Sucking wind

I’m struggling to get a NaBloPoMo post in today. I can’t lie. I can barely string two thoughts together at the end of this very long day after an extremely long and draining week of work and kids and life.

While I was sitting in horrendous traffic on the way home from work this evening, I tried to decide what to write about tonight. The usual topics that occur to me on my commute popped into my brain:

  • Being a working parent really sucks. I can write about the top 5 ways being a working parent sucks.
  • I wish that it was easier to find good, affordable child care. I can write about how hard it is to find child care and how much it sucks to leave your kid(s) behind when you have to work.
  • Being a single parent really sucks sometimes. Like now. I can write about all the ways it sucks.

I’ve always got a few ideas percolating in my brain, so it is usually a matter of what starts to come out of me most readily when I sit down to write. But on nights like tonight, the only thing that is running through my brain is: THIS SUCKS.

However, just like this writing challenge, the challenge of parenthood is every day. You can’t skip a day just because you are tired or cranky or feel like doing something else. No matter what is going on in your life, there are little people who are depending on you. That is the challenge that we accepted as parents. And sometimes, we have to suck it up. And it tastes a bit like this:

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Luckily, the rest of the time is more like this:

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A rose by any other name

My blog almost got a new name today. It isn’t the first time I’ve had this thought and probably won’t be the last. When I started this blog, the extreme highs and lows of being a single mom had already passed: the cold hard reality of doing it alone, the transition back to work, figuring out where I fit amongst my friend groups now that I was a mom, the insanity that transpired between the boys’ father and myself, the incredible joy of watching my babies grow and relishing all the “firsts”, while lamenting not having anyone to really share them with, having no money and needing to rely on the generosity of my father who essentially paid me the child support I wasn’t getting for the first couple of years, picking up and moving across country to be closer to my family and to get a higher paying job, how life changing it was to work in NYC…clearly, I could go on and on and on.

The blog was going to be my outlet for writing, as well as catharsis for the roller coaster I felt I was on every day. I couldn’t keep up with it, though. It was difficult for me to figure out how to take care of these babies/toddlers/little boys AND work AND keep up the house AND attempt to have a social life AND write. So there were small periods of time where I would be feeling rather in control of my life and I would write in the blog and then I’d put it aside when things got too overwhelming. There were a lot of fits and starts. I did a lot of writing offline, but sitting down and making sense of what I was going through and putting it into clear and cohesive posts just seemed like stress that I didn’t need to take on.

Now, the boys are older and can do some things on their own and I find that I actually  have time and energy and presence of mind to write. But, in some ways, I feel like all my good stories are gone.

My blog is less “Adventures in Single Mommyhood” and more “Day-to-day Craziness that Pretty Much Every Mom Goes Through”.

A friend of mine has been encouraging me to start a Facebook page for my blog. I’m resistant to the idea for a number of reasons. One of the lamest reasons I gave was because my blog doesn’t have a hook. It doesn’t have a clever name. It doesn’t have a lot of the characteristics of what I would consider a successful blog. Or, more accurately, a “marketable” blog

Maybe a year or so after creating Adventures in Single Mommyhood, I created another blog, Every Other Thing. I figured that I could safely blog about whatever crossed my distracted mind under such a large umbrella. Of course, thinking that I would actually post regularly on two blogs when I can barely keep up with one was rather ambitious of me and to date there is not one post on Every Other Thing.

I’m always wondering if I have boxed myself into a corner with this “single mommy” label. I’ve learned that so much of the motherhood experience is outside of the labels we are given (or give ourselves): stay-at-home mom, working mom, single mom, co-parenting mom, Pinterest mom, soccer mom, free-range mom, helicopter mom. We are so much more than the adjectives; it’s the “mom”  that is the relevant part of the label and runs through us all as a common thread. And moreover, I feel like I’m more than just a mom, too. And sometimes I struggle to identify with those other parts of me because I don’t write about those things publicly and share them with the world.

And thus, I had a moment today where I thought maybe I will leave behind AISM and embrace Every Other Thing. My immediate anxiety over losing even my small number of followers and loyal readers told me that maybe I wasn’t ready for such a big step. Plus, I am not ready to completely leave “mommyhood” as a topic behind. So perhaps, I will just start to dabble in Every Other Thing. Maybe I will start a “Name My New Blog” contest. I do find that my creativity is often spurred on by other people’s creative ideas.

Should I change the name of my blog? Have any name suggestions? All comments and thoughts welcome!

NaBloPoMo– Challenge Accepted

It’s fate. During the month that I decide to post two posts in a row, I learn that there is such a thing as NaBloPoMo. Yes, it is a play off of NaNoWriMo (which I have done several times and failed to varying degrees). NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month and the challenge is to write one post a day. I can do this. I will do this. I am already doing this (it’s only been three days, but that counts)! There are even prompts to help keep me inspired.

I considered participating in NaNoWriMo this month and decided that while I would make the conscious effort to work on the novel I started last year and still haven’t finished, I would not give myself any added stress this month. One of the big draws for me with NaNoWriMo was the compulsion to write every day. One of the downsides, was that I could “skip” a day and not hit my word count and convince myself that I could make it up the next day. This lead to several years of failing to complete the challenge. I had a feeling that I wouldn’t be able to commit to that 2000 words a day this year, so I cut myself some (rare) slack and let it go telling myself that I could just write a blog post every day. And then, as if by magic, I stumbled upon NaBloPoMo.

I’m still a blogging novice in many ways, even though I have been doing it for years. Well, I started years ago, but have kept up with the blog with fluctuating levels of commitment. Now, I am starting to explore more within the blogging communities and finding different bloggers that I can relate to and learning different tips and tricks to keep myself motivated to just keep writing. Publicly. I’ve found that to be accountable to someone other than myself, even if it is just to my small group of lovely and amazing followers, has done wonders as an incentive to keep writing.

Being a writer and a mom has seemed to be mutually exclusive for me at times. But as I discussed with a friend and colleague recently, I’m getting to the age where I need to start developing my Plan B and even actively plotting my “second act”. I cannot wait until my kids are grown and out of the house to do this. In fact, I should have been working on this all along. I will cut myself a little slack because being the single mom of twins is freakin’ hard, damn-it! However, the time for procrastination has passed. It is time for me to dive in and do what I want to do, instead of what I have to do. No one is going to do it but me and this blog challenge is as good a place to start as any.

You know what Lao Tse said about the journey of a thousand miles. Just one step. Just one post. One day at a time.

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One-Liner Wednesday– Homework

Seriously, writing three paragraphs AND having math homework is like torture for little kids.  – G, on how much is too much


I have a whole post about our homework battles that I’ve been working on for a while just waiting to be revealed, but this astute pre-observation is brought to you as part of LindaGHill’s One-Liner Wednesdays.

One-liner Wednesday – On learning

If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room

– someone brilliant (I’ve seen it attributed to a few different people)

 


This one-liner brought to you as part of LindaGHill’s One-Liner Wednesday: http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/one-line-wednesday-t-shirts-say-the-funniest-things/