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How to Tell You Are the Parent of an Only Child

2 Jul

I always read bits and pieces about how being an only child affects kids – both in the positive and negative. In the past I’ve weighed in as the “older mom”, so I think it’s time I offered up my perspective as the mom of an only kid – both positive and negative.

This is how it is for me…being the lucky and sometimes exasperated mom of Ben:

  1. Even if your son (mine) is only going into 10th grade, when you are at Party City or Target and pass by the graduation party supplies, your stomach turns a little and you try (unsuccessfully) to hold back the tears. Or when you watch a mom and son dance at a wedding, you almost have to excuse yourself to the restroom to get a grip, as you likely see your face on the face of the groom’s mom and your son’s (baby) face on the groom and begin to fall apart. (Pathetic, isn’t it?)
  2. You are planning on relocating to wherever your kid goes to college. And plan to relocate again when he gets her first job. Oh – and again when he gets married….
  3. You drive your kid and all his friends everywhere because you are the only one who doesn’t have a couple other schedules to consider or kids to cart around. You do this not so much for the kids, but so your mom friends can have a little break once in a while. And you also do it because, well, let’s face it, when you only have one kid, everyone kind of expects you to volunteer for everything, right? I mean, what else do we have to do all day (wink, wink)?
  4. You wish you had another child – not so your son doesn’t have to take care of you all alone when you get old, but because then he’d have someone else to annoy and could then leave you alone. And even better, he’d have someone else to fight with!
  5. Your son’s unintentional nicknames are Lucky, Gus and Rusty – coincidentally, those are also the names of your dogs.
  6. Speaking of animals, if you don’t want your kid to get too full of himself, you remind him that your pets came before him – in my house, that means he’s officially number 4 on the totem pole and will be treated accordingly.
  7. You only have to fill out one set of camp or school forms!! Woo Hoo! And even more fun, only one well-child or orthodontist appointment to schedule, and one kid’s homework to deal with. (On the flip side, my guess is that moms of only children typically save wayyy too many of those school projects and childhood mementos!)
  8. You know all your kids’ teachers’ names and a little bit about each one. Ditto for their friends, friends parents, friends siblings and pets, coaches… You get the picture.
  9. You have to work extra hard to make sure your kid doesn’t think he’s the center of anyone else’s universe but yours.
  10. You get a little squeamish when friends are over and the rough housing begins, until other parents remind you to relax and let them do what brothers and siblings normally do (which looks to moms of only children like combat warfare).

Maybe the most interesting thing about having an only child – or my only child is that if you stop by my house on any given day, you would think I’m the old lady in the shoe – living with a multitude of kids, baking endless batches of chocolate chip cookies and making sure everyone has a pillow, blanket and place to sleep every weekend.

I wouldn’t have it any other way….

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Is the Big Picture Shrinking in My House?

19 May

I’m not sure if I came to value the ‘Big Picture’ concept from working with teens and young adults most of my life, running a tight-ship kind of a company or maybe even just personal paranoia, but I have always been a ‘Big Picture’ kind of a girl…meaning that it’s essential for me to look ahead and project the results, aftermath or effects of preparation, actions or words. Continue reading

Free to Be…..You and Me…: Three Rules for Personal Comfort

7 Apr

Part Four of Four

And finally – wrapping up and rounding out my previous posts (Part One, Part Two and Part Three) on personal comfort – we’ve reached the end! And as we know as the adults we are – the end is usually just the beginning…. Continue reading

Free to Be…..You and Me…: Three Rules for Personal Comfort

4 Apr

Part Three of Four

Be sure to read Part One  and Part Two!

For adults to understand and share with their children:

  1. Be Thyself

I can’t believe this 4-part post started out as a brief commentary on self-comfort! I appreciate your positive comments and interest as I give you the second of Three Absolutes for finding and keeping one’s personal contentment. Continue reading

Free to Be…..You and Me…: Three Rules for Personal Comfort

2 Apr

Part Two of Four

As I mentioned in my previous post, Part One of this series, I think that figuring out who you are, and being confident enough to trust who you are, is one of the most important things we can accomplish in life. It’s NOT easy and I sure haven’t mastered it yet… But, it is something I work on daily and most definitely something that I try to instill in Ben every chance I get. Continue reading

Free to Be… You and Me…: Three Rules for Personal Comfort

31 Mar

Part One of Four

As I began writing this piece a while back, the Oscars were on….two of the acceptance speeches grabbed my attention as perfect fits for helping kids – and ourselves – to get and stay comfortable in their/our own skins. Continue reading

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

12 Mar

In honor of #tbt (that’s Throw-Back Thursday) we are bringing back some of our (and your!) favorite pieces, many of them updated with new pics! Enjoy!

For me, the only thing worse than my love/hate relationship with my 13 year old son, is talking to the occasional mom who maintains that she doesn’t have a love/hate relationship with her teenager because between them it is all fine, all the time… Is that even possible? Continue reading

#TBT: Where the H@## Did He Learn That?

5 Mar

In honor of #TBT (that’s Throw-Back Thursday) we are bringing back some of our (and your!) favorite pieces, many of them updated with new pics! Enjoy!

A few nights ago, after a particularly difficult couple of days of arguing with Ben – about his grades, his homework habits, writing his Bar Mitzvah thank you notes and 23 other things, he announced to his grandparents and aunt, who were over for dinner, “I think my mom has had her period for a whole year, she’s so bitchy.” It was so funny and outrageous, that instead of getting even madder at him, I burst out laughing.

And this, I’m afraid, is the problem. Continue reading

#TBT: Ben and His Very First Friend Jack: A Fond Farewell

19 Feb

In honor of #tbt (that’s Throw-Back Thursday) we are bringing back some of our (and your!) favorite pieces, many of them updated with new pics! Enjoy!

Jack was Ben’s first real friend.

When Ben was born, Jack was already two years old, with the sweetest temperament, the most beautiful gingery hair (much like Ben’s) and an instant protective love for Ben. Continue reading

#TBT: Catching Them In The Act (Of Doing it Right!)

12 Feb

IMG_0895

In honor of #tbt (that’s Throw-Back Thursday) we are bringing back some of our (and your!) favorite pieces, many of them updated with new pics! Enjoy!

Recently, a friend of mine mentioned how shocked she was that I check Ben’s text messages and Instragram as often as I do – and often right in front of him. She also said that she would likely sneak in her daughter and son’s room at night to check their texts secretly – if only she knew their passwords. Continue reading