Tag Archives: divorce

Seeking Balance As A Single Mom

I didn’t know that life balance while being a mom would be so complicated. I didn’t know that life balance while being a single mom would be SO COMPLICATED. There’s the normal mom guilt and then there’s the single mom guilt. Which goes above and beyond.E33A826D-4DBD-434B-ADC3-57F09A8E9A05.jpegTaking the streetcar to Aunt Tiff’s birthday. This is me operating at 100.IMG_3938Working and making lemonade. 

Nobody sets out to be a single mom but stuff happens…And I wouldn’t pick this situation for my kids EVER but it happened. So I will make the most of it. Being a single mom to three little kids is like a forced break of self care. It’s a few days a month where I’m forced to look after myself for a bit. It’s really strange to go from 100-zero overnight. And it doesn’t get easier just more familiar. Oh yeah, these are the days where I might sleep in, workout and take time to make myself food that I want. Oh hey self care days. “I see you and I’m trying to get along with you. Let’s make the most of it, shall we?”IMG_4038Mom Day-Just woke up, rushing to hot yoga. Wearing Kai’s backpack on the front so I don’t forget to drop it by his school after yoga. All of this happens before I fly to Maui later that day. This is a day where I’m standing for 20 hours. #momlife

I will continue to teach my kids how to improvise and make lemonade because I think it’s important in life. Whether I like it or not, the show must go on.

So to all you moms out there, single or not, GOOD JOB! Keep going, and keep taking care of the mother ship.

Why I’m A Single Mom With Three Little People

The below document is the reason I’m divorced with three little kids in tow. It was given to me by my husband at the time 4 years ago. I was breastfeeding 1 year old twin girls while carrying a 3 year old little boy around. I took the document very seriously and honored the 24 hour deadline that he gave me as I chose choice number 2.

The question I ask is why the 3rd choice wasn’t listed? The 3rd choice is my current  reality called heavy litigation for 4 years. ..With a document this detailed and thorough, one would think that all “3 choices” would have been listed. 

Yes, we all have our health which is always a blessing. However, 4 years of litigation is the opposite of healthy living if you ask me.

Court hearings, motions and judgements are public record but my only response is no comment. Without sharing any details, for privacy reasons I ask for your prayers for a speedy and amicable resolution.

*I have permission from the author and thank you notes for sharing Brandy’s Choice on my blog and the internet*

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My Favorite Passengers Are Really Cool People

I meet a lot of people at work and in life for that matter. Rarely do I meet people that inspire me with my mouth open. But it’s been happening a lot lately. One of the reasons I love people and love to travel is one of the many reasons I’m a flight attendant when I don’t have my mom hat on.IMG_0742Wearing my favorite apron

My favorite passengers in 2017 happened close together, which is unusual. Both were in first class and one was from Eugene-go figure?

One woman was in her 60’s and had an attitude and energy that’s hard to explain. She was awesome! I wanted to chat with her alnight. She was cool with my airplane jokes and was a school counselor for her JOB. She was looking for a new gig and applied as a flight attendant within the past year. Like many of the people I get to work with I would love to work with her. She was with her husband and he was on the aisle but felt our love connection so kept his pie hole closed. Haha!

Another favorite passenger was a woman who introduced herself to me in main cabin last Spring. I’m hoping that she sees this blogpost and reaches out to me. She found me online years ago when I was pregnant with my momo twins and hospitalized. She followed me on my blog and recognized me on the airplane?! Whaat?! It’s a small world.

She also had twins and experienced a high risk pregnancy (not momo twins but had complications of her own) As I was cruising down the aisle pouring the diet coke, she introduced herself, briefly told me how she knew me and then said she’s taking this solo trip to get her “head straight.” She was on the divorce train and said she admired and felt strength from reading my old blog. The amazing part to me is that she had the balls to say hi and share what she did with me from the WINDOW SEAT! She had a shy demeanor with a quiet voice, she had two strangers sitting next to her and going through a major life transformation. Wow! I love “real” people who are trying their best to make real connections.

She asked if we could get a coffee sometime and I said, sure! I would love to get a coffee with any twin mom, ANYTIME.

Parenting Class for Communication

Recently, I took a parenting class in the evening in an effort to improve communication skills within our complicated family. It was strongly suggested and I’m glad I took it. It was tough to enroll because it was only offered  in the evening, deep in NE Portland and only on my parenting night. But, I did it! I hired a sitter and schlep my 3 little kids to her house in jammies at 5pm before I drove the 45 min in heavy traffic. There were about 15 people in my class and we were from all walks of life. Some were remarried and brought their new partner to the class. Most of us were single and trying to navigate a complicated family life. All of us were involved with high conflict divorce with shared little kids. It was strangely comforting to hear personal experiences that mirrored my situation. It didn’t explain or justify behavior but did feel good to know I’m not alone.IMG_7185This picture says it all-LOVE! (Even Kai smiled) haha! Summer 2017 at Jameson Square Park

These 3 cuties are why I continue to do my best and make the most of every situation.

Back to the class-it took no less than 25 email exchanges to get enrolled in the class. I’ll spare the details. But it was a feat just to register for the class for all sorts of reasons.

Beyond Conflict Parenting Class was upstairs in an old Portland house in a small room with uncomfortable church folding chairs. The instructor isn’t married and doesn’t have children. She’s been teaching this class for maybe 20 years? I can’t remember the actual number but long enough to see a lot of different situations and people.

Funny thing is that I always felt better leaving that class than I did when I arrived. That is a good sign. I was surprised to feel this way because my expectations were low. Kinda like online dating. You do it, you put your best effort out there but you’re okay if nothing pans out. Yes, it spoke to the general public and wasn’t specific in handling high conflict divorce. However, the messages were good reminders to “do the right thing” no matter what. Some parents shared horror stories (not me of course for privacy reasons) and Judith never deviated from advising the “higher road” no matter what! I mean the stories were so bad that I can’t even repeat them here. But, Judith reiterated again and again focus on the kids and respond by respecting the kids.

And, the best thing I learned in this class is that I’m only 1 parent. In essence, I’m potentially 50% of the solution and 50% of the problem. For example, if I do my very best and communicate clearly with kindness, it can only be 50% effective for communication.  Depending on how the other parent chooses to respond is out of my hands.  Wow, this was eye opening for me. I already know this as I love self help books and seminars but it’s a different beast when someone f*cks with your little kids. Anyway, simple advice to stay the course but a good reminder for me. Healthy, positive co-parenting takes 2 willing people. It is what it is.

Facts I learned from this class is that less than 10% of families get divorced through family court. That means most families 90% or more are able to mediate and/or reach an agreement outside the courtroom. Hey, even Brad and Jolina chose to settle out of court. There were lots of books and handouts shared to help navigate this tricky family situation.

And the most important take away from Judith Sweeney’s class is-When in doubt, focus on the kids! When uncertain on how to handle an unusual situation, focus on the kids!

 

 

 

 

BurnCycle, I Love You

So, I came back to spin classes after a tumultuous 10 months off. The turmoil is still going but I’m tired of waiting for a “good time” to get back on the bike. So, I hopped on that spin bike 3 weeks ago and had an awesome workout with an amazing instructor.

Then I did it again. My second spin class in 10 months was 2 weeks ago. She was also an amazing instructor. Not sure if I get more physically or mentally from these classes. The jury is still out. As the NOISE rises, so does my self care. I will always take care of myself and my people-it’s in my blood.

If you are like me and in the thick of it and don’t have time, energy or desire to workout-get yourself to a group fitness class. It will change everything. Because, life is happening and waves are coming whether we like it or not. Better to have the sparkle in our heart from a great workout when the waves come crashing in.

May fitness and health be a priority this year and always, my friends.

Tinder Tales From A Single Mom-Part 2

So, my second experience with tinder was with someone that I had known for a long time. Back in the day when I was known as crazyspingirl and was single, he would come to my spin classes. He was married so it was always a very platonic, easy going friendship without any funny business. I was 30 years old, taught a ton of spin classes all over Portland and squeezed in match.com dates like a super hero. I figured online dating was a numbers game, only 30 yrs old and had a lot of stamina for the dating game. I used to say that I didn’t expect to meet my boyfriend on match.com but maybe make a friend. Then end up having a connection with one of his friends at a barbecue. Seemed to make perfect sense back then but sounds kinda naive now that I write it down?! #realtalkIMG_0955Me dating in my 30’s-focused and dedicated to the process of landing on that teeny, tiny little floatie.IMG_0954.JPGGood visual of me online dating in my 30’s. SO MANY DATES so I’d squeeze em in.

My divorce became final after a very long process. I won’t get into the details because it’s private. But, I didn’t have my kiddos for Christmas that first year in 2014 and was scared to be without them. I was elated when I reconnected with my “old spin friend.” He was also divorced and didn’t have his kids for Christmas that year either. At the time, I didn’t realize this but now I understand this is HUGE. Opposite parenting schedules can kill the dating deal right out of the gate. So similar parenting schedules can be a huge bonus.IMG_0907My current attitude about dating. My face says it all, if you get my drift. Haha! 

Anyway, we decided to see a movie and catch up. We went to the movie alright, but I don’t remember seeing it. Yep, it was one of those movie situations. Where you’re in the movie theatre and it seems like you’re alone and you give zero f*cks like you were 16 years old.

Which reminds me of how judgemental I was in my 20’s and 30’s. I remember seeing “moms” getting after it on layovers and thinking how sad they were. Wow, they’re MOMS and they’re getting wild and crazy! What’s wrong with them?! I also thought (and still do) those mini van driving moms are scary drivers. And then I had kids…Even though I don’t get wild on my layovers OR drive a mini van I can relate to those moms on so many levels. Being a mom is like nothing else. You’re scrutinized by your little kids 24/7 and judged in public all the time especially by people who don’t have kids. Now, I understand  there’s a lot going on inside a mom’s car. Little kids are needy people-yo! Sometimes, they’re happy and sometimes they’re wildly upset. Those mini van driving mom are trying to drive while simultaneously handing out snacks and keeping the peace. Being a mom is so amazing but not without it’s daily challenges. So, those moms that “let go” a little on their layovers- I get you girl! And I don’t judge you one bit! 🙂

 

Back to that tinder number 2 story. The make out movie date was my wild mom moment. And boy did I pay for it for days later… First, I have sensitive skin and hadn’t kissed anyone in awhile. So, my face was pretty red and raw after the movie. I figured it was just a random thing that would fade. Oh no, my face lost about 7 layers of skin the next day. It was so sore and looked like I had been in a skateboarding accident and landed on my face. It looked horrible and felt even worse. It was so far gone that make up didn’t even help.

We dated for about 2 months and had fun but his 5’oclock shadow was even rough and never went away. My face sort of got used to it but not really. And I was always afraid of kissing too long for fear that another “skateboarding accident face” would develop.

It reminds me of the prize down below, you never know what you’re going to get. I mean it is a TOTAL MYSTERY until it’s not. Haha! It doesn’t matter how tall you are or how big your hands and feet are, none of it matters. #justsayin

My point it, sometimes the facial hair is rough or strangely soft but you never know until you test drive it during a movie.

Happy dating my friends, may the people be honest, and the laughs be frequent.

 

Hot Lips Pizza Is Our Favorite

Dying to share my Christmas Tree story and give credit to the 5 grown men who grunted it out with me. But, life happened today-hard and fast. Kinda like a Monday and always  with my 3 little ducks in tow. Christmas tree story soon. I suppose it isn’t that unusual because I’ve been hustling a real Christmas tree by myself for as long as I can remember.

The difference is that when the kids were little, I could strap them into the carseats and onto me with the ergo. This year, they were running around like wild animals at my annual holiday work party. Still can’t believe how good our tree worked out with a few extra helpers. It’s an 8 foot tree that “we” strapped to the top of my tiny car during a huge rain storm.IMG_0722_2.jpgJulian sporting Kai’s blue gloves and Kai loving his new white gloves.

After 10 days and nights in a row with my little people, we’re still gettin the fun daily! We hit the streets for a romp in the park and to hear the singing tree in Jameson Square again. So awesome! Then we were craving hot lips pizza and Kai had some gloves he wanted to give the pizza guy. His name is Julian and he’s a super cool guy and listened to Kai’s stories with great enthusiasm. They traded stories (mostly Kai talked and Julian listened) and gloves. Kai gave him a pair of his coveted blue gloves while Julian slipped Kai a pair of Hot Lips white gloves. I love this town so much!

IMG_0717Julian, do you want to be my Man-Nanny? Haha!IMG_0733.jpgGood times. Classic Starbucks bathroom poop party. 

Of course, it would be weird for my little ducks to make the 10 minute walk home without an urgent poop alert. They love to poop in public. Pepper claimed she had to poop so bad about 2 minutes after leaving hot lips pizza where there are lots of bathrooms. Oh well, we shamelssly charged into Starbucks, asked for the bathroom code and handled it. At least we didn’t have the double stroller in there. All that space for Kai to sit on the bathroom floor and enjoy his new gloves. 🙂