Single Mom Thriving: I Can't Do It By Myself.



 As the youngest of ten children, I was often offered unsolicited help from my doting older siblings.  I hated it.
My response was always "I am not a baby. I can do it myself! "

 I was a determined and independent little girl.

That determination made putting myself though college and graduate school possible. It helped naturally birth three babies. Most importanly it made raising three children as a single mom achieveable.

All attributes all double edged swords.

I started out my single motherhood journey fiercely determined to make it. I was going to be the kind of mother I wanted to be. The absence of a husband wasn't going to change how I parented my children or how I chose to spend my time.  I wanted to prove to the world that I could do it all by myself .

My grit got me standing up. My grit made things happen. My grit alone though wasn't going to sustain me in the long haul.  I was tired of working so hard to prove I had it all under control.

Trying to do it all alone made me feel all alone.

Then all three of my children had the flu.  I could do laundry, clean up vomit, fetch buckets, dispense tylenol, rub heads, console and rinse and repeat for days.

 I could not lug three feverish, vomiting children to the store. I could not leave three feverish, vomiting children home alone.

I had to ask for help. There was no option.

My friend delivered groceries, medicine, movies and a much needed hug. She then checked in a few times each and every day. My children recovered and the flu moved on to me. That same friend took my children for few hours each day as I recovered.

 I didn't need to wait for  the flu to hit to ask for help. I could have asked at the first sign of overwhelm.

To this day, whenever I am feeling overwhelmed I always ask myself, "Is there someone who could help me with this?"

Suffering happens when we never ask for help and try to do everything all alone. 

A Welcome Message


I posted my first video on my Facebook page and I thought I would share it here as well. 
Remember, You are perfect regardless of what the external looks like. 
Many Blessings
Virginia






                         You can visit my facebook page here.

Monday's Course In Miracles


I give the miracles I have received. A Course in Miracles


Single Mom Thriving: I Am Enough.

When I first became a single mom, I spent many sleepless nights worrying about my children's future.

I was paralyzed in fear with the same question swirling in my head,"How can I be both Mom and Dad?"

Then one day in the wee hours of the morning it hit me, "I don't have to be mom and dad."

Every cell in my body felt immediate relief.

In Brene Brown's words I finally embraced, "I am imperfect AND I am enough."

I let go of the notion that I had to be anything more than myself in order for my children to thrive.
 
  Being myself meant that sometimes I had to miss events. I have missed many of my son's college lacrosse games.
  Sometimes I had to choose one child's event over the other. Just recently I chose to take prom pictures     with my senior daughter's group of friends instead of my sophomore son's group of friends.
   Being myself meant sometimes they had to find their own rides.
  Trusting that I was enough in these moments meant guilt was not an option.

I let go of the fear that my single mom status was going to damage my children.
   
    I ignored every ridiculous statistic about children growing up with a single mother.
    I fully committed to raising happy, healthy children.
    My marital status was in no way going to deter that goal.
  
 
I let go of the idea that parenting teens was going to be hard as a single mom. 

     Teenagers are amazing human beings.
     It is a roller coaster ride for all parents.
     In many ways this time is easier as a single parent. I make the rules!

I no longer stay awake at night worrying about how my single mom status will effect my children.

                    Mostly I go to bed wondering how it all went so fast.



Some Oldies But Goodies

As I said in yesterdays post,(you can read it here) I am a voracious reader. I read a few books each week.

I don't, however, collect books. I like to keep minimal stuff.

A reader emailed me and asked what books I would recommend. I  asked for clarification because there are just so many!  She clarified the question by asking,  "What books that you own and love did you refer to this week?"



If You Want To Write by Brenda Ueland
    I am not sure when I found this book.  It was first published in 1938. It is my absolute favorite book on how to write. I grab it for inspiration. I grabbed it the other day for permission to walk away from the writing and tend to my garden.

The Prophet by Kahil Gibran
    A friend gave me this book when I graduated college. (30 years ago GULP!) I grabbed it for a quote and then spent the next 20 minutes enjoying.

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L Hay
    My sister gave this to me when I was newly separated with three kids under 5.  I grabbed it the other day because my hip was hurting after I ran. Louise Hay's  thought about hips,"Hip Hip Hooray- there is joy in everyday. I am balanced and free." I liked saying that as I learned to stretch my hips.

 A Course in Miracles
   I read this everyday. as you know. Have you checked out the latest? Find it here.


Artist Way by Julian Cameron
    This might be my favorite book. It is a wonderful way to embrace your creativity. I bought it when I was pregnant with my youngest, 15 years ago. I picked it up for inspiration this week.

The Essential Rumi Translation by Coleman Barks
   I love Rumi. His poetry is extremely powerful. One of my favorites is here. I used it for a picture quote on Instagram. You can see it here.

What are some of your favorite books that you refer to?











Love or Fear? You Choose.




One of my daughter's and my favorite adventures is to go to the library. We are both voracious readers and get crazy excited by a new batch of books to devour.

My batch this week includes Robert Holden's, Loveability, Knowing How to Love and Be Loved. 

I am halfway through it.

It is beautifully written.

It is the perfect antidote to all I have been feeling lately.

My library partner has graduated high school. She heads to MIT in just a few months. I have been feeling a bit sad.

Love or Fear?

Here are two examples

ONE:

Fear says, "Our days together are numbered."
Love says, " We will always be together."

FEAR:

'Our days are numbered' makes me want to keep her close by.
"Our days together are numbered' makes me anxious and sad.
"Our days together are numbered'  takes me away from right now.

LOVE:

'We will always be together' makes me happy to see her venture off with friends.
 ' We will always be together' makes me excited, proud and happy for this amazing daughter of mine.
'We will always be together' makes it possible for me to be here right now.

TWO:

As another child graduates the court hearing to change child support quickly approaches.

Fear says more than I can appropriately post here. The main theme is I am not loveable. (All negativity comes from the 'I am not loveable' theme )
Love says, "You got this Gin Gin (Gin Gin was/is my father's loving  nickname for me).

FEAR:

'I am not loveable' makes me angry.
'I am not loveable ' pulls me into a story from the past.
 'I am not loveable', according to Robert Holden is the number one fear. I agree.

LOVE:

'You got this Gin Gin' reminds me of my parents' love for me.
'You got this Gin Gin' reminds me of my strength that got me this far.
'You got this Gin Gin' reminds me that all of us, you, me, even my ex-husband, are constantly doing a dance between love and fear.

I am going to dance with LOVE!

Blessings,
Virginia





Monday's Course In Miracles

My daily spiritual practice includes studying A Course In Miracles. each Monday I share a quote from the text.




Feng Shui Friday: Making a Summer House




The summer sun has the power to increase self confidence ,creativity and drive. It is the time of year when we want to get things done.

If there is too much fire energy, summer can make us tired, cranky and unmotivated.

I love to take advantage of summer power. One way I do this is by balancing the outdoor heat with a cooler home.
      Heavy curtains are replaced with sheer ones.
   
      My dining room is moved to the to the screened-in  porch and my dining room stays totally empty.
   
      I take up all the rugs and leave the wood floors bare.
   
      I add cooler colors of blues and pinks and greens.
   
       I spend a weekend purging stuff.

On the bagua map The Fame and Reputation area is associated with fire. I also spend time fixing this area up. You can read about how to that here. 
   
An open airy home feels like the possibilities of summer are endless.

Remember Feng Shui is pronounced FUN Shway.  Enjoy creating a home that mirrors your wonderful life.

Blessings,
Virginia





Single Mom Thriving; Farewell to the Green Queen

Thank you for:
   
    Sixteen years
     200,000 miles
    One labor
    Four throw ups.
    Hundreds of dinner picnics
    A million trips back and forth to school, practices, and games.

Thank you for being:
 
   A spaceship
   A pretend house
   A Matchbox motor speedway
   A fort
   A Hiding spot
   A Holder of toys and snacks and drinks
   An Emergency bathroom
   A Co Parent

Thank you for surviving;

    Bologna in the cd holder.
    Legos in the air vents.
    Broken door handles.
    Car seats  and beginner drivers.
    Dirt and sand.
    Leftover food and spilled drinks.

                                     Farewell Green Queen


 

 












Abundance

Yesterday I asked for abundance. Today I realized I am abundance.

Five Ways to Embrace Our Sadness and Lean into Healing.




 


My heart is so heavy and my sadness runs deep. As I try to wrap my head around the news, my heart cracks wide open.

Forty nine beautiful lives brutally taken.  So many tragically lost a daughter, a brother, a sister, a friend, a life partner, a husband, a wife, a lover, a niece, a cousin,  a nephew.  The suffering is unimaginable. I hurt all over.

I was already hurting.  A convicted rapist will only serve three months in jail.

And perhaps my heart is still hurting from all of the previous mass shootings and injustices of our world.

It hurts.

But I don't want it to go away. I want to feel it ,because that is what it means to be human. As humans we feel the pain in the world. As humans we also know healing is possible.

I feel for the brave woman who wrote that eloquent speech to the judge. I want her to heal.

I feel for all women who are victims of rape. I want them to heal.

I feel for the families and loved ones of every single person killed in an act of terror. I want them to heal.

In feeling my sadness and wanting to heal:

1. I try to make my world more beautiful.

I plant flowers. The blooms get watered with my tears.
Ann Lamott recommends picking up litter.
I like to clean a room, a drawer, a closet. Order makes me feel like I have control.

2. I offer help.

I believe acts of love are universal. Helping the person in front of you helps heal the world.  Even a heartfelt smile can create a miracle.  I also heed the advice from my childhood love, Mr. Rogers. I look for the helpers.

3. I share love.

I reach out to family and friends. I pray. The other day I set an hourly alarm on my phone. Each hour I held that beautiful ,brave, warrior of a woman in my heart. In those few minutes on the hour ,I showered her with love. I am doing something similar for the victims in Orlando. Love always trumps hate.

4. I make an effort not to get sucked into the media.

I find it traumatizing to watch and rewatch the news reel. I also hate having to repeatedly see the face of the perpetrators. Instead, I look for something inspirational or funny to read or watch.  I limit social media.

5. I create.

It has been scientifically proven that creativity increases happiness. Creating a meal, a picture, a dance, a song,a photograph all lift my spirit. Lifting our own spirits lifts the spirits of those around us and has a rippling effect.

Even in  the darkness I choose love. Please join me.

Blessings,
Virginia





Monday's Course in Miracles

My daily spiritual practice includes studying A Course In Miracles. Each Monday I share a quote from the text.



A Thursday Thought


Beginnings Require Faith





I love to garden. In the garden, time is lost. Hours seem like minutes and days feel like hours.

I spend many snowy days dreaming of my gardens. Come February my perfect garden becomes etched in my brain.


When I finished getting my vegetable garden prepped, I hesitated to plant.

As I looked at my new garden beds, I wondered,

"Maybe I should send in a soil sample before I plant."

"Maybe it would be better to put the fencing over there."

" I should get a book at the library on growing tomatoes and cucumbers vertically."

I was trying to procrastinate.

I could send in the soil sample and make adjustments after the plants are in.

I already moved the fencing twice.

My tomato plants are four inches high. I started my cucumbers from seed. I have plenty of time to research vertical gardening.

It was time to begin. I knew by beginning I was letting go of my perfect garden.  I was letting go of the outcome. I could nurture and tend to my garden but how things grew wasn't up to me.

All beginnings require the same amount of faith.





Monday's Course in Miracles

My daily spiritual practice includes studying A Course In Miracles.  Each Monday I share a quote from the text.

Today I learn to give as I receive. ACIM


Lessons From the Garden



             The past is gone




      The future is uncertain



    The present is magnificent