Tag Archives: single mother

Why Time Out Might Be Making Your Child’s Behavior Worse

My house is still torn apart. Neither bedroom I’ve been renovating is finished, although one is close. I have piles of things the girls want to get rid of and a yard sale is pending in my future – and I hate yard sales. I’m still stuck with my novel. I feel like I’ve somehow lost the message of the story and I’m trying to get it back. I want to do a second book on my Thriving Not Surviving theme. My Christmas decorations are down but not put away. I’m finally getting back to yoga and running after nearly 2 weeks without either.

But I couldn’t resist one more thing. My sister has asked me to partner with her on her website and so I have been working on that. She is an expert in child behavior and works with children with autism. She’s a licensed BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) with a master’s degree and plenty of knowledge but doesn’t enjoy writing the way I do. So we are combining our skills.

Our first collaborative post I could have used about 10 years ago: Why Time Out Might Be Making Your Child’s Behavior Worse.

I have long wanted a way to contribute, to use my skills in a way that makes the world better. It’s why I wrote my first book and will continue to write. I’m excited to learn and grow in this new way. Please check it out and let me know your thoughts! Even if you’re not a parent feel free to subscribe to the blog and keep up with what we’re doing – and share it with people you know who have kids!

FREE Today and Tomorrow Only – Learn 4 Secrets That Will Change Your Life!

Have you ever wondered, “Is this really all there is?” My life used to consist of work, chores, taking care of the kids, and a couple hours of TV to unwind before I went to bed. After my divorce I met people who helped me realize that there really is more out there – a LOT more! My life has changed in ways I would never have believed possible.

As a result of everything I learned, I published my first book in April – Thriving not Surviving: Bravely Pursue a Life That Will Blow Your Mind! It is a straightforward guide for changing your thinking in a way that will help you move from simply surviving to thriving. I’ve done it and so can you! (see below for an excerpt from the book)

If you haven’t downloaded it yet, click the image below to download the Kindle version for FREE today and tomorrow only (the paperback version is also available but not eligible for the promotion). Go grab it and let me know what you think! Miss the promotion? Email me at gratefulsinglemoms@yahoo.com and I will notify you of the next promotion!

After you read the book, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It helps more than you know!

I was fortunate enough to be able to include writing from two of our fellow bloggers as well:

The Wonderful and Wacky World of One Single Mom

A Creative PTSD Gal

Click the image below to get your free copy today!

Behind Closed Doors

She looked around her cramped one bedroom apartment. Dark stains ran across the ceiling where the roof had leaked – or rather where it still leaked on rainy days. The smell of damp gym socks hung faintly in the air. Her landlord refused to take care of the mold growing near the entry door. Light filtered dully through the dirty windows lending a brown hue to the room.

She sat on the second-hand sofa she had picked up on sale at Salvation Army. Rusty springs creaked under her weight, even though she’d lost nearly 10 pounds since she moved in. Weighing 120 at 5’ 6” she couldn’t afford to lose more. A butterfly could land on these cushions and still sound like a ghost rattling chains, she thought. The fabric under her bare leg felt like burlap as she moved unconsciously away from the brown splotch that seemed to grow bigger of its own accord. Soon it would be impossible to avoid.

She rested a foot on the battered coffee table she’d rescued from the dumpster. One of the wobbly legs was shorter than the others but she kind of enjoyed rocking the table back and forth. It soothed her frazzled nerves. Leaning her head back and closing her eyes she pushed it away, then let it fall toward her. Push, fall, push, fall, push, fall. Focused on the repetitive movement she almost missed the mouse that scurried inside the wall behind her head.

A few weeks ago she would have screamed at just the thought of those beady-eyed creatures. Now when they crossed her path she didn’t even flinch. For the most part they went their own way. The exception, of course, was the kitchen. It took a while but she learned how to keep what little food she had from her tiny roommates. Now she opted for cans and jars mostly. She kept cereal and bread in the fridge. Since the refrigerator was barely cooler than the rest of the apartment she never bothered to buy milk or yogurt so there was plenty of space and the mice couldn’t get to them there.

Push, fall, push, fall. Over and over she rocked the table. This is better? she wondered to herself. Were things really so bad?

The answer was yes. Not just a regular yes…but a resounding YES! As bad as her living conditions may be her previous situation was worse. Much worse.

She may have been living in a beautiful home with expensive furniture, but it wasn’t hers. She had been a slave. Sure, the word they used for it was “wife,” but if the truth were told she had been treated no better than the poor souls who had fought for so many years to gain freedom. Only she didn’t have Dr. King on her side.

Because her skin bore no visible scars they had said it wasn’t abuse. For years she had believed them. “He’s just joking,” they’d say when she was hurt by his cruel criticism. They didn’t know him like she did.

They didn’t see what he would do when he came home after she had spent all day cleaning his beloved house and his cherished possessions. They didn’t know that he would look for any tiny crumb, any speck of dirt, any excuse to find fault. And then he would destroy all she had done. He would throw knickknacks on the floor – only hers of course, never his – crushing them beneath his heavy boots. He would rip pages from her favorite books and scatter them around the room.

She had learned to ensure the trash had been taken to the neighbors’ can as on more than one occasion he had dumped trash over her glistening kitchen floor. She thought she had won when she began taking the trash out every day before he got home. But he wouldn’t let her get the best of him. Oh no, he simply went out to the trashcan and brought it inside, pouring out coffee grounds and half eaten food.

But if it were at the neighbors’ there was nothing he could do.

In front of everyone else he was charming, the perfect husband. Perhaps a little demanding but that was to be expected since she didn’t work. After a long day at the office didn’t he deserve to have supper waiting for him? It really was the least she could do. She was fortunate he wanted to support her. She had everything anyone could ever want! That’s what they told her and she believed them.

Her life was in a shambles but they told her it was paradise. Her husband was ruthless but they called it love.

Push, fall, push, fall, push, fall. She rocked the table faster as she remembered the night she told him she wanted a divorce. It was the first time he actually lifted a hand to her. She was sure he was going to strike. She almost hoped he would. At least then there would be proof. But he knew that too.

In the end he’d told her to go, to get out of his house. It didn’t matter that she had spent 17 years cooking and cleaning for him. It was irrelevant that he wouldn’t let her work because he wanted her at his beck and call. The house, and everything in it, belonged to him. She had nothing.

“Go sponge off someone else,” he’d shouted as she walked down the driveway.

She almost turned back. Where could she go? But she knew it was too late.

She had no friends to turn to – he hadn’t allowed her to have friends of her own. She had no money. She hadn’t worked in almost 20 years. She was alone and penniless. What had she been thinking?

The first night she spent alone, shivering under a bridge in spite of the heat, praying for morning to come. Once it did she set out to find a job – any job. She applied everywhere, telling them her phone wasn’t working and she’d be back to schedule an interview. Within a few days she had been hired at a local diner. Although she was still sleeping outside she kept herself clean, using a public bathroom in the park when no one was around.

She kept her tips in a tin can she buried under a rock. After she cashed her paycheck she added that as well. Slowly she saved enough to move into her crappy apartment. Gradually she was rebuilding her life.

Push, fall, push, fall. Suddenly the table crashed to the ground as short leg broke off completely. It doesn’t matter. I’ll get a new one, she thought. She pushed it away and stood. It was time to get to work.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Shambles.

Staring at a Blank Page

As many of you know, I have been working on my novel now since June. The ideas for the story came fast and furious, flowing with little effort. Every day I would write 500 to 1000 words, sometimes more. I used the word of the day for inspiration, and I was happy with what I came out. The pieces had been written out of order, but I had put them together in one document in order. When I started to read through it I realized it still needed a lot of work – a full rewrite instead of just an edit as I’d hoped.

A few months ago I stopped responding to the word of the day prompt so I could focus on my masterpiece. I started the rewrite and what I wrote the second time was so much better I was motivated to turn it into something truly great. Pretty quickly I got about 20,000 words into the new story, and it was good. Really good. Better than I thought I could write.

And then I got stuck.

Life happened. My mother passed away. While we weren’t close, I didn’t handle this well (does anyone?) and suddenly I felt other areas of my life starting to unravel. I disengaged from WordPress. I missed time with my kids. I had issues with my rental. And although I have great friends, I didn’t get the support I needed (largely because of how I was dealing with the situation).

I spent a week in NH dealing with the practical things that need to be done when someone passes away. It was exhausting both physically and emotionally. I took the week off from writing – there was no time and how could I justify writing at a time like that? I came back and still had a week off from work to get myself together. I went away to Savannah and Charleston – a trip I’d planned before my mother passed away. I was alone and had fully intended to spend the time writing. I did everything but write. I ran. I wandered around the towns. I read. But I didn’t write. Not a word.

And still I made excuses. I was healing. I would get back to it.

It has now been 2 months, and still I struggle to get back to writing. I don’t post to WordPress. I have added some to the story but I keep getting distracted – emails, texts, dinner with friends, running. I spent 4 days at the beach where I finished my last book and still I found other things to do. I ran on the beach. I hung out at the bar down the street and met some interesting people. I listened to music. I did yoga. But I didn’t write.

And now I’m adding to my excuses. Work is busy. It’s Christmas and I need to buy presents. It’s cold and I don’t have any clothes that fit so I need to go shopping.

Plus we’re fostering 3 kittens and one of them – even after a week – hisses at me when I enter the room and any time I go near her. She needs socialization or she will never be adopted.

img_9360

And so I play with the kittens instead of writing. Or I have dinner out. Or I go running. Or I go to yoga. Or shopping. Or I do anything but write.

And so the page remains blank. I miss the days when I could write for hours, lost in the story. Some day I will do that again. I just don’t know when.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Masterpiece.

It Amazes Me How Much Can Happen in a Year

As 2018 comes to a close I have been reflecting on all that has happened this year. This more than any other year has been one of dramatic personal change and growth in all areas of my life. It has been absolute proof that real change is not only possible, but completely within our control.

Physical Fitness: This year I lost over 40 pounds, took up running (I can now run between 4-5 miles), and have been practicing yoga. Now that the cooler weather is here I will put away my paddle board (I’ll miss you!) and get back out on my bike. The key for next year will be maintaining what I’ve achieved.

Writing: As my loyal followers know I self-published my first book (click the image below to find it on Amazon) this spring. I set an ambitious goal and I published ahead of schedule. I’ve been working on my novel that was conceived through the Word of the Day, although much to my chagrin I am months behind where I had hoped to be by now. That being said, what I’m writing now is so much better than what I was writing just a few months ago the extra effort will be well worth it. Look for it to be available in 2019!

Travel: My kids have been asking to travel more and in 2018 I made this happen for them. We took an amazing trip to Georgia with their friends, a trip that will be one of those lifelong childhood memories for them. I took them to Washington DC which was someplace they had wanted to see. Although they didn’t particularly enjoy the city there were a lot of first for them on that trip, including their first train ride which they loved. We also vacationed in the mountains in NH and hit many of the tourist destinations those who live in NH often forget about. As much as I love being with my kids, I take time for me as well and traveled without my kids: hiking on the Appalachian trail, camping outside of Savannah and Charleston. Where will we go next?

Emotionally I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, even though I’ve had a few tough hits this year, including the recent passing of my mother. Financially I’ve recovered from the purchase of the rental property last year. And I’m once again on a writing retreat at my friend’s beach condo in the hope of getting back on track with my novel…something I seem to be avoiding even now.

I would like to be more involved with WordPress once I figure out a new purpose for this blog. In the meantime, I will be working with my sister on her blog Accessible ABA, in some capacity. And I will continue to work on my novel.

What will 2019 bring?

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Chagrin.

It Is Only Temporary

The past few weeks have been tough. One problem piles on top of another. I feel like I’m reaching a breaking point. It has to stop. There has to be a reason, something I can do that will turn this around.

My mom passed away. In addition to the emotions of losing her suddenly, this has significantly depleted my savings with plane tickets, the funeral and other unexpected expenses. My property taxes doubled dipping into another financial resource. Things at work have been busier than usual and because I haven’t been on top of things like I usually am we are facing innumerable issues that could have been avoided. I haven’t caused them, but under normal circumstances I would have prevented them.

On and on things pile up.

The Halloween party I planned for months was postponed because I was away taking care of things after my mom passed. It was moved to a weekend that wasn’t just windier than normal but it happened on a day we had a tornado touch down not far from my house. This forced the haunted maze I had built outside to be recreated indoors.

There’s more. It keeps going but you get the idea.

I believe in the law of attraction….at least to an extent and so I believe that although I couldn’t have done anything about my mom passing or the tornado many other problems are being attracted to me because of something I’m doing or thinking. I’m honestly trying to correct this.

And yet it piles on. The load is getting to be more than I can carry.

At yoga Monday night the instructor said something repeatedly that she has never said before. “However you are feeling, it is temporary. It will pass.”. I can’t help but feel this is something I need to hear….that I need to remind myself that what is happening right now in my life is temporary. These problems I am facing will pass.

I can do this!

FREE Today Only – Learn 4 Secrets That Will Change Your Life!

Have you ever wondered, “Is this really all there is?” My life used to consist of work, chores, taking care of the kids, and a couple hours of TV to unwind before I went to bed. After my divorce I met people who helped me realize that there really is more out there – a LOT more! My life has changed in ways I would never have believed possible.

As a result of everything I learned, I published my first book in April – Thriving not Surviving: Bravely Pursue a Life That Will Blow Your Mind! It is a straightforward guide for changing your thinking in a way that will help you move from simply surviving to thriving. I’ve done it and so can you! (see below for an excerpt from the book)

If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can download the Kindle version for FREE today only (the paperback version is also available but not eligible for the promotion). Go grab it and let me know what you think! Miss the promotion? Email me at gratefulsinglemoms@yahoo.com and I will notify you of the next promotion!

After you read the book, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It helps more than you know!

I was fortunate enough to be able to include writing from two of our fellow bloggers as well:

The Wonderful and Wacky World of One Single Mom

A Creative PTSD Gal

Click the image below to get your free copy today!

Excerpt:

We are inundated day in and day out with messages of lack, things we don’t have but desperately need. Is it any wonder we struggle to feel grateful for the things we have? And yet gratitude is the one thing that will always make us feel happier.

It is impossible to feel both grateful and unhappy at the same time.

It is impossible to feel both grateful and lonely at the same time.

It is impossible to feel both grateful and angry at the same time.

It is impossible to feel both grateful and less fortunate at the same time.

How much happier would you feel if you spent more time focusing on the good things in your life? If you thought about the amazing friends you have, how much you love your kids, and how lucky you are to even just be alive, what would your life be like?

All it takes is a little practice. Now that you have (hopefully) accepted that you can choose your perspective in a situation, you can also decide to feel gratitude for whatever lesson, success or gain you have received as well. You can choose to actively seek out positive aspects of your life, even the smallest ones, until you can fully appreciate how fortunate you really are.

Even if you just feel grateful for your morning cup of coffee, the fact you have food for lunch and a job to go to every day, you will improve your life by simply opting to feel grateful for these things.