If you've been following me on instagram (@lisa_m_nicol) you already know that I met my ex's girlfriend a few weeks ago - they are moving in together in a few weeks, and it was definitely time to meet her in person!
She reached out to me, which I really appreciated. So, we met at a pub and sat down to chat for a few hours - and I was nervous!!
I mean, she will be the third most frequent person in my kids lives. (My boyfriend and I haven't moved in together yet, so he's got a less critical status in my kids' lives, to my mind).
And like my daughter said: hopefully she doesn't turn into an evil step mom when they start living together :I
Over the course of our meet up, I realized if I had met her several years back, when my ex and I had just split, this meeting would have gone much differently!
Having my kids influenced by someone I hardly know at all is a tough prospect and I would have been MUCH more inclined to want to control the whole situation...
Dealing with a difficult ex can be incredibly stressful and influence the quality of your life for years.
Let's take your power back!
Click the link below to watch my latest video:
When dealing with a difficult person, it is extremely important to have firm boundaries on how frequently you engage with them. You do not want them to have access to you at all times of the days and weeks - you'll be trading your peace of mind for constant stress and emotional turmoil.
That's no way to live in the long run.
You deserve a better quality of life than that! And you are a better parent when you aren't constantly under stress and bracing yourself for the next problem.
Click on the link below to watch my latest video, where I outline a few strategies on how to minimize the negative impact your high conflict ex will have on your life.
Ugghhhh....transitioning between two homes SUCKS terribly in the beginning!! Terrible. Heart wrenching. The worst.
I don't even have the words for it really.
It absolutely gets better.
And it can be managed a lot easier with a few important tweaks to what you are already doing.
Click here to watch my video now!
Hopefully it helps you stick handle the transitions so that your family can find their way to peace faster :)
Here's the link again.
Check out my first set of you-tube videos! :)
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Wishing you all the best,
How do you co-parent without constantly wanting to pull your hair out?
Of all the things you can move on from or heal from after Divorce - you will always need to co-parent with your ex..
And it's ironic AF that communicating is KEY, when we all know the easy road would be just to write your ex out of your life.
Your kids need you both in their lives.
As some version of a team!
So, here's three quick ways to improve your co-parenting relationship Right Now :)
1 - Stick to just the facts about what you need to discuss with your co-parent. RESIST the temptation to give an opinion or biting sarcasm, or bait your ex, or react to bait. RESIST the temptation.
2 - always remember your kids love your ex (unless they are truly an evil or negative influence). So breath deep, when you feel yourself getting annoyed or frustrated and respond with 'just the facts' - text or email is awesome for this - cause you can review your correspondence before hitting send...
How are you handling stress in your daily life?
The past few months have been very dramatic and shocking in ways I never would have seen coming. Maybe you're feeling the same? It got me thinking about how well we manage stress, day over day, year over year.
You know those sparkling eyed 80 year olds that still seem so young at heart? That's how I want to end up :) ...but stress can really age you, it can wear you down quickly or slowly. It's a tricky one to wrangle.
So, I made a giant list of ways to keep my stress down or balance it out with some healing, so that over the decades of my life I will remain feel young at heart :)
1. sleep well (6-8hrs a night or on average the experts say!)
2. close your eyes & take 3 deep breaths (in...out...in...out..in...out)
4. read a book
5. meditate (a super easy one is to just sit somewhere with your eyes closed and become aware of your breathing)
6. smell the roses...
Lately, there have been several dads who’ve contacted me about this topic. So, if you’re in this boat - first off, it’s more common that you might think – and there’s comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in this, right?
Secondly, wholly crap. This is a huge pill to swallow. Brutal.
It would have definitely been nice to have an old friend be an ear for you, as you go through all the shit that goes on as your marriage ends and as you move on with your life. What fuckin' jerks. To put it mildly.
Needless to say, please cut yourself some slack. Walking through this pile of shit will take time. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Give yourself time to process it all. This will require a lot of patience and time. You don't want to get stuck in the rabbit hole forever.
Processing it all could mean...
1) taking time off work on sick leave or vacation to straighten...
This is one of the most frequently asked questions from parents in our community - it's SUCH an IMPORTANT conversation you need to have with your kids.
This is definitely one of the hardest conversations you'll ever have.
It's heart wrenching, it's terrifying.
You don't want to disappoint your kids. It's all true.
And it's totally human nature to want to avoid this kind of conversation. Any kind of hard, shitty conversations really.
BUT please don't avoid it.
Don't brush over it with a rose coloured brush either.
Sit in your discomfort and talk to your kids about Divorce.
I know that your love for your kids is WAY BIGGER than your discomfort and fear about your marriage ending.
You can do hard things. Your kids are looking to you to guide them through this.
You can do it.
Ok, Deep Breath.
Now, that we are clear that you will have this conversation with your kids. Here are some simple...
So, you’ve been dating someone for a while – perhaps several months, perhaps years – and the million dollar question is when and how to start blending them into the family?? It can feel daunting, for sure.
In my case, I’ve been dating my boyfriend for years. He has a couple kids. We’ve been discussing how it should go for a while now but we were both a little scared to rock the boat I think – or maybe it was just me!
My kids are well adjusted to their current family arrangements – a two family home, with a mom and a dad. No boyfriends, girlfriends or step anybodies to add to the mix. And that has been a good way to roll for a long time! :)
It’s been over five years since their dad and I split up and so, in my case, there was no risk of introducing anyone new too soon!!
Although, from all the reading I’ve done, and from various therapists and parents, the general...
How do you react when your ex wants to change something in your co-parenting routine?
A several weeks ago, my ex emailed, to bring up the idea of changing the co-parenting schedule. This was a surprise to me. I could feel my body tightening as I read the email.
And my immediate reaction, was to just tell him to go fuck himself cause the schedule is the schedule – there’s nothing written anywhere that it ever has to change. PLUS, I’d asked to change the schedule a few years ago and he’d just written the idea right off, so I sort of wanted to reject his idea just out of spite. :)
I was also in the midst of a lot of deadlines at work, so this was just not something I wanted to deal with at all right then.
It got me thinking – how do you react to your ex when he/she bring up a topic that surprises you? When they want to change something that you weren’t expecting?
Does your body tighten?