Welp, its been over a year since I wrote anything and my reasoning is probably pretty lame; however in the world of single parenting picking battles wisely is the name of the game. The last blog posted was a bit tough however for integrity sake, I had to post it. A quick recap: the blog was Bug (Via) telling why she had no interest in doing business. As a mom who wants nothing more than to work with my daughter, it was hard to take, but because I have an understanding that we can’t make anyone, especially our children, be and do what WE want, I had to sit and wait for her to get it on her own. So over this last year I worked my ass off, ate a bunch of crow ( I really thought she was into it 🙂 and lived 2016 like no one was watching. Fast forward… Now it is 2017, and poof! Somehow she got it!! Best part, she came to it completely on her own.
The last year has been crazy!! After realizing “Blanketing the World with Love” means so much more than knitting we began the crazy adventure of manufacturing an all natural alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softener and selling them at Portland farmers markets. Once I realized the power of the “WoolyBall” we made a few hundred and opened shop. Things got busy fast and before I knew it we had 11 employees and attended over 150 farmers markets. In 9 months we sold over 15,000 dryer balls! I had no idea it would take off like it has.
All of this said it was always my intention for Bug to catch something empowering, for her to find her fire and share it with the world. I juggled mom-ing her and building a business, no easy task. We made new friends and detoxified 3500 laundry rooms in the Pacific Northwest. We traveled to Seattle, Eugene, Redmond and many surrounding cities in Portland. In short, we became ballers.
The response to our mission is catching on and we are motivated to make a difference. I have to be honest I am so moved by Via’s hard won determination that all I can think about is how to get the word out. It is my intention to support Via in her blogs and the Democrats/Liberals/Environmentalist on changing the course of the environment. The truth is if a majority of those who care and believe in Global Warming made a small step and replaced toxic laundry products with all natural and earth driven products we could prevent future drought. This is a reality and the truth. #ONit
Moving forward Via will be the face of Organic Necessity because she is smart, young, forward thinking and beautiful, inside and out. She is funny and poignant in her wisdom. I am so happy she is finally on board! To all single parents out there, don’t fret if your kids don’t want to do what you want them to. They will come around if you don’t push. I didn’t push, and now she is doing what I desired for her. Eventually everyone’s time comes and we are called to step up and out. For us that time is now. It is ON!!
Friends. Fun. Weekends. All things that matter to me, and possibly you. I care that people are hungry all over the world. I care that there are millions of people that do not have what I have, and I would love to help, but how am I going to do that? Drop everything I do? Yes sure, to parent that’s so easy. “You don’t have to hang out with your friends all of the time” Yea, your right. I don’t. I don’t have to hang out every weekend. I don’t have to be on my phone all the time. I don’t have to. But I want too. I want to text my friends back. And snap-chat and go on Instagram, and go to the mall to get new clothes and watch pointless TV shows and talk about boys with my friends. Because that’s what you do as a teenager. You make mistakes, and you learn from them. What I don’t want to do is homework. I don’t want to spend 3 hours on homework every night just to get sub-par grades. I don’t want to hang out with my parents. I don’t want to take my dog on a walk no matter how much I love her. I don’t want pimples. I don’t want to clean the kitchen. I don’t want to learn to knit. I don’t want to do these things because I’m a teenager. I don’t want these things because I’m 14. It seems so crazy to parents because they didn’t grow up the way we did. They didn’t grow up with snap-chat, or Instagram. They didn’t grow up with I phones. They didn’t grow up with the things we have. It’s all different for us then it was for them. I don’t care that it is different. I know the world doesn’t resolve around me, and the things I care about wont matter in 10 years, but they matter now.
I have been a single mom for 14 years and have been searching hi and low for a career that allows me to spend time with my daughter and dog without sacrificing the things that matter most. Last spring we packed up our life in Littleton, Colorado and headed to the Northwest on a new adventure and in April 2014, we landed in Lake Oswego, Oregon. When we came to Oregon we knew no one. I started our blog MeBugandBernice.com so to document our experience and to remain in touch with those who had been such an important part of our life. Little did I know, relocating would be harder than I expected. There is a lot of pain that comes with uprooting and moving to where there is no immediate support system. And while my intentions were pure I stopped blogging for 7 months because reality set in, and I realized we were alone and all the responsibility of raising a conscious to-be woman, was now 100% on me.
Since moving to Oregon the tragedy in Syria has led to many sleepless nights, and I, like so many other Americans have grappled with the feelings of helplessness. The truth is, next to my daughter and my most precious pup there is nothing I love more than the idea of Peace on Earth. For as long as I can remember it has been my dream that all humans realize their individual and unified magnificence. Subsequently, my biggest challenge has been how I could participate in making my dream come true while remaining 100% present for Bug. Since moving to Oregon we have worked hard at cultivating relationships with our neighbors. I firmly believe the key to world peace is loving our neighbors as we love our self. While building relationships with my new friends I have found kindred souls. Subsequently, through many hours of mediation and prayer I may have finally discoverd a way that we can spend precious and fleeting time together, all the while aiding some of the worlds most vulnerable humans. Truth be told, although I have struggled for many years trying to keep food on the table and clothes on her back, our struggles pale in comparison to our brothers and sisters in Eastern Europe.
Considering the fact that moving to Oregon has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, I have cultivated endless compassion and empathy for those who have left their homes with nothing more than the clothes on their back. Right this very moment there are mothers who are facing the potential of losing their small children due to freezing temperatures in the event of finding peace and refuge from war and violence. We have to do something.
MeBugandBernice is a company founded on the desire to be deeply connected to each other, with the understanding that sharing with those in need, is the only way humanity, as a collective, can find ourselves solving the issues of oppression and violence. The worlds most vulnerable people are just like you and me and from my perspective, we are all a part of one family. Therefore, it is our mission to blanket the world in love, helping to bringing forth the best qualities of the human condition. Every purchase made through our store will benefit someone in need. This years mission is to blanket innocent children that face imminent struggle, while their parents find their way to their new life.
Click here to share love with your family while sharing with a child in need.
Being a single mom is hard, for many reasons. For me, the biggest challenge has been financial, as I, like most single moms, am the only breadwinner. Although financial hardship tends to be the main challenge for most single parents it seems to me that the real challenge comes once our kids grow into teens and their sense of self-reliance grows from that of a helpless child to that of a mini adult. I have read quite a few articles as of late that lend emotional support to single moms by telling us that it’s ok if our children hate us once they venture into the ever talked about “teenage years”. Authors of these articles remind us that our teenagers have no idea the sacrifice we make so they can eat and have clothes on their back. Many articles also point out the temporary impedance of teenager psychology and remind us that this too, shall pass. Furthermore, the authors of these articles also suggest we simply grin and bear it; our kids will be ok. According to American society it is natural to have teenagers who are so self absorbed that the only thing they understand or care about is their desire to be liked at school, to wear what everyone else is wearing and to simply, fit in. We are assured; this uncomfortable stage is merely a part of life. We are told once our children turn 13, we better watch out, as their desire to leave our cuddles and our constant kisses comes with the territory. We are told it is natural for our teens to desire to be separate from the one person that loves them the most and an open and honest relationship with their parents is not as important as their need to spread their wings and assimilate who they believe they are or better yet, whom they are imagining themselves to be. However, and with this said, the testimony of my personal experience says, our perception of teenagers is not all together accurate. Truthfully, I think we might be lying to ourselves because from where I sit, teenagers have it more together than adults give them credit for.
Bug is my daughter and she is 14. She is outgoing, strong willed, beautiful and chalk full of authentic and genuine love. Since moving to Oregon last April she has found the most amazing group of kids to call friends and her attitude about life is better than most adults I know. Many might find it hard to believe but she does not lie and she tells me everything, even if it’s hard for me to hear. Just last week she laid it out straight about teens and curse words. “We all use curse words mom. It’s all the rage. I curse when you are not around.” I then proceeded to tell her that curse words are disrespectful to adults and that using those words could potentially cause repercussions and then she said “um we know that, that’s why we don’t curse around adults. We know what to say to whom, mom. But don’t worry, it’s a phase” Ha! Fair enough. Subsequently she has also told me about kissing a boy for the first time and then after that boy kissed another girl she told me she is not ready for boys and that she feels its best if she waits a few years to try her hand again. I have told her the truth about boys from my perspective and she knows the best sex there is, is with someone you love. She gets it, 100% and she knows she is not even close to ready. Because of her openness and unwavering desire to tell me her truth, I feel very confident with the fact that she has two very good guy friends and I am 100% ok with them being kids together, regardless of their gender. The truth is, the only reason I wouldn’t trust her, is because I don’t trust myself. So with that, I trust her; subsequently she is also very aware of what happens when someone breaks trust. These are the things we talk about; I have never lied to her and I never will.
I have been a single mom since Bug was a month old. I chose to divorce her father while she was a newborn because in my gut I knew our relationship was doomed and to be honest, I didn’t want her growing up thinking he and I demonstrated a loving relationship. As my life has proven we become what our environment dictates and it takes many years of very painful and tumultuous work to undo the lies we believe about ourselves when we grow up in unstable environments. At the time of our divorce her father and I both struggled to love ourselves independent of one another, much less truly love each other. I understood that if I didn’t leave him before her brain developed and she gained memory she would most likely mirror our struggle and it could take years for her to truly recognize her own self worth; so I left him, so I could save her. With a one-month-old baby and two suitcases I moved back to my parents house and I started again. I had no idea what I was doing; I just knew I needed to trust in God. So I did, and I jumped. It was really scary. The moment I struck out on my own I set the intention that even if it was the last thing I did, Bug would never question if she was good enough or if she was loveable. She never went to day care, and I have taken her to school and have been home when she gets home from school, every single day of her life. I made it my souls mission to raise her up, with her full understanding that she is loved and that she has the capacity to love, unconditionally without ever having to experience the alternate. Financially we have struggled but at the end of the day I wouldn’t trade one red cent for the uninterrupted time I had with my one and only baby.
Fast forward and here we are in a new city where we once knew no one. Green pastures and unlimited opportunity, or so I thought. Moving across the country without an immediate support system proved harder than I thought it would be. Truth be told, I went through a pretty dark time the last 6 months. People are not as open and trusting as we are and the truth of that hit me pretty hard. Thankfully Bugs friends are still kids at heart and they are way more open than adults. That said, I shared with Bug what I was going through; I didn’t keep it from her. All to often I feel that as parents we desire so much to keep our kids away from pain for as long as we can. This I feel, might be a mistake. For me I have always believed that Bug can handle whatever I put in front of her and as long as I am there with her she can handle anything. Since she was a baby I have always talked to her as if she understood what I was saying. When she acts up I tell her how I feel about her actions I explain my perception and 10 times out of 10 she changes her behavior. I never make her do anything; I always give her the choice. In the end she always chooses correctly. What raising her up with this type of independence has done, is give her the confidence to know everything she does is important and that it means something, even if only to me. Seeing who she has become and who she is still becoming lends me correct in this confidence.
So here we are; Me, Bug and our most precious pup, Bernice. Over the last year everything has changed, all but us, that is. Welcome to our new adventure… Mebugandbernice… moving forward fearlessly in the direction of our dreams.
“The more a daughter knows the details of her mother’s life […] the stronger the daughter.”~ Anita Diamant, The Red Tent