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how to fit in after divorce

Friendships, Family, Work: How To Fit In After Divorce

how to fit in after divorce

 

I wish Elizabeth Barrett Browning had been around long enough to advise us all after the depth and breadth and height our souls had once reached in love and tell us in her grand poetic prose how to fit in after a divorce had forced it all to plummet to the hard-rocky ground!

There are many times I have felt that I should go reside on the island of Misfit Toys since my divorce, in order to feel like I belonged. I am a Baby Boomer and like all Boomers, we come from an idealistic model of relationships.

Our parents had us after World War II and we were a product of those referred to as the Greatest Generation. We straddle between the world of party lines and actual dial telephones to modern techie cell phones and social media communications.

We live with one foot in the world of real people greeting each other directly and shaking hands to the world of visiting your friends and relatives through the lens of social media and sending them a hand waving emoji.

So, why did I feel that I didn’t quite fit in since my divorce?

How has my “fit” changed from married person to divorced person?

Well, let me count the ways. And maybe some of you have experienced this too.

“As your life changes, so will your circle.”

Yunus Chhapra 

How To Fit In After Divorce

Friendships

I found that soon after my divorce, my friends changed. My friendships changed. When you are a couple you usually have those “couple friends” … you know, those people that you always go to dinner with, go to concerts with and the movies with.

Those who help you out with your kids because they too have kids the same age.

Those that loan you a tool if you need it.

Those that help you move furniture up a flight of stairs. Or, help to install a new window.

Those “go to” people who were always in your couples’ orbit.

I found out shortly after my divorce that I was soon looked at as the awkward friend. My ex-husband left the orbit altogether. So, I was left to explain why my husband left. In the beginning, they all wanted to know the juicy details.

I didn’t give out the gory particulars, but what I did share was consumed and it served to feed not only their morbid curiosity, it also fed their need for drama at no risk to themselves. I was left to try to tell the story and I was looked at differently from that point forward.

We were the couple that everyone thought had it all. We were the couple that many wanted to be. Once a split happens with “that couple”, you know…the one people look up to, well it makes them question their very own relationships.

Especially if the model husband in their eyes, left you for another woman. I had one person tell me that if it could happen to us it could happen to anyone. It could happen to them.

I also started getting some side eyes from my female friends. I guess now that I was a single woman, I might be a threat. I have had many other women in the time since my divorce tell me that they too experienced this with their friends.

The result is that you migrate away. You don’t get invited anymore. You have children to care for anyway, but you soon realize that you are alone. It felt like I was a rowboat tied to pier and someone came and just quietly untied the rope from the pier, and I drifted away ever so quietly.

When this happened, I came to the knowing that I needed to find my own orbit. My own people. If you are new to being officially defined as “divorced” on your current identifications, do not despair.

What you will find is that the people who are about to enter your new solar system, are deeper and more compassionate. Because that is who you are now, and you will be drawn to those who may have experienced something similar.

Their care and wisdom are much needed as you embrace new friendships that are 100% yours. Those that you have left behind in the wreckage of your marriage hold little value to you.

And those that stayed the course with you and loved you through the whole horrible experience, are golden. Find your own people and celebrate!

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”

British Novelist Jane Howard

Family

If you have gotten a divorce and you are now a single parent, that of course changes a family. It changes the very foundation that you built your family on. If you are lucky, the family that built you, is what gets you through it.

And you find that you rely and lean on your family like never before. But what I also found out through my journey after divorce, is that I had changed. I was no longer that same family member that they once knew.

How could I be?

I had been through such a brutal life experience and as a result, the person I once was no longer existed. I was now a myriad of people.

I was fragile as well as tough.

I was compassionate as well as short tempered.

I was now responsible for an entire family. And they had no idea what that felt like.

Even in imagination, they dare not go there.

So how do you slide back into that role inside your family when you don’t know what that role is?

And even still, how can your family recognize you now and find a common denominator beyond shared parents?

Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t happen overnight and its not easy. But it can happen and, on your terms, too.

I had once written that I felt the most alone when I am with my family at the holidays, get-togethers, weddings, etc. All the family congregations that resembled the model household.

Married couples with their kids who even have kids of their own now. And so, it goes. It is where I come from. It is all that I knew, until the day I was forced to unlearn it.

I think many people feel as I do when they come together. Everyone was completely well meaning and really had no idea how I was feeling. I am good at masking it to “fit in” and make others feel more comfortable than me.

But the truth be told, as I mentioned in the article before, it’s hard to feel whole when you are reminded by all the real wholeness that surrounds you.

It takes courage to speak up and introduce this new you. To represent the person, you are now and expect nothing less than their full support and respect. It’s not your job to keep up a persona that you no longer own.

You are a whole person in your own right, and you have earned the respect of everyone.

So, introduce your new whole self to the family that you know. To the woman, you are both just getting to know. Give them a chance and enjoy the relationship.

And if you determine that you have changed too much, and they can’t accept your new improved version of yourself, then choose your friendships as family.

Because at the end of the day, everyone needs a family, a clan or a tribe they can call their own.

“Being a working mother and a working single parent instills in you a sense of determination.”

Felicity Jones

Work

There is no better reason to work then because you need the money. In some cases, it’s the only reason. After I was divorced, I told a friend that I just wanted to meet a man who would say three things to me.

She said, “Oh, I love you?”

I responded with, “No! You can quit!”

The juggling act of working a full-time job and raising a family alone is unnerving to say the least. There are days that you literally feel like a performer who is spinning plates.

As the plates keep getting added, you are sweating to keep them all going at once and terrified that one will fall, and the rest come tumbling down.

That’s what it can feel like when you are a single mom who is the breadwinner of the family. You handle things completely differently than you’re married counterparts at work.

To begin, you don’t have a significant other whom you can fall back on. I remember I called my ex-husband to help me when my daughter was ill. I had already taken a day off and was nervous to ask for another day.

He responded and said he couldn’t; he had to work. Like I wasn’t working and supporting an entire family?

Like I didn’t need to work more than Good Ole Diamond Jim himself?

This was in the day that most workplaces didn’t have laptops they could bring home. So, what do you do? You take the day off and pray that it won’t come back to haunt you.

You pray that you won’t be revisiting this when you have your performance review.

You pray that your boss leaves and you get a new one who has no idea that you ever took a day off in your life.

And you pray that if none of that occurs, your work ethic as a woman who carries a globe on her shoulders every day of the week and twice on Sunday will receive the respect she deserves. And she does.

Over time, you communicate very little to anyone at work regarding your family and the responsibilities you carry. It takes one person who wants your job, who lets it slip that you left early to pick up your child, or you left early to go to the drugstore to get a prescription for your child, or you came back late from your lunch because you had to go home and pick up a book that your child left at home and they needed for class.

It takes one person to characterize you as less then committed to your job. And it usually comes from someone who has never been married, let alone had children.

If you are wise, you trust only a few. And again, those that you do trust are golden and you need them to lean on every once in a while.

Because the last thing you will be able to cope with, is a job loss.

And guess what?

I eventually did lose my job. So, no matter how old your kids are. As long as you are a single working mom, be cautious with you job. We live in a much better workspace now and employers are much more forgiving and flexible. But, there are no guarantees and you need to always be smart.

You may not feel a complete fit because of the lengths you feel that you have to go to protect yourself, but at the end of the day you do fit because you are doing an amazing job and most people in your work environment would never know what a true Rock Star you really are. But you do!

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths,”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

So, who are you now?

You have created a new you through the eyes of your friends, your family, your work colleagues.

Who is this new you?

Well, only you know the answer to that. And it may be a work in progress for a while. But, what I am certain of is that this, “NEW YOU” that you have become and embraced and introduced to the world is someone who will be amazing at all you endeavor.

And you are someone who is full of compassion, humility, and excitement as you venture into this new chapter of YOU. And always remember:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

Dr. Seuss

The post Friendships, Family, Work: How To Fit In After Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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work from home

How a Divorced Mom Can Excel in a Work From Home Job

work from home

 

Adjusting to life after a divorce can be hard. There are many things that a divorced mom must get accustomed to in order to properly move on and thrive. For instance, she will not have a partner to rely on and she will have to weather certain storms alone. Then, she might lose certain friends and family members.

Most importantly, there is the fear of limiting her time with the children, depending on the custody arrangement. Unfortunately, these are the realities of divorce but they can be handled with some effort.

To be able to take care of herself and her kids, a divorced mom will often look for a job. However, if they were a stay-at-home mom before, this may seem a bit difficult. Luckily, there are so many career opportunities out there and some of them don’t even require leaving the home. So, in case you’ve found yourself in this situation, keep on reading to see how a divorced mom can excel at her telecommuting job.

Divorced Moms Can Excel in a Work From Home Job

Finding the Right Job for Their Circumstances

The first step should be looking for a job that can be done in your current circumstances that will allow for financial stability. For starters, consider your skills and see what you can be doing. Then, do some budgeting and figure out how much money you will need on a monthly basis and how much each job pays. Finally, you need to establish work hours for yourself in order to have free time to spend with your kids and run your everyday errands.

For example, if you like working with kids, you can provide other busy parents with childcare services. They can drop the kids off at your place and you watch over them, feed them and play games together.

Then, if you prefer working with numbers, you can consider accounting and bookkeeping. An office can easily be run from your home and considering the overheads, the profit can be very good. Lastly, you can consider all sorts of online jobs, from content writing and proofreading through coding and graphic design to even being a virtual assistant. The options truly abound and you will surely be able to find something that fits your skills and meets your needs.

Creating a Productive Environment

Now that you’ve decided on what you will be doing, you need to create a space for your operations. Seeing as how you might not have the luxury of a separate room for your job, you will have to make the most of what you do have. Come up with a list of things that you require in order for the work to go smoothly and slowly start acquiring them.

For instance, if you plan on providing childcare services, you will need to ensure the area where the kids will be is childproof and has all the necessary toys and entertainment options. Bookkeepers and accountants will find that proper software is vital for keeping everything tidy and accurate. In addition to your computer and phone, you will also need some other essentials such as a strong internet connection, a wireless printer/scanner along with the necessary apps for printing on the go. These things will allow you to streamline all processes and get everything done much faster.

Finally, the environment should be pleasant and motivating so make sure there is enough natural light. If the area is quite dim, layer light fixtures so that your eyes don’t get strained. Then, get an ergonomic chair if you will be spending a lot of time in front of the computer. Add some calming but inspiring colors and think about introducing some plants as they have many health benefits.

Balancing Your Private and Professional Life

Last but not least, while developing your career is important in order to feel fulfilled and take care of your family, you cannot forget about having a balance between your private and professional life. It is very important to create boundaries for both yourself and other people.

People need to understand that working from home doesn’t mean that you are available to them whenever they need you. You should set working hours for yourself and explain to them that you are not to be disturbed during that time. In terms of your kids, it might be best to look for a period when they are at school or daycare.

To stay on top of everything, you should do your best to plan your time well and stay organized. Knowing the schedules of everyone in the family will help with this a lot. Make sure you make the most of your free time together and truly create a bond with your kids.

Working overtime might seem tempting if you need more money but spending this precious time with your little ones can never be replaced. Plus, you cannot forget about your own health and wellbeing so make sure you are taking good care of yourself as well.

To fuel your career from home, you will first need to find a profession that you are good at and that fulfills you; then, you must create a productive environment for yourself in order to make the most of this job; and finally, work on finding the balance between work and your private life as spending time with your kids is priceless. Good luck on this new adventure!

The post How a Divorced Mom Can Excel in a Work From Home Job appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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work after divorce

15 Very Important Reasons You Will And Want Need To Work After Divorce

work after divorce

 

This is a subject that has been on my mind lately…why do some women not feel the need to work after divorce? The vast majority of us understand the need to become self-sufficient and able to provide financially for ourselves and our children.

Some, however, feel their ex-husband should continue to bear all the responsibility post-divorce or, they have the skewed belief that alimony and child support frees them up from having to worry about their future financial security.

I see this belief played out in my Facebook timeline constantly. Women divorce, spend years living off child support and alimony and then BAM, those funds run out and they pay the consequences of not planning ahead.

And, they justify this behavior by saying, “I was a stay-at-home mom and I’m going to continue to be a stay-at-home mom. That is all fine and dandy until your children are no longer at home, the child support comes to an end and alimony runs out.

What then?

Why aren’t these women wondering about who will send them monthly checks when the ex no longer has to or, starts refusing to?

I understand the fear associated with lifestyle changes that can come along with divorce. I was a stay-at-home mom for 16 years before my ex left and if all really were “fair in love and war” he should have been made to take care of the woman he abandoned. It isn’t fair though, and it does none of us any favors to hold onto the way things should be, instead of face the reality of how things now are.

Thanks to no-fault divorce laws women who are left behind can no longer depend on the man who left them to continue to take care of them. And there is no excuse for not taking care of ourselves.

And, women who leave a marriage certainly should not expect a man they no longer want to be married to, to support them after divorce. Seriously, no!

Women, whether you have children or not, need to return to work after divorce. If they want to survive financially, there is no other way to conduct their lives post-divorce.

15 Very Important Reasons You Will Want To Work After Divorce

1. You Earn 

Financial independence and freedom can be one of the most important variables that influence the quality and quantity of a woman and her children’s lives. It means better food on the table, a better roof over their heads, and a bit of money in the bank after the bills are paid.

It can also be one of the most liberating aspects for a decent quality of life and respect.

2. You Learn 

Learning is one of the foundational pillars of personal and professional growth and life, and the sky (rather your view of the sky) is the limit to what you can learn when you work. The most important thing you’ll learn is that you can be self-sufficient.

3. You Become Independent

You have an identity of your own – independent of your personal relationships and associations. There’s no telling how important it is in your own self-confidence and self-worth.

4. You Improve

Your general knowledge improves – just by being part of a world outside of the 4-walls you observe, listen and comprehend a lot lot more. You become more than a mother!

5. You Appreciate Equality

You appreciate the differences and nuances of the world within the 4-walls and outside the 4-walls. Trust me, this bursts your bubbles in terms of what it takes to be a working woman!

6. Your View Changes

You get to see how fair/unfair life is beyond the 4-walls. And that changes the way you view your own life and the way you live your life

6. Your Self-Esteem Increases

Your own self-esteem increases significantly – you just feel so much surer of yourself.

8. You Get Recognition

Your family and society view you in a new light – many times, this translates into more respect and value they associate with you.

9. You Get Empowered

You are better enabled, equipped and empowered to make decisions – simply because you know that you have a choice.

10. You Can Shop

You can “buy” things for yourself – yes! You’re a good prospect for (m)any businesses. You pump money into the economy and boost money circulation. You don’t have to do without things you need if you’re part of the workforce.

11. You Become Role Model

You can be a role model to someone, especially your daughters! I know many of my role models are everyday working women who balance life and work every single day.

12. You Learn Life Skills

You learn a lot of key “life skills”. Top among them are time management, communication, negotiation, saying NO.

13. Learn To Let Go

You tend to let go of a lot of excess baggage. Many times it is simply because you don’t have time to delve into the past or worry about the future.

14. You Inspire

You can inspire someone somewhere. Just by being a live example of “It is possible, you can do it

15. Your Family Prospers

Your work will directly / indirectly play a significant part in your children’s standard of living. There is no better reason to work after divorce than that!

The post 15 Very Important Reasons You Will And Want Need To Work After Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Here’s How to Deal With Gossip At Work After Divorce

Here’s How to Deal With Gossip At Work After Divorce

Gossip at work following a divorce is inevitable. Unfortunately, it can be a big problem, and it’s important to be able to handle it the right way. 

The post Here’s How to Deal With Gossip At Work After Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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