Thursday, September 17, 2009

Even Obama is PO'd at Deadbeat Dads

I mentioned in a previous post that I'm constantly scouring the internet looking for resources. While searching "absentee fathers", I came across an article about a speech Obama gave in 2008.
Addressing a packed congregation at one of the city's largest black churches, Sen. Barack Obama invoked his own absentee father to deliver a sharp message to black men Sunday, saying, "We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception."
In an address that was striking for its bluntness and where the candidate chose to give it, Obama directly addressed one of the most delicate topics confronting black leaders: whether absent fathers bear responsibility for some of the intractable problems afflicting black Americans. Obama noted that "more than half of all black children live in single-parent households," a number that he said has doubled since his own childhood.
"Too many fathers are MIA, too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes," Obama said to a chorus of approving murmurs from the audience. "They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it."
Accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, who sat in the front pew, the presumptive Democratic nominee laid out his case in stark terms that would be difficult for a white candidate to make, telling the mostly black audience not to "just sit in the house watching 'SportsCenter,' " and to stop praising themselves for mediocre accomplishments.
"Don't get carried away with that eighth-grade graduation," he said, bringing many members of the congregation to their feet, applauding. "You're supposed to graduate from eighth grade."
Obama's themes have also been sounded by comedian Bill Cosby, who has stirred debate among black Americans by bluntly speaking about an epidemic of fatherlessness in black families while suggesting that some black people use racism as a crutch to explain lack of economic progress.
"We also need families to raise our children," he said at Sunday's service. "We need fathers to realize that responsibility doesn't just end at conception. That doesn't just make you a father. What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child. Any fool can have a child. That doesn't make you a father. It's the courage to raise a child that makes you a father."
Amen, Mr. President. Amen to that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Last night after her bath, Bianca looks at her hands and says "Pruney!"
Ponders for a moment and then says "Speaking of 'pruney', I like prunes!"
Gotta love the deep thoughts of a 4 year old!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Morning Wars

Bianca is so not an early riser. When she gets to sleep in, she's a joy. But school mornings are a battle. It's so frustrating!!
Nothing motivates her. Anytime I try to rush her, she has a melt down which then takes more time to get back to getting ready. It's so tempting to just do everything for her so make it go faster but I refuse. She's almost 5 and needs to be more self sufficient in the mornings.
Anyone....any tips on dealing with a morning-hater??

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Smell A Smell....

...says my daughter as she comes downstairs this morning. I smell it too, as I cooked something in the crockpot overnight. I ask her "What do you smell?"
Excitedly she answers "Ice cream! And marshmallows!"
Hmmm, interesting....since I was cooking pork tenderloin with vidalia onions and roasted red pepper vinaigrette.....
Wasn't sure it was possible for the nose to have it's own imagination but leave it to my daughter to have that!

Last night, there was a fly buzzing around her and she says "Shoo, fly!"
"Did you know there is a dessert called ShooFly Pie?" I ask her
Wide eyes and she replies "Does it have flies in it??"
"No" I laugh.
She thinks for a moment and then asks "Does it have shoes in it?"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Princess of Spin

My daughter, Bianca, is almost 5 years old. She is a spin-artist like you cannot believe. The things she says to me with such serious conviction absolutely crack me up. Here's a conversation we had tonight. She was almost done with dinner and I put a cookie next to her plate. She immediately picked it up and put it to her mouth.
Me: "Please finish your dinner before you eat the cookie"
Bianca: (with cookie still on mouth) "I'm not eating it, I'm just warming it up!"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fathers Day

Before I start my rant, I want to wish a very Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there who are standup guys and take an active role in the lives of their children.
It's easy for me to forget that those men exist sometimes because I've sure as heck never seen one. My own father managed the remarkable feat of being an absentee dad despite the fact that he still lived in our house. He'd been known to remind me many times that he "liked me fine until I started talking." Yes, he's a real gem, that father of mine. He's still alive and even lives in the same state I do but we've long since stopped communication. I tried over and over again to extend the olive branch and see if we could have a relationship. In the end I had to accept that he's a broken, bitter and hateful man and that nothing I say or do will ever turn him into the caring father I want.
Likewise, my daughter has an absentee father. Hers is a true absentee father. He's never met her. He did see her in court one time but he's never spent any time with her at all. We no longer correspond. He doesn't know one thing about her. I don't understand how he does this; how he has other children who he is involved with and then chooses to deny one. I surmise that he did it for self preservation because, as I mentioned in my initial post, I found out when Bianca was 7 months old that he was married. Perhaps it was an ultimatum from his wife; last I knew they were still together. Perhaps it's just his anger at me. I don't know. I will never know. I'm a girl who craves answers so it's hard for me to accept that I will never be able to know. It's harder to accept the impact it has on my baby.
Father's Day was first celebrated locally in 1910, initiated by a woman wishing to honor her father who was a widower and Civil War veteran. Apparently the idea was mocked and came up against much opposition. It wasn’t until 1924 that President Calvin Coolidge made it a "national event." Then, in 1966, President Johnson signed a proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day. President Nixon made it law in 1972.
I wonder what those who lobbied to make this a national holiday would think about the state of fatherhood today. In America:
~ An estimated 24.7 million children (36.3%) live absent from their biological father.
~ There are almost 17 million children (25%) living with their single mothers.
~ 1.25 million or 32% of all births in 1995 were out-of-wedlock.
~ 26% of absentee fathers live in a different state than their children.
~ About 40% of the children who live in absentee father households haven't seen their fathers in at least a year while 50% of children who don't live with their fathers have never stepped foot in their father's home.
~ Children who live absent from their biological fathers, on average, are more likely to be poor, experience educational, health, emotional and psychological problems, be victims of child abuse, and engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological mother and father.
~ Currently, 57.7 percent of all black children, 31.8 percent of all Hispanic children, and 20.9 percent of all white children are living in single-parent homes.
Is this worth celebrating? I suppose the good fathers deserve a celebration in light of how rare they are becoming. The rest of the deadbeats....well, I hope they have a crappy day fraught with guilt, shame, self-reproach....and maybe some food poisoning, too. ;oP


That's how I've taken to describing Motherhood. It's "more". More, in every way, than I ever imagined it could be. More love, more joy, more rewarding, more fulfilling, more fun.....more difficult, more frustrating, more heartbreaking. Of course the positives BY FAR outweigh the negatives.
My daughter is almost 5 years old and it is still, at times, surreal to me that I'm a parent. And a single parent at that. How did I get here? This was so not the plan for my life! I was to have the "perfect" marriage, the nice home, the 2 kids and a dog life. Not the chaotic comedy that has become my existence!! Hence, the Blog title....not like the brochure! This wasn't how life looked all those years ago when I tried to plan my future. But, you know, life has a funny way of throwing continuous curve balls at you until you surrender the attempts to plan what you want and simply accept the task of being grateful for what is.
In both wonderful and challenging ways, my life is nothing like I thought it would be!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Hello and welcome to my newest blog. I have another but it's a different topic and there are so many times I find I want to discuss motherhood issues. More importantly, I'm hoping to connect with other single Moms through this blog for shared experiences. Let's face it....if you've not walked in our shoes, you have no idea what it's all about.
So here's our story in a nutshell: I was dating this guy who seemed so great. He said he wanted all the same things I did....marriage, family, home. When I ended up unexpectedly pregnant, he responded to the news by saying "Oh Shit." Not really a good indicator. He never saw me again (until much later in court) and said he'd help pay for a termination but, other than that, had nothing to offer to me or a child. Through the pregnancy we did stay in loose contact and worked out an amicable agreement for child support. After my daughter was born, he basically avoided me at every turn. When I'd manage to track him down at work, he always had an apology and a sob story. When DD was 7 months old, I did an internet search and turned up some contact information I'd not previously seen. So I called a phone number and, lo and behold, his WIFE answered. She and I had a most interesting conversation. Turns out he has a few other kids. I never knew. After that, I hauled him to court and stopped trying to deal with him directly. He saw our daughter one time in a court appearance but other than that has never spent one second with her. She is almost 5 years old now.
Now, that would be enough for any Mom to have to explain. But...enter "great guy" #2. Boy, I have crappy character judgment skills. When DD was 2 months old, I started dating someone. We were planning to get married. She started calling him Daddy just instinctively, I guess. He said he wanted her to call him that since he planned to be in our lives and be her father figure. So I bought a home right down the road from where he lives. It was to be the start of our living together. Well, the week of the closing, he decided it was all too much for him to handle and we broke up after 2 1/2 years together. Although my DD hasn't seen or spoke to him since, she still remembers him and talks about him all the time. So not only do I have to explain why "Daddy" is no longer around, but I am also explaining that Daddy & father are not always the same thing.
With Fathers Day coming up next week, I'm stressing a bit. I do the best I can to answer her questions and give her age appropriate information but it's really difficult. I've scoured the web for books, articles, support sites, anything. I did find the NOSM which led me to some great blogs and, hence, the idea of starting my own Mom blog was born. I hope to make some buddies along this journey.