Tag Archives: stress

Divorced Status Update!

I noticed I haven’t been writing or posting as frequently of late. Trust me, it’s not for lack of topics or desire to write. I’ve simply been working through what I believe is a new level of understanding and acknowledgement. The last four years have taken a lot out of me. Keeping up the pace of a divorced dad has been draining. Maintaining our home, ensuring the kids get what they need from me, ensuringPeanuts
my work gets what it needs from me. Anyone living this life knows, it’s a lot. And don’t forget staying healthy and staying true to elements of myself that need to be maintained. All of it leaves very little left in the tank (both mine and my Jeep’s).

There are times I worry that I’m becoming complacent. Times when I wish I had more fight in me. But then I ask myself, what is it exactly that I’m fighting for? Where is my energy best spent? Perhaps I’m just mellowing in my old age (that’s a joke btw). But I’m finding myself less and less drawn toward any drama or angst. I just don’t have room for it. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Maybe I simply have less to prove and am ok with living a life devoted to raising three kids and forgoing some of the extras that, though they’d be nice to have, pull me away from my family’s true needs.

And then it hit me. Even in attempting to stay positive and approach divorce with a positive mind, even then, still I continue to focus on the negatives. Why haven’t I gotten farther financially? Why haven’t I gotten farther romantically? Why haven’t I gotten farther professionally? Constantly looking to get farther in all aspects of my life when the reality is, what I’ve managed to accomplish to this point is extraordinary and exactly where I need to be. Would it be nice to have more money? Yup. Would it be nice to be in a romantic relationship? Perhaps. Would it be nice to be the all being master of the universe? Not sure about that one. But the point is, what I’ve managed to maintain; our home; relationships I’ve built with my kids and what I’ve accomplished professionally despite the hurdles of being a single dad, is really something that gives me reason to believe I may be doing OK. There are times when I have to remind myself of that, especially when we’re going through a rough patch and I feel like I’m slipping again. As long as I focus on the foundation I’ve built, I know I can keep moving forward.

Through it all, my kids and I continue to grow and learn. They get a great deal of my focus, which sometimes means sacrificing in other areas. But I wouldn’t go back and skip a single moment I’ve spent on the kids’ behalf. Not one. In fact I wish I had more. I see the benefits of being there for them and them knowing I’m there for them whenever I can be. Even if it just means answering a text. They know I’ve got their back. I see their mom doing the same thing. All of us discovering what’s truly important.

From time to time I don’t write as much. But like you I’m still figuring it out. Even after four years, I’m still learning and gaining understanding in areas I thought I’d already come to terms with. With every stride I make learning about myself and growing as a man and a father, I recognize I’ve still got a long way to go. We all do.

So my apologies for not being there as much as I’d like to be for you. But know that I’m always on your side. I’m living through many of the same struggles you are. And working to be a better father just like you. Stay strong. Keep growing. And by all means stay positive!


Posted by on October 6, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Just Stop Already!

Today I did something I haven’t done in, man, I can’t remember how long.

I just …              stopped.

Stopped working. Stopped creating. Stopped worrying. Stopped pushing. Just stopped. 2015-07-07 21.55.45

I mean, I straightened up the house a bit. Made myself a nice breakfast. Went for a run and grabbed a couple of things at the grocery store. But for the most part I took myself out of overdrive and just cruised in first gear for the day. I really didn’t think it would be that hard. And while for the most part it wasn’t difficult to actually slow down, mentally it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

There has been such momentum in my life lately. Serious momentum. Kids are back in school. Work has been busy and on a good course. New projects lining up. House work. Yard work. Song writing. Filming. Full time job. Getting in 3-4 miles a day. Stopping that momentum was like slamming into a brick wall. I feared that if I, (the electron), stopped; then my world, (the molecule), would collapse. Honestly, I think that.

But for whatever reason, this morning I woke up with no specific agenda. The kids were at their mom’s. And I just slept in.

I’ve always been told I’m an extravert. But honestly, I don’t think I am. If you want to know the truth, I don’t think anyone is completely an extravert or introvert. I think we each sway more one way or another, but inside whether you’re an extrovert or introvert, I think we all have moments when we need to just stop and recharge. Close out the world. And let our bodies and minds replenish themselves. Introverts don’t own that need. We all have it whether we’ll admit it or not.

Being a single parent can be remarkably draining. I could get into all of the reasons, but that’s a whole nother post. The point is, you’re bound to run out at some point. It’s inevitable that from time to time you’re simply going to need to stop. Stop and breath. Stop and think. Stop and recharge.

Give yourself that. Give yourself that and go the extra step and tell yourself that it’s OK. It’s OK to just, stop.

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Posted by on August 15, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Meet The (Other) Parents

So far this summer my oldest daughter has been invited to no fewer than 57 “hangs” with friends. She’s a good kid and from what I’ve seen her friends are a good crew as well. Some of these are an afternoon at the pool hang. Some a group hang. Some a sleep over hang. But regardless of the type of “hang,” in most instances when I get a “Hey, can I hang at XYZ’s tomorrow?” my response is always the same: “Is it ok with her parents?” and “will an adult be there?” And if this is a new friend, I always ask to receive a text from them or get a chance to meet them or at least talk with them on the phone. It’s our rule. Plain and simple.

What I (and her mom) usually hear is something to the effect that we’re over protective and that no other parents care or ask to meet other parents. What I have found in many cases is that this is complete bunk. And frankly, I don’t care if it is or not. I want to know the people watching over my child and want to ensure someone IS watching over my child or at least keeping an eye on the situation to ensure a simple hang with a friend doesn’t turn into a full on pool party at someone else’s house with forty other kids. And no that’s not an exaggeration. It’s happened.

What I’ve personally found is that these newly anointed teens all use the same script. “You’re over protective and no one else checks in.” I know this because as soon as I check in with other parents they all say, “OH GOOD! I thought I was the only parent who did that.”

Listen, it takes a village. We all need to be watching out for each other’s kids, especially when they’re hanging out together. At this age, they don’t always think, so we sometimes need to help guide their thinking and ensure that good choices are made. They’re going to 2015-07-02 14.30.06
make mistakes. Let’s do what we can to keep those mistakes manageable and good learning opportunities rather than “scar for life” type mistakes.

When hanging with friends, our rules are simple.

– An adult needs to be in charge.
– If you change locations, let us know.
– If boys show up, let us know.
– If you’re alone, let us know.
– If plans change, let us know.

Follow these simple rules and you’re gold. We also insist on balance. Time with friends is important. But so is family. I personally like to have my kids home for dinner. Sleep overs are OK but not every night. I’ve also found, monitoring any apps at this point is also important as summer pool hang pictures are quick to find there way onto social media and frankly, someone needs to protect these kids from themselves sometimes. They have NO idea how dangerous it can be.

My point to all of this? Simple. It’s OK to be a parent. It’s OK to be protective. Our job is to keep our kids safe and we need to do so by whatever means possible. I personally think it’s important for parents to know each other, share rules with each other and respect each other’s rules when kids are staying at each other’s homes. You’ll find most of them have the exact same issues and concerns you do. And all have had their kids attempt to snow them with “no one else’s parents do that.” They do. And so what if your child is embarrassed once in a while. Sometimes they may be embarrassed, but I also think they like seeing that we’re doing our job.

Yes, we need to be reasonable. We need to give our kids additional rope at this age. But we’re still the dad (and mom) and we need to be prepared to adjust the length of that rope at any time depending on situation and choices that are being made. And one of the keys to ensuring we know the full story, is to meet the other parents.

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Posted by on July 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Bad Things Happen

There’s nothing like a minor fender bender to remind us that in an instant, bad things can happen. We’re going about our merry way, and then at the most inconvenient times, we’re forced to stop our lives and deal with something completely unexpected. In some cases it can be life altering.

My family has experienced several of these events of late, some of which have caused their fare share of stress. My mother, who’s 87, took a bad spill and injured her neck. The event will alter the very existence of both my parents as both she and my father (92) will have to face the reality that they are unable to fully and properly take care of themselves without risk of further injury.caution

Each of these events are stark reminders that our lives are not immune from negatives. Some greater than others. Some of these events force us to adjust our daily lives often without our consent. We are reminded time and time again how little control we actually have at times and when faced with these issues it can be a remarkably difficult pill to swallow.

Watching my father have his very existence altered to the point of losing control of just about every aspect of his daily life is difficult to watch. He was an entrepreneur, accustomed to being the man in charge. The past several years, bit by bit, he’s come face to face with mother nature who has taken a little more of his control away each year. As difficult as that’s been to witness, watching how he handles it at times can be even more difficult. Watching him fight it tooth and nail, has at times only made it more stressful. It’s understandable, but the more we fight change, quite often we deprive ourselves of potential happiness, dwelling on the negatives we’ve been faced with.

Which brings me to the point of this particular post: acceptance. We can fight these events and live in denial. We can do everything in our power to ignore them or attempt to erase them. But as difficult as it is, sometimes the best thing we can do is accept them and do our best to adjust accordingly.

Divorce very likely caught you by surprise. In the instant that the word divorced came to define your future, everything changed. You most likely fought it and may very well still be fighting it. We can allow our anger to dictate how we move forward. As with my fender bender, I was pretty shaken. It took a while for me to get my whits about me again. And even then, reflecting on it is difficult at times as I attempt to go back in my head and change to course of those few seconds. But I can’t change them. They are now a part of my history as is my divorce. Unlike my Jeep, I can’t replace the dinged up parts of my marriage. I simply have to lick my wounds and let them heal as best they can. Basically, I can either accept this reality and make the best of it or I can attempt to prove something by fighting it.

But honestly, if I’ve learned anything these past few years, it’s that there is an art to moving forward. And frankly, standing your ground leaves you doing just that. Standing without making any forward progress.

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Posted by on April 12, 2015 in Divorce


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How We View The Divorced Parent

How many of you have seen a divorced parent and immediately proceeded to create an opinion about them based solely on the fact that you knew they were divorced. Maybe you went so far as to make assumptions about why they were divorced or how they messed things up.

Well, being divorced isn’t unlike being a parent. Unless you’ve experienced it, you simply have no clue of any aspect of it. None. It is not uncommon for those without kids to be quick to let us know how to raise our children or point out what we’re doing wrong. They’ve read all of the articles and seem to know what’s best for our kids and what they “need.” With divorce it’s probably not quite as harsh, but everyone is quick to let us know how we should handle our ex, what’s best for our kids, why we should do this or not do that etc. They tell us how much better off we are, that we need to get back on the saddle and that they wish they had our freedom.

But unless you’ve lived it and ARE living it, you have …  no … idea. It can be a constant battle to stay positive; to hold your tongue; to be599800_10152015305377908_614640456_n supportive; to put the kids first; to not over react; to not be resentful; to not blame; to not crash and burn. It can take all of your energy and then some. And unless you’re in the trenches immersed in the negative thoughts that are continually fighting their way through the positives, it’s impossible to truly understand what a unique experience it is and how challenging it can be.

If you see someone who’s divorced, man or woman, know that they’re doing their best with the hand they’ve been dealt; even if they were the one who dealt it in the first place. Chances are they themselves had no idea what they were getting into or what it would be like despite their best intentions. Regardless, divorced people have experienced a pain like no other. Some self inflicted and some completely undeserved. It is not an easy road. And all you can do is keep moving. For to stop is death. If you don’t keep your mind busy, it will sink into a muck of self torture. If you don’t keep your body busy, it will not only cause your muscles to fail you, but your mind as well.

If you see a divorced dad, and you see him loving his kids, getting groceries, coaching a basketball game, or even just sitting having a cup of coffee; take a moment to recognize that he is changing the definition of a dad. He is involved. He is trying and quite possibly even more involved now as a divorced dad than he was as a married one. Believe it or not, dads can multi-task, cook, clean, dress their kids and coddle them when they’re sick. We can organize a birthday party and get them where they need to be on time. We check home work and actually want to be on the school’s e-mail list. But for some reason, too often, assumptions are made and divorced dads are seen as the weekend babysitter. As someone with 50/50 custody I can assure you that’s not always the case any more. The landscape is changing.

So whatever you do, don’t judge him. I promise you, divorced parents are pretty good at doing plenty of that to themselves; virtually all day. I get it. Not all dads, divorced or otherwise are gems. But we don’t all personify the stereotype of the cheating deadbeat. We hate that we ended up here and work hard not to focus on the fact that this isn’t what we planned. There are plenty of aspects about divorce that we disdain. But they come with the territory and all you can do is carry on and attempt to do better.

So please. If you have a friend who’s a divorced parent; know that there’s a lot going on under the surface. Probably not unlike your own life, but a lot more intense as there’s likely an additional layer of guilt spread over it. But aside from the occasional jerk, which let’s face it exist both in divorce and marriage, there are more and more divorced dads doing the best they can and they’re doing everything in their power to make it better for themselves and their children. There are indeed a growing number of them who are stepping up their game and doing their part to change the way single dads are viewed.


Posted by on February 26, 2015 in Divorce


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