Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lots of questions...

Will I be okay?
Will my child(ren) be okay?
Will he (or she) and I be able to get along (for the child)?
How will I date?

When you first start out separating or getting a divorce, these are some of the questions you have.

I will tell you in the best of situations all of those things are hard and can't be answered easily. Let's break them down one at a time.

Will I be okay?
The short answer is yes, you will. Not every day is easy. Not every night is full of sleep. But every morning the sun comes up and some how you put one foot in front of the other. You go through your day, you feed the kids and you hug them. You do the things you have to do and then the day ends and you face another night.... But at some point you stop doing it because you have to do it everyday, but because you are actually happy to do it and happy again and you smile and laugh and you notice the sun coming up and the birds and the flowers. The nights are the hardest for a while but even those will become easier and you will sleep through the night again.

Will my child be okay?
Yes. They will take cues from you. Are you laying in bed crying? Being withdrawn? Or are you getting out of the house, making the most of a sunny day? Or laughing and snuggling with them? It is okay to be sad sometimes because it does teach them how to deal with it and it shows that you are human. And when you survive all this, it will show them how strong you are and how far you have come. But the bottom line is they will take their cues from you on how to act and to a point how to feel. But remember they do have feelings too and as long as you validate those, they will be okay. They want to be heard and understood. Do not tell them their feelings are wrong, just listen and let them know they are important.

Will he (or she) and I be able to get along?
Yes but it won't be easy and you have to put your hurt aside for it to work. I didn't always WANT to get along with my ex but I had to make it work for my children. I had to for them. But it takes work and it takes wanting to do it. Not every step is easy. I mean there is a reason you aren't with this person anymore. But if you want what is best for your children, you will have to put yourself aside. If you don't, you won't get along. But there is another step in this process, they will probably meet someone else and that someone else will probably have a relationship with your child. That is hard. But again, I had to think about my children and I had to put my feelings aside. In my situation, I reached out to her. I thought it was best if I got to know her. I didn't want to at first. I really wanted to hate her but at the end of the day, I realized it was best for my kids and they are much happier.

One piece of advice, don't talk bad about your ex in front of your kids ever. Don't talk bad about their new someone in front of your kids ever. This will only hurt your kid(s).

How will I date?
This is harder to answer. If you want it, you will. But you have to think of your child now. It changes the type of people you will date. You have to ask yourself, "I like this person, but is he/she good enough to be around my child?" You shouldn't bring dates around your child either, not until you have been dating a while and not until you know that this is not some random person, but someone who will be around a while. That is my number one advice. Number two advice is have high standards and low expectations. Meaning have high standards for the type of person you date, but have no expectations about how this will go. Expectations led to disappointment. If you don't expect anything, you are never disappointed and always surprised. :)

I have to say my experience with dating after my divorce has been interesting. Not great, not bad and the boyfriend I gained from it has been amazing. I followed my own advice and it is amazing.

I have gotten a lot of emails and some comments that make me want to keep writing. I can't promise anything but I just can't seem to let this blog go. It seems to be helping people and that is my plan with all of this.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Change is good!

I changed my blog template (just another random one.... need to custom that more). I have changed my tag line to better fit me but I am keeping the name.

Final decision!

Wow I can't believe how long it has been since I really, really posted much other than my random "Should I keep or dump the blog" thoughts.

The past year has been both very sad and very good at the same time. Funny how things change and how life just kinda passes by.

Nothing really big has happened in my life though. My kids are still the same, though growing more and more independent and into grown ups everyday. Even the little one has changed so much in the past year. He is so funny and is learning so much! My daughter is nearly driving age which I just can't even imagine at this point but it is coming faster and faster. My other son is so smart and so funny but so misunderstood by his peers and even some adults. He is very special and very unique.

I guess that was a little backwards in posting about them but it was how it came to me.

Goofball and I are good. He is so amazing. Such a great person, treats me so well and I just can't imagine that this was missing from my life for.... well ever until June 2006.... and it just seems like it is better everyday. We don't live together but we get together often and just hang out. My kids think he is great and they are starting to try more foods because of him. I can't take credit at all!

My pup is not really a pup anymore. He is over 2 yrs old and is so smart which is awesome and frustrating at the same time. He has learned our morning routine and knows the days we are going to school/work meaning he will be in his kennel all day. He gets so sad on those mornings. He isn't allowed in my room on work day mornings because he hides under the bed.

I still struggle with daily things (as you read in my below post) but time doesn't stop so I just deal and move on.

For those going through a divorce now, new to the single mom thing, just give yourself a break. Do what you can, know and understand you can't control everything and try to be civil for the kids. It has made a world of difference in my life. I still have road bump moments but overall, life is good.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Brainstorming.....and stuff

I have been trying to come up with a new name but I just can't. I love Single Mom Finding Herself.

So for now the blog stays. I am a bit discouraged by the random comments. I guess I might have to fix some things to get that to stop. Blah, boo-hiss. I hate spam. I hate trolls and I hate crap on my blog!!!

In other news, tonight is a bad night. I have been feeling very down lately. Overall I am extremely happy with my life but I still have moments. I think that is normal and most people feel this way.

But my biggest problem remain maintaining friendships. I really struggle with this. I have so many friends but they are mostly casual friends. Or I have bursts of "close" friendships but they don't last long because I struggle to maintain them and we drift apart.

I don't know if this is a mom thing and it is magnified by the fact that I am a single mom.

Again I have very little help locally and it is all I can do just to get us to work and school each day. How can I maintain a friendship?

I do maintain my relationship with Goofball. He is so amazing but I think it is different with someone you are dating. Or it is for me.... Not sure.

I feel guilty (lots of mommy guilt.... working, single, my kids are from a "broken" home guilt).... so when I even think about going to do something outside of the house, I just can't. I hate to be away from them. Plus with two teenagers now, I worry. Worry about what they are doing when I am not there. Worry about if they can handle things if an emergency comes up.

I wonder would life be different if I was married? I would have a partner here so that when I go out, that person is here to ... well I hate to use the word watch them but kind of. I could go out with friends and not worry about them being "alone", "neglected" or that they had a wild party or something equally as teenager-like.

Well that is my ramble for tonight. Thanks for reading....

Monday, December 28, 2009

To continue or really let this blog go....

That really is the question.

I have thought about this over the last few months. I don't know what to do. I know that I will miss blogging as I have these last few months of not doing it. I don't just want to let my blog name go either. I love that name and it really is who I am.

But I also wonder this, would another blog/blog name fit me better at this point? I have come so far from Finding myself to having found everything.

I am comfort with myself and who I am as both a woman and mother. I have found closure where there was pain and wounds. I want to help others though and that right there stops me from moving on.

Given the divorce rate in the country (and others)..... there are newly divorced/divorcing families everyday. Very sad but reality is what it is. And like me, there will be mothers looking for the person they feel they are and trying to find the person inside of them that was lost or bring out that strenght from within to be the best single mom they can be.

There are unique and not so unique things about being a single mom, and I know hearing from others who had been there, done that, really helped. Having a place to vent and just say whatever I wanted helped too! Best therapy ever.

Soooo if you still read me, if you still care, know I haven't forgetten either but I am just trying to decide if I should relaunch as Single Mom finding or find myself a new niche. :) Until then know I haven't abandoned ship.... just took a much needed step back.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I hate our custody agreement!!!

There I said it! I can't believe after all this time I am still very bitter and angry about it. I actually just got in a really heated discussion (okay a fight) with my ex about it. It freakin' sucks! He of course says I made my choice first which led him to move over 200 miles away. But whatever!

So our custody agreement is really not an agreement in writing so much as it is just .... well a mess. I can only count on certain times of the year that he will for sure have the kids. A week at Christmas, Spring break and at least a month (or a bit more) in the Summer. That's it. Anything else is kind of a surprise. This past year he did come help out a few times so I could travel for either work or pleasure. However, I can't always count on it.

I mean if he lived in town, we could do the every other weekend thing. Then that is something I could count on and plan for.

But don't get me wrong, I love being here for my kids just about everyday. They know I am here. They know what they get from me.

Selfishly I wish I could have more me time. I have things I want to do and most of them involve spending really good alone time with Goofball.... I loved having the house to myself this summer. I loved having him here with me. We could just get up and do or hang out without being disturbed or worrying about "will the kids hear"... It is really selfish but I really like my relationship with him and I feel like everyday is so special. I always feel like everyday I don't see him, I am wasting time, losing time or something like that.

Now that sounds like I am super clingy... Yeah maybe a little but honestly I also like it when he gets some guy time with his friends (or cousins or just for himself). It is really good for both of us to have that time.

I want to develop my friendships as well. I have some really great friends that I never get to see! I have "Working Moms" guilt still over working all day and then going out at night. I don't know how to balance it even after all this time. I guess it is really more "Single mom" guilt and "You're dad isn't here so I feel the need to make it up to you and overcompensate therefore not having a life myself" guilt.

There is also the fact I just don't think I can leave them for long because my daughter is really at an age that I feel I need to be here. She is a Sophomore now in High school. If I am out, what is she doing? I come home to a house full of teens and no matter how many rules I make, I have to work and she knows it. Therefore, she has her friends come while I am at work. I did it too! I am scared! Thankfully her brothers are around but how much longer can I count on them to keep her out of some trouble. Not much.... The one son is a teenager too.

So those are my dilemmas and hatred at my custody agreement. I don't get "me" time. I don't get "couple" time and I worry about leaving for long periods of time because I have two teens now.

Granted even if their dad lived here, would I really get my time? I don't know but I can dream. It is kind of the grass being greener thinking that leaves me bitter. I know I need to let that go because it is really only hurting me and there is NOTHING I can do about it. He will never live here and I will never live there. (Okay I say I will never but if there was a job.... I might)

I guess I just need to figure out how to balance my life and to balance being a mom to teens.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

What a difference a year makes

For me, this summer has been much better. There have been a lot of bad news all around me, including finding that my grandmother has breast cancer. But health-wise, night and day from my summer last year. I have been so much less depressed (in fact, only slightly at all this year).... My kids just got back from the summer and I wasn't at all miserable! I missed them, yes but I really enjoyed myself. I got some really great quality time with Goofball. We got a lot of great one on one time and I feel really good about things with him. He is amazing.

I also spent a lot of time with my dog. I know, it might sound crazy but he is super cute and we got a lot of time to just hang. He really seemed to enjoy the one on one time. Goofball and I even took him to the beach this summer. He had a blast!! Of course the interior of my car didn't enjoy it! But after a good vacuum, I think I got all the sand out!

And lastly, work has been crazy busy BUT in a good way! I have felt for a long time that I had lost my "spark" for work. Actually I have felt pretty stupid, like I couldn't remember policies or procedures. I didn't feel like I could complete tasks by the deadlines or without many mistakes, etc. But finally, FINALLY I feel like I am getting my brain back. It feels good!

Anyway, I am very happy with my life right now and I can honestly say that I haven't felt that way in a long, long time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Book Review: Parents who Cheat....

Title: Parents who Cheat: How Children and Adults are affected when their parents are unfaithful
Author: Ana Nogales, Ph.D. with Laura Golden Bellotti

I was asked to review this book by TLC Book Tours. If you aren't familiar, check them out!

My first impression was, "Well obviously negatively affected by their parents but also, who told them?" I realize there are many reasons that children are told or find out.... but still....

I don't think I have ever mentioned it before but.... I have had an affair. When it happened, I thought we were getting a divorce and he and I were not having sex.... but I did hide it and we were still married. We ended up staying married to and when I made the decision to stay with him, I had ended the affair weeks before then. Was it right? No. Do I regret it? No. But would I tell my children? No and thankfully they never had to find out.... either by my leaving to be with this other man, no babies were born, etc. So in our case, I didn't have to tell them and they will never know. We stayed together another 8 years and I wish I could say that I never thought about cheating again. I did. A LOT! I just never got what I needed out of the relationship. I also had a couple of "emotional" affairs, if you will. I emailed with old boyfriends or friends to get that verbal attention I needed. But I digress....

So anyway, I was interested to read this book for that reason.... also because like I said, Lisa at TLC Book Tours asked me to!

I thought the book was well written, well organized and she seemed to cover everything. It is like most self-books in that I feel you don't have to read it straight through or even completely to get what you need out of it. I found myself skipping to different parts of the book as I had a question about one topic or another.

I am not sure that I personally can use the information in the book but I am glad I read it. I would recommend it for anyone in this situation, either you were cheated on, you were the cheater or you are a child of infidelity.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Something missing from my life....???

I have always felt like something has always been missing from my life. Some people might argue that I am not missing something.... but I have always felt like this one person should be. I have never met this person and never will..... Who is it? A sister.... my sister.

I have felt this way since I can remember. I thought my baby brother would be a sister but alas.... she was a boy which made two little brothers for me.

Don't get me wrong, I love my brothers and I really wouldn't trade them! However, there is a very different relationship between a brother and sister than the one between sisters.

There have been times through my life that a sister would have really come in handy. And really while some people might not have a great relationship with their sister, and there is no guarantee that we would (if she existed), I think the way me and my brothers were raised, we would have been close.

I am pretty close with my youngest brother. So in a way, I have that close sibling but again, I just think a sister relationship, a female relationship with a sibling would be so different. We could talk differently than my brother and I do. We could do things like shopping, discuss children/babies, being pregnant, things like that. While my bro and I have discussed these things a little bit, it has its limits. He has never been pregnant or given birth. He doesn't know what it is like to date a guy or know what it is like to be hormonally crazy once a month. He isn't a big fan of shopping either.

I also think that if I had a sister, or I would hope, that maybe, just maybe we would live near each other. I have always believed that men more often than women, move away from family, at least their own family but they will live closer to the wife's family.

I really could have used a sister during my school days too. I really needed that "built in" friend. I had a really hard time getting through the years and I think (or at least day dream) that it would have been better with a sister in it.

Also our family was an odd numbered family. On family trips, my brothers could hang out and my parents had each other.... and I was odd man out. If there would have been four of us, well then I would have had someone.

I do have some great sister-in-laws but it really isn't the same. But alas, I do not have a sister and I never will.... so I just have to be thankfully for what I do have and I am!! :) (even if I will always miss having a sister)