by Crystal Pintac, Welcome to the Nut House
(Is anyone else singing the song by Digital Underground?)
I am thenutfantastic on Twitter and of the blog Welcome to the Nut House. I chose the name ‘nuthouse’ because at times, with anywhere from 3-6 dogs, a kid and myself, that’s what it feels like.
I am a single mom. I have been a single mom since my son, who is now 11, was 4 months old. Technically I was a single mom since he was born since my now ex-husband didn’t do much to help nor did he take much of an interest in our son. When my kid was 2 months old I made the decision to seek a divorce and when he was 4 months old we moved in with my parents (where we stayed for 7 very long years).
My son also has the distinct pleasure of being biracial: he’s half Filipino, half Caucasian. You wouldn’t know he’s got a white mama by looking at him and often other kids and adults have been surprised when they see me instead. He’s got a tan all year round as well as the beautifully thick dark brown Asian hair. We’ve had a time of it in the public school system because a lot of kids have never seen a Filipino so have not been sure where to place my boy in terms of labels and categories. He wears his hair long, doesn’t care if people use the female pronouns when referring to him and overall doesn’t much care for sports.
When my son was 2, I decided to go back to school. I worked part-time and attended VCU full-time, graduating in December 2005 with a bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies (aka Women’s Studies) and a minor in English. Currently I am in my 3rd year of a 4 year masters of social work program at VCU.
See? Still nuts!
My son attends the IB Program at Lucille Brown Middle School and I am so proud of the hard work he put into studying in order to pass the admissions test. He’s got a lot more hard work ahead of him but both of us are up to the challenge as we’re both tired of him being bored in school, which lands him in trouble.
Perhaps we’re a family of over achievers? Or we’re just nuts?
In my spare time we open our home to foster pit bulls (ish) through a group called Ring Dog Rescue. Currently we have a 7 and 12 week old puppy and 3 adults ranging in age from 2-5 years. Two of the oldest dogs are mine; found wandering the streets and alleys of Church Hill.
I also keep busy by being a hospital advocate through the RHART Program with the YWCA. There are many people, mostly women, who voluntarily sign up for 12 hour shifts 2 or 3 times a month. We are on-call during that 12 hours and can be called into the ER of MCV or any Bon Secours hospital to sit with a woman who has been a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. Essentially, we volunteer to see women on their worst day in order to help them process the traumatic event or comfort them.
Have no fear, I’ll be writing solely about what it’s like to be a feminist single mom in all capacities e.g. dating, sex, kids getting on your nerves, blending families, staying single by choice, etc., ‘cause let’s be honest, it’s hard. Most of the time I love it; however, there are plenty of times when I don’t. There are a lot of times when I am fully aware just how my single life could be so much easier without the attached-at-the-hip baggage.
For example, when the kid has the flu and I’m the only one around to take care of him. Or when he gets suspended and there isn’t anyone else but me to deal with his needing care during the day, punishment and/or enforcement. Or the times he gets sick and has to be picked up from school, which means I have to take time off work. Or the intense pressure on you to work work work because there is no one else to pay the bills.
All this hard work pays off, though, when I see him finally get it, that ‘aha’ moment most parents look for and hope to see in their kids. The moment your kid proves to you they’ve been listening all along, just not directly. Maybe I’ll share some of those stories. I may even share some of the not so pretty stories when I realize I’ve become way too much of a grizzly and need to back off. It happens a lot while being the only real parent out of a possible 2 parent tag team.
What a taste of things to come, yeah? If you have any questions, comments or would like me to talk about something specific, lemme know! I’m a wide open kinda gal and do not embarrass easily.