How do you intend to live the rest of your life after Separation/Divorce'?
Write it down. In detail. Let's get real here.
I imagine your response is similar to what mine was, I just want to be happy, I want to be a good parent, and have good relationships with the people I love - especially my kids. I want my relationship with my ex to have a flow and ease to it. All great stuff!
Now close your eyes and in your mind's eye - really see it happening, imagine your life the way you want it to be, as if it's happening right now. Who would be in your life? How would you act towards others?
How would it feel?
Please, really do the visualization. It's so powerful.
It only needs to be for 5 mins or so! You know you're onto something when you can feel your body physically responding to the visualization - like happy tingling and just an overall positive feeling building in your body.
Continue on with the visualization daily or weekly or...
Last week, a friend’s brother committed suicide. He was going through a hard divorce and he had very limited access to his kids, because his ex requested full custody. He had little community resources at his disposal. Eventually, he could see no way out except one. He isn’t the first and he probably won’t be the last.
What a devastating blow to his children who love him immensely.
So, here I am, asking all mother’s everywhere, who may be considering Separation/Divorce or who are in the midst of mediation or court. Please. Think of your children first. And when thinking of your children, remember that the two people your children love most in the world are: you and their dad.
And having been in your shoes, I understand full well that you and their dad probably aren’t seeing eye to eye on much these days. And that you feel as though you know how to care for your children far better than he does.
We can do better.
The events in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA this past week have really fueled my fire. It has got me thinking really, really deeply. And just to be clear, I live in Canada, but I’d be naive to think that hatred and violence could never happen here for similar reasons.
Racism is so evil. Hating someone based on nothing but their race is impossible for me to understand. Religious persecution is evil. Sexism. Patriarchy. To see someone as less than you. Seeing yourself as more entitled.
With that backdrop, how do we even begin to start a discussion? Where’s the common ground? How can we get to a point where each side can truly see the other, to understand the other, to see each other with compassion and as fellow human beings?
It feels too big a mountain. Too hard.
And when I think of my children. It all scares me to the core.
Is this the world we want to give to our...
What a circus parenting is sometimes – except none of the adults are laughing, when they are all at an event for their child/step child and just trying to make sure it's all cordial.
It can literally feel like a circus I’m sure. When you’re all together, it can feel like you are competing to get (and keep) your kids’ attention. Cause somehow, your worth as a parent is gauged by whether or not your child wants to hang out with you more, when they have the option of hanging out with any parent they want! You know you’ve thought it and felt the pang of hurt when they choose your ex! :)
Now I’m not there yet, I’m dating a great man but haven’t introduced the kids. My ex is keeping a low dating profile, so I’m not sure where he’s at exactly, but certainly no one new has been introduced to the kids on his side either.
However, last week, I did find myself at my girls’ gymnastics finale –...
Let's be honest, parenting is a hard gig. Thank-goodness, it takes a community to raise a child :) I have found such comfort in this idea and since my Separation have come to see that this is the only possible way to raise children while keeping your own sanity and personal interests.
Juggling children on your own (even if you are a part of an amazing co-parenting team, you still have the children on your own for large chunks of time) is exhausting and awesome and so many things in between. And the pressure to do it all as parents is SO HUGE, it’s absolutely crushing at times.
Now, before my Separation, I was never one to ask for help. I’m sure I’m not the only one here :)
However, once I was Separated, there was no way I could handle everything on my own, which forced my hand: I had to be open to help that was offered and to even (terrifyingly) admit I needed some.
My kids are also getting older and with each year that passes, the world...
This was such a terrifying question to me initially because I didn't feel that I could ever explain the situation well enough to really have the kids understand. Keep in mind my kids were 6yrs and 3yrs old when their dad and I separated.
I spent a ton of time, as my marriage was ending and during the first year or more after we moved apart, being paralyzed by this immensely terrifying fear and doom, where I thought that by separating, our kids were now officially damaged beyond repair and essentially ruined BUT at the same time wishing and hoping and praying that they would completely and always be happy through it all. Like the slightest tear was a sign of my complete failure as a mother and needed to be wiped away and replaced with a smile as quickly as possible.
My marriage ending was my cross to bear for eternity. I was a shitty mom because my kids were grieving the family unit they’d known since birth. My failure in a marriage had caused them...
Sleep. Yes, I’m serious.
No matter where you are on your Separation/Divorce path right now, your life will improve with more sleep! Just try it.
Your parenting will also improve with more sleep. It’s a win-win. It’s almost like magic.
On my worst days, which are usually around the end of the week, when I’m completely exhausted from work, and I’m kicking myself for not getting as much done as I had planned at the beginning of the week. And I also need to dig deep, to somehow find patience for the kids, this insanity is always because I’m low on sleep.
And getting enough sleep is certainly a struggle with a million other priorities, absolutely, unquestionably.
However, I have actually consciously gotten a solid 8 hrs of sleep a night, for say, a week at a time, and my life improves. And so will yours. Try it for a week. Even just commit to a certain number of nights a week, where you’ll make...
Thank-you. Your unconditional love has been invaluable. It has softened the way your dad and I relate to each other as co-parents. We both want to make you proud.
No matter who’s weekend it is, if your activities are double booked, then the parent who’s ‘off’ pitches in to drive you to your activity, or a visit with friends, or an appointment. We are a team for you kids and don’t want you to miss out on any opportunities because of a completely inflexible child sharing routine. So please speak up if you want to go or do something, don’t feel like you can’t or shouldn’t, just because you know there’s already something else planned. Please don’t settle.
We may not always have the exact same rules. However, we’ve got the same themes when it comes to discipline and expectations for you and how you can contribute to the family unit. I’m sorry that at...
How far out of your comfort zone will you go for your kids?
This question came to mind last week as we were celebrating our twin girls' birthday! Holy Smokes does time go by so quickly! In another decade they’ll be 20 and off figuring out a life of their own, which makes me so proud and so sad all at the same time.
Anyways, this got me thinking about how well or smoothly my ex and I have celebrated their birthdays since we've been separated.
For the majority of birthday parties we’ve celebrated since separation, the kids have wanted their birthday party at a place – like an indoor rock climbing park, a trampoline place, an indoor amusement park, an indoor jungle gym place, etc. All of these have one huge benefit – they are on neutral ground.
This year was different though.
One of the girls wanted an ‘at home’ birthday party, and since her birthday party fell on a weekend the kids were at their dad’s house, the party was...
I LOVE to read! Books are what I turn to first, when I need to learn anything or just to escape into another world. I read to relax, I read to learn, I read to go on an adventure, and lots more! So, as you can imagine, I read a lot as I went through my separation. And figured if there's any other book lovers out there, then perhaps you might enjoy this list!
So, here they are, in random order, books I lived and died by when I was first Separated and in the midst of chaos, figuring out what my next steps were going to be – and figuring out WHO WAS I AS A SINGLE PERSON ANYWAYS??
1: Mom’s House, Dad’s House: Making Two Homes for Your Child by Isolina Ricci.
Our mediator gave my ex and I a copy of this book to read while we were going through separation mediation. I found it fantastic at outlining and suggesting compassionate ways to run the basic day to day logistics of a two house family. It was also the first time I got a more...