Tag Archives: seperation

There’s Another Woman Spending Time With My Kids

I never imagined that my kids would now be spending time with another woman… I had never thought about it. When I started my divorce process, it didn’t even cross my mind that my children would be spending time with another woman and then it happened very soon. Never in a million years had it entered my mind.. stupid me.

My ex husband got remarried not too long after our divorce…so my kids had a step mom.  I had no idea how to handle the feelings I experienced. I did not prepare myself for the hurt and heartache that I felt.

My children were now spending time with another woman besides me.  She was texting them, going to their sporting events, buying them gifts, and sharing memories with them. This hit me harder than anything else In my life.  I had been the center of their universe since they were born. I was not sharing them.

What if they loved her more than me?  What if they wanted to spend time with her? What if they wanted her to take them shopping?  This woman was not buying their bras…. All these questions and a million more go thru your head.

How do you get thru it?  How do you accept that this woman is spending time with your kids? It takes a lot of strength and self discipline. I say that because you will probably feel like going a little “ cray cray” on this woman. You will also have your best friend dig up anything on social media that you can find … you will become the best private investigator around.

Remember that this isn’t about you and as much as it hurts, it’s about your kids..If they talk about her then support them. Be positive.  Kids pick up on everything… every facial expression, every sigh, everything thing that comes out of your mouth.  There were so many times that i just wanted to cry or scream, but I tried to not let my kids pick up on it.  Ohhh my friends have seen my tears over the years, but not my kids.

If they want her included in activities and events, then support their decision.  If they want to text her, then let them.  I remember the first time my daughter wanted her step mom to go on a field trip because I could not, it killed me.  But I knew it was important to her and she obviously felt comfortable enough to have her come along on a school trip.

If possible, in the beginning set boundaries regarding her involvement.   Keep the communication still between yourself and your ex husband regarding the children.   Also, set boundaries between your relationship with the step mom….I can not express enough how much boundaries are important.  Then everyone knows what is acceptable.

The best advice I received  was that when its your time with your kids concentrate on them.  Do not worry about the “other” mom. and what she is doing with them or buying them.  Try to put all those insecurities behind you and concentrate on them.  Your kids will always come to you. You will always be there number one. They will always turn to your first.  They will always trust you more than anything. And  if your daughter has a bad day at school she’s still going to call her mom!

Let them engage with their step mom. I know I didn’t handle it perfectly in the beginning because I was not prepared.  And honestly, I can’t say the heartache feeling ever goes away, it doesn’t.  But you will learn that you will always be their # 1 mom!!  Nothing ever takes that away….

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

You Don’t Need A Cape, You Already Have Wings

I am here to tell you that you don’t need a cape, you already have wings…I am sitting in a silent house after a week-long spring break trip that I haven’t taken since “The Trip” back in April 2016. One would think that I would feel rested, recharged, rejuvenated. Well…. I was. Sort of.

Let me tell you about the flight home after an amazing trip with my two favorite teenage humans. Picture this, tribe… 3 solid hours of turbulence. I even considered if the pilot was on his maiden flight. This was enhanced by one terrified teenager who has a legit fear of flying and one teenager who does what all teenagers do best, slumped – passed out cold… the entire flight. Mix that in with several (and I mean SEVERAL) sick children who were projectile vomiting from the turbulence (Yep, you are absolutely correct – there is NO fresh air on an airplane) and the overwhelming and recycled stench of kiddy vomit… Is this real life? Yes. It was. It happened, and I lived through it this past weekend. Eventually, I ended up getting home and feeling like I needed a vacation all over again. Please do not get me wrong here… I am 100% grateful that I got this experience and quality time with my kids, and that I had the means to go on such a trip with them. I am blessed beyond measure, and I do not take one of those moments (or any for that matter) for granted.

Wait, wait, wait…. You’re wondering what I meant by “The Trip” that I mentioned above back in 2016. Ah. Yep, That. Well, I think its time to get over my paralyzing fears, stare it directly in the eye and decide today is the day that I keep looking forward, and quit looking back to see if the past is still there. It’s there. It hasn’t left. I can still feel it. I can still see it. I can still hear it. I can’t unsee it, unhear it or unfeel it. It’s now part of who I have become.

It was around this time three years ago (almost to the day) that my world completely fell of its axis. No, literally. My entire personal world that I lived in completely blew up. In an instant. It was the day I became a working single mom.

I’m not going to dig into any of the details, much of which even after three years are still very fresh to my heart and soul, and the cuts are still very deep and still bleed on occasion. I can tell you with 100% certainty that I was absolutely blind-sided and was not in any way, shape, or form ready for what was going to happen to my life. It was never something I had signed up for or wanted. EVER. After all, I had been the living fairytale. I married my high school sweetheart and at that point had spent 20 years of my then 36 years of life with him. We had been married for 13 years at that point and had two beautiful children. Was our life glitter, rainbows and unicorns? Absolutely not. Was it perfect? No way. But, it was MY version of perfect. It was my world. My life. My everything – – until it just wasn’t any longer. I came back from spring break with my kiddos (he did not join us on this trip) to my then hero, lover, best friend, my person, and love of my life… telling me he no longer wanted to be in our marriage. He wanted out, and he left me. MIND BLOWN. EARTH SHATTERED. To make it worse, I was told in public. In a bar. Yep. That happened.

Let’s take the 35,000 foot detour for a second, and get you caught up to speed – and get off the backstory train. I spent three long and painful years desperately trying to hold onto my marriage and save my family. I pleaded with God. I got angry. I got spiteful. I cried millions and millions of tears. I felt abandoned, hopeless, jaded – any feeling you can come up with – I assure you I felt them and I mastered them. I lost weight and shrunk faster than washing a 100% cotton shirt in scalding hot water and putting it in the dryer on high heat for an hour. Some days, I literally begged to die – because the pain inside of me was so much, so deep, so hard – I couldn’t stand another minute. Failure was not a word that was ever in my vocabulary – and here I was – the picture of failure right next to the word in good oleWebster’s.

Long story short, we divorced right before this past Christmas – and the holidays, well – let’s just say they were pretty much a blur. Kind of like when you squint and look at the lights on the tree. They are there, but you really can’t make out what it is, but you obviously know.

I have a point here, trust me – and stay with me because hopefully – there is someone out there just like me who was right where I was or is even now. I look at the day-to-day and I still hurt. I hurt when I look at my kids when we are now a party of 3 that used to be 4. I hurt when I go to bed in a king sized bed alone and hover on the far side of the bed – and wake up in the same position, barely had moved. I have good day and bad days.

When looking at it by the “days” or “moments – I have felt like I haven’t moved an inch much less a mile. However, when I look back at the last three years as a “whole” – Tribe, let me tell you – I have moved mountains I didn’t think could be moved. I have traveled so far that I can’t see where I started even though I know it exists. I have grown, stretched myself, and learned more about myself and have undoubtedly proved myself wrong every single step of the way. I have survived 100% of my worst days. TRUE STORY!

I am alive to tell the tale. To not only myself, but to my two beautiful children and any one of you that are reading this. I have cried myself to sleep. I have eaten completely alone in a restaurant. I have gone to a wedding solo. I have wondered how I can make it another day. However, I have smiled. I have laughed. I have found strength in the deepest places I never knew existed. Hell, all of this brought me here to all of YOUright here and now. I am walking side by side with you. Our arms are linked, and we are in lock step. I am one of you. We’re a tribe and let me tell you – we’re strong. We’re not going anywhere and despite what you feel (or don’t feel) inside – we got this, and not only do we – we’ll do it twice and take pictures to prove it. (Insert “Amen” here!)

Humor me and consider this for a few moments. I want you to look in the mirror. I don’t want you to worry about the bags under your eyes from the lack of sleep you got last night because your child was up sick all night or because your teenager had their first heartbreak. Don’t look at the extra curves that may surround your waistline because you have been working so hard to provide, you haven’t gotten the chance to get to the gym. It’s not necessary to look at the dry shampoo residue in your hair. What I want you to do is look past the refection staring back at you, and for God’s sake, don’t judge the woman staring back. Only you know what storms she has been through. Only you know where she has been, and where she is going. You’re the only one who has lived her life. You’re the expert of the person you see in the mirror. No one knows her better than you.

Every single day is a new opportunity to start again. Reinvent yourself. Try something new. Spread your wings. I encourage you to do so, even when you’re paralyzed in fear, or have no idea where to even start. If you want to lay in bed all day, hide from the world, and pretend that you are non-existent; go ahead, do it for a day or two. But remember, you don’t live there. You don’t belong there anyway – and it’s not a destination. Here’s why…

If I have learned anything, it’s this. You have smaller humans that are watching your every move. Your attitudes, your composure, your strength, and endurance. They are building their character traits based on your examples. We’re helping shape who they become. Albeit – there is this saying but man oh man is it a good one…. Show your daughters how to be treated by a man and show your sons how to treat a woman. You’re showing them this tribe… and guess what… you’re doing an amazing job. No matter what yesterday’s mascara has to say about it.

Keep chugging the lattes. Keep being that laundry warrior. Be who you need yourself to be for you and for them. We’re all here to cheer you on along the way, and to pick you up and carry you when you feel like you can’t. That’s what tribes do.

Until we meet again…

Jenn

How Do I Pick Out Curtains?

Who knew of all the different types of curtains that are available these days… seriously.. .All I know is that now I am picking out these things all by myself. I had rented a house with a million windows and all I needed was curtains. ughh… seems easy doesn’t it.

I spent months in the divorce process and then its final. Where do you start? What do you do with your life now? So many questions running through your head.. For months I had lived in a bubble, just getting through the day and not thinking anything else. What do you do first after your divorce? Many you have never worked or even lived by yourself, but now at age 40 you are on your own. You get to pick out your own curtains or your own furniture. You don’t have to ask anyone’s opinion, which can be exciting and scary at the same time. Or the other side is now you have no one to ask the easy questions too.. I did not know of all the small decisions I would need to make by myself.

I had lived in a bubble for so long. Going through all the emotions and then when the divorce process starts It takes over your life. And once its final, you have to stop and think what do I do now. I think we all get ahead of ourselves and want to build this new life so fast. I think the best advice I can give anyone that is starting over after divorce is to take it slow and learn about yourself. It’s hard for me to remember the days or months right after my divorce, I think I was in such a bubble or daze throughout the process that it’s hard to remember all the changes. It was being on constant autopilot and no time to process the changes that I was going through. We all want to put our kids first and make sure they are happy, however its so important that we are learning to be happy also.

Take time to really learn about what you now want. Some days will really suck, you learn you need to do things all by yourself. You might have never picked out your own curtains, so this is new to you you and it might take you a day to make that decision or it might take you months…either way, it doesn’t matter because you did it. Some days you might want to lay in your robe until 2pm and do nothing, and you can… You can take the time and do what you need. Start figuring out what you want in your life for you.

You might make one decision by yourself and you should celebrate. Something that seems so small might be your biggest accomplishment. Take the wins!!

Snarkydivorcedgal (www.snarkydivorcedgal.com)

The Last Time

I am a few weeks away from taking a solo trip to California. The last time I took a trip by myself G was almost 2 and a half and it was to New Orleans to spend some time with my best friend.

It was also a chance for me to decide if I was ready to leave my husband.The writing had been on the wall for a long time. Even leading up to our wedding. But as I had come off an extremely abusive relationship, my soon to be husband seemed like the change. A new start I needed.

Except he wasn’t.

There were so many flags.

Some I still can’t talk about because I’m ashamed I let those things happen to me a second time. I let someone once again hurt me. I still remember being out with a group of friends and my ex. He sat in the corner his arms crossed and sulked the whole night. These were women who had been in my life for years. Suddenly he was making me question them and myself. Were we too much? Was I?

Or being put with his friends, all of them by the way college drop outs with extremely high IQ’s teasing me,a woman with two BA’s about loving pop culture as much as I did. He didn’t defend me. He joined in. My BA was a waste. I was just a glorified babysitter. His sister at dinner questioning why I ate like I did.

There’s so much I could unpack here, but it’s already been buzzing in my brain with this trip coming up.

You put up with a lot when you think you have no choice. When you think you deserve it. When you are afraid of change. When you are afraid of being alone or failing.That trip was the balm I needed. The reminder I was absolutely not all the things I let him tell me I was.

Leaving was hard. He absolutely did not make it easy and he actually didn’t grant me a divorce for several years. Even now he reminds me what he thinks of me. I think you know it’s not good.

As a result I hid from a lot of people I care about because I was so ashamed I let this happen to me. I am ashamed to say… I still do.

I pride myself on being a strong, independent person.

Not someone who had panic attacks when the clocks strikes 430 because that means my husband will be home and the house needs to look a certain way.

Not someone who cared so much about how I looked.

He hated my hair a certain way.

Tattoos.

Certain clothes.

Even food I ate.

Not someone who can’t decorate my current house in a certain shade of green because that was the only color he allowed me to decorate in.

I am still not the best at a lot of things.

Loud noises can be too much. Specifically any kind of sounds in a kitchen. Maybe another blog…

I tend to go inside myself rather than ask for help.

I take a long time to trust someone.

I cut my hair off, am covered in tattoos and piercings.

I have become a homebody.

But at the end of the day I don’t think my ex is a bad person – I mean I have G. Except he is maybe not a husband person, at least not for someone like me. Obviously.

We are still trying to figure out co-parenting. It goes without saying it’s a huge work in progress.

About 70% he’s a pretty good Dad. 30% I do genuinely want to throat punch him.

Last but not least if I have learned anything.

If someone loves me, they love me.

They have my back.

I am stronger than I think I am.

I will always put G first and make sure she always knows it’s beautiful to be yourself and anyone who doesn’t think do absolutely doesn’t deserve you.

I’m looking forward to a trip this time just to go be.

Not figure anything out.

Just be.

 

Hugs Mommas

<3 Caprise

Play Nice

I am currently sitting in my office processing the events of the morning. Trying to think of a careful way to share it with you all but not expose all the players. How do I play nice?

I have been divorced from my daughter’s father since 2012. Separated for several years prior to that. For the most part I have kept the why to myself. I have taken the high road. I haven’t shared much with anyone. When I’ve tried to those closest to me-at the time they  told me to just get over it.

I would love to. If only life worked that way.

But it doesn’t.

My reality was when I left, I left with G and not much else. I was told that since I made the choice that was how it was going to be. If I fought there could be consequences.

Throughout the years coparenting has been a rollercoaster. I am always wrong, I am a helicopter parent, everything is only about money.

Yet when my daughter asks why I am not with her Dad I say quietly- we were just very different,  your Dad is a good guy.

And he can be except when he isn’t.

So here I am trying to decide how to handle the latest untruth he told her about me.

I want her to have a good relationship with her Dad. It just sucks that it seems to be at everyone’s expense but his.

People tell you children hit an age where they figure it out. They realize the love and sacrifice you put forth. I’m hanging in there but MAN (!) there are days! I want to let fly and tell her how I still get anxious every day at 430. How I practically beg/chant “please stop”if I feel an argument brewing. I am still not strong enough to engage in any conversation that feels like an argument. I’ve been known to just leave. How it’s hard for me to trust. How I’m hypercritical of how I look. How I still worry all the time.

How sorry I am that we’re here. But I need her to know, more than anything what Happy looks like. What Love looks like. I need her to know she deserves the sun, the moon, and the stars. She deserves someone who loves her even when she is almost impossible to love.

As do we all.

Big loves Mommas

<3 Caprise

Dinosaurs Divorce

We are sitting under the glow of fluorescent bulbs, and I notice the book “Dinosaurs Divorce” on the play therapist’s wooden clipboard, an item on the evening’s agenda. “We have this book as a resource,” she says as I thumb through it. The book depicts Mommy and Daddy dinosaurs arguing with loud noises. Mommy and Daddy dinosaurs stewing silently. Daddy dinosaurs packing dinosaur boxes and placing them in the back of dinosaur moving vans. The therapist’s voice brings me back to reality: “Would you like us to go over this with Brennan? Or is it too overt?” Brennan is my 3-year-old son who isn’t familiar with the word “divorce” but has come to understand that he lives at “Brennan’s house” with Mama. I glance again at the glossary in the front of the book that explains the family law system to children in the way a biology textbook delineates the parts of a cell. My heart is beating fast. “Well, what do you think? Is this what he needs?” I ask her. I’m on foreign soil. She pauses and peers at me over thick-rimmed glasses: “You seem hesitant,” she replies. “Follow your instincts.” “Then, no. Not now.” No to “Dinosaurs Divorce.” No to pushing my kid off the cliff of childhood innocence with brute force.

It’s right after the Ash Wednesday service, and I am meeting my mom in front of Charming Charlie for the usual toddler trade-off. I climb cold and red-nosed into the front seat of her black SUV to sit a minute and turn to grin at my baby boy in the back. “What’s that?” Brennan says, staring intensely at the ashes on my forehead. “It’s in the shape of the cross…” my mother starts. I interject- “It’s just…it’s a religious…” my voice trails off. We move on to different subjects, and Brennan seems to adjust easily enough to the idea of a mother with an inexplicably dirty forehead. “Mom,” I say as we’re moving him and his accoutrements to my car, “I’m not ready to tell him about Jesus yet. I mean, I tell him that Jesus made us, and He loves us but not about His death. Not yet. Let’s just let him be happy. Let him be a kid.” “Of course,” she agrees.

His blue eyes stare up at me, long lashes blinking. “Is Da-Da home?” “No…remember, Da-Da lives at a different house now. He drives a big truck, and he lives with his friends. You’ll see him soon though!” I try to say it with cheer. “Oh yeah,” he replies with disappointment. I regret trying to say it with cheer.

As we drive, I glance back in the rearview mirror at a kid who is excited about driving over a bridge, and I pretend to get excited too. I know life’s not all bridges, but I want it to be. I want it to be happiness and every one of his favorite things. I want to shield him from the grisly deaths of Saviors and families.

I linger in these moments: they are uncomfortable places, sure. I think back to my first trimester of motherhood when the doctor called Brennan an impending miscarriage. In my fear and desperate longing, I spoke to him often. With a hand on my belly and a fierce whisper, I begged him to stay. “Life is not always easy, but it will be good. I’ll be a good mama to you, I promise. Please stay.” He stayed. And I try to stay true to my word, the best I can, here in this messy in-between. Even at three years old, life is not easy. Maybe all of life is a messy in-between. But still, I know: it will be good. It is good.

We get out of the car after another long day of work and play and commuting. It’s dark outside, but the sky is brightly lit. “Look, Mama!” he says. “The moon and the stars and the sky!” “Oh yeah! I LOVE the moon and the stars and the sky!” “Me too, Mama! I love them too!” And before we go into the house for another night of supper and bath time and bed, we stand for a moment and look up together at the big wide world- wild, uncontainable, beautiful.

~Mallory is a Mississippi mama who has been broken by life and softened by grace. She loves pine trees, poetry, and her friends.

Surviving Quiet and Being Alone

One would assume when they read the title of this post and knowing the author is a divorced single mom that she is talking about being single and not in a relationship. There is truth to that; it’s extremely difficult to go from being married for almost 18 years to being single again. There was so much to get used to – sleeping in bed alone, waking up alone, no other adult to talk to in the house, no one to bounce ideas off of or vent about work with, no one to celebrate successes with, no one to share household chores with and the list goes on and on.

For me, it was the little things …. I was used to calling my husband on the way home from work, finding out how his day was, what time he thought he would be home, etc. After the separation, I found myself picking up the phone out of habit and having to stop myself from calling him.

As a new single mom, I had to learn how to deal with co-parenting and following a parenting plan. We began with the girls going to his house every other weekend. The thought of having a weekend to myself sounded appealing and exciting but it wasn’t as great as I thought. All the times I had dreamed of having a weekend to myself and now it was here and I didn’t know what to do with myself. The quietness in the house was deafening. As a mom, I am always surrounded by people – at home with my kids, at work, at activities and running errands. Even growing up, I went from my parents’ house to college with roommates, then got married and had kids. The only time I had any alone time after having kids was in the car on the way to or from work.

When we first started the parenting plan schedule, I made sure to make plans with friends each time the girls were gone so I wouldn’t have to endure the quiet, lonely feeling I felt. Back then, I was scared of the quiet and alone time, so I wanted to fill my time with things to do so I wouldn’t have to spend my time reliving difficult or sad moments. After a few months of this, I realized that I needed to learn how to really be by myself and be ok with it, so I would force myself to stay home alone– I would try to make it as enjoyable as I could with things like takeout and a movie.

This year, during the week of Thanksgiving, the girls went on a trip with their dad for a week. I had been so busy for most of the year and I couldn’t wait to be on my own for a few days. I made plans each day, but I also made sure to have a lot of down time by myself that week. It had been quite a challenging year and I had a lot of pent up frustrations and emotions and I will admit that I cried every single day that I was alone. I know now that I needed to have those cry days and it was ok and I felt better afterward. I needed that quiet time to sort through my feelings and emotions and let everything go.

Slowly, over time, I have come to enjoy and appreciate my alone time. Sometimes, I drive in the car without listening to music or a podcast just to have a little peaceful moment or two. The quietness when the girls are gone is welcome, although I miss having them around, but I know that I need it to keep myself mentally at peace.

I also have learned that, although I hope I will be in a relationship again in the future, I would prefer to be single than be in a relationship that doesn’t work for me or where I’m not valued. This time alone has taught me that I’m a good person just the way I am and I deserve to be loved and valued, all things that I’m not sure I realized before.

I know it’s not always easy to live in the quiet and loneliness, but sometimes you have to do it so that you can work through all the feelings and emotions you’ve been ignoring. It’s tough and it’s not fun at all, but it’s necessary so you can get to the other side of things ….. better things.

~Laxmi~

You can follow Laxmi on her blog at  https://onedesigirlsjourney.wordpress.com/.