Book Club Monday #8

I can’t believe June is coming to an end; this month has absolutely flown by. Easy on the Eyes will be out in July, so the countdown is nearing the end with week 8 of my online book club! We’ve been talking about Odd Mom Out and Mrs. Perfect—my two books that feature some of the same characters from Easy on the Eyes. I love receiving reader feedback, but here’s the best part for readers: your comment on each book club question enters you to win an Advanced Reading Copy of Easy on the Eyes. Read it before you can buy it, then spread the word!

Last week we discussed Mrs. Perfect. This week let’s talk about a topic from Odd Mom Out:

Marta thinks, “The problem when you’re a small family, when you’re a family of two, is that there is no one else to give space, distance, perspective. There is no one else to go to, to lean on, to reach for.” Discuss Marta’s struggle as a single mom to get past these difficult times. What are some of the things you do, as a mother, when you’re confronted by a hurtful or difficult situation with your child?

Feel free to contribute without having read Odd Mom Out, but be warned that the comments that follow may contain spoilers.

For more Odd Mom Out, read an excerpt, download the whole Reader’s Guide, check out some book extras, and order your copy from Amazon!

About TIMING of PRIZES: The winner will be drawn (randomly, of course) shortly after the next book club gets posted. So, sometime next Monday, when I find a sliver of time between sleeping and caring for a itty-bitty baby, I will do the winner thing. If it waits until Tuesday, no one stress, okay? Thanks! And thanks for participating!

Please also read an important note about blog contests.  

27 Comments

  1. My mom was single when single motherhood was not common. She struggled one day at a time to provide for her baby (me) and make a life for us. Her lifelines
    were a couple of loyal female friends who supplied her with emotional support. They would come to talk or babysit or even bring food. After much work and persistence my mom did well in the business world, remarried and now has a successful life. She taught me perseverance and independence. Marta reminded me of my mom by the way she got on with life in spite of the obstacles. Many times my mother had to ignore the negative comments of others and keep her eyes focused on her goals. She was in many ways and still is her own person. Odd Mom Out was my first Jane Porter book. I enjoyed it especially because of Marta.

  2. I was a single mom for a long time and when we had a difficult situation come up we sat down and talked to each other. We were completely honest. I feel like if my child was able to ask the questions, they deserve the real answer. I may not have given all the details, but I always tell the truth.

  3. i remember when i was a single mom, my then 6 year old son came to me and asked why his dad didn’t call or visit. man did that break my heart!

    i told him i didn’t know why. his dad is the only one with the answer and he should definitely ask him if he ever calls or visits and that he needs to remember that he is so much loved by me, family + friends.

  4. I’ve never been a single Mom but I know that if I was I would have sat down with the child and explained why I did the things I did and that Love played an overpowering role in my decisions.

  5. I’m spoiled, I haven’t had to face many hurtful or difficult situations with my kids, although they’re only 2 and 9 months! My oldest, though, is a total Daddy’s girl, and sometimes it hurts when she falls down or something and *only* wants Daddy to comfort her. While I’m glad that she and her father are so close, I feel helpless at points. But I read somewhere that it’s our job to love our kids, it’s not their job to love us, so I just do the best I can and love the dickens out of her, even if she pushes me away because she’s hugging Daddy instead!

  6. I wasn’t a single mom, just an odd mom who taught school, more than a full-time job, helped my husband with his photography business, took night classes, required of teachers, and was a mom. My Ex was cheap and most of the time we shoppe Walmart and TJ Maxx, using cash only.

    My sweet daughter wanted the designer labels her friends liked and for me to look like the moms who bought “nice” things, decorated their houses and fit the preferred mold.

    I never did fit that mold. One day my lovely child told me she told her friends her mom was eccentric to explain my clothes and jewelry. That hurt, but I told her I was an individual and she had all my love.

    I seldom hit her with the guilt card because she has big health issues. Her dad was always critical of me and she was sometimes the same. I finally told her I would never say anything hurtful to her and that hit home. I never tell her I’m too busy for her or to do BIG favors for her.

    How can you yell at someone who always hurts and is your kid? As a mama, I usually suck it up and she always calls to apologize for her bad moods.
    Today she understands better.

  7. Sometimes the words I love you are the hardest to say. You tell them reqardless that you love them. Engulf them in a large hug and after when they leave boasted by your confidence in them, you cry.
    Being a mom is not a pretty job. Sometimes its the hardest job in the world. Luckily 99.9% of the time we get it right. Remember, while you get lessons on having a baby, God forgets to send the owner’s manual. :o)

  8. We relented and got our youngest daughter a cell phone recently. She had many rules that went along with it, such as NO one was to have her number but family and one friend. The friend she chose lives across the street and she has a friend who started texting my daughter. When she asked her how she got her number, the girl replied “it is being spread around.” This upset my daughter because she thought she’d get in trouble. I confronted the friend across the street and her friend, as well as the mother that it wasn’t okay to lie to my daughter. There had been many incidents over the years when I was approached about things my daughter did or said and I took care of them, and she was often grounded or on restrictions as a result. Now the neighbors aren’t speaking to us and my daughter has no one to hang out with this summer. The friend is mad she got in trouble. Double standard, hard to explain to an 11 year old. She is hurt and so am I that she lost her friend.

  9. Not only am I a single Mom but I am a single Mom raising 2 little boys one who was born with Cancer.

    I was lucky enough to have the support of my own Mother during the treatments my lil guy.

    We are now celebrating my lil guys 3 years in remission today. I have learned that God never gives you more then you can handle. And obviously he thinks I can handle a ton :o)

  10. I wasn’t a single mom, but I look up to all of the single moms out there. It isn’t easy being a mom and I can’t imagine trying to do it all on my own. I think if I was in that situation I would be as honest as I could be with my child. I don’t think it’s right to lie and cover up issues just to make the children feel better. Eventually one day they will find out the truth anyway, so it would back fire on you. I think it is most important to love your children unconditionally and tell them you love them!!

  11. OK, so this is a really interesting question. Answer…first i eat chocolate… then as difficult as it is, I try to understand what my child is going through that made her/him do or say what they did. Ultimately they are responsible for their own behavior and the consequences but I know they’re great kids who are going through “stuff” and are in the process of learning how to deal with life (I have teenagers) and how to respond. So trying to focus on the issues that they are working on helps me see where their stress level is. It’s amazing how they are able to calm down when they feel that they are understood. I havent been in the position of having a family of two like Marta but

  12. I was a single mom for a while, a few times. That’s a long story. I have had to face many difficult times with my children where there was no one else to lean on but each other. I found it easier to talk to them after having spent all of the emotions involved (usually alone in my closet. lol.) The hardest issues to deal with are their feelings. Their misbehaviors were much easier to deal with. So long as I kept my temper. When you’re a family of two (or three or four) and you are the only adult, it is a strong love that keeps it all together. That’s what I always remembered in those hard times. How much I love them and would do absolutely anything for them. And I will continue, even though I’m not that single parent anymore (and man is it nice to have another pair of hands.)

    P.S. I LOVED Odd Mom Out. I don’t think I’ve ever identified with a book character more in my life. Wait, then there was Flirting with Forty too….

  13. I’ve felt like a single mom many times over the years when my husband was deployed with the military but I did not have the financial worries. My heart goes out to moms like Marta in Odd Mom Out. I know what it’s like to be tired of seeing just the three of us and not having anyone new enter the house, it’s the same old routine. But you have to reach out to friends and accept help.

    I also feel it’s so hard to decide when your kids are in a bad situation whether to step in or not. I believe our kids need to know we are in their corner. I recently had to do such a thing when my daughter was being bullied in her 5th grade class. I spoke with her teacher and the school administration and it made a difference and my daughter feels that I am listening to her and I will speak up for her. Parenting is a roller coaster. Once you feel you have one “phase” under control they move into another one!

  14. I think you just have to remember that sometimes you have to be the adult – you’re the mother, not the child or a friend of the child. It can be rough. You also have to remember that you can love someone without liking them all that much, all the time. And as a single parent, you just do the best that you can and try to be there for your kids.

  15. I am from a small family and we had no other family in the US. We always said that our friends were our chosen family. My parents have both passed away and I have always looked to my older sister for support or to my bff and they too me. I ask friends who have teenage boys for a perspective on how to deal with my 12 year old son, since I know nothing about teen boys! LOL

    It’s difficult when your kids are hurt. The best thing you can do I have learned is listen and hug it out! They don’t always want advice — just like we want some one to be empathetic to our feelings because we know what we “should do”.

  16. I am not a single mother but my daughter and I do not get along…She is a daddy’s girl and she truly believes that she can treat me what ever way she feels like. Unfortunately, until recently my husband proved her right. If I yelled at her or punished her for something, my husband would yell at me and defend her in front of her. So basically, I held no power in this house when I am the only parent in it most of the time. Now that she is 10 and starting to show real signs of the spoiled girl she has become, my husband is trying to support me instead but I just don’t think it’s enough. It’s a long and hard road ahead but I refuse to give up. My daughter will not be a spoiled brat the rest of her life. Anyway, I have gone to a friend to help me understand how to handle her in better calmer ways…I try to make sure she knows I love her no matter what but respect is a 2 way street. And she needs to be reminded of it continuously.

  17. Oddly enough. I had just started reading Odd Mom Out this week when I saw your Facebook page.

    When I read the first chapter, I was taken back to when my sons were young, intellectual, shy and with almost no friends.

    My stomach clinched. For first reaction when they are unfairly in pain is to want to hurt someone back.

    That of course doesn’t help. Besides, attacking a small child looks so bad, LOL.

    Eventually they came out ahead with lots of friends, starting with girls who appreciated their abilities to talk.

    However the pain of your child is so much worse than anything that could happen to one as a mother that I completely remember the pain.

    It is so hard to help. So often the child would rather pretend all is well and not have to talk and pretend all is well. But finally, I do think that is the best approach. If necessary talking not directly about the problem but something similar. This won’t fool them but gives them room to save face and not feel pressured.

    I always did let them know I was upset too. That seemed an acknowledgment of unfairness, which they deserved.

    I look forward to your new book!

  18. I think single mom’s are amazing. I don’t know if I could do it without my husband.

    We’re able to take turns when we hit those difficult times with the kids — finding that delicate balance in parenting, trying not to give them everything they ask for, but wanting them to have some special things too, the tantrums, the rewarding moments…the whole deal.

    It’s so hard to be the adult sometimes when your child is screaming “It’s not fair” and all you want to do is scream yourself, but I keep praying for strength to be a better more patient mom, and praying for forgiveness for the times I blow it.

  19. Maybe the fact that I too was a single Mom of two girls is the reason I identified with Odd Mom Out so much. Odd Mom Out was my favorite book and I can’t believe I didn’t put it together until now. It wasn’t easy and there were a lot of tears and hugs and holding them. Other kids can be so cruel – single Mom’s weren’t the norm when mine were little but we made it and I can remember my youngest (after an incident in Burdines where my oldest accidentally walked into a man and he scolded her)
    at which point I gave him a piece of my mind and told the girls to run when we got to the door and the youngest said “You know Mom we may be a small family but we are tough famiy.”

  20. I was a single mom with 2 daughters and I have to admit there were some difficult times,especiallly with the teenage years. Sometimes I didn’t think I would make it through but we always seem to don’t we? My girls are now grown and the most beautiful, loving, thoughtful daughters I could ask for. Those tough times seem like so long ago. I’m very thankful for them both.
    Dawn

  21. Hi Jane,
    I am a single mom 3 weeks a month as my husband travels for work out of the country. I am raising my two teenaged twin stepdaughters and my son. I just found out that one of the twins has decided to live with her mom when dad is gone. It upsets the household balance but I cannot blame her. I would want to be with my mom too and not my stepmom. We are like oil and water but I am still a little sad she has chosen to do this. I will get through it but it is tough…Being a mom is the toughest job I have ever had but being a step mom is even more difficult…
    Michelle

  22. Like Pattie above, I have stepped in and done what is morally right. You have to stick to your guns, so to speak. Yes, sometimes your child (and you) gets hurt in the process, but life includes pain too. It would hurt far more in the long run to have NOT stepped in.

  23. Blog Book Club Contest Winner!

    Good afternoon, everyone. I’ve randomly drawn a name out of a hat and this is what I got:

    Congratulations to #13 Ambellina, you are this contest’s winner. Please send me a private email with your address and we’ll get your ARC of Easy on the Eyes out in the mail to you.

    Thanks to everyone for discussing the novel and let’s have another great conversation this week! I hope to see everyone’s reader reviews online (at your blog, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, Facebook…).

    Yours,
    Jane
    http://www.janeporter.com

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