Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Makes Carla a Happy Healthy Hip Parent

I met Carla through our Single Parents Connection on Facebook. She’s a single mother of three. Her oldest, Bud, is 13. Kaitybug is 11 and Miss E is 6.

Like many single parents, Carla works numerous jobs. She is a substitute teacher, an on-air talent for Froggy 106.7 and a Recovery Coordinator for her church.

Carla took some time out of her hectic schedule to talk about what makes her a happy, healthy, hip parent.

1) What makes you happy, as a parent (besides when your kids finally fall asleep)?

As a single mom I’m not ashamed to admit it’s having a night off!

2) What’s the healthiest thing about your relationship with your children?

I let them feel what they feel. I was taught “cry today, get up tomorrow,” but I want my kids to know that it’s ok to have a bad day. I want them to live life instead of plowing through it.

3) Kids say the cutest things. What is the funniest story you recall about each of your children?

Miss E. is the comedian of the family but her most recent funny moment was this Halloween. She was a bee… “so I can sting the boys.”

When Bud was in sixth grade we started talking about his future and how to achieve his goals. He wanted to get online and look at colleges so I showed him how; five minutes went by and I heard “Mom I’ve found the college for me!” I asked how he knew it was the one to which he replied, “Because it has two floors in the cafeteria!” I was quickly reminded that he’s still very much a kid.

Kaitybug likes to tell on me. I got pulled over by a police officer for speeding and while he was standing at the window asking for my information she piped up and said “Hey Mom, does he know you ran that red light too?”

4) What is your biggest parenting challenge?

Crawling into bed at night and not having someone there to fall into.

5) What’s your favorite family-friendly restaurant (name and city, please).

Casa Mare in Fort Wayne, IN.

6) What’s your favorite activity you enjoy with your children?

It’s different with each of them…I love when I put Miss E. to bed and we say our prayers. She is truly selfless in those moments. With Kaitybug she and I are growing closer and I’m watching her become a young lady. I love to listen to her talk about her friends while she helps me cook. And my son…my favorite thing to do with him is take him out to eat alone. I get his full attention and he gets mine. It means a lot to him, which in turn means a lot to me.

7) How would your children describe you?

A few weeks ago we had a meeting at church which my son and I were apart of. We each had assigned seats so he sat at the back of the room and I was at the front. At the beginning of the meeting, we were asked if anyone wanted to share good things going on or blessings in their life. A few people stood up and shared and then my son stood up. He said with a trembling lip, “I am so thankful my mom is my mom. She taught us about God and that changed our life. My mom is my hero.”

My children and I have been through so much in their short time on this Earth and that night he gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, they see my heart above my past. They hear my love above my words. The feel God above the moment.

8) Who or where do you go to for parenting advice?

I have an inner circle of friends that know my heart and know my past. They aren’t afraid to tell me the truth and I have the utmost respect for each of them so I turn to them often. But before any of that, I pray. I simply pray.

9) What advice would you give to new or expecting parents?

Your job is to be their parent not their friend.

10) What is your proudest parenting moment?

When someone tells me how much they enjoy being around my kids, not because of my parenting but because of the people they are…I think my kids are awesome and love to hear when others see them that way too!

Carla is an inspiration to all parents and I truly believe that her kids are the wonderful people they are because of her. Children learn by example, and through hard work, discipline and balancing work and family successfully, Carla’s three children are just as successful; just as happy, healthy and hip.

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