Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bigger fish to fry

My last post dealt a little bit with the financial woes of single parenthood. But last night I was reminded of one of the hardest things that a single parent (of teen girls mostly) has to deal with.
Let me preface this next paragraph with the fact that as far as raising children who do not attend the predominant church in the area, and by predominant I mean 90/10, it is a difficult task. People from Utah usually know what I mean when I say that the LDS church is so predominant here that it is really easy to fall into a label, you are either one of the 'good ones' or you are excluded from everything. I wont get into that but it has its own challenges regarding whom my children interact with. Some Mormon's are not exactly accepting, and some Mormons actually keep their kids from being anywhere near non- church goers.
Fact is, I have great kids. Well, mannered, well behaved in school, decent grades, not out all night, no drugs or alcohol use or any thoughts thereof. However. We are not perfect. They are still finding out who they are. I remember those days when I was a teen and well, mom and dad, I am so sorry. Which leads to....

Last night, I was awoken at 1 am to a knock on my door. I am one who does not awaken easily once I have drifted off. Both of my daughters work, at a local fast food restaurant. The older had to work last night and is not happy about having to work every night of her holiday weekend. My younger daughter had asked to go to a movie with friends, swore she had a ride to the local theater just minutes from here, and would not go to the late show. Later, I missed her call as I was at the noisy grocery store. She had called to inform me that there was a change of plan, they were all going to one of the girls houses to watch a movie instead as there were no movies that appealed to them all at the theater.

When I got home from an exhausting shopping trip where I purchased half a mortgage payment worth of food as my kitchen was beginning to look like old mother Hubbard's. I called my daughter to clear up the details, she ensured me that because she was in a house with boys and girls, that there was sufficient adult supervision, and would be home after movie #2 approx 11:30 and that she would have a ride. I took her word. In this house, I trust you until you give me a reason not to. But if that trust is broken, It is a hella to get back.

So - back to the knock on the door. Stumbling to my feet, with our two dogs in a frightful panic of barking and pacing... climbing on the furniture, I held the Labrador back as I, in my cotton P.J. shorts and shirt, peek out a sliver of open door. and see.... My 15 yr old daughter and a local police officer. oh the horror. I could see the judgement in his eyes as he asked if I were her mother? Yes I say, what is going on? Turns out, he had seen her walking down the street at this UN-godly hour, and she was headed to a boys house!!! I know I didn't raise my daughter like that. My mind flashes to earlier that night, when my other daughter had come home from work about 11:30- could have sworn I heard 2 people, could have sworn I heard two bedroom doors shut. I hear words mumble from my cotton mouth. "I thought she was in bed?" "excuse me ma'am?" Again I feel his judgement as he chuckles a little. How absurd I feel he is thinking, how could you 'think' your child is in bed? I thanked him, brought her inside, me now fully awake.
I don't know what to do, if I am too harsh, I fear more calls from the police of my runaway daughter, if I am not tough enough, I fear the same.

Oh these are those times that the married women, you know who you are, can just call to their shotgun wielding husbands to take care of business. While they cuddle right back into their nice warm cushy beds.
Single mothers do not have this option.
I will spare my daughter further embarrassment of our discussion, and what transpired to have an early morning wake-up call from the local police. We had a long discussion on my bed last night, and I'll just say- I feel I may have to chalk it up to a case of really poor judgement and naivete on my daughters part. But we talked about it, (I LOVE THAT WE CAN) for about an hour.

Today she is in a lot of trouble. And until I get the whole story, we will be making a few phone calls to some of the other parents, including the parents of the boy and the parents that were chaperoning the party. In part to get the other side of the story- but a little bit of embarrassment on my daughters side wont hurt either.

After I spoke with my daughter last night, I lay awake and actually thought about this new blog and whether or not I should post such a personal thing on a website for all the world to see. I decided that if by posting my true life, with teens, I can help another single parent feel as though they are not alone, that we all have tests, and battles. Then this blog has served a purpose much bigger than my ramblings about how good life is.

get me wrong, life is Grand! But isn't it nice to share those challenges as well as life's sunny days?
Live well, and always love, for tomorrow is another day.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Single Parent woes

Today is not a happy day. I have a feeling there are quite a few single parents who may be able to relate to that. I am a college graduate, I work a full-time job and make enough to pay the bills. Thing is, there are so many outlying factors that keep me from paying the bills, at least on time.
Every time I think I have my head above water, another unexpected issue crops up.
School fees (for PUBLIC school no less) racked up to nearly $500 for two teenagers. This number was not including any school supplies, (which came to nearly another $150 for just the required supplies) and did not include any new clothes, back packs, etc.
Luckily for me, they are allowing school fees to be divided out over the year if you cannot afford the lump sum. This leaves me a monthly charge of approximately $200 a month for school fees and school lunch for two.

ok ok enough about my financial woes, but this leads me to more thoughts about single parents these days. Both Fathers and Mothers, day to day facing not just financial challenges, but also struggling to provide a safe and secure household for their children.

I am one of those parents who has my children (now teens) 24/7. It can be so rewarding and a challenge at the same time. I love that my girls are getting a chance to date a few boys in their high school years. I was a shy teen and didn't date as much as I would have liked. I married way to young at the age of 18 (which my son has already surpassed and my daughter is very close to now, and it absolutely boggles my mind to think of how young that now seems) and want so much more for my girls. But dating comes with challenges both for the kids and for a single parent. It is scary when my girls speak of having found the love of their lives and they are so young. And yet, as I have lived that, I can understand the feelings that they are fighting too.

I love being a parent and am so glad that I am young enough to experience with them and to also have such an open relationship with my kids that I feel they can come to me. I hope they can. I am lucky to have the kids that I do, but it is not without challenge. Just 2 more years of raising teens. Not that I am rushing it at all. I love my life. And them.

A word or two about my son. He is in (EOD) training for the US Army in Alabama. I have not been able to speak with him since he arrived in Alabama on Aug 22. The day before his 19th birthday. I miss him terribly. Cant wait for another call from him.

It is not easy raising kids on your own, but it is not any easier letting them go.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to school

The girls went back to school last week, they are already busy with homework. I just completed my bachelors degree in Technology Management last April and it has not quite sunk in that I will not be returning this fall. A friend of mine, who has not quite completed her accounting degree, just started classes last night.
Here is the thing. I am so far from finished with school work, here we are in week one and i have already had one call from my sister regarding her sons algebra, one late night with daughter number 2, also algebra, and certain promises made to my soon-to-be accountant friend of help with her business classes. I guess I should help her since I have actually worked in the business and corporate world all of my adult life.
wouldnt you think , though, that I might be able to actually afford to get the girls some nice school clothes? Being that I am a college graduate, making a decent living, no credit cards.
But alas- we are still flying by the seat of our pants as I am loyal to the start-up company that I am currently employed with, awaiting investor funding that can send us into production and then, maybe I will get my piece of the american pie that I have slaved for for nearly 14 years now. We shall see. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Starting a blog

I have to say- I have wanted to start a blog for a long time now. For one reason, I love to talk - even about myself, what you see is what you get. I'm an open book. I am not one to hold back most things about myself. I feel it is better to get it out, deal with any reactions and then move on. This philosophy has served me well thus far.
I am excited to start this blog and share my (far from boring) life events with anyone who cares to read about them. But, where to start? In the past few days leading up to actually posting this blog, my mind is reeling with topics of discussion. Olympics, Presidential elections, my daily life with the kids and our adventures.
The hard part is not writing a 20 page novel on my first day. So, for today, this is what you get.