Posted in grief, solo parenting, widow, widowhood

One tired momma


I am so exhausted from being a solo mom and head of household.  I had no idea how much work everything is to do alone.  And the decision-making is killing me.  I miss having someone to bounce ideas off of and make decisions with.  Just

having someone who is in on the situation to help with the decisions would be an amazing gift.  I’m not sure I appreciated it when I had it…or better yet, I’m just still a little gun-shy on making decisions on my own.  Either way,  I am so tired.

Summer vacation use to be a time when I was off work, could hang with the boys doing fun stuff, or just simply lay around.  It was a time to recharge before the new school year began.  I looked forward to summer break.  As a teacher, I counted down until summer break.  Pat and I would take trips with the kids, or go to the zoo or the park or whatever.  We would sit outside in the backyard and just be together.  We had each other to go back and forth with the kids and it was a good time.

Fast forward to this summer…nowhere near the same picture.  Not when it is just me.  Now I am basically an Uber driver and an ATM.  Well not really because at least an Uber driver gets paid.  I swear all I do is drive my kids where they want and hand over my paycheck.  I have zero time to myself because it is only me with three of them.  Not good odds for me.  When I do want to do something for myself they are busy fighting and texting me about it that I can’t relax and enjoy at all.  And times together aren’t any better.  We still try to go out and do fun things, but still the bickering and arguing about who gets the front seat or which you tuber is better ruins it.  I miss the days of the five of us where we could just be and have some peace.

I know some of this is just that the boys are getting older and have more activities and more interests.  And I know this is true for families where there are two parents involved.  I’m not saying it’s not.  But that’s not my story and it’s not my life.  I can only talk about what is happening with me from my perspective.

So this tiredness has come to a new level.  I am not just physically tired, but I am also emotionally, mentally and worst of all….soulfully tired.  Not sure that is a word or not, but it describes the feeling perfectly.

This momma needs a break.

A break from my life…the real world…reality.  I need to step outside of myself and find some peace.  I need to sleep under a palm tree…listen to waves crashing…and feel the sun shining on my face.  I need to get away from the day-to-day and focus on me.  I was doing good with this the first year after Pat died.  I would take a day or a weekend a month to have time for myself.  I desperately needed it in order to make it through the other 28-30 days of the month.  But as time went by, I grew stronger and life got busier as I stepped back into living.  But what I am discovering is that I really do need the break.  Maybe not every month now, but for God’s sake every once in a while I need to not be momma for a short period of time and just be Denise.  No whining, no complaining, no decisions, no bills to pay, no stress.  Just Denise being Denise doing whatever Denise wants.  I am talking about straight up selfishness.  That is what I need.  Just a little bit would do me good.  I think it would benefit all of us.  I will be a better mom when I am a better me.

There is no magic cure to heal my heart and soul, but some time for me would be a great start.  To have a moment to reflect, adjust and regroup would be amazing.  So how will I find this time for me?…I have absolutely no idea because life keeps going and the boys keeping needing me.  I think I just need to make it a priority for a few hours one day every other month to take a break from being momma and remember that I am a person too.  A person with wants and needs and desires and dreams.  My boys are my world, but I don’t want to lose me in that world.  Denise, the individual, wants to live this life for my boys and with my boys.  But it can’t be all about them.  It needs to be a little bit about me too.



Posted in grief, solo parenting, widow

the struggle is real

I am struggling these days with raising my boys.  My boys are 13, 11 and 10 and they are a handful.  They are full of energy and full of life.  I envy that in them.  They love to take risks and try new things and go out on a limb (literally at times) to have a good time.  They have their father’s adventurous spirit and his rebellious attitude.  The second is what is pushing me over the edge these days.  I have had to learn, basically from the time of their birth, that my boys need the freedom to explore life and live in it.  I know that they like to be a little crazy and a little loud and they simply are always looking for a good time.  But lately, they have taken this attitude in to a negative place.  They are not showing me the respect that I think I deserve.

I try to give my boys all that they need.  This isn’t in a materialistic way, because I don’t live that kind of life.  But in the fact that they are allowed to do a great deal and are given great opportunities to  jump into their passions and interests.  I want my boys to have a strong foundation to launch themselves out in this world.  I want them to know that their momma believes in them and their dreams, and will always be their number one fan.  I want them to know that their daddy wanted nothing more from them than for them to find happiness, love and passion for life.

But they are pushing me over the edge with their behavior lately.  I just need some help from them.  I need them to listen to me and do the little bit I ask of them.  I ask for their help with the groceries, with putting their dishes in the sink, keeping their rooms in a decent condition (I’m not delusional that it will be clean all the time), I ask that they don’t call each other names and beat on each other all the time, and I ask that they treat me with respect.  They aren’t doing such a great job at the moment.

So today I finally lost it. I blew my top with them.  I told them how I felt….what I expected from them and what I had been given lately from them.  I told them I didn’t know what else to do because I have been trying…I am doing my best, but nothing is working.  So this is where we came to.  Me acting like a screaming lunatic in the kitchen.  And they cried.  And I didn’t care.

Does that make me a horrible mom?  I don’t think so.  I want to get through to them.  I want them to understand that I am struggling with being a single mom.  I am having a hard time filling the shoes of their father, but I am doing my best.  But I also want them to know that I love them.  And they do.

They know that I will tuck them in and help them with their homework.  They know that tomorrow morning I will make them breakfast and drive them to school.  They know they can count on me and I will always have their back.  They know their momma  loves them.

But sometimes momma needs a little love too.  I need to hear the thank yous and the I love yous.  My boys aren’t so quick with those words, which only makes them mean so much more when I hear them unprompted.

I don’t know what I need to do now with them.  I am at a crossroad.  They need their daddy here.  I need their daddy here to step in and put down the hammer when needed.  They just aren’t buying it from me anymore.  Something needs to change with them.  It’s either I need to change my reaction to them, or they need to change their reaction to me….maybe it’s a little of both.

We had quite a “discussion” this …me explaining where I stand at the top of my lungs…not my finest moment as a mother.  I think we need to try again in a calmer way to have a heart to heart.  A family meeting.  A meeting of minds and hearts to get this little family back on track.  I can’t keep going on like this.  And they don’t want or need a momma who is feeling the way I am right now.  The struggle to raise these boys is a daily grind that wears me down.  I wouldn’t trade them for anything in this world.  They are my life and my world.  I’m just looking for a little peace in that world.  Is that too much to ask?