Tag Archives: single moms raising boys

Wait, What?!?

Insert record rip (maybe too old school) or crashing sound here. Was I really in Hawaii last week? I return from my annual Thanksgiving with the boys in Oahu only to find myself slammed into the American frenzy that I so try to not slip into. Seriously, thank God for deep breathing as I almost had a panic attack last night! After returning from teaching 3 amazing yoga classes with grateful and soulful yogis, I began to get my calendar organized for the week. Many of you parents out there get this, but isn’t this time of year especially insane? Today, Tuesday, Dec. 1st, I had to sort out a lot of s*#t. Young at art at my youngest school is right when my noon yoga class at the hospital ends, crap, I have to reschedule FAST. I pick up carpool at the middle school, but wait, my oldest wants to try out for the school soccer team today AND he’s supposed to have a violin practice at the same time, cancel one. Wait, he also has club soccer practice tonight @ 7, but wait, my youngest has a tiger scout meeting at the same time. Shit. What about dinner? Rent is due. Oh, and I didn’t get paid yet from the hospital or one of my yoga studios. Oh, wait, I still have to get all the volunteer goodies for my youngest Christmas party at school this afternoon. Shit, his school sent an email saying they didn’t get tuition yet? How can that be? I can’t find paperwork because of the major leak onto my desk 2 weeks ago, when the toilet overflowed.  I’ll have to make an appointment with the principal. Wait, I have to teach yoga tomorrow night at the same time that my oldest has his Christmas concert. Oh wait, they have a dentist appointment too? And does my new sitter have a car? I can’t cancel my yoga class for my seniors, they count on me. Wait, can I shift it up 30 minutes? I have keys to the studio, maybe I can just do it this one time… I’ll call the entire class and see if they can come early. Can a few friends go to my son’s concert so someone is there cheering him on? I’ll email them… I’ll call the dentist to see if they have another day we can come in, my youngest has tooth that needs to be pulled. Oh, good they can, but wait, they now want us there on Thurs? My oldest has soccer practice and yet another violin concert at the hospital-his volunteer give-back this year, on the same day? AGAIN?  Oh crap, I have to sign both boys up for AYSO soccer today..my youngest hasn’t even done soccer yet. I’m a slack mom. And the negatives from our family photo shoot got wet and I can’t see which ones I like. I was supposed to order them while we were out of town, so now we won’t get to order Christmas cards this year. Great. Did I write the thank you notes for my youngest for his birthday gifts? I’m not being a good example. Slacker. And what will we have for dinner all week if boys have concerts, soccer & tiger scouts? Probably pizza.I’ll make them eat carrot sticks & avocado slices too…Still, I’m a slack ass yoga mom. Most of my yoga teacher friends would not be in this bind. I’m not living the life I should be right now. Where’s the organic veggie / vegan meal? Hmmm….activities for the boys, or home cooked meals at home. No in-between right now. If I was just more organized. If I was just a better mom. If I was just more focussed.

Wait, What?!? Um. Insert record rip right now. Deep breaths. And now the mind rant calms down and I remember that my ex, the boys’ dad, lives in Europe. I have no family here. There is only one person here, one parent, one set of hands to do all of these activities that feel like they are crashing on me, crashing on my sanity, weighing down any chances of time for myself, time to write, time for yoga, time for a personal life. And yet, my boys deserve to do all these activities. I want them to learn music. I want them to learn from being on a team. My youngest really needs to make more friends and scouts helps with that…Yoga has saved my life in so many ways. I have a choice to do ALL of these things—or not. It’s my choice. Yes, I want both of my boys to have activities. For the longest time I held out on letting my youngest do soccer or tiger scouts because I worried I couldn’t do it all, I couldn’t be in 3 places at once, or drive everywhere, and I’m right. I can’t. I just can’t do it all, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do some. I do want to volunteer at school. I want to get to know their friends and teachers. AND, I want to also have time for myself. Time for home cooked meals, time for my own yoga & meditation practice. Something has to give. Just last week I was in Hawaii connecting with my 2 boys. We hiked in the rain up a remote mountain on the North Shore, picked wild strawberry guava and noni (Polynesian immune-boosting, but smelly fruit!). We talked. We surfed. We hung out. We snorkeled. We swam. We talked about our dreams. And I have to remind myself that the hectic pressure that American schools and sports puts upon families can tear us apart. Something has to give. And it’s funny how judgmental the teachers & coaches can be when I do say no, or I do limit the boys activities…but that’s not my problem. And right now, I’m doing the best that I can. This week, I’ll go to 3 violin concerts (hopefully, as I may miss one), 2 soccer practices, 2 dentist appointments, teach art, volunteer supplies for a Christmas party, put together christmas cards (hopefully), teach 5 yoga classes, take at least 2 yoga classes (hopefully), meditate daily (non-negotiable), carpool, 1 tiger scout meeting, sell mistletoe for tiger scouts, writer’s group meeting, write at least 1 hour a day, oh, and maybe cook dinner, do laundry, hassle kids about homework and pray that it will all work out. And it will. That’s a choice too. Thanks for listening to the rant. I’m a lucky mom of two healthy & sweet boys. I’m a mom learning lessons about how much I can physically do. I’m learning that this time of year is insane and I don’t have to be perfect. An emailed Christmas card, is still a card, right? And for now, being aware of my limitations and my intentions has to be enough. Namaste ya’ll.

((( <3 )))

Life Lessons for this LA Mom and her Boys

I stumbled upon this wonderful article “25 Things I Want My Ranch Kids To Know”. You’d think I’d have little in common with this ranching family. But as I read through her list, I realized how universal so much of what she has to say is. I found myself tweaking her vernacular for my now Calif. kids. For instance, her #2: “Boredom is a Choice” I adored and in my mind I changed from: “If you can’t entertain yourself with a stick and a bucket full of calf nuts, we’re doing something wrong” to: “If you can’t entertain yourself with a surfboard/boogie board or a bikeride…I’m doing something wrong.”

Life in California—especially in a Southern California beach town—is dreamy for kids. Or so it should be. We have gorgeous stretches of sandy beaches, strewn with volleyball nets and a strand for bikers to ride safely for miles. Our town has plenty of parks and violent crime is low. We literally have beautiful weather nearly year-round.  Yet, my oldest cares more about video games than a day at the beach. Getting him to ride his bike or skate board or kick a soccer ball with his buds in the alley (we live in a beach house without a yard, but share an alley with loads of families with kids) takes an olympic effort. He’d rather stay inside and play Minecraft. So I bought a pingpong table and that’s helping a bit.

That’s just one issue I’m battling right now. Some days it seems that there just isn’t enough of me. I need at least two clones in order to be a better parent. I’m guilty of juggling my two boys and their drastically differing needs (and of course the loud three-year-old tends to get most of the attention) with other issues such as work and any social life. I’m not always there for both of them the way I’d like to be. (I’m sure my single parent friends and readers empathize with this feeling!) So, I’m inspired to come up with my own list that I hope will help my boys become sensitive and caring men—regardless of being raised in LaLa land!

Mom’s Top Life Lessons:

1. It’s okay to get angry, but it’s not okay to hit.
Life isn’t meant to be fair. You are guaranteed to get disappointed and frustrated when things don’t go your way. It’s okay to punch a pillow, talk with a friend or write in a journal about your disappointments. Hitting your brother, your friend or your mother is never ok.

2. Stand up for yourself.
Don’t go looking for trouble, as my mom used to say, but if someone is bullying you or threatening you, you have every right to stand up for yourself. Tell the person to stop, and/or get a teacher if it becomes violent. If that makes it worse for you, remember, bullies are weak. They thrive on putting other people down. Do not believe a word that person says about you and please tell me about the situation. I’ll always listen. I’ll always be in your corner. Remember you’re own worth. You should never put up with abuse.

3. Be kind.
Always think about how your words and actions affect others. If someone at school is annoying you, or if a friend starts gossiping about another kid, try your hardest not to say anything nasty or join in on the gossip. Putting other people down does not make you look better. Find other ways to deal with it. Think about how you would feel if you were that other kid.

4. It’s okay to make mistakes. (And don’t be too proud to apologize.)
We don’t always do everything the way we intend to. If you over-react or say something rash, just apologize. It’s not a sign of weakness. In fact, it is usually all you need to do to make things better.

5. You are special because of who you are: not what you have.  
Just because some neighbors and friends have more expensive toys than you, does NOT make them better. You are kind, smart, caring, loving, creative, curious, fun and inventive. These things aren’t created by owning a huge flat screen T.V. or a swimming pool.

6. Pursue your passions.
Sure, you’d like to vacation in Hawaii and drive a sports car one day—but don’t pursue a career just because it earns a lot of money. Do something that sparks your interest. If you love science or history, keep studying that in college and find a career that incorporates your passions. You’ll never regret being happy on the job and you’re more likely to be successful.

7. Be a team player.
It’s just as important to block a goal as it is to make one. You’re not always going to be the player who makes the most goals or baskets. But that’s okay if you’re giving it your all, supporting your teammates and HAVING FUN.

8. Don’t curse like a sailor.
Sure, sometimes things slip when angry, but don’t make a habit of cursing. It’s crude, rude and makes you look unintelligent.

9. Be Confident and Don’t Give In To Peer Pressure.
Just because some surfers are getting high every day before and/or after school, doesn’t mean it’s a good choice for you. And drinking and driving is NEVER Okay. I love you. Call me and I’ll always come get you or pay for a cab.

10. Don’t lie.
We all tell those white lies occasionally, such as: “thanks for inviting me,” even if you didn’t have a good time. But don’t lie about the big stuff and especially not to your mom. She’ll always listen and try to help you—even if you are in trouble. She will never stop loving you. You will always have a home here, no matter what you do. So don’t be afraid to tell her if something’s gone wrong or you’re in a bad situation.  She’s made mistakes too and can help.

11. Always be Courteous to Parents.
Say “nice to meet you,” shake hands, and look parents in the eyes when you are visiting a friend’s house. Do not EVER just walk into a friend’s room when you are teenager without addressing the friend’s parents. When you leave, say, “Nice to see you again,” or “Thanks for having me Mr. & Mrs. so and so.” Good manners NEVER go out of style.

12. Don’t Settle.
Remember that true beauty comes with integrity, intelligence and kindness (a sense of humor is a plus too!). If the gal you like is gorgeous, but is lacking in these other qualities, move on.

13. Focus on Gratitude.
By now you’re sick of hearing me ask you to say what you’re thankful for each night at bedtime, but keep doing it. Letting your mind drift towards what is good in your life, instead of what is bad, brings more good to you AND helps you feel safe and happy.

14. Meditation Isn’t For Sissies.
Staying active is great, but finding a way to connect your mind a body through your breath, reduces your stress and allows you to think calmly about your goals and intentions for your life. The sooner you learn this, the better off you’ll be. Sit still for five minutes each night or morning and focus on deep breathing while you let your mind drift to a positive, relaxing location.

15. Eat Something Fresh and Green Every Day.
The secret to staying healthy is avoiding junk food and remembering the simple rule of eating raw fruit and something green every day.

16. Get Lost in a Good Book.
There’s really nothing like finding yourself transfixed by a good book. In today’s hectic world where everyone multitasks, I will know I’ve done a good job if both of you can find yourself, at some point every year, lost in a marvelous novel.