two lessons i’ve learned during the ‘big d’ #2

Almost 12 months ago, I found out that my ex was cheating on me and at the time, I felt like the world stopped and wouldn’t start again. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t figure out what to do, I couldn’t see what was really standing in front of me – a pathetic excuse for a man.

Today though, I see this man in a slightly different light. I’m actually thankful that he did what he did. I hate his actions and choices and don’t condone them but I have chosen to forgive him for things he did to me and for how his actions affected my kids. I can’t say that I don’t have moments where I have to talk myself down from huge amounts of anger that I have toward his continued poor choices, but I’ve had to make the decision to let God deal with him and also to make the choice to allow God to grow positive things in my life by just letting a lot of things go. (And please don’t think that it’s easy to do this…I have to make a conscious decision to do this every darn day.)

And what a difference 12 months can make.

life lessons during divorce_for blog post

Lesson #1: I had to grow my little Mommy and Me Gang.

My kids have grown so much, emotionally, in a positive way. I didn’t fully realize the negative impact my soon-to-be-ex really had on them and shame on me for not realizing it. I’ve really beaten myself up over some of the things that they’ve shared with me now, that they felt they just ‘had to deal with’ because they knew I loved their stepdad.

Now though, my little family of four is so solid and I can honestly say that had I been with my ex still, I think my family-unit with my three kids would have suffered even more because they were silently struggling with my ex. Now that he’s gone, I’ve watched my second son really open up to me about everything that he’s feeling because he feels supported and heard; I’ve watched my oldest son learn empathy, sympathy, and how to care for others; and my little lady…well, she’s learning how to drive her brothers insane but that’s what two-year old little sisters are supposed to do.

I’ve learned how to connect with them and we have this weird gang-like mentality – that to get past one of us, you have to get past all of us. And without my ex making his poor choices, I wouldn’t have had that. I didn’t have this before my ex and I got together but I’ve had the last 10-12 months to build that relationship and it’s the most incredible experience. They are fully aware that they come first, before any man in my life, or anything else.

As my best friend told me a looooong time ago, give yourself time, if you’re getting divorced, to build a bond with your kids that is impenetrable. I didn’t…I thought I had, but I didn’t give it enough time before being in a serious relationship and it prevented me from seeing exactly what they were experiencing because we weren’t impenetrable yet and they just wanted me to be happy so they avoided sharing how they were feeling about my ex…sadly, I don’t think that they felt that they had a choice. Today, they know that they get to pull the kill-switch if they have issues with someone that I am dating.

My advice – wait until you are on solid ground with the kiddos before you introduce a serious relationship to the kids. I would even recommend waiting until your relationship is solid with your kids before jumping into a serious relationship yourself.

Lesson #2: Don’t expect your relationships to change until you change your habits.

Basically, if you don’t change anything, you’ll find yourself in the same types of relationships over and over and over…until you change something.

I like to serve others and make them happy. It’s who I am and it makes me happy to know that I was the one that put a smile on someone else’s face. The only problem with that is that I’ve only focused on being the support for someone else I’m in a relationship with instead of making sure that my needs were also being met. In a way – I needed to learn how to serve myself.

About nine months before I found out that my ex had been cheating on me, I left my job, my career, of 17 years so that I could help him with his business and support our household needs while he built his business. While it was the dumbest decision I could have agreed to, in the end I think I may end up thanking him. I’m working my tail off to build my own business so that I can create and maintain the same lifestyle that my kids have always been used to and so that I get to use my brain every day doing the things that I love – being creative and being there for them as their mother and support system.

Had I not left my job, I wouldn’t have been in a situation that forced me out of my comfort zone to create my own little world in which I allowed myself to fully do things my way. I had to make myself become a little selfish and to choose to do things that I’ve always wanted to do but was never given the chance to do because my spouse didn’t want to do them…like make my kids Matzo Ball soup whenever they wanted or choose a restaurant other than Ale House if I was going out to eat for dinner. (It’s the little things that make me happy.)

I’ve really had to self-reflect over and over and truly learn what I’m worth and how strong I really can be and I’ve learned how to serve myself. It may sound extremely selfish but I needed to be forced to do that because otherwise, I likely would end up with another man that took and took and took from me, because I like to serve, without the guy giving back to me or serving me. And I’m not high-maintenance…I promise. I don’t expect much more than thoughtful attention, learning my coffee order, and giving me the time I need to watch any of The Real Housewives.

And then…

…when I least expected it, someone really important entered in my life. And because I was more solid within my own expectations of myself and my behavior, I knew what I was willing to allow into my life and into my kids lives and how much I would allow myself to serve without being served in return.

The beginning of a new relationship is fun and exciting and you want to do everything for that person to not only impress them but to make them happy. My fatal flaw in relationships is that I have always misinterpreted the happiness that I feel, after serving someone, as happiness, that the person I’m with, is returning to me.

The reality is that the happiness that I felt in past relationships, in the beginning, I had created on my own and that’s not healthy. You should be with someone that gives as much as you give.

And with this guy, I have this. Had I not learned to focus on making myself a priority and how to appreciate ‘how I’m wired’, I could easily have gotten lost in a new relationship. I appreciate my quirks now and won’t let myself be in a relationship unless that person appreciates them as well.

Thanks to my ex, I was forced to take a hard look at myself and the personality traits (from the people I was with) that I had been allowing in my life. I wasn’t questioning myself about what I had done wrong in my marriage, because no one should take blame for my divorce except the cheater and abuser, but I was quizzing myself about the type of person I would ever again allow in my life or my kids lives. And I’ve learned a lot about myself through this process.

My advice – reflect upon your past in order to know what behavior contributed to the divorce and then work your tail off in order to not repeat that behavior, whether that is allowing it in your life or determining that it’s your behavior that needs to change.

The key, though, is to give yourself time to make these changes and not to rush things or allow others to tell you what your timeline should be. You’ll know when you are ready for your next step in life.

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it but the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website. Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. Thank you for your trust and readership!
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my mother is my hero

Each year, months are designated to support different types of cancer to raise awareness and funding for research.

My two favorites are September and October.

September focuses on Childhood Cancers, some of the most underfunded cancers that need more attention and financial support. October focuses on Breast Cancer awareness, which receives a ton of attention and millions and billions of dollars in funding. It hasn’t always been that way and I’m hoping that with the increased attention that Childhood Cancer has been getting in recent years that one day we can say that Childhood Cancer and Breast Cancer BOTH receive millions and billions of dollars in funding each year.

Until then I’ll keep promoting both.

It’s Personal.

What I CAN say is that Breast Cancer is a personal issue for me…really for my mother.

I will never forget getting the phone call from my dad to tell me that my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It wasn’t something readily discussed 17 years ago so it was not only a shock to my emotions but also to my brain. What was this? What caused this? What will this mean for my mom? For my parents? Will she live? How are the different stages defined? What kind of breast cancer is this? What will my mom go through? What will my dad go through? Will my sister and I get this too? There’s how many types of breast cancer??

A lot to digest. A lot to understand. But I wasn’t the one that went through this. My mother was. She was the one that had to fight this disease and beat it.

When I heard.

I had just turned 20. I had just moved out and was living in my first apartment. Life was fun and carefree…life didn’t have speedbumps…but my mom’s life was getting ready to. My dad, my sister and my mom lived this every day and I have struggled with a touch of guilt for not being there for my parents and my sister every day like I would have been if I had been living at home. I know though, that there’s nothing that I could have done differently had I been living at home as well.

It was my mom’s battle to fight. Not mine. Not my dad’s. Not my sister’s. And I know we would have each taken it on so that she wouldn’t have to fight it, but we couldn’t. We could be there for her to make her laugh or show her that we needed her to hang around a lot longer or to show her that life keeps moving and she had to be the referee for the rest of her life, between my sister and I (politics + family + different views = mom’s refereeing). We couldn’t take the pain away and as much as we wanted to help, we didn’t have a clue what she was going through.

The fact that my mom can’t eat red jello to this day just shows how powerful a memory can be. The red in the chemo pumped into her each month took away something as small, yet as normal as being able to eat what she wanted, when she wanted. And it’s not that she loved red jello…or red koolaid…or red anything…it’s just that this disease that she didn’t invite into her body by recklessly smoking or drinking or anything else, caused her to reject even simple things, red things, reminders of the taste that the chemo leaves in your mouth or the weakness that it causes.

She was robbed of the small things and the big things.

Things like feeling like a woman, a wife, a mom. Things like her hair…and in case you ever wanted to know (lol), Dennis women have fabulous hair and skin. We don’t even have to really take care of it much more than the once a day wash and rinse and it turns out fabulous…because of my mother’s (and grandmother’s) gene’s.

Yet, my mother had to face the fact that she had to shave her head. She had to lose her hair. But thankfully, her loving husband, my father, was there with her when she discovered that it was coming out, on vacation, and he shaved it for her so that she could wear some amazing wigs that she searched for, researched about, paid top dollar for, and had cut similar to her hair style.

One of my favorite memories of my mom at that time, is that one day she informed us that she had been told that many times when hair grows back after falling out from chemo, it will come back in completely different than before.

And so the prophecy was fulfilled. Her hair came back in kinky curly…the same hair that she had wanted my sister and I to have for our entire childhood (and the perms that just went bad…really bad), she received. I was kind of excited that what she had always wanted for us, she received (and not for payback, I promise :)).

And as always, she made the best of every situation…she was super excited about the curly hair and she swore that she was going to go ‘au naturale’ and not ever dye her hair again.

Six weeks later (and she’ll probably tell me I’m wrong on the length of time), she died her hair back to her ‘natural color’ (aka – the color she really liked at the time). And it was fabulous because I saw a spark in her again because she, then, really felt like she was ‘herself’ again.

Fast forward six months…just six months…and she found out that she had another form of cancer that had been caused by the follow up drugs used to help keep her breast cancer at bay. How hypocritical is that?? We’ll treat your chemo and keep it away by giving you drugs that may cause more cancer in a different part of your body??

So more surgery but luckily no more chemo.

Then regular visits to her doctors to see if everything was gone. Every six months, she kept her Dr. appointments and would sit with baited breath to make sure that the cancer was still absent from her body.

And it stayed like that for a long time!!

Strength.

Fast forward years, and years, and breast cancer walks, and more breast cancer walks and fundraisers, and then more years…and then they found more in the other breast.

This is strength. She defined strength in this moment.

She barely told a soul. She accepted it quickly and quietly and made decisions swiftly and with a confidence that I hadn’t seen the first time. She went in, had the other breast removed; had reconstruction done; recovered; worked through her recovery; held my daughter through her recovery…and showed me what strength is. Showed her granddaughter what strength is. Showed everyone how tough and amazing she really is.

Doing what you need to do, to get things done that you want to get done, for the people that you live for…that’s strength…that’s my mom…a Breast Cancer fighter and survivor.

She gives me strength like no other woman ever could. I hope to set the same kind of example for my daughter one day (except I’ll pray to skip the cancer part :)).

Love you Mom!

Donate to something today…My favorites are:

Chicago Marathon Fundraiser for Camp Sunshine – Rachel N. Jones

Camp Sunshine – Benefitting Family with children with life threatening diseases

Breast Cancer Fundraising – Susan G. Komen

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it (the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website)(I do not get commissions from sites where you donate money or things). Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend items that I feel are amazing because I’ve used and tried them. Thank you for your trust and viewership!

turning a corner

The day I knew I had turned a corner, in the midst of my 2nd divorce,  started out like this:

  • Do some work
  • Scan my Counter Petition and send to my attorney
  • Get an email from my attorney that they had filed the counter petition and emailed it to my soon-to-be-ex’s attorney
  • Get an angry phone call from my soon-to-be-ex letting me know that he was going to cut off the little financial help for the utilities that he has always paid (guessing he read through my counter petition)
  • I got upset and worked up and then my attorney calmed me down
  • My business grew a little that day
  • I was able to feel accomplished that day through my work
  • I didn’t feel angry or sad or anything toward my soon-to-be-ex. I felt apathy toward him.

And that’s the day I knew I had turned a corner. I no longer want to talk about him or what could have been. I no longer missed him.

I’ll still have moments when I miss what could have been for our family but I know that it’s not even worth wishing for because my soon-to-be-ex isn’t the same person that I fell in love with and married.

I’m ready to start my new life and in fact I’m really looking forward to it. I’m no longer ‘faking it till I make it’ and slapping a smile on my face to force myself into a positive mood. And it feels amazing. A load has been taken off of my shoulders.

I know that I’ll have to deal with him for the rest of my life but I no longer want to see him suffer or have regrets or anything….I just want my life to get into more of a routine and clear him out of the picture as much as a judge will allow me. Now that’s not to say that I’m going to lay down and let him walk all over me during the divorce process, but it does mean that I won’t be rattled by him any longer. Should he decide to make poor choices, it will only affect him and I will continue to rock it in life.

I’ve never been so scared about my next chapter but thrilled and excited all at the same time. So many things are on the horizon for me…so many exciting, inspiring, challenging, hopeful things that I have to look forward to and he was dumb enough to throw me to the side…but because he did that, I was forced to push and push and push myself further than I ever thought I could go.

The best part about the whole thing is that I’m calm…oddly, weirdly, calm. I have to see this man almost six days a week because he works where my kids play hockey, and I’m not nervous anymore. I walked into the rink recently with zero butterflies, no nerves, no nausea, and with my head held high because it’s there, not because I faked it. And it was marvelous. I honestly haven’t felt that for years because I would even dread seeing my sons’ father at the rink. (Yes, I’m a glutton for punishment – both of my ex’s play hockey where my kids play and one even works there – don’t repeat my mistakes…just don’t.)

The calm I feel is equivalent to the calm I felt after each c-section when the pain killers kicked in. It’s glorious.

The other person that I need to thank for this sense of calm, is my mother. She recently went to a bible study, that clearly I need to be going to, and she shared some of the most poignant messages that I needed to hear:

  • When you’re in circumstances that you can’t control and you don’t know the answer to the issues, look up.
  • “I know the Lord is speaking to me when what I hear and am led to do cannot be done without his assistance, protection and guidance. He only speaks what brings glory to himself!” ~Bishop Kenneth Ulmer
  • God doesn’t punish you or condemn you…he will always love you no matter how much you screw up.
  • God offers solutions not guilt. He encourages, not humiliates.
  • “When I finally do the thing He has been nudging me to do, whether it’s letting something or someone go, or taking a step toward the unknown, there is a deep calm in my soul.” ~Kathy Troccoli

And I have experienced that deep calm. And it’s calming.

I know I used the word (or form of) calm twice in two sentences but there is no more perfect word than that.

Everyone experiences that calm at different points in the divorce process. I experienced it with my ex-husband two years after the divorce was final…with my soon-to-be-ex – I only had to wait a few months after he moved out.

I’m oddly proud of myself and sad at the same time. Sad only because it means it’s really over…at least for me…he has lost me forever. BUT I’m proud of myself because I never thought I’d get to this point in my relationship with ‘me’.

I’m really looking forward to what the future holds for me in the respect of a personal life/dating life and my career…which will likely be on my terms through my own business.

How cool is that?? I got exactly what I always wanted, minus the husband, for my kids and myself. I’ll be able to provide for them and fulfill dreams of supporting myself and them COMPLETELY on my own.

But I have to admit – it is as scary as HE double hockey sticks and back.

I don’t know why I’m where I’m at in my life and career but I can’t deny the doors that God has opened for me. So I’m going to stop fighting the scary stuff and conquer life!

So excited to start a new month tomorrow!

Remember – If it’s too hard to focus on the fact that the glass is half full, focus on the fact that you can refill the glass tomorrow!

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it (the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website)(I do not get commissions from sites where you donate money or things). Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend items that I feel are amazing because I’ve used and tried them. Thank you for your trust and viewership!

if nothing else, be nice

Don’t tell my ex-husband, but I owe him a huge apology. I was mean, I was persistent, and I was the one that wanted the divorce. I made the decision to divorce because of some poor decisions that he had made and I then was bitter about the fact that I felt I had been backed into a corner, forced to make a decision to keep my kids safe, but yet at the same time, made to completely uproot and change their lives.

So I was mad that I had to divorce him. And I made sure that he knew that I wasn’t going to just be simply cordial with him during each of our interactions. I was upset that he had changed my future, changed their future, made me the bad guy.

Yet, by the time I had made the decision to divorce, I had already come to grips with it and with what my future had to hold.

He hadn’t.

And that’s what I should apologize for. Because I expected him to ‘grieve’ the loss of our marriage as well as accept his mistakes at the same time and all within months.

I’ve now been on the other side.

The only difference is that I’ve done nothing to cause divorce #2. I was even told by my soon-to-be-ex that I was an amazing wife and I did nothing to deserve the divorce.

Yet, he still seems to be mad at me, all of the time, for things not just having to deal with my little redhead; or at least he treats me as though this divorce is all my fault and the consequences of his uttering “I want a divorce” all fall on me.

He has no idea what leaving our family has done to the kids and the fun memories that they had. For example, the other night, we were leaving hockey practice and we started talking about things that were fun that happened during our day. My #2 little man then took it one step further and said that one of his favorite days was when I took him down a big water slide and Erik took my little man #1 down a big water slide and how much fun he had and how he thought that was the best day ever and he wanted to do that again soon.

The sting that I felt from that memory and the fact that it was his favorite memory caused me to have to choke back tears.

…This is reality. This is divorce. This is what I didn’t want but Erik did because he thinks that the grass is greener on the other side…(aka the mommy-side, the McDonnell side).

Yet, the lack of compassion that he has shown for any of the kids, let alone me is astounding.

I don’t get it. I at least cared about what the boys were feeling after I made the decision to divorce their dad. In fact, the boys and I grew closer than ever. Yet, Erik has barely made the choice to ask specific questions about how the boys were dealing with the divorce and what new things the little redhead was accomplishing, let alone actually talk to the kids about the divorce or express empathy or sympathy or any kind of emotion to show that he cares about what they are going through.

Part of me thinks that it’s guilt that he can’t deal with but then again, what human being with REAL human emotions can watch two little boys struggle with ‘desertion’ by someone that they love and not feel anything. I’m probably hoping for something that is completely unrealistic but I am saddened more and more every time I have to talk to Erik. He makes me realize that, unfortunately, the divorce may be the best thing that could happen to me.

So, with that said, I have some advice for those that may be the one making the decision to divorce, that should, hopefully, help you understand the pain that the other person is going through.

11 Things to remember if you are the person filing for divorce:

1. Your spouse never thought that this would actually happen.

The big “D” word had been thrown around during arguments but the day after showed that the issue had been resolved. Everyone always apologized for ‘taking it there’ after the big “D” word had been thrown out.

And because the word ‘divorce’ had been thrown around before, it really won’t sink in that you are serious until the day that your spouse is served. Your spouse will think that you just need to cool off and clear your head. So expect a breakdown the day that they are served with divorce papers.

2. They loved you with all of their hearts…and still do.

Don’t toy with it. Don’t feed their egos. Don’t be friends.

Just walk away…like you ‘say’ you really want to do.

Don’t hurt them more than you’ve already done.

3. They really want to hate you but can’t.

If you said, today, that you wanted to fix the marriage, you would have just handed them the biggest Christmas present ever…until they realize that you were just patronizing them into prolonging the divorce process. Only commit to the reconciliation process if you really want it. We don’t want to ‘fake it till we make it’ at this point.

Be understanding if they go from being ‘soft’ to ‘hard’ in a matter of minutes. They are having a hard time knowing how to read you now. They thought they could before but they figured out quickly that they didn’t really understand who you were because they never thought that you would put another woman ahead of them or actually file for divorce.

4. They still can’t grasp why they weren’t good enough.

We internalize why the marriage failed and we are likely to place blame on ourselves.

We fill our days, nights, and free time with ways that will make us feel like we aren’t insane for ____XYZ____ reason because the second that our time frees up, we start running through every scenario to try to figure out where everything went wrong.

The only thing that you could do to help the situation, for this, is to attempt counseling – not to reconcile – but to help them understand why you won’t put any effort into repairing your marriage and that it’s not necessarily anything that they have done (I know that sometimes it is), but that it’s something that YOU can’t deal with or work through.

5. Try empathy and softness, before you decide to be irritated that they ‘can’t move on’ within 6 weeks.

Try to understand their point of view and where they may be coming from, more than where you think they should be in life. They are in so much emotional pain and every time you get mad at them for still being in love with you is one more form of rejection and the knife is dug even deeper.

Be kind in your words, gentle in your actions, and patient with the time they need to cope with the end of something they thought would last the rest of their life because of the vows that you made.

6. Be gentle – they are hurt and want to hurt back sometimes. To them, you’ve already hurt back – you are divorcing them.

Using the term ‘hurt’ honestly doesn’t even describe how they’re feeling. They are feeling rejected and destroyed by the one person that they thought would always protect them and never let another soul hurt them. And the person that was supposed to protect them and be their support system is the one that has hurt them more than anyone else ever could.

A natural reaction is to strike back. Refer to #5 when this happens. Try to diffuse the situation with kind words or words of gentleness instead of biting back. You made this choice – you’ve already done the hurting…stop hurting them even more.

7. Remember – you wanted this divorce…not us. Should you really want the bedroom set, fix the marriage or walk away and buy a new bed.

We didn’t want to have to divide our belongings. We thought that everything we had would be ours, together, until the day we died. The memories are the priceless artifacts – not ‘things’ and when you fight for these types of things, we get confused. Why would you want something that was so intimate to our marriage, our relationship, to us??

You chose the divorce – the kind thing to do would be to let us choose the ‘stuff’.

8. Don’t flirt with us.

It’s confusing and then the rejection cycle happens all over again when we confront you about it and you deny that you flirted.

Don’t send funny texts; don’t call to reminisce with us; don’t hug us; don’t ask us to dinner to talk through the divorce; don’t share things about what is new in your personal life or with your family.

We are trying our best to cut our feelings off and when you flirt with us, it opens Pandora’s box and then we have to work even harder to shut the box afterward.

9. Have an understanding that it will kill them emotionally to see you with another person.

If they seem strong, just know that it’s killing them inside – so be gentle. Consider preparing them before they witness the relationship up-close-and-personal. Don’t expect them to like the other person and be ready to hear everything that is wrong with the ‘new girl’.

The perfect relationships that you see on TV between 1st wife and the new girlfriend are rare – it likely won’t be like that. Maybe consider avoiding the situation altogether for a while until things are calm between the two of you and then introduce the new girlfriend/boyfriend.

10. Every time you want to sing the blues about how tough your life is because you have a job and have to ‘pay for everything’ just know that your soon-to-be-ex absolutely hates asking you for help.

The last person that they want to contact is you but they don’t know what to do because you were the person that was supposed to be their support system for the rest of their lives and now that’s gone and they have nothing, including the income that you promised that you’d provide; all ripped out from under them because of a selfish decision on your part.

Don’t throw salt in the open wound by complaining about things that we wished we had.

11. Know that when you shut us off, we will be ‘found’ by someone else.

We WILL find someone better than you, much better. Someone nicer, someone more loving, someone better looking, someone smarter, someone with a better job, someone that isn’t you – that won’t hurt us…because you’ve taught us valuable lessons about relationships and how to define love.

Don’t become bitter when this happens. It’s likely that, unless we really did something to cause the divorce (which isn’t the case for me), you will repeat your relationship mistakes over and over and will end up alone much longer than us. Don’t take it out on us when this happens.

We wanted to work it out, we wanted to help you figure out your issues, we didn’t want the divorce. So it really makes us mad when you get upset when we find someone better suited for us. This was YOUR decision, NOT ours…get over yourself.

In the end, the biggest thing to remember is to be patient with us. We are trying to get to the point where none of this hurts anymore and a place of aSELRES_42c6c6dd-895e-4fcc-9361-4bfc8c49d3d2SELRES_351b38eb-f9d2-4f9b-a5e8-879205c2505bSELRES_351b38eb-f9d2-4f9b-a5e8-879205c2505bSELRES_42c6c6dd-895e-4fcc-9361-4bfc8c49d3d2cceptance, but it’s going to take a little while because we didn’t want our life to turn out like this.

If nothing else, just be nice.

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it (the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website)(I do not get commissions from sites where you donate money or things). Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend items that I feel are amazing because I’ve used and tried them. Thank you for your trust and viewership!

11 reasons why i’m loving being a single mom

I absolutely hate the situation that I’m in but there’s not much I can do about it. My husband acted like a child and ran off because the only other option meant that he would’ve had to commit to hard work, which he seems to be allergic to. Even his father knew he could never commit to anything long term – I wish that had sunk in for me years ago when he told me what his dad had said…but, shoulda, coulda, woulda.

So, all I can do is make the best of the situation that I’m in.

Get ready for a really long sentence…

There are days that are really tough, more like exhausting, being a single mom to three little mini-me’s. My biggest struggles include getting my own stuff done including work and drink my coffee before it gets cold, when I have to spend 20 minutes convincing them to get out of bed, drive them to hockey six days a week and karate two days a week, listen to the little redhead throw temper tantrums when I won’t let her crawl back into the womb when I’m trying to make dinner for four people and make lunches at the same time and won’t hold her, convincing my oldest that he should actually try to get his homework done on his own without copying it from his friends on the bus, return calls to the school clinic because my oldest (fill in the blank because they see him on a weekly basis for something this year and they already know how dramatic he is), calm my youngest son’s temper when something has really frustrated him, fold and put away everyone’s clothes, change sheets on everyone’s bed, pay bills, clean the house, listen to my kids friends tell me that I need to clean my car (whatever dude – maybe I do that on purpose to minimize how often I have more than my three in the car 🙂 jk), and then actually try to have a personal, adult life in the extra five minutes before I get some sleep…all on my own, without an ounce of care from my soon-to-be-ex as to what he’s done to me emotionally or financially. He’s never offered any help with anything…hasn’t even offered to mow my lawn or even bring the key back to me for our lawnmower. Glad he is happy because that’s what’s important, right?? Not doing the right thing…nope, I’ve learned that he’s incapable of doing that.

And yes, my boys father does have them a little less than half of the time, but those are the days that I am able to get the grocery shopping done and other errands that really are no fun to begin with, let alone add three kids to the trip.

BUT…

Even with all of that said, I’ve had some REALLY great moments in the past couple of months – things that have made my upcoming divorce tolerable. I’ve lived so much ‘life’ in the past four months and it’s all shown me just how much I really have to be thankful for.

So here are 11 reasons why I’m loving being a single mom:

1. I’ve been able to really appreciate how awesome my kids are because I have all of my attention focused just on my kids and not an overly dramatic grown child.

My oldest has really shown me how much he is able to step up to the plate. Tonight he even wrote out seven post it notes, that he stuck to his closet door, giving himself a checklist of things to do in the morning including “help mom with the little red-head.” And he told me that he didn’t want me to set any alarms, that he was going to wake up with his alarm and then wake me up after he got a few things done so that I can sleep longer. #luckymom

2. I’ve never laughed so hard at the kids making each other laugh. AND, I’ve realized how funny they really are. We have been able to quote movies together, be silly, joke together, and playfully tease each other all without hearing my soon-to-be-ex complain that he thought that they were being disrespectful to me and him.

3. I’ve accepted that there is no norm anymore so it’s allowed me to be more flexible with our free time. I’ve stopped planning ‘stuff’ to fill our free time together and allowed the kids to help guide the day based on compromise between everyone’s wishes not just the adults wants and needs.

4. I’ve learned how to appreciate the extra five minutes I have every day and just sit and relax…and not do anything. I even allowed myself to take a nap when my little girl did this past weekend and it was glorious! I make the most of every minute, almost every day, and it’s been nice to just relax and do nothing when I have a little bit of free time, without feeling guilty.

5. My friendships have really grown. I’ve learned to be more honest with how I’m really feeling. My life isn’t ‘picture perfect’ and friendships have grown deeper because they’ve felt more comfortable ‘laying it all out there’ because, as you’ve read, I haven’t shied away from ‘going deep’.

6. My house is tidy almost all of the time…for the first time in 3.5 years! It’s so nice to have empty countertops again every night when I go to bed! I no longer have to pick up after a sloppy, grown man-baby and I get to run the house like I want!

7. I’ve had to perfect my organizational skills and scheduling skills and I love these two types of tasks so I’ve really enjoyed this. I have no choice but to be on-point with my schedule and the kids so I’ve had fun using my calendar app and my dry-erase calendar board. (I know – lame – but I love it!)

8. I get to watch as much reality TV as I want when I have time. This is simply glorious and probably one of my favorite things.

9. I don’t have to get anyone’s ok on anything any longer. I get to choose the restaurant, I get to select the meals for the week, I decide what movie is rented…all me.

10. I’m not dependent on anyone’s schedule any longer (other than the kids, obviously). I don’t have to ok plans for the weekend anymore…I get to just say yes, without hearing someone whine that they only want to work on a Jeep that was a complete waste of money.

11. I have a feeling of peace and calm when I go to bed every night, in the middle of my bed. My days are far from perfect, but I have quickly learned that my happiness is all on me…if I want to laugh then I need to find a way to make myself laugh, if I want to complete a project then I have to get my behind in gear to do it…it’s all on me now and I’ve found the drive within me because I had no other choice. And I amaze myself each day…and I’m loving it.

Change isn’t easy for anyone, I don’t care who you are. It’s how you deal with it that makes all the difference in the world. If you are faced with the daunting world of divorce or single-parenthood, just take each minute as it comes. I wouldn’t even recommend taking on the day, in the beginning…focus on the minutes first then graduate to getting to lunch, then getting to dinner and before you know it, each day will be a joy and each week won’t be as tough as it used to be. If you have a rough day, guess what?? You get to start fresh the next day and try it again. And the kids will see your strength – I promise.

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