Where did it go?

by mssinglemama on October 4, 2009

Last I checked Benjamin had just learned how to walk.

We still spent every night together cuddling up on one another in between play time bouts that included the likes of hide-and-go seek crawling and tickle attacks. My biggest worry when I took this picture was whether or not that scar from a fall he took would ever completely heal. Little did I know I should have been worrying about those two front teeth instead.

ToughBaby

Then we moved out of my mother’s house and back to our little, big city where Benjamin, obviously, just kept growing. Here he also learned how to master the art of throwing fits.

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The sweat on his forehead in this picture was from the hot August sun, under which Benjamin had been dancing for hours. First with me and then with some hippie dude. He loved men at that age, always wanting that extra attention from Mommy’s mysterious deep-voiced, broad shouldered brethren. Before I snapped this picture I took a quick moment to sit down with a tarot card reader. I needed some advice, the kind you can only get from a stranger with a knack for reading people and cards.

“You’ll be fine without a man so it’s just up to you. You have to decide if you want one or not,” she told me.  I didn’t know the answer then, but I do now. And then suddenly, almost in a blink, Benjamin shot up from that little two year old to this absolutely gigantic three year old.

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I know he’s still small to the rest of the world, but to me, to his mama, he is a little giant. And finally, after all of this time, we are both free. That baby stuff is behind us and we’re moving into new territory, big boy territory.

How did this happen? And where did it all go? All of that time? The only thing I can recommend to any new mothers out there is this – buy a decent camera. I don’t care if you have to put it on your credit card, but for the love of all that is holy, buy your family (whether there are two or eight of you) a camera that can capture some decent photographs. I use this one now and regret, daily, that I didn’t have it from the beginning.

The decent shots I do have of Benjamin during our first year are few and far between. Pictures of us together are especially rare.

BenandMama.jp  gI took this picture of us just one week after I left his father when Benjamin was four months old. Looking back on the last three years the only thing I can think is, “How in the hell did I do that?”

This week is my blog’s two year anniversary. For this reason, the fact that my baby is turning into a boy in front of my eyes and because of some life changing news I have yet to share with you I am going to take a one week break from blogging. I just need to think and enjoy my moments. I don’t mean to be a tease but that’s all I can tell you right now – more to come, I promise.

Win a Silver New Leaf set and a copy of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored

If you are a fan and have been reading just leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win one silver new leaf necklace set and a copy of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored. There are only 20 silver necklaces left and this really is the last batch of 2009 (unless someone else starts making them because my designer is officially off on her extended European vacation).

Related posts:

  1. Why I am a single mother.
  2. Big Tease
  3. My Camera (and My Aprons).
  4. For My Single Mamas (a sexy contest)
  5. Big Boys and Girls

{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

Amyinbc October 4, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Oooh you are a tease! See you in a week or so..

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Bobbi Janay October 4, 2009 at 8:02 pm

What a good post I already have a copy of your e-book, but I want a necklace so bad. Also I don’t know where you had the strength to leave, but as I have been reading your blog since very close to the beginning. You have grown and changed so much, in only good ways. I wish you nothing but happiness and joy in the up coming years.

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Deana October 4, 2009 at 8:17 pm

You deserve a break. As always, thanks for sharing!

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jen October 4, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I know what you mean about the lack of photos together – same here. Have a good break.

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The Dumbest Smart Girl You Know October 4, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Life changing news??? How can you do that to us, lady? SUCH a tease.

It’s ridiculous how quickly time passes with children. Sometimes when I refer to the kids as “my babies,” I pause and shake my head. Because they’re NOT babies. When did that happen? And how? How far we’ve come (all 3 of us) since then!

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Kelly October 4, 2009 at 8:20 pm

My best wishes for your vacation- which I’m sure is much needed. To go along with Bobbi Janay- I have a necklace, but would love a book. I’ve been reading for about a year and I really appreciate all your insight and humor. Enjoy your week.

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Leah October 4, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Can’t wait to hear your news. I’m definitely speculating in a couple of directions…

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Candy October 4, 2009 at 8:30 pm

You truly are an inspiration to all of us single moms out there!!
BTW loving the baby pics!! Have a great week!!

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RobinEsque October 4, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I like that: “need to think and enjoy my moments” … that’s how to truly stay grounded and present to every aspect of life! The years go by quickly … and now I am in awe of how big Reagan’s hand is within mine, and slowly I am noticing his hand is grabbing mine a little less each week as we are out and about. It’s enough to break a mother’s heart!

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Maria October 4, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I have the necklace, too, but would love a copy of the book. I can’t wait to hear the news! :)

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Nikki October 4, 2009 at 8:42 pm

I totally agree with you on the good camera comment. Congrats on the 2 year blogoversary and I can’t wait to hear your news :)

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Andrea October 4, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Enjoy Alaina! Time is so precious and our little ones are a living sparkling example of it. Sometime is not easy to take perspective and a deep breath to know everything is just fine. (We have a scar issue right know, 6 stitches, I think it will be there for ever, in his tiny little face…) Take a deep breath and smile!

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Juggle Jane October 4, 2009 at 9:07 pm

You have done a great job with Benjamin!

And you are such an inspiration to all the single mamas lucky enough to know you/read your blog.

xoxo

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Bridget October 4, 2009 at 9:08 pm

you look so cute in that pic when Ben was 4 months old. Your eyes are the same!

Bridget

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Minette Brink October 4, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Thank you, for being s strong. For sharing with us your intimate “mommy thoughts” enjoy your break.

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Shel October 4, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Yours has become my first stop when blog reading. Thanks for sharing…it is great reading.

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Anne Y October 4, 2009 at 9:53 pm

You are such a tease! But we still luv ya!!!

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Jahnni October 4, 2009 at 9:58 pm

ooohhh.. i think MSM was the first site that i found as a single mom that i could definetly kick back and relate to! pleasure to read.. and to also read ‘hey.. im not the only one ..’ x

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Sasparilla October 4, 2009 at 11:56 pm

I have been a single mom for 6 of my daughters 8 years… and I still haven;t gotten a decent camera… :(

Every year I say I will… Every year I end up spending the money on a car issue or something…

Enjoy your break… I know I will be here anticipating your return!

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MommaSunshine October 5, 2009 at 2:44 am

Enjoy your week. It’s good to just slow down sometimes and enjoy our children. They’re really the most important thing in all of this anyhow. :)

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famejane October 5, 2009 at 2:55 am

Whoop de doo.

How are we possibly going to survive a whole week without you…waiting with bated breath for your next big announcement?

I suppose we’ll have to get a life!

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Beth October 5, 2009 at 5:38 am

Can’t wait to hear what the news is!

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Angie October 5, 2009 at 5:56 am

Have fun on your break! Thanks for sharing!

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Ashley October 5, 2009 at 5:59 am

Good for you to take a week to yourself! We all need to be selfish once in awhile. This post came at a funny time for me, last week I just decided to ignore the guilt I was going to feel and purchased our family a new camera as well! I decided, like you said, that those pictures were worth the this.is.way.too.much.money.to.be.spending feeling!

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Melissa October 5, 2009 at 6:02 am

Happy 2 year anniversary! You are such an inspiration. Can’t wait to hear the news…have a fun break.

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SingleMomofOne October 5, 2009 at 6:33 am

I absolutely love reading your blogs! Hearing your stories brings back hope that there is someone out there that will love me and my daughter!! Thank you so much and I can’t wait to hear your news!!

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Tina October 5, 2009 at 6:35 am

I already have Ms. Single Mama Uncensored but I would like to enter for the necklace.
I love the baby pic of you and Benjamin, I too, don’t have nearly enough pics of me and my son together. I am always the one behind the camera!
Take care,
Tina

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Abbie Toy October 5, 2009 at 7:06 am

I have been reading your blog for over a year now…and I feel like I was on this journey with you – because I am also a single mom and alot of what you talk about is sooooo “me.” We both have 3 year old sons…and I can’t believe how fast they grow:( Thanks for being an inspiration to me in those many dark months when I wasn’t sure how I was ever going to make it…thank you!

-Abbie

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Jill October 5, 2009 at 7:31 am

I think you’re engaged, that’s your news!! LOL totally random guess, but I may be right! Have a great week off :) come back and update us soon

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Mikaela October 5, 2009 at 7:33 am

I’m not a single momma and actually have an amazing husband who is devoted and caring and loves both me and our child. But he’s in the military and once a month I’m a single momma for 48 hours. You are an inspiration because I have no idea how you ever went it alone. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’ve found your “amazing one” to be there with you through it all.

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lauren October 5, 2009 at 7:40 am

i may not be single, nor am i a mama, but i love spending time at your website just the same. time flies by just too fast and i hope that you are enjoying each and every moment.
*

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Lesha October 5, 2009 at 8:03 am

I can’t wait to hear the news! Have a nice break too.

I love the camera I have for work, and when I can’t use it anymore I plan to buy my own. The pictures are just so much better! My next goal is to learn how to really USE it. And to learn photoshop too.

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terri October 5, 2009 at 8:11 am

love your blog it’s so fun and inspiring, would love to win or purchase the silver necklace if that is possible

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Katherine (SOLO dot MOM) October 5, 2009 at 8:53 am

Ok unbelievable! Now I am biting the bullet over here to know whats up!

and wow you look amazing in that photo of Benjamin at 1 week….

love you blog… you totally rock, Alaina.

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Jaden October 5, 2009 at 9:20 am

I would absolutely love to win one! I love the leaf necklace and all it stands for… But I hadn’t entered your previous giveaways because they were for single moms, which I am not :) But I am still a huge fan who would love that leaf necklace for other reasons, and can’t WAIT to read your book! Thanks for the chance!

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Heidi October 5, 2009 at 9:48 am

Can’t wait to hear your news. Enjoy your week off, and thanks for sharing your life with us.

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Kristy October 5, 2009 at 9:54 am

I love your blog and have been reading for a while. I totally agree with you about getting a camera. I have 2 kids 10 and 2 and look back at the pics of them when they were babies and can’t believe how fast time has gone by. I regret not having more videos of them too. We all need to just slow down sometimes and be in the moment. Have a great day.

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Jen October 5, 2009 at 10:28 am

Enjoy your time off! Love the pics of Benjamin. My “baby” is now almost 9 – it goes so quick :(

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Lara October 5, 2009 at 10:39 am

would love the necklace and the book, but I’m on the “newly single mama” budget!. You inspire.

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Kate October 5, 2009 at 10:40 am

I feel the same way about my daughter!

I would love to win a necklace and an e-booK!

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Nica October 5, 2009 at 10:54 am

Oh so true! A camera has been the best investment I’ve made as a mom. They grow so fast. BTW: You looked great for having a 4month old!
Blessings.
Nica

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Jody October 5, 2009 at 11:05 am

enjoy your break.

bring on the bliss…

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Jody October 5, 2009 at 11:07 am

Enjoy your break!

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Michelle October 5, 2009 at 11:17 am

I bet I know what the life changing news is…

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ana October 5, 2009 at 11:49 am

i’m really curious about your news! i also love that you are taking a bit of space with it, though. cheers, alaina…

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Barbi October 5, 2009 at 11:58 am

I want in, have a nice week off. It’s amazing how fast kiddos grow!

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Jen October 5, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Count me in!

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Dawn October 5, 2009 at 12:25 pm

If there is an engagement in the air may it be longer than your first marriage!

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Drew October 5, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I hope I win! I am a big fan! GO SINGLE MAMAS!

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LYZZETTE H October 5, 2009 at 12:46 pm

i think im with a few people here and im guessing the sound of wedding bells!!! so happy for you and im a strong believer of taking a break so good for you and enjoy your time off!!!

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brenda sw October 5, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Enjoy your break. I hope I win…I gave my brass leaf necklace away…to a recently-made single mama.

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arscuore October 5, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Already have your e-book and both necklaces (what can I say?)… Just wishing you much peace on your week off. It’s the time of year for my own remembrances. Peace, sistah.

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Restless Mama October 5, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Enjoy your week off! I thought about taking one too.

Cheers lady!

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carrie October 5, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Can’t wait for the news.

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Glenda October 5, 2009 at 4:56 pm

I’m not a single mama, but follow your blog because I can relate. Although I’m with my hubby, when my kids were little, he was always gone away for work (Military) and I had two little ones, 3 yrs apart, and always felt like a single mama. I love, love reading your blog…and would love your book ;) Can’t wait for the news!? Enjoy your week off!

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Glenda October 5, 2009 at 4:57 pm

wedding bells…or you’re having a baby?! ;)

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EB October 5, 2009 at 5:41 pm

enjoy your break! glad you got that pic of you and the ducky towel boy, so cute! it IS so hard getting baby and mama pics together when you are a single mother. my fave one is what i put on our first xmas card together that i actually held out the camera myself, arm extended, and it turned out extremely cute. no one could believe i took it myself! i guess i had practice at that point after seven or so months of trying it alone. this life is hard but capturing it is important and at the end of the day it’s a beautiful life and we are glad we took a picture of it.

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Sterling October 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I have been reading your blog most of the summer and I think it’s amazing. I am not a single mom, but I am a single woman swimming my way through the dating pool. Keep on writing, it’s very inspiring.

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Sarah October 5, 2009 at 8:12 pm

My children are 5 and 7, and time has passed too quickly! Being thrust into single mommy-hood has been a struggle, but reading your blog and knowing I am not the only woman who finds herself searching for strength has helped immensely. Thank you and enjoy your week!

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Dawn October 5, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Hi, I’m a single girl in Tampa and love your blog. I think you are awesome and totally love you attitude with how you deal with what life has given you. Instead of lemonade, you have made yourself a damn fine limoncello martini.

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Laura October 5, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Enjoy your break- can’t wait to hear the news!
This post was a “sign” for me – I’ve been taking pictures of my 4-year old son (his birthday is today!) also named Benjamin – with my cell phone camera and I’ve been trying to convince myself not to splurge on a camera while at the same time feeling like these memories are slipping away. So, thank you – I’m off to research cameras and figure out where I can donate plasma to fund it :)

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Rachel October 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Can’t wait to hear the news!!! Oh Alaina if you ever need an employee. Call Me – I can be your go too girl <3 Seriously.

Single mama to Vibrant Natalie

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christine October 5, 2009 at 11:56 pm

gosh, that made me tear up. maybe because my big girl is just a month or so younger than benjamin. i look at my little girl who is nearing one and can’t believe how fast it is going.

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famejane October 6, 2009 at 2:46 am

So many people are suggesting that you’re getting married Alaina. I certainly hope that’s not the case. For all the advice you give about love, dating, marriage, I’d be shocked if you are jumping into marriage after only knowing John Bear for, what, six months. So, we’ll have to wait and see, I suppose. I think it is generally believed that you need to be with a partner for at least one year, but then again, I’m not the self-proclaimed “love guru”.

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Johanna October 6, 2009 at 3:13 am

Have a good week off! I’ve been reading for a while, and it’s been really interesting to read about being a single mother – in another country, as well as “further on” – I’ve been separated from my ex husband for a year and a half now, and being single with three kids is challenging at times, but 100% positive for me. My ex wasn’t a positive influence on me (but he does take care of his children).

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ZionsMama October 6, 2009 at 5:30 am

I love you blog. I am a newly single mama entering the uncharted territory you have so eloquently and bravely documented. You are an inspiration. You words are arming me with courage as Zion(2 yo) and I begin our journey. Peace Mama!

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Allison October 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm

You deserve the break! I love your blog. Can’t wait until next week… :)

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Jenner92 October 6, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Wow. Every time I read on eof your blogs, something in it just really speaks to me. I have been a single momma for over a year now, but looking back, I realize that I have made a lot of mistakes over this past year – with men mostly. Your strength just amazes me. If I can find that kind of courage, just to be happy with ME, not needing a man in my life, then just maybe I will someday find the one, as YOU have! Congratulations! You are an inspiration to all of the single moms out there. BTW, I’d love the book and necklace. Thanks for being you and helping me along the way.

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Mary October 6, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Gosh, time flies! It’s cliche, but true. I so know what you mean. My baby boy just turned one on Saturday and it seems just like yesterday. Literally!

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Lori October 6, 2009 at 1:07 pm

I hope I win!!! Yesterday was my 28th birthday and I’d love to win your book and the BEAUTIFUL necklace! I’m not technically a single mom, but my situation has often times made me an honorary member of the club. And the simple truth is no matter if we have support or not- mom’s sometimes (most times) shoulder the responsibility so we can all relate. I love reading about your life- the condensed version- and hearing the happiness in your writing and in your pictures. I’d be so happy for you to find out your mini vacay was to celebrate some sort of uh, life change ; ) And even if not, I’m just happy you’ve found your happy. I’ll be waiting for an update anxiously!

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Karen October 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Happy 2 years! Can’t wait to hear the news!

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chrissy October 7, 2009 at 11:08 am

awe! Love those photos of him! how sweet. I finally finished the ebook, my life would be complete with a necklace :)

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Nicole October 7, 2009 at 11:17 am

Time is of the essence, especially when we pin it against our little ones growing up. My husband thought it would work well if we separated when I was 7 months pregnant with our second child, then asked for a full divorce 9 days after she was born. Which was four days before Christmas this past year. How the hell we do it can only be answered by our faith. Cause there is no way I thought I was going to manage and I am now a year out, managing! Although I do miss being a family, I don’t miss the mistreatment as a wife and a friend. I am so glad I found your blog to know that I am not alone and that it gets better with time.
Happy Vaca!

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nicole October 7, 2009 at 12:38 pm

i love your blog. it gives me hope. my son just turned 3 and my husband left 3 months ago. it has been so hard, but reading your blog helps on those days that i just want to cry. thanks.

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wyliekat October 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm

It’s truly amazing – when you’re in the baby mode, it seems as though they’re never going to be independent. Then suddenly – they are. And it makes you miss how they used to be.

It’s no-win, unless someone comes up with a way to make variable-age babies.

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cibele October 7, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Your post had me crying. Sometimes I look at my “big girl” and wonder where the time went. I hate that her first year of life was so tempestuous, I remember that I celebrated every single one of her first Holidays crying and heartbroken. But I am also proud that even the mists of so much pain I took countless pictures, recorded many videos, celebrated every milestone. Now I can look back and somehow relive those moments. Your boy is so so cute!!!!!!!

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Single Mom in New England October 8, 2009 at 11:37 am

Those little boys grow up SO FAST!! (Makes you want to have another one, doesn’t it?) It’s great to hear that the tarot card reader was right on from the very beginning. I love that photo of you two in the bathroom! Have a great day!

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Jess October 8, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Hope you are enjoying your blogging break! I like that bathroom photo of you two! Super cute!

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Mandy October 9, 2009 at 7:47 am

This definately has become my first stop in blog world. My baby has also become a big girl before my eyes (she’ll be 3 at the end of the month). I don’t understand how time flies by so quickly!
Hope that your week off is good, and looking forward to reading about the news when you’re back!

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Jill B October 9, 2009 at 8:47 am

Relatively new fan, but definitely a fan! Thanks for all the good stuffs!

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junctionmama October 9, 2009 at 7:56 pm

I can’t wait to hear the news!

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Clincher October 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm

I MISS those days when my daughter was Benjamin’s age. It’s the time in their life where not only do they need you, but they WANT you. Before you know you it, they are 20 and don’t care to be with you as much as they once did. Not to say they still don’t love you or dislike hanging out with you entirely, but the inevitable happens. These little people become young adults just like we did. I do have lots of pictures thanks to a great camera, but I do regret not getting much video of her growing up.

Not only was I a single mother, but I was a mother and father 100% all these years because her father didn’t want to know her. My parent’s sent me to an unwed mother’s home far away to place my child for adoption, but I kept her instead. I contacted him twice after she was born. My daughter was 5 years old the last time I spoke to her dad on the phone. When I asked him if he would like to talk to her, he said, “give me a break.” I was devastated AGAIN, but after that night, I finally let it go. 5 years of pining over him, it was time to do just that, LET IT GO.

Then last month she found him on Facebook and wrote a letter. He and his family responded and have welcomed her with open arms. They flew her out and is with them as I write this. Needless to say, it’s been a very hard week for me for so many reasons. I am glad she found him and is getting the love from him she always wanted, but she is all I have. I got used to it being just the two of us. I struggled and sacrificed so much. I tried the dating thing a lot, but that has its complications when you are a single parent. I even gave up sex 14 or 15 years ago? Heck, I almost forget. People are shocked when I tell them this because of how good I used to look. But to me, dating and all that went with it became a hassle, and I wanted to protect my kid. It’s nice when women can marry great men who become wonderful father figures, but it just wasn’t meant to be for me.

It bothers me that with all my struggles and sacrifices, her father has had a long marriage, great kids, and great job stability. Life just doesn’t make sense.

I hope life is different for you, and BETTER! I just stumbled across your blog in some desperate attempt to find anyone who can relate to what I am going through now. Every single mom situation is different in many ways, but there will always be a certain camaraderie among single moms. They are all heroes in my eyes!

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Michele October 11, 2009 at 2:40 am

oooohhh, I’m excited to hear your news.
Wonderful post… as always!
Your son is adorable… and you are such a wonderful mother!

Enjoy your break from the blogging world, we will all be here when you return!
I “heart” you.

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Lauren October 11, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Congrats on two years!!! I so enjoy your updates and words of inspiration!

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Vijay Eswaran October 13, 2009 at 12:25 am

WOw What a cutie..:)
Love the duckie blanket.

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Barbi October 13, 2009 at 10:11 am

Can’t wait to hear your news. BTW, not a single mother, but kinda am. I’ve been married 15 years but I’ve always been the primary caregiver and often feel like a single mother because my husband just takes the stance that its not his job. I enjoy reading your blog.

Thanks

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Delyn Ramey October 13, 2009 at 11:11 am

Its been more than a week!! Im dying to know whats going on!!

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staciesmadness October 13, 2009 at 2:49 pm

kudos on the anniversary and the very handsome son!

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Caroline October 15, 2009 at 8:02 pm

We single Mums don’t have an easy journey. I’ve been on mine since I was three months pregnant – my boy turns 6 next week. It IS getting more manageable now he’s in school, but somewhere along the line, I’ve shut myself off to men. Too scared to risk perhaps? Maybe I need your book…or some “Ms Single Mama” bling! Lol
Wish this was like Oprah and we all got the prizes!!

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Great blog you have here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing like yours these days.
I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!

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