Raising Boys, Working From Home, Music and Another Lesson For Me

No Doubt JAG
No Doubt JAG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m no different than the rest of the parents in the world — I think my kids are the coolest. You busted me. From time to time, I’ve even used them to further my Facebook [insert sarcasm] popularity. I never wanted to be one of those parents, but, I can’t help it at times.

Personally, I think I’ve done a fine enough job of embarrassing myself. Here are more Facebook status updates from the archives of my life.

Judge for yourself.

Courtesy of Robin Matteri Facebook

As a mother who works from home, it’s hard to balance work, guilt, and everything else. Summer vacation proved to be an obstacle course similar to a set-up on the television game show Wipeout.

My son wanted attention, and I needed to work. After a few days, staying home began to make me feel more guilty than dropping him off at daycare. Finally, I had to break it down to him. Here’s how it happened:

Me: Nicholas, you have to pretend I’m one of those normal moms who goes to work each morning in an office or something. I’m so sorry but I can’t cater to you every second of the day. We’ll play hockey in a couple hours. Why don’t you go read a book for thirty minutes.

Nicholas: Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t hear you since you’re at work in some office.

My oldest is eighteen now and I’ve been blocked by him on Facebook more times than I can count. It’s tough raising boys when you’re a sappy mom who has NO clue. During a time when I wasn’t blocked one of Tyler’s Facebook status updates made my heart sing. (See Screenshot below)

I think what he’s trying to say is that his love of music is diversified and because of this, he’s become a more culturally aware person. His ability to love No Doubt and Eminem defines him as a person who appreciates art.

I taught him early to respect people who were free in showing vulnerability through music. I allowed him to listen to music that no other mother would have believed. I explained to him how art evolves in many forms and words translate differently to everyone.

In this respect, I am completely triumphant as a parent. So here is the actual screenshot from his Facebook page. Pay attention to the comments which are hilarious and sweet. Bottom line? I didn’t completely “f” up as a mother.

THIS boy LOVES me. :)

Screenshot courtesy of Tyler Hall Facebook


He Was No Tom Selleck: Lessons From Dad After He Passed

*Originally shared at Yahoo! Voices in June 2014—- My parents divorced when I was three, and as a result, I became a statistic. In the ’70s, divorce was a new concept, and the psychology of parenting wasn’t anything people thought about changing. In truth, the notion of parenting roles was still vague during these times. Fathers were not viewed as less actively involved with children — not like mothers — so weekend visitation (in the rare case of divorce) was socially accepted.

My dad carried his weight with visitation and child support but didn’t go beyond. He attended my graduations from 8th grade and high school but other than that; he was absent.

As a child, he was my hero. I told my friends that he was the coolest guy ever. I often compared his looks to Tom Selleck (he was young and popular then!) and bragged about how much fun he was.

Tom Selleck on the red carpet at the 1989 Acad...
Tom Selleck on the red carpet at the 1989 Academy Awards, March 29, 1989 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In hindsight, I only remember going anywhere with him twice. Once to Disneyland and once to a zoo.

As a teen, I began to struggle with his role. I rebelled at the idea that he was sort of a deadbeat, but the realization was becoming clearer. He was a hard man to please, and it was nearly impossible to get his attention.

After the birth of my first child, I began to feel pity for him. He spent his free-time with his buddies at the bar; he was uninterested in my life. At first, I was angry. Years made me soften, and my fondness for Psychology made me analyze him.

This analysis made me very aware of his pain. I began to forgive.

My dad passed away seven years ago from complications with his liver. A result from excessive drinking. A few years before he died, I was able to repair our relationship. He had quit drinking, and I learned I liked him. I was almost 30 years old before I realized how similar I was to him. His desire to become a better grandpa was ultimately what repaired our relationship.

He became the dad I had always wanted. He was a great grandpa to my kids.

His legacy carries into my life on a daily basis. I think about him during every aspect of my role as a parent. I continue to strive to be a better mom, and I always look at the good and bad of my dad.

He has indirectly taught me more about being a parent than I could ever have imagined.

You’re Officially a Parent to an Adult: Now What? (Great For New Parents Too)

I’m officially the parent of an adult. If this revelation doesn’t make a girl feel old, well, nothing will. At the end of this year, I’ll turn forty and that still doesn’t make me feel as old as I do when I look at my baby boy-and an adult stares back at me.

I never thought this day would come, for two reasons:

  1. I’m pretty sure I should be dead by now. It took me a few years to get it “together” and there were times when I wasn’t sure.
  2. I’m no different than any other mother. In my mind, that child is still watching Barney the purple dinosaur, calling me Mama, and needs the Cheerios cut in half.
    A box of Cheerios breakfast cereal.
    A box of Cheerios breakfast cereal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, friends, my son is eighteen. He’s still a senior in high school, but I’m sure, as I type these words, he’s out buying lottery tickets, cigarettes, and adult magazines. After all, I planned his birth so perfectly that his admission into adulthood fell on a Friday. The “party” I had for him tonight should have been for me.

I did all the work—from creation to enduring fat ankles, to pushing, to raising, to panicking…. I’m the one who had to quit drinking and smoking for nine months, give or take!

He just popped out into the world like, “WAT up lady! I’m gonna give you a heart-attack by the time you’re thirty.”“What’s up lady! I’m gonna give you a heart-attack by the time you’re thirty.”

And I, like a naive new mother, just stared at him in amazement-completely oblivious to the fact that one day, he’d be a man.

The Big Question: What Do I Do Now?

After some consideration and a few tears, I devised a plan that offers solutions for my greatest challenges and concerns.

Recognize the Past as the Past: Every parent has regret, guilt, and a bit of remorse over things that could’ve been done differently. God knows I’ve cried myself to sleep at times with worry. In order to be the best Mother, going forward, I can only acknowledge mistakes from the past and learn from them. In order to get over the past, I have to forgive myself. (Check!)

Let Him Figure Explore Life Through His Own Mistakes: There, I said it, and it’s the truth. In order to make sure I don’t hinder the life lesson’s my son deserves, I have no choice but to allow him to make his own decisions. I have to also allow him to experience success and failure in decision-making. The hardest part is shutting up. I’ve been practicing though, so I’m feeling confident. (Check!)

Tip: New parents can avoid the regret, and guilt or minimize it by learning how to plan for all the stages of growth. I wish I had.

Build a Relationship With an Adult: He’s no longer my baby; that realization is finally sinking in. With that being said, I’m committed to building a relationship that is solid in respect, admiration, and love. I’m excited to watch my son navigate through life as an adult, I really a. (Check!)

Tell Him I’m Ready to be a Grandma: What!! He’s a teenager, he refuses to do what I say. (Check-MATE!)

Tell Him Only Idiots go to College: Ditto! (Check!)

Tip: Take advantage of the savings Amazon offers to college students when you join Amazon Student. There’s still time to plan ahead for the next leg of the trip.

My Grandpa Being Funny
Papa Matteri and Tyler. He was always a funny man to us.

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The CEO and CFO of “Robin Matteri Writer”

CEO and CFO of ME--My Boys




….. the company doing business as, “Mom!”


I may not punch in and out, and do not have hours consistent to you regular folks— ya know, like, Monday to Friday. The wages may be borderline on nothing, but, the fringe benefits are enormous.

Thanks for supporting us by reading my writing…. it’s appreciated by everyone.

My son and I age 10 1293832509587

My Imaginary Boyfriend–Direct Quote From My Son… GASP!

Tyler and I --- Eyes
Me and my son when he was 10-years-old, taking a selfie, before they were cool.

From the Facebook Archives of my life, and of course, my real world. My boys are constantly messing with me –karma, of course — so I have no choice but to accept it. The thing that pisses me off most is how absolutely clever they are.

—A classic conversation between me and my oldest—I think he was about fifteen years old at the time. His wit will never stop making me laugh, and will always be sharper than mine.

Me: “Tyler, give me your girlfriends number, I want to text her.”

Tyler: “No. I don’t want you texting my girlfriend.

I don’t text your imaginary boyfriend.”