If you’re tired of the traditional Valentine’s Day, try swapping it out with Galentine’s Day this year, instead.
The post Swap out Valentine’s Day for Galentine’s Day this 2020 appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
If you’re tired of the traditional Valentine’s Day, try swapping it out with Galentine’s Day this year, instead.
The post Swap out Valentine’s Day for Galentine’s Day this 2020 appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
For some people, the transition between divorce and single life appears daunting — a bridge too far — especially during holidays that emphasize love and closeness. While the Yuletide season has now passed (one of the worst times for newly divorced individuals), Valentine’s Day is quick on the heels of that stressful and often sad time of year.
According to David J. Glass, Certified Family Law Specialist and former therapist (he holds a Ph.D. in Psychology as well as a J.D.) and author of the book, Moving On: Redesigning Your Emotional, Financial and Social Life After Divorce, there is no need to dread the upcoming Valentine’s Day event. Glass says there are positive ways to feel loved and comforted when navigating feelings and despair on Valentine’s Day.
With that in mind, Glass has put together the following 10 tips for activities for those without a special someone on that romantic day that are fun, distracting and inspiring.
1. WHEN YOU FIRST WAKE UP, MEDITATE:
Meditation, especially in the morning, is a great way to set yourself up for a calmer and kinder day. For example, the first thing you could say to yourself: “Today is going to be a great day; a special day for me. I’m going to do things all day long that make me feel loved and nurtured.”
2. PLAN AHEAD TO GIVE OF YOURSELF:
In advance, arrange to spend just an hour or two at a local senior care center (read, chat, play board games…). Often, those folks are truly lonely and sequestered. You also can consider visiting an animal shelter. Take a dog or cat into the visiting arena for a bit. You will feel the love from that pet, and its appreciation of you. Who knows, you might even consider taking a pet home—adopting it.
3. GO ONLINE OR TO A MALL:
Buy yourself something special—an item that you’ve been wanting, like a cozy sweater, an Alexa type device; new flat screen, pair of kick-butt shoes. Whatever it is, tell yourself you deserve it and say thanks to you for being such a considerate gift-giving “Valentine.”
4. HIT THE GYM, DO SOME YOGA OR TAKE A RUN:
Whatever makes you feel fit and healthy; eating right, taking a nap, deep breathing exercises. Do what it is that makes you feel good about the way you take care of yourself.
5. SPLURGE ON LUNCH OR DINNER:
It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant; an expensive meal. You can indulge in a Big Mac or an exotic salad at any nutrition-conscious eatery, just make sure your meal is substantial, filling and tasty. Make it one you don’t usually have. It will satisfy your guilty pleasure and make you feel loved. Top it off with some chocolate or some coffee.
6. HEAD FOR THE SPA:
If you’re a regular, try something different. If you typically get a mani-pedi, get an hour-long facial. If you get a full-body massage, ask for a reflexology treatment. It doesn’t matter your gender when going to a salon or spa. Everyone feels good when they are gently touched and thoughtfully pampered.
7. MAKE A LIST:
In three columns write down ways you can move on emotionally, financially and socially. Get creative. If you’ve always called your mother when you’re feeling down, jot down another source to perk you up. If you earn and spend your money according to a static routine, change it up and for Valentine’s Day. Don’t let your concern for financial security influence your choices. Rearrange your budget to accommodate guilty pleasures.
Same with the items you now list on changing up your social life. Write down activities you can do that include others in the same situation. Yes, very often, misery does love and need company. Establishing new habits (like spending, social outings, and get-togethers) are wonderful ways to make you feel loved because you’re getting fired up to create a whole new lifestyle.
8. SPEND A FEW HOURS WITH THOSE WHO YOU KNOW LOVE YOU:
Rather than hide out or withdraw, reach out to your family and friends, including your children (stage a valentine card competition) and there’s no question you will feel love “emphasized” which you truly deserve.
9. SNEAK A HUG FROM A STRANGER:
It might sound crazy, but maybe today is the day you ask for a hug from the mail carrier, the person who hands you your dry cleaning items, the security guard at your place of work or your children’s school, or the guy who is replenishing the produce section in the grocery store. You can easily say, “Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day. Mind if steal a quick hug.” Most loving individuals will feel honored you asked. They need one, too. Although hugs are momentary, the residue can last the entire day!
10. BINGE-WATCH SOMETHING:
Sitting on or in your bed all Valentine’s Day watching one of the web series you missed, is another way to say, “I love you” to yourself. It’s one more special gift that illustrates that you do, in fact, love “thyself.”
The post 10 Distracting Things To Do On Valentine’s Day If You’re Unattached appeared first on Divorced Moms.
I’m a divorced mom who has shared custody of an 8-year-old girl. I have a good job, great friends, own a house, and am generally happy.
However, I have personal issues that I am working on that I constantly hope will resolve faster. I own it, I mostly hate it, and I’m working through it.
I want more for my daughter. I want her to have the happiest easiest life. I want her to walk to school and have friends and play and go to birthday parties and sleepovers. I want her to worry about kid things like her best friend has more scrunchies than her, or that she didn’t know who to sit with at lunch in the cafeteria.
I don’t want her to worry about which parent she will be with for the first day of school, or her birthday, or the holidays. When our neighbors have birthday parties for their kids, it might be a weekend she is with her dad. There is always a 50% chance. She misses out, and I don’t want my beautiful girl to miss out on anything.
She has to worry about her homework and if her piano music got copied and sent to dad’s house. Are her favorite shoes at mom’s house? Because she wants to wear them to a party. It breaks my heart that I can’t give her the life that other parents can, by providing one home that she lives in and can thrive in, as opposed to two.
This is a big one. I endured a lot in my short marriage. Excessive drinking, lying, and infidelity. My ex-husband had an affair my entire pregnancy and left me to fend for myself. When he was around, he was not a nice person. He made his resentments very well known to me.
The night before my daughter was born, the San Jose Sharks were in the playoffs. I was to be induced the next day. I told him I was making a special dinner for us since it is our last night before the baby comes. He left work, stopped at the bar for a drink, and came home to find out that I had recorded the wrong channel. I recorded the news instead of the Sharks game. He had a massive tantrum, including yelling at me that I can’t do anything right, I am useless, and for God’s sake, I’m not even wearing TEAL.
I cried, and packed a bag and spent the night in a hotel so I could have a peaceful night before giving birth. After being induced, 72 hours of labor, hemorrhaging and needing emergency surgery and a blood transfusion, I had my baby. She was perfect.
So yes, shouldn’t I be entitled to have my own daughter on her birthday? Not every other year, but every year. Shouldn’t I get to raise her and love her and be with her daily? The law says that no, I shouldn’t. That his genetic material made up 50% of our daughter, so he gets 50% of her. On good days I am glad she has a good relationship with him. On bad days, I don’t think he even deserves the title of father since he was such a jerk during my pregnancy and her first couple of months.
I think I deserve more time with her. That am entitled to more. Did he have hyperemesis during pregnancy and was bedridden? Nope, that was me. Did he almost die during labor? Nope, me again. Did he party and binge drink, and sleep with another woman for months while I was sick and alone? Yes, he did. Entitlement is a killer, and at times I think it eats at my soul.
I left my husband twice. The first time when my daughter was 6 weeks old when I discovered his long involved affair. When my daughter was a year old, I decided to try a relationship with her dad again since he appeared so remorseful and made great strides in cleaning up his life. That lasted about 2 years before the binge drinking, blacking out, and other precarious outings with women started.
He was drunk driving quite a bit. His behavior was erratic. I wanted to fix up my daughter’s room by painting the walls and getting some cute little decals. He had a tantrum and said she wasn’t worth it, and he refused to spend the money and demanded I return everything I bought. The last night we were ever living together as a married couple, a policeman had to pick my little girl out of her crib in her onesie pajamas, and told me I had 5 minutes to get a go-bag since my husband was so drunk the police officer said he was not to be trusted.
I was in such a hysterical state, that I packed my car with my daughter, our dog, and a bag filled with shoes. SHOES. Nothing else. That is how crazy an incident like that can make a person. I left him and went to stay with my parents and told him I would be back in one week and he better have found another place to live by then.
Do you want to know what this horrible human being did?
He went to rehab.
He started rehab 2 days after my daughter and I left. He has been sober for almost 5 years now. He has a great job, a house, two cars, a boat, and is president of the PTA. I can’t even make this stuff up. I am grateful every day that he is healthy and seemingly happy and has stepped up as a father. He wants to be involved in everything that our kiddo does. He drives on field trips, he takes her on vacations, and he has taken her to more playoff games for Bay Area sports teams than most grown adults have gone to.
So why am I so angry?
Because he put me through hell. I have sheltered my daughter from any of it so her father and I can sit next to each other at her dance recitals or gymnastics classes. I have bitten my tongue and sacrificed my daunting ego so that she has a loving relationship with her father.
The jerk who came to the baby classes drunk is now the head of the PTA. He has a girlfriend of several years and they take my daughter on trips together. They take her to church. They painted her room at her dad’s house pink. She has a cute bedspread and a ton of toys, and a basketball hoop him the backyard at his house.
She loves her dad. Which on good days I am so grateful for. So when I have Christmas every other year alone watching Netflix, and eating copious amounts of ice cream, I get angry. Angry at him for being so great now, angry at myself for putting up with so much, angry at all the happy families that are spending Christmas together. Just plain angry.
My ex-husband and I still argue. We still have disagreements about custody and money. Our daughter has no idea, and we are able to sit together at school functions without clawing at each other’s eyes. I am several years in as a divorced mom, but it honestly feels like this journey just started. Like I should be farther along than I am.
I should be happy for my ex-husband. I should be enjoying my free time more, I should be traveling, going out, laughing. Sometimes I am doing great; however, sometimes I am missing my daughter and I don’t know who I am without her. Everyone says it gets better, and sharing custody gets easier. After several years as a co-parent, I shouldn’t have so much guilt, I shouldn’t be so entitled, and I shouldn’t be angry.
But it is my process and my truth. And I can decide to let it get the better of me, or thrive.
The post Negative Post-Divorce Feelings: One Day They’re Going To Get The Best Of Me appeared first on Divorced Moms.
As a single mother on Father’s Day, sometimes it can be a little lonely when the children are not by your side, but it is essential to recognize the importance, in your children’s eyes, of spending time with their father – particularly on Father’s Day.
Just as on Mother’s Day, when, as it should be, the mother is properly recognized for all of her contributions to the family, it is equally as important that the children are able to spend time with and recognize their father on their special day.
In order to help prepare for not spending time with your children on Father’s Day, here’s a helpful guide of “Do’s and Don’ts” that I have found to be useful in my consultations with clients on the topic of Father’s Day and visitation when the parents are separated.
It should go without saying these suggestions apply equally to Mother’s Day when the children are spending time with their mother, but since Father’s Day is rapidly approaching, we will start from there. So without further ado, here is my helpful list of do’s and don’ts for a single mother on Father’s Day:
While certainly not an exhaustive list, I hope these do’s and don’ts will help to provide some guidelines on how best to handle – and ensure a smooth timesharing experience for your child – Father’s Day after divorce.
Lessons of love always begin in childhood with the parent/child relationship. If children feel authentically loved by a father they will grow up knowing how to love others.
Father’s Day is just another day around my house. My father passed away13 years ago and my ex-husband has no relationship with our two sons. I was blessed with a loving father who earned celebrations every day of the year.
My boys, bless their hearts, ended up with the kind of father that perpetuates the old stereotypes about deadbeat dads. I’ve been divorced from their father for 19 years, during that time I’d venture to say that 90% of the time he has been a no-show when it comes to fathering.
When I began this article I was stumped, what can I, a mother whose sons don’t have a father say to divorced dads on Father’s Day? I then realized that the absence of their father has taught me quite a bit about the importance of fathers in a child’s life. Not just on Father’s Day but every day.
Whether you have full custody, 50/50 custody or you are an every other weekend Dad, when your little ones give you a gift and card this Father’s Day it isn’t because you are special to them on one day but, because you add value to their lives every day.
Showing up in spite of a difficult visitation schedule or conflict with your ex teaches your children persistence. If you continue to be involved in your children’s live after divorce, engage in quality time with them regardless of how little quantity, you are teaching your child that when something is important to them, it is worth pursuing with persistence. What a wonderful lesson to teach!
They learn they matter:
You not only teach your children that they matter but, by example, you teach them that what they do matters. You showing them that they matter teaches them to care about others. You teach them that actions, words, and deeds are the true measure of a person when you show up and you show them they can trust your actions, words and deeds.
You give them someone to go to:
If they are hurting or confused over a problem they know you are available. You make a difference when they are down and out. By being there for them, you teach them to be there for others. You have a direct impact on how empathetic and compassionate they become.
You impact their ability to learn:
Children with involved, caring fathers have better educational outcomes. Fathers who are involved and nurturing with their children impact their IQ scores as well as cognitive abilities, verbal skills, and intellectual functioning. So, show up as often as possible because you are raising geniuses!
You impact their mental health:
Children with good relationships with their fathers are less likely to experience depression or exhibit disruptive behavior. Boys with involved fathers had fewer school behavior problems and girls have higher self-esteem. In other words, by showing up you teach your boys the importance of proper behavior and your girls to never settle for that ne’er-do-well boy that every father fears.
You teach your sons how to be good fathers:
Fathering involves commitment, self-sacrifice, integrity, and unconditional love. Responsible fathers are concerned with the well-being of their children, and their desire is to see their children succeed in all areas of life.
Nurturing your relationship with your sons trains them “up right,” as my grandmother used to say, it educates them and fosters healthy development. Do this for your sons and your grandchildren will be rewarded with loving, attentive fathers.
You teach them how to love:
Lessons of love always begin in childhood with the parent/child relationship. If children feel authentically loved by a father they will grow up knowing how to love others. The ability to give love is directly related to the love we receive, especially during childhood. Showing up and filling your children with love will play a huge role in the kind of romantic relationships they involve themselves in as adults.
And that is just the short list! Raising two boys on my own has taught me a lot about the value of a father. Working through the years with clients and hearing from fathers via email, I know that my ex-husband is not representative of the vast majority of divorced dads.
We hear a lot about single and divorced moms but very little about divorced dads. We place value on the mother/child relationship and at times dismiss the father/child relationship. It is my wish on this Father’s Day that divorced dads know that, although others may not be paying attention, their children are.
They are waiting for your phone call, watching out the window, looking for your car, counting the days until your next visitation. They are eager to see you, share their lives with you and love you. And every time you show up your value to them increases tenfold.
If you are a divorced dad who shows up, every day spent with your children feels like Father’s Day to them.
So, Happy “Father’s Day” today and every day.
The post The Value of Divorced Dads: On Father’s Day And Every Day appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Courtesy of Brooke Kelly Photography
“Four years ago, my life fell apart. I was married with a 3-year-old little girl, and we lived in an adorable gated neighborhood in the suburbs, just 4 miles inland from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. I could cross highway A1A at work and eat lunch on the beach. My Jeep always had sand and seashells in it.
I felt so fortunate to have this opportunity in life after working my way through nursing school, and eventually finishing grad school with a newborn. I finally had my dream job as a pediatric nurse practitioner. My career took me to Nashville, Kansas City, and that’s where we ended up on the beach. Sounds like an amazing adventure, right? Well, little did I know, my husband was living a double life and my world was going to come crashing down on me very soon.
I was on my way home from work on a Monday afternoon, just 2 days after my daughter’s luau birthday party, and I found out we had been evicted. All of our belongings were thrown out like trash, even her new birthday presents. I wasn’t allowed back in our home, and I was told the locks had been changed.
I felt sick and like I had no control, like I had been stabbed over and over and I was moving too slow to stop the bleeding. After questioning my husband and our landlord, I discovered that we were 3 months behind on rent and other bills, despite the fact that I was shelling out money to him for our living expenses. He couldn’t answer where the money was going, but all of a sudden, things made sense. His erratic sleep habits, weight loss, running errands all the time. He always had somewhere to go and never wanted us to tag along.
I did some digging and found empty pill bottles and many empty beer cans in his car. The car that drove my child to daycare. The car that always parked in the guest parking spaces in our neighborhood instead of the driveway. I also found several years worth of MY mail in his trunk. He had been keeping random letters from collection agencies, bills, and birthday cards from me for YEARS. Why did he keep all these secrets from me?
Confused, hurt, and angry were my only emotions for the next few days.
I was running on fumes and couldn’t eat or sleep. I felt so stupid for not seeing the signs. I had been so busy with raising a child and building my practice at work. I was married to a drug addict who abandoned us in a Target parking lot 4 miles from the beach.
He had been lying to me for YEARS, and my credit was unfortunately ruined because of it. I had no idea how easy it was to open credit cards and take out personal loans in your spouse’s name. I thought I had stayed on top of my bills but had no idea he was secretly hiding things from me over the course of our 7-year marriage.
I later found out that he had another daughter! He lied about being in the Marine Corps, he lied about his education and his job. I had been living nothing but lies for almost a decade of my life! I thought to myself, ‘How could life be so cruel? How could I be so dumb?’
That first night living in a hotel, I made a Walmart run at 8 p.m. to get clothes and toiletries for us to survive the next few days while I planned my next move. I washed clothes in a hotel sink. My daughter and I tried to make the best of our ‘vacation’ as I called it, while I cried over the things we had lost, wondering how in the world I would sort through this mess. My sweet baby girl lost everything, and we had no support there.
Our closest family was in Tennessee, about 10 hours away, and my soon-to-be-ex-husband left us alone to fend for ourselves without showing any remorse. At night, I would just think of all the things we had lost. I cried silently at night, in the shower or while I was driving. I missed my belongings, and I missed the part of my heart that was stolen. I could never get those things back.
I cried for my daughter because she didn’t deserve this as part of her story. I worked so hard to get where I was, career-wise, and everything was just ripped away. Why couldn’t I just go back and change things sooner? He was a con artist, and I got duped.
I tried to smile through the pain and be strong for my daughter.
I tucked my tail, hung my head, and began my journey home. At 32 years old, I moved back into my old bedroom with a 3-year-old. I was so ashamed of myself. I left the beach and moved back to crummy ole Tennessee. To make things worse, it was SNOWING when we moved back. It was March and snowing in Tennessee. How could this situation get ANY worse?!
My daughter, on the other hand, was thrilled to make snow angels and ride in a makeshift sled with grandma and grandpa. My parents were ecstatic to let us come home. My daughter had her own playroom and slept with mama every night. (Fortunately, my parents keep EVERYTHING. Her playroom was like taking a peek back into my childhood. We’re talking original Cabbage Patch dolls, a Little Tykes kitchen from 1985, y’all. It was glorious!)
Since I had to work diligently on getting my nursing licenses in order, I wasn’t able to apply for any nursing jobs for the next few weeks. My plan was to take an assignment as a travel nurse to save up some money and pay off these old bills that I recently discovered. In the meantime, my daughter and I were going to the gym and the park almost daily.
My heart was bruised, and I needed to slowly put my life back together. I needed to show my daughter that this was our new normal and that living with grandma and grandpa would be a fun adventure. I was trying to convince myself of this too.
I desperately needed to find some friends, but I had no idea where to even start.
I finally texted an old guy friend from high school (actually, I think I went down my Facebook list and sent messages to everyone in town. I was THAT desperate for adult interaction). I jokingly asked if he knew any hot single dads. This wasn’t even relevant in our conversation, just a random thought that popped in my head. To my surprise, he said yes and immediately gave me a name.
Good heavens, was I ready for this? I was SO newly divorced, but hey, I needed friends and I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to get out of my parents’ house to meet people. My Facebook detective brain got to work. This single dad had a daughter, who appeared to be the same age as mine. After showing my mom his Facebook picture with his daughter, she screamed, ‘I KNOW THAT LITTLE GIRL!’
Come to find out, his ex-wife’s sister does my mom’s hair, and my mom had seen pictures of this little blonde girl. We live in a big city, so this is a rare occurrence. My mom wanted some juicy gossip, so she pushed me to meet him. (If she thought meeting a stranger was OK, then surely it was fine, right?!) I sent this random guy a Facebook message, and he answered back. I gave him my number and HE. CALLED. ME. So, awkwardly, I answered the phone.
He said he wanted to talk. Like, with his voice. What in the 1990s was going on?! We talked all night just like teenagers. I think it was 2 am when we finally hung up. Maybe it was sleep deprivation, but I felt like one tiny piece of my heart was placed back.
Two days later, we met for lunch. I was a little rusty on appropriate first date clothing, and I was raiding my mom’s closet for most of my attire since I was just starting to rebuild my life and wardrobe. I happened to have a job interview that day, so I wore some comfortable black flats and a pair of my mom’s black dress slacks. Yup, slacks. With pleats down the front. I also wore this shirt I lovingly call ‘the curtain shirt’. This was my 1st first date since I met my ex-husband, 10 years earlier.
He was on his lunch break, so he showed up wearing police gear and a gun on his hip. I was intimidated at first because he is a big dude with a beard and a lot of tattoos, and again, this was my first date in a decade. I am a nurse practitioner and I had never had any type of personal interaction with a police officer in my whole entire life. Now I was on a date with one!
He insisted we take a selfie that day to send to Brian, the guy that introduced us.
We went to the Bayou and sat on the patio. I don’t remember one thing we said during the entire date because I was nervous and trying not to make a mess. I ordered a shrimp po’boy (I couldn’t have ordered something messier, right?) and I don’t even remember if I ate half of it.
I just remember looking at him and getting butterflies. He had the prettiest hazel eyes and I had never dated anyone with a beard, so I’m sure I stared at it. When we were done eating, he walked me to my Jeep and gave me a hug.
Courtesy of Becca Goedecke
After lunch, I was on cloud nine. I had the biggest grin all day, and I was smitten. I could not stop thinking about him! Was I ready for this? I thought, ‘There was no way he could be interested.’ After all, I was just damaged goods. With my awful credit and all the baggage I had, surely this guy would just move on and there was no reason to get my hopes up. I just couldn’t stop thinking about him, but I definitely wasn’t ready to jump into a relationship.
To my surprise, he called me that night. (What is up with this guy? Why can’t he just text?) We had our second date on Friday night, and our first kiss. I knew at that time this was something special. However, I wasn’t quite ready to trust him, and I certainly didn’t want my tender heart to be yanked out of my chest again.
I saw him again on Sunday, which happened to be Easter. We decided to let our girls meet each other that afternoon. My daughter needed some friends too, and they became instant best friends. We looked at them playing, and then looked at each other. Huh, these girls could be twins. I could feel my heart slowly starting to grow back together.
Courtesy of Becca Goedecke
On Mother’s Day, he told me he loved me.
I knew I was falling hard and fast. When you know, you know. But, I wasn’t quite ready to let my guard down. He gave me a key to his house and told me to ‘snoop away’ while he was at work. And…I did just that. I went through every piece of paper in that house, and I couldn’t find anything. He always left his phone unlocked, his email pulled up on his laptop, he was an open book. He did not have a thing to hide.
He showed me his credit score, his bank account, and his up-to-date mortgage payments. He was a genuine, honest, open, loving person. I was damaged goods with a credit score of 300 and a deadbeat ex-husband. But, for some reason, this guy loved me and adored my daughter. I was slowly letting him into my heart and he was helping me rebuild, piece by piece. I certainly didn’t need to be saved by anyone, but he swooped in and saved me.
We discussed moving in together, but I just wasn’t sure. Things were still new to me, and I just had to protect myself and my child. I couldn’t move her again if things weren’t going to work out with us. And plus, staying in Tennessee wasn’t part of our plan. This was supposed to be just a pause in our story. Or so I thought.
He asked me to be his forever wife.
We were sitting on the couch one morning in June before he went to work, and he pulled out the biggest sapphire ring I had ever seen. He asked me to be his forever wife, while my daughter watched E.T. and clapped for us. At that moment, I knew my intent to move out of Tennessee just wasn’t part of the plan right now. Something brought me back home and love was going to keep me there.
My daughter and I moved into his 3-bedroom, 2-bath bachelor pad, which he insisted that we call OUR house. He had almost no furniture and nothing on the walls, so he told me to ‘go nuts’ with it. I had so much fun starting over from scratch. Losing all of my belongings had been so terribly painful, and I got a lump in my throat when I thought about my things just being tossed out like trash.
I shed millions of tears over the things I would never get back. However, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. I had a blank slate so that we could start OUR home. Funny how life works out sometimes.
We talked about getting married just to make things official, and I started researching courthouse weddings. I knew we needed a photographer to capture our special day, so I emailed a husband/wife team to check their availability. Well, they had 1 available date for a wedding. August 15. Wow. This was less than 2 months away and my heart skipped a beat knowing this was actually happening. I called Steven and asked him what he was doing on Saturday, August 15. He said, ‘Marrying you.’ That was all I needed to hear in order to make this happen.
We decided to elope on August 15, 2015, which was about 4 months after our first date.
I could not believe how my life had changed in those few months. I survived a failed marriage to a con-artist, moved back in with my parents as a single mom, and was now planning my wedding.
The plan was to keep our marriage a secret until our Halloween Party, and then surprise everyone by dressing as a bride and groom and showing off our wedding pictures. However, Steven refused to take off his wedding band and we just couldn’t keep it a secret longer than 2 weeks.
We got ready for our special day in a hotel room at the Peabody and walked to Court Square Park where a family friend performed the ceremony. Our little blonde girls were the flower girls and the bridesmaids. My new husband and I danced to our song playing on his phone in his shirt pocket. ‘Fall Into You’ by Brantley Gilbert. Yes, it’s cliché that we live in Tennessee and danced to a country song, but have you heard it?!
Courtesy The Kennys Photography
The girls went home with my new mother-in-law for a slumber party so we could spend our first night as a married couple, kid-free. We had an amazing dinner, laughed over drinks in the Peabody lobby, and I could not wipe the smile off my face. This was not a dream, but my real life. The entire day was perfect.
We eventually bought a bigger house with a pool, and then right after my 35th birthday in 2017, we found out that we would be adding an ‘ours’ to the mix. We had our 3rd daughter, Junebug, and completed our family. We had our little blonde bookends, and this brown-eyed baby girl is the perfect caboose.
Courtesy of Becca Goedecke
Some people will tell you that our marriage is doomed. We both have extremely stressful jobs (his more than mine). We are both divorced and got married 4 months after our first date. We both have ex-spouse drama and are currently involved in a custody battle (I am winning). We have all the odds against us, but we are going to beat those odds.
People are always curious to hear our story, so we just look at each other and smile. Usually, our story goes, ‘We met on a blind date and got married 4 months later.’ In the end, love wins.”
Courtesy of Becca Goedecke
The post Becca’s Story: A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Spring is a time for growth, re-birth, renewal and the blossoming of new beauty. I would like to personally offer my best wishes for a happy, love-filled Mother’s Day to all the moms who are embarking upon their new journey as a single mother.
Is this a scary and overwhelming time?
Absolutely but not today; today we focus on the beauty. The beauty of possibility, change, motherhood and most importantly, the beauty of you!
The first Mother’s Day following your divorce or separation is likely met with some mixed emotions; most of them probably not all that positive. Mine certainly were. I found myself missing our old traditions, and I had taken for granted that my husband had historically planned the day for me.
Now, like everything else in my life, I had to take matters into my own hands and figure it out. From my personal experience and some trial and error, I offer you, moms, the following tips to help make your Mother’s Day special.
1. Buy yourself a gift!
You deserve it! How liberating that this year, you don’t have to drop not-so-subtle hints for weeks in preparation, to only wonder whether you were not-so-subtle enough. Now, you get to buy exactly what you want and you know that the gift is coming from someone who truly appreciates all that you are. Have it gift wrapped if you’re the kind of girl who loves ripping off the paper. In fact, even if you’re not, get it wrapped anyways. You would be surprised how good it feels to rip that paper!!
2. Ask your kids how they would like to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Even if your kids are young, this is a great way to get them involved in the planning and it can really help to make both you and your kids feel special. You may have other family obligations on this day, but really do carve out a little time for just you and your kids to do something all your own, that you plan together. It could be as simple as taking a walk or participating in an activity that you love to do together. This is YOUR special time and it’s meant to be cherished and enjoyed.
3. Throw out Expectations of your ex!
Go into this day with zero expectations. While perhaps easier said than done, toss out any nostalgia about how it used to be. Whether your ex acknowledges your special day or not, don’t hold on to any hope or thought that he will or should. This can lead to disappointment and hurt, which quite frankly, you have no room for on YOUR day. You don’t need anyone acknowledging all that you do (though admittedly it’s a very nice feeling). All we have to do is look at our children to be reassured that we’re doing a great job.
Some days we may come up short of doing our best, but we always try, and that’s what you should celebrate this Mother’s Day. Focus on your wins, no matter how small they may feel in the moment, a win is a win!
So as you embark upon this fresh new road ahead and start to build your tracks, trail blaze into this Sunday with no road map, no history, and no expectations. See where the day takes you. Out of challenge comes strength and this Spring, embrace the blossoming new beauty that is you. Happy Mother’s Day!
I wish I could erect a wall of remembrance and fill it with names of all the dear single moms I know. Like soldiers, they have gone through a battle, fighting valiantly for health, happiness, light, life, truth, safety, peace, and recovery for themselves and their children.
The post 7 Things You Can do for a Divorced Mom on Mother’s Day appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
No one is more deserving of a great gift this Mother’s Day than all the hardworking single moms out there. They are especially deserving of being remembered on their special day. So, if you know a single mom you love and care about, make sure she knows she is cared about and respected for the hard work she does daily.
Not sure what to get a single mama in your life? We’ve got you covered. From inspirational posters she can frame to pretty trinkets that show your appreciation, you’re sure to find something on our list for the superhero single mom you know.
1. Badass Single Mom Coffee Mug
This mug is an homage to all the strong, do it all, badass single moms out there!
Get the badass coffee mug here.
Why are Moms never in the picture? Because they’re the ones behind the camera taking the pictures. Give a Mom a selfie stick and the chance to show up in images with her kids.
Get that selfie stick here.
Let’s face it: Personal style gets the short shrift when you have a busy single mom’s schedule. Remedy that with a gift card for Stitch Fix. Based on the style profile she creates, she’ll receive five hand-picked clothing items selected by the site’s team of professional stylists. She’ll get to keep what she likes and send back the rest.
Get the Stitch Fix card here.
Nothing says I love you like a gift card from Amazon. Most single parents rely on Amazon so they can make their lives easier. Really, I don’t know one single mom that doesn’t use Amazon, and if they don’t, you will introduce to them the best invention yet.
Get her Amazon card here.
This necklace represents the single mom and her kids on a family tree branch.
Get the Single Mom necklace here.
You can’t scare me, I’m a single mom – a funny DIY card or poster in chalkboard-style
Get the poster here.
These adorable photo coasters are perfect for any mom to use around the house or on the go. Personalize with photos of kids, pets and more for a unique, individualized gift.
Get them here.
Life is stressful and so is keeping a clean home. A maid for a day could mean a few weeks less stress over a messy house for a single mom.
Get maid service here.
Like any good pick-me-up, funky socks will make her smile every time she puts them on.
Get her socks here?
Valentine’s Day isn’t just a day to celebrate the love of a couple. It’s a day to celebrate love all around. So if you’re single or you know a mom who’s going solo this year, spread the love with a few things that she might actually want.
1. A word of encouragement
Everyone can use a little encouragement, especially on a day that can make being single feel more lonely and less appreciated. Show some love with a card or note that simply says what a great friend and mom she is. Leave it on her door to find or send it via snail mail for a welcome surprise.
2. Flowers don’t have to come from lovers
Who doesn’t love the smell of a fresh rose or carnation? Hit the florist for an arrangement that can be sent directly to her work, or try getting a bunch of loose flowers to drop off for a group of your favorite gal pals.
3. A trip to a day spa with a friend.
Being a single mom is tough work and should be rewarded every now and again with some relaxation. A day at the spa is just the treat to lift spirits and make her feel her absolute best. There’s no need for her to go it alone. Schedule back-to-back appointments for a massage or see if you can get an appointment at the same time for a manicure/pedicure.
4. A gift card.
What single mom wouldn’t enjoy a gift card to her favorite store or shop? Give her the opportunity to do something she doesn’t often get to do…go shopping and buy a tricket for herself!
5. A night out with the girls.
Sometimes a night out with the girls is all it takes to remember why being single is so great. Organize some time with the girls getting drinks, seeing a movie, hanging out at home or just doing a little shopping – without the kids.
6. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.
There are few out there who wouldn’t enjoy a 10-pound bar of chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Grab a bar or two – maybe not a 10-pounder – and give them out with cute phrases attached. Your single friends will be grateful.
7. No pity!
One of the greatest gifts you can give a single mom is to refrain from any remark of pity. Many women out there choose the single life and love it, so give encouragement as a friend that she is a remarkable person.
8. Photos of her true loves.
Every mom loves a picture or two – or a hundred—of her adorable kids and friends. Get some printed, wrap them up in a card or pick out a cute frame to show off fun faces. Better yet, if you’ve got time to devote to something special, create a photo album of all the people who love her best with special notes from them all.
9. A kid free day.
Handmade gift certificates for a kid-less day or evening can do wonders for a single mom. Give her a list of dates you are available for her to redeem her coupon, plan a few activities for the kids and let the evening of fun begin.
10. Something made with love.
Anything homemade or handmade is sure to be a hit with the gal who knows all about how important time is. Think soaps, body scrubs, candies, etc. If you’re into jewelry or have special talents in knitting, put your skills to use making something nice to give. She’ll appreciate the time and effort you spent thinking of her.
11. A special activity with her kids.
Single moms may like to just have a day to hang out with their littlest loves, so a family friendly date may be just the ticket. Consider giving a gift card to a local bowling alley or an interactive museum.
12. Tickets to a show.
A couple of tickets to a comedy night, local play or great band may be perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift. Plan ahead so she won’t be going it alone. Either schedule time with her and yourself or grab an extra ticket for a close friend of hers.
13. A maid for a day!
Unless she’s Wonder Woman, chances are she could use an extra set of hands around the house. Things like laundry, dishes, and cleaning chores pile up unless you have a dump truck on lock to dispose of them. A thoughtful gesture would be to provide her with the gift of a cleaning service to do some deep-down scrubbing of her home.
14. Something to binge on.
If none of the other ideas are striking your fancy, she’s sure to be up for a copy of her favorite artist or chick flick. Add in some popcorn and candies for a sweet gift.
Being a single mom doesn’t mean she should be singled out of Valentine’s Day. Use one of the items on this list to make her feel included, special and an inspiration for the love brought on by this special holiday.
The post 14 Things Every Single Mom Wants For Valentine’s Day appeared first on Divorced Moms.