Tag Archives: life

Divorce Did Not Ruin My Child

I have heard it many times… “My divorce ruined my kids lives”… False. Changes that happen in your life, do not ruin your kids lives. We all experience changes that will affect the lives of your children. And sometimes throughout all those changes, we all come out better.

Getting divorced does not ruin your kids lives… Before I decided to go through with my divorce, I struggled with how it would affect my kids. It was the number one thing that was holding me back from going through with my divorce. I would constantly worry if they would be ok and make it through all the transitions. Would they be upset, mad, angry, or would they act out… all of these worries raced through my mind over and over again.

But 5 years later…I can tell you that I did not ruin my kids lives. Yes, Their lives are different now. But they have adjusted to the changes. Yes, we have had some struggles through the way. However a lot of the struggles that we have faced, are just growing up parenting struggles. It has not always been a party…

However, I could not stay in a loveless marriage.

All of us worry about how divorce will affect our kids. I don’t think we would be human if we did not. But my kids saw everything and they picked up on so much that I don’t even realize.

My youngest was 4 when I got divorced. He often replays scenarios to me of his dad and I fighting in the last stages of our marriage. He will also mention how nice it is that dad and I don’t fight anymore. I am always so curious because his dad and I did not have loud arguments, but obviously to a 4 year old at the time.. he picked up on a lot more than we thought. It is also how a 4 year old interpreted our relationship and marriage.

I believe its how you handle all parts of your divorce, from the beginning, through the process, and all the years after…

There are things that I have done that have helped the transition over the last few years.

I have been able to tell when my kids needed a little additional support. All 3 of my kids have gone to counseling separately at different times in their lives. Each one faced different challenges at different ages and just needed to work through it. Alot of it was the changes in households and different parenting styles. I knew they could use a neutral person to talk too and work it out.

I continued counseling throughout and after my divorce. I did this because it was my outlet to let out my frustrations and emotions. It helped me control my emotions with my ex in front of my children. Counseling kept me grounded when I really just wanted to tell my ex what an idiot he was at times. Or it taught me to refrain from sharing my true feelings about my ex’s decisions in front of the kids.

My ex and I have also stayed very informed in their lives. I have learned to have conversations with my children and my ex all together, so there is no miscommunication between any of us. It gives my kids a chance to voice their opinion in front of both of us. And it has taken a lot of the pressure off me as always being the one having to speak for my kids.

I am very open and honest with my kids, even more so now that they are older. My girls are teenagers now, so their dad gets under their skin all the time… just being a dad to teenagers. I have always tried to keep my comments and negative thoughts to myself, and I still do now even more. Its hard. Many times I would love to tell them what I really think, but I want them to have a very healthy and positive relationship with us both. Its so hard to keep all my under my breath comments to myself. I also want my kids to form their own opinions and not be influenced by what I think.

So, no my divorce has not ruined my kids. I do not think it has ruined anything in any of our lives. My kids see how happy I am now, plus I can tell that they are happy. And they see how much love and support they get from both of their parents, just separately.

 

-snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

Battle Unicorn

Battle Unicorn….I woke up this morning with the Beatles song Blackbird in my head. I can’t share too much here because of licensing. But the lyric “ take these broken wings and learn to fly…” They are on repeat in my head.

I had about three blogs all set to write.

More about my daughter.

A fluffy one about how I am resisting the urge to cut my hair.

A personal one about how I am trying to maintain my relationship while having to stay home.

Instead I woke up to news my city is on a curfew. Our downtown had 75 businesses torn up.

I can’t speak to much. I don’t know that I should. But I am exhausted.

My heart is broken in a million pieces.

I have said throughout all of this people will show who they are, to believe them.

I have also said we have an opportunity to show people who we are.

This morning I was all set to wallow in this. 2020 is truly the year that can be tucked away in the suitcase I like to reference that holds my troubles and heartbreaks. The one I slide under my bed.

This is bigger than that.

I would like to think I am bigger than that.

I am a teacher by trade. Four year olds. I was until the virus. I was actually in the midst of switching careers but for almost fourteen years I have spent time with four year olds.

They are pretty smart cookies, four year olds.

They also have absolutely no filter.

They love with their whole heart.

Negotiating with a four year old is pretty cut and dry.

They judge you off of how you treat them. Period.

Nothing else.

I worked in Human Resources for a long time and quit to work with kids. When people would ask me why I would say less BS.

I still feel that way.

Four year olds could teach us a lot.

I have two lessons they taught me.

The first is not from my group, but rather an article I read about the unique names children give animals.

I love Rhinos. Apparently a four year old somewhere in the universe decided they are actually Battle Unicorns.

The explanation is pretty detailed but I fell in love with that.

The fact that a Rhino could be something so beautiful and majestic. Pretty fantastic.

I even have it on a T-shirt,

The second lesson was from my kids.

We were reading a story together.

They were all snuggled into me.

My kids came from all backgrounds. All cultures.

What they had in common was me as their teacher and being four.

The book was about family.

We finished and were talking.

As we did.

I was informed that several of them were indeed sisters and brothers too.

They lived together and had slumber parties and watched Frozen.

I told them I’m pretty lucky to be teaching such a big family.

I was informed I could be the big sister if I wanted to be.

Extra credit for that by the way.

My point on sharing this…

I am sad and angry and there are days I want to wrap up in a blanket and cry.

A lot lately if I am being honest.

But my Battle Unicorns taught me better than that.

They taught me to love with my whole heart.

Take people for how they treat you.

I will however be using a filter.

Be safe.

Much love Mommas.

<3 Caprise

A Death of a Guinea Pig

There is nothing like the death of the family rodent to teach a kid about life & death. In our case, our guinea pig, Odie, stepped up and took it for the team this past weekend. He was only 2 years old, so we’re all a bit shocked…

My oldest daughter, who is 9, took the news quite well. She even discovered him, and calmly asked me to confirm his status. I was sure that I could just quietly remove the remains and the cage and all that a guinea pig implied without my 3 y.o. son even noticing, but after last week’s escapade of moving the water cooler to another room, and his epic meltdown because of it, I shouldve known better. Unbenounced to us, though, my son was lurking just out of view while we did a pulse check, poke check, and the rattle-the-cage-wicked-loud check. And when I pronounced him officially dead, he made his entrance with as much drama as an episode of All My Children. I was completely caught off guard, and the right words to console this child had left me high and dry.

So…after little time to come up with a plan, I sent Cara off to find a shoebox. I gave clear instructions to decorate it any way she wanted to, and that we would use it to put Odie in it and give him a proper funeral in the morning. There were stickers and markers everywhere—suddenly the guinea pig had become a family hero, and the box became its shrine. All around the NIKE Swoosh there were stickers of red roses, and written above it in magic marker read the words “R.I.P Odie Our beloved Guinea Pig”.

BELOVED Guinea Pig? He wasnt very BELOVED when it was time to clean his cage. He wasnt very BELOVED when he took a chunk out of the neighbor’s finger. He wasnt even BELOVED when he was squealing so loud even the dogs left the room….

At any rate, I helped them write it. And they werent crying anymore, so hey…if it works, its true. Whatever.

On Sunday, My husband took the little thing out to the woods and buried it, further confusing the youngest child. It was my fault really….I was the one who announced his intent and both kids were just curious enough to insist on going with him. I didnt know they’d do that…sorry, Hunny.

But for days now, the story of this traumatic event as told by my 3 year old son has taken on a life of its own. It began when my 3 year old niece arrived at our house for a visit on Monday morning.

I heard her enter the house with her mother, and I heard the boy begin to spill the gory details of the previous days. I raced towards the room in an attempt to spare her the details, but before I could, there it was. All of it within 30 seconds…
Odie died.
He’s in a box.
With a paper towel bed.
We buried him.
Angels will pick him up…

And when I rounded the corner, there stood my innocent little niece clutching the last of her bagel. I braced myself, and waited for her response. And there it was…
“Ok. Want a bite of my bagel?”
And with that, they were off sharing a bagel and picking through the toy bin.

The questions are still coming.

“When will he not be old?’
“When are the angels gonna drop him back off?”
“Where is heaven?”
“Is he still stiff?”

But with each one, I know his curious mind is learning something new. He merely trying to grasp something no one has yet to understand.

With that, RIP Odie…Our BELOVED guinea Pig.

Toodles.

~Lynn

Lean In

Lean in…when that catchphrase first came out I’m pretty sure it was meant to be used for powerful situations.

Not trying to maneuver your new normal during a world that everyday feels more surreal.

I have officially been home now for a month. My state has extended its Stay at Home order until May 26th. When I heard the news I was in the middle of my new normal work day. I took my glasses off. Took my headphones off and silently yelled into my hands.

I am what you would call a high risk person. Two heart surgeries I had forty years ago means I can’t leave my house. The fear is if I get this my stitched up heart won’t know what to do.

I am luckier than a lot of people. I have a job. Which I got offered ironically a week before everything went. That’s my term… went.

The last time I saw everyone in person was my job interview. A month ago. Some of them I only know thanks to ZOOM.

And thank goodness for this job, because my previous job would have laid me off. They did. Three days before I officially started my new job I got a lengthy email telling me as much.

My daughter’s school like a lot of yours is now closed for the rest of the year. Thankfully they have really done a lot to support everyone one with distance learning. But she’s in 7th grade. She abruptly had to empty her locker and pivot.

I was a Preschool Director before I got my new job. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my families, my kids…

But I’m leaning in.

I get up. I get ready for work. I try to focus. But I have my moments. Where I have to run to the bathroom and sit on the toilet seat and cry.

I lean in to being afraid of all the unknowns.

I lean in to being late for a meeting because I got distracted by the news.

I lean into cats and dogs and kids interrupting meetings.

And we all smile.

I lean into not really ever wanting to wear shoes again. Leggings are better than jeans.

I lean into Friday nights might be Tuesday nights.

I lean into worrying about my Grandfather who is states away. I lean into reading horoscopes with my best friend.

I lean into hugging my daughter so much. I lean into telling people I can’t wait to squish their faces.

I lean into missing certain people. Which makes me ugly cry.

I lean into waterproof mascara.

I lean into not cutting my own hair. No comment on coloring it. LOL…

I lean into recording my radio show again for the first time in a month and crying because it’s the first time in a long time I have felt normal. Because something that is such a huge part of me is back.

I have no magic words. No sage advice. I am just rinse, lather, repeat, lean.

I am sending you love and hoping you are safe Mommas.

<3 Caprise

Not Just Good But Greater Good

Not just Good, but Greater Good.

Can you imagine what your Greater Good would look like?  Close your eyes and imagine.  Who would be there?  What would you be doing?  How would you be acting?  What would you say?  Where would you live?  Etc, etc etc.  Now, understand and know…. that you have not even come close to the actual Greater Good that is available to you.

God’s Ways are over, above & beyond anything our puny little minds can concoct.  We are one small piece of sand on the Pacific Coast.  We are one minute being in the galaxy of endless galaxies.  We are a blade of grass in a field at full-on harvest.  Do you believe in the grand scheme of life, there is far more available to you, coming to you, waiting for you?  Open your arms & be ready, because it is there.

I am part of the Greater Good of all mankind.  I am an instrument of God’s love in the Greater Good of my life.  I wake up every day expecting the Greater Good to show up.  I see, hear, feel and stay open to every bit of Goodness that is for me.  I’m being used every day in ways I’ve always imagined possible.

May we both walk through life with our heads held high in anticipation for what is next.  May we be ready for it when it comes and handle it with courage and grace.  May we be beacons of greatness to others who are waiting for theirs.  May we move forward, press on, stand tall, dig in, love big, express peace, share joy, give back, believe in more, take it, own it and share it with the world.

Are you ready?

I am.  I’ll meet you there.

xoxo

Your God-Girl,

Tracy

Boundaries After A Divorce

Setting boundaries has made me go from pulling my hair out crazy to  finally having some peace. Boundaries are one of the most important things I have learned since my divorce.  I never thought about setting boundaries until my divorce. I was always a “yes” person.  Many times in my life I never really wanted to say “ yes” to things but I did.. I did it to not cause any conflict or I thought it was what was expected of me.

It took me a couple years into my divorce until I realized that I needed to set boundaries with my ex husband.  Because how I was living now was like having a mosquito constantly buzzing around your head as you are trying to sleep.. you try and try to swat at it but it never goes away.  That is what I was dealing with every day of my life.

There are many reasons for needing boundaries, but mostly I needed to set boundaries to have peace of mind and live my life.  As I mentioned in some of my previous blogs, my ex did not have much input in parenting of our children when we are married. I made most of the decisions regarding finances, parenting, and basically most decisions in our life.

Soon after our divorce, that changed.  I would receive numerous text messages or emails from him regarding my parenting decisions.  He would text and ask “why I would let our kids stay home from school when they were sick”.  Or texts on reminding me to have them shower or asking when they went to bed.  He would argue back and forth on why I made that decision.  Basically any decision that I made regarding the children, he would question.

For years, I engaged in his texts and emails.  I felt that since it involved the children that I needed to respond and explain my decision.  He never agreed with me nor did what I say every make a difference.  He made me feel like a failure as a parent and I also started to question my decisions.  (Let me remind you that I stayed home with our kids for 8 years and pretty much made all the parenting decisions for 3 kids, I am not exaggerating)

Then finally I realized that this was affecting myself and my children.  I was starting to change how I parented my children.   I  would not handle situations like I normally would, in fear of having to explain myself to him… I would start to think “ ohh I can’t do that because your dad will get mad”.  I would not let my kids do things in fear that I would receive a text from him. I know crazy right..  And then it finally hit me, like what the hell am I doing.. I have never questioned my parenting decisions in the past.  And I would cringe anytime I received any communication from him.. the worst part was that my kids could tell how It would affect me.  I would not say anything to them directly, but they would see how my moods and body language would change.  I would become instantly irritated by the text from him.

I finally decided to just not respond or engage.  Unless the text or email directly affected the schedule of the kids or their well being, I did not respond. I disregard any texts regarding discipline, sick days, what the kids wore to school, remembering to have the kids shower, remembering to have the kids bring their snow clothes… the list goes on.  I started to set boundaries in many areas that included him.

I would only respond to emails that required a response by direct input like schedules, shared finances, children’s activities, or school.  Anything that was communicated to me by text, I did not respond. I did not engage in any texts or emails that were worded with assumptions or belittling towards myself.  If the text to me was worded with “ I know you will do it anyways but..blah blah blah” I did not respond.  Anything that was not a direct fact, I avoided.  I avoided those texts because they were sent to get me to engage with him.

It did actually work, I received less text messages from him.   Sometimes I would receive 3 or 4 in a one night and I just learned to not respond. I did not let it bother me and I went about my business. Sometimes I would just turn my phone off.

I would not respond to any text that included an assumption on myself, children, or parenting.

I keep him on “do not disturb” in my phone so if he does text me I am not immediately

I keep all communication short and direct.

I tried to send all correspondence in an email during normal working hours.

I do not discuss anything involving the kids without them present so we are all involved and there is no he said/she said.

Setting these boundaries was the best thing I could have done for myself and my family.   They helped me gain confidence again on my decisions.  I did them for myself and to get past

There was no reason to have interaction with someone that made me question myself and my decisions.  And you eventually realize that as much as you explain things, some people will never hear what you are saying.

It took time to get to where I am today…  It takes a huge amount of self control.  I’m definitely not perfect with it and sometimes I have set backs with my reactions.  But,  I love my life with my kids and I really feel that limited communication with him is the best for myself and my family.   And that is the most important….

 

Thanks for reading!

-Snarky

 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

Numbers Don’t Lie

The numbers don’t lie…

If you have been following along on the FB live Sunday Morning Coffee Chats and on the blog you know that I have been playing an effectiveness scoring game with myself since Jan. 12th.  This is a game/ measuring tool that I have invited you all to join me in—with every week that goes by I gain new insight into what stops me and how I am really showing up in my life.  It is proving to be quite telling.

After last Sunday’s Coffee Chat I decided to get a weekly average and graph it—so I added my daily score from each week and divided it by 7 to gain the weekly average.  The graph looks like this:

Clearly you can see that I am averaging 50% which is pretty pathetic….LOL.  Examining this data tells me everything that I need to know about why my life is where it is, don’t get me wrong I have a very blessed and fantastic life which I have worked really, really hard to create—yet with all I know and all that I have done this is the truth about me—I am showing up at about 50 something percent in my life.

The really interesting thing is that I now have to look at what I could create as my reality if my average was 80% or even 90%— who would I be able to be then?!—I have been asking myself this question since last Sunday…

So I do these averages and I make this chart and I look at it over and over and on Sunday I was a 30% and on Monday a 20% and then yesterday I decided that I would like to SEE what happens if I show up between 80 and 100 % consistently so I forced myself to be 100% yesterday and this morning I woke up with more energy to get things done.

Often I tell you that the worst battle you will every have is with yourself—my experiment with this listing game is really shining a light on that for me.  I told you that this was an assignment given to me decades ago from a coach of mine and that I have played it again over the years—however only for a week or two at a time.  This is the longest that I have ever evaluated myself and I have committed to you guys to do this until June.  It is going to be very interesting to see what reveals itself as I continue this.

Would love to have you play too and share with me what you are seeing about yourself.  You can go back and watch any of the Coffee Chats since Jan. 12th or go listen to the podcasts or read past blogs for instructions on how to make your list.  See you Sunday morning at 10am est for Coffee Chat.

 

XO, N.

Guide To A Life Of Balance

Guide To A Life Of Balance….

There are days when my security and confidence is replaced by a wave anxiety, shame, discontentment or frustration. Like clouds, they roll in off the horizon predicting a coming storm. Time and time again I ignore them. I push back the feelings and charge forward. I don’t have time for the rain. I have a child I need to nurture and teach. I have a career I need to manage. I have a house that needs to be cleaned and dishes that need to be washed. I need to exercise and find a new way to sneak four servings of vegetables into a meatloaf. I need to just keep going. The sky darkens, the clouds grow heavy, and the downpour begins. I am left drenched, in my yoga pants.

Isn’t this the story for all of us? Despite reprieves, here and there, we have our hands full much of the time. Emotions seem to come at the most inconvenient moments and threaten to disrupt the intricate balancing act we have in progress. We label them “negative” or “bad” to imply they are something to get rid of or avoid. We ignore them or gloss over them with tip #4 from our guide to self-care. We can try, but our efforts to shoo back the clouds are futile. In and of themselves emotions aren’t good or bad. They alert us to something happening under the surface. With great effort we teach our children to stop and name their emotions. We guide them in handling sadness, anger, tiredness, frustration, and so on. We don’t call them bad, rather, in our little ones we can see them as they are- truths to be dealt with. Our responses to our emotions hold the value of positive or negative, not the emotions themselves. It’s nothing revolutionary, but often we extend wisdom and grace to others while failing to apply it to ourselves. We tireless work to run from or ignore the coming rain and end up overwrought or completely shut down from what has become an undefinable ball of feelings. Thus, fears of being overly emotional can become self-fulfilling.

I spend more time telling myself I shouldn’t feel something than simply acknowledging that I do. As elementary as it may seem, I have begun to retrain myself to stop and feel my feelings. I hate crying, but I have had some good cries. Locked in my closet, I have let emotions of fear and loneliness burst forth. Then knowing what I need, I have been able to deal with them and authentically engage in self-care. There have been times when I have begrudgingly faced my feelings of shame and “mommy guilt”. They have served as important indicators that I am prioritizing things that aren’t truly important. Shame and guilt have highlighted areas where my value and worth has been tied to the appearance of good parenting, optimal health, and spirituality. They have beckoned me to examine if there is depth beneath the surface. Frustration, being rooted in my desire to control something I was simply not meant to, calls me to let go of undue pressure that will leave me drowning in stress. These feelings urge me to come inside and take the needed steps to stay dry because the rain is coming. They protect me from getting off kilter when life’s stresses head my way.

Emotions are beautiful indicators toward balance. They can be quite messy. Demanding to be seen, they will leech out in unexpected areas if they aren’t acknowledged. However, they aren’t bad for existing and we aren’t bad for feeling them. After long periods of running from them, facing deep-seated emotions can seem dangerous. It may take help from a friend or a professional. I have needed, and still need, both to help me decipher tangled feelings. Balance is the reward for doing so. There is peace in realizing emotions aren’t waiting around the corner, ready to create havoc in life. Let them guide you toward balance rather chase you into chaos.

`Shon W

Love Loudly

Love Loudly…

I think we all have moments that serve as epiphanies. Game changers. Sometimes they come at the happiest moments sometimes they don’t.

Those moments that make you take a step back.

This past weekend I attended the funeral for the mother of one of my oldest friends.

The love in that room was bursting.

To the gills.

So much so, they had to put more chairs in the cathedral.

The constant message was love.

Letting people know you love them.

Showing them.

Telling them.

Being there for them.

Always.

150%

Loving them for all that they are.

This should be a given, but I think sometimes we take things for granted. We take people for granted. We assume people know. Or we are afraid to share how we feel. We are scared to show the love we feel or ask for the love we need.

The sad reality is life really is too short.

My friend’s Mom had cancer – for three years, and she didn’t change how she loved or how she lived during that time.

She made sure everyone in her life knew always.

Every story I heard said so.

 

I struggle with that sometimes.

Telling people I love them.

My daughter I tell her more than she probably wants to hear.

My friends… I love yous are said instead of goodbyes.

My family little gestures and notes.

But I still struggle.

I want to do better for the people in my life. I don’t want them to doubt how I feel no matter how scary it is to say it out loud.

Because the lesson I learned in one of the saddest moments is tomorrow is not promised- you need to love loudly.

I have joked 48 is my year of no filter and  no resolutions.

Let’s add loving loudly.

 

Much love to you Mommas.

Always

<3 Caprise

The Trim

Just a Trim….

 

“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”

Coco Chanel

We all know someone who has had the same hairstyle for eons and wham they change it. It usually is a red flashing light that something major happened or is about to happen.

For the record I am that person.

There is also a joke about every woman having a red hair phase… yup.

My reality is a lot is changing in my life and cutting my hair short has been something I wanted to do for awhile.

A conversation about me not ever changing my hair kinda got me here.

To be clear I’ve been sporting an undercut bob like haircut for the last two years so I’m not afraid of short hair.

Except I am.

The unfortunate reality is while we ooh and aah when a celebrity goes for a chop, we feel compelled to say please don’t give me a “Mom cut” or cut it too short.

Like it or not, our appearance and our hair inadvertently can become our calling card.

For me the reality is I have incredibly fine hair. It gets to a certain length and it stops growing. It is stick straight. Every morning I torture myself for almost twenty minutes trying to convince it to be something it’s not.

As a lady who likes to wear makeup that’s twenty minutes I could do that.

So I consulted with my trusted circle, I compiled some pictures and I scheduled my appointment.

As I type this, it is day two with hair that is maybe two inches long at its longest. I can’t stop touching it, it’s so soft. The color looks better and the irony is I didn’t have to wear mascara because my eyes pop.

It still is an adjustment and this morning while brushing my teeth I looked in the mirror and was a bit shook at the lack of hair around my face.

I got compared to Charlize Theron today which I’ll take.

It’s not an accurate comparison but I’ll take it.

I wish I had done this sooner. I wish I had not been so worried about something that grows back. There are bigger things to worry about. Although as a person who lives in the Midwest, I do now worry about always having a hat.

My hair doesn’t make me any less. Any less of a Mom. Any less of a friend. Any less of a teacher.

I just have less hair. As with everything I acknowledge I am still learning to leave self doubt at the door or in that suitcase under my bed.

My point Mommas, don’t let a haircut define you. Let you define you.

At the end of the day that’s what really matters.

<3 Caprise