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Single Parents Can Support Each Other, Just Like a Good Bra

Single parenting… sometimes it blows.  Like really horrendously awful blows.

But the best thing I can suggest is to hook up with other single parents.  No no not like that, (but ya’ know to each his own) I mean to connect and support each other.   Help each other and share resources.  It’s totally what saved me.

When you hang around other single parents you feel less of a pariah.  You don’t feel like the odd man out all the time.  Oh you don’t think that happens in this day and age?  Yea, it does.  It was always fun going to open house nights or special events alone.  You either get a look of pity from the married Mothers or a look of “Stay away from my man, you whore”.  Wah?  Yes, seriously.  Yea, “Mean Girls” exists in adults.  Then it’s a lot of fun to stand in a group of parents and they all talk about their family vacations and date nights and silly little things “hubby” does.  Gah, I hate that word.  It made me sad, I admit.  I didn’t sign up to be a single parent, I wanted the whole family I started with intact.  Not so much that guy, but the thought of an involved loving husband and father seemed not so tiring.   Now I kind of like being alone, but sometimes it still feels weird.

cheese stands alone

Men don’t give a shit, but women can be absolutely awful to each other.  Ladies, let’s stop that.  I don’t judge you if you’re a wealthy stay-at-home Mom with all school-aged kids who does nothing but plan her next family cruise and get her nails done during the day, do I?  *ahem*  Well, uh no I don’t.  I only judge you when YOU tell ME how busy you are.  Lady, you have no idea what busy is.  Maybe I’m a little bitter on that one, but I’m getting over it.  It’s like a person with a little cold telling a person with cancer how awful they feel.  Jesus Christ, think first.

So, back to the support thing.  Not only does it make you feel less alone, you can create a network of help with carpooling, babysitting, even meals if you need to.  My single Mom friends were a Godsend both here in NY and when I lived in Denver.  What the hell else was I going to do with 3 kids playing 3 different sports in 3 different places all at the same time?  We traded rides.  I felt bad, with my ex out of state and 3 kids, my giving rides to taking rides ratio was woefully lopsided.  But I did what I could.  I’ve always tried to make it right.  Somehow.

We also traded babysitting when they were small.  I’ll take your kids so you can go Christmas shopping, then you take mine.  Please take these kids for a few hours while I have a real live man coming over, mama needs some love.  heh heh  Well, see my last blog… we all have needs!

And as I said even meals or well, companionship can be shared.  My friends would get together with our kids at one Mom’s house and have dinner, and then another night at someone else’s.  It was nice to send the kids all in the basement to play and we could sit and have some wine.  Non-host Moms brought side dishes or booze.  Everyone got fed and and we all helped with cleanup for a night.  Those were some really great times.  And the kids loved it too.

So I urge all you single parents to find each other.  If you don’t know any, look online or ask around your kids school.  Also carpooling doesn’t have to just be with other single parents, you can ask those nice married parents if they want to ride-share too.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  You are not in this alone.


Is Lack of Sex a Reason for Divorce? You Make the Call!

I’ve had a lot of friends talking to me lately about divorce.  Either they have already been through it or are in counseling with their mate and thinking about it.  And what is kind of odd is that all these people had the same issue… “Alienation of Affection”.  Or more precisely… no more trips to Poundtown.   Sex has left the building.

Now if you had asked me about 15 years ago if sex mattered in a marriage, I would have said no and don’t care if I ever have it again.


Well I was thinking what a lot of women under 35 with small children think… “Don’t f-ing touch me again or I’ll kill you!”  It’s not personal, mind you.  When I was in that situation I had just had all of the love, life, attention, and need for tactile attention sucked out of me.  I was lovin’ on needy kids all day and didn’t want another human to touch me by bedtime.


But I also realized it had a lot to do with the dysfunction of our marriage.  He had done a lot of cruel stuff and I had a boatload of underlying animosity.  There is a difference between just thinking “Oh God really I’m exhausted, I can’t have sex tonight” and feeling like you want to punch your spouse in the face if they come near you. (of course we don’t really do this, we just feel it)  That’s something you need to examine.

However, I then got divorced and hit 36 around the same time.  Bingo!  Who let the dogs out?  Who?  Who?  Who?  who?  Who?  Ok, sorry that was so lame but ya’ know, insert any sort of race gate bell, horn blowing entrance music, explosion noise, train horn going through tunnel, hot volcanic lava spewing… my peak had hit.  Sex became an important staple which should have been inserted in the food pyramid.  It’s what happens to a woman of a certain age.  How do you think Cougars were invented?  Duh.  Because mainly the cruel joke is, when women are peaking men are declining in sexual desire (or ability to function).  Wah wah waaaahhhh.

So it can go both ways, man wants it, woman doesn’t and vice versa.  What do you do?  Is it that important?  Does it matter?  Can you survive without it?  I guess that’s up to you.  Some people do find sex very important and they have every right to.  Others don’t and that’s ok too.  You have to examine your priority of needs.  And be honest.

In dating I often feel I am interviewing men.  And in these interviews we often discuss the ever popular topic of “Why did you get divorced?”  Lordy, there were a number of men who claimed loss of the nooky.  Then I had a few say that loss of the nooky was the excuse why they cheated on their wife, which lead to the strife, that caused the argument, that triggered the divorce, that ate the rat that live in the house that Jack built.  Oh wait, sorry I fell into a swirling vat of nursery rhymes there.  Anyway,  I used to think that was a piece of shit excuse.  Now… I don’t know.

Now now, wait a minute, hear me out.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve stopped judging so much.  Everyone’s story is different.  But I also know I’ve gone back and forth several times on the sex thing and I realize I still have several good years left, I’m not dead yet, I need it.   However, I’m not married at the moment.  But I have had a dating situation and well, it does a lot of damage to your psyche when someone (especially men who are supposed to have huge sex drives) doesn’t want to have sex with you.  People need to feel desired.

People often bring up that scenario of, “Well what would you do if your spouse was paralyzed and could never have sex again, would you leave them?”  Well, who the hell knows until I get there, right?  It’s one thing if your spouse is still trying to be affectionate and be your partner and say they love you but is just too spent for or incapable of having sex.  It’s another if they just don’t want much to do with you and throw themselves into work or kids.  And it depends on your sex drive.  The one thing I highly recommend is talking to your spouse.  Let them know it’s important to you and you’ve got to have it.

And yes, believe it or not I do know actual real people who decide to stay together when one wants it and the other doesn’t and have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with their spouse.  Gay and straight.  They just decide for themselves what works.  Other people don’t ever discuss it and just let them sabotage the relationship all by themselves.  Having a spouse that just wants their cake and eat it too and keeps hurting the other is pretty selfish and crappy.  But both spouses have the responsibility of how they expect to be treated.

I don’t know the answer, only you kids do.  You have to talk.  And be honest about how you feel.  And if neither of you are happy, it’s ok to end it too.  I can’t believe I’m saying that but as I said, I’ve stopped judging and it beats having a spouse that’s a serial cheater.

To Divorce or Not to Divorce, That is the Question

Let’s skip all the post-divorce mumbo jumbo and go back to the root of the problem.  Are you still married and possibly thinking of divorce? Are you in the middle of a divorce and wondering if you made the right decision?  Have you just gotten divorced and rethinking things?

Well, I don’t have a magic answer… sorry!  I can’t do everything for you!  Sheesh!  But maybe I can give you some things to think about.  See, unfortunately… or fortunately only you know the answer to the “divorce or no divorce” question.  However I do emphatically suggest leaving if there is abuse of any kind involved.

Here’s what happened to me… it took me about a year before I made the final decision to get out of the marriage.  And it took a lot, he was verbally abusive throughout the whole marriage, then he had an affair the whole time I was pregnant with our third child, and then he became a serious alcoholic.  Throughout the marriage he was an amateur alcoholic, by the end he was being drafted into the big leagues and would soon be a pro.

me and dad my wedding

Yup, that was me and my Dad in 1991

It was a two part process, one was wondering if it was the right thing, and two was if and how I could manage being alone with three small children.   The first part became apparent as his behavior became more cruel and unpredictable with me.  I decided it was best for the safety of myself and the children to leave.  And I truly got a gift from God on the second part as he was put on a temporary 3 month  assignment for work in Tulsa, OK while we were living in NY.  At first it seemed daunting but then it was basically a trial to see if I could live without my husband.  I could.

However there was one last final issue before I could pull the trigger.  (metaphorically speaking, I wasn’t going to off my husband)  The guilt.  Yes, I am Catholic and my parents were married for 64 years before my Dad passed away.  I am the youngest of 6, only one sibling was divorced because the spouse took off, all others have been married for dozens of years or widowed.  To me it was forever.  So I went to see my priest.  Believe it or not, my priest was the one who convinced me to end it.  He asked me, “Does the abuse that he doles out feel like it kills part of your soul?”  “Yes!  Yes!”, I exclaimed emphatically.  “There’s your ’til death do us part'”, he said.  Whoa.  It was completely cut and dry to me then.  Thanks Father Larry.

But you may be struggling with something different.  There may not be abuse.  You may just not be in love anymore, or there is infidelity, or too much fighting or lying or something.  Maybe you have just become friends and there is no sexual intimacy whatsoever anymore.  You need to really think these things out.  Can I live with this?  Am I miserable?  Am I continually hurting this person?  Are they continually hurting me?  You have to take it question by question and the answer will reveal itself.   And talking to a third party such as a therapist or spiritual adviser is wise.  Friends and family don’t always make the best advisers as they see things subjectively.  Get an objective view.


However, if you are continuing to hurt each other, and it can be as simple as not giving the other what they need like affection, sex, trust or fidelity you either need to fix it or get out.  Continuing to make each other miserable is toxic.  And staying together for the kids is NOT the answer because the toxicity oozes over into the kids.  Trust me.  They see, they know, they learn your behaviors.  My kids were far happier after we separated.  Yes, they were upset at first about the prospect of having two different homes but then things were much more pleasant in each home after the fact.  And don’t be selfish just because you enjoy being there with your kids everyday doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for the kids.  If you and your spouse are always fighting or annoyed with each other or walking on egg shells it’s a really harmful situation for the kids.

I truly believe in the trial separation.  Time apart may help heal old wounds and give the opportunity to start fresh.  Or it may help you ease into the living apart thing by thinking it’s only a trial run and you soon find out you can do it.

The thing I don’t recommend is status quo.  Don’t just wait it out or see what happens or think “This too shall pass”.  It doesn’t.  Either fix it or get out.  I mean, make a serious attempt to fix it.   Don’t just say ok I’ll be better or I’ll stop the bad behavior.  Figure out why you keep doing these things and make a change.  If not, do everybody a favor and end it.  I can’t believe I’m saying this because I do believe marriage is a one time shot (that’s why I’m never getting married again) but my views are changing.  Society moves too fast now for us to expect that two people will be absolutely in sync forever and ever.  But as I said, only you know the answer.

P.S. Don’t let anybody make you feel bad about your decision either.  If he cheats and you decide to stay, that was your decision.  You have to do what you have to do.  Only you know what’s best.  And if you don’t, you can always change it later.  🙂

My Strange Addiction: Motherhood Edition

I do a lot of social media hopping.  When I’m hustlin’ out there trying to pimp my blog, sell some books, and plug speaking engagements, I see what a lot of other people are doing.  I check out what’s going on, who’s doing what, what’s trending.

One thing I’ve seen a boatload of over the past few years is “Mommy Blogging”.  Now, as a mother that’s past the Pampers and tantrums stage… even past the “What will be my kid’s next over the top birthday party theme?”, that Mommy Blogging stuff drives me crazy.  Now now, no offense to any of you who do.  It would have been nice to have blogs by other moms to read when my kids were little.  I’ve just been there done that as a single parent of three and don’t want to talk about it ever again.  Ever.

I have three teenagers, 19, 16,14.  One in college, two in high school.  I have a whole new set of issues like sex, drugs, and SAT scores.  Things like, do I bother my daughter in the middle of doing physics homework to ask her to take her glass in the kitchen.  I say hell no, the man that owns this house says otherwise.  Thank God my housing is temporary until I get into my new place… boyfriends do not make good landlords.  I digress…

Anyway, I really don’t mind hearing about kid problems or the cute thing Jimmy said on occasion, but the problem I find with Mommy Bloggers is… THAT’S ALL THEY TALK ABOUT!  Incessantly!  It’s an endless stream of kiddie talk and how busy you are making your taco dip for their Halloween party at school.  You are a one trick pony, a one hit wonder, all you can play is one note.  Children are the only subject you ever talk about, the only subject you know.  You’re like one of those people on “My Strange Addiction” and your drug of choice is motherhood.  To anyone else obsessed with their kids, you’ll make fast friends.  But to anyone else in the world, you are well… annoying.  But that’s how it is with anyone that only talks about one subject, no matter what it is.

kid meme

And I know it’s hard for divorced parents or single parents.  That becomes your world.  It’s hard to have time for yourself.  But my advice to you is, make some adult time.  Somehow find the time, even if you can’t get out of the house, sit on the computer and look up some adult subject.  Now I don’t mean porn, just something like classic literature, cars, music, origami… any damn thing that doesn’t involve kids.  Especially if you are trying to date again, you are going to need something to talk about with potential suitors other than kids.  And at work, your co-workers, clients, patients, will want to make small talk about things other than making Easter baskets out of licorice with your kids.

And for the love of God if you do get out and get to go have a cocktail or something, don’t sit there and talk about kid stuff!  It’s just better for your personal growth as well.  I learned this from my Mother.  She is 87 and she stayed at home and raised 6 children for about 25 years.  I remember her saying she had some friends who were completely lost and suffered great depression after the kids left because it was all they knew.  My Mother said she always tried to keep up on other interests, not just for when kids left but God forbid anything happened to my Father.  And she was good, by the time I was in third grade (I’m the youngest) she decided to finally put her degree to work and be a teacher.  She was glad she kept her mind sharp all along.

Being a Mother is freakin’ awesome.  It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.  However, don’t forget you.  Nurture yourself as well as your children.  Don’t forget to take an occasional swim in Lake Me.


By the way if anyone locally is interested, I’ll be speaking at this event tonight:

Resolve ad


And my book is available on

Don’t Start None, Won’t Be None

One of the most common complaints I hear from women in a post-divorce or single parent household is about the chaos.

The screaming, the yelling, the crying, the fighting.  The general unruliness of the pitchfork and torch wielding angry mob of children.  (ok so you only have one child, it can seem like a lot more sometimes)

I’ve seen it in person.  I’ve seen it on shows like “Super Nanny”.  I’ve seen it on Dr. Phil.  I’ve read about it in my textbooks.  I learned it from my therapist.  One simple answer…

Calm the f*ck down.

Sorry to be so brash but it had to be said.  A person can set the tone of how they want a conversation to go or how they want to be treated.  Especially with children.  They’re like emotional chameleons.  You know how it is when a toddler falls down and goes boom and immediately looks at you?  We all know that if you get a look of fear and start screaming “Oh my God Skippy, are you ok?”, that child is going to start wailing like their right arm was just cut off.  BUT, if you put a quick smile on your face and say, “Oh whoopsie!  It’s ok!  You’re all ok!” , that child will get the stunned look off their face in a second or two, get back up and go back to taking a dump in their diaper or whatever it was.


It’s the same with chaos.  If you’re kids have done something they’re not supposed to or just getting a bit wild… don’t start screaming and yelling.  That just escalates things.  Calmly take charge, separate them, do whatever you do, but do it calmly and with authority.

Same goes for adults.  If something has been bothering you and you need to discuss it with your ex, approach it calmly and non-accusatory.  If you come at someone with guns drawn, they’re going to come back at you with guns drawn.  Maybe even bigger guns than yours.  Use that old crap that therapists always say, start out explaining your issue with “I feel” instead of “you do this and it sucks.”  You’d be surprised what explaining things does to a situation.

If you are calm, people around you will be calm.   It’s really as simple as that.  I know it can be really hard sometimes to not keep from screaming, stuff builds up.  But don’t do it to the kids.  Go out and sit in the car and scream for a minute.  Go to the gym and work it out.  Go in your bedroom, scream into a pillow or punch the bed… better yet record the audio of that and play it for your friends, they’ll be jealous because they think you’re having wild unbridled sex.  Double win!  Just remember like the title says, “Don’t start none, won’t be none.”


Never Be Too Proud to Ask for Help

Ain’t too proud to beg.

Ok well not beg… but ask.

I had this terrible complex of thinking I had to be Super Woman after I first got divorced.  I was going to do everything on my own.  I was going to keep the children near their Dad, make him happy.  I would live within my means and if I couldn’t, I’d make more means.

So what did I do?  Stayed in a house I couldn’t afford.  Tried to work but created unhappy kids, unhappy bosses, and got myself in more debt paying for childcare.  I didn’t enforce when the ex gave me money so I got behind on my bills. I stayed in a city I had just moved to with him where I knew no one.  I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Since I had the kids 90% of the time, I should have just done what was best for me.  Gotten a lawyer and made a firm date for payment or had it taken out of his paycheck.  I should have just stayed at home another couple years until they all got in school.  I actually should have moved back to NY where it was cheaper and I had support.   But I was going to tough it out.  That was a douchebag move.

What a complete idiot.  Hindsight is 20/20 yes, but hopefully I can be your eyes on this one.  Don’t do what I did.

Make sure you ask for help and do what is best for you.  If you need to move in with your parents or relative for a while, do it.   If you need financial assistance don’t be afraid or too proud to go to Department of Social Services and apply for assistance with rent, food, heat or healthcare.   That’s what it’s there for, to help people who need to get back on their feet.  I was too busy “Keeping up with the Joneses” (read: other people who weren’t poor) that  I kept trying to feed the fire of turmoil.

I started to learn to ask for help but it was already too late when I did.  The rent was already late or the car had died.  I should have asked for help earlier to get the car fixed before it died.  I should have asked for help with rent before I got the “Three Day or Quit” notice. Actually I should have moved long before all that happened.  I shouldn’t have been living on such a stretched budget.

Take a step back.  Ask for help.  Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to make everybody else happy.

Tales of the Post-Divorce Dating Psycho Broad

Today’s topic is dating after divorce.  This is an odd subject because everyone is different.

I myself, think everyone should wait a bit and get their shit straight before jumping into another relationship.  Add to that, that Psychology Today reports 50% of first marriages fail, 67% of second marriages fail, and 73% of third marriages fail.  That’s not to say, don’t ever get married again, just… take your time and be sure.

Like I said everyone is different.  In my case, my ex was pretty verbally abusive and he was a “teaser”.  Always poking fun always making a joke at my expense and when I’d get upset it was “Hey come on, it’s just a joke.  Stop being such a baby!”  Which to this day still, the automatic answer to that in my head is “Fuck you”.  And he was incapable of real emotional intimacy.  Also the sex was rough and abusive.  Let’s just say my self-esteem was in tatters when I got paroled from that marriage.

So when he left the house, I was hungry for positive attention.  Somebody be nice to me, please!  I was 35, cute with a petite figure.  Some men paid attention… but I was a freakin’ psycho.  I was so hungry for attention, I couldn’t just let it happen, I wanted to cram it in with no lube.  Oh sorry.  I am mortified to think about it now.  But thank God all of this happened when I lived in Denver 10-13 years ago and I live back in NY now and will never run into those people again. lol

A big part of the problem was I suffer from anxiety.  I can’t stand not knowing what’s going to happen next, so I try to make it happen.  I can’t wait, I have no patience.  Well, I mean I do now thank God.  Back then it was crazy bad.  So let me tell you about my first attempt at “dating”…

I had been separated for about a month.  A really cool handsome guy flirted with me at the real estate office I was working at.  It had been over 10 years since I dated.  The details are a little fuzzy now but I will see if I can piece it together.  We had hung out with a group after work then later he made casual mention of getting together again.  I kept bringing it up, he finally mentioned a day but then he never called.  That day came and I called his office phone, no answer.  (I’m totally mortified by this now)  So I picked up the office contact list and got his home phone number and called him.  I think I was leaving messages like in the movie “Swingers”.  Oh dear God.  Finally he’s like, “How did you get my number?  I don’t think this is a good idea.  You need to chill out for a bit.”  Which was a nice way of telling me “You’re a fucking wingnut lady, you need to get yourself together before you date.”

That was 13 years ago.  I realized that I was trying so hard to be “normal” again right away that I didn’t give myself time to grieve and like myself again (and get my anxiety fixed).  However, there are other people that the first date they go on after they get divorced, they end up in a relationship with that person for a few years.  It may be luck, it may be just clinging to the first person that comes along because you thrive on being in relationships.   Who am I to say?  I just think it’s better if you take your time.  And guess what?  You will have some failures.  Just accept that.  I have to accept that I made a gigantic ass out of myself but it was part of the learning process.  You don’t know what you don’t know.

Just be kind to yourself.  Don’t rush it.  Don’t force it.  Do some healing.  Rediscover yourself.  Then have at it.  And if you happen to have a drunken night of making out with a guy in a bar, it’s ok.  Don’t beat yourself up over it.  Accept that all these things are part of the “Learning to date again” process.  Oh but most importantly… don’t do this in front of your kids.  Your kids are trying to get through the divorce as well, don’t confuse them more by parading your dating life in front of them.  Give them time to heal too.  Don’t shove your need for adult love and affection down their throats.  You can wait, you’re a big girl.  Make sure the kids are all healed first.  Questions?

Stop Badmouthing Your Ex in Front of The Kids, Damnit!

Yes yes, there have been a whole bunch of us that had an ex that did terrible things to us and we still have to co-parent with them.  There a lot of us that think our ex is a complete asshole.  There are several of us that probably should have put our ex in jail but didn’t.  One or two of you may even wish your ex rots in hell.  Who am I to judge?

But if you still have to co-parent with this person… my utmost important, number 1 rule is… you never ever mention a word of the bad stuff to the children.  No matter how much you want everyone to know your side and what a piece of shit you think the ex is… your kids are not the ones to vent to.  Yes, even when your children come home from a grand and glorious weekend with Daddy and they are singing songs of praise, DO NOT… I repeat DO NOT rain on their parade and say things like “Oh yea your Dad is so great… so great that he was banging your babysitter while we were married”.  Just say no.  Never speak poorly of your ex to the kids.  Ever.

Imagine this… my ex had an alcohol problem and was really mean and a little violent when drunk and cheated on me while I was pregnant with our third child.  After we separated, the young chick he was cheating with moves in with him.  Now you can imagine how much I enjoyed dropping my three children off to his house while those two took care of my kids all weekend.  I was fit to be tied.  Not to mention a little worried, at that point he didn’t drink around the kids (that would later change, and visitation was revoked by me) but I never knew when he might change that pattern.  and unfortunately the “possibility” of something happening is not enough to change visitation.  But I kept my mouth shut.  I vented to my girlfriends, didn’t let it consume me, and loved the hell out of the kids when they came home.

Here’s why… No good ever comes from hate.  Just think about that a minute.  What good does it do to hate someone?  It’s a waste of your time and energy.  It won’t change them.  I t won’t change what they did.  Sure, you might be angry for a bit but get over it eventually and move on.  Hate and animosity create a really negative energy that isn’t good for anyone.  You have your kids grow up around two parents hating on each other all the time, you’re going to have kids that hate you, each other, and everything else all the time.  And if you keep talking bad about your child’s other parent… that child will start hating themselves.

Yup, I said it.  Think about this.  You keep talking about what a scumbag your son’s Father is… that son starts to think, “hey I came from my Dad, I am half him, I must be a piece of shit too”.  I know it seems a bit far-fetched at first but think about it.  What if someone kept telling you your Mother was a no good dirtbag lying ho?  You’d get defensive right?  But if they said it enough you might think, “This is what I come from, am I a dirtbag who comes from along line of dirtbags”  And thusly acting out dirtbaggedness ensues.   As adults we can reason that away (most of us anyway), but a child doesn’t have that same sort of rational thought.

If preventing your child from feeling like a big pile of crap isn’t reason enough to not talk bad about the other parent, just remember you will get a lot more accomplished if the two of you get a long.  You know the old saying, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar”?  If you are civil to your ex, it is more likely you can compromise on money and custody issues.  Karma or God will take care of the rest.

I did keep my eyes and ears open and asked my kids lots of questions about their visits to make sure they were being well cared for.  Things eventually turned south, I mandated supervised visits only, his true colors showed and he skipped town.  The kids figured things out on their own and ya’ know what, I wasn’t happy about it.  Then I even tried to paint it in a not so hurtful light, “Your Dad loves you and is a good person he just has a disease”.  Some people are like, “Good I’m glad they figured out what a POS their Dad is”.  No, nobody wants to find out their Dad is a piece of shit.  Would you?  However, it happens.  People find out their parents are not so great people sometimes but it’s best to find out on their own and not be fed hate from the other parent all the time.    A loving atmosphere does much more good than a hating atmosphere.  Spread the love.



Number 1 Rule of Divorce Club: Don’t Panic

I have to say, it’s been a really long time since I’ve been divorced.  Twelve years actually.  But sometimes it still feels fresh.  It feels like I’m still figuring out what to do.  Ya’ know, I think I’m kinda’ good now, though.

It was a whole lot of trial and error.  I think things would have been a lot different if my marriage had ended in the city we lived in when we were married.  See, I had just moved to Denver from NY State with my then husband because of his job.  Three months after we moved there we decided to separate.  We’d had problems for a year or two, I figured even if the marriage ends, the kids need to be near their Dad.  Now, I don’t know how smart this was but ya’ know, can’t change it now.  I lived a really depressing, anxiety-filled existence for 6 years just to make the kids available to him, when eventually I’d have to take it away because he was always drunk.  Hindsight is freakin’ laser scope, x-ray, 20/20 isn’t it?

The problem was, all of a sudden I was in a place where I didn’t know a soul… except for my kids and the guy that was divorcing me.  Surprise!  It sucked the big one.  No one to help me with three little kids under the age of 7, and no one’s shoulder to cry on.  And the state of Colorado is one of the least compassionate states for single parents who struggle economically.

I tried to hold it together, I really did.  I think I did pretty well but there was a bit of panic in me that I had to do everything just right.  I had to provide, I had to be strong, I had to be a good, loving example to my kids,  I had to be all things to all people.  Screw that.  I should have taken a good week vacation to my Mother’s or sister’s houses and cried my eyes out.  I should have tried to heal myself a little first.  But no, I had to make it work.  My ex was a big a bully that I wanted to get away from, so we just went to a mediator, I got hosed and was told I needed to get a job.  Um, for what?  Just to pay for daycare?

So I acquiesced.   I should have hired a lawyer and laid out strict terms.  I didn’t, I panicked that he would retaliate and I didn’t want the kids to see that… or have to deal with it.  I didn’t want to be “that lady” that tries to shake down an ex in a divorce.  But to see what would happen next, that he put all his money into the new girlfriend (the one he had been cheating with for a year or two), I should have stood my ground and made boundaries.

That is a key thing to remember.  You need to stand your ground with your boundaries, and when you panic you lose your boundaries.

I said, “I don’t need no stinkin’ ex-husband!” and ran out and got a job.  Which was a disaster and lead to me being canned because I couldn’t show up half the time because of child problems (the ex travelled with work and was never around) and it was a 20-35 minute commute in Denver traffic that I was never on time for.  The money barely covered daycare.  It was stupid.  I should have just figured out a way to stand my ground and wait another year or two until most of the kids were in school.

I never learned to stop panicking until about 9 years after my divorce.  I wasted so much damn time being in situations that lead me to nervous breakdowns and it was mostly because of pride.  Just remember there is no loss of pride in asking for a manageable situation for yourself.  You don’t have to be Wonder Woman.  I think she’s kinda’ douchie anyway.  But please don’t be an A-hole and ask for the moon, that makes all ex-wives look like bitches and well… I’m certainly not.  I used to be a doormat, ,now I’m just strong… because I learned not to panic.

My book “When Life Gives You Lemons… at Least You Won’t Get Scurvy!” is available by click here.

You might also enjoy my other humor blog here.