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...
When you're in the early months or years after Separation or Divorce – decluttering and minimizing your life is a must! Your life depends on it.
When my ex and I had first separated several years ago, I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by the way my family life had changed in such a short period of time. I had never lived on my own before, and while I’d call myself very independent, it was amazing to me how much I had to learn or relearn to completely run a household on my own. Not to mention the mountains of emotional baggage I needed to sort through at some point.
At my most overwhelmed, I remember making a mental list - while I lay on my bedroom floor - of all the things I HAD to do to keep my life running. The bare minimum. Just the things required to ensure that what was left of my life wouldn't implode. I had to work. I had to feed the kids. I had to do whatever was required to ensure the kids were...
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...
I remember it very clearly. I had been a zombie since my separation and felt like everything was unravelling in my life. I had no idea where anything was headed and I was just trying to keep my day to day basics together (ie. drag myself to work, keep my job :), be as attentive to the kids as possible, eat, fall to bed exhausted, repeat). I realized later on during a routine physical exam that I was also iron deficient for the first time in my life, which made everything feel more exhausting and my body more like molasses.
My life plan for one long marriage was gone. What wrench did that throw into all my other plans for life? Where was my life heading now? I was coming up with nothing, as far as new life plans go..so I was just putting one foot in front of another until (hopefully sooner than later) purpose and/or passion returned to my life.
So, through all that fogginness, one summer's day, I found myself sitting on the front porch and the kids...
Last eve there was a new moon – hooray! It’s that time of month where we are asked to start anew – I absolutely love the possibility of that. Start fresh. Try something new. Be a better version of yourself.
Whatever you’ve been struggling with, whatever is getting you down, whatever habit you want to stop doing. The universe hands you another chance to start fresh, to try again, whatever you like.
When a situation feels hopeless and it’s impossible to see the right way out of it, I’ve taken this on as my mantra: Just Do The Next Right Thing.
And it’s amazing!
It really helps me drill down on what exactly I can do in this moment. It moves me away from drowning in the hopelessness of a complex problem or situation that has no obvious positive outcome.
And with my kids, when they are pressing my buttons and I’m tired and just have little patience – this thought comes to mind - 'Just Do The Next...
A friend of mine recently told me she was separating from her common law partner. They have two children together. I've found myself giving her a lot of basic information and just day to day advice on the practical steps to get through a separation and she's been asking a ton of questions. Cause - lets be honest - who knows what separation really entails until you are in it?? So I figured, I’d post them up here as well, for anyone who’s just new to the whole thing. Here are 7 things that'll get you started, if your marriage is ending.
1. Find a good lawyer for yourself: You need to know your legal rights. From there you can make decisions on what would be fair for your family’s situation.
2. Find a great mediator for you both: In my experience, a mediator is almost more important than your lawyer. Especially, if you and your ex really aim to have an amicable split. The mediator can essentially write up your separation...
The first year after separation is the hardest, simply because of all the changes that need to be weathered! Whether you initiated the split or not, life is definitely different than it was when you were married. So, here’s my take on 10 things that helped me get through that first year, and into the future:
1 My kids: Honestly, their love for me was really healing. Their love for me and their energy and excitement for life, carried me through some rough times. It was trans-formative. It still constantly inspires me to bring my best self to my life – for them.
2 Old resurrected hobbies: Doing more of the things I enjoyed and rediscovering long lost hobbies or activities I hadn’t done in years, made me happy. It was sort of the start of finding myself, in-amongst all the drama and going on around me with regards to my separation.
3 My routine: Being needed really helped keep me going. Whether it be at work, or for...
I hope that one day, all families of separation/divorce can truly live each of these items wholeheartedly.
1) I believe that you can genuinely love/care about your ex-spouse. You can fully respect them and have a peaceful relationship that includes a healthy dose of respect and loving care. You have a lot of history together and you both have a serious interest in raising your children.
2) I believe you love your children more than life itself. Everything you do - and especially, and likely most difficult at the beginning, how you relate to your ex-spouse - should come from a heart drenched in the love of your children. How can you hate your ex when your kids think he/she is as awesome as you?
3) I believe amazing things can happen when you act from a place of love. It's all about love. Always. No matter what the circumstance or scenario. Do you react from a place of love or hate? It's entirely up to you. Even if the other...
I absolutely love this quote – it helps me remember to lean towards hope and not shrink back into fear. And that’s a constant check and balance I have to make with myself.
I’ve been separated from my ex for just about three years now and of all the bazillion lessons the whole process has taught me, the number one would be this: Dare to live your Truth
Separating a family is so impossibly hard on innumerable levels and affects the children so directly, that if you are courageous enough to take action and separate from your ex (or if you are simply dealt this hand) – then my God – dedicate the rest of your days to doing whatever is in line with your life’s purpose. Separation and Divorce is so messy that you might as well aim to have a happy life after all the dust settles! It’s your responsibility to your children, if not yourself.
In the end, we all just want to feel satisfied and complete in some way....