Guest Blogger – The Daily Blonde

When Hadassah asked me to write a guest post for her, the first thing that came to mind was, “Ack. She’s spectacular and I might disappoint her”. Mostly because I have been going in forty directions over the past few weeks. I’m very unfocused. Maybe I’ve always been that way but it’s more apparent now.

Then I figured she’d understand. She’s a Mom. She had to get the unfocused part. You know, the times when you put two different flip flops on because it’s just too much trouble to look for the matching pair? I’m organized but there’s something about summer. Kids everywhere, cooking more, cleaning constantly… and the fact that I barely survive on three or four hours of sleep every night just kicks my butt. We do have a blast though, despite the pandemonium.

So, Hadassah, you lovely woman, here is how I balance single mommy-hood and daily life. Can’t promise it will inspire anyone, but all I can say is I surprise myself sometimes. I’ve survived eight years as a single Mom and I’ve only worn a straight jacket in my dreams.

  • I’m a creature of habit. As much as I’m a true Gemini, I also like life to be somewhat the same every day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner: just about the same time every day. Kids set the table and clear it. I cook and do the dishes (I hate taking kids to the hospital for puncture wounds, so I take care of cleaning sharp objects). We’re fairly organized, too. Shoes go in the back hall, clothes go in the hamper. The floor is not a hamper. Even my thirteen year old son knows that.
  • We don’t watch a heck of a lot of TV. The kids are outside playing far more than they are sitting down doing nothing. I’ve taught them to journal when they are mad and draw when they have “nothing to do” (or they’ll have to clean).
  • I am SO not perfect and make sure everyone knows that. Of course, my ex still thinks I have a huge ego because I write a blog, but he probably just misses my sense of humor. If you raise people’s expectations, it causes a lot of undue stress. I just do the best I can and screw it if people don’t like it. I also do not allow toys or junk in my room…it’s my sanctuary.
  • I have a laptop. It’s the secret to my parenting success. Kidding. Well, not really…but I can be wherever my kids are and do a little writing, socializing or just read an online newspaper and still be with them. My alone time is important, but I get enough of that when they are asleep.
  • I play Monopoly with my children. I hate Monopoly and they know it. I play because it’s WAY more important to spend an hour playing a game than checking emails. I try to lose so I can get out of it early but that never works.
  • Writing a blog takes time and energy. I write a lot outside of my blog as well, so I’m never without a self-imposed to-do list. The upside is I love to write and I would rather make $10 writing an article that made someone’s day than pretend I really, really like wearing a suit and acting like I love corporate bullshit. I hate it and I do not like pretentious people. Was it OK to say bullshit, Hadassah?
  • I take risks. I’m forty-six years old and two years ago when I got in a car accident, I made it my plan to make sure that when I healed, I would do what I loved. If that meant using store brand cheese instead of Kraft, then so be it. Going back to a real job would mean daycare, after school care and summer camp. Not really a travesty, but my youngest three have been through (a mild) hell and back with divorce, my surgeries and eighteen months on crutches. I was also a bit of a crab-apple during that time. They deserve to have me home bugging them about home work, chores and playing a bad game of Monopoly.
  • As far as the risks (see how I get off track? That’s me…), I think not having a secure job is a huge risk. However, I am passionate about writing and it’s starting to come together. I’ve been working hard on my blog for two years and it’s branched out to so many other (great) things. Somehow I’m surviving. Spotty child support, a knee that has never fully recovered from the accident and three surgeries (I’m slow as a turtle and have chronic pain)….and I’m making it. I don’t live in a mansion. We have a home that could use a few more rooms to make it a little more spacious but why? It’s working and who needs to clean more rooms? I have a nice car…and it’s paid for. That’s called advanced planning…or luck.
  • This isn’t really a how-to is it? That’s because single Moms are innovative and know how to make it work. I can’t teach anyone how to make single parenting any easier because it’s never easy. I worry, I cry, I laugh and I get stressed out. Mostly, I laugh. It really does help. Single parenting is rewarding. Sometimes in big ways and sometimes in small ones.
  • As far as the Mommy moment that makes it all worth it? There have been quite a few. Most recently it was when my thirteen year old son was in post-operative recovery after surgery. He said, “Hi Mom. It’s OK, you can hug me, you know. Thanks for being here. I love you.”

He wasn’t under anesthesia when he said that…and he remembers saying it. It was one of those moments that makes all the worries just seem really small.

blondieCheryl Phillips is a single Mom of five and freelance writer who realized that Twitter was created so that she would stop being so long-winded. On her blog, The Daily Blonde, Cheryl posts her commentary on daily life and says what we’re all thinking without the sugar coating. Cheryl is also the Rhode Island Social Media Examiner on Examiner.com.

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12 Comments

  1. hadassahsabo says:

    thanks Cheryl – you are an inspiration to so many people. When i grow up I want to be like you ;). I also want to be gorgeous at 46 like you are too!!

  2. Leora says:

    Cheryl, I think it’s wonderful that a 13 year old boy can be expressive. He must have learned that somewhere.

    Too bad you don’t like Monopoly. I didn’t as a kid, but even my six-year-old can play it now. We have special Pokemon rules (if you get double ones, you can “teleport” to anywhere on the board).

    I like the idea of teaching them to journal when angry! Must try that.

    Thanks for having Cheryl guest post, Hadassah.

  3. frumgoth says:

    Great post, Cheryl! As a single mom myself I can really relate. You reminded me about how important those special moments are that make it all worthwhile.

    Hadassah and Cheryl – you are both amazing! Keep writing!

  4. THANK YOU so much for the opportunity….great fun and a nice break doing something different!

    As far as Monopoly, it’s probably a child-hood thing. My brother was a fierce competitor and I used to get mad because he always got Park Place!! :) I am, however, a killer Scrabble player…

    Thanks, Hadassah!

  5. Cheryl, what a great post. For me, the best thing about it was knowing that we all struggle, that none of us are perfect, but we can (and should!) continuously move forward with our lives and become better people in any way we can.

    Thanks for the post, and thanks Hadassah, too, for having Cheryl post!

  6. Jenn says:

    I’ve got a single mom friend who needs to read this! Thanks for writing it.

  7. Jenn says:

    Great post Cheryl! I am a follower of your of course and thanks for introducing me to Hadassah!!

  8. Chanief says:

    Great post Cheryl. I often wonder how single moms do it, I have the help of my husband and am sometimes just exhausted by all there is to do! I admire you (and Hadassah) for making it work and for sharing your tips, advice, humor, and good cheer with us. And for the record I hate Monopoly too. I should really play it anyway more often than I do. Thank you!!!

  9. John Pruitt says:

    So much I didn’t know about you mixed in with what I do know. It is always wonderful when kids start the “I love you” talks :).

  10. terrepruitt says:

    It so helps to have routines and organization. I need to learn that “floor is not a hamper rule”, in fact I think I have a pile of laundry on the floor now . . .

    Your son sounds so wonderful, I can just picture you post-op nervous and tense and hearing those words you relax and melt.

    Thanks you for sharing!

  11. Otilia says:

    In the first line she says “the first thing that came to mind was, “Ack.”

    -’Ack’: ‘A’, ‘C’, ‘K’, short for Nantucket Airport (ACK), in Nantucket Massachusetts. (Sorry I guess I’m watching those bing commercials too much. I couldn’t resist.) Cheers!

  12. Otilia says:

    great blog btw

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