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.

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!
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i will never apologize for being me again. my new goal: stop being a people pleaser.

Okay people pleasers. This is a lesson for us…for you…and especially a reminder for me.

I’m a people pleaser.

If you’ve been around me for more than 10 minutes, you’ll quickly figure out that I’m a people pleaser. I truly admire those that are the opposite of me because it’s a black hole that we get ourselves into, those of us that are people pleasers. We can’t stop ourselves. We want everyone to be happy even if it’s at our own expense.

So we bend and twist and give in to everyone else’s needs until we realize that we can’t please everyone…and then we start the next day and try a different route to please everyone for something different. It seriously is an addiction.

And when we get into a relationship, it’s easy for us to lose ‘us’…to lose who we are in a relationship with, order to adopt our partners wants and needs so that we can make them happy. And in a way, it’s not a bad thing because that’s who we are…making people happy makes us happy. But the problem begins when we choose partners or friends that don’t understand who we really are and they take advantage of our personalities instead of giving back to us in order to make US happy too.

My newest life.

I’ve given up, at least at this moment, in the hope that I’ll ever find a guy that can fully understand who I am and give to me unselfishly, just to make me happy because they love me. And that’s ok with me. It’s oddly calming to know that I can take care of myself. I think that my friends have clearly shown me in the past 90 days that I have people in my life that love me and they want nothing from me other than for me to be happy, which is more than what I’ve experienced from either of my ex-husbands.

My life has been packed with social events and it’s because I’ve opened myself up to me…doing things that make me happy, regardless of what others think I should be doing. And the biggest thing that makes me happy is experiencing life with others…with other people that make me laugh, that understand my humor, that don’t judge when I’m not perfect or when I say silly things or can’t focus on a darn thing and jump around from topic to topic. That’s who I am. I’m imperfect. And I’m proud of it.

I love life. I love to be silly. I love to laugh more than anything in the world. My poor sister used to get in so much trouble, when we were growing up, because she would sing at the dinner table and try to eat at the same time in order to prove my dad wrong – that she could sing and eat – and she’d get in trouble and then I would laugh. This occurred probably five nights out of seven. I couldn’t help it. I’m that girl that laughs at the wrong times. I did it this weekend when my own son was getting in trouble by his grandpa for being gross at the table. And I don’t care anymore. It’s how I’m wired and I am no longer apologizing for how I’m wired.

If laughing at the wrong times is the worst thing I do…then I’ve lived a good life.

I’m not perfect.

Unfortunately, laughing at the wrong times is not the worst thing I’ve done.

I’ve said the wrong thing at the wrong time. I’ve insulted people unintentionally. I’ve insulted people’s talents without realizing it. I’ve judged people without seeing the whole picture. I’ve thought that I was better than people, unfortunately a lot more than I want to admit. I destroyed my sons lives by leaving their father. I’ve cut people off in the church parking lot because I was starving. I’ve critiqued my ex-husbands choices. I’M. NOT. PERFECT.

BUT, I am who I am.

When you screw up, it’s how you deal with the screw up that will really define who you are. That’s where I think I do ok and why my incessant need to please everyone comes in handy. I care about others and their feelings a lot! And if I even think for one second that I’ve insulted them, then I internalize it, over think it, send an email, send a text, call, send another text, just to say I’m sorry.

So, I’m just a little proud of myself for being able to say, “I am who I am” without caring if anyone approves of my choices or not (and in all honesty, I do care still a little, just not nearly as much as I used to).

Dating Life 3.0

So…as I’ve started thinking about dating, flirting, or whatever with men…I’ve really decided to just be me. I’m not going to apologize, ever. I’m a lot to handle but I also have a lot to give…a lot of love…a lot of attention…a lot of intelligence…a lot of a lot to give to another person. So if the worst thing that they have to deal with is that I have a lot of emotions, then if they can help me keep my ‘up’ up, then we’ll be good, because I’ll be willing to devote the same amount of effort into that person that they put into me.

Whenever I date again, I refuse to hide who I am. I likely won’t lay it all out there on date #1, but I will be who I am and not feel bad. If nothing else, it will give the ‘other party’ the opportunity to think “holy crap, this girl is for me” or “holy crap, this girl is nuts”. But even if he thinks I’m nuts, I won’t internalize that to be “I’m not enough”…it’s simply, “He can’t handle all I have to offer.” And that’s how it will be and that’s ok with me.

And I will no longer accept that they can’t handle me because in reality, they aren’t mature enough to realize that I’m not a lot to handle…I’m a normal woman, normal human being, normal person that has emotions…and if they can’t handle grown up emotions, then they can leave. Sorry, they missed out on a grown up. And if they walk away, then I’ll know that they weren’t a grown up because I promise, the issue isn’t me. I don’t require large sum deposits in my bank account, big presents, lavish dinners and date nights…I require attention…anything that anyone else wants.

So until then, I won’t ever apologize for being all that Staci is, again. If they don’t appreciate it, then it sucks that they won’t be a part of my amazing life. I refuse to ever apologize again for who I am. And neither should you. You’ll find the perfect person for you if you are never ashamed of everything you are – the good and the bad (or at least what YOU think is the bad).

So one day, when I’m ready, I’ll write my bio for an online dating site and it will be nothing but the truth…just bullet points (because I love bullet points):

* camo lover
* jeep lover
* country music lover
* fine dining expert
* a passion for roller coasters
* has a love of scary and girlie movies (and anything with Marky Mark in it)
* lover of sushi and Mexican food
* would love nothing more than to throw her hair into a pony tail and hat in order to go fishing, eat matzo ball soup, and go to Gator football games

Perfect girl, right?? I think so…and at this point in my life, I don’t care if anyone else agrees with me. 🙂

Who cares what everyone else thinks!

Keep your chin up. A lot of us love you out there!

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). 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!

Signing your kid up for athletics? Let me pass along some tips to help you keep sane.

If you are craving some drama then sign your kids up for sports. Or anything competitive. Make a few friends, particularly seek out the parents that are the friendliest and seem to know everyone because they are the ones that know all of the drama. And then sit back and listen. You’ll feel better about your life afterward…just watch. It’s truly amazing to witness. It’s fodder for comedy shows on TV but it’s real – trust me!

This hockey season, my kids will be driven to the hockey rink 6 days a week…6 days a week – I’m insane. It’s stupid and ridiculous but I love it and wouldn’t change it. At least, for now, both boys play the same sport so we can kill two birds with one stone and only have to go to one ‘practice field’. This also means that I’ll hear about some kind of drama six days each week.

Youth Athletic Parent Personality Types

It really doesn’t matter what the sport is, the drama is always there. And it usually doesn’t come from the kids – it’s from the parents. And when you are involved in multiple sports you’ll find out that there are a few personality types in every parent group at the sport of choice: *The gossip, *The I’ve played this sport all of my life know-it-all, *The yeller/loud one/cheerleader, *The parent that critiques all of the coaches and refs, *The parent that has the ‘perfect’ child, *The parent that is the best at scheduling and overscheduling their kid and they let you know it, *The parent that is living their dreams through their kid, *The parent that is trying to date every single parent that has a kid on the team, and *The parent that rips their seven-year-old a new one when they pass the puck in front of the net.

6 Things to Remember when you Pay those Team Fees

So as you think about signing your son or daughter up for cheer, dance, football, or hockey (or anything else), keep these 6 things in mind to help your son or daughter enjoy every second of their extra-curricular activity of choice:

1. The best advice that anyone has ever given me is that my son(s) will not be playing in the NHL. That’s the first thing that was said during the first parent meeting that I ever attended when my oldest started playing hockey. In my heart, I want my boys to strive for the NHL because it gives them a reason to push themselves but in my head, I remind myself that they are playing for the love of the game and that’s it.

2. I am raising men not hockey players. My little men are people not machines. I need to always remember this. I need to care how they treat others more than how great their backwards skating is. I need to care about their grades more than how much ice time they are getting during games. I need to care about their social skills and social life more than how much extra instruction they need outside of their practice and game times.

3. How your child performs in the sport is not a reflection on you. How they act toward others, ref’s, and their coaches – this is a reflection on you.

4. When your child starts they will not be great. When they are done with a season, they will not be perfect. BUT they will have had fun, they will have more friends, and they will grow their skill set. I promise. You’ll be amazed at where they start and where they end.

Encourage them during and after each practice or each game. Let the coaches be the coaches and let them be the critics. You get to be the cheerleader and photographer. When they get off of the ice, ask if they had fun, mention your favorite move that they made and then drop the ‘shop talk’ unless your kid wants to discuss the game. The more you push, and push, and push early on, the more likely it will be that they’ll want to stop sooner than later.

5. Parents are super duper, times ten, competitive. To some, their kid is the best, so whatever they have to do to push their kid to the forefront they’ll do it, even if that means putting another kid down. BUT the kids just want to go out and have fun. Let them. Stay out of it. Stand back, scroll through Twitter, talk to a few parents about the football game that you’re going to this weekend. You’ll be happier and they’ll be happier. You won’t be consumed with making sure they are pushing themselves to the toughest limit and they won’t be stressed wondering if they will get yelled at when they get off of the ice.

6. Whatever sport your child chooses, the longer that you are involved with that sport or league, the closer you will get to the parents. If you don’t gossip, are supportive of the other teammates, and aren’t ‘that parent’ that gets kicked out of the rink for swearing at a child (this really does happen unfortunately in every youth athletic program), you’ll come to find that the parents that you meet will become family.

I look forward to going to the rink because there are parents there that I have come to know and grow with as our kids get older and more involved with the sport. Some of these people I’ve known for seven years or more and they have become extended family to me and the kids. I look forward to seeing these people, even with all of our flaws (and I’m included in this group). You have to appreciate that not everyone will see everything the same, that rumors fly fast (and the rumors are usually about personal lives), and that another parent (or even you) will say something stupid to a coach, ref, or you that should never have been said. BUT you have to remember that we’re all human. We are all in love with our kids and want the best for our kids. So if you can remember this whenever the drama happens, it won’t seem so bad. I love my hockey family and wouldn’t change things for the world.

You just have to embrace it and all of the personalities that come with being involved in athletics or anything competitive. Once you accept that no one is perfect, including you, and that your kid won’t be winning the gold medal in swimming next week, you’ll have a lot more fun enjoying the ‘ride’.

Bonus Tip: If you are asked to be the “Team Mom”, run, just run, as far away as you can…just trust me.

And btw – in case you didn’t know, my kids are the best hockey players ever and are being recruited now for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Just kidding. Not really. Yes, of course I’m kidding.

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). 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!

school year goals: hockey sticks and pink bows adventure #7

One thing that I’ve learned from my previous work-life is that until you actually write a goal down, commit to it, create a plan to reach it, verbalize it to someone else, ask them to keep you accountable to it, and take the first step toward reaching it, goals are simply just words. Nothing more.

And it doesn’t matter if this goal is set when you are 5, 15, or 55 years old. So, I’m starting my boys out young and when my little redhead hits Kindergarten or First Grade, she’ll do the same thing.

We needed to set school year goals – otherwise, what is there to look forward to??

I need to rethink that question though, because if you ask my 10 year old he’ll tell you that he goes to school to talk to his friends, play football at recess, and see that one special girl that holds his heart (currently). And my #2 man told me that “all boys are supposed to like a girl by third grade” so I have one year left to help him get a good footing in study habits and basic skill sets (reading and math) before I lose him to the sassy blonde at the front of the class.

Personal Goal Setting

When I started my blog, I ran with it. I jumped in, feet first, body first, no stopping, all in, kind of jumping in. Then I realized that I really loved this, loved writing, loved being honest, enjoyed the therapy, and needed to figure out where this was going.

So I stopped. Everything. Until I figured out my direction.

And I wrote down my goals. My mission statement. My dreams for the blog. My purpose for the blog. And it gave me even more strength and determination to get my voice heard, my mission understood, my knowledge out to those that needed it.

It was empowering. Truly mind-blowing, to type out my reasons behind what I was doing. And it gave me purpose; helped define my goal so that I could speak to others about it; set my goals. I was then a woman on a mission, which was the most powerful thing in the world.

I knew where I was, where I wanted to be, and how I was going to get there. It helped me set daily goals, weekly goals, and monthly goals. While I haven’t met each and every one, by having them ‘written’ out, I’ve been able to go back and review, revise, accomplish, and dominate. There have been achievements that I have reached that I didn’t even know were possible while others fell by the wayside. I’ve been able to redefine the ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘when’ for each goal. It’s truly been incredible…especially in the midst of a divorce that I don’t want, that could have brought me to new lows…I have been riding new ‘highs’ because of my accomplishments with my blog. And this is all in addition to putting in quite a few hours for a job that I’m really enjoying, working social networks (verbal, in-person, and online) to increase business for a fantastic construction company.

Be proud and define your goals.

My accomplishments may not be mind-blowing to some, but to me, I have built my confidence through my own efforts, words and intelligence that I hadn’t even given myself credit for in the past. BUT, I don’t think that I would be as proud of myself or increased my self-confidence if I hadn’t taken the time to define for myself, where I wanted to be, specifically for each facet of the blogging-world. So simply saying, I want to be able to support myself in 12 months with blogging wasn’t enough because that is truly daunting. That gives me no vision, no marketing plan, no accomplishments to be proud of on the way to the true dream in my head.

Writing these goals down is key and setting up a plan is even more important. Asking someone to keep you accountable is another great step and finally constantly reviewing weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or etc., is critical.

Start ’em young.

So Adventure #7 focused on teaching this life skill to my boys.

I was shocked…this more than any other adventure so far, has been discussed almost on a daily basis since each of us wrote our goals down in our notebooks. My youngest is really the one that keeps asking if we can review our goals to see if we are closer to reaching them…and he’s seven years old. I’ve interpreted this to mean that regardless if you are 7 or 77, written goals hold you accountable and give you a mission, sometimes a purpose, for doing what you do every day.

I review my goals on a weekly basis and sometimes I struggle to find the time, but I force myself, and because I’ve spent the extra time doing this, I’ve reached some goals that I didn’t think that I would reach for another two months. It’s given me purpose.

I loosened the ‘review period’ for the boys so that we had more time to reach their goals because I had no clue what kind of goals they would set. For all I knew, they would tell me that they wanted to get a phone call from Sidney Crosby because he saw a video online that showed their hockey skills. (In reality, their goals were much more realistic, like learning how to write everything in cursive before their teacher asked.)

For this Adventure, we did the following:

1. We only spent 15 minutes on this adventure. Depending on the age of the kids, there are very few that will last longer than this.
2. Resist the urge to ‘hint’ to them what they should write down. They’ll surprise you.
3. They may need help with the ‘how’ to reach the goal. Offer suggestions but let them decide how THEY want to reach the goal.
4. Read through, out loud, each goal that they’ve decided they want to reach. And I would highly recommend that they are the person that reads these out loud. This is the accountability piece. They may be a little embarrassed at first but by the end, you’ll hear how proud they are of themselves. And they’ll see how proud you are too!
5. Set the goals aside. Don’t put daily pressure on them. I promise they’ll bring it back up – my seven year old did within three days.
6. Review at the holiday break in December. It’s likely that they’ll be halfway there anyway but they will feel proud of their accomplishments. If nothing else, you’ll help them realize how critical that it is that they set goals every day for the rest of their lives.
7. Use the second half of the school year to really help them reach their goals. Don’t add extra pressure to ‘homework’ life, but offer opportunities to improve a certain skill that they want to improve when you know there won’t be much homework and you can do it ‘undercover’.
8. Review their accomplishments at the end of the year…and celebrate it in some way, shape or form. Show them how rewarding it is to set a goal, work hard, and achieve it.
9. Sit back and take a picture of the proud grins on their faces and then tag me on Twitter so that I can celebrate with you! @stacielizabeth

Remember these tips for going on your own adventures:

#1: Get them excited! Excitement is contagious – if you are excited, they will get excited.

#2: Materials: I printed each of the flyers above so that we could keep them in our scrapbook.

#3: During our adventure, I made sure that the paper that they wrote their goals on was saved in a special location, in order to avoid their sister’s apple juice spills, and added them to our scrapbook.
Our next adventure will repeat this process – I printed out a description of the adventure, and a collage of pictures from the adventure. Then added it to a notebook/folder so that when the year is over we can go through and relive some wonderful memories.

 

divorced mom guilt

Divorce, when you have children, includes a HUMONGOUS side of guilt. Especially, if you are the one that decides to divorce.

Everyone experiences it differently – some deal with it by buying everything that the kids want; some take them to every event that the kids want to go to; some ‘fight’ figuratively to be the one that is loved the most; and some fight to be the one that is the ‘most fun’. There’s no right way to deal with it unfortunately because in reality – all of it is wrong. If we excelled at this thing that we called life and marriage, we wouldn’t be divorcing and causing this pain to children that have no control over what we put them through.

Early Choices…first moments of guilt

My boys dealt with divorce when they were still in preschool. Not many can say that. There are some that make the choice to end a marriage as early as I did but the majority don’t make that choice until the kids are roughly in middle school because it just takes that long to make the decision. I’ve found all kinds of statistics online – many say that if a marriage will end in divorce, eight to twelve years is the average mark, and with many marriages not starting until people are in their late twenties or early thirties, a good majority of marriages end when the kids are in early middle school or late-elementary school.

And this is where, unfortunately, a large portion of my friends are at right now.

And ‘statistic-me’, I’m on divorce number 2 (also known as the last time I will EVER marry someone) and my friends are on number 1. Makes me sound like such a winner, right?? I promise – if you met my ex’s, you would completely understand that I let my heart guide my brain WAAAAYYY too much (aka – I have too much faith in people when I should listen to my brain more than my heart). I gravitate toward ‘big personalities’ BUT ‘big personalities’ also translates into the fact that they love attention on ONE PERSON only…and it ends up not being me or the responsibilities that they committed to.

When my oldest son and I have our ‘talks‘ it’s very common that he will mention, multiple times, that he feels the sting of the divorce because he feels like none of his friends live the same life. He hates feeling like people wonder why his mom has a different last name than him (so now I go by my boys last name at their school) and he feels like there is a spotlight on him because he has/had two dads (dad and stepdad). And he feels alone in the pain. And the guilt that engulfs me when he tells me this, is incredible but somehow I can hold it together to listen to all he has to say.

The one thing that I will say is that my #2 man was young enough, when his dad and I divorced, that the life we lead is ‘normal’ to him. My ‘Big D #2‘ is the first time that he will actually remember what happens, so if nothing else, I will strive to not repeat my mistakes with ‘Big D #1’ so that he isn’t as ‘scarred’ as my ex and I left my oldest.

Then guilt continues when my #2 man constantly asks ‘who are we with tonight’? God love him…he’s only asking because he honestly doesn’t keep track (one – because he’s seven, and two – because he forgets the schedule because we have such a weird co-parenting plan compared to most co-parentors because of my old work schedule).

And then, when they realize that hockey is starting back up again this week and they’ll possibly have to see their stepdad at the rink because he works there, they stress. So much so, that their dad and I have had to tell my scummy-soon-to-be-ex-husband that he’s not allowed to initiate contact with them because of their request, not ours.

And it’s embarrassing for them because no one else understands, at that age, what a divorce is…yet (unfortunately). And I TRULY hope none of their friends family’s have to go through this, ever.

And more guilt…

After I remarried this year, I volunteered to go on a field trip for my oldest son’s class. I was selected, and when my son’s teacher asked him what my last name was, he stumbled…because no one had asked him that question since I had remarried and because he didn’t want people to know or ask questions about why my last name was different than his. So not only was he embarrassed because of his ‘stumble’, he was embarrassed because he thought his classmates would think badly of him because my last name was different than his.

We’ve discussed this in detail and I’ve offered solutions to him and it’s fine now but these are the type of things that run through my head when my almost-ten year old asks me for a glass of apple juice. I know very well that he could take care of this, but then, because I’m ‘Mom’ I think, “he’s gone through so much and I’m standing right here, I can do it.” So I do it…for him and for all of them…because of the divorce guilt.

The guilt never ends…

I wish that I could give you the perfect advice about how to avoid this guilt. Unfortunately, the only advice that I can give is to not get divorced, to work it out. If you choose to divorce (and I’m not judging you for that choice)..but if you choose to divorce, just know that we all feel that ping of guilt and there’s not much you can do to avoid it. In reality though, parenting comes with a side of guilt, every day, for something. All you can do is roll with the punches, not diminish your children’s feelings, acknowledge their feelings, help them cope, and keep moving.

All you can do is choose to make the most sound choices for your kids as possible.