Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blog for Today's Parent

Ok! Here goes. One day before the deadline to submit your blog to Today's Parent, for any chance to prove to fellow Canadians that we are all different and unique. I guess I'm not the only mom or dad who got excited about this opportunity! I've been writing for years and keeping a blog for almost two. I'm the typical writer who never knows where to start and often doesn't post a piece until the very last minute, I feel as though my journalistic capabilities have been really lacking in the past several years- not that I'm blaming it on parenthood-or my day job. But, I really don't get to sit in the silence I need to create and write like I would like to very often. I rarely stay up past 10:30-without just cause.
Recently though however, I got this burst of inspiration for something I really want to do- that is write about being a mom in this world. My situation is common but with a slightly imperfect twist. I'm not only a single mother, I'm an only parent. My daughter's dad passed away three years ago when she was five. I say it was a good thing we were split up when it all happened because she was able to deal with the blow a lot easier. Don't get me wrong, his death was the second hardest thing I've ever dealt with, first being the passing of my own mom, seven months before. It has been challenging raising my girl alone- but you know what? I can say that I don't have anyone to blame or ague with about what I think is right or wrong as far as parenting and morals go. I know she is always safe because I know where she is at all times and there are no crazy mind games going on between the mom and dad- so she gets to remain innocent in all this- for that I am so grateful.
I'm not saying I'm perfect in any way and I always wish I could do more, but trust me things were hard when we split. In place of that, I don't get a break every second weekend- he doesn't help pay for extra curricular activities- or child support, and I haven't had much time to myself. I hardly ever spring for a sitter so I can go out-mainly because I am a home-body and like to stick to my routine- and chill at home with my girl, but it pretty much costs ten bucks just to walk out the door alone. When I have to work the odd weekend shift or in the evening, I alternate child minding/play dates with other mom's and friends. I really love my life but I am still working on many things. Somewhere along the way I think that I have finally found an inspiration to start writing again, though. My daughter is now 8-years-old and is beginning to show signs of independence that I may sit a bit longer at the computer in the evening and think and write. I would like to share my thoughts because I have many stories of life experiences that I would like to get out there to others. I am going to continue blogging- even though they are a bit rusty at this point. I am putting it out there. Kudos to all parent blogger's and I hope we cross paths in this journey.
I'll definitely tell you more about myself in the blog posts that follow. Please be assured I do not live a sad life and every day is filled with happiness and laughter. But it is also very real and I have much gratitude in knowing that I can go to the beat of my own drum. That my friends, I have learned from my lovely daughter.
Thanks to everyone at Today's Parent for the opportunity for this quest that I have wanted to put out to you for years.


Maria Karampelas
Port Hope, Ontario
pic taken a few year's ago when I looked younger

My Lovely daughter-so cute :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Just write everyday and good things will come...

Having a child is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She couldn't have come a long at a better time. Even though we had not planned her and it was a scary thought seeing as I had just finished my final year of Broadcast Journalism only days before she was born and her dad had been on strike from work for six months leading up to her birth. I was 26-years-old, lwith enough energy and mature enough to handle a precious baby. On the forefront, this was a road that I was ready to go down and despite the turmoils with my partner at the time. I knew I would be making some sacrifices as far as my career was concerned, but I would say I have come out of the beginning years with the biggest gift of all. I have a very strong bond with my little girl and for that I am grateful.

I live in Port Hope, Ontario, 154 km East of Toronto. I suppose it's pretty ordinary to live in a province in Canada, near a large city. Unfortunately, I hardly ever go to the city. I would like to take the time to go more often. I moved here 11 years ago with my daughter's dad. I am originally from Vancouver, but we moved here from New Brunswick, where I originally met him. Having moved quite a few times in my life so far, I have decided to stay put for the time being. All this regardless of the fact that I feel as though I've been laying dormant as of late and that there could be more opportunity out west or east- or even just up the road. There are many places I would rather be than Port Hope, Ontario- don't get me wrong it really is a very beautiful little town - and great place to raise a child. I am staying put for now because I have wonderful friends...a good support system to make up for the fact that we have absolutely no family near-by. I think that is a good reason to stay. Plus my daughter loves her life and is very happy. I know Momma needs to happy too though.

I work at a restaurant-which is something that is also going to change sooner or later, of course! Cause I know that dream job is going to come walking right through the doors someday and sweep me off my feet- or is that supposed to be the dream man?
No boyfriend -completely single because quite frankly, I've never met Mr. Right-sad but true. I am getting better with being alone. Having just broke it off with someone I tried seeing for the past four months, I decided I would rather spend my hibernation period alone this winter, than wondering when I will see the guy who can't make the time to come for a visit from Whitby.
Aside from my dreaming, I am a very real person. My little girl is the apple of my eye. She is the sweetest kid in the world. I admit I am in pretty good shape for a woman of my age who doesn't go to the gym. I'm no runway model, but I have confidence that I am happy enough with my looks. I do wish I could attend a regular yoga class or two a week. But it is costly and so I just factor it into my regular at home/beach workouts.

Back to the relationship dilemma I just haven't met the right person. Certainly I have tried once or twice even ending up on an on line dating website in a desperate attempt to see if there is anyone in another "pond" worth meeting.
Sure I eventually met someone but I may as well not of because I'm really starting to feel that men are a waste of my time right now. Maybe I'll have some luck a few years down the road. If anything good does happen, I might blog about it someday.
For now though- I know I have one month left before the end of the year, and 26 days until Christmas, and approximately 35 days until my 35th birthday. The last thing I'm going to stress about is a man right now. I just dumped a guy I tried to date for 4 months- who I wasn't even that attracted to, but he seemed nice at first.

I lost my craft for writing somewhere along the way- and I'm working on getting it back -So knowing that I want to write again that's what I'm doing now when I'm not doing momma duty, walking the dog, working or cleaning. Now I get to work on what I want. Since the beginning of my career as a journalist, my writing concentration was always something I had to make time for. As the years progressed and Emily grew- my concentration level has shrunk. But now, I'm finally seeing a break in the pattern. All of the sudden I have seen little breaks in time- for me! I will embrace this now and start looking to my own wants and needs. My daughter only needs me to do this as well.

I have many friends in the same situation. Artists who haven't painted in years because they put their responsibilities first- but it is sometimes needed to have a break.

Today I do not have to go to work. I am not going to the laundry mat- and it's raining so hard that the dog doesn't even want to go for a walk. I will not clean my house, and I will not go to the grocery store right now- because I am putting my self out there. By sitting here and finishing up this last little blog, I am allowing myself one step closer to sending a message to someone who may want to read my story.