He Wants His New Girlfriend to do Visitation Drop-Offs

My son’s escort recently floated the idea that once the protective order has expired, my ex would prefer that his girlfriend do visitation drop offs. I was stunned, so I asked why. The response I got was “He doesn’t feel ready to see and interact with you yet.”

As you can image, I wasn’t too thrilled. I don’t know this woman, nor do I know if she is just another flavor of the week. My worse nightmare is that a string of women might be doing this chore, and my poor son will be confused.

Going to court over this new development would be a waste of time and money. A judge might view my request as petty and jealous. So, I’m sort of stuck.

Does anyone have advice? Have you been in this situation before? How have you handled it?

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The Case Against Home Cooked Meals From A Single Mom

Yesterday I confessed my guilt that I could only manage one home cooked meal a week. In the good old days, my working mother came home to cook almost every night. My mother responded, “Well, you should make more of an effort because it builds memories.” But the memories I remember was the act of sitting together as a family, not necessarily the cordon blu we were eating.

Studies show that the act of sitting down to a meal with your children is MORE important than making a brilliant meal from scratch.

So with that in mind, all the single moms should release the pressure of making daily home cooked meals if you’re stretched to the limit and instead focus on healthy meals and spending time with you kids.

My Dad’s (Not So) Helpful, Stone Aged Dating Advice

Copyright 2015 Mumz the Word...

Copyright 2015 Mumz the Word…

During my weekly chat with my father, we somehow broached the topic of dating in this day-in-age. His “wisdom” never ceases to amaze me. He reminded me that I was nearing 30 and that studies show that the longer-in-the-tooth women are, combined with higher education, a career and a little one, the dating pool is narrowing by the day.

He offered some fun, little tid bits of “advice” cloaked in pseudo-scientific research:

  1. Studies show fewer men prefer marrying women with higher degrees and careers, much less women with higher degrees, careers AND a child from a previous relationship.
  2. Even when a woman is childless, her age narrows the dating pool because men tend to prefer younger women at the biological peak of their child bearing years.
  3. Women should resign themselves to having more children, even when they don’t want more, because biologically speaking, men don’t like to raise other men’s children unless they also have one of their own.
  4. Men as hunters, prefer being the breadwinners and feel threatened when their wife makes more which can cause marital problems (totally hypocritical since my mom was the breadwinner in their marriage).
  5. Divorce rates are astronomical, and with all the online dating apps around, men have greater opportunities to stray (ummmm….what about women? Don’t they have the same opportunities to stray?)

Sorry dad, I love you, but this patriarchal thought process does nothing for women empowerment, nor speaks to the modern woman.

How about this: A stable, loving relationship with a man is a NICE TO HAVE and not necessary for my well-being, drive or sense of accomplishment. I’d rather take my time, even if it means it will take years, than settle for a man less than what I deserve. The “old maid” and “cat lady” stereotypes no longer apply when you know who you are, what you want and how to get it.

Ladies, never let this type of silly rhetoric scare you from finding the right guy or settling with a jerk off just so you have a pretty ring on your finger.

If my mother had anything to say about it, who held out and married at 34, she’d tell him it’s hogwash.

Right on mom.

Parents’ Irregular Work Hours Psychologically Affect Kids

A new study from the Economic Policy Institute is looking at how social class characteristics effect children’s development and achievement to suggest policy changes — found that kids of all ages can suffer fallout when parents are called in for erratic work hours.

For toddlers, that can mean hampered sensory perception, learning and problem-solving skills, and verbal communication.

Young teenagers, meanwhile, are more prone to depression and risky behaviors, such as smoking or drinking, when parents work at night.

The biggest takeaway from the findings is that policy changes and new laws are needed to prevent employers from disregarding the scheduling needs of their workers, especially those who are parents. “Employers should avoid these practices,” Eisenbrey stresses. “When you change a schedule without notice, childcare plans get disrupted or are impossible to even make, especially when it comes to high quality care, which requires regular drop-off and pickup times.”

Doesn’t seem like Amazon would care about this study too much…

Who’s The Flake?

I’ve been seeing a guy I used to date four years ago. Let’s call him Repeat. I broke up with Repeatrepeat in 2011 because I couldn’t see anything long term. We literally had only one thing in common *wink*. He loves watching sports- I’d rather have a root canal. He loves to travel- the idea of jet setting 24/7 makes me queasy. I like to read, write and express myself- he hasn’t read a book since it was mandatory in college.

The point is, we both agreed we’ll never be serious. Quite frankly, I have no time to have anything other than fun until I graduate my masters program.

Last weekend, we had a good time at a wine bar, which led to the inevitable. Repeat promptly asked for a follow-up date for this weekend. I agreed. He had to babysit his brother’s kids on Saturday night, so I offered to come over with board games and keep him company after the kiddos scampered off to bed.

So, last Friday came and went. No text or phone call. That’s okay, I reasoned. We already had plans, right? Saturday in class, not one text to confirm plans. So, I did what I almost never do- tried to confirm via text. He skirted the issue and mentioned he was at a baseball game that would end at 10pm.

To me, that sounded like a flake move. I resolved to make other plans with friends. At 11pm, I received this message:

“Hey, I finished up a little late here. Still down to come over?”

Doesn’t that sound like a booty call? It did to me, so I didn’t respond.

So, my fellow bloggers- Who’s the flake?

Coming Clean

So, there is a reason why my posts have kind of fallen off the wagon. And no, it’s actually not due to moving.

I just started my own business!!!!

It’s about three weeks green, a couple sleepless nights and many “what if’s?”

I know, I know, I’m crazy.

A new mom in school every weekend and working full time + a start up = WTF.

But now that I have a better idea of where I’m going and what my company should be (a new take on the PR boutiques floating around D.C.), I want to come back to the community I love= you guys.

Seriously, I have gained so much inspiration from the blogs I follow. Everyone who has shared a little slice of their life has taught me invaluable lessons: namely, to go for it.

This will not be another blog hocking my wares. I want to keep my voice authentic and my face bitchy on here.

Happy to be back :-).

“Single Mom” Vocabulary: Harmful, Helpful Or Just Fact?

I started this blog with every intention on “owning” my single motherhood. I found it difficult (and still find it difficult) to label myself as a single mother because of all the social stigmas that say single mothers are women with the following attributes (some of which are based on credible and non-credible statistics, studies or outdated, but long-held beliefs):

  • Divorced (because they couldn’t keep a man), single mother-by-choice (because they couldn’t find a man during their fertile years) or unmarried/never married (because they were poor decision makers or couldn’t get the father to marry them).
  • Dependent on child support with other forms of government assistance.
  • Dependent on welfare and/or other forms of government assistance.
  • Lower socioeconomic status.
  • Uneducated, with the highest education level as some high school, a high school diploma, GED or some college credit.
  • At risk for chronic illnesses and diseases later in life.
  • Poor judge of character and poor decision makers.
  • Sufferers of mental illnesses, drug addictions or relationship addictions.
  • Chronically exhausted and prone to drama and instability.
  • Viewed as less desirable to date.
  • Other character flaws that have led to their current circumstances.
  • Contributors of the breakdown in traditional family values.
MTV's 16 & Pregnant Show- Jenelle

MTV’s 16 & Pregnant Show- Jenelle

If you Google “single mother” and click on the news element, some of the headlines look like:

  1. Single Mothers at Risk for Poorer Health Later in Life
  2. After East Village Fire, Internet Helps Single Mom Of 3 Who Lost Everything
  3. 7 Invaluable Love Lessons From Single Moms
  4. Single Mother Who Worked For Brink’s Says She Was Fired for Participating in ‘Fight for 15′ Protests
  5. Terminally Ill Single Mother From Santa Clarita Sues for Right to Die in California
  6. Single Motherhood, in Decline Over All, Rises for Women 35 and Older

I noticed a few trends:

1.) The distinction of “single mom” headlines versus the “mom” without marital status in the headlines were meant to elicit sympathy, empathy, pity, a call to action or a similar emotion.

2.) Personal stories/anecdotes of single mother’s in the news had a overcoming adversity, positive, strength-building or character-building tone.

3.) Personal stories/anecdotes of single mothers who opted to parent by choice were older, highly educated and of higher socioeconomic class and the tone was more neutral or positive than articles of single mothers by circumstance.

4.) Studies on single mothers had a subtle, negative tone that seem to reinforce social stigma. Authors make assumptions in the first article: “Single motherhood is associated with poverty in most societies, but more so in the USA than in Europe,” the authors explain. “This may lead to different mechanisms of selection into lone motherhood between countries. Particularly in Southern European countries, strong social and family networks may offset some negative effects of single motherhood.”

So here’s my conflict: Should we be talking about “motherhood” or “parenting” rather than “single motherhood”? There are obvious differences from a married mother and a single mother, but when it comes to the basic foundations of child rearing and parenting, why do we need to assign marital status?

Playing the devil’s advocate: Is it still relevant to use the term “single mother” so that we can connect with other like-minded individuals with similar experiences?

I’m not suggesting that one term is better than the others, but rather hoping other bloggers have some insights to the question:

“Single Mom” Vocabulary: Harmful, Helpful Or Just Fact?

I’m Not A Checklist

I was chatting with a guy that seemed to have a promising personality- a gentleman and interesting. We escalated to WhatsApp within a week and found shared interests. Soon, he asked me out for Friday, but not before sizing up. In rapid-fire style, this guy asked me the following questions:

1.) Do you have higher education?

My answer: Yes, I’m in grad school.

His answer: Good. I’m Yale ’03 and Harvard Business School ’13.

2.) What’s you background?

My answer: WASP-y father and Jewish mother.

His Answer: Good. Jewish on both sides.

3.) Do you want more children?

My answer: Too soon to tell.

His answer: I’m not trying to chase shiny objects on the lawn. I mean, I do want children.

My answer: Well we haven’t even gone out yet!

His answer: I like to cover things ASAP. I find that many people don’t like late disclosure of things known all along.

I refused to answer this question. The honest truth is that I don’t know, it depends. But my main point is why even date and get to know someone romantically if you are going through a list? There are TOO many variables that may change my mind or actions in the future. My current life’s path isn’t solely defined by my future life’s path- it may change. I respect that he wants biological children, however I’m just trying to get through the days as a good parent with the one I have. Also, this is a better question asked in person.

I don’t want to waste anyone’s time either, but people rarely find a partner based on a check list because a person’s character shouldn’t be defined by a set of “asks.” Unless he wants to get married tomorrow (which there are plenty of girls out there who want that) I advised him to take things slow. Dating is a risk of your time, effort and resources. If you’re not willing to take the risk, then don’t date! I have practically no time or resources to date, but I take a risk every time I do. In my mind, so should the guy who is interested.

Any thoughts?

The Half-Brothers I Never Really Knew And The Power Of “No”

My half-brothers are in town visiting my dad. After I pick up Andrew, the plan is to go have dinner with the family.

A difficult question bubbled up from my mom on Friday. She wanted me to spend the weekend with everyone after my Saturday class. She asked, “Why don’t you make you dad happy and spend some time with the guys after your class?”

I had already agreed to Sunday dinner. And to be clear, I don’t really have a relationship with my half-brothers. We don’t call on each others birthdays and we never grew up together. In fact, for ten years, my brother’s were virtually estranged from my family.

Now that I am an adult and a single mother, working full time and attending graduate school, I have very FEW moments to myself. I cherish the time I do have every other weekend to take care of my soul and pursue the things that make me happy within the 48 hours twice a month- even if it is as simple as an hour at the gym and a moment to write or decompress from the week at the nail salon. Between guilt and perceived family “obligations,” I am unapologetic with “me” time. If my brothers had picked a weekend when I had Andrew, I’m sure I would be writing a very different post.

The point I’m trying to make is that mothers, single or not, who dedicate their precious free time to make others happy or comfortable are doing a disservice to themselves. Our culture encourages the ideal that once you are a mother, you must sacrifice, sacrifice and sacrifice almost all of your time for the “good” of your children. I believe quality time, not the quantity of time is what’s important.

Sometimes, we need to embrace the power of saying “No” and make our mental and emotional well-being a priority.