Facts and figures.

by mssinglemama on August 3, 2010

A few things you should know.

Fact: Being a mother makes it nearly impossible to conform to the rigidity of today’s corporate culture.

I am buried in work. Buried does not mean drowning, nor does it mean ungrateful – it just means that I am swamped with the extremely fulfilling and exciting business of being in business for yourself. All of it, the stress at the start and lack of a 401K or company health insurance, the risk of not knowing what next year will bring, is well worth the peace of mind I have as a mother. I do have my own health insurance, by the way and the 401K will come in time.

If I need to come in late, I can – no questions asked. If I need to leave early – not a problem. And if I need to take the entire afternoon off because my son needs some Mommy time – done.

I have decided, without a doubt, that our current corporate culture of 9:00 – 5:00 and lunch breaks and no breaks is unsustainable. Technology and two working parents in just about every household, will break down those rigid walls soon enough.

And if you feel guilty about being a working mother? A new study says you can throw that guilt out. Interesting study and interesting that they’re essentially taking back what they’d said in a previous study finding that children of working mothers were challenged developmentally. Would like to know your thoughts.

Fact: Planning a vacation on a shoe string budget sucks.

I don’t care what any of the smiling faces in the magazines suggest, planning a vacation with a tight budget is not fun. John and I are restraining ourselves against any kind of unnecessary big budget items in order to save for the house, the finished basement we want to add and then the (gasp) wedding. So here we are, one week away from a last minute vacation and we have yet to make a decision.

I think we’re going to have a staycation and pitch a tent in the back yard. Either that or spend the days off packing. Packing can be fun and romantic, right? And this is assuming I can actually take two days off.

Fact: Trolls drive me nuts and spanking does not make me an unfit parent.

There is a new Troll in our midst attacking me with errant comments here and there because I admitted to spanking Benjamin. I am not proud of the fact that I’ve had to spank my little guy before but I’m not ashamed or apologetic either. Life happens and parenting is included in that umbrella. The fact that Benjamin has had a few smacks on his cute, padded little butt does not make me unfit to be a parent or to have more children.

And thanks to John Bear’s help I haven’t had to spank him since writing that post. I don’t expect that to change. But to suggest that we shouldn’t have another child. Seriously? Move on and find another blogger to harass.

Figure: The odds of Benjamin being an adrenaline junkie as a grown man are very high.

We took Benjamin to the Ohio State Fair this weekend. And somewhere in the midst of the blazing heat, I managed to capture his reaction to stomach, demon dropping adrenaline and it looked like this.

See any fear in there?

I didn’t think so. That’s my boy. Through and through. Quite frightening to imagine what he’ll be climbing or jumping from when he discovers the rest of the world out there.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen @ follow my bliss August 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm

What a happy little guy!!!


Karissa August 3, 2010 at 1:40 pm

1. I wrote briefly about being a working single mom as well, today.
2. A spank on the bum does not make you unfit to have children. Silly troll.
3. I wish I could get Bean on a ride like that. He said, “maybe next year, when I’m five.” Dear heart.


mssinglemama August 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm

So cute!


Kristen August 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm

i would have to disagree with your first point. I get what you are saying, but there are places and people that are making it work. But you have to know your limits and demand respect for the work that you do. I work for the federal government in Canada in a busy, 9-5, communications position. They will suck the life out of you if you let them. But if you stand up for yourself, you can have all the perks you describe above, with a great pension and benefits, one-year of (93%) paid maternity leave, substantial sick and vacation leave and stability. Wow, that reads like an ad for the public service, doesn’t it? It’s not meant to be.

My point is that there are great options besides having your own business. I work with a number of freelancers who are just as controlled by their work as someone working for the man. They have a reputation to consider and saying no to work can look bad. They end up working evenings and weekends a lot more often than I do.


CME August 3, 2010 at 2:51 pm

You are lucky! I could barely get my company to agree to let me take 12 weeks off after giving birth. They gave me 6 weeks (per law) and then granted me an additional 6 weeks but said that they wouldn’t “hold my job” for me. So I was taking a chance that they’d let me go. When I asked for an additional 4 weeks they said “No” that’d they had already been very flexbile with me.

The company frowns upon taking time off and god forbid you or your child get sick and you have to take care of them. When I was prego with my daughter I had a serious case of bronchitis (week off), broke my ankle (another week off) and I got put on bed rest for two days and got dinged/reemed on my review for it. Then they told me I had to be at work or they were going to let me go.

You are so, so, so lucky!!!!!


mssinglemama August 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Freelancers often have that issue, learning how to say “no” can be tough. Fortunately, I learned that lesson long ago and am able to turn everything off on most nights.

So happy you have found a great work-life balance.


Lori August 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm

1. I hope you’re right. I’d love to have more flexibility with my time. I’m grateful that my current place of employment is pretty flexible and will allow me to go to parties, ceremonies, special meetings, etc. But I still have no Health insurance, K does, but not me.
2. I spank K. If only all parents disciplined their children, imagine what a better place the world would be.
3. Hocking Hills- tent or cabin. ( I suggest Tranquil Retreat but they’re prob booked. There are literally hundreds around though- and most have hot tubs. Old Man’s Cave Lodge has a pool as well as a good buffet. Or the Grouse Nest near Ash Cave was delicious as well, more adult atmosphere but w/ gourmet pb&j.) Go there. One of the best close to home vacations I’ve ever had. Lake Logan to swim in. That whole area has a special place in my heart and I encourage everyone to go there.


Maura August 3, 2010 at 3:09 pm

This entire thing can be summed up in one word: DISCIPLINE. You clearly have none. A lack of discipline caused you to become pregnant. A lack of discipline caused you to not remain married to the father of your child. You do not possess the discipline to keep a job, work traditional hours, save money, remain committed to anything or anyone, or think about the future. And then, you physically punish your child, which “smacks” of discipline, but–in fact–is a display of a complete lack of discipline. You do not even posses the discipline to restrain yourself from taking out your aggressions. You live only in the moment, with an unhealthy and destructive sense of self-entitlement. Is it no wonder that things aren’t going well for you?


Teresa August 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Wow – some people must be unhappy. Whew!

I don’t have a problem with an occasional swat. If you enjoy parenting books – pick up anything by John Rosemond. I’m currently reading Teen-proofing. Awesome parenting suggestions – back to basics discipline.


Sara in Sunny SC August 3, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Maura, I hope you find something in life that makes you happy. Don’t you know the saying, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all?” (Pretty sure that A didn’t ASK you for your opinion, just sayin’…)

Ms. Single Mama, ROCK ON!!!! You’re an amazing role model, as I’m sure you already know (but reminders never hurt!)! No matter what anyone says, you have helped me and given me hope in my dire situation. We’re all entitled to our own opinion and in my opinion you’re amazing!!!!


Maura August 3, 2010 at 4:37 pm

So Sara, which is it?

“Pretty sure that A didn’t ASK you for your opinion, just sayin’”

“We’re all entitled to our own opinion…”

I’ll go for the latter and, in fact, Ms. Lack Of Discipline DID ask me for my opinion. That’s what “social media” IS. The very fact that she has this blog with a “reply” feature is ASKING FOR MY OPINION. Try to keep up, will you?


arscuore August 3, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Since you are so much better than everyone else, work on taking the high road and not always pointing out our mistakes to those of us who couldn’t possibly compare. Yes you are entitled to your opinion, but realize that there are many more of us who read this blog because we identify with Alaina than there are trolls like you. Try to keep up.


Sara in Sunny SC August 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm


We are all entitled to our own opinion, but if its not nice then don’t say it out loud (use the filter between your brain and your mouth). Sorry that wasn’t clear enough for you to understand through all your bitterness and hatred. Yes there is a “reply button,” but please don’t waste your time next time you have something to say. I guess if you do we’ll all realize you have nothing better to do with your miserable life then comment on blogs of people you think little of. Certainly you have something more productive to do?

mssinglemama August 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Okay, Maura… now you’re out of line. Let’s keep the all caps to a minimum, shall we?

As for your statement about my discipline or lack thereof, there is some truth there. In my early 20’s, when I met Benjamin’s father, I had a lack of self-control in many areas of my life. But that’s far in my past and I also don’t believe – in any way- that leaving a destructive marriage shows a lack of anything, I think it shows the ability to call it like you see it and do what’s best of your family (that takes strength and bravery).


melissa B. August 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm

What do you mean “things aren’t going well”. Last I checked, she has a wonderful son, a man that loves her, a job, a house she just bought and is getting married. I would say things are going pretty damn well for her and I pray that it continues.

If you don’t like what she is writing then stop reading….you wont be missed.


Ann August 3, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I have to totally agree with the shift toward a cultural change in work structure that is becoming more conducive to flexibility and family focus. It’s just the beginning now, but as more and more businesses offer telecommuting and job sharing options, it will become the norm even if just for the sake of viability and competitiveness in the market.

As far as spanking, I must say I’m totally against it. But as a mom I’ve learned that what works for one doesn’t work for all. I’ve found that when I have the urge to spank, it’s normally me that needs to take a deep breath and reassess the situation. Even the craziest 4 year old meltdown doesn’t warrant physical punishment, in my eyes.

But also, it’s important to understand and accept that there is a difference between spanking and abuse. Plenty of my friends will spank their kids, and while I hate the thought, I know these children are loved, cared for, and not abused.

There are very effective ways to discipline without spanking, but instead of drawing lines in the sand and taking sides in the Mommy Wars, I raise my glass to all moms who are truly committed to the well being of the child. For some that might mean spanking. I just think there are other methods.


Ms. Single Mama August 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm

This is a really well put and thoughtful comment. Thank you so much for adding it, Ann.


Jamie August 3, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Wow! You have had some trolls lately? What is the deal with that?


Cheri August 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Totally agree. MSM (soon-to-be MMM), I look to your blog to provide thought provoking insight into this reality known as single motherhood. Your musings are a total inspiration to me. I really wish you would delete these unnecessary diatribes. It’s your blog, write what you will, but I am totally sick of reading these shitty comments. And I know, I don’t *need* or *have* to read them, but it’s force of habit.


mssinglemama August 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm

I know. I should delete them and usually do ignore them but this is an issue I thought we should bring out in the open. Thanks for bearing with me/us Cheri.


Linda Sullivan August 3, 2010 at 5:07 pm

“I have decided, without a doubt, that our current corporate culture of 9:00 – 5:00 and lunch breaks and no breaks is unsustainable.”

Wow. Amen to that. It’s not only unsustainable, it’s also very draining of one’s energy and happiness.


Nini August 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Dear Troll,

The child you are referring to was created with love by Mother Natures and God’s loving help. You can’t point your finger at just one person and blame them for a failed relationship. Marriages take two people to make it work. It… takes commitment ,effort and hard work to make them successful.

Starting business takes DISCIPLINE, self -control, team work and sometimes putting in extra hours that traditional jobs don’t require to keep the business a float. Most people no concept of the time and effort owning a business requires!

Parents who don’t set boundaries are going to have children with behavior problems, who have problems when they grow up. And if it’s not good to always say “yes”, it’s also not good for the child to say “no” at first and then cave in when they throw a temper tantrum or beg and plead. Teach them that your “no” is firm, but only say “no” when you really feel that it’s a boundary you need to set.If they keep pushing you then sometime you have to physically punish your child with smacks of discipline, so they get the message and understand that there is rules in life that we all have to obey. When adults break rules there is conseqeunces for our actions,too : JAIL!

No ones life is perfect. I’m sure if we knew you, Ms.TROLL; there would be areas of your life that needs attention,too!


Claire August 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm

“If they keep pushing you then sometime you have to physically punish your child with smacks of discipline, so they get the message and understand that there is rules in life that we all have to obey. When adults break rules there is conseqeunces for our actions,too : JAIL! ”

I don’t know why I even bothered to read the comments, because I honestly have no desire to get dragged into a parenting debate about spanking vs. non-spanking. To each their own and all that. Personally, I don’t believe in physical punishment, and I also try not to judge other mothers, especially when I don’t really know them. However, that statement is just ridiculous. Fine, spank…they’re your kids. But to say that parents who *don’t* spank are basically raising the equivalent of criminals who will wind up in jail?

And yes, I do know your likely intention when you wrote it…but that’s not how it reads. Educate yourself on the statistics. Or at least try to hold in the judgement.


Nini August 4, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Claire, To me it is very simple and there may be many who don’t like my blunt answer. But here it is in simple terms, YOU ARE THE PARENT, THEY ARE THE CHILD. Do not let them make the rules. Do not ask them if they “want to” do something. What do you say if they say no? If you want to give them choices, then say, ” Would you rather carry up the laundry baskets or take out the trash to the trash cans?”

You are the one who is in charge, not them. ”No” is not an option when you ask them to do a job or help in the house. If I ask one of the children to do something and they would say no, my immediate response would probably be, “ExCUSE me?”

THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES FOR THEIR ACTIONS – What if they say No or won’t do them? If they are given a list of 2 or 3 jobs to do during the day during the summer when they are off school and they do not complete their jobs that day…guess what? They get those same jobs the next day AND 2 or 3 new ones.

They are not going to get friend time, or TV time, or computer time if they don’t get their jobs done first.

I have had my share of discipline problems with my step son, he has ADHD. I don’t use that as any excuse and and I don’t let him use it as an excuse to get away with anything. It doesn’t change a thing I expect of him and that he is capable of.

In a grocery store. (Don’t kids always act up there? ) when I first met my now husband his son was 3 1/2 years old. From the time I met him I never accepted that him ran all over the store. If he went to the store with me he learned quickly that he stayed right with me and he kept his hands off things. So how did I get him to do that?

1) I give him assignments. He got to take turns picking the items off the shelf when I needed them. (ages 3) If he weren’t behaving, he sat in the cart front seat.

2) He got his own shopping lists and had to sound out the words on their list. (ages 5)

3) He got his own cart or basket with his own list and help figure out which is the better deal: The gallon of milk for $2.50 or the 2 half gallon bottles of milk on sale for .99 each. (ages eight and older)


If he don’t behave he sit in the cart (ages 3) or have to hang onto the side of the cart (too old to sit in cart).

I also have a point system while out and about. 1 point for poor behavior. That point can be redeemed at home (but don’t forget!) It can be lose of computer time, or TV time. 1 point = 10 minutes. It can be 1 point = 1 extra chore (cleaning up dog poo outside in the yard). It can be time in their room when they get home. 1 point = 10 minutes.

When my stepson Jake was 4 years old 1 point = 1 spanking when we got home. But he can also LOSE their points for good behavior. If they were misbehaving in the store I would calming say, “Jake, you just earned 1 point”. That is usually all it took, then he worked the rest of the time to lose that point. But I did make sure that I did not give in after we left that store. He earned and did not lose 2 points in the store..when we got home he DID get his 2 spankings. But guess what, I didn’t have very many problems in a grocery store with him.


Your kids will learn real fast that if you threaten to punish them, but never follow through….they won’t listen. Why should they?

With my stepson now, I don’t spank him. If I have to discipline in the store, which I usually don’t…making them hang onto the cart and not get to help by picking out or helping shop is enough that he settle down real fast.

I also used and still do use the 1…2…3. But if I said the number 3…then there was discipline. It worked.


I have a job board that we use. These jobs are on top of their daily tasks such as cleaning their room, getting dressed etc.

This chores rotate weekly. I don’t think any age (even toddlers) are too young to start with picture job boards and helping put toys in a basket. You can make it a game or use songs to help. With the older kids, make a cleaning bucket for them to use.

This might sound strict to you and if what you are doing is working for you and your family – then wonderful, keep doing it. But if you are having problems getting your children to help or do as you ask them, you might want to give my suggestions a try. I am not a mean mom, but I am a firm mom and my children DO listen to me. I believe that as the parent it is Our job to teach our children right from wrong and teach them the value of being a family member and part of a team.


Claire August 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I’m totally confused as to what part of my original statement brought you to the conclusion that I don’t discipline my children? I actually agree with and use similar techniques to the ones you mention (minus physical punishment, i.e. spanking). 🙂

My comment was not intended to be spanking vs. non-spanking, or an insult to your discipline method(s) of choice. *Your* comment just rubbed me the wrong way because I read it as saying, more or less, that parents who choose not to spank may as well resign themselves to the fact that their child will end up in jail due to lack of discipline (spanking) when they were a child. And that is obviously false.

Spanking is only one method of discipline. Discipline does not equal spanking. My children are most definitely well-disciplined and have consequences. But they are not spanked.


Johanna August 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm

That would be me, the troll, I guess. Though I am none.

The fact that you are writing about my comment makes me happy. It shows me you thought about it quite a lot and that someone thinking that way about you bothers you. In fact it bothers you so much, you even write quite a big comment about it. And that is a good thing – doesn’t matter to me how unhappy you are about me reading your or commenting on your blogposts.

Because it makes you think about those things. And maybe reconsider some.

I haven’t said it makes you a bad mom. Neither have I said you should not have more kids – and I wouldn’t say so either. I can also tell you that in my time as a single mom, I also spanked my son a few times.

My point is, though, that you shouldn’t be proud of it. That you shouldn’t walk around, head up high, telling you “had to spank him”. It is nothing you _have to_ do. It is something that you sometimes can’t help, even if you tried really hard. Because we are all humans, because we have all times when we are weak or at least not strong enough to be perfect. But that gives you no right to be proud of it or walk around and call it a method of parenting.

It is not and you know it – know it with your heart. And you know why I do know that? Because me telling you that bothers you so much, you have to get that anger out on me. Things that make you angry touch something in you – something that you don’t want to admit you have in yourself.

So instead of calling me troll and getting the whole “ooh, poor baby – bad bad troll”-thing going on in the comment-line, just sit down for a sec and reconsider what I might wanted to tell you. And what you mind to tell yourself by getting this angry at me.


mssinglemama August 3, 2010 at 7:36 pm

To imply that I hadn’t thought about spanking my son before your comments, that I would just carelessly spank him whenever and not care, is offensive. I had thought about it… deciding consciously before his first spank that I would have to introduce the method. I was alone, I didn’t know what else to do. So I turned to what my parents had done. And it worked, by the way.

I am not proud of this. I don’t think I’ve ever implied that I am proud of it, not at all. How could anyone be proud of spanking? I am proud of the fact that I haven’t had to spank him in months and months. I am proud of the progress John and I are making together.

I personally was spanked by my parents and I guess I just don’t see it as such a tragically horrible thing. The fact that a parent spanks doesn’t mean they have issues in discipline or otherwise, it’s probably more directly related to how they were raised.

Also, I am not angry with you at all. Annoyed at the audacity of your last comment would be more accurate. To imply that I should think twice before having a another child was completely offensive. So I am offended. Not angry at all. Not really an angry person actually, so you’ve got me dead wrong there.


Claire August 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Alaina, I have to say I respect you a lot…as a fellow mother, and as a strong woman, but you’ve just lost me as a reader. I know it probably won’t make a bit of difference in your life, and why should it?, but I’ve been reading for awhile and it truly does pain me to say that.

A “troll” does not leave the kind of reply Johanna just gave you. And a lot of the comments from everyone who is “supporting” you are just plain childish, not to mention as mean or worse than the original comment that started all of this.


April August 3, 2010 at 9:22 pm

GEES, MSM, I don’t know why/how you tolerate some of these messages.
It’s exhausting just reading them. And it’s obvious the trolls have nothing better to do with themselves than to put someone else down. They must be jealous and really hate what they don’t have and are just trying to suck you into their misery. Such a waste of energy. You do whats right for you and your family, screw the rest of ’em.


GreenInOC August 4, 2010 at 12:22 am

This is quite interesting.

I remember the post and was a bit shocked by it. I always am when people state that they hit their children.

I understand that as adults we use the euphemism “spank” instead of just taking ownership and say, “I hit a child”.

What I find amazing is that we, as adults, are totally okay with hitting a child but are against adults hitting each other, when in fact an adult is in a better position to defend themselves.

In my opinion, the only reason adults hit children is because the adult is frustrated. We tell ourselves it’s for the good of the child, but I don’t buy that. Imagine that it was socially acceptable for adults to take out their frustrations in such a manner on other adults.

What if your boss spanked you because you were late one too many times, wasting time and not considering others? How about your husband spanking you (an not in the good way 😉 ) because you “talked back” about an opinion he has? Imagine a store clerk who was frustrated because you questioned their decision and instead of answering your inquiry or referring you to their boss they “spanked” you. All because you needed to learn to behave properly.

We want our children to grow up to be leaders and not followers and yet we don’t teach them how to be leaders when we use physical force or intimidation to make them comply with our will.

I think that telling people that if they don’t have something nice to say then don’t say anything at all is counter productive. We learn from each other and social/personal changes take place because we are willing to speak up and also listen.

I think that those that have an opinion, it would be wise to attempt to present it in a manner that the person you intend to hear it can take it in rather than immediately become defensive and not be able to process your point.

I understand that a lot of people were spanked as children and feel that they turned out totally fine. You are probably right. Maybe not though. Without being spanked, maybe we could have been even better. Maybe wouldn’t be afraid to negotiate for better pay/conditions/deals at work, maybe we wouldn’t feel stifled or lose ourselves in relationships, maybe we would be more confident in every aspect our our lives, maybe we wouldn’t grow up and hit our children.


Johanna August 4, 2010 at 6:04 am

Thank you Green. That is my point.

And also a big thanks to Tansy for showing me another kind of possible opinion about that matter. It helps me a lot to explain my point further.

It probabyl all has to do with how you see people in general and what children are to you. For me, children are nothing less or more than other human beings. The difference is, that they are more vulnerable and have yet to be introduced to society’s rules. But children DO want to learn all of those things. They do want to please and be accepted in society. So basically, they do what it takes. Sure there are misundersatandings. And there are times, when their development and their growth makes it hard for them to keep up with all the expectations adults have.

I do not want to draw a line where there is none. If I was allowed to spank (aka hit) people, who have not learned certain social rules – well then I would certainly hit my boss or a waiter now and then.

You see, the misunderstanding is: hiting does not work. Maybe you think it works, because on the short run you got what you wanted from your kid. But that can not be your long term goal – as Green said.

I also want to state that provocation is sometimes an excelent way to make someone think about something. If you would have been my dear friend Louise I would have maybe chosen another way to show her what my point is. But since I don’t know you plus I do think you can take a little provocation at that point (you have John Bear now to massage your shoulders after an argument with a bad bad troll), I gladly play the role of the bad cop right now.


rebecca August 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Johanna, it seems to me the last comment you just made, seems a bit childish.


Tansy August 4, 2010 at 3:29 am

Very interesting..
can I make the point that all of the examples used by GreeninOC are of adult to adult interactions, whereas a child has not developed the necessary boundaries and negotiation skills that you would hope a partner or boss would have by the time they are an adult. As the child grows up, the ability to reason and learn consequences increase, and therefore the disciplining needs change as well.

Ultimately it is the choice of that parent, and we have no right to judge as we don’t live in that dynamic every day. But to insinuate someone has to rethink their disciplining choices BEFORE they have another child is insulting. I was insulted when I read the comment also, I believe it wasn’t the right post or the right words to raise that issue, and it showed little respect for the author or the readers of the blog, who like myself, appreciate the honesty, rejoice in the wonderful moments and sympathise with the battles of raising children.

Please be kind.


arscuore August 4, 2010 at 9:07 am

Very well said. I read another blog post the other day about how we should raise expectations of children on airplanes and that adults aren’t allowed to kick the backs of seats, so why should we indulge children in that way — similar kinds of thinking. Children are not adults and have yet to learn what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate. Little children lack reasoning skills, which is at the heart of using spanking as a learning tool. Little children understand things on a very basic level, and if they learn that a behavior will result in a spank, they learn not to repeat the behavior.

And I also love your last statement. How is insulting other people any better than spanking?


GreenInOC August 4, 2010 at 11:43 am


That’s the point, the child has to learn to negotiate and reason and they do that through practice. They learn something completely different about themselves and others when they learn their lesson through violence and intimidation.


christina August 4, 2010 at 5:57 am

being a working parent is a tough job. the best way to deal with this trolls is that ignore them. we know what you have gone through and we respect you, no one else can change our views…


bennieman August 4, 2010 at 8:08 am

SInce you brought up spanking in your post, I figure you are willing to make it a point of discussion. We routinely tell our kids “Don’t use your hands, use your words when you are angry.” THey are disciplined in school for hitting another child. How is it ok for us to hit them and for them to process the other rules of behavior we wish them to adhere to. I understand how it can happen, especially being alone and not knowing what else to do. But I still think we need to evaluate these behaviors and comments like my parents did it and I turned out okay are sort of a cop out. My mother drank gin and tonics when she was pregnant as did many women in the day and I turned out okay but that doesn’t mean, knowing what we know now, that I should do that. There are huge issues with domestic violence in our society. Is a few spankings when a kid was little the root f the problem? Probably not but does it contribute to the culture that hitting and violence is okay on some level? Very possibly it does. People mention disciplining children and how important it is, I agree but that doesn’t mean you have to use a physical method of discipline.


Jen August 4, 2010 at 10:11 am

I agree with bennieman and lots of other posters. Johanna says “children want to learn”; Tansy says, “a child has not developed the necessary boundaries and negotiation skills”; and arscuore says, “children haven’t learned what’s appropriate” that they lack “reasoning skills”. I think our jobs as parents are to teach them all of these things, and one of the ways we do it is to explain how to behave, but the most effective way we teach something is by example. I also don’t agree with the idea that “my parents did it so it’s OK”, and squirmed just a bit when MSM said she hadn’t “had” to spank her son, and that “it worked”. There’s always another way, and thankfully it sounds like MSM is discovering that there are other ways.

I know how difficult those other ways are, especially when you’re doing it all alone, how you can get so angry that you want to hit your child. I have spanked my 9-y-o daughter three times, I think, and I don’t ever want to do it again. I don’t think it worked at all. Sure, she stopped doing whatever it was she was doing, but I think she did so out of fear and the threat of physical harm. And that, that just isn’t right, in my opinion. I want her to follow the rules and behave a certain way out of respect for me and the rules, and to hit her isn’t showing her much respect.


Julie August 4, 2010 at 10:15 am

I will chime in here. I am a single mom of three children. They are 6, 11, and 17. Now, all three kids are each very different from each other. I mean VERY different. I was quite young when I had my oldest child. I grew up in a household with parents that spanked. When it came time to discipline my oldest, I tried everything except spanking. I told myself I was NOT going to be a spanking parent. HOWEVER, with this child absolutely nothing else worked and I found myself in the end giving him a swat on the backside. Many years and two children later, I find that the other two reacted to other types of discipline (time-outs, grounding, etc). My point is, you have to find out what works and what gets the attention of the child. The examples given above for “adults in these situations” is somewhat ludicrous. If my boss wants to get my attention about something I have done wrong, all he has to do is give me a warning that my job would be in jeopardy. But, take a look at other countries who do use physical punishment for wrongdoings. Do you see the crime rates there compared to many places here? I dare say that if some criminals here thought they might get physically punished, they would think twice before doing the crime!

Alaina, I don’t think you did anything wrong. And, have all the babies you want!! You will find that each of them will be as different as night and day. You may have to give one a swat once in awhile, while the other may get your point with only a stern look! 🙂


Alexis August 4, 2010 at 10:19 am

My son is the same way!!! Scary to think what he won’t be afraid of. And…a spank once in a while is quite ok.


Rhoda August 4, 2010 at 11:22 am

You say you’re overworked, harried, overwhelmed, blah, blah, blah. Have you every stopped and thought how much available time you’d have if you weren’t constantly banging away at your keyboard or clicking the keypad on your mobile device? You spend so much time in your virtual world that the real world is passing you by. Maybe if you budgeted your time more wisely and seriously worked on your Internet addiction and chemical need to seek approval from faceless entities on the World Wide Web, you’d find that life isn’t so hectic after all. Maybe if you lovingly interacted with your child instead of keep yourself a camera-lens-focus distance away from him, things would go much better for you and him. Stop documenting and retelling your life and start actually living it. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how you have so much free time to devote to promoting yourself on the Web. It’s like the Truman Show, only less funny and way more disturbing. Climb down off that stage.


melissa B. August 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm

It is interesting how you have the time to read other people’s blogs and have a long drawn out comment about their lives. Can we say hypocrite?
Furthermore, I never got the impression that she is seeking other people’s approval. She is sharing her story so that others can have a place to learn and share what they are going through. It is obvious that Alaina does what she wants and is enjoying life, not letting it pass her by. It takes a confident and courageous person to share her life with others (especially strangers). Maybe you want to take time a read some comments from other single moms on some of her other posts and see the good that she is doing in their lives. I am not even a single mom and I have learned so much from her story in my marriage and hopefully as a future mom. Who would have thought.


mssinglemama August 4, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Melissa, you are so sweet. Thanks for this comment. Definitely overrides the above. Thanks again and thanks for being here. Love the married mamas in our midst.


Newly SM August 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Wow, I wonder why you’re reading and commenting her blog if you dislike it so much. While you’re doing so, your real life is passing by you.
I found SMS’s blog yesterday and I think she is very funny.


Dawn August 4, 2010 at 11:43 am

Trolls drive you nuts when you forget that you are the only one who gives yourself permission to do as you choose.

I forget, I remember.


Valerie August 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Is controlled, non-abusive spanking out of line?

I would say no.

I would also say that it’s something I’m not capable of, the controlled, non-abusive part, so spanking for me is a no-no. But, I also do not judge others for using spanking to discipline.

As a child, I was spanked by my father out of anger and frustration-some of it having nothing to do with me. I don’t know many people who can spank with a cool head and calm hand, who can do it out of love. (If you’re one of those people, more power to you!) I will not put my hand on my child in that way, ever, because (for me) it’s difficult to draw the line.

I’m also a teacher, and able to manage behaviors in the classroom without spanking, though I’d like to sometimes! =)


Debbie August 4, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Wow – when you said there was a troll hanging around I was intrigued. As I read all of these posts I was amazed.

Other women and other moms can be our best supports and our worst enemies. This thread is a great example of that. Everyone has different opinions on discipline but the bottom line is that I believe that our goal should be to support each other in our parenting as most of us are always looking to improve our skills. When we get overly judgmental, it serves no purpose but to divide us further. This happens with so many topics: discipline, breastfeeding, working outside the home, etc.

For the record, my goal in parenting was not to use spanking as a form of discipline. But I believe that every child is different and responds to different methods of discipline. I also believe that unless someone has walked in your exact shoes, they cannot know what decision they would make in your situation with your child.

I was spanked as a child. I do not think it worked. I remember it nor having an affect on me other than making me mad at my mom. But I have not grown up to be abusive. I have never hit someone to solve a problem. I do not envision using spanking as a method of discipline for my son. I think other things work better. But I am not arrogant enough to believe that I deserve to judge others, unless physical punishment crosses the line into abuse. [As a social worker, we do have some guidelines to use to assess when we think it crosses that line, but a lot of factors come into play.] I know plenty of good, even great, parents who have occasionally spanked their child.

I do not believe that MSM asked for advice about alternate ways to discipline her child. Granted, when you put something out there in your blog and allow comments, you do invite dissent. But if you disagree with spanking and think that MSM made a mistake that was hurting her child, maybe there is a better way to deal with it. If I was concerned, I might send her an email saying that I cared about her and her son and if she wanted some feedback or suggestions on discipline, let me know and I would be happy to share. Posting inciting remarks on the blog does not seem to come from a place of love and support.

No parent is perfect. We have all made decisions that we have regretted later. We could all improve our interactions with our children. We learn as we go. But turning to hatred and insults helps no one.

I do not know MSM personally. She might be one of the best moms in the world. She might not. But I certainly can tell that she loves her son and is constantly trying to better herself as a person and as a mom. Isn’t that the best that anyone can do?


MILA August 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I have followed this blog for two years, having found it from doing a “google” search just after becoming a young single mother myself. I have not agreed with all of her ideas or “actions” she’s cared to share with us here…but I have withheld my own judgments, knowing that none of us is perfect. I have never commented before but felt compelled. I’ve read all of these comments and I’m appalled by the judgment and hatred from some, and proud of the love and support from others…especially those who may disagree with her methods, but still approach her with respect. To the poster directly above, and a few others..thank you for your insight and rational thinking. I was the middle of 3 children(all 6, 7 years apart) of a single mother. My brother was spanked too much…my mother admitted that later on that she was so young and immature she thought she was supposed to beat him for everything. I got fewer spankings..though I def. needed them. I was THAT CHILD. I was saved, thankfully, by my loving and understanding older brother who was mature enough to be able to help bridge the gap of understanding between my mother and I. My sister was hardly ever spanked. And yet…we all turned out to be wonderful people and parents. None of us delights in hitting our children, although we sometimes do. As a mother, it hurts me to ever put my hands on my child. But I have never, EVER…hit her in anger. I have never, EVER…hit her hard enough to hurt her…just to get her attention and let her know that I was serious (when my repeated directions didn’t work). I wil continue to do what I need to do to love and protect her. I am no less of a mother because I spank her, am a single mother, or because I make any of the other choices I make. If I choose to blog about our lives, post things on Facebook, or take so many pictures of her that my house is her living portrait studio…I am still her mother who gets up every morning with one goal in mind…to do my best to make her life as enjoyable and full as possible. For me…any mother with that mindset is a wonderful woman…Period. We need to stop judging people because they “spank” their children. To that mother/teacher who admittedly does not employ spanking because you know that you would be out of control and acting in anger…I SALUTE YOU!!! Not because you don’t SPANK your child, but because you realize your limitations and that you love your baby enough to set limits on yourself to protect him/her. To all the mothers, and especially Alaina, whose story I have enjoyed and yes, been inspired by…Keep loving one another, your children, and most importantly…yourselves.


Wine Country Mom August 9, 2010 at 1:51 pm

My kids are too old for spanking now, but when they were younger spanking was a part of their punishment. Now that they’re older, I use chores as their punishment. Talk back to me? Go clean the toilet. Hit your sister? Start mopping the kitchen floor. A commentor on my blog told me, when I wrote about it, that I was ruining my kids by forcing them to do housework. Seems to me that some people believe that guiding your kids should be a fully positive experience and that we should be catering to our kids completely.

And we wonder why many of our kids are spoiled brats who deserve something for nothing, and why crime involving younger kids has gotten really scary.

In my opinion, more kids should be spanked.


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