part forum. part confession. part celebration.

1. Keeping the kids out of prison, one single mother at a time June 5, 2011

Filed under: Story — somemother @ 9:45 pm
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ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you).

I am 34 years old.

I am twice divorced, because I am better at raising kids than I am at raising husbands. (Don’t comment I need therapy, it’s a joke. As in, HA HA)

I have 4 children. Here are their ages/genders: my girls are 15 & 11 and my boys are 5 & 6.

have been unemployed for over 1 year and am now a student again.

I am now lowest of the low, but aspire to go back to middle.

I live urban.

I rent.

I completed my undergrad degree with another in progress.

I am straight.

Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: Average white bread American. Not toasted.


  1. The most significant aspect of my upbringingBeing placed into a group home for “troubled kids” when I was 14. It forced me to realize that I had to conform to obeying authority figures and work on being a good human in general instead of focusing solely on myself. It also gave me many gifts of learning normal daily habits that were previously unknown to me, such as proper house cleaning, how to interact with people (I was shy), etc. I spent 1.5 years there and they ended up being the most significant time of my life.
  2. My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through. “Roll with it baby!” Every stage is different with each kid, and sometimes you are going to want to sell your kids and sometimes they are the sweetest gift ever. Don’t get so bogged down in freaking out about a stage because by the time you figure that one out they are in a new stage.
  3. Something that concerns me about my child(ren). The impact of two divorces, and different custody schedules & home routines in a total of three different houses. It is exhausting and difficult enough for me to maintain their schedules (I have 4 kids on some days and 2 on others) but for them it is down right confusing. Every morning I drop them at school and have to explain who is picking them up and which siblings they get to see today. I worry this will drive them insane or at least lead to depression, anxiety, etc.
  4. My absolute worst mothering moment (so far). So many to choose from…probably staying with my 2nd after he hit me, which resulted in him hitting one of the kids next. I left my husband that night but will always wonder why it wasn’t enough to leave when it was focused on me; why I let him near my children knowing it was a possiblity-however remote I believed it to be; what will that child remember (so far nothing, it was minor in physical damage terms); and finally how will I explain to those two children in the future when they ask why we divorced? The older ones know the truth, plus the paperwork exists that exposes it in detail, so lying isn’t an option.
  5. What annoys me most about other mothers. The perfection game: the moms who can’t accept that we are all getting on-the-job-training for a position we thought would be vastly different. Who knew how much poop we would have to deal with? Enough with the “my Jimmy is so perfect because” crap: the truth is we all suck in varying degrees on different days(even the kids) and we are all just trying to cope and keep our kids out of prison.
  6. I am happiest when my kids are playing nicely, being sweet, and I have chocolate and caffeine nearby.
  7. I am saddest when my kids are away (the next person who tells me weekends off are WONDERFUL! They are not wonderful. How about you send your kids away every other weekend with the neighborhood creeper guy and see how you handle it?)
  8. My biggest fear is not preparing my kids for life. I am a young mom, and I get things wrong a lot, but I don’t want to produce adults that are negative, or a drain on society. I want to produce positive kids that make a difference in life and are good people. Oh, and that my one son dies early. He has tried to a few times, and I want him to live a long life.
  9. I am ashamed of lots of stuff. Really. My biggest is how I handled a situation with trying to help a friend and ending up telling her story to people I shouldn’t have. I have plenty of excuses (like, cuz I am an idiot?) but bottom line is I should have keep my nose out of it.
  10. Something I need to forgiveI need to truly forgive my parents for their roles in my upbringing.
  11. Something I wish I could say to someone. I wish I could tell my grandmother and grandfather how much I miss them and I wish I had/could have used my time with them on Earth more wisely, not realizing they would be gone so soon.
  12. Something I have never told anyoneI regret ever moving in with my dad in more ways than I can express. In my desire to know more I helped create a disaster. I should have let him stay an almost stranger.
  13. Something I am trying to change about myself. Trying to know myself more, listen to myself more, not bow to peer pressure, and really actually try and lose some weight 🙂
  14. My biggest accomplishment. Surviving and thriving in the midst of life crumbling around me multiple times. I could totally write my life’s story and you would think it was a soap opera.
  15. I wish for a lot of things. Mostly a comfortable life for my kids without such heartache. Although some lottery money would be great!
  16. Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parentingPaying attention to your kids when they are little is more important than when they are older! Because it does matter to them if you can or can’t remember how they like their sandwiches.
  17. Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting. Throwing money at a “problem” doesn’t make it better. I would rather have real face-to-face conversations than all the money in the world.
  18. How I would describe my faith life. Emerging, growing, but in need of better tending by me.
  19. Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year. I hope I will have more money to support us, although I doubt it.
  20. Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above. My third child has mild special needs which his father doesn’t want to be involved in. His issues were much bigger when he was younger, but now he is “almost normal”. However, we still deal with multiple therapy appointments a week, and there are things he may never be able to do, like organized sports, etc.  Through his life he has shown me that he is the coolest kid in the world and has me in awe of how he handles his setbacks!
  21. BONUS: A question you would like to see added to this list that readers can respond to in the commentsWhat one decision in your life would you take back? Mine is easy, I would not have moved away from my hometown after high school.

3 Responses to “1. Keeping the kids out of prison, one single mother at a time”

  1. My husband read this post and actually teared up over the sandwiches bit…. so true! Thanks so much for this honesty.

    And, I MUST mention, this contributor finished her degree after persisting at it for 16 years while everything above was going on, and achieved a 3.5 GPA to boot!! Now THAT is inspiring!

    somemother lurves you Contributor #1

  2. Eve Says:

    Oops, forgot to reply to Q21… that’s a good question, because I wouldn’t want to undo all the good things that have somehow resulted from my decisions (good and bad). I would never have joined Spa Lady. That’s shallow, but a regret.

  3. Eve Says:

    Well Somemother, I was determined to be all objective, but here I am getting sniffly over this story! Roll with it, such good advice. It is truly humbling and at the same time inspiring to “witness” this you living this advice, or so it seems from your story above! I am guessing your kids will make out just fine! Thank You for sharing!

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