Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Momma Raised Me Better

My dead mom talked to me today.

Mom died two years ago and I've had very few signs of her since. I've been wondering why she hasn't shown up these last few months when I've had so much trauma thrust upon me and really needed her. At times I've been glad she's not here because she'd be beyond pissed at the way her daughter and her grandchildren have been treated. And at times I've been pissed she wasn't here for me when I needed her so badly.

Today I heard from her loud and clear. It came through on a radio station I never listen to and a song I've never heard before - Miranda Lambert's "Mommas Broken Heart". I don't usually listen to country music so apparently this isn't a new song and I'm the last of my friends to here it.

I cut my bangs with some rusty kitchen scissors
I screamed his name ‘til the neighbors called the cops
I numbed the pain at the expense of my liver
Don’t know what I did next all I know, I couldn’t stop

Word got around to the barflies and the baptists
My mama’s phone started ringin’ off the hook
I can hear her now sayin’ she ain’t gonna have it
Don’t matter how you feel, it only matters how you look

I sat in the Kroger parking lot listening to the song laughing and crying. If my mom were here, she'd sure be saying "I ain't gonna have it! Don't you lower your standards or hang your head over someone else's shame."

My mom would not put up with bullshit or being treated poorly and she wouldn't stand by and watch me put up with it either. My momma raised me better than that. 

So many people have asked me how I do it. How have I stayed on the high road when others around me have sunk to new lows? How am I not so angry that I want the pleasure of revenge? How can I handle having full and complete custody and raise six kids all by myself?

The answer is always my momma raised me better than that.

Go and fix your make up, girl, it’s just a break up
Run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady
'Cause I raised you better, gotta keep it together
Even when you fall apart

My momma raised me to believe that family comes first. My momma taught me a promise is a promise. Right is right and wrong is wrong. You don't hurt people and you don't allow people to hurt you.

My momma also taught me it's OK to fall down when you get sucker punched, but there comes a time you get your ass out of bed and get back to work. So when people tell me stories of the craziness that they went through in their divorces, I hear my mom's voice reminding me "honey, they aren't worth it." Living well and being happy is the only revenge worth going after.

Powder your nose, paint your toes
Line your lips and keep 'em closed
Cross your legs, dot your I’s
And never let 'em see you cry

And one last thing she taught me, never let them see you cry. Wipe your tears, hold your head high, hug your babies and do what you got to do.

This isn't the official video, but I like this version better.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Single Mom Working Mom

This is Spring Break week for my kids. In the past that would have meant along with the kids I also was excited about sleeping in late and fun day trips. As a suddenly divorced single mom with a new full time job, this year it means "oh shit what do I do with the kids while I'm at work all day?" It's actually just a small taste of the worries I've already thought ahead to for summer vacation.

Years ago I remember talking with my mom about what to do with the kids if/when I ever went back to work full time. I always said I don't know how women with real jobs do it. I never ever thought I'd one day be one of those single moms trying to juggle full time work and full time motherhood. But  I remember my mom saying sometimes you just have to take the financial hit, lose the pay and be with your kids.  My mom was always there for us. No matter what.

Today I promised the kids I would only work a half day and we'd go do something fun. It was a promise I was afraid to make, knowing I have two cars sitting in my driveway that both need costly repairs. But, my kids come first no matter what.

So for the first time since everything changed, I called a Forced Family Fun Day.  The teens weren't thrilled at first, but eventually they came around when I agreed to a day of laser tag.

Kid 1 couldn't join us. He was working a double shift but being the awesome kid he has become he texted us a couple times to be sure we were having fun.

We all had a great time running around playing laser tag. Even kid 2, the 16 year old grumpy boy cracked a smile!

We got home in time for me to take kid 6 to dance tonight, something the older boys handle for me since I'm normally working Tuesday nights. It was a nice treat to watch her dance and even sneak away for a bit to Starbucks to spend some one-on-one time with kid 5.

As I was driving home tonight I got a little sad thinking how unfair it all is that because of the choices of somebody else, I no longer get to be the kind of mom I want to be to my kids. I'm always rushed, always a step behind, and feel like they aren't getting the best of me anymore.

I realize how blessed I am to have a full time job that allows me the flexibility to take time off (without pay) as needed. How lucky I am that I have teen boys that drive to help with the younger kids. And a circle of support to help with the kids.

But damn, how do all the other single moms with real jobs out there do it?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I Hate The Night

Eight months in and I still hate the night. The sadness creeps alongside the darkness and takes over.

During the day I'm busy being a single mom, full time working mom, teacher, manager, housekeeper, etc. I'm everything to everyone and no one is getting the best of me. I no longer have a best to give.

At night it's just me. Alone. Too much time to think.

No, really, I'm doing good. Getting better everyday. Stronger. More hopeful.

Unexpectedly it hits. A brick wall that crashes on top of me. I'm suffocating down here.

The people I loved have left me. 
The places I've loved are gone. 
Home is no longer home.