Raising Teenagers and Valentine’s Day

DCIM103GOPROGOPR4271.JPG

I was having my afternoon coffee when my eldest kid arrived from school, yanked open the kitchen door too hard (because we Filipinos don’t normally use the front door), threw his backpack on the library floor and slammed the door shut to his room.

I was ready to rage like what the f*ck was that when his brother followed inside after him, laughing. I asked what was funny and he said that his brother got turned down by a girl on Valentine’s day.

I’m raising teenagers aged 14 and 15. I’m 34.

I remember back in high school, every Valentine’s day, a number of girls would be called to the Student Affairs office to receive flowers from their boyfriends or admirers. Almost everyone would wait by the hallway to see the enormous bouquets and gush and giggle. (I went to an all-girls school by the way.) My name was never called, I never had the shameless opportunity to claim a dozen roses because as far as I could recall, I did not waste my time tearing over some ridiculous crush when I was this age, I was busy sneaking out to drink and play pool (not something I’m really proud of). Boys were the least of my concerns.

So I found my kid’s situation kind of amusing. I’m not a bad mother.

I knocked on the door to his room before letting myself in, it was pitch black. I turn the lights on and found him crying on his bed. I sat beside him and stroked his back, asked what was wrong. For a while, he was just silent, trying his best not to cry. He finally said to leave him alone. I’m not doing that, no kid is demanding me to do anything I do not want to do, so I remained where I was, told him that he could talk to me, that he could tell me what happened at school, that he could tell me why he was so triggered. I guess he realized I wasn’t going anywhere until he spills, so with a heavy sigh, he said that his heart was broken. I seriously tried not to laugh. I AM NOT A BAD MOTHER. But honestly, I don’t know how to deal with this. Motherhood, especially parenting teenagers, did not come with a manual. I asked how his heart was broken. Apparently, since it’s Valentine’s day, he gave gifts to this crush, but she turned away and he felt humiliated. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. I mean here is my baby boy, all grown up, having his heart broken by some ugly piece of shit. Sorry.

I did not know what to say. I told him it’s going to be okay even if I know it’s going to hurt really bad at the moment. I told him there are still so many other girls he will eventually meet and fall in love with even if I know his heart longs for a certain someone. Not the best choice of words.

But I also told him, assured him, that even if we don’t agree on most things, Mama will never turn away from him. Mama will always happily accept even paper roses and half eaten Kit Kats. I’ve collected all those V-day cards he and his brothers gave me since they started to learn how to make one. When everyone leaves, Mama will stay, Mama will always be here. Mama will never stop loving you.

A broken heart, heavily laden with dramatic weight and sadness.

Many years ago, I too suffered from a broken heart. Lots of uncontrollable sobbing and tantrums involved. If I had a dollar for every heartbreak and disappointment I’ve ever experienced, I’d just well be able to quit work and travel the world. But I’ve long mustered forgetting and blocking out the pain, the hurt. We cannot just continue to keep reliving our misery. I’ve come to terms with what has been and have totally moved on.

There is no socially established mourning method for broken hearts. It’s just plain sad. But if we try to see it as an experience to learn about ourselves, the process of moving on opens up an opportunity of self-betterment instead.

He wouldn’t be able to understand this for now, it’s a lot to take in for a fragile 15-year old, so I just let him be sad and cry it all out.

Before I left the room, I asked my kid, curious, if his crush even accepted the gifts he gave before she turned away and he said yes (that b*tch). I told him to give it time, that maybe she was just shy (while rolling my eyes). I am not a bad mother. I asked him what he gave her, he told me he gave a single red rose and some chocolates. Hearing chocolates, I asked what kind he gave, he told me he got some of the chocolates I keep in the fridge. We had a good laugh.

 

xx

DMV

Single Mommyship

And all the stereotypes that go along with it.

NO, totally not my fault I’m in this situation. I did not choose to become a single mom, I mean who in their right mind wouldn’t want their kids to grow up with a complete family? But unfortunately, it did not work out like it should for us and life just has to go on. I’d rather be alone than be stuck in a very unhealthy relationship, seriously.

But these stereotypes. Sorry if I am PMSing, but really?

One stereotype that really irks me is that when you date a single mom, she will financially drain you. (WTF?)

C’mon, living in a third world, poverty stricken country doesn’t only limit “single moms” that will feed on your very fat bank account. The impoverished marginalized has long discovered pimping their children (daughters) to Caucasians with the thinking that if he’s white and has dollars, they be rich.

So do not categorize me into some money hungry single mother because honestly I don’t need your money. I work hard to earn a living for me and my kids and we are totally fine. It’s all a matter of time and financial management, a matter of priorities. And with what I do, my kids are able to go to reputable schools; eat 3, 5 times a day; involve in extra curricular activities; I am able to pay bills; my dogs have updated shots; I buy them dog food; I get to buy “want” stuff for my children, “want” stuff for myself and we can afford to go on vacations (even bringing along the nanny).

And yes, I also have a social life. I can afford my Jack Ds, you don’t need to buy me a drink.

I think I know myself really well, I know I am not a bad person and I know I’ve got so much to offer although I also know for a fact I don’t really need a man in my life. So if you come up to me, tell me you like me, ask for my number and then find out that I have kids and just suddenly gives me the silent treatment or go cold turkey on me, please do not assume that I am looking for someone to father my children, I’m not; do not assume that I am looking for someone to provide for me and my kids, I could very well provide for myself and my kids and my dogs; we could always be friends, I don’t intend to marry you (rolls eyes).

I totally get if some people (men) want to steer away from single mothers thinking of the baggage upon baggage upon baggage these moms be carrying but I just hope that you have enough respect and see past through your narrow mindedness and actually see how strong these women are. I understand that a woman with lots of responsibilities (children) is sometimes too much to handle but please know that being a single mother isn’t easy and it wouldn’t hurt for you to be a little kind. We feel like everyone else, bleed like everyone else. We struggle like everyone else because our children solely depends on us. We give and love twice as much to compensate for the father that is not there.

Please stop stereotyping us and possibly treat us like normal people, because we are.

 

xx

DMV