Parenting: You don’t have to do it alone!

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...

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When your Child asks: Why don't you and daddy love each other anymore?

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...

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Separation/Divorce & Parenting: Sleep is Key to Success!

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...

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Dear Kids, I hope your dad and I don’t fall short - Intentions for Co-parenting Success!

Dear kids,

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...

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Celebrating Your Kids' Birthdays with Your Ex and Everyone Who Loves Your Kids!

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...

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10 Must Read Books to Carry you Through your Separation and Divorce

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...

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Separation and Divorce: Building Resilience in Our Kids

co-parenting Nov 20, 2016

I’ll be completely honest with you – when my ex and I separated I wanted, more than anything, for the kids to be unaffected.  From where I sit now, I can see how completely naive and impossible that idea was – thankfully I’ve grown a lot since those early days!

I think it’s fair to say that no parent wants to see their kid(s) to struggle.  Especially, when they struggle with a situation that you’ve had a hand in creating in their lives {insert a pile of guilt here!!!}.

It’s also hard to attend to your kids as best you can when you’re struggling as well.

So, between us all, let’s agree to drop this unrealistic expectation from here on out.

Kids will struggle when adjusting to a separation or divorce.  That’s ok.  It’s a massive change.  Who wouldn’t?  Separation and divorce is painfully hard.  And sad.  And crappy.  And the short end of the stick. And an overall...

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When Your Child Doesn’t Want To Be At Your House

co-parenting Sep 26, 2016

Ouch.  Just writing this title pains me on a visceral level.

For me, these are the hardest times  - when one of the kids is mad that they are at my house and/or they want to be with their dad.  Nowadays, it happens during a transition between our two houses.  Typically, it starts off with something relatively minor – someone wants to finish a puzzle they’ve started or they are having fun and don’t want to finish up a game to go to my house or the other way around.

When a child of mine is crying that they don't want to be at my house or they just want their dad.  It nearly destroys me.  It drowns me in my guilt about a marriage that’s over, that their dad and I have permanently failed our children.  And then doubles down, with a ton of anxiety for the future happiness of my children.  Cause sometimes in my mind, everything hinges on this one failure of ours: the splitting up of our family.

For the most part, my...

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20 Years Since High School Grad: How far Have You Come?

I’ve been on vacation for the past few weeks, and as I sit in my parent’s kitchen in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, I have been trying to make some sense of how it’s been 20 years since I graduated high school.

20 years is more years than it takes to be a legal adult for god sakes!  At least in Canada :)  And that’s just my life SINCE I’ve graduated high school – I lived plenty before then too!

But I don't feel "old".

I think I’ve been trying to wrangle my literal age with the fact that it feels like just yesterday that I was heading off to university and moving out of my parents’ house.  And boy oh boy, did I ever think I knew everything!  Everything was possible, with some hard work and determination.  That sort-of thing.

Thankfully, most days, I feel as young as ever and have been blessed with good health - so far so good as they say!  I think it also worries me that this life passes by so quickly...

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Imagine a World where this is Reality

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...

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