Parenting a Teen
This is the challenge of raising a teen son who has literally written the book on everything called life. There are days when parenting is no bowl of cherries. What happens between infancy and the age of thirteen? I swear I am living with an unpleasant clone. It is bad enough the communication skills go out the window with a teen. Most of our conversations are filled with short one word answers, yes or no. I really believe my parenting is based on the moon, because on certain days of any given month he will actually sit and have a real conversation. I have look around like who is he talking to because there is no way this is happening.
In the past two years, I have drilled into him about getting a summer job. I was trying to encourage him to get some experience under his belt to build a resume. Mostly, it was a way for him to stop eating me out of a house and home. Secondly, to get off the sofa and find something productive to do during the summer. I was fed every excuse in the book, online applications are too much, I applied and never heard anything back, etc. Then I had to ask well did you follow-up? The first interview did not go well. Although, I was not present it was a hunch in light of the fact is was over in twelve minutes. My follow-up was probably more in depth than his interview. I asked him how it went and of course the invasive person he is just glazed over it. My next questions were whether he did research, did you ask questions, etc, etc. I guess I can say one down and more to come.
Money, Independence, and Experience
After more discussions on getting a job, he walks into a local business and gets a job on the spot. I wish I could take credit but it a discussion with one of his friends who suggested he get a job. Let me point out she’s been working since May. No better way to get experience than to get hired on the spot and start working three days later. His summary of working is his job is far more difficult than what I do every day. I am loving every moment of his week as he sees how working with the public is not for the faint at heart. The one silver lining is he is actually looking forward to going in each day. We must hear about how messy customers are, how rude some can get if their orders are not right, all the cleaning he is expected to do. I must preface all of this with the fact he is only working part-time 20-22 hours a week.
Teen Lessons Learned
He is actually excited about earning his own money and is motivated to get to work. A summer job has provided a sense of purpose and way for him to set goals for next year. He is already planning where to apply for next summer. I guess as much as my teen balks he does hear some things I preach.
New relationships after divorce are not a competition. It should be a thought provoking decision based on reality, not fiction. After divorcing I feel like the amount of advice was overwhelming and on occasion, filled with utter stupidity. I had an unnamed person tell me I should get married(remarried)! My first thought was for what reason? Is this a competition of some sort? The statement was so irrelevant to the conversation. I also must point out the statement was filled with contempt. It made me realize being happy and content after divorce is obviously an issue for some people. One thing I do know is that any decisions I make that impact my happiness will never be made in haste or to compete with another person.
One of the best lessons after divorce is to be very strategic in all decisions that impact my well being. A relationship sounds like a good idea, however, finding a suitable partner who shares the same values, goals, and lifestyle is challenging. While the choice to settle for less is very easy this brings so much unnecessary stress. One of the best advantages to being single is the ability to enjoy life independently and to be in charge of my well being. Personally, I know the worst mistake I made was thinking a relationship(s) was a replacement for a failed marriage. A failed marriage has you questioning a lot of things. I needed to take the time to evaluate what is needed in my life before including another person to share my time and space. This was eye opening because what I thought was necessary was more work than I need right now.
I believe it is important to stop trying to make up for the time spent in a failed marriage. The best thing I can do is focus on making better choices and living my best life. I am enjoying my time alone and being in charge of my decisions. One of the best parts is taking my time to make the right choices when it comes to the right person and a relationship. The art of weeding out the wrong one to find the right one becomes easier and easier. I am not phased with attention especially if it is not the right attention. After many lessons, the best advice I can offer is to discover you again, use the time to make yourself better, learn to enjoy you, love your self every day no matter how small or large, do not look for someone else to save you, make a conscious effort to try something new, take care of your temple, travel, start a things I want to do list (not a fan of bucket list).
I hope to continue to live the best life possible on my terms and if it is meant to share with someone else it will happen. It feels damn good to look forward to planning things I put on the back burner for so many years. As someone told me, it will happen because I refuse to settle. The words to live by are never settle and no regrets!
Home is where we unwind and entertain. If I had to design a dream dining room, it would speak to enjoying family and friends dining, and an inviting space for conversation. For some reason, I am drawn to the color purple. I love the boldness of the color and it just feels happy especially for space shared with family and friends.
This color guide from Arhaus Furniture explains the psychology of the color purple. For me, the color purple in the home makes a statement of style, elegance, and sophistication.
Home -Dining Room
My idea for transforming my dream dining room is to create a space that brings together friends and family for entertaining and dining. For the walls, I would love to use the color merlot either as a solid color or stripes on one wall for an accent wall. The seating should be comfortable with a hint of sophistication. I chose a beautiful, velvet high back chair to break away from the traditional wood framed chair. To incorporate a sense of cozy I chose a white wash wood table. The white allows so many ideas for changing up the table settings from season to season. I also added a white hutch and buffet to showcase my china and these are great for storing items as well. For the main attraction in the dining room, serving food, I added a server. A server is great for setting up food and allowing plenty of space on the dining table for place settings and glassware.
Lighting is essential for enjoying the dining room and a chandelier is a perfect touch. You can find additional lighting options here.
For those nights when it is solely adult entertaining, a bar cabinet is a must have in the dining room. I love this cabinet because everything is tucked away behind the doors and there is plenty of room for storage as well. My window treatments use my secondary color of gray and the fact I love the look of a lightweight fabric using the charcoal silk draperies. The perfect look is selecting a length that flows onto the floor. My final addition is a beautiful rug underneath the table that incorporates the color purple.
Some final touches for the decor would include framed mirrors, artwork, and photographs for the walls. Decorative vases filled with fresh flowers, candlesticks, linen napkins, glassware, and utensils. There are endless possibilities for creating the perfect dining room. All of the dining room furniture selected for my style boards can be found at Arhaus. *nonsponsored post*
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The summer camp search feels like such a task each year. Every year I have the task of finding a fun and interactive summer camp for my grade schooler. Last summer it was a total miss. Although the camp was close to my job, it was out of our neighborhood and my grade schooler felt out of place with not being in the same school with other kids. The camp was also more affordable with a discount that included before and after care. Now one of the cons of this camp was the amount of time spent outside even on the days with extreme heat and humidity. The distance made it easy to pick her up on those days and return back to work. Also, the kids were not on site at the Y except for the last 2 weeks of camp.
This year I did a bit of research on local camps and found one with good reviews. The plus is she will be at camp with some kids from her school. Now with that said the camp is more expensive and requires additional fees for before care and after care. Although, school is finished summer camp adds another layer of stress for me. One pet peeve I have with camps are incurring additional fees once camp starts. This camp charges $3 per day for before care and $12 per day if you require extended care in the afternoon. I am fortunate to have the flexibility to pick early and work from home in the evening.
Summer Camp Must Haves:
- Daily swimming
- Cost effective
- Outdoor activities
- Staff who is knowledgeable on asthma
- Arts & Crafts
- Close Proximity to home
- Extended care in the morning and afternoon
The attached are the must haves for summer
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Vacations Destinations for Single Parents and Kids
I had no idea there are resorts that offer deals for single parents traveling with kids. If you’re planning spring break or summer travels. These are places worth checking out for the travel packages. Also learned some properties charge a single person supplement fee for one adult. The fee can be 10 to 100 percent of the standard accommodation charge. Some below do charge single person supplement fee.
Sonesta Hilton Head
This hotel offers a supervised kids club, Just Us Kids program includes game time, entertainment, swimming, and arts and crafts. Half day or Full day passes are offered for an additional fee.
for the Family Package, 2 night minimum required includes a $50 F&B credit and a $50 Leisure Activity Credit. the Leisure credit can be applied to bike rentals, kids camp or other on-property activities. Children ages 19 and under stay free if staying with an adult.
Vacation Express Smile Resorts
all-inclusive resorts, kids 2 to 12 eat and stay free. There is single person supplement fee.
This resort offers Single Parent Fun Months during specific months throughout the year. The single person supplement fee is waived.
Grand Velas Single Parent Getaway
This property offers deals periodically when the single supplement is waived. The current promotion is offered from September 1st to October 31st with promotion code 2-PACK16.
Hotels with Deals
Kids up to 19 stay free when sharing their parent’s room. Eat free applies to up to four kids 12 and under at any time of the day.
Kids stay free up to 18 if sharing the room with parents or grandparents.
Kid Friendly Cruise Lines
MSC Cruise Lines
A cruise line that offers an All in One package for Single Parents.
Disney Cruise Lines
For single parents who need a short break, 3-4 day trips are offered. The cruise offers many activities for kids and adults.
The cruise ship offers the Dreamworks Experience with their favorite characters and Sitters at Sea program.
Do you have a favorite vacation destination?
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Single motherhood is a challenging journey that requires perseverance and commitment. Every year on Father’s Day I notice a surge of posts on women celebrating Father’s Day. The fact that Hallmark found it necessary to add a card to its Mahogany line is even more ridiculous. We are in some way to celebrate a woman being a mother on Father’s Day because there is no way, in my opinion, you can hold down both roles. I believe only a mother can teach her children how to love and nurture which is entirely different than what a father teaches. Before I became a mother, I lived with both parents and I remember my father’s role in our home. Unfortunately, my father passed away when I was 19. The one thing I know I missed out on is having my father’s perspective on life and all the lessons that go along with challenges. Fathers who are engaged with their children shed a different light on the many facets involved with living.
As a divorced mom of two, becoming a single parent is by circumstance, not by choice. Motherhood encompasses so many levels and does not warrant acknowledgment other than on the third Sunday in May. For me, Mother’s Day feels like another day to some degree in terms of what is expected and required. I feel like I am always on the clock every day, week, month and year. There are so many hats to wear no matter the season. It is my one job that is without breaks, sick time, and vacation. Please do not feel compelled to acknowledge me on a day that was never meant for me. The blessing of giving birth is the role I was destined to have and all the responsibility that comes along with the role. This is not to negate the role of a father but I am good staying in my lane.
The blessing of being a mother is one of intent and purpose and I am fine in that seat.
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Reconciliation is not an option for all divorces. After a conversation with an unnamed individual, I was caught off guard when she said she was hoping for a reconciliation. Although this may apply for some couples it was not an option for me. This conversation really made me think about the mindset of certain people especially those who grow up with dysfunctional family dynamics. I am convinced that anyone who would encourage reconciling to go back to a dysfunctional relationship is not concerned about my well-being. It is so easy to live a facade for the purpose of trying to look happy on the outside while you’re crumbling physically and emotionally. I am so glad I had the wherewithal to walk away from a dysfunctional relationship with no regrets.
It is easy for some to live according to the rules of others and not stay true to themselves. I am so glad I had the wherewithal to walk away from a dysfunctional marriage. Her comments were unnerving in light of the fact infidelity impacts so many marriages. It feels like it is a cycle of unacceptable behavior in some families and it is continuously brushed under the rug.
I have learned it is far more important to stay true to my values and choose the life I deserve. This is why is it important for me to surround myself with a village who wants the best for me. In the process, it means not allowing people who do not have my best interest at heart in my life. It feels great to embrace positivity and those who want the very best for me.