June 16, 2015

We'll Always Have Arizona

It's often said that travel changes you.  How could fourteen hours with two children in five different vehicles not change me?  Especially two children who are experiencing mountain sickness and a two hour time difference.

Writing this blog vaguely implies that I have some wisdom or, at the very least, useful tips for single moms by choice.  Ha!  I got nothin'.  And so, this will be my last post.

Truth be told, I started here when Liam was a baby with a secret hope.  I was homebound with a young toddler and nursing infant.  I dreamed that my mother would read my posts and swoop in with helping hands.  Fold the laundry, make dinner, empty the dishwasher...oh the simple wishes of an overwhelmed working mom.  It never happened but I continued with bravado, flying in the face of those who said I took on too much, I did this to myself, I should have known better, I got what I deserved...

Having been continuously employed in the same profession with full benefits for twenty years, earning graduate credits well past my Master's degree and paying off my single family home on a leafy suburban street, I thought I was good enough, capable enough, responsible enough to be a solo parent.  Who could look at my track record and say otherwise?  Apparently lots of people beginning with the social worker who said "No birth mother would ever pick you."  Maybe I should have quit the journey right there and then.  Instead I stubbornly pursued parenthood and became a mom to Henry.

I never had a large village but when I became pregnant for a second time, there was an exodus of remaining friends and neighbors.  To this day, subtle comments are slipped into casual conversation to remind me I am truly on my own.

This blog has been good to me--filling in parts of the void at times but I just can't keep up the pretense any more.  I wasn't mothered, I don't know how to mother and yet I have years of mothering ahead of me.  Right now, parenting feels like traveling from the floor to rim of a huge canyon.  I'm stuck halfway up the steep hike and only now realize that I don't have what it takes.  I can't go back down, that's for certain.  Clearly it's time to stop blogging about the scenery and just put one foot in front of the other on the parenting trail.

Thank you for indulging me--not just reading this post but so many others over the years.


  1. Please tell me you are not really stopping!! Because the view from here is that you are an excellent mother! I am always amazed at the things you do for your boys. Take their birthdays for example... You had some many fun things planned. Meanwhile what Elsie got... a present in the morning, rice krispie treats at school (that I bought) and out to dinner at her favorite restaurant and one more present in the evening. Not a single creative thing.

    I wish we lived closer!! I would love to hang out with you and the boys!!

  2. PS I LOVE the photos. It is so beautiful!!

  3. Really???!!! I learned so much from you in just the short time I followed you. You are a great mom who does awesome thing with her boys. I'll miss learning about your family.

  4. I too am amazed at all the things you do with your boys. I had a shitty childhood and a terrible mother. I worry constantly about how well, or not well, I am doing. My father has not seen my daughter since she was 6 months old. Most days I feel pretty much alone, but I do have a great group of friends. At the end of the day my daughter knows she is loved and mommy makes mistakes too. No parents are perfect even the ones in two parent homes. Cut yourself some slack. As SMCs we set the bar so high for ourselves but I think we need to give ourselves a break, we are doing well.

  5. I will really miss your voice in the blogosphere. I don't think you give yourself enough credit. I understand that blogging can't be a priority, especially if you're just putting one foot in front of the other these days but I have always valued that you've never implied that you were a perfect mom or that parenting was easy. I have learned a great deal from you

    I too wish we lived closer so that I could be a part of your village & help lighten your load in some way.

  6. Please don't leave us. I think you do an awesome job. I find your blog to be real and honest about the difficulties of being an Smc. I wish we lived closer! I need some SMC friends and I feel connected to my blogosphere friends, you bring one of them!

  7. I agree. I read your blog for inspiration about what life will be like when my son is older. I always hope to be as creative and motivated as you. But when you feel like it is all too much remember that love and interest is the most important thing!

  8. Please don't leave. Your blog is truly a look into your life that I love. Its honest and give views of what REAL moms go through. You do many creative things and I am sure inspire many moms. I do wish I was also closer because I certainly would part of your village and would love to part of it. However laundry is NOT my favorite but I DO LOVE dishes and would be most happy to do yours.
    As far as not being mothered sometimes that drives us to prove we can do better. I am missing many skills in the whole area of running a house and the main thing my mom taught me was how I WANT to appreciate my life in the worst of times. You do amazing things with the life you have.
    Looking that these awesome pictures it shows me its awesome to look at those deep rocks and there is
    a amazing to be climbing them but once you get to the bottom you climb up and keep going..
    You just keep going..

  9. I wish you would come back! I love reading your blog, especially the real parts-not the happy, everything is great posts, but the posts about the hard times. Because it is real. I am a single mom by choice and I have 3 children! One daughter who is 5 years old and twin boys who are 11 months old. I read your posts because I don't feel so alone-because I was never mothered either. My family of origin is horrible and my parents and my two brothers that I grew up with and loved with all my heart-none of them talk to each other. They don't talk to me and they don't talk to my brothers, my dad moves through his life and leaves the dead bodies behind, I wish with all my heart it was difference and it is beyond painful and beyond sad. your posts make me feel like I am not the only one out there without any kind of family. I have my own family, but I am talking about my family of origin. It is incredibly painful. Please come back!

  10. I went looking to see what you were up to and realized I'd missed this in June!

    None of us are experts at this. I was mothered to some extent in that I always knew I was loved, but I was not mothered the way I want to mother my children. So I'm stumbling my way through all this. I think we all are - and those who say they aren't are not being truthful.

    If you do truly stay away, I'll miss your posts. I have really valued our blog friendship - your posts are windows into my upcoming years with two boys, and I felt comforted by your honesty in sharing the very real struggles of being a mom. Like others have said, I so wish we were close enough to be physical supports to each other, and not just virtual!

    If you read this and you're also on FB, maybe send me an email so we can connect there? I'll miss watching your boys grow! shannonblog at icloud dot com