Thursday, December 15, 2016

Holidays separated from your kids...

It's another one of those times during the year that makes it harder for those who are either separated or already divorced when having children.  A time of the year where the children are in the middle, wishing they can probably be with both of there parents. A time that is suppose to be just "Happy". 

I sit here thinking to myself, "What if I would have just stayed married, would my girls have been happier?"...."How tough is it for them right now that maybe they would not want to let me know so my feelings would not get hurt?"..."Do they really want to go?"...."If I don't give in, then he will have a sad christmas too"...  These are the many internal questions that many of us probably have as we are going thru this time of the year having children.

It truly can be super stressful, emotional & confusing.  It is a no win situation for either party.  I know that by the divorce papers and depending on your agreement, are how the holidays will be planned and organized.  But that truly does not make it better.  The point is that for some it is a very big time of the year and for others it is not.  For those who just have always loved Christmas and it is there favorite holiday, like ME, it is a big deal.  I must say though that I have been lucky.  My ex has never really asked for Christmas because he always just takes the overtime and works it.  When we were both living closer in Central Florida and the girls were little, I even would have him come really early in the morning, before the girls woke up, or even sleep the night before.  YES!  I said that.  I am one of those who signed the divorce papers and still had her ex husband living with her for several months for so many confused reasons.  And that is another story...  Time has passed, I had moved to South Florida and 2 years ago moved out of Florida.  I love it because my girls and I have finally felt and seen what it finally feels like living in a state where you have 4 seasons.  We have NO REGRETS!  But this year, I was so worried, sad and stressed because he had mentioned about having them for Christmas but I am lucky enough and once again, I get to spend it with my girls and it seems that my ex will probably be working.  But after Christmas, I will drive 3 hours one way to meet my ex half way so the girls can spend some time with him, his wife and there half sister during the winter break.  So it all works out for everyone, I guess.  The good thing is that he has his little baby girl, who is just too cute and funny, to entertain him but I know that he would want to spend it with his girls too. 

The ideal situation would be for him to drive up, have a different scenery and it would be what the girls would love as they have said several times but are worried about telling him, and stay with us with his wife and baby girl in our spare room and all spend Christmas morning together.  BUT I KNOW HE WILL NOT DO THAT ONE!  Lol...  I know that sounds a bit odd too but the blessing we have is that his wife and I knew each other before they even got together, (after I was divorced), and we truly get along and have no gripes about each other.  I have to tell you that if anyone of you can do this, I highly suggest it because it is much better for the children and for everyone involved.  All it requires is to be an adult, accept what it is, be civil, be true to yourself and want for your ex to truly be happy in life.  I care about my ex enough, as the father to my girls, that I honestly just want him to be happy in life and if she does so, then that is good.  Plus she truly is good to my girls too and that is even more important to me or I believe should be to any mother who truly loves her children.

This is just one of those times of the year, that if you are divorced, can just be sad for either the mom or dad and for the children.  The children are in the middle and I am sure that they would love to just be with both parents, have no arguing, feel they are safe in a positive environment and not have to be separated from either one of the parents.  But unfortunately these are one of those times that just suck to be divorced BUT THEN AGAIN I would rather be in this situation than to be married to someone that I am miserable with, arguing and most probably will end up in a nasty fight with my spouse on a day that should be celebrated and go to sleep hating the one that I am married too.  So Yeah, if anyone can relate to any one of these situations, I know it truly sucks and I am sorry.

The ones that I truly feel sorry for, besides the children, are those that live with such anger towards the ex.  The ones who manipulate the children and situations, who go against what the divorce papers say, try to be slick, are just plain evil and truly don't care.  AND I KNOW OF A CASE VERY WELL!!!  These people think they are good parents, they think they are doing right and they think they are getting back at the other BUT those are the people that are just plain EVIL.  They may seem to the world that they are great moms because they know how to act the part but that is far from the truth.  Being a good parent means making sacrifices, loving unconditionally, putting what is best and the healthiest for your children and loving them so so so much that you, as a parent, will never try to separate them from there other parent as a divorced parent.  Now, of course and unfortunately, I know there are some cases where it is best for the children to stay away from the abusive parent too so on that one I would never disagree.  I am talking about healthy and loving parents.  By a parent (mainly the mother) trying to do all she can in her power, to keep the children away from the father is just being selfish and evil.  Some women just do not get it and are not grateful that if there ex is a good father, loves his children and cares enough to want to see them, then she should never try to keep them away from him, buy there love and manipulate the children.  It is very sad and some will never get that all that they are doing is hurting there children, making the situation worse, living with internal anger which will end up hurting only themselves as women and raising there children to be materialistic, selfish and believe that other things matter more than time spent with there father.  But as I always think to myself, Karma does exist and time is all that one has.  Hopefully those children that are living in such a state in there lives will someday realize the truth, what the mother was trying to do and realize the father they have.  I say mother because in most cases, the mothers are the ones who have custody of the children plus I know of a situation like that and it is just sad.

So if you are one of those parents, divorced, separated with children and celebrate the holidays....THINK ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN FIRST... as hard as it may be, respect and follow the divorce papers, DO NOT make it worse for yourself, the children and your situation, TRY TO WORK ON A PLAN TOGETHER WITH YOUR EX THAT CAN BENEFIT EVERYONE AND MAKE THE CHILDREN HOLIDAYS' A GREAT ONE because the truth is that the holidays are more for them to enjoy because we already had our childhood and now it is there time, be civil, be considerate, make sacrifices and try to enjoy this time of the year.  Heck!!!  I am still trying to figure how I can motivate my girls to help me decorate and pass on the spirit so they hopefully, one day, can enjoy it as much as I have in my lifetime.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Holiday Shopping on a budget....

As a single mom, this time of the year can be very stressful.  Some are smart enough to start shopping, little by little, staring in July.  Others do not have the extra cash to even do it and just hope that by the end of the year, things get better financially.  Some have the credit cards maxed out, some do not even have credit cards.  So how does a mom do it?  How do you try to give your children a nice holiday?  I have been working on those same questions for years now and still do not have the perfect answer.  I just do it whatever way that I can do it, during this time of the year and hope for the best.

I will not lie.  There have had a couple of years where I have been blessed that I have had BFF's that have literally lent me $250 on December 23rd to go out & rush on shopping & wrapping so I would have been able to have given my girls a Christmas.  Other Christmas',  I have been blessed that I have borrowed from my siblings.  Others I have not paid some bills and just fallen behind or have even delayed paying the electric bill, gas bill and/or the phone bill, just to be able to purchase a few things for my girls.  I know that is not the responsible thing & right thing to do and would not suggest that to my own daughters but to me, it would be worse, having my girls wake up on Christmas morning with nothing under the tree.  Then again, no matter what the size has been, I have been blessed that I have been able to have some sort of tree for the holidays for the girls.  I think to myself how sad it is for others who do not even have a home to be in or food to eat and I just am even more grateful.  This is part of the reason why I keep hoping that one day I will be able to give to those who truly need it.  

So what does a mom do during this time of the year when having a very tight budget?

Well, if by some chance you have figured or saved by now some money to be able to do some shopping, and are on a tight budget here are some suggestions that maybe can help you out;

  Think of purchasing more little things & wrapping each one individually so your children have more to open, just for fun...

  Take a look at their list or pay more attention, when going out, to the little, inexpensive items that you said "NO" to, at the time, and go back & purchase them...this way Santa gave them what you had said No to...Lol

  Shop online for GREAT SAVINGS & compare prices...
  Fingerhut, actually can help you out, EVEN THOUGH I AM NOT ONE WHO BELIEVES IN GETTING INTO MORE DEBT, but will make an exception during this time of the year for my children.  Fingerhut has a great selection to help out parents and if approved, you can pay it all little by little.

  Be creative.  Go to Pinterest for ideas.  Make your own gifts.  Think of possibly giving a calendar to help or teach your children to get organized.  Just be sure that they will LOVE the pictures on the calendar.  Create a little bag of the goodies that you normally do not allow them to have often...Like a Christmas Goodie Bag!!

  And you always can call on your friends.  Use it as an excuse, gather together & brainstorm & I am sure that several moms gathering together will be able to come up with some great ideas.  This way you can have the excuse to get together, chat, laugh, brainstorm & even have some coffee or even a glass of wine...

Good luck to you all & I hope that this post possibly helped out someone!!!  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Your Kids "Themed" Christmas List...

Wow!!!!  It is that time of the year again...

That time that moms enjoy the baking, music and the holidays BUT also stress out majorly.  As if we don't have enough on our plates by trying to keep the house cleaned, meals on the table, food in the pantry, clothes washed, be sure of everyones schedule, we can add decorating the tree and house for the holidays, being sure Santa brings what is on the list and preparing for the big lunch or dinner.  

       As if all that is not stressful enough, I am sitting here wondering how many other moms are out there that deal on a yearly basis with their child and the list.  Either the list has 100 items on it or the list has a consistent theme throughout the list. (Lol)  All being an item that pertains to the same artist, movie, cartoon or whatever there love is at THIS TIME during the year.                                                                                              My teen daughter is going thru this year her LOVE for a Korean Boy Band.  YES!  I said Korean...Lol.  I still do not even know how she even understands them.  It seems that her brain absorbs better learning Korean, which in my mind set it cannot be an easy language to learn, more than her brain cares to absorb information in high school from her classes. Lol

One year was the One Direction boy band, another year was Harry Potter (even though she still loves Harry Potter) and so on.  So my question here is...Do we, as moms, give in and just give in to the Themed list gifts knowing that phase will soon end for them and all of that money was spent?  I think this does happen to others because I also remember my other daughter having an obsession for owls one year and when spring came around she was bored of owls.

So,  I wonder, Am I alone or are there other moms dealing with this too?  Do you feel as confused as I am?  Would you feel guilty for not giving your child what they "currently" want knowing that they will soon be over it?  The good news for me is that the list got shorter this year.  I no longer have to laugh and see there are 100 items on a list...Lol.  As I am writing this, I think to myself that in life it is always good to put things on a balance.  So I think I will still give in to some or a few items on the list of the Korean boy band, knowing soon the phase will go away, & then just ask Santa to bring her a few other things that I still know that she will enjoy and not expect.  Plus I am just grateful that I will be able to get her a few things this year!  I wish you all very Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Running out of Ingredients while cooking...

Have you ever forgotten some ingredients as you are already cooking?  

Well I sure have!  The other day I just had one of those days.  I had forgotten my list at home so I thought that my brain, as a mom, would be able to absorb and remember all of the ingredients needed when I went to the grocery store.  Hahaha...that was a funny thought! Not sure how many of you have had the same thing happen to them and probably more than once.  Do not feel alone!  I am here with ya sistas....

I normally try my best and actually do well planning out the menu for the week of the dinners that I will be cooking.  And YES, I ACTUALLY EVEN WRITE IT ON THE KITCHEN CALENDAR & YES I DO HAVE A KITCHEN CALENDAR TOO...This way I know what ingredients I need to purchase and hope to make it to the grocery store one time within a week.  Not sure if you try to accomplish the same thing.  I once again say "TRY" but does not seem to always work. 

Just the other night, my children were excited that I was cooking one of the meals that they truly enjoy.  Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken with pasta!!!  Yummmm.... Well as I began cooking, I have the pan on the stove... chicken is cooked.... pasta is boiling .... beginning to add some more ingredients.  Well, I swore that I had enough heavy cream left but I was soooo wrong.  I panicked, my daughters started laughing & told them to stay watching the stove as I needed to run to get some heavy cream... I ran to the grocery store, bought some more and came back.  I kept cooking... the pasta was already ready.... started adding the parmesan cheese & BAMMMM REALIZED I DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH PARMESAN CHEESE.  By this time, my kids were having a great time laughing at me, I was worried if I could even save this dinner & ran out once again to the same grocery store.  Bought some more parmesan cheese... then once I got into the car, my wallet fell and EVERYTHING (receipts folded, rewards cards, credit cards, license, change, etc... all fell out)  All I just was able to do was sit in the car alone & BURST OUT LAUGHING.  When I got home and I told my daughters, they laughed so hard that tears came down their cheeks.  
Well all I can say is the meal was completed!... Pasta overdone and sitting for such a long time does not taste the same!... and when cooking a dish that you end up taking so many breaks because of lack of ingredients, it just will not taste the same...Lol  But we all ate it as it is not good to waste food when so many more do not have much to eat...

So if someone else has had a similar experience, just know that you are not alone.  A moms laugh is always an adventure.  We just have to be sure to try to laugh at the end of it all so we can keep our sanity!  Power to Mommies!!!