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May, 2012

Go Ahead And Interrupt A Single Mom's Day Tomorrow

Happy Mother’s Day to ALL Moms!

While I’m thinking of it, this is something I mention every Mother’s Day and probably will for the rest of my life.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and if you know a single mom, reach out to her and don’t be afraid to make her day special. It won’t take much, a phone call, a text, or even invite her to your brunch, out for a drink, send her an ecard, knock on her door with a plate of cookies, whatever works for your schedule. Especially the single moms of very young children.

Mother’s Day can be a very lonely and sad day for single moms of little children. Aubrey’s dad and I split when she was an infant so I spent the 1st couple Mother’s Days of Aubrey’s life feeling pretty horrible. Alone in an apartment with a baby, no family near by. Tired and doing the daily grind… laundry, diapers, nap, bath, feeding… It was hard reading Facebook posts and Tweets about other moms going to brunch, getting flowers and candy, heading to the spa with their gift certificate in hand. These things  don’t usually happen for single moms. And not that Mother’s Day needs to be about fancy gifts, but remember babies and young children don’t know it’s Mother’s Day. They just keep spitting up, crying and throwing tantrums on schedule.

Some single moms are lucky to have a close connection with immediate family or relatives and they are not forgotten. They are the lucky single moms indeed, but my nearest family members are across the country. I remember those first years being asked the Monday after, “What did you do for Mother’s Day?!” UM… NOTHING! Wiped up poop? And then you get the sad, I feel sorry for you, “Ohhhh. That’s no fun.” And that makes you feel even more like shit. Seriously, I don’t mean to make single motherhood out to be a big sob fest, but it has its moments, for sure.

Now that Aubrey is almost 5 yrs old, it’s not quite as difficult. The days are still demanding but we have so much fun doing all kinds of activities and we can go out and celebrate together. This year we are going to the circus and we are both really excited! I love being a mom and I even love being a single mom. Aubrey and I have an amazing bond and I feel we will have each others’ backs for the rest of our lives. But those earliest years alone were isolating and daunting at times. If you’re reading this and you’re there right now, you’re not alone! Hang in there – it DOES get easier!

So… for those of you who know a single mom, go ahead and take the time to reach out to her tomorrow. Let her know she is loved and appreciated for the very important job she does. You may feel like you’re bothering someone on their special day, but trust me, your simple phone call might just be what makes her day special. Go ahead and bother her.

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Feb, 2012

My Sweet Little Turkey Gets Sweeter

Aubrey made this all by herself - it's Dr Frankenstein in case you couldn't tell.

I share custody of Aubrey with her dad and the last couple days have been the first child-free days I’ve had in what feels like an eon. With Aubrey’s work schedule, the awards shows and then her dad travelling, it was non-stop gogogo, just Aubrey and me. It was fun, but exhausting. Like really exhausting.

After weeks like these, it’s always a bag of mixed emotions sending the kiddo off to her dad’s. Relief on one hand and sadness on the other. I do miss her and I miss having her here… except when I’m getting a full 7-8 hours of sleep. Then I’m feeling pretty ok about everything.

My friends with older kids have told me about this magical time when your child transitions out of the insanity of 3 and 4 years and turns into a delightful and charming 5 year old and I’m starting to see it happen!

Three into four was tough and I was warned. My wise mom friends said three into four makes the “terrible twos” feel like a cake walk in the park and they were right. Aubrey was a charming and easy two year old and compared to some of the insane 3 and 4 year olds I’ve met, she wasn’t too bad during her crazy days, but it was exhausting, nonetheless.

The happiest person

I’m happy to report the days of physical tantrums, the defiance, the crying for no apparent reason, the whining over every little thing… these things seem to be (I’m afraid to say it lest I jinx myself) GONE! Particularly over the last month, Aubrey has been the sweetest and easiest kid on the planet.

Even a few days ago, when I asked her to pick up her toys, she actually responded, “OK Mommy. I’ll do it right away!” WHAAAT?!! I almost died of a heart attack and I thought to myself, “OK, I must be doing SOMETHING right… Right?!”

She has been extra snuggly, extra sweet, extra cute, extra fun and extra polite. This recent development of super greatness makes me miss her even more when she’s gone.

My spring college shows start up this week which means more time away from my special pal. I’m proud of my career and so grateful to be working but I feel the pangs of guilt and thinking about these magical days slipping by so quickly breaks my heart. If only I could stay home with her when she’s so sweet and go on tour when she’s in time out. HA!

For any of you in the crazy days of three and four, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel! And to all the negative Nellys out there who have to chime in with, “Well just wait 10 years, it comes back!” Yeah yeah yeah, blah blah blah. I’m taking my cue from Aubrey and trying to live in the moment, enjoying these sweet, wonderful days when she still fits in my lap for as long as I possibly can.

That would be my arm and Nelly accompanying Aubrey down the SAG Awards red carpet

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Dec, 2011

Merry Christmas From Us!!

It’s officially CHRISTMAS 2011! Woohoo!

In case you missed it, here is the holiday Smilebox card I made for friends, family and fans. Aubrey and I really did have an amazing year. It was not without its ups and downs – like some HUGE ups and downs – but as I look back, I am proud of how much both of us grew and learned in 2011.

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As you probably know, I am a single mom and tonight was a Christmas Eve of solitude for me. Aubrey’s dad and I have shared custody and she is at her other home for Christmas this year. She headed over there this afternoon after a fun morning together of The Muppet Movie matinee and lunch at one of her favorite restaurants.

As a single mom, not having my child on a major holiday always brings mixed emotions. Most people would assume that it’s totally sad, not having my little turkey girl here for Christmas, but it’s not all sad. This is a time for me to relax, catch up on some work, stay up late and sleep in (!!!!), go to some grown-up holiday parties, watch American Horror Story on the DVR in the middle of the day and talk on the phone uninterrupted. I need this time to re-charge my mom-battery. I hate the phrase “me time” but that’s what it is. 

Aubrey and Bob Barker
Of course, the other part of me is sad that I won’t have the traditional Christmas morning with her. These magical holiday years go fast and this is the first year she is excited about Santa Claus. The first year she actually gets the concept and is anticipating his visit. 

Tonight, I was thinking that I hate not getting to see her reaction in the morning when she wakes up to discover the cookies and milk gone, her stocking full of treats and toys under the tree. But honestly, she’s four and I bet she’ll believe me if I tell her that Santa is coming one more night because he knows that she has two houses. Then we can have Christmas all over again next week when everyone else is standing in merchandise return lines and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the kids’ vacation days. We will be opening presents, having our own Christmas.

Motherhood has not been typical for me, in ANY way. Not since the day she was born. And while it’s not a storybook ideal, it’s still pretty amazing and I do believe we have a really splendid life together. We often have to make up our own rules and traditions as we go, but this is what makes our little family of two, special. 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday time this year, no matter what that means to you. YOU define your happiness and joy! 

…and if you are spending time with family this holiday season and would rather be at home alone like me, check this out:

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