Monthly Archives: April 2013

Life of a Single Mom

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It sure is interesting.  It seems like I’m constantly picking up Cheerios.  Yesterday I put her on her changing pad on the floor to changer her diaper, forgot to get her diaper, so I had to do that, and by the time I got back to the changing pad, she had crawled out of the room entirely… half nekkid.  So I had to chase her down, and let me tell you, she’s pretty fast!  She’s starting to get into everything.  Saying the word “no” automatically makes everything a game.  Her mood is sometimes unpredictable.  I constantly worry about whether or not she’s gonna throw herself back and crack her head on my tile.  Baby gate is on my long list of “I NEED THIS NOW” purchases.  I feel like then I could put her in her room and let her play while I cook dinner.  At least then she won’t be in her chair or swing screaming (or throwing Cheerios).

I’m still learning how to balance everything, work, baby, school, social life.  I thought once I had a baby, and especially raising her by myself, that my life would slow down.  It did not.  I’m not complaining at all.  I like the hustle and bustle of it all.  I like that I’ve been able to reconnect with my friends and make a strong connection with my church.  If only I wasn’t constantly picking up pacifiers or Cheerios!  She seriously throws them everywhere.  Sometimes I still feel guilty going out and doing things with friends.  I know I deserve a break, theoretically, but emotionally I think “This is about me, not her, that seems selfish.”

She also has a surprising amount of laundry.  I mean technically, it only comes out to two or three loads, but they’re so little!  Which means there’s a lot to fold, and I’m bad about folding my own laundry.  It’s crazy.  How can someone so little have so many clothes?  Oh… right… I’m her mother.  That explains that one.

She is only interested in her toys long enough to pull them all out of the box and then crawl away from them.  Usually to get into the laundry or find the remote.  The kid is obsessed with remotes.  Technology is a beautiful thing, but she is becoming increasingly interested in my phone, which I’m trying desperately to avoid, because as I discovered on Sunday, she WILL throw it.  She’s not too interested in TV, but loves music.  Which is fine with me.  That means on Saturday and Sunday mornings, I can put music on and not have to walk around listening to obnoxious kiddie cartoons.  I’m sure that my luck will eventually run out there… She still loves to be rocked and have a book read to her.  That makes me happy.

Somehow I’ve also managed to find time to lose weight in a healthy way too!  I’m so excited by this.  Before I blamed my weight on not having time to do anything about it.  It was about making time, for sure.  I do it after Aubree is asleep at night.  It seriously takes 30 minutes, sometimes 45, not bad at all.  And of course I have fantastic, motivating friends.  I’m also managing household duties much better.  Just need to get on top of my homework now, and I’ll be all good.  Especially since I’m taking more classes in the summer and fall.  I might need someone to wish me luck!  Eek!

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I’ll Love You If

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“I’ll love you if….”  “I’ll forgive you if…”  I hope I’ve never said either of those things to anyone.  Not in a serious way I mean.  My friend and I say “I’ll love you if you do thusandsuch… for me,” all the time.  We’re not serious.  I hope I’ve never said it to a person I love.  That is neither love, nor forgiveness.  There shouldn’t be conditions on either of those statement.  True love, true forgiveness stops right there.  “I love you.”  “I forgive you.”  That’s the beauty of them!  They’re all you need to say if it’s real.  I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately.  I have been wondering if I’ve ever experienced being “in love.”  I know you can have love in your heart for someone without being in love with them.  I believe I loved Andrew, but was I ever in love with him?  Or did I just think I was because we had been together for so long and since we were SO young.  The plan was to stay together for the rest of our lives.  We HAD to get married because that was the plan and it HAD to be perfect.  Why?  Why did it HAVE to be that way?  I have no idea now.  Well, yes I do.  I couldn’t stand the thought of ending up alone, so I settled for what was there rather than what I really deserved.  He wasn’t always all bad, he was charming and kind and “loving” when we met.  It was after we’d been together a while, that things started going down hill.

So the question is, what is the difference between loving someone, having love in your heart for them and being IN love.  Does it come from a emotional stand point or a physical stand point or a combination of both.  Like… I have several guy friends that I love.  Definitely would drop everything to make sure they were happy.  I’d sure never marry them.  The thought of even holding their hand…just…ugh, no.  (Sorry!)  So if I took those same friends and added a level of attractedness to that love, would that constitute being in love?  Would not being repulsed by the thought of possibly having more than casual physical contact constitute being in love?  I don’t think that’s the right track either.  Nature is very invested in us being attracted to someone in order to perpetuate the species, but it doesn’t particularly care if we stay together.  The staying together part is a conscious decision on our parts.  Is that it?  Being willing to make that decision to stay together.  That seems logical to me.  But we always seem to tell people we’re in love with them before we make that decision.  Where is the balance?  “You’ll know when you’re in love.”  *Insert googly eyes here.*  Hate that statement.  I really don’t think it’s that easy.

I also don’t think it has anything to do with conditions.  I love my friends unconditionally.  They don’t have to do anything special for me to love them.  Doesn’t mean I’m in love with them. Obviously I love my daughter unconditionally.  (Although I wish she’d quit throwing tantrums that I don’t know how to cope with.)  It was, however, when I realized I was putting conditions on Andrew, that I realized I didn’t love him anymore.  I needed him to change.  I needed him to be better, be more than he was.  I needed him to want to be a provider and get his act together.  I needed him to want to be the kind of dad that I see at church.  That was a big thing.  I realized he’d never compare to them.  He’d never run around with Aubree at church.  He’d never be active in her life in that way, and that was a defining moment when I realized he wasn’t enough anymore.  So to sum that paragraph up, loving someone unconditionally doesn’t necessarily mean you are in love, but when there start to be conditions on love, then you definitely aren’t in love with them.  (Well that’s just about as clear as mud…)

So… being in love.  In love… IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE.  We all know where it starts for a lot of us.  Infatuation.  Which we then feel compelled to turn into saying “I love you.”  I think there has to be a more practical place for it to start.  It’s wanting someone to be happy, caring about their happiness as much as you care about your own.  Wanting what’s best for them.  Being willing to help them out, them being willing to help you when you need it.  It’s definitely a reciprocal thing.  (Stating that will probably make this paragraph easier!  Ding, ding, ding!)  Letting them inside your emotional walls.  Not having conditions.  Not being repulsed by them in physical/emotional situations (yes I know that’s a weird me thing).  Realizing that you’re going to hurt each other, deeply even, and being willing to work through it.  Making a commitment to be an active part in each others lives.  All these things could be your best friend, too, though.  Although, ideally, our lover SHOULD (oh hate that word!) be our best friend.

Part of being in love, too, is realizing that you deserve to expect what you’re giving in return.  I know I said earlier that it was reciprocal.  Pouring your whole self into a relationship where you’re getting nothing in return isn’t being in love.  I’m not sure what it is, but it’s not that lifetime love that can sustain you for the rest of your life.

That’s it.  In love is that love that you know can sustain you.  We’re pack animals.  We’re not designed to be alone.  We need love to survive.  In love is not that love that burns so hot that you can’t stand it.  Those fires die quickly.  In love is a warm, slow, gradual fire.  It doesn’t just burn on the surface.  It burns underneath too, that’s how it lasts so long.  You can put that fire on the surface out, quickly and in a lot of ways, it’s that fire under the brush that has to be there to keep restarting it.  It’s hot, but not too hot that you can’t handle, or maintain it.  In love is always maintainable.  Manipulable, but not manipulative.  In love is giving and receiving, always.  It takes time to develop.

And definitely no “I’ll love you/forgive you if…”

Wide Eyed Wonder

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Sometimes I just stare at Aubree in wide eyed wonderment.  She’s just so beautiful.  I know most parents think that about their children, and of course they’re right.  Aubree just seems to garner a lot of attention from EVERYONE.  I worry about it too.  I’m afraid that someday it will go to her head, and I cannot have her ending up like a vapid, narcissistic, diva.  She has such pretty (curly, now) hair.  It’s not just one color.  It’s a bunch of colors all at once.  Depending on light, what she’s wearing, etc.  Sometimes it’s a little blonde, others it’s brown, and sometimes it’s even pretty red!  Her eyes are the same way.  Sometimes they look brown, if she’s wearing blue, they’re blue, same with purple and green.  She is just a wonder to me.  She seems to be right handed, and prefers the color yellow.  I love it.  She’s mostly pretty happy.  The last week or so has been a little difficult.  She went almost 12 months with no teeth at all and now they’re all coming in at the same time.  Poor thing.

I’m just always in awe of her.  I wonder if she and I will grow out of that.  I hope not.  Although, that could make disciplining hard.  Which brings me to my next set of thoughts.

Homegirl loves throwing stuff.  Throwing her pacifier, her cup, her food.  I do not like this phase.  It’s not like the spitting out of the binki constantly, and constantly having to replace it.  She does this intentionally.  I don’t know how to get her to stop.  She just looks at me and laughs if I use my stern mom voice.  My mom must have superpowers, cause I feel like she has had her bluff in on me for a while.  I wonder if that’s a developed thing.  Either way, it is less than not effective at all.  I try taking whatever she has thrown away.  That’s not super effective when I’m in public because she just cries really loudly and hard and I feel like people are staring at me.  Although mostly I don’t care.  I’m not ignoring my child’s cries.  She has to learn how to act in public as well, right?  To me, logically, that means taking her out in public and teaching her.  I dunno.  I worry about raising her on my own.  What if she turns out to be a spoiled, holy terror.  I just can’t handle that…

Did I mention her hair was curly.  Oh mylanta!  It is so cute!!!

The New List…

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I’m throwing out the old list.  Except the part about being a hard worker.  That one is just a given really.  As long as he is kind, hardworking, loves me and my daughter, we can laugh, and love and work hard on our relationship with God and each other together, then the rest is just stupid….

 

Yeah, I know.  Gah.