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Divorce is EASY!

Said no one EVER!

Come on. How hard can it be? Surely it’s easier than marriage. It’s gotta be! Right? Not so fast there Sparky. They say the grass is always greener. Well there are just as many, if not more, weeks and thickets on the D-side of that fence.

And if you have kids, there’s one aspect of a divorce that many people seem to overlook. Even though you’re divorced, your ex is going to be a part of your life for as long as your kids are alive.

Let that sink in. … I’ll wait.

Should you decide, as my ex and I did, that you are going to continue co-parenting this is even more true. You will continue to have many of the same arguments; sorry, discussions you had when you were married. If you’re smart you will recognize how important it is to place a very high value on working to develop somewhat similar rules at both households. This is not easy believe me. For either of you. It’s freakin’ HARD. Especially since you can’t be there to back each other up. Instead, you’ll likely sneak in little digs about each other which the kids hear. You both will trust me. And you will quickly learn how good the kids get at playing you against each other. They are Easymasters at editing comments and discussions to their advantage when speaking to your ex. And you will continue to be the first point of blame for everything that goes wrong. (that goes for both of you btw)

Easy my ass.

That’s not to say it’s impossible. But it’s a challenge to say the least and will require you to really stop and rethink EVERYthing you ever thought about divorce … AND marriage.

How difficult it is really is up to you. Like marriage, you’ll enter into your divorce with NO idea how to go about things. You’ll be an idiot from day one and be flying by your pants the rest of the way. Some things you’ll get used to. But every step will present new hurdles and challenges. Each year will offer new levels of growth as well as new levels of frustration as the kids continue to get into deeper social patterns.

If you got divorced it’s likely because you both approached life very differently. Chances are you’re going to approach parenting very differently as well. Now you’re going to do it in two separate homes. Just do your best to minimize the differential divide as it’ll do both you and the kids a great deal of good if there’s consistency. You’ll want to instill your own mark of course. You’ll have certain things that will be different at your house than at mom’s. But do your best to keep the communication open and flux when you can. And you’re going to laugh, but you may actually learn something from each other once in a while.

It may never be easy, but with a little (ok a lot) of effort, if nothing else it’ll make the experience, “easy – er.”

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2014 in Daily Life, Divorce

 

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Sunday Morning Coming Down

It is Sunday morning. There’s a light rain falling outside my window as I’m typing this and I’m about to start on my second cup of coffee (Tim Horton’s home brew if you’re a stickler for details). The occasional thunderclap has the dogs lying at my feet which makes me feel a bit like a setting for a Normal Rockwell painting. The kids are at their mom’s today so it’s a chance for me to catch up on some work, do some laundry and take advantage of a quiet house, although I must admit sometimes I find it difficult topickerimage focus when it’s this quiet.

Last night was my first full night’s sleep in a while. As I’ve written before, life seems more manageable when you’re rested. There’s something about sleep deprivation that makes every issue in your life bigger and less conquerable. Even if the pile of issues lying before you still seems insurmountable, there’s something about rest that allows you to look at them a little more objectively and with a little less sense of overwhelmed panic. And so I sit here, preparing to tackle some of the smaller items on my list one at a time. Knowing that progress of any kind will bring about a sense of calm knowing I’m moving forward and addressing things.

Really no heavy point to this particular post other than to wish you a good morning and encourage you to enjoy the moments when life gives you a respite from the mountain of chaos that may be your world on any given day. Savor the victories no matter how small. And try to remember, you’re never alone on this journey.

 

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Alone, Daily Life

 

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Stop, Go, Stop, Go, Stop, Go

I live a life that is full of momentum shifts. As a freelance director I get waves of crazy busy and then periods of extreme quiet. It’s just the nature of the business. When you combine that with periods of three kids running amuck in the house and then complete silence for a few days it can really throw you for a loop.

I remember the first time my ex-wife had the kids for more than a couple of days. It was a complete shock to the system on so many levels. Emotionally, physically, mentally I was a basket case. Eventually you learn to adjust, but when your life is in a mode of stop / go / stop / go, you really have to be mentally aware and prepare yourself for theoriginal-723178-1 shifts.

You also have to be able to stop and enjoy the down moments rather than feel uncomfortable and uneasy. I once wrote a post about learning to ride the waves. It’s true. You really have to learn how to adjust to the ups and downs of your life and learn to appreciate both.

You’re going to have good weeks and bad ones. It’s just the nature of life in general. When you’re divorced with kids it’s even more so. And as difficult as it is for you to adjust, just think of how it is for your kids! Adjusting to two different parents and environments. Trying to keep up with changing schedules. Being passed back and forth against their free will. Be cognizant of their world and take a moment to help them adjust when they first walk in the door. Recognize that they just came from what is likely a very different atmosphere regardless of how much you co-parent. Take into consideration what they’re going through and take a moment to catch up and be with them. It’s important. Don’t just let em’ in and go back about your business. They’re likely to bring up things about your ex-spouse. Do NOT take this opportunity to pounce on any negative they may bring up. Just let’m talk, nod a lot and let them know how happy you are that they’re with you.

Divorce creates a lot of crazy momentum shifts for everyone involved. Do your best to be aware and plan ahead for the ups and downs. You really have to learn how to just roll with it from time to time. We’d all like things to go according to plan. But when you have kids that rarely happens. Throw an ex spouse into the equation and you can pretty much give up on that concept. So just be prepared for stop and go traffic. It’ll help you avoid getting whiplash and trust me, your kids will be watching to see how you adjust and will follow suit.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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For The Love of God – Laugh!

I’m not the first person to tell you this. Nor will I be the last (hopefully).

But laugh.

Laugh like your life depended on it because it does. Search out things that make you laugh. Find people who make you laugh. Look at the absurdity that your life can tend to be sometimes and just2014-06-15 17.53.01 laugh.

Laugh with friends.

Laugh with your kids.

Laugh with your reverend.

Laugh with the mailman.

Laugh by yourself.

Laugh at yourself.

Laugh with the check out clerk at Kroger.

But laugh. And while doing so, do your best to make someone else laugh.

Stress will consume you. Worry will deplete you. Laughter will save you.

 

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Embrace The Crazy

When you’re immersed in life as a divorced parent; it’s easy to look at your world some mornings and think, “F#%$, this is some crazy $#*@!” “Why can’t my life be normal like everyone else’s?”

Well, the reality is, normal doesn’t exist and I guarantee you there is someone out there around the corner who’s $#*@ is crazier than yours.

At some point you simply have to accept, nay, “embrace” the crazy and keep on truckin’. Otherwise you’ll drive yourself and everyone around you nuts. I grew up in a house where worry and anxiety were second nature. We had a Top 10 list of “What can and probably will go wrong” with just about every event. Not really the way to go through life. Not to say I2014-05-24 15.30.54-1 didn’t have a great childhood, but I was raised to be ready to prepare for the worst rather than enjoy the best and take the worst as a necessary spice for flavor.

So today I simply sit here to remind you, yes divorced life isn’t easy. But tell me who’s life is? We all carry our own crosses. Some we build ourselves; others are handed to us. Regardless, nobody on this earth gets a free ride; I promise you. You will stress over some of the crazy. It’s natural. I wish I could tell you those moments won’t happen. But that’s not realistic. Just do your best to acknowledge and move forward because it’s those forward moments that will get you through to the good part. Getting stuck in the muck will only make it worse.

Also try to recognize when your stress is because of what you consider to be impending doom, or simply because you may be outside your comfort zone and out of your element as you make efforts to improve your life. Regardless know that it’s part of the ride, not unlike being at the top of a roller coaster. That pit in your stomach means the “fun” part is right up a head and you’ll soon be at the bottom going, “That was AWESOME! Let’s do it again!” (maybe :))

So embrace the crazy. Embrace the good. Embrace your kid. Embrace anyone willing to give you a hug when you’re having a rough day.

Keep rockin’. You’re doing great!

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2014 in anxiety

 

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