1

A well-adjusted kid and a not so well-adjusted Mom.

Last weekend, another mom told me about part of a conversation she overheard between my daughter and hers. “Your daughter was giving my daughters some good advice,” she said with a smile on her face, letting me in on the joke. “We were talking about how the order of events in life should be college, then marriage, then having kids. Brynn stopped us and said ‘no, you fall in love, kiss, then have babies and then break up.'” I laughed, maybe too loud. Oh isn’t it hilarious how Brynn talks like an adult?!

Moments later, after the other mom had walked away, I turned to my mom in tears. “Did I warp my daughter?” Surely I have scarred her 7 year old brain if she thinks you break up after you have kids. She doesn’t know it’s supposed to be “happily ever after”. She doesn’t know the parents are supposed to stay together to be a parenting team and raise a kid in a healthy home. Now she’s just going to be looking for a sperm donor if she wants to have kids and not an actual partner because she’s never had a good example of what a healthy marriage/relationship looks like and please, Lord, don’t let this make her into a stripper.

Clearly, I had a little bit of a breakdown over her innocent comment. My mom reassured me that I did not warp my daughter, but I needed more time to overthink it all. How can an issue possibly be resolved if you don’t overthink about it for at least a week?

After having some time to process, I’ve decided to believe her comment wasn’t a bad thing. I don’t believe it’s a bad thing that I haven’t hammered “college, marriage, kids” into her head (especially considering she’s only 7). Everyone has a different path, and I don’t ever want her to feel bad if hers doesn’t mirror the “ideal”. She has told me before that she doesn’t want to have kids, and I’ve assured her that that’s okay. If she doesn’t want to get married, that’s okay too. Do I hope that she’ll make better choices than I did in life and not follow the path I did? Of course. I think every parent hopes that for their kids. But ultimately I want her to be happy, healthy, and loved.

As for thinking you break up after you have kids – I am still sad that’s been her experience in life. I don’t think that will ever change. I wish it could have all worked out differently. But, I am glad she doesn’t feel weird about it. To me, that comment means she doesn’t feel like something abnormal happened to her. She doesn’t feel like things didn’t turn out the way they should have. And I am thankful for that. I’d feel worse if she was embarrassed that she had divorced parents or felt sad about it. She sees it as her norm, and I’m at least glad that could come out of the situation. If she was older when we split up, I might not have been so lucky.

It’s hard to raise a kid. It’s hard to feel like you’re doing a decent job at raising a kid. But realizing my kid is pretty well adjusted for what our situation is/has been is the closest I’ve been to feeling like I’m doing a decent job raising a functional human being.

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6

Dear Daughter

Dear daughter,

We had a conversation yesterday that I didn’t expect to have while you were in first grade. I was hoping I’d get lucky and we’d never have a conversation like this, but unfortunately that’s just not the world we live in today. I don’t think you knew how to approach me about it, or maybe you felt embarrassed, but you started the conversation by writing me notes on a little whiteboard we have. “Can I ask you something?” “Of course!” “You know my legs?” “Yes, I made them.” “Do you think they’re chubby?”

You can’t imagine how much this made my heart sink, little B. I wanted to protect you from the world and the body image issues as long as I possibly could. I felt guilty, and still do, thinking maybe I had not complimented or built you up enough in your 6 years.

I stopped the writing back and forth, and told you your legs are perfect, and asked why you would even think that. “My friend at school said my legs are big. And when I sit they go splat.” I first told you that friends don’t say things like that to each other. I so hope that you learn in this life that it is not okay for people, especially ones we consider friends, to critique your body. I will never stop telling you that your body is no one else’s business and I hope that you really, truly hear me. Your opinion on your body is the only one that matters.

Next, I told you that your legs are perfect. I should know, I made them. And God made them. Every person was built perfectly the way they were supposed to be made, and your legs are absolutely perfect. I told you that your legs are built strong, and you need strong legs for how much you dance and run and jump. It is a good thing to have a strong body that accommodates all you want to do. I also assured you that everyone’s thighs “splat” when they sit. If they didn’t, we’d all have logs for legs, and how comfortable would that be? That made you laugh, but I hope you hold on to that forever. My thighs were the part of my body that I was most self conscious of growing up (thanks to a middle school boy telling me they were “cottage cheese thighs” when I sat), and I wish I really would have realized it was silly sooner. If I would have just looked around, I’d have realized that because thighs are built like thighs, literally all of them change shape when people sit. Please realize this. Please never think anything bad about your body shape because it is shaped like a body.

I wish I could follow you around every day of your life and tell you how perfectly you are made. Women’s bodies are magic, no matter what shape or size they come in. I wish I could make you see yourself through my eyes forever. I know the self consciousness will come with time and teenage hormones, and our conversations will get even worse than this one. I wish I could protect you from that. But I hope no matter what, you will always know I’m standing in your corner, cheering your name, and willing to tell you you’re beautiful when you don’t believe it. Every day, forever.

And for now, I will also be cheering your name and yelling at your “friend”‘s mother when I see her next about what a rude asshole her kid is. You have me for yelling at people, too, until you’re old enough to say, “mom, please stop, I think they’re calling the cops.”

Love you always. 

0

How to lose a guy in 1 date.

Now that it’s been about a year since this happened, let me tell you a little story about the first guy I met from a dating app. This guy ended up kind of gradually stopping talking to me, and looking back, it was probably rightfully so. This story is a little embarrassing, but let it be a lesson to you in not dating too soon after a break up.

The breakup was so complicated, I couldn’t tell you for sure how long after it this meeting took place. 3 months? 4 months? 5 months? Do you measure from the last “I love you” or the decision to end things? Needless to say, it was a weird, drawn out thing, and in my mind there was a timeline for when I should be ready to date again – and this was it. So I downloaded Bumble after my sister told me about it. I had never done dating apps before (had sworn I never would) but I figured giving it a shot was better than being lonely.

The first guy I started talking to and felt like I would have chemistry with – we’ll call him Salt N Peppa. I’m sure he’s long since forgotten about me and will never see this blog, but I like giving people nicknames, so indulge me. He was older than me by probably 7 or 8 years, but was really attractive and was the creative type (for some reason, creative type is always my thing – musician, artist, person-who-can-make-something-with-welding…I dig it). Also, tattoos. He had also been divorced, and we seemed to have a lot in common. Plus he said he was a feminist (swoon). We decided to meet, so he picked the place and I almost threw up from nerves.

The first mistake I made was being late. I know there are people who are always early and get mad when people are late…and I always hope I’m not meeting someone like that because I am always late. It’s not that I’m rude – I swear the part of my brain that estimates time is just broken. I think it’ll take me 10 minutes to get somewhere that it actually takes 30 minutes to get to. Well, it so happens that Salt N Peppa is an early guy and seemed annoyed that I was late, even though part of the reason I was late was that I got lost. Downtown can be really confusing, okay? The directions part of my brain is also broken.

Besides the waitress commenting that she thought I was going to stand Salt N Peppa up, the date actually went pretty well. He actually looked like his pics and was funny. We got along well, I thought. He didn’t seem to judge me for eating my pizza like a cavewoman. He kind of talked about his ex a lot – enough to where I was able to find her Instagram pretty easily (oh hold your judgement, Judgy McJudgerson, if you say you don’t do that you’re a liar) – but I didn’t think anything of it really. When you’re divorced, it’s not out of the ordinary to trade divorce stories. It’s like moms who trade birth stories – we like to know someone else has also gone through a really unpleasant thing and compare scars. We talked about a concert we both wanted to go to months away, and we talked about getting together again at the end of the date so I assumed this was the start of something that could actually be good.

Well, it wasn’t. 

He ended up cancelling on our second date, and then gradually just stopped responding to me. I am too proud to text and ask “hey, do you not like me now or what?” so I stopped texting also. My ego was a little hurt, just because I actually did like him and I didn’t know what I did to make him not like me. It has been pointed out to me that with the dating app culture, it is easy to drop someone if something better comes along – which hurt my feelings even more. I think I’m a catch, dammit.

So where did this go wrong? It took a while, but I realized it went wrong with me trying to get comfortable too fast. The relationship I had just gotten out of – there was no real “getting to know you” time, because he’s someone I’d known for 20+ years. It was comfortable from the start. Once you’re so comfortable with someone it’s hard to remember that it’s not like that with everyone. So I talked too much about problems with my baby daddy at the time. I sent pictures of drawings my kid did, which seems so inappropriate to me now that I’m blushing as I write this. I don’t think I talked about the last ex too much, but my brain was broke at the time so I probably actually did. I’m sure I seemed like a stage 5 clinger and a damn weirdo. I never took into account that meeting someone from a dating app is a lot different from real life in that it takes longer to get to know and get comfortable with someone. My problem was that I had recently lost a best friend and I wanted to fill that void with whoever was unfortunate enough to show me any interest. It’s like replacing a missing limb with a broomstick. It’s silly and it doesn’t work for anyone.

The moral of the story is – wait until you’re actually ready to date someone after a break up. Don’t try to force yourself into being ready just because you think you “should” be. If it takes a while, it takes a while. At least you’ll be recovering by yourself instead of inviting yourself to live with someone after a week. Which I totally didn’t do. Totally.

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Sugar Daddy Dating App.

In my dating app experience, I have been pretty willing to try different apps. The first was Bumble thanks to my sister talking about it (and loneliness), but I’ve downloaded a plethora of other ones. Ok Cupid, Hinge, Coffee Meet Bagel, Clover…you name it, I’ve probably tried it. (Except Tinder…I like to pretend because I haven’t done that one my standards are sooo high.) But it had never occurred to me to see what was on dating apps for “different” lifestyles. Until now.

I was on Instagram one day, and one of the “sponsored posts” was for an app that helps sugar daddies and sugar babies (gag, I know, I feel gross using that term) meet. Now, I have made jokes about finding a sugar daddy, but I was honestly kind of surprised an app like this existed. I guess I shouldn’t have been, because, ya know, the Internet, but I was intrigued. Do people actually use apps like this? Are sugar daddy relationships that popular these days? Why in the hell is Instagram suggesting this to me? So…I found myself downloading Seeking Arrangements.

Now, my intention was never to actually meet or get involved with anyone. If you love this kind of thing, you do you – there’s a lid for every pot and all that. If someone wants to pay me to be pretty and this arrangement doesn’t involve any “sugar” (cringe), cool! But I just don’t think I have it in me to have this kind of arrangement. I am fiercely opposed to women being treated like objects and that’s always what this has seemed like to me. My intention was honestly just to satisfy my curiosity. I have never met a sugar daddy or sugar baby and I love collecting weird stories to share with you guys, so here we are.

I didn’t put a whole lot in my bio – pretty generic, vague stuff. I did put in two pictures just so my stuff wasn’t blank. I picked a cleavage-heavy one and one I took in my sexy Harry Potter Halloween costume. If sexy Harry Potter doesn’t float your boat, I don’t know what will. I thought about lowering my age because I don’t think most sugar daddies are looking for women in their late 20s, but whatever WOMEN CAN AGE AND IT SHOULDNT BE FROWNED UPON BY MEN WHO PERPETUATE UNREALISTIC BEAUTY STANDARDS AND I WANT TO YELL ABOUT IT ALL DAY.

One of the first things I noticed was that some men get really specific about what they’re looking for. This felt a little too much like buying a bride to me. Or like I’m a show dog – they’re one step away from opening my mouth to examine my teeth. People are like this on regular dating apps too, don’t get me wrong, but here it just seems more creepy.
I got the teeth, but little feet? Psh. I got them Shaquille O’Neal feet. 

I did get quite a few messages, which I guess is nice for an old sugar baby (shudder). A lot of the messages involved people being very straight forward about wanting to pay for you, basically. This raised a lot of questions about where the line is between prostitution and sugar daddy relationships.


What if my friend is a dude? Do we have to split this $100? Is your brother cute? Is this a plot so you both can date rape me and my man friend? I have a lot more questions before I say yes. Also, this was his very first message to me. At least pretend you want to get to know me. Side note: this dude had something pretty funny on his profile that I knew I HAD to post:

LOL.
I got approached by a couple, which I also think ventures into the “we’re wanting to buy a prostitute but don’t want to call it that because we’re classy” territory.


I mean I don’t know the going rates, but I feel like $250 is a little low for a couple. I really wanted to post the picture of this couple because it’s just so awesome and repulsive, but I decided for privacy’s sake not to do it. But let me paint you a picture: imagine a 40 something, scantily clad woman with fake boobs and black hair who would be at home in a biker bar. Now imagine she is inappropriately touching an almost naked older white dude with man boobs. You’re welcome.

Last but not least, there are men on there who have the attitude like you owe them something right off the bat.


Surprisingly no, literal stranger, I cannot FaceTime a potential sugar daddy at my desk, nor would I want to. Especially when I assume this would not be an innocent FaceTime to ask me how my day is going. This attitude could send me into a giant feminist rant, but that’s a post for another day.

Conclusion: I am not cut out to be a sugar baby (throws up in mouth), and people on the internet just get weirder and weirder the more you are on it. My curiosity is satisfied for the rest of my life. Unless you want to pay me to look pretty at my house, away from you, and I never have to talk to you or see you – then we can talk. 

1

Awkward Date Story Time

Since I have decided to stop the dating apps (for now – ask me again in about a week when I feel lonely again), I figured I would entertain you with a story about the most awkward first date I’ve had from a dating app.

I met this guy on Bumble – I honestly can’t remember his name, so we’ll call him the photographer. The photographer seemed nice enough. He also had a kid, and seemed to be fairly involved with her. I had only met one guy from a dating app before this guy, and he hadn’t met anyone at all before. We bonded over our inexperience with dating apps, and talked for a couple weeks before meeting was mentioned. 

On a night I happened to not have my daughter, he texted me wanting to meet. He told me that his friend had just gotten back from Africa and was having a get together at his house for friends and family to tell all his Africa stories. He invited me to stop by. He acknowledged that it was a weird way to meet someone, but he also knew sometimes people feel more comfortable meeting for the first time with other people around. 

Now, maybe this was naive of me, but because this guy had previously sent me a bible verse, I assumed he meant his friend was on a mission trip to Africa. Like…a church thing. So I assumed this would be a safe outing. I figured at the very worst, there would be enough people there that I could sneak out unnoticed if it went bad.

I was wrong on both accounts.

My first red flag should have been that the street the house was on was dark and empty. Definitely not as many cars as there should have been for the get together he described – in fact, only 2 in the driveway. I thought it was strange but the street was really dark so I figured I just missed seeing more cars or something. I texted the photographer that I was there, and he came out to get me. The smell of alcohol on him hit me before he was very close. I’m not opposed to drinking – but not what I was expecting the night to be like. I brushed it off and ended up in an awkward half-handshake/half-hug greeting.


Like this.

He told me everyone already left. I’m not sure why, since it wasn’t late (maybe 630 or 7), but it did make me a little uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable enough to leave, of course, because I’m apparently an easy target for a date rape. We walked into the house, and it was empty except for two kids and a very drunk man. The very drunk man turned out to be his friend (who owned the house we were in), and the kids turned out to belong to him. The photographer offered me pizza and a beer, and we went in the backyard to eat – with one of the kids, a girl who was probably around 5 or 6. Instead of the get-to-know-you small talk that first dates usually consist of, we were treated to songs from the little girl and stories about the stuffed animals she brought out to us. Part way through this, who should call me but my daughter. She persistently asked where I was and who I was with when I tried to brush her off with “I’m at a friend’s house”. I haven’t spoken to my daughter about me dating, really. Not since my ex (not her dad) moved out of our house and it was a really big deal. Plus she was at her dad’s, which makes it even more awkward to say something about being on a date. But I can’t not answer her call – even if it was a pointless call about what she did on Minecraft today. During the phone call I was blushing so bad from being uncomfortable that I was literally sweating. It was definitely a “did I put on deodorant today”/try to smell your underarms discreetly moment.

Before too long, the little girl dragged us inside to watch her do a dance. This was by far the most awkward part, because her dad had put on sunglasses while he laid on the couch so it looked like he was watching her when he was really passing out. Like a really sad version of Weekend at Bernies. At this point my mom side is coming out and I’m encouraging this strange little girl to keep putting on her show because I feel so bad. The photographer seems completely comfortable this whole time. He doesn’t seem embarrassed that his friend is being a douchey drunk dad. In fact, he tried to get the little girl to wrap up her show a little faster which made me a little mad. Let her perform! She has to practice for when she’s older and becomes a stripper from her daddy issues!

After the dance, we went back to the backyard to play ping pong with the kids. Douchey drunk dad stayed inside, passed out on the couch. During the game we attempted to do the first date small talk, and I got enough information to gather that he doesn’t pay child support for his kid or see her super regularly (red flag #384). However, our chat was interrupted by one of the kids getting on the ping pong table and refusing to get off. For some reason, the photographer felt comfortable enough to be stern with these kids. I just stood there awkwardly, wondering if it was late enough to say I needed to go pick up my daughter. He told the kids to go to bed, at which point their dad actually got up and enforced this. I think I hugged both of the kids goodnight, because they just seemed like they needed some love. I just can’t turn off the mom instincts. 

After the kids went to bed, I said I had to go. He apologized that it was a little awkward, and seemed like he wanted to kiss me but I shut that shit down. If you make me a babysitter of two kids and two drunk men on a date, you don’t get a kiss. You get a middle finger as I pull out of the driveway.

I ended up telling the photographer that I just didn’t feel a connection and wasn’t interested in getting together again. I guess that’s a little nicer than saying “you made me feel more awkward than I’ve ever felt in my entire life, please avoid this mistake with the next girl you meet”.

2

Taking back the power.

I don’t think of myself as a Charlotte – maybe a Miranda with a little bit of Samantha, but I feel this quote so much today. I’m exhausted, and it shouldn’t have to be this way.

So I’ve decided I’m taking back the power. I always worry about being too picky, too demanding – but you know what? My first impression/instincts usually turn out to be right. If you listen to someone, they’ll tell you about themselves; you just have to hear it the first time instead of making an exception out of fear of looking too picky. This has come around to bite me in the ass one time too many, and I’m over it. I overlook the douchey because I swear they’re really not that bad (they are).

I have some standards that I am no longer willing to compromise on. And why should I? I’m looking for someone to spend the rest of my life with. That’s a long ass time to spend with someone to just settle for whoever wants to be with me. I have a right to keep looking for exactly what I want.

I don’t want someone to compromise for me either – I want to be the person someone has dreamed of marrying. I want someone who loves me like crazy, and thinks my messy curly hair is charming. Okay, maybe that’s a little Charlotte coming out – I never said my heart was COMPLETELY made out of ice (only like 90%).

So, I’m putting my foot down and keeping my standards high. I’m also deleting my dating apps for now, because I’m just feeling done with the hunt. I have my own life going on, and I’d much rather someone approach me in real life instead of hiding behind a screen name (LOVE BONE. I will never let that go) and saying whatever they want. At this point in my life, I like being by myself. I don’t have to answer to anyone, I don’t feel restricted in any way (I’m actually going back to school…Lord help me), and whoever comes along is going to have to be great enough for me to want to give that up.

Also….I’m done with dudes who want me to be a side chick. I don’t know how I’ve gotten to be like a go-to girl for dudes in relationships, but please leave me alone. I don’t want no scrubs.

I know what I bring to the table. I know I could be an awesome partner in life. So whoever you are, future Mr. Nicole Sosa, you better be amazing.

0

“What do you do for fun?”

The answer is supposed to be things like hiking, running, going to the gym, biking, traveling, crossfit. Something that lets them know you’re super awesome and love health and adventure and aren’t boring at all. 

Yeah…the answer looks a little different when you’re a mom, especially a single one who has their child 95% of the time. The real answer, not the condensed, vague answer I give on dating apps, is much less appealing to an outsider. 

For fun, I like to read…although I start books and have a hard time finding the time to finish them. I think I have about 3 started at the moment. But my daughter and I read out loud together (we’re reading Nancy Drew at the moment) and I love those times because my mom and I did the same thing.


I like to go to concerts…but this has to be planned in advance so I can make sure I have a babysitter. I have to hope they don’t go too late, because I’m tired. If I have to pick my kid up after, we’re going to be exhausted the next day. Even if I happen to have an overnight babysitter and I don’t have to pick her up until the next day – I’m still tired. Things are different than when I was 21 and could drink as much as I wanted at a show without a care in the world about responsibilities. 

I like to go to movies…but I haven’t seen most adult movies that have come out over the past few years. I have seen probably every kid movie, however. I don’t love them all, but I love the time with my daughter. I know it’s only a matter of time before she’s too cool to go to a movie with me.

I do go to the gym…but this isn’t fun and I would hardly call it a hobby. My daughter goes with me and walks on the treadmill while I try to do what I can before someone comes along and she has to get off the treadmill.

I like to go for walks…but these are typically with my daughter when we are playing Pok√©mon Go.

I like to travel…but if I do manage to go on a trip without my kid, it typically results in at least one anxiety attack. Also, I just don’t have the money to travel often like all you single people. Kids aren’t cheap.

What do I like to do on the weekends? Well, I have 2 jobs. My only day off is Saturday. So I like to sleep in as much as my kid will let me, and then we’ll try to get out and do something fun – like a play date or hanging out with my sisters or shopping (so exciting).

Now, I don’t say any of this because I’m unhappy – quite the opposite. My life and fun revolve around my daughter and I like it that way because I think she’s awesome. But the real answer can be a real turn off before someone even gets to know me, because honestly it doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for things a date could join me in doing.

So please, stop asking single moms what they do for fun. You probably won’t find the answer as exciting as snow boarding, but not being an adventure-seeking triathlete doesn’t mean I don’t bring a lot to the table.