Posts tagged ‘solo mom’

Do father’s have equal rights when battling custody?

It seems that times are in constant change. One topic I’ve heard plenty over the course of my research to publish SPMagazine.Net is that father’s have to fight super hard to gain custody rights of their children. Or in the least, fight an expensive battle just to spend a little extra time with their children who were once under the same roof as their dads on a daily basis. If the kids want to be with the other parent, put your differences aside. Trust me, it will help you in the long run.

The fathers I have met in the last couple of years have brought tears to my eyes. Why? They will put off anything to spend quality time with their children and I feel like my son was short-handed. His father, who unfortunately gives other fathers a bad rap making the court system what it is today, spends zero time with his son. Yet he expects his son on Father’s Day because there is a big feast. Everyone in his circle of friends and family expects a father and son, obviously. To show up without a kid would be detrimental to the image he’s been portraying – a tattoo with this son’s name and birthday. The bad mom that doesn’t let him spend that quality time with his son. I recently found out that he had been telling lies for years saying he calls to see his son all the time but I wouldn’t allow it. A fallacy that kills me because the one thing I promised myself¬† as a child was never to do that to my own kids. You see, my mother did that to my siblings and I and it was not fair to us. It’s been a difficult time forgiving my mother for what she did.

Children are used as tools by some mothers, giving mother’s like me a bad rap – and a believable lie to use for some men, not going to point fingers. ūüôā I have seen first hand, second hand, and whatever other terms there are to use, how women who claim to love their children will use their kid(s) as pawns just to get their way whether it is for financial gain or because of emotional injury.

Here’s a message for mothers and/or fathers, FORGET for¬† a minute that the other hurt you or is not paying child support. The children and your personal adult misunderstandings and issues have nothing to do with parenting. If you can truly say your children enjoy the other parent and they miss them (unless there are addictions like alcoholism and/or scary pedophiliac tendencies) let them spend time with the other parent!

My son wishes now more then ever that his father took part in his life – he’s in his early teens. Don’t take away from the child any quality time with the other parent because you can’t turn back time. Hard as it may be emotionally, give in for the child’s sake and find some busy hobbies, work, time with friends and family, anything to help you through that time away from the kid(s). And when your kid(s) grow up, they WILL appreciate your good efforts. It comes back to you, so think about the future! Don’t ruin a good relationship with your children.

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July 7, 2009 at 1:00 PM 11 comments

Should children be spanked?

Diane and Peter on a boat in St. Maarten

On a boat in St. Maarten - Mom and son vacation continues to be a yearly priority, no matter how much harder I have to work.

Are you raising your child(ren) the same way you were raised? Spanking as a form of punishment is not like it used to be and if you are one of many raised by ‘the belt’, than you’re probably nodding your head. Most people will tell you stories about their childhood that make you cringe. Many parents today who experienced harsh forms of childhood discipline refuse to raise a hand to their children while others fall into the same pattern, with feelings of guilt after their actions.

As a product of a harsh disciplinary upbringing, I made a conscious decision not to spank. However, I am guilty of going against my will. On those rare occasions, I felt this uncontrollable urge that ended in spanking my son on the buttocks or on his arm. In the end, it left me feeling horribly regretful – even though it was nothing close to what I had endured as a kid.

For my child, my main choice for disciplinary action was through time-outs (1 minute per age) and it was by far more effective. Spanking brought on rebellion, anger and the urge for my child to hit me back.

For hours after those few times I spanked my son I remember my guilty conscious would get the best of me, keeping me up wondering why and how I can ensure I wasn’t a repeat offender. I often I asked myself, was the spanking (or yelling – a whole different animal) a part of my child’s misbehaving or was there something else lingering behind my actions (besides a natural instinct from my upbringing)? In most, if not all cases, it wasn’t my son’s misbehavior. The culprit was usually a bad day at work, a situation with a friend or family member, feeling lonely as a single parent and in need of a mommy break. The list of excuses can go on but in the end it was something else and my son was getting punished for it.

Parenting is never easy and it’s even more demanding when there is only one parent dealing with the day to day list of demands.¬† At the end of the day, I¬† look back and feel satisfied as a parent because I did something about my guilty conscious by trying harder each time to control my urges. My son is happy, treats his elders and everyone that comes in contact with him with respect, and has few memories (can count them in one hand) of spanking as a form of discipline and many memories of time well spent. I think that was the main secret, I spent a lot of time with him and we had a lot of fun.

So, don’t beat yourself up! If you’re reading this, you are obviously a GREAT parent who wants the best for your child(ren) and I commend you for that.

Here are sites that might help on this topic:

Why NOT to Spank

http://www.principalhealthnews.com/topic/spanking6to12

Time-Out Proponents / Time-Out Opponents (from one of my favorite sites, about.com)

http://childcare.about.com/od/behaviors/qt/timeouts.htm

On Spanking: Raising Children 1-3 and 3-6 at AHealthyMe.com

http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/spanking1to3

http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/spanking3to6

If it’s your strong belief to use spanking as a form of discipline, here’s a helpful ‘How To’ guide:

http://www.wikihow.com/Include-Spanking-in-Child-Discipline

Share your story and/or thoughts by adding a comment. Are you a single parent or step parent? Visit SP at www.spmagazine.net for information on our publication.

May 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM 11 comments

Boy to man advice please!

My son is 13, soon to be 14, and it feels as if he is refusing to grow up. He remains attached to me and I feel awful when I tell him he needs to break free and become more independent. He seems to quiet down but reverts to the same needy state. He will not make decisions for himself and I am simply at a loss when he just sits around waiting for me to give him direction. HELP!

May 11, 2009 at 12:44 PM 6 comments

The Birth of SP (Single Parent / Step Parent)Magazine

A single mom since 1996, I struggled to find publications that contained editorial on being a single parent. For years I said to myself that if no one was going to do this, I would. But fear always took precedence. With no publishing background, I would take minor steps, I even bought a domain to start a website, but time and experience and fear would get in the way and eventually I would put it aside for a later date.

Fastfoward 9 years. In late 2005, I was laid off and thought to myself that it was a very good thing. I would finally research and start the magazine! But fear took over again and I decided I would stick to what I knew well and that was corporate computer training. But less than 2 years later I found myself struggling to find work. It took almost a year, and thousands of dollars in debt later, to finally get the courage to start the magazine. I had NOTHING to lose, literally. I was on the verge of losing everything because I had pretty much depleted my ‘debt income’ (my term for living off of my equity and credit cards) and was unable to pay bills.

In February 2008, I recruited help from networking events and a meetup group I started at meetup.com and found a production manager, one who had decades of experience in magazine layout, and a few writers. Salespeople are hard to come by so I set out to do sales myself. By the end of April I had enough sales to cover most of the printing costs so with the last credit card standing, I maxed it and sent out the finalized 16-page production to a printer and SP Magazine was born!

The week the magazine was born (it really felt like I gave birth) was a very good week because I also found work. Although I wanted to devote 100% of my time to this new child of mine, I new that I had to take care of my priorities in order to keep my son fed with a roof over his head.

Today I work full-time for a great organization that is getting me back on track with my bills. In the evenings and weekends, after I’ve spent quality time with my boy, I am working on the magazine and reinventing a plan for the publication to run smoothly next year. There will be one more issue in 2008 and it will be available in November. Thank you to all the volunteer writers and volunteer contributors that are helping to make this happen! And thank you to the subscribers that have faith in me and this magazine!

October 25, 2008 at 7:49 PM 3 comments

Raising a Teen – the early stages

I’ve entered what I like to call Phase 3 of Child Rearing. Phase 1 is from childbirth through 4 or 5 years old where everything is an adventure because life is grand and new, always learning and retaining.

Phase 2, through about age 11 or so, is when life tones downs a little, it’s not always fun and games due to the new responsibility of homework and a more regiment routine. My son had such a wonderful Phase 1 that even today, in Phase 3, he wishes to go back to a time where he didn’t have to worry about assignments and being mature (the latter he’s taking his time with).

Now we’re in Phase 3, which starts from about age 12 or 13 and, from what I hear (my son is 13), it lasts until about age 16. This phase is a detachment phase. Since my son was 1, it has pretty much been just the two of us. We’re very close to say the least. But in the past year I have unexpectly had more time for myself. I’ve learned from asking and reading books that, though he loves me very much (at times undeniably), I’m pretty much the last person he wants to do fun and exciting things with. If I compare my situation to other parents with young teenaged children, we’re doing a heck of a lot together but I’m preparing myself and accepting this phase, that my little boy is no longer little :(. As he enters this phase that will lead him to adulthood (phase 4), I wish him much wisdom and success with friends, education and new responsibilities.

Here’s to all the single¬†mothers and fathers¬†who I credit greatly on doing a heck of a job. Remember, we ALL make mistakes. So when life throws you lemons, remember that there is no such thing as a perfect parent.¬†Pat yourself on the back for being two people in one, a mother and father (or vice versa, whichever you prefer :)!

October 22, 2008 at 2:01 PM Leave a comment

A Single Parent

I’m a single parent. When I read magazines I sometimes feel like nothing applies to me. Working Mother, Parenting, Child and other similar magazines don’t talk much about the single parent world. Dating is not a topic I would find there so¬†I turn to Cosmopolitan and the likes but there are never any tips on dating when you have children. And what of the ‘step’ parent roles when a single parent does re-marry or dates someone for a long period of time. What role should the other adult play in the children’s lives?

With a full-time job, raising a child and maintaining a home, I sometimes feel I’m crazy to pursue this dream but for 12 years it’s all I’ve wanted to do, start a magazine for single parents because we are far from being alone. www.spmagazine.net is where someone can start in order to get more information. One issue was printed in the Spring of 2008 and the next issue will come out soon, hopefully with the help of a volunteer with InDesign experience. If you read this, say a prayer for me to make this a huge success! I could use all the help I can get, even if it’s spiritual.

In every issue, a story will be covered on one or more single fathers and single mothers from a variety of backgrounds (i.e. through divorce, never married, by choice, death of a spouse, same sex marriage, etc.), step parenting, going green, getting organized and more.

October 22, 2008 at 3:33 AM 1 comment


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