Tag Archives: seperation

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/.