The Friend Zone

A couple of years ago, I took my son and his friend’s out for pizza. The conversation became very interesting! These kids started talking about the “Friend Zone.” Now, I didn’t know about this zone, but I learned! Apparently, if someone of the opposite sex puts you into the friend zone, “You’re always in the friend zone.” My son looks at me and in all seriousness, tells me, “Mom, that’s the problem. You put too many guys into the friend zone. Stop putting them there!”

Needless to say, we got a laugh out of that! And, although he doesn’t remember the conversation, I sure do!

This is February. The month of cupid, chocolate, and love. People are going on dates, renewing their vows, or getting engaged. Ahhh, love.

But, for me, Valentine’s wasn’t always fun; in fact, I dreaded it. And no, this didn’t start after divorce. It started way before that, in the middle of a hard marriage.

Fast forward through a hard divorce. And the struggle becoming a single mom and going back to work. Then, something strange thing happened. I started liking the holiday again. My heart started to open up again. I was healing, and cupid helped with that.

As single moms, we sacrifice our personal lives in order to dedicate ourselves to our kids. But, in doing that, we lose something. We lose the ability to show true friendship to our kids. They are trained by schoolma.png

It’s been eight years. Eight years of raising kids, going to college, finding a career, discovering myself, fighting cancer, and clinging to my faith. Two of those years, I had dates on Valentine’s Day. And, you know what? That’s OK.

Right after my divorce, I needed to trust again. And, God answered. I met a guy, and we were totally and completely in the friend zone! It was exactly what I needed. There were no strings; just two people who hung out together. Although we still know each other, we aren’t as close as we once we were, but that year helped me heal and trust again.

I’ve formed a group of friends these last many years; both men and women. This group has seen people come and go. Some move away, some get married, some just move into another group. But, it’s been good for all of us. We have had interesting conversations, fun times, and eaten lots of meals. Sometimes we go to movies. Sometimes we watch football. At times, we play games. All of it centers around church, since we that’s how we’ve all met. This group is the ultimate friend zone!

As single moms, we sacrifice our personal lives in order to dedicate ourselves to our kids. But, in doing that, we lose something. We lose the ability to show true friendship to our kids. They are trained by schoolmates, by neighborhood kids, by TV. However, they should be learning about friendships from us. Find a group of friends you feel comfortable with. Friends that stretch you, that encourage you, that laugh with you! Model God-centered relationships and watch how their lives will change.

And, since it is the month of love, I’ll just let you know that I’ve seen marriages come out of that friend zone. And honestly, maybe that’s the best way to find love…with a friend that you’ve gotten to know and trust. Only God knows how and when love will come. Only you know if that’s what you want. Until then, enjoy life, laugh with friends, and have fun! Little eyes are watching and learning.

Gwendolyn Irene

When Life Changes

I woke up Wednesday morning and realized I was a few days late. No big deal, but I decided to take a home pregnancy test just for peace of mind. I dropped my daughter off at school, ran by the store, came home, opened the test, sat down, and I peed. For the next 3 minutes, I enjoyed my coffee, checked my Facebook memories, and assumed I would go about my day like I normally do. But then that 3 minutes was up, and I stopped breathing for what felt like an eternity. There was a little blue plus sign. There wasn't supposed to be a little blue plus sign, but there was.

Wrapping my head around the thought of having a second baby was next to impossible. The father and I have been together for nearly a year, we’ve talked about our future plans, I knew I wouldn’t have to do it alone a second time. But then I started thinking, I’ve been a single mother since my daughter’s father left when I was still pregnant. That’s all I know how to be. I don’t know how to raise a child with help, how to co-parent, how to have someone by my side through everything.

I wouldn’t necessarily say I was excited. I needed some time to adjust to the reality of being a mother of two. I needed time to consider how it would impact the bond I have with my daughter. The entire day just all blurred together. I spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not that was really a positive, or if maybe it was just an evap line. Maybe I was just tired and imagining it. Maybe it was a faulty test.

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I woke up Thursday and took another test, just so I could be sure. This time I got the idiot proof one, the one that says pregnant or not pregnant so there can be no question as to whether or not that second line is really there or if I’m just seeing things. Nope. Big, bold, black letters. Pregnant. Maybe this one was faulty too? So I took a third. Still pregnant.

I told my boyfriend and he immediately started talking about names, I told my family, I told my best friend. I thought maybe telling the people I trust most would make it seem more real because I still had a hard time believing I was going to have a baby. I spent all day Thursday thinking about how the next few months were going to go and finally came to terms with it. I’m going to be a mom again.

I woke up Friday morning and realized something was off. It was 4:30 in the morning so I wasn’t quite awake enough yet to really think straight, but I thought I should take another test because I still couldn't believe it. I walked into the bathroom, opened the test, sat down, and that’s when it hit me. I’m bleeding.

The next several hours were spent in the hospital. Blood draw after blood draw, ultrasounds, pelvic exams. Then the doctor came in. “This isn’t your fault. These things just happen. Your cervix is open and with the amount of blood you’ve lost… I’m so sorry.” My blood test still showed positive, so they could only call it a “threatened miscarriage.” Threatened or not, I knew what it was, and despite what the doctor said I blamed myself for not immediately being excited.

I felt like I failed. I loved this being that was too small to see in ultrasounds, even if I was struggling with the reality of it. I’ve miscarried before, so I knew the next several days would be mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting. I slept, I cried, I hurt.

It has been 4 days. Four very long days, and I still keep convincing myself that maybe none of this was real. The doctor’s words keep replaying in my head. My time will come - not today, not tomorrow. Someday. Someday I will have a bigger family. Today I will hug my daughter a little closer.

~ Anonymous 

Self-Love or Selfish

After leaving my very toxic relationship, I had to get to the real important stuff. ME!  What made me happy & laugh, and what didn’t! The more I did the RIGHT things, the stronger I got and it was contagious. Like the color was returning to my cheeks. Daily I was praying for healthy relationships in my life. Mostly others are the same path. Was there a community for me? I felt labeled as jaded (even if I wasn’t) because of my situations and longed for acceptance. I knew I had to let go of toxic people, but my life was surrounded by ONLY them and what friends would I have left.

For years, I was told I was worthless and after leaving now I was being called selfish. I recall fighting over whose work schedule was more important, and I was responsible for all things having to do with a sitter. Not to mention the “timed” visits with our daughter.

As I started to use my legs again and voice, I most certainly received the backlash and guilt tripping for wanting to build a life of my own again.

But I drew that line in the sand years ago and turned to Personal Development again. With each book the repeating expression of “Filling Ones Cup” came to a head. What did this mean? The unfortunate part about this is society (and my ex) is that we could be fooled into thinking that taking care of yourself first is selfish. Well I call Bull S*it on this one!

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The female has somehow programmed herself to put everyone before them. In my quest, not only did I discover the importance of putting yourself first is vital, its more beneficial for all she may love. I had found my community with a group of people that were making themselves a priority and I was ALL in. I will share the first things I learned during my soul searching.

7 easy ways to demonstrate Self-Love

1.      Fuel your body – Goodness when I was on the downward spiral, so was my eating & nutrition. Bad choices and bad FOOD were habits. That’s if I wasn’t starving myself. The first step to self-love is to fuel your body to WORK for you. And not against you. The better I eat, the better I feel & younger.

2.      Exercise for Life – This was a love/hate for me at first. Who really loves to work out anyway? But when I found this community and begin to exercise, they made me feel at home, they helped me stay accountable, and they introduced me (single hot-mess mom) to a program that I can do in my HOME. Of course, I loved them instantly, then I appreciated the convenience of it all, and I fell in LOVE with the results both internal and external. When you exercise you feel better and gain confidence. Period. Its self-love at its best performance!

3.      Meditate & Relaxation – Our mind is always is overload. Daily mediation if only 10 minutes a day; can make a huge impact on the longevity of yourself. Simple mediation will allow you to minimize worries & anxiety. Another step to self-love.

4.      Spend time with friends – Favorite. When is the last time you said yes to dinner & drinks? This one is a must. We never battle alone. Sharing daily struggles with friend will certainly help you sort out & solve some at home issues. A wonderful example of self-love.

5.      Treat yourself – It doesn’t have to be expensive, but if a fun-loving coffee mug speaks to you, then buy it, and do NOT feel bad. You don’t need a reason, permission, or the extra cash. Buy yourself something from time to time.

6.      Daily Affirmations – These gorgeous words are small and complimentary to YOU. But the impact is BIGGER than life for turning our attitude around. We can reprogram one-self and thought patters by saying, writing, and repeating personal affirmations over in our mirrors each day. Stare straight into your eyes, and remind yourself how important you are to YOU. Trust and believe in you and tell yourself how much YOU love yourself.

7.      Bless, Release & Forgive – At times we feel that those who have hurt us should suffer. However, I have discovered forgiving, has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with us. Holding onto hate, will only road block our dreams, goals, or growth for our future endeavors. Learn to forgive freely. Give yourself permission to let go. What is done is done. Lead with love and grow because of this.

This process has been extremely beneficial for my transformations. I have managed to lose over 62lbs. and 20 inches. I have rid all the toxic & negative relationships in my life. I have learned so much about me and that self-love has been a huge part of my single-mom journey. I follow these actions daily to improve my mental and physical health. I strongly encourage you to do the same and if you would like more information, please message me at the following.

~Tina Derbish