While the thought of going through divorce makes many mothers feel sick to their stomachs, this weeks Featured Mom tells her story in a way that makes you realize it doesn’t always have to be so bad. Massachusetts resident and well-known Boston area mommy blogger, Masshole Mommy, walks us through her life as a divorced and remarried momma, retelling her joys, challenges, lessons and priorities.
1. Let’s start with the name “Masshole Mommy”. As a MA resident myself, I have to say I’m strangely proud of your choice. Give our readers the 411 on the name and how you chose it.
Urban Dictionary defines a masshole as “For residents of Massachusetts, it is an achieved title for driving faster, being wreckless, cutting other drivers off often, and having no patience for other drivers on the road”.
The first time I heard the term masshole was well into my adulthood and I’ve loved that term ever since. It describes driving through Massachusetts perfectly and once I had decided to start a blog, I knew immediately that I wanted masshole to be part of the name. Masshole Mommy was the first blog name that I thought of, so I did a search and I was shocked when the name hadn’t been taken already – so I scooped it up.
2. What is it like being a divorced momma and co-raising your two biological children (boys) with your ex?
I divorced from my ex-husband when my little guy was less than a year old, so times were definitely tough at first. My ex first left us when the baby was only 3 months old, so there I was as a single mom to a new baby and a three year old. I found my groove pretty quickly and after I got over the initial shock of the situation, I managed to start to form a plan of attack for raising the kids – with my ex-husband’s help. Right from the beginning, he’s been a big part of their lives and he’s very involved in their school work and activities. I know lots of other moms that aren’t as lucky. We are both re-married and my kids have two great step-parents in their lives and we all manage to get along and all get to spend time with the boys.
3. You re-married not too long ago. Tell us about your new husband and your relationship.
I met Chris shortly after my ex-husband left. I wasn’t looking for anything serious that soon after my marriage ended, but it was pretty clear to me after a short time that he was a great catch and I knew that he was going to be great husband and more importantly, great step-father material. We got married on 10/10/10 in Vegas (by Elvis) and we have a fantastic relationship. He balances me out perfectly and I can’t imagine my life without him.
My step-son is 16 and lives with us full time. I’ve heard all sorts of horror stories about teenagers, but I have to say, it’s not bad – at all. Before I met my husband, he was active duty in the US Air Force (he’s currently in the reserves) and they moved around a few times, so between that and the fact that he was an only child, my step-son is a little more mature than the average child, so I think that’s part of why he’s so easy to raise. He fit right in to the family and he’s a big help with things like watching the little kids and helping around the house.
5. What is it like raising a family in Massachusetts?
I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I tell people this all the time. Sure, I complain when it snows and when it’s so humid in the summer that my hair rivals Diana Ross’, but geographically, it’s an awesome place to live. We get to experience all four seasons, which I love. A few hours to the north are the mountains, a few hours south is New York City and Boston is seriously one of the greatest cities in the country. We’ve got the beach, the mountains and awesome sports teams all within arms reach. It’s an amazing place to raise my children and I am totally in love with living here.
6. All moms have a superpower. What’s yours?
The ability to find anything in my house. You name it, if the kids (or my husband) can’t find it, I’ll know where they left it.
7. Tell us a bit about being a work-from-home mom.
I left my job outside of the home when I was 7 months pregnant with my second son. I wanted to be a stay at home mom and I figured that a new baby and a toddler would be too much for my mother, who watched my oldest son while I worked. As you read, my ex-husband left us when the baby was only three months old, and I had no job, so I scrambled to find something that would work for me. This was almost six years ago, and that’s when people still used MySpace (how’s that for a blast from the past??) and I ended up connecting with someone that I had worked with at my previous job. She sent me a direct message asking about how I was doing, so I told her. As it turns out, she had also left our previous employer and was working for a home owners insurance claims company. She worked in the office, but told me that she thought they were looking for some people to do the job from home and told me she’d get back to me. I thought that it sounded too good to be true and didn’t hold my breath, but she ended up messaging me back the next day and asked me to fax my resume into the office and sure enough, the manager called me and I had an interview set up for the following week. When it was time for the interview, I was hired on the spot and was scheduled to go in for training the week after. I’ve been working for the company ever since (about 5 and a half years now). I have gone between part time and full time, but right now I am working part time and it is an honest to goodness work from home job. My hours are flexible, which I love especially now that summer vacation is coming up, and frankly, it’s an easy job.
8. A lot of change has happened in your life. Have any of your priorities shifted?
As my kids have gotten older, I’ve gotten really involved in their schools and being active in their education is extremely important to me. Before I had the opportunity to help out in their classrooms, I had no idea how much of their own time and money that the teachers put in to our kids. It’s mind blowing to be honest. I feel so lucky that I am able to participate in my kids education in any way. It depends on the teacher, but some of them have had me come in just to make copies. Others have let me interact with the students, which is so much fun. I love working with the kids and listening to their thoughts. Right now, I get to volunteer in my oldest son’s third grade class three times a week and two of those times are spent with the kids. The other time that I go in, I make copies, stuff folders and other misc tasks around the classroom that need to be done. I go into my little man’s kindergarten class once a week and I work directly with the kids. They are so much fun – and smart, too!
It’s hard to narrow it down to one thing, but I’d have to say that just watching them learn new things and grow is my favorite thing. I love that look on their faces when they figure something out for themselves and it makes me proud that I am lucky enough to be able to guide them towards being smart, independent adults.
10. Alright, so as a mom to three sons, you MUST be running all over the place. How do you find time for you? What do with this time?
All three of the boys are in school full time and since I only work part time, I have plenty of time during the day. I manage to squeeze in 5 or 6 zumba classes a week and I’m in krav maga (martial arts) training, so I try to get to class at least 2 or 3 times a week. Lucky for me, my husband is very supportive of me, and never minds when I take night classes, so I get in plenty of time for me. But when I’m not working out, I’m hauling my oldest son to his karate class twice a week, drum lessons or boy scouts and my little guy has T-ball three times a week (2 games and one practice). We’re definitely busy around here, but we manage to fit it all in.
11. Do you have any close mom friends?
I do. I was part of my local MOMS Club for three years while my oldest son was younger and I met some great moms in my town. I left the club when he went off to kindergarten, but stayed close to a couple of moms. I’ve also met some great moms at my Zumba class and through blogging.
12. If you could share one tip of advice with a new mom, what would it be?
Enjoy every minute. I know it sounds cliche, but it really does go by way too fast. My oldest is going to be nine this August and I swear that it feels like it was just a couple of weeks ago that I was bringing him home from the hospital.
Do you have a story to share that would make you a great Featured Mom? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief summary of what makes your story special for a chance to be featured at Mom Meet Mom.