little or no help is startling, and many mistakes can be made along the way.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Divorced Mommy's New Year's Traditions

Being a divorced mommy means continuing to incorporate traditions from both sides of the family. My ex and I had very distinct New Year's traditions that I plan on carrying on with my children.

My ex's New Year's tradition was to stay up until midnight, no matter how young you are, and to count down the final 10 seconds of the year. I think that's a fairly common New Year's tradition, but when I was a child, we weren't allowed to stay up that late. Frankly, I don't think Sam and Kiki will make it until midnight on New Year's Eve or not. But if they do, we'll count down the final 10 seconds, drink some sparkling grape juice, sing Auld Lang Syne, and then go to bed.

My family's New Year's tradition is for the first morning of the year. The New Year's tradition of eating strawberry shortcake for breakfast started with my great-grandmother. Every New Year's morning, before the Parade of Roses starts, I'm in the kitchen making fresh baked shortcake and whipping fresh cream. The idea is to start the new year out with something sweet!

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup milk
Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 in a greased 8" or 9" square pan.

Whipped Cream:
  • 1/2 pint whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Whip with electric beaters until fluffy.


When cake is cooled, cut into 9 pieces. Serve the cake in a bowl topped with frozen strawberries with the juice (thawed) and a generous dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!

This divorced mommy's story

My kids were young when I divorced their father. Sam was five and Kiki was three. But their father and I were separated two years before the divorce was ever final. Kiki was just a baby, not quite a year old, when her father moved out. This is all she's known.

Sam, on the other hand, was three, and a very smart three. After his father moved out, he was filled with questions and wishes. "Mommy, you need a husband. I wish I could be your husband. You need someone to take care of you." He would approach total strangers and ask them if they would be my boyfriend. He really missed having his father around daily. Kiki would ask her father when we were getting married again.

The kids have watched their father self destruct, rebuild himself, and date a few women. It was difficult for them to get to know each woman and her family (kids, etc.) only to have it end again. Now their father lives 1,600 miles away and they have a hard time with the fact that he's dating again and she has a child Sam's age.

Sam and Kiki really haven't had to deal with dating on my end. I've been out on a couple dates, but dating now with children is difficult. I'm looking at every man I go out with as a possible father-figure.

Sam has it in his head that every man I talk about is somehow going to become his father ~ even baseball players on television. Sam's got an irritional hatred for Travis Hafner of the Cleveland Indians because when Travis was in the World Series (last year?), I told Sam I knew Travis, that I grew up with Travis**. All of a sudden, he was angry at the television and he was locking all the doors because Travis was not coming over to our house.

Anyway... it's a year after the divorce, but I didn't really feel divorced until their father moved away in April this year. It's been a challenge. I'm limited in my work hours because of daycare.
I'm limited in my social life because of the cost of babysitters. I'm fielding questions and complaints all the time from Sam and Kiki ~ "I wanna go live with Dad!"

But it's been rather freeing as well. Because their father lives so far away, I'm doing this myself. I make the decisions. I call the shots. It's empowering.

** I really did grow up with Travis Hafner and was able to interview him when he was inducted into the North Dakota Baseball Hall of Fame.

Interview with a Celebrity: Cleveland Indian Travis Hafner
I first met Travis Hafner long before he was known as the Pronk, the designated hitter for the Cleveland Indians. I finally got to interview him in December 2006. Here's the story behind the interview.
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Welcome to Divorced Mommy!

Hello and welcome! On Divorced Mommy, you will find advice, rants, humor, and touching moments, all taken from living the life of a divorced mommy of two children.

I'll laugh, I'll cry, I'll get angry. Hopefully you'll join me in the ups and downs of my life as a divorced mommy, and I hope you'll learn something too.

I'd like to start with a touching moment. This story is about the first time my son decided to buy me a present for my birthday.

The Perfect Penguin
How my young son taught me a very important life lesson
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