The Single Parent Talks http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com living life a day at a time Wed, 06 Jun 2012 13:34:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 15 Earth Day Activities for Kidshttp://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/04/earth-day-activities-with-kids.html http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/04/earth-day-activities-with-kids.html#comments Fri, 20 Apr 2012 14:41:57 +0000 Gem http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/?p=534 15 Earth Day Activities for Kids

A list of some old and new ideas to celebrate earth day activities for kids.

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15 Earth Day Activities for Kids

A few days to go and it’s World Earth Day!

Simply thinking of the words “Earth Day” makes me think of giving back to mother earth. This is just one day, celebrated every 22nd of April each year, where we are reminded to assess what is happening to our environment, and what we can do to preserve it.

Imagine if we aren’t celebrating this one special day. I think people would just go on their selfish desires and forget about the importance of nature. Our situation would be much like some enterprising billionaire taking off the old trees to pave way for a parking lot expansion.

The Earth day celebration doesn’t pick any age group. This is the best time to include our kids in this cause so that they are able to do the same when they grow up. Younger kids could get started with books! It’s a great way for them to jumpstart their awareness.

   

Of course do not forget to check out the local community for events that are related to Earth Day. I found two in my hometown, Baguio City. So far I found only two events that are posted online, but there are probably some other activities that are posted around town:

  1. An Earth Day run at Camp John Hay
  2. Earth Day exhibits at Saint Louis University

Aside from joining local events, you can just be creative and just plan out activities with your kid. Here are some earth day activities for kids:

  1. Create an artwork made up of recycled things: old crayons, old newspapers, unused plastics, anything that completes a recycled art.
  2. Write an earth day poem, song or even a short story.
  3. Plant a tree.
  4. Try to create terrariums.
  5. Do little dish gardens
  6. Challenge yourselves to mini-landscapes. Again use recycled materials if possible.
  7. If feasible, walk to and from the town proper.
  8. Visit nature parks
  9. Do nature walks.
  10. Take a short visit to the provinces.
  11. Have a picnic.
  12. Tend the garden.
  13. Take the kids to a zoo or a nature park.
  14. Go hiking.
  15. Travel, not as a tourist, but as a visitor who wants to experience the culture of the people – like trying local delicacies.
Have you finally settled on a list of activities to do for this special day?

image by Gem

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Parenting Tips for Parents with Tweenshttp://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/04/parenting-tips-for-parents.html http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/04/parenting-tips-for-parents.html#comments Fri, 13 Apr 2012 02:16:22 +0000 Gem http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/?p=528 Parenting Tips for Parents with Tweens

Parenting tips for parents whose kids are in the tween years - something not to be taken so lightly.

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Parenting Tips for Parents with Tweens

Rolled up eyes. Endless pouts. Boy crushes. Body odor.

Hands over ears on reminders. “I know mama!”, she says.

My little darling who used to dress up right away whenever I go out in town, suddenly insists on staying at home!

In town, she doesn’t want to be seen walking with me side by side 90% of the time!

To her eyes, I seem to have gone from being the greatest mom in the world to the worst one! She used to listen to me and ask all about the world, but now she keeps on correcting my “mistakes”.

Looking for parenting tips for parents with tweens? It’s not that easy and there’s no hard and fast rule for it. But still, a good advice given is still worth a try.

My little baby has entered the tween years. Maybe, I should already stop calling her “baby”, because I’m sure I would definitely break my own bones if I try to carry her. In fact, she’s a few inches shy from my height and taller than some short adults. Other people would discreetly laugh at me for having to introduce her as a baby. Her physical appearance is so far from the cuddly little baby that I had been carrying more than a decade ago: she could be mistaken as a petite young lady!

Like most parents, I could just wish that kids wouldn’t have to grow up that fast! I have to accept the reality though. A kid’s childhood is just but a fleeting moment. We, parents, have a decade to enjoy our kids, and the next decade to accept the fact that they will assert their independence, develop her own personality and live away from us.

This doesn’t mean that our kids will stop loving us. As a daughter myself, I could very much relate to that fact.

Fortunately I still get those moments when I am reminded that my kid is still a kid. Good thing I still got that 10% of the time when she chooses to walk arm in arm along the sidewalks, especially when we are in crowded places. I still get those little kisses of joy whenever I help her out of a sticky situation. She’s still that helpful little girl that I could count on, minus those rolling eyes and endless pouts.

image by Gem

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How to Get Your Ex Boyfriend Backhttp://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/04/how-to-get-your-ex-boyfriend-back.html http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/04/how-to-get-your-ex-boyfriend-back.html#comments Thu, 05 Apr 2012 23:40:46 +0000 Gem http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/?p=525 How to Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back

This isn't easy. Expect more heartaches when you chase, and peace of mind if you move on.

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How to Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back

I was young. I was in love.

I have fallen in love several times. I give my all, but then for some reason the relationship simply fails. Then again, I get to that part of the relationship that I hate the most: saying goodbye and letting go.

Too many times, the devil in me says to stop crying, to stand up, to stay and fight, and to win back the love. So I wouldn’t have to deal in fighting out weeks and months of loneliness and depression.

Is he really worth the chase?

A few times, I did the evil thing: to win back the love. I did the first moves, chased after the guy, but to no avail.

I failed each time. All love that is lost is lost.

Fortunately, mine isn’t that bad. I’ve heard that story from a girl who loved this particular guy, gave her all. All was well until this guy started hitting her literally, which turned her black and blue, because this guy stopped loving her. This poor girl would stop chasing the mean guy… We all told to stop the chase.

We gave her this advice which is well true for anyone who wants their boyfriend back (and which is one of life’s lessons I’ve learned): Cry for the hurt, accept the loss then move on. In a relationship it always takes two to tango. Accept the failure of this relationship, there’s bigger chance that it won’t work out. Think more than ten times if you choose to chase after lost love and the guy clearly doesn’t want to be in the relationship anymore.

image by William Murphy

 

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That Facebook Ex: To “Friend” or Not to “Friend”?http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/03/facebook-ex.html http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/03/facebook-ex.html#comments Thu, 29 Mar 2012 20:01:36 +0000 Gem http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/?p=521 That Facebook Ex: To “Friend” or Not to “Friend”?

Mixed feeling over a past Facebook ex. The decision is up to our hearts in "friend"-ing them and keeping in touch with them online, despite the distance.

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That Facebook Ex: To “Friend” or Not to “Friend”?

Social networking sites makes the world go smaller everyday. It wasn’t this way when my grandparents were at my age now.

My Facebook profile is a hodgepodge of old and new friends including former classmates, office mates, and new acquaintances and people whom I met online. Along that mixture is a sprinkle of old flames – Facebook exes that I had!

Did I “friend” them? Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t, but oftentimes I am the one who sit and wait for their friend request, if ever they get to make one. Even if I apparently found them first in Facebook, I would rather not hit the friend request button to a Facebook ex initiate friendship. Why would I have to? To see them with their happy wives and happy kids? To see their publicly available photos of kissing their girlfriends?

So maybe I wasn’t able overcome my feelings for them, and that I dwell too much in the past?

 

But maybe this belief is true, that love scars do remain in one’s heart. I still feel that tinge of hurt feeling at over looking at the past, even if my heart is ready for a new relationship, a hopeful yearning for a new love. Whenever I look at those profiles I couldn’t help but wonder, what if, things were different – that I ended up being with that guy through thick and thin?

Those guys had moved on, and I occasionally see their news-feed containing happy photos of their wives and kids, or their long-time girlfriends.

On another thought, I had those former suitors over a decade back and I realized that, even if I had plenty of old friends and classmates friending me, I only had too few of these guys friending me in Facebook. Do they have that same hesitant feeling of “friend”-ing me, not wanting to see how life had turned out for me?

image by Arwen Abendstern

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Can a Single Mom Find Love Again?http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/03/can-a-single-mom-find-love-again.html http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/03/can-a-single-mom-find-love-again.html#comments Fri, 23 Mar 2012 10:32:50 +0000 Gem http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/?p=500 Can a Single Mom Find Love Again?

I’ve asked myself this question quite too often up to this day. I haven’t found one for me. I have been single for years now. More than a decade really. If you ask most people this question, they will say “yes” just to make you feel good. If you ask me this question, my reply is a “maybe”. Through all that more-than-one-decade-of-waiting, I got into one relationship after another, each one not lasting long enough to know each other. Would “mutual understanding” relationships count? Do my admirers prefer not to deal with the complication that accompany a single mom? OfRead the rest of this entry »

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Can a Single Mom Find Love Again?

I’ve asked myself this question quite too often up to this day.

I haven’t found one for me. I have been single for years now. More than a decade really.

If you ask most people this question, they will say “yes” just to make you feel good.

If you ask me this question, my reply is a “maybe”.

Through all that more-than-one-decade-of-waiting, I got into one relationship after another, each one not lasting long enough to know each other.

Would “mutual understanding” relationships count?

Do my admirers prefer not to deal with the complication that accompany a single mom?

Of course, there are plenty of other single parents who found love so soon, and got married and lived happily ever after (I hope).

These formerly-single-parents encourage not-yet-taken single parents not to lose hope.

“Love will come at the right time and the right place”, as they say.

It’s been more than a decade already. I’ve looked left, right, up and down, front and back, and sideways, and there’s just no willing arms waiting for me.

I’m running out of single friends near my age to date or flirt with, my Facebook filled with newsfeeds of (seemingly) happy wedding pictures and growing families.

Even widowed would rather keep themselves busy with their brood of growing children than giving in to new love.

I guess, being alone for the rest of my life is a possibility.

image by The Lady Programmer

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A Letter to the Father of my Babyhttp://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/03/a-letter-to-the-father-of-my-baby.html http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/03/a-letter-to-the-father-of-my-baby.html#comments Thu, 15 Mar 2012 22:00:49 +0000 Gem http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/?p=491 A Letter to the Father of my Baby

To the man who donated half the life of my kid, Thank you for giving me such a wonderful child to take care with. She has become my life and my love. I’ve watched her grow up to be a wonderful young lady. It was fun seeing her get a few admirers. My child keeps me less depressed. I’ve had several unsuccessful relationships after you and seeing my kid makes it less painful to deal with a broken heart each time. I am sorry for not having been able to communicate with you. You know, my parents didn’t want youRead the rest of this entry »

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A Letter to the Father of my Baby

To the man who donated half the life of my kid,

Thank you for giving me such a wonderful child to take care with. She has become my life and my love. I’ve watched her grow up to be a wonderful young lady. It was fun seeing her get a few admirers.

My child keeps me less depressed. I’ve had several unsuccessful relationships after you and seeing my kid makes it less painful to deal with a broken heart each time.

I am sorry for not having been able to communicate with you. You know, my parents didn’t want you or your family. I do not agree with how they feel about you but I could not deny that my feelings are not for you. I could not imagine myself being with you for the rest of my life. Alright, I am selfish, but I do not regret that decision of staying away from you.

She had not asked much about you. The right time will come and the question will just pop up anytime. I won’t lie or tell her that you’re dead. I won’t stop her if she grows up and wants to know half of herself somewhere in this world.

If you are a single mom like me, what would your letter to the dad be like?

Image credit to Hamid Najafi

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Tips for Overcoming Driving Fears (for the Ladies)http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/03/tips-for-overcoming-driving-fears-for-the-ladies.html http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/03/tips-for-overcoming-driving-fears-for-the-ladies.html#comments Sun, 11 Mar 2012 08:22:36 +0000 Gem http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/?p=489 Tips for Overcoming Driving Fears (for the Ladies)

I’ve met a lot of women who even paid driving schools just to learn the basics of driving. After 10 hours or so and even finally getting their driver’s license, they still haven’t overcome the fear of driving alone. I’ve heard a lot of reasons – from the honest admission that I have forgotten, to the (obviously masked) reasons that they have other family members who are willing to drive them around. I like driving. Being behind the wheel makes me so liberated. I do not have to fall in line just to have a taxi at the mall. MyRead the rest of this entry »

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Tips for Overcoming Driving Fears (for the Ladies)

I’ve met a lot of women who even paid driving schools just to learn the basics of driving. After 10 hours or so and even finally getting their driver’s license, they still haven’t overcome the fear of driving alone. I’ve heard a lot of reasons – from the honest admission that I have forgotten, to the (obviously masked) reasons that they have other family members who are willing to drive them around.

I like driving. Being behind the wheel makes me so liberated. I do not have to fall in line just to have a taxi at the mall. My driving knowledge too, was the most useful when I have to rush my dad to the nearest hospital because of stroke.

So ladies, here are some tips to overcome those driving fears:

  1. Drive at every opportunity that you get. Experience is still the best teacher.
  2. On long trips, be willing to switch driving chores with the other driver.
  3. Plan your route carefully. Avoid roads that are quite difficult for you – such as those trafficked roads that go up, and very narrow roads.
  4. Have an experienced driver sit beside you until you are able to overcome your fears.
  5. Learn as much as you can about the car you are driving. From time to time, do some small maintenance things by yourself, such as checking tire pressure and oil checks, so you can get to have a closer look.
  6. Follow the maintenance schedule. Strictly.
  7. Be on the alert for anything unusual about the car. Use your senses. Bring it right away to the mechanic complete with the description of the problem you are having.
  8. Keep an accurate record of repair and maintenance history.
  9. Keep important equipment at the trunk. Have a good spare tire, tools in changing a flat tire, a container of oil for topping up, brake fluid and other things that you need in case of emergencies.
  10. Keep contacts to one or two mechanics to bail you out when you get stuck in city traffic.

Remember, that 10-hour lesson from a driving school is not simply enough. There’s more to learn from experience. The way to overcome that fear is to meet that fear head-on.

If you are a driver like me, any other tips you can add?

image by The Lady Programmer

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Junk Foods to Avoid – for a Healthier Youhttp://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/03/junk-foods-to-avoid.html http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/03/junk-foods-to-avoid.html#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2012 07:51:24 +0000 Gem http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/?p=487 Junk Foods to Avoid – for a Healthier You

A list of junk foods to avoid. These foods are often high in fat, sugar, and/or calories and don't offer any nutritional value.

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Junk Foods to Avoid – for a Healthier You

Writing this post made me realize that I had taken lots of steps already in eliminating a lot of those junk foods in my daily diet. I still have to work out more though, as I still haven’t seen my weight reduce to that of my ideal one. However, feeling a bit more lively and a lot less sleepy is at least a good start to my healthy ways.

I always had that weight issues. I used to have a good figure back at those first two years in college. Then those kilos came creeping up until I gave birth to my kid just after graduation. After breastfeeding I suddenly got a stunning figure – just a bit fatter than that body I had during those first two years in college. It wasn’t obvious that I had just given birth a year ago. Then I suddenly gained weight and I haven’t been able to keep that fat off up to now.

I’ve identified those foods that made me fat and unhealthy sooner or later:

Noodles

I used to eat these instant food way back in high school. It was something I eat after a day in school. I know it wasn’t a healthy snack, but for a pupil who is hungry when getting home, there was nothing so tasty on the cupboard and these quick-cooking noodles gave me such a convenience.

These noodles too, made me feel sleepy right after. I would always succumb to a half-an-hour-or-so nap right after eating these.

I just recently removed noodles from my grocery shopping list. I decided to stock on other healthier food choices instead.

Softdrink

In particular, coke. I became addicted to this softdrink way back in high school too. I had been into the combination of coke and noodles and this had transformed me from a skinny elementary kid to a curvy one.

Last year I struggled in minimizing drinks to once a week. This year, I’m trying not to have any. I would be restricting this junk to parties – as I wouldn’t like to offend hosts when I decline.

Chocolates

Local-made or imported ones, I got addicted to them. I always had that urge to buy chocolate chip cookies and a can of Coke after a day’s work. It’s good now that I realized I finally kicked out that habit.

Later on, I decided to slowly remove chocolates in my diet. I restricted myself to imported dark chocolate goodies. Eventually I got them out of my diet.

I still buy chocolates though, but not as regular as I used to. I just buy these usually as an occasional pasalubong to my family.

Potato Chips, etc

I’m never a fan of these feel-good foods, except for that Nova chips. Now I finally got rid of these out of my diet. Not including these in my grocery list was enough for me to get rid of this diet. What also helped me resist the urge to buy this from the nearest sari-sari store is that, I would think that I should not spend more because

Fast Food

Jollibee, McDonalds,.. you name them, their foods got me fat in college in just a few days. Fries coupled with mayonnaise instead of banana ketchup, and that hotdog buns really did wonders on my waistline. I also felt sleepy after eating such foods.

I haven’t been able to completely eliminate fast foods from my diet though. I’m still fighting the urge. I hope that my decision in preparing food for myself before going out of the home would work out for me (and this should help me save a little more money than I used to).

Street Foods

One of the things that made me keep up with my peers when I was still studying in the university was that, I learned how to eat street food. “Adidas”, “odox”, “one-day old chick”, “kwek-kwek”, you name them. I ate them all. Eating a lot of these didn’t make me fat in no time, unlike those fast foods, but still too much of these is just not too good.

image by Gem

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Can We Still Be Friends?http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/03/can-we-still-be-friends.html http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/03/can-we-still-be-friends.html#comments Fri, 02 Mar 2012 23:56:50 +0000 Gem http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/?p=484 Can We Still Be Friends?

I’ve stumbled into this particular song today and I couldn’t stop listening to it. This song had been my all-time favorite. Maybe posting this one here would help me stop raping the replay button on YouTube. LOL I heard a lot of different other cover versions, but I still like the original one by Todd Rundgren. Can We Still Be Friends Todd Rundgren We can’t play this game anymore But can we still be friends Things just can’t go on like before But can we still be friends We had something to learn Now it’s time for the wheel toRead the rest of this entry »

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Can We Still Be Friends?

I’ve stumbled into this particular song today and I couldn’t stop listening to it. This song had been my all-time favorite.

Maybe posting this one here would help me stop raping the replay button on YouTube. LOL

I heard a lot of different other cover versions, but I still like the original one by Todd Rundgren.

Can We Still Be Friends
Todd Rundgren

We can’t play this game anymore
But can we still be friends
Things just can’t go on like before
But can we still be friends
We had something to learn
Now it’s time for the wheel to turn
Grains of sand, one by one
Before you know it, all gone

Let’s admit we made a mistake
But can we still be friends
Heartbreak’s never easy to take
But can we still be friends
It’s a strange, sad affair
Sometimes seems like we just don’t care
Don’t waste time feeling hurt
We’ve been through hell together

Can we still get together sometime
You know life will still go on and on and on

We awoke from our dream
Things are not always what they seem
Memories linger on
It’s like a sweet, sad old song

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Why Life Insurance for Kids Isn’t Really a Great Ideahttp://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/02/why-life-insurance-for-kids-isnt-really-a-great-idea.html http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/2012/02/why-life-insurance-for-kids-isnt-really-a-great-idea.html#comments Wed, 29 Feb 2012 07:36:55 +0000 Gem http://www.thesingleparenttalks.com/?p=481 Why Life Insurance for Kids Isn’t Really a Great Idea

Thinking about getting a life insurance for your kid? Think again. While it’s great to be learning all about personal finances and eventually attaining financial freedom, there are a few notable investments that are not worth pursuing and could cost you more and waste time. In my opinion, getting such a life insurance for your kid is one of them. I see it more as an additional billing expense on top of a breadwinner’s life insurance. I understand the importance of a having life insurance and I recommend having one for income earners. It is important to have one forRead the rest of this entry »

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Why Life Insurance for Kids Isn’t Really a Great Idea

Thinking about getting a life insurance for your kid? Think again.

While it’s great to be learning all about personal finances and eventually attaining financial freedom, there are a few notable investments that are not worth pursuing and could cost you more and waste time. In my opinion, getting such a life insurance for your kid is one of them.

I see it more as an additional billing expense on top of a breadwinner’s life insurance.

I understand the importance of a having life insurance and I recommend having one for income earners. It is important to have one for several reasons: it replaces the income of the breadwinner, it helps pay those final funeral expenses and it helps pay estate taxes.

However, purchasing variable life insurances for each kid? I just don’t get it. I strongly think it is a waste of money.

I have collected several reasons that insurance agents might point out.

Life insurance insures the life of the kid in the event that something happens to him. But why collect something in case something happens to the little one? Unless the kid is a child star it is pretty much unnecessary. I’d rather put the money on a good health insurance coverage for the little one than a life insurance.

A variable life insurance cash value helps pay school tuition fees and other expenses. A VUL could be quite expensive due to its fees, so you lose a lot of potential for your money to grow. Look around. There are other means of investing money without the expensive fees associated with a VUL, and that will help you pay for those tuition fees and expenses. Those fees could as well be used for an educational vacation and even some extra-curricular activities for the kids.

Premiums are low for a kiddie life insurance. This is one such a thing I commonly hear from agents which I think, is usually their most common way to convince a a parent. I have nothing against them though, except for their pushy marketing. I simply prefer kids to pay their insurances when they become breadwinners themselves, rather than me getting all the trouble in paying their insurances while they are kids.

A kiddle VUL can be your gift to the kid after you are gone. While I like to leave something of a legacy to my kids, paying their life insurances isn’t one of them. I worry more about getting them too dependent on getting the proceeds of a life insurance that I’ve set up for them. I would rather teach them how to handle finances, and use their own faculties to improve their financial status and perhaps, add more to the family wealth as generations go by. I’d rather let that money grow elsewhere.

Furthermore, a VUL for your kid makes it too much for you to keep up with those bills. While we, parents worry about our kid’s future, we should not also enjoy life with our kids instead of worrying about paying for the next premium for that.

image credit to Hery Zo Rakotondramanana

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