Learning to Co-exist while Co-parenting

Some of us do not always have the conventional type of family. Sometimes things happen and both parents cannot be in the same home with their child(ren). It could be because of a divorce, a break-up or the fact that you both were never together. My child’s father and I get along pretty well. I may have some things that I do not like, have issues or disagree with when it comes to just he and I but honestly I could not ask for my child to have a better father. If the only thing that he and I have in common is our child and the only relationship that we have is co-parenting then my only issue is our son and his well-being. Even though I may have thoughts and feelings about other things but I chose to pick my battles wisely and let him be the good parent that I know he is. To sum it all up…I think our situation is damn near perfect but unfortunately it is not the same for others.

I have had some readers send me e-mails and submit questions concerning “baby daddy” and co-parenting issues so I decided to give out some tips based on what works for me and my child’s father. Now keep in mind I am no expert on any topic but if I feel that I am pretty knowledgeable about something then I will throw my opinion out there. . I also understand that not all situations are able to be worked out and need extra time because it takes two to make it work. Below are some things that I think could help improve a situation where parents can learn to co-exist while co-parenting

Let go of the past– It is pretty common for people to hold onto the past to the point where it affects their future. A situation can never progress if you are constantly bringing up the past and holding a person to their mistakes. Baggage is heavy y’all…

Communication is key– I have always said that sometimes is not what you say but how you say it. Learning how to effectively communicate is detrimental. I think it is almost impossible for any type of relationship to survive if there is no good communication. If it is possible I would say text less and call more. Learn how to articulate exactly how you feel. Try not to yell at each other or use profanity. And do not assume what the other will say, think or feel.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.-Respect goes both ways. You cannot demand what you are not willing to provide. I HATE double standards. Do not do something that you would not want your child’s mother/father doing. At the end of the day the other person is a part of your child as well. Try not to bash, talk negatively or be unsupportive of the other. Please realize that if the mother/father of your child is not doing well then that means your child is not either.

Keep things private– It is okay to vent to a close friend every now and then but there is no need to broadcast all of your personal business to anyone who will listen.

Try therapy– This is something that I have been meaning to try myself. I would love for my son’s father and me to do this. Sometimes you may just need to let someone who is unbiased try to help you both understand the other. It also would not hurt to emotionally express yourself and I think it would provide some relief. People can be really hurt and bruised from previous experiences and issues and need help getting through it.

Involve a third party– if you and your child’s parent cannot even stand to look or be around each other try to involve someone else outside the relationship. Let me clarify. If it takes someone to be in the middle that can take the child to the other’s house or help pacify the situation then do so.

Take responsibility– If you have done something that you know was wrong…OWN UP TO IT!!! Do not make up excuses of why you did something just say you did it because you wanted to. Be accountable for your words and actions. Just because you felt like it was right does not mean that it was. We all have made mistakes…just say you did too.

Without any explanation try to remain open minded, understanding, honest, flexible, compromising and remember that your child is not a paycheck. Last but not least…

IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU….ITS ABOUT THE CHILD. DO NOT BE SELFISH!!!!!

Sometimes I…

Sometimes I wish that I was more courageous, outgoing and daring. I wish that I felt more confident about my body and every other imperfection. Some days I feel so damn unpretty and other days I feel like the most beautiful girl in the room. Sometimes I wish I knew how the f*ck I really feel and then there are times when I think I have it all figured out. There are moments when I am comfortable with being alone and other moments I feel so unwanted and lonely. Sometimes I wish I did not feel that the only two men who love me are my father and my son. Sometimes I wish I was not so damn real and maybe that I way I would be a lot further in life.

As much as I hide it sometimes I wish I was not so insecure. I wish I was not so damn cheap to buy internet and that way I would not have to drain my phone battery because I am using hotspot. Sometimes I was I had a different cell phone carrier and that way I would not miss phone calls and I can keep up with my social networking. Sometimes I wish that I wasn’t so sexual and I would be okay with this dry spell I am going through. There are times that I wish I wasn’t so vulgar and I could be the little southern belle that I know I am. I wish that men were not so superficial so they can accept my short hair and edgy look. Sometimes I wish I could wrap my hair up in a turban, wear a flowing dress with little to no makeup (I have to fill in my eyebrows though) but still feel like a super model.

Some days I wish that I could drink more classy drinks like wine and fruity cocktails instead of my bubbly ice cold beer. There are times when I wish I did not have good values and self-respect so that I could f*ck my way to the top instead of doing things the right way. Sometimes I wish that I was not so misunderstood and you can understand how the hell I really feel. At times I wish I did not have these stretch marks but I love my son. Sometimes I wish that I was more than just a “baby mama.” Sometimes I wish that my son’s father could relate and feel where the f*ck I am coming from. Sometimes I wish that I could see the good in myself so that I can see the good in others.

One day I hope that how I sometimes feel would disappear and I can accept that everything may not go as planned but I can always face the inevitable and life’s flaws….

With Love,

The Single B*tch

One Man Team But I Need A Roster

Of course, who does not want to find true love but there are times when you just need a roster. When you are a single girl I think it is okay to keep a few guys around for fun. It gives you choices and a chance to not grow emotionally attached to anyone. Please keep in mind that it is always good to be honest with everyone involved. You do not have to tell all of your personal business but be clear about what you want and how you feel.

Now, I have been without a boyfriend for a loooooonnnnng time but I have NEVER been without a homie lover friend. This is some sad sh*t. I think the reason why I have been somewhat content without a committed relationship is because I have always had someone to keep me entertained. I had a different guy to fulfill different needs and wants. You may need a guy to stimulate you mentally and have intellectual conversations with. One guy may give you exactly want you need sexually and one may be the jack of all trades and possess everything you need. I even realized that it’s good to keep a guy around that is outside of what you are used to, someone who can expose you to different things and show you another side of life. I remember I once had a guy around that was younger than me. Lord knows I had NO business even entertaining him but he made me feel like a college girl again. I had no cares while he was around. I guess I will use this time to work on me and healing myself. I always thought I was okay with being alone but I see now that I was never lonely to begin with.

This phase sucks…

Sincerely,

The Single B*tch

I Have to Get Rid of This Load…This Baggage is Heavy

No lie, life is hard and even though there will be good times there will be bad times as well. It is said that a person may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel. This could not be more spot on. When certain life events happen for people it leaves an emotional bruise that seems to never heal and if not taken care of it gets worse. I refer to this as having baggage. When I talk about baggage I am not speaking of your favorite Louis Vuitton duffel bag. I am talking about the emotional hurt and pain that one has endured and never let go of. It’s like dirty laundry that you never wash and you let it pile up. That load of clothes gets so heavy just to pick up and carry.

I never realized I had tons of emotional baggage until I reached a point of self-reflection.

Life happens. I do not expect every day to be perfect and I can take a few storms and bumps along the way. Some things are inevitable. I always viewed myself as an emotionally and mentally strong person. I had gone through a very life changing situation. I was never depressed until that point in my life came about. As soon as things got better I put it behind me because I had to. As I got older and more mature I realized that I had a few things about myself that I needed to change because of that situation. I felt like if I did not I could never move on in any type of relationship in life. I knew that first I had to pin point how I was feeling and then why. Next I knew that I had to find a way to accept what was going on. I also realized that it really was not what happened but who happened. One thing about having baggage is that I realized that it affected many different parts of my life. It is almost like an infection, if not cured it can spread. Where my baggage started at one point in my life it also carried over to my social life, my friendships, being a mother, a daughter and into my professional life at work. It was like I could not function. To be honest I am nowhere near over how I was feeling…I am a work in progress. Sometimes I feel like I will never reach that point of acceptance but what makes me feel better is that I know there is a chance that I will.

Whoever is reading this and you feel like you can relate, please do not let your baggage weigh you down. It is very hard to move on when you are hurting inside and it seems like no one understands. For me stepping outside the situation does not help but standing up in the midst of my problems and facing them head on does. It takes time to heal but along the way you will learn to do a little unpacking at a time, piece by piece…

When I was younger I never understood Erykah Badu “Bag Lady” but know I do…enjoy!

With Love,

The Single B*tch

Computer Love or Bust?

When it comes to dating and meeting people the way to do things are constantly changing. Some changes are for the good and some for the bad and the rest is what better suits you. It seems that people of all ages are actually giving online dating….so I must admit I decided to give it a try.

Child I have the worst luck when it comes to dating. I have been known to recycle men. When I say recycle I mean I keep the same guys in rotation to keep from getting some new peen. I think it is sexually safe but it is not good emotionally. I have a pretty healthy social life. I use to go out almost every weekend but now it is more like once or twice a month or just going to the local bar and grabbing a quick drink. So the fact that I do not meet the guys that I desire is quite mind-boggling to me. I had a talk with my daddy and he actually recommended online dating to me. He said that most free sites are usually hookup sites so he referred a well-known paid site to me. I always judge online dating in a negative light. I thought it was for people over 40, creeps, people with weird fetishes and fantasies and for people looking for sex. My phone, along with a certain body part, has been dry and I have been wanting the company of a man so I said what the hell. I tried a free dating site and I lasted only a couple of days. The guys were trash along with their horrible profile names and immature messages so I was quickly turned off. I finally tried a different site and the guys were definitely of a higher quality. Like they say…you get what you pay for so I guess it is safe to say that I am a little excited about where this will take me.

Before there was a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter there were chat lines, Myspace, Blackplanet, yahoo groups, note passing and three-way calling. I always thought that I would meet my future mate at the gas station, in the produce section at the grocery store, in high school, in college or either at the local neighborhood bar. Unfortunately I feel that some people forget about what makes a relationship great or what dating is all about so the way of meeting people and the importance of getting to know someone has changed. If you want something you never had sometimes you have to do the things you have never done.

-The Single B*tch

Missing What I Never Had

They say you can’t miss what you never had…well I think its possible. Love and relationships is a funny thing. You experience emotions you never thought you had and it takes you places that you never thought you could go. All of that feels good unless you have never experienced what you think love is.

Going to the movies on a Friday night, having a lazy Saturday in watching movies, enjoying drinks at the bar on a Sunday evening and getting ready for work on Monday morning with him are things that I wish I had. I want to be courted. I want to wake up smiling because I just received a “good morning” text and I know I was the first thought on your mind. I want to know what it feels like to have an argument and going days without a call or text so I can miss him like I haven’t seen him in years just to make up and hug him so tight. I want to be able to look forward to my work week just because I know that once the weekend comes I will be able to spend it with him. I wish I had someone to introduce to my family. Someone that can sit at the dinner table with me while my mom cooks Sunday dinner or someone that my dad can give the third degree to so he can make sure that he is fit for his princess. I wish that I had a man to watch all of my reality shows that I am so hooked on with and even though he may not like them but he chimes in and talks sh*t about what he sees. I want to experience holidays, birthdays and unexpected gifts. I want to be able to shower my man just like he showers me. I wish I had a man to make feel like a man is supposed to feel. I want my summer fling to turn into my valentine and share April showers with. I wish I knew what it felt like to cook breakfast for and serve it to him in bed. I wish I had someone to make feel like a king. I want to be his queen. I want to be able to hear a love song and relate to it instead of wondering what it would feel like. I want to go through the ups and downs and rocky times with someone. I want to love someone so hard that it actually hurts to feel so good. And as crazy as it sounds I want to experience the pain of a break up and maybe even leave knowing that it’s okay and life goes on and I have the chance to love again.

Maybe the reason why some miss what they have never had is because they are in love with the idea of something. It comes a time when you finally feel the need for something but it is not in reach. It is okay to want, dream and hope for something but you cannot let something that you desire overcome you. Believe it or not wanting to fill a void so badly can end up damaging you because it can have you angry and emotionally bruised. Until the day comes when you finally get what you deserve and want just remember that someone somewhere is missing you too because you are something that they never had

Yours Truly,

The Single B*tch

Deal Or No Deal?

The more mature and older I become I start to think about the characteristics in men that I just cannot deal with. We women need to think about our “non-negotiables” while we are dating and trying to find our better half. When I was younger about 13 or 14 (like I was grown and knew everything about dating) I remember having a red spiral notebook with over 100 things that a boy could not do or have. I would have things like he could not have dried up deodorant balls under his arm, could not wear jerseys with no shirt underneath, no braids, cannot drive a Honda, he can’t wear his friends clothes and a whole bunch of silly stuff. Now do not get me wrong some of those things I still do not like (besides the Honda) but they are not something that I cannot work with. And let’s be realistic whether you are 13, 23 or 33 no woman should have over 100 things that a man cannot do or have, in that case you deserve to be single. For me what is non-negotiable goes way beyond the obvious like not having a car, stable job and a place to stay because at my age those are given. I like to think more about a man’s values and his logic. So I talked to some of my close friends and co-workers who are women, from different backgrounds and ages and asked what are some things that are non-negotiable while dating and this is what they said ( I put a star by the ones I totally agree and cannot negotiate with):

  • He cannot be a “mamas boy”
  • He has to passionate about something…even if it’s lawn care..he has to want to do it and be good at it*
  • He cannot be lackadaisical*
  • Ambition*
  • He cannot have small children
  • If he does not have manners*
  • A man with no backbone…I do not want to be in a relationship with a yes boy
  • He may not have to know how to cook but he has to be clean
  • He cannot have less sexual stamina than me*
  • Religion is a deal breaker. They must have some sort of faith in a higher power*
  • Not too many kids*
  • Has to be very respectful*
  • A loyal person*
  • He has to be confidant in what he has
  • He has to be financially motivated*
  • Cannot have a small penis*
  • He has to be multifaceted*
  • He has to be a man’s man…be able to fix cars and things around the house*
  • He has to be realistic*
  • Understands the meaning of having a friendship*
  • He respects the fact that if a woman has kids she is a mother first before anything!**
  • Great hygiene**
  • He has to be ambitious**
  • He cannot be a “bugaboo”
  • Good sense of humor*
  • Has to be humble
  • He cannot be egotistical**
  • Cannot by any means jealous
  • He treats his mom with respect*
  • He cannot be overly superficial*
  • He cannot have dirty nails
  • He cannot be immature
  • It’s such a big turn off when a man always has to roll with a crew
  • Multiple baby mamas**
  • Not pessimistic
  • No extensive criminal record**
  • Has to have goals set**
  • Has to pursue a career that benefits them
  • He has to be well-rounded**
  • Eclectic
  • Open minded* 

By now a woman should know what she seeks in a man. No one should have no non-negotiables but on the other side of the coin no woman should have too many. I feel that I am too old to try to upgrade a man but in the same sense they are some things that I am willing to compromise and work with. If you are single and dating or even in a committed relationship you need to start asking yourself if the man you are with is a reflection of you. Now tell me…what are you not willing to negotiate?

Sincerely,

The Single B*tch

 

Functionally Dysfunctional…

Fussing in public, hanging up the phone, cursing each other out, breaking up every other week and headache after headache. It sounds so horrible but at the same time it feels so good. Sounds crazy right? To some people it is normal and that’s functional to them. I have heard some people say that they like organized chaos and for them it’s easy to operate…that’s how I think of dysfunctional relationships that functionally operate.

When I was younger I had a boyfriend that was older than me and to every high school girl it is a dream. Well my dream tuned into a living nightmare. I have never experienced so much mental and emotional abuse. At times it even got physical. What is still baffling to me is the fact that I thought if none of the drama was going on then something was not right. The drama use to drive us, we loved it. Our dysfunction was habitual and in fact quite normal. I was so drained emotionally. As I look back now I think I became a little desensitized.  A little jealousy is normal in relationships but my boyfriend took it to another extreme he became jealous of me. He did not want me hanging with my friends, when I got my first car he did not congratulate me and did not support anything that I did. By that time…I had enough. I was done!  I went to college and saw that there were more men in this world than the “man” I left back at home. I dated guys and there was one in particular that I was crazy about but it was a reason why it didn’t work. The same dysfunction that my ex-boyfriend and I had, I tried that on him…IT DID NOT WORK. That’s when I learned that what I thought was the “new normal” was not normal at all.

Some of us may not notice how previous relationships have shaped our views on current relationships. It could even distort future relationships if we let it. I have learned that it is also important to allow ourselves some breathing room to recover from bad and even sometimes good relationships. It is never okay to expose yourself to so much dysfunction. And it definitely is not okay to lose yourself to the point that you do not even know how to be yourself in a relationship. Never let something so negative become all you know because you will never have the chance to know something else if you do not allow it. It is funny how something so uncomfortable becomes your comfort…

Sincerely,

The Single B*tch

All In The Mix

So I was thinking…what if the man of your dreams was someone who you least expected? No he is not shorter, taller, older or younger than you but he is of a different race. I would like to think that America has come far but every time an interracial couple walks into a room you can hear a pin drop and the sound of crickets (even if you aren’t outside). I have never been the one to discriminate against a good ole fashioned swirl but I have had my reservations…

I grew up in the suburbs and it kind of reminds me of the movie Pleasantville. Everyone seemed so happy all the time and their lives appeared so perfect. Growing up I was always attracted to the boys outside of my race. It was not because it was my preference but those were the only guys I was surrounded by so that is what I found myself more attracted to. As kids they would flirt with me, tell me that I am pretty and pass me notes but would never pursue a “relationship” with me. Now that I am older I find myself getting openly approached by the same guys and others when I go out. When people get older we are more open and honest about what we like and refuse to keep it hidden but even though I am very open about trying new things there is something that scares me about the “swirl”. I do not ever want to feel like a novelty, something on your bucket list to try before your 30th birthday or a different flavor at Baskin Robins. When a guy of another race makes a move towards me I can’t help but think that he just wants to take me for a test ride and attempt to fill a fantasy. Again, like other unknowns when it comes to possibly finding love, I’m scared.

Life is full of surprises and it is almost impossible to predict what will happen from one day to the next. What if what we always wanted in a man was outside of our comfort zone and into another? We cannot continue to let society or what our aunties say dictate how we feel or think if you are in fact definite or sure about what is inside. Hell even if you aren’t sure it’s definitely worth a try! Next time I get approached by a man who’s skin has less melanin than mine…I’ll be sure to give him a double take 🙂

Yours Truly,

The Single B*tch

 

Things for a Single B*tch to keep In Mind….

I do not care who you are…dating is not easy at all. I do not believe in following rules but I do believe that there are some things for you to keep in mind and remember while dating. I am no expert on dating but I do believe that I have operating as a single girl in this world down to a science. Here is what keeps me functioning…

It is okay to be selfish. Of course you do not want to be inconsiderate of someone else’s feelings but it is important to put your needs and wants in front of his at times…you are not in a relationship yet!

Do not let loneliness lead you to lust. I am guilty of this time after time. I know it can be so hard to come home to an empty house and you do not have that companion to make you feel good. There have been times I have given a guy a chance that did not even deserve to be in my presence. Wanting and needing something that I am missing has even gotten me into some sticky situations. Some were extremely hard to get out of and some even left deep emotional scars. Do not let being lonely determine how you think of yourself. Honey being alone has even made me find men attractive that do not even deserve a second look. I have even considered trying to “upgrade” a man and Lord knows I am too old to “build-a-man”. Who knew that something that you think can make you feel better makes you feel so bad…

Think outside the box. One reason I found myself missing out on dating opportunities is because I did not want to step outside of my comfort zone. I did not want to believe that other races, ages and men of other backgrounds that I was not use to could not offer me anything. I mean hey…the only thing that could happen is it not working!

Get to know you. Like I said…I am not expert on dating but when it comes to being a single girl I know all of the ropes. One thing that bothers me about some single girls is that fact that they do not know how to feel comfortable alone. It is never okay to feel like you need the company of another to make you feel complete. During this time outside of a relationship get to know what it is that makes you happy.  If you always hopping from one man to the next how is it possible to NOT lose yourself??? Date you for a while…it’s okay.

Get real and be honest. Honesty is the key. Before you can be honest with others you have to first be honest with yourself. You have to get down to the “nitty gritty” and figure out what is it that you really want.

Don’t settle for sex. If sex is not what you want then don’t settle for it. Every girl needs their pipes clean every now and then but if you’re just having sex to fill a void do not do it. I have been there and done that and it only hurts…TRUST ME!!!!!

What about your friends? Utilize this time to build your friendships and have fun with your friends. Do not forget about them…you need em’

Do not contradict. If you do not have it all together…do not expect him to. It’s not fair!!!

KNOW YOUR WORTH!!!!!!! No explanation is needed…

Sincerely,

The Single B*tch