More Thoughts From Brandy Ellen about Human Kind

I believe we, as human beings, need to step back and think before we speak {or post online}. That’s not to say I am not guilty of speaking, or typing, before thinking. It happens. We are all human.

What bothers me is when I see someone consistently getting up on this high horse of entitlement. People who choose to do certain things or live certain ways and want to diss others who may not be able to live that way or have any choice but to do what they do. Think about others before you speak, of course people are going to have hurt feelings. I am not talking about “all is fair in life mentality”, but more discussing those who look down upon human mistakes or inability for certain people to do certain things.

I’ve been that Mom. The single Mom who had to eat bread and butter, ramen noodles or mac n cheese or pasta and sauce on a regular. Yes, my child had to eat that crap too. On a regular. It wasn’t fun for me and I would have days where I felt like I was failing my child. If you have never been that Mom, then shut your mouth about what other parents should or should not do. Who are you to “know” them and how they live!

I’ve been that Mom who makes decisions that are best under circumstances I was living in. I always make what I feel is the best decision for myself but mostly for my children’s future. My children are always on my mind when I think of what to do next in life. They come first. Always.

I dislike watching people consistently point fingers and judgement when they have not walked in other people’s shoes. The only life these people know is the one they have, the experiences in which they have had in their life and who they are today. No two people have walked the same exact path. So think please before you assume you know all and think please before you judge a book by it’s damn cover.

I have been poor all of my damn life, I have used every last penny I have to make sure there is a roof over my children’s heads, food of some sort on their table, a ride to school for them to have an education. I make sure to put every last penny I have towards my children’s needs first. Always have. Always will.

With that being said, I don’t have anyone to pick up my pieces should things not go as I had planned nor hoped. I don’t have a family member I can move in with if the situation calls for it. I don’t have a relative with money to lend when times get tough. I have me. I have my children. That’s all. Sure, I do have a wonderful support system of both friends and family, but that doesn’t mean they can help me out of things I get into. They can be there emotionally and for advice, but beyond that – I am living an adult life that means I am unable to go back into my parents home or not work in some shape or form to support my children.

There are many parents who have certain luxuries I don’t have. Who cares. They are happy with their life and that’s all that matters. We need to start embracing our differences and stop pointing fingers in the name of trying to push someone else down to make us feel better. Give me a break, you should be uplifting yourself through uplifting of others – that my friends is the ultimate way to live.

This is just my opinion, you may disagree and I respect you for having that freedom to disagree.

Be Sure not to Confuse “This Doesn’t Work” with “Difficult” #dating #blendedfamily

So you met the person of your dreams. You spend a year or maybe less sulking up the love, affection and happiness that comes with most new relationships. Then it happens. Your kids and their kids have to meet at some point, they all get along great. The kids adore each other. The two adults adore each other. Parenting techniques were discussed beforehand and things were seeming to blend together well.

Then it happens.

Things don’t seem so easy anymore. The situation appears to be something that you didn’t realize it was.

Blended families are difficult. You are essentially combining two different families together under one roof. Two parents, who probably don’t parent the same exact way, and two sets of children who were parented differently. Something has to give and communication has to become stronger than ever before.

The key to any relationship, especially a blended family one, is communication as well as respect, trust and honesty.

I think when times get tough, people just walk away. Since so many talk about marriages failing because people give up too soon, often times couples will beat their relationship to death and in turn dislike each other for it. When a relationship hits difficult times you need to take into consideration a lot of variables; specifically what your long term goals are as a couple and individual.

I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing what your own personal goals are as a parent and human being. This will play a key role in whether or not the relationship troubles are simply difficult times or most certainly, without a doubt something that isn’t going to work in the long haul.

Stay true to yourself. Do not allow any relationship to make you lose who you are. There is always room for negotiation on some subjects and scenarios, but never should you have to negotiate to a point of being broken.

Be aware of the other person’s responses to parenthood trials and tribulations, as well as your own. Do they match up? Are you on a simlar page or are you two so far apart that a light has shined down saying “this isn’t going to work?”.

No one else can tell you what is right for you and your relationship, you are the only person living in those walls with this other adult and their child(ren). The decision comes down to you knowing yourself inside and out.

If you have weighed all variables and found they are not playing a factor in this feeling of difficult times and really truly feel that this person’s parenting style or lack there of are not a good fit for both you and your children’s future, then you need to leave.

Relationships are difficult, but not all relationships we get into were meant to be. Take each failed relationship as a new learning curve in life. Learn from the experiences and never be afraid to be a single parent for as long as it takes to be the parent your children need. Your kids well being is dependent upon your well being both emotionally and physically.

If you don’t take care of yourself and make big boy or big girl decisions that matter, then how will ever expect your children to lead a fully happy life both as children and adults? You are the example to those little ones and they can pick up when things are not working out for their parent.

As a recap – Difficult means communication and realistic negotiations can mend the situation for the long haul in love and life. This doesn’t work means no amount of communication and realistic negotiations can work to rectify things.

Listen. Speak. Discuss.

Make a decision.

Move on.

Learn from the experience.

Rebuilding a Bond with a Family Member

I am an avid supporter of rebuilding bonds with family members. I am the daughter of a woman who gave birth to me as a teenager. At the age of 15 my mother was thrown into growing up fast so she could raise me, then four years later she gave birth to my sister. I cannot even begin to imagine how that felt, to become a mother to a child when you are a child yourself. That thought is honestly what kept me from becoming a teen mother as well, but that’s not the topic of today’s blog post.

My mother and I haven’t ever been super close, I know she cares about me and loves me. I know that she is and forever will be my only mother. I love her and care about her deeply. Those facts are not something that is negotiable, they are there and true. What also is true is that my mother and I have been disconnected for many years, I am not sure when it started or why but since becoming who I am today, I realize that I don’t care to know the why we never seemed to connect as a mother/daughter but prefer to focus more on working to move forward.

The type of mother/daughter bond I yearn for won’t exist between my mother and I. My mother and I are two different people with few similarities between us, the one thing we have to go on really is the love that we have for each other. I know that my Mom doesn’t always understand why I make the decisions I make and I am sure she has thought or thinks from time to time that I make some awful decisions. With that being said, I believe that I learn from the decisions I make and each day I grow stronger and better as an individual. I want nothing more than to have my Mom support me and love me for who I am, not wish for me to be or do something else

For a little over a year, I rented my Mom’s home. Basically I paid her mortgage and was able to live at the home I grew up in while she lived in another town with her husband. Living in that home brought back a lot of challenging memories for me, we have all been through a lot in that home and it was sometimes very difficult to live in that house during the time I rented it. There was something positive that came from renting that home for a little over a year, I felt like I was forced to speak with my Mom more and she was forced to speak to me more. You see, we both have busy lives and don’t seem to reach out to each other the way I feel a mother and daughter should.

I firmly believe that my Mom and I have grown closer in the past couple of years, I accept who she is and am happy that she is happy. My Mom seems to accept who I am and tries her best to show me that she’s happy that I am happy. My Mom has also worked better at talking to my children and engaging with them a bit more than I felt she ever did before. I notice a smile on my Mom’s face more often than not these days and I know I can text or call my Mom to talk about near anything. While I am still slightly guarded because I felt very hurt over the years and confused about the relationship I had with my Mom, I am trying my best to reach out to my Mom and be a part of her new married life.

I am that person who always tries to tell people, life is too short to not speak to a parent or loved one. I could never go years without speaking to my Mom, even though our relationship is still being built on, and there are days I feel hurt that she didn’t call me to see how my week went, I know that my Mom loves me the best she can. For me, as a 32 year old adult, that is enough for me. Just knowing that my Mom does love me the best she knows how and she does try to reach out more often than in the past, means the world to me.

I can only hope that my Mom knows just how much I do love her, even if, on occasion, we have a hard time showing each other that love.

 

More than Just Personality Matters When Dating #dating #singleparents #onlinedating

Years and years ago when I met the person I ended up marrying, I was in a different mindset. I was a different person in general. So was he. Now, today, as I have sat back and engaged in conversations as well as meeting up for coffee or what not, I have realized that dating is not what it used to be to me. No longer do I feel that need of “oh my gosh I NEED A MAN”, nor can I just sit back and be comfortable with a man who can hold a fantastic conversation with me. For me, there needs to be a whole packaged deal – personality, communication, ability to be a family person and physical attraction. All of those things are very important to me and I flat out refuse to ever go without any of them, maybe you can go without some, but those are my special traits that are important, among a few others.

If you are a single parent looking to get out into the dating world there is so many things to think about before you meet a random online dating person. These days, with the Internet and online dating sites, the person you are speaking to could be anyone. They could be completely opposite from what they have portrayed to be online, both on their profile and in conversations with you. Do not give out your phone number too soon. Do not give out your email too soon. Do not do anything you are not feeling 100% comfortable with. Getting a background check completed on a potential online dating interest may be best too, in all honesty, but may not be feasible for all.

If you are a single parent looking to date and find that “right for you person” then you not only have your best interest at heart, but you have your children(s) interest at heart too. There may be times during your dating days when you meet the most amazing person but they just do not mesh well with your family life, meaning with the kid(s) and you. If that person you are highly interested in does not fit well with the kids then, no matter how hard this decision will be, you will have to double think whether the person you are highly interested in is a great fit for your life as a whole. I am not saying let the kid(s) rule your life, but this is reality and if your life revolves a lot around being a parent, but that person is not on par with the parent side of life or does not parent remotely close to the way you do, then it will eventually be a failed attempt at having a relationship.

Like my best friend always told me, never waste your time or their time. To me, I never understood when she would say she didn’t want to waste the time of her own self or another person for various  reasons when it came to her dating ventures. I also remember laughing, thinking “oh my gosh, this girl is so funny and crazy”. I seriously thought that my best friend was wasting her time with dating because, after all, she wasn’t doing what I had done in the past {with failed relationships} – changing who she is, how she lives or clinging to the wrong man just to be with someone, she was doing it the right way. Now that I have found myself completely comfortable with being single, I totally 100% get where she was coming from and have to laugh at myself for thinking she was a bit crazy. Shhh don’t tell her.

Dating is serious business, it’s like having another job, so if you are not ready to take dating seriously then that’s fine, but if you are ready to take dating seriously please remember to hold your ground, compromise when compromising is okay and pick that “right for you” person, do not settle for anything less than what you deserve. The choice of person you make is  going to be a part of your life, hopefully forever, so make that decision with a knowledge of who you are, what you need and if they meet all of the criteria you have set for your “needs” in another person.  Sure that may mean many years of random dates with the wrong person and being single for many years, but if you hold tight and be patient, one day that “right for you” person will walk into your life and make you realize why you held out for so long.

Good luck with your ventures in online dating, I will keep sharing thoughts, tips and advice based on my dating ventures from time to time with you all and eventually share that “meeting my true love” story when the time comes. Hang on for this ride, it’s going to be an adventure!

The Sad Reality of Happiness

It almost sounds like an awful title, how can happiness be sad? Seriously?! Alas, it can be people. Your true deep happiness within your own self can mean sadness in other ways. Such as the idea of being divorced, two parents who were great friends but just couldn’t get the relationship to work, see each other extremely happy as an individual after the divorce but are sad because their children have to grow up in that “two homes” environment that they had so worked to avoid.

That is the sad reality of this world, so many people made the decision to marry and so many get into a divorced situation without working their butts off at trying to keep the marriage working. While my ex and I worked to keep our marriage going, I am realistic and know that some do not. The end result for a divorce situation is that their children are going to somehow benefit from the divorce.

You see, the two parents need to be at their happy place in life and within their own self in order to share that true inner (and outer) happiness with their children. This sometimes means raising your children apart. I have seen my children blossom having their mom and dad divorce, it works for them and it works for us, but that does not mean there are days where I do miss having that “family” type environment for my children.

A single parent environment does suck. Parenting wasn’t meant to be done alone, but I am doing it the best I know how because this is my true happy and I think I see that refection of my inner happiness in each of my children every passing day.  Sure I am going to be a work in progress for a long time, I still have things I struggle with and things that I need to work on to better myself, I think everyone has those things, but overall I am extremely happy with my own self and where I am at in life today, which means I smile more, laugh more and love more.

Children thrive on laughter, love and smiles – all they need is attention. This true inner happiness will be something that someone else, maybe a man? Will enjoy one day about me, but for now I am just taking it one day at a time and hoping that everyone who is in my life at this moment enjoys the person I am today, tomorrow and years ahead. I know I am and I will.

The Pros and Cons to Single Mom Status

There are many people who put out there that they are a single mom and it works for them. The thing with stating outright to the whole wide world that you are a single mom is that it can backfire. There are certainly some pros and cons to using the “single mom” status and I am laying them out for you:

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cons

  • Some people look down upon the single mom status, citing you are a welfare person just because you are a single parent.
  • Some people think that you may be a scatter brain, too busy to take on work for their firm because after all you don’t have a partner to pick up the parenting slack if you took on more working hours.
  • The whole wide world now knows that you are single, opening the doors up to random people hitting on you; because after all you are single so surely you want or need to find a partner.
  • The whole wide world now knows there is a big possibility that you also live alone with kids; do I even need to mention the not so good outcomes from that scenario?

Pros

  • Some people will admire you for your strength and courage to raise your child or children alone.
  • Those who are single parents will be compassionate with you and understand just how strong a single parent can be when forced to raise the child(ren) alone.
  • Some firms know the power of a Mom and want to have a single mom on their team for they bring dedication, motivation and strength like no other; after all it’s one parent who has to financially support the kids.
  • It opens the doors to interact with other single parents online that you may not normally run into had you not shared the fact that you are a single Mom.

What are some pros and cons you can think of to sharing your single Mom status to the world?