Sunday, August 30, 2009

all on me...

I am beginning to understand
that the saying
'if mama ain't happy, ain't no-one happy'
is based in a deep truth!

The temperament of my home
is better then its been in ages.
My children are secure and content!
They are happy and at peace!
Yes, they squabble
Yes, they sass
Yes, they have less then perfect moments!
BUT, the basic heartbeat of the home is happy!

And yet,
only one thing has changed!!!
I realized that I was on edge
and that I was irritable
and that I was causing frustration in the kids...
and so, several weeks ago
I sat them down!
I asked their forgiveness for my failings!
I asked them their needs and hopes..
I heard their hearts!
and I made the changes!
Some were easy,
they wanted our home life post-divorce
to resemble our home life pre-divorce!
They still want family movie night
and family game night!
So, we put it on the calender..
and added our cream night!!
Some were harder,
they want me to hear them even when we disagree.
but not always easy when you are dealing with preteen drama!
But I committed to do my best,
and they committed to honor my authority even when I do not do what they wish I would!
I am the mom....end of story!
BUT I love them dearly and respect them and will show them this!
We wrote a family covenant...
and we started fresh!
So simple!
Yet, what an impact!
I took a stand for them,
that sometimes means not as much time for me...
and I have received the 'payoff' ten fold!

I have also realized more then ever...
the impact I have as their mother!
The home we live in
will reflect the tone I set!
What a load to carry..
and what an honor to be the one who can!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

the hustle and bustle

There is NO doubt that being a single mom of three...
is busy!
That is NO doubt that being a full time working mom
is busy!

This week has been hit and miss!
First week back at work and school..
some things work..
and some things not so much!
I am learning that in some things I must cut corners!
eating at school for example..
or simple lunches VS hot ones...

I have found one thing
that the time invested is SO worth it!
and I hope it a tradition we keep!

I get home about half an hour before my kids bus arrives ..
(I teach right up the road!)
I prepare a yummy,baked, hot, fresh snack every day!
Served with cold milk!!
Every day they sit and enjoy this snack..
and we chat!
I have their undivided attention..
they have mine..
we have always done the high/low game..
'best part of your day?' ' worst part of your day?'..
used to..
that happened in the car ride home..
now it happens around the table!
And this small thing..
this small investment of time..
has been a sanity saver this week!
SO, I might cut back in some things..
and cut corners in others..
and realize I am not super mom..
but in this..
I will persevere..
and enjoy my moments
that will one day become my memories..
and my children's memories too!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

a look back...

I wrote this letter almost 7 months ago to friends and family!
when I found it today I wanted to share it!
It expresses the rawness
and yet reminds me of the hope!
and when I measure my hurt then
against my hope and reality now
I KNOW like I KNOW like I KNOW
that all is well..
at least, truly, truly, truly getting there!

very personal, for my friends who will not ask!
I have found the silence of friends I have known forever so strange! Until I saw a friend recently who said she had not known what to say! She knew things had been turned upside down in my life and did not know wether to ignore it or address it! Maybe that becomes ignoring me. Maybe, its judgement but I am betting its just not knowing where to start! So in my typical way..I shall share 'all' because I am a pretty open person no matter how bizarre! So here it goes!! 21/2 years ago my marraige of 14 years fell apart! I will not dwell on that but I will say that God has been good! The relationship between my ex and I is good and the children have a close 'extended' family that includes the 'significant' other in his life (who i now consider a friend) and I am grateful for where we are! Gods grace, compassion and forgiveness for and through the situation has been evident and life changing!BUT 2 years ago I was devastated.I lost all I life fell apart, I lost my identity, my husband, my home, my role of stay at home mom, my security, sometimes it felt like I lost my very essense! My air!! I had lost it all!!Yet, I trusted God still and I had been so content in the life I led that I believed that God would provide what I had lost! I believed the answer would be in a restoration of a relationship for me! I never healed, I just jumped! And when the 'answer' seemed to show up in the form of a man who loved me and the kids, said he wanted me to homeschool...wanted to provide for me, and seemed like a GOOD man... It seemed right! And I was too emotionally unhealthy to see either way! I made a deep mistake in putting myself in the position to begin with! I was not ready! BUT I married this man! And I married into a situation I will not describe here! I do not need to defend or explain! BUT, I will say that within a year I knew that I had to save my children and myself from the situation I had gotten us into! I quite literally fled a very volitiale situation and came home! Due to some of the more bizarre and controlling aspects of my reality I had dropped contact with many people! most people! Please forgive me if you were one of them! Please forgive me if I hurt you! I made fear based decisions and gave away my power! I did what felt was needed at the time to avoid unpleasant confrontations! BUT I lost so many freinds who did not know that or could not understand! So I want to tell you that I am sorry if you were one of the casualties of this relationship that took so much of me and my life!I made a mistake! I am human and I was hurting and I stepped out of Gods will and instead chose to see the answer I thought he should give me! I have paid a price for my mistake, I own and accept it! BUT I have also learnt some deep and powerful lessons about love, about hurt, about healing and about God grace when we totally screw it all up! I have learnt too about his will for us and about being bound and imprisoned and fearful, and how God will save us from even the scariest of realities if we trust him and let him!I am a different person than I was 3 years ago and some of that is good and some of that is sad. Overall I retain most of me and am still way to upfront, just no longer as trusting! I understand that for some of my old friends this may be too much! Too far from life as we all knew it! BUt, i at least wanted you to know what happened. Why I am back and how I feel about the path my life took!
Today, I am content! I have lived in a prison...I appreciatte the daily freedoms! I struggle as most single moms do..heck most moms in general! BUT while I worry i do not fear! I know who holds the future! And I have felt him cradle me in my brokeness and heal the hurts that only his love can touch! I have peace and that is worth a lifetime of lessons!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

learning now to live and trust again..

I was told , recently,
that during my time in an unhealthy relationship
that for me, time stood still!
I realized that it did!
When the relationship ended,
I expected life to resume as normal some how...

I think it is that way after a divorce!
initially you are so hurt
and broken..
some make destructive choices,
some hide
some look for relief..
BUT most all of us act out..or in!
We almost all go into a shock, a numbness...
and for a while just go through the motions!
We are not 'us'!
We are not sure who we are...
we are not sure if we will ever be 'us' again!
and then we start to see straight!
The hurt is still there..
the pain is deep...
but we are starting to think
and feel
and plan,
and we expect that we will sync back into our lives..

and then we realize
its not that simple!!!
Friends have taken sides...
friends have turned away in anger at our choices,
friends are busy with their lives
and often that looks very different from our lives...
and for a while its like being lost at sea...
what now?????

Thats the place I am coming through!
I now see that I cannot just pick up where I left off..
sure, with some things!
BUT not with most!!
Some of my friends are there
Some are not..
Most are busy with their lives and marriages...
and my time is not as flexible as it once was!

There is a time factor..
when you get a divorce,
even if you do not move away..
in your mind you tend to check out!
Sometimes for a while..
some times when you check back in
you find no-one is there waiting anymore!

MY life looks very different then it used to!
I have some friends that would be friends whether we had any
circumstances in common or not..
but, mostly, I am starting over!
and the issue becomes how?

At first I did not want to do that...
I thought if I gave it enough time
that I would reconnect with old groups
and reestablish my life
with a resemblance to the past..

and for a while I was not able to think beyond doing only that!
NOW I am ready..
now I have come to understand I am new person!
I bring my past to my new self..
and I bring my friends that want to come..
and I bring my experiences...
but my circumstances are all new...
my independence is all new...
my goals and desires are all new...
and I am finally OK with letting go of my comfort zone
and understanding that in this new stage of life,
I need to seek out new friendships
in new places,
I need to seek new experiences
and let go of the hope that somehow
my life will right itself..
and instead accept it has!!
This is what is should look like..
now where I go with it is completely up to me!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The best day..

I had the best day with my kids on Saturday!!
really the best!!
So simple..
so fun!
Star wars a library...
then lunch...
and then thanks to the blessing of a friend..
we stopped at an outlet center..
a touristy one..
fun stores..
and we did some back to school shopping!
We walked and laughed..
looked in stores...
shopped a little for needed things..
and then stopped in a little coffee shop..
a novelty coffee shop!
I got the kids their own chocolate bar (British chocolate, my favorite!)
and a soda in a bottle each!!!
They were so excited..
such a fun treat!!
and as we walked...
and enjoyed our time,
I realized I was REALLY enjoying my time!
NOT just being a 'good' mom...
but really happy to be with my kids..
not because they are my blood..
but because I like them, enjoy them, ....

I also see how light I feel these days..
how my sadness these last 3 years
has been like a coat I always wore..
invisible to others..
and so a part of me I hardly noticed it..
and all of a sudden its not there!!
I am no longer carrying the burden..

I am happy...
I am glad to be exactly where I am...
I love my kids...
I like my kids...
and days like this
my world is beyond complete..
days like this
are the very foundation of my existence!!
they make every hour worked...
every moment of stress...
every tear cried...
every word of anger expressed..
and instead whats left is the beautiful silence
of complete and utter

Friday, August 14, 2009

How does dating fit???

I have been single for almost 9 months!
and yet..
have chosen not to date!
I can..
I am divorced.
BUT, I just don't want to!!
When my first marriage ended-
I started dating right away..
I thought it would bring validation!
it did...:)
and I met someone RIGHT away!

And to be clear
I think people get confused on why
rebound is not a good thing!
It is not always because one cannot love properly
I had been warned of that..
and knew I could give and love and be loyal!
What I was not taught is that rebound love
can be dangerous!
if you are are not whole or healthy..
you may not recognize dysfunction..
you may get in a mess!
and I did!

SO....this time I made a commitment..
one year NO dates!
and the thing is...
I often think that when the year mark comes..
I will probably still not be ready..
or eager!
I am not sure if its good or bad!
Its good that I like to be single..
but bad that I am fearful of trying...

BUT I do know
that waiting and not rushing
has already allowed for so much healing to happen!
It has allowed me the time to get my home in order
and establish routines!
If the time comes I go on a date..
or day...possibly...
have a relationship,
my life is comfortable and in order!
My children are priority..
my job is established!!
I am not floating
liable to be swept away in the emotions and imbalance
that I have come to fear....

and so, until I am ready...
I will continue to enjoy
the simplicity of my life!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Celebrating the 'other' parents birthday...

What a dilemma this can be!
I think for most people
this is confusing!
It is cut and dry if there is deep hate
or a dangerous situation!
In my case..its not that!
And yet the holidays are a dilemma!

What happens when their father is with someone else?
is it now that persons role??
Do you give a gift?
or just your child?
or does your child get a card
and the other parent take care of the celebration...

I remember reading about a parent
who said she never let her child go empty handed
for her childs sake..
that made an impact but it still was a matter of how...
and for a while I experienced
the jealousy of the new man in my life..
and it got even more awkward!!

BUT, if it can be helped..
the kids like to feel prepared!
It matters to them..
and so over this past year
I have incorporated the 'other' parent
into my gift giving..
as he has me!!
Altho he forgot mothers day..but whose counting!!! LOL!!!;)

This year..
on his birthday..
it did not seem right
for him to take the kids to lunch!
and yet, its not in my budget pay for them all..
and so instead..
they invited him to their home!
They helped with lunch
set the table
cleaned the house!
They were entertaining THEIR dad!
IT was actually really nice!
I knew I was welcome,
but chose to stay in the background!
I knew how much the alone time meant to them..
as they often share their dads attention.
and I know that welcome or not..
it is no longer my place...

They had a good time..
they showed him they loved him..
they were free to share their home with them..
and I learnt another lesson
in the love it takes to give even when it hurts
and the blessings that come back ten fold!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

a crisis??..NOT!..but sort of...

It seems that for the last few years
ALL issues seemed to be
divorce related...
even with the kids!!
Their hurts..
Their fears...

It actually feels good to be dealing
with just run of the mill
preteen drama...

and I had a doosie today!!
My middle daughter,
my sensitive pre teen!
The beautiful one
who falls all the time..:)
and spills her food..
and trips during recess...
the self conscious one...
who has a heart of gold...
and a smile to match...

found out she will need glasses
all the time...
and she cried and cried and cried!
I am sure
it stems from 'what will others think'..
She got cute little girl glasses...
and was excited for a moment,
just a moment
and then the flood gates opened!

I know its minor
in the scheme of things!
BUT my heart hurt for my little girl!
and I felt helpless..
I knew words of wisdom were not helpful
right that moment,
I held her
but knew she needed something more!

I remembered as a young lady...
a cup of hot tea from my mom,
was always offered
at the sign of any heartache...
and so I put the kettle on...
I put our favorite dramatic CD on..
(the sound track to the phantom of the opera..)
We sat on the floor together eating chocolate cupcakes
and drinking hot tea...
listening to the music..
and crying together!
I hurt for her...
I am sad she is sad..
and that is all I can give her in this moment...
my heart and my tears...

and after a few songs...
a lot of tears,
a little chocolate
and soothing tea..
we were chatting
and smiling...
the fear is still there..
I know there might be more tears..
but the worst is passed...
and I gave her all I had..
and did all I knew to do...
it was enough!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

making family!

I feel like I have FINALLY taken back my family..
and re staked my claim in my home!
I think it is normal in the wake of a divorce
for family time..
to suffer!
Its hard to go from planning for 2 adults 3 kids..
to 1 adult 3 kids!
For me, in the past, movies nights and games nights
were extra special
and geared to us ALL(meaning dad too)!
Now, I am us ALL!
and so, I am learning
to create the family moments!
It started with a vacation..
but is actually so much more detailed!
I sat with the kids..
asked them what they need...
they want what we used to have!
They don't expect any longer..
or ask anymore..
for it to be their dad and I!
They want the 'structure'
that was a part of their routine!
They want the game night..
and the movie night!
They want me to read to them..
and to do devotions at the table!
For them too,
they have accepted reality!
They are not dwelling in the past..
they still want what they had!
And they are satisfied
that family, within our home, consists of me and them
and so..
I am back!!:)
I am living for them..
and living with them!
I am creating moments
knowing they will grow so fast!
I am giving them my time..
because they want that most of all!
and the feeling of completeness we all have..
makes every moment spent with them
priceless beyond measure!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The moment you know..

I was at dinner with a single friend recently..
she has gone through a hard time also..
and we spoke of this feeling we have
of moving forward!
and as we compared notes
I realized
there is a MOMENT!
a moment after divorce
in which you stop focusing backwards
or even on the present
and you begin
to plan
and live!
SOMETHING pushes you
out of the past
and in to the future!
a turning point!
for each the time frame is different..
and the motivation and/or catapulting event
will not look the same...
but for all it is there..
a visible change
a feeling
a new sense of purpose
in which you grasp
that this is the reality..
your reality..
what are YOU going to do about it??
This is the wall you break through..
this is the start of the rest of your life...

Friday, August 7, 2009

ex husband or new partner

I speak to so many woman and men..
who have been down this road!
I know that the 'post' divorce parenting relationship
can be so very, very bad!
or it can be so very, very good!
BUT I have come to understand it is a choice!
Two people who choose to let the hurt become part of the past
and to speak to each other as partners in parenting
while no longer partners in love,
can change the course of their childrens' future!!

This aspect, while hard pays off dividends!!
When my ex and I split 3 years ago
I knew I did not want to make mountains out of molehills!
I wanted us to be together at school functions
and be able to talk about the kids!
We both talked about our desire to keep the 'companionship' we had shared.
We spoke of being the divorced couple who hugged hello..
....While it has not always been so happy....
and it has not been quite as ideal as all times..
for what it is,
it is good!

It has been almost 3 years..
and some missteps along the way..
and yet, with both of us committed, to the kids
we have forged a new relationship!

We don't fight over dates and times..
We are free with the children,
even when they are on our 'time'..
we include each other in events..
and their dad is welcome in our home at any time..
He knows without much notice he can always see the kids!
I know the same...
I can stop by on his weekend..
or even meet them at a local event....
There is no 'possessiveness' between us.
On the other hand..
if its his weekend and there's a conflict,
I keep the kids for the night!
rather with me then a sitter!!
happy to do it!
and when I have school on weeknights,
he gladly watches the kids...
the kids benefit from this greatly!

We talk about discipline..
We are learning how to work together..
and sometimes all we can do is
agree to disagree!
But, we choose to support the others choice
or at the very least
not counteract their authority with the kids!!
We have become what we are; 'parents'
We share a common goal...
and that is to love and raise three children!
We may not always see eye to eye on how to do that..
but we don't feel the need to compete
or out maneuver each other!!
We even have learn t to chat without emotions..

and when all is said and done
we respect our past
and have chosen to honor that
by being available to each other if needed..
even if this means help with car trouble or babysitting..
it what we do!!
We have chosen to become allies in the life we lead!!!

This was not always the way it was...
Nor is it always the way we want it...
sometimes our very nature creates hurdles..
BUT this is always the way it should be!!

There are so many battles before us..
and so many areas we could improve..
I hope to see continuity in our homes one day..
I hope that we will agree on major issues,
like dating and curfews..
I hope that we, at some point, will have similar rules
so the kids will have stability..
There are areas that the kids have completely
different expectations or
standards in one home
then in the other...
There are times,
they probably feel like their homes are completely separate entities..
dads rules..
moms rules..
I know they would benefit from
'our rules'...
BUT its a process....

No matter where the differences may come..
or stresses might be
my reaction..
and our relationship in front of the children..
is always something I can be responsible for.

In so many ways..
I have been blessed!
My ex and I are good people..
we care about each other..
we have not made each other enemies..
I know that some people
face much harder circumstances!!
sometimes all you can do..
when the situation is anything BUT amicable,
is control what the kids see
and hold your tongue for their sake..

Parenting with your matter what the circumstances
becomes what you both choose it to be!!
and for the kids..
the choice to stand united..
and even if possible as 'friends'
creates a security in them..
that nothing else will...
at some point
it time to let go of the hurt,
or at least move past it..
and look and your children and know...
from here on out..
its all about them!!

new direction....

when I started this blog
it served as my journal!
As I have written I have come to see
that it actually reflects my journey...
And now I am at a place in my journey
in which my focus has changed!

I had to heal from the hurt..
and say goodbye to the past!
I feel that I have done that!
I understand that our past lives in us always...
but we can choose to dwell in it..
or just allow it to dwell in us!

And when the dust settles..
I am now focused on the primary relationships in my life..
my children..
and my primary role ; mom!
I would like to take my blog in a new direction
and begin to focus on how this part of the journey
can be positive and whole!
The negative and sadness behind me..
the future holds only hope!!

I hope that as I move forward in this journal
and in this journey..
I can reflect the lessons learn t
while still learning from others..
I hope that I can impart hope
from steps taken..
and receive encouragement from those who have walked this road before..

This next step in my life..journal ..and journey
will be focused on why and how
my relationship with my ex works,
why and how
being a single mom can be the hardest
BUT also the most rewarding role ever..
and why and how
the lessons learnt were worth the tears...
and the future gained worth the pain...

heres to walking forward with hope
and a positive new direction!!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

what does not kill you....

There are so many great sayings
about overcoming..
about persevering..
about climbing the mountain
and getting out of the pit!
None of them mean a thing until you live them
and then you have to apply them!

I am learning a new stage of life!
The first several months in this post divorce(s) journey
was healing!
Then it was adapting!

NOW I am at the 'maintaining' place!
For the most part
the ache is gone!
The acceptance in there!
The healing, if not complete, definitely well on its way!
Now, life is the focus!
and sometimes just life
can send you screaming!

And yet I have to face it
overcome it
and choose how I want to live it!

and the truth...
no matter how hard the circumstance
I have faced worse...
it could be worse...
No matter how high the mountain
I have the support and determination to climb it!

This is still my life...
I have the greatest gift.
I have freedom!
I have the ability to work...
I have the ability to walk..
I live in a country with choices..
I have a home..
I have a family...
I have my soul.
my integrity..
my heart...

And for the first time I have the basic understanding
that all those things are mine..
and n0t up for grabs!
I never have to give because I feel trapped...
or run because I need to breathe!

I am free!
I am strong!
I survived!
and now as I maintain
this life
that at times brings trials
I face it knowing...
that if I can overcome the fear..
and the heart break..
the loneliness...
and the crippling devastation..
I can face the preteen blues..
and the car trouble..
and the electric bill!!

I can maintain..
because I already OVERCAME!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Drama magnet or victim of circumstances???

Lately it feels that the word
is used in my life alot!
and by lately
I mean roughly
THE last three years!!

And yet,
before then my life was drama free!
IT was never Chaos free!
I tend to be a person
who functions well in chaos!
I was/ am the mom who loves
kids, and cats
dogs and babies...
I don't mind the chaos that a family brings
and am reasonably easy going
about painting in the kitchen..
or once in a while on the walls:)
or eating in the living room..
or a pet frog in the bedroom for a night or two!
All this feels like chaos
to those who live a little more buttoned up!
and thats OK!
BUT it was not drama!
I had good kids...rarely in trouble!
MY marriage was fight free!
(turns out we were missing more then fights however!)
I was living my dream
drama free!

Three years ago my husband left!
That period of time
was drama through and through!
The leaving then staying!
His confessing
then choosing to go..
his repenting
and choosing to stay..
then leaving again!
It was a daily ordeal...
Then it was over!
Then dating began..
of course,
thats drama in itself..
then I met someone
way to soon..
or more importantly
way too wrong for me
and married into
what would become
a volatile situation!
6 months in to the marriage
we reached a place
that the drama happened bi monthly-
then weekly- and finally
not a day went by!
He kicked me out
then changes him mind,..
he involved my family
I involved my family..
it was everything a relationship should not be!!

Then I finally left..
and yet the drama continued!
NOT on my part!
but from the unsolicited contact
and the divorce drama..
and all that goes with it...

and NOW when life should be peaceful
I find
that just by the very virtue of being a divorced woman;
single mom
and all the bumps in the post divorce
and single road..
there is still drama!
THEN add to that
children growing..
reaching new stages..
(talk about DRAMA)
add car trouble
or house issues...
and it seems like life is just always a little NUTS!!

BUT, is it fair to place the drama on me??
Is it fair to say that I am a 'drama magnet' or 'queen'..
or does life just happen to some of us louder then others??

OR maybe I am just more verbal??
I tend to share my heart with the word..
maybe everyone has drama...
just not everyone shares it quite as openly?
hmmm...just pondering!!!