There are a few strange looks that I receive when I tell people two things. One is that I am single and the second that I chose to have an only child by having a procedure to make sure that happens. Most people call me crazy; I call them adapters to society “norms”.
When I was growing up and still to this day, I always hear “every little girl’s dream is a house with a white picket fence, 2.5 kids and a dog in the yard” as the undertone to women. I understand that having all those things is a very nice approach to life, but it isn’t mine.
In a very messing crazy way, I had the 2 kids (thinking about another – crazy idea), the house, and the dog. It wasn’t a dream or a fairytale ending. Matter of fact, when the doors were closed, life was hell and the kids were unhappy and my marriage was suffering. However, when we stepped outside after a huge argument to head to church, our life was painted with smiles and hellos on how wonderful our picket fence was. Husband and wife looked so happy embracing each other while the kids frolicked around the church yard and we would sometimes bring the dog along for the ride (she loved car rides). As it dragged on, I realized a few things. One, I may never get married again. I am perfectly delighted with that. Second, I wasn’t meant to have more than one child without having someone beside me who has either A) been very active in his son/daughters life that he knows the everyday struggle of being a single parent or B) is a single dad himself.
There are people in my life who have expectations of what I should be doing with my dating life. Those same people are also people who had the high hopes of me having two-four children. To those people I say this in the most loving, endearing way possible: I am perfectly content with where I am. You may love me beyond compare and want only the best for me BUT I know what is best for me and where my head belongs with the circumstances that I have had and where my head and heart need to be. I have far too many other things to focus on rather than this “dating” life and finding my “mate” to have those kids with. I always joke that my child is the perfect child for someone who never wanted kids. I disclaimer by saying that I would not trade my life with my daughter for anything else in the world. I was sure, however that I was not going to have any children at all. Not one. Then I became careless and a young mom, thought I ruled the world. This is why God has blessed me with a well behaved little girl. She isn’t spoiled, she doesn’t get her way, and I demand respect from her to me and her elders and her friends. She makes friends easily and loves everyone. She is an only child and she is ok with that and guess what, so am I.
So please, for the sake of all that is holy, when I tell you I am single, there is a reason. When I tell you that I chose not to have any more children (the conventional way), there is a reason. No, I don’t need your help doing this “it must be so hard” thing and no, I don’t need you to set me up with “this guy that you know”. It is hard yes, sometimes even so difficult I could throw in the towel but it isn’t that hard that I need to give myself away to someone for the chance of being unhappy. When I am not looking, it will be there, until then…please give it a rest. And yes, I can still have more children, I just have to pay a little more and work a little harder for it. Nothing in life has come to me without a challenge, I accept this one.
We have recently had a big switch in our household as some readers may know. My daughter and I moved to a new city and with this new city comes a new change in school for my girl. When I knew that we were going to make this switch, I made it a point to keep an open communication about it. We would talk about things like what her fears and worries were. What she was excited for and how I could help her within her first weeks to get settled into a new routine.This new school isn’t new people per say. It is a sister synod school that my daughter shared playing basketball on the school team with. Her current school wasn’t big enough to have a basketball team of their own, so the new school allowed those kids to be a part of it. During her time at basketball, she developed relationships with these new girls so it wasn’t necessarily a fear of mine on whether or not she was going to be able to make friends, because she already had. My concerns were things like every day routine and if she would be too far ahead or behind in subjects. The classroom size was about the same.
In the tour, Daniella’s eyes got big when she discovered that they have a library that she can check books out in and that she was very well received by the teacher. Miss. V and Mr. P were so kind about everything. Prior to her arriving for her first day (about a month out) I received the newsletter, all of the actions items that I need to do at home, and just general things about upcoming activities ,etc. It was very nice to be included so early on. In this transfer, I had made the decision that I would not transfer her until after the New Year since she would have a nice Christmas break between schools. I had expressed to both Miss V. and Mr.P my concerns and they well reciprocated on the ending of the first day of school and the first week on the things that she will need improvement on and what actions we can all take to help her improve.
The first day was nerve racking. We didn’t know where her lunch should go to get to the fridge, where to hang her things, or what she should be prepared for. There was no way that I was going to tell Daniella that I was more nervous than she was. With a few tears shed in the end, she was happy because she had an AWESOME first day! All the kids were so receptive to having a “new girl” and she even said that learning from Miss.V was a little easier than Mrs.T. In counseling her on why that may be, she let me know that it doesn’t feel so stressful and it is fun.
Communication is key to everything in life. Daniella and I have open communication about everything and we learn from each other. I let her know that she is doing so well and seeing her papers every day when she comes home is great because I can help her each day if she needs it and not wait until a Thursday folder comes home. There are a few things that I have learned both from the school and from Daniella in this transfer. Communicate and come up with a plan of action. Relieving my child’s fears before the first day and prepping her was one of the best experiences and things that I could do for her. It made the transition more seamless than I expected. I can tell that she is happier, not so stressed and enjoys learning. I want that for her and I want to be able to commit that time to her for my availability to be there.
Creating a child’s success starts with the parent. I can only help her so much, yes because a teacher is a teacher for a reason BUT at home, we talk consistently about math, we are reading everything, and she is telling me about science and I explain further. Learning in the developmental years is an ongoing partnership between the child, the teacher and the parent. I love learning and I love learning from her.
It has taken me a couple of weeks to really write down the goals and aspirations that I want for 2014. Much of the years previous were still with these big ideas and outreached goals to maybe glamorize or fantasize about having a life that I currently wasn’t’ living. You see, every other year, I would set goals because other people were doing them or I knew that I needed to strive for something. Instead, I didn’t think to work on the things that I hadn’t finished the year before. 2013 was much of that as it was just a fold over from 2012. I had a lot of “normal/everyday” things that I really needed to accomplish, followed by some mental mush in order to make sure that 2014 was it, the big goal setting year. When 2014 rolled around, I set aside the big gigantic things that I wanted to do still from 2013 and focused on what I knew I could get done.
My life in 2013 was such a roller coaster than no goal meeting was getting done and honestly, that is okay.
January through February, I was living with a roommate that I should have never, leaving a job that gave me hope when I moved home from leaving my husband in 2011 and finding a new journey that was going to provide the perfect stepping stone for my career. During all this I was still going to school, being a single mom, and hanging out with who would become one of my best friends. I also literally ran into one of the most loved and dearest friends of mine. I met her on the race course and let me just say, she literally saved my life in more ways than she will ever know. My race world was just beginning to blossom and having her next to me most of the year was not expected at this point (there will be a blog on this later)
March through May, Still living with said dreadful roommate, loving my job and getting to meet new folks that would become my lifetime friends, stiiiilllll talking to the ex (why oh why, hindsight), Still plugging along in school, teetering back and forth with weight and the gym and still doing races.
May-July, there were a lot of accomplishments. While I was still working and enjoying my new found friends and not enjoying my roommate life, I graduated college. This had to have been one of the proudest moments for my grandpa and grandma. I know realistically they probably won’t be around to see me get married so this was the next best thing. For my daughter, I think it was a wonderful experience to watch her mother get two degrees and also be glad that she doesn’t have to be shunned for homework time. Finally, after no reason why or knowing why I started back up in the first place, the ex was completely done. I was also having a hard time dealing with a personal issue with my sister and I. It was literally killing me and I didn’t know how to approach it but to remove myself from the situation that I knew was toxic. There are a few things in hindsight that I could have handled differently or said differently or acted differently BUT the bottom line is that it needed to be done and it was eating me alive every day. This is when the “don’t give a damn” attitude stopped. I did give a damn and I knew that there were multiple things in my life that I needed to change even if I had to lose some people in my life. Some call this selfish, cold hearted, vain. I call this living for me and my well-being because I had to.
August-October, another leg of the year’s journey I wasn’t expecting in so many ways. In August, I had met this wonderful woman who would take me places I never knew I could go and give me a career home. She is so loved by me! In September I took a position with Newton International as a job recruiter. No, I didn’t have any experience in this field at all BUT I was up for the challenge. A was the one who got me in with Newton and A was right next to me the whole time. Daniella had started second grade and I cried my eyes out. Let me just share that I think I have discovered that I am a late arriver to emotions when it comes to important things. I always hear mothers say that they cried when they took their child to kindergarten for the first time. This was not me. I didn’t shed a tear for kindergarten or first grade. But man, oh man, second grade was the water works. I think no looking back at it, it was probably because during the time that she was in school I was working in another city and not being able to pick her up after school because I now had a 9-5 job. Thankfully, I had a wonderful support system that would care for her after school and there was really no need to be worried. However, I still cried like a baby on the way to the second day at my new career. Towards the end of September, I met my father via text and telephone which was a revaluating moment. Blogs about that you should read have been posted. I knew that FINALLY my lease would be up with my crazy living situation and I was debating on moving closer to work or what I needed to do. After much prayer, AA, and DJKL, I finally made the decision to uproot everything I had in my current city and move to a brand new one. Wasn’t far, just the next city over but still kind of big move. It was bitter sweet because I had only been “home” for 2 years and now I was moving (not so far) again. September 27 I took AA to dinner for his birthday and according to him (which I didn’t know) was our official dating date. Probably one of the best nights I have had with him. Things were really starting to fall into place. October 10th I followed his birthday with tickets to go see of play and that was nothing short of spectacular. It rained the whole entire time and we both didn’t even care. It was us on a road trip, us enjoying each other, and us doing something we both love.
November – December was probably the biggest turning point in my life. November was the biggest birthday month I had ever seen to date. My birthday was a crash and burn when I stood in my kitchen and literally watched my heart shatter before my eyes. Those two feet that jumped in the puddle had lost all the water and now just stood in a dirty pothole. My birthday was also one of the greatest nights of my life. I had all of my friends who have helped me cope, train, figure out life, and learn to love all in one night! It was overwhelming and honestly, I am still amazed that I am truly that loved. S and D arranged the whole thing and the biggest surprise of all was my soul sister showing up with a total cool dude and her amazing husband to surprise me! Even the man that HATES people came out to enjoy some of the festivities. It was truly a magical night. However, I was still dealing with a heart break. Luckily, AA had gotten off work and took care of my drunken stupor. Little did I know that I November 11th would be the game changer to where I met my father (also a blog about this). During all of this, I was still trying to find me. December was quite the month to do that in. Work was still going amazing and I had been elected to be the Business Development Officer for our branch. I just had a little while until healthcare would kick in J. Trying to find this friend status thing again was just weird. We also had the Christmas party for our company and AA went with me. Also, another great time and it just seems to be a natural thing for us to have when we are together. I also received an award for “making things happen”. That truly came out of nowhere and a blessing. Christmas was the best Christmas I have had. I slowed down to take a breather around my family and just embrace them. I also was making arrangements to transfer schools for Daniella. The biggest part of December was finding me again. Getting back on track with eating, and really getting serious on whether or not I was going to do a bikini competition (you heard me). New Years was wonderful with my bestie Andrew just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. I really wanted a low key event to roll myself into a new year and start it off right.
This NEW year was truly going to create a NEW ME! The next little snip it will outline some goals for 2014 so stay tuned.