I'm back after a brief hiatus. Around May things got incredibly hectic as I had to bring my one daughter home from Quinnipiac University, my son graduated from NYU, and my youngest had a couple proms and all kinds of other junior year of high school activities. Then I had to work just about full time at my part-time job for the past few months. And on top of that I started doing stand-up comedy. Yes, stand-up comedy.
But I felt it was important to come back here and keep giving encouragement. Because I know, I was there. I went through it, he left when all three kids were under 7, I raised them almost all alone, and it sucked ass. But here I am! Pretty much all the way out the other side and guess what? ...There is light! There is light over here, and it's nice, they have comfy couches and cocktails and the people are very nice. So what if it took me 15 years, I'm here and I did it all by myself.
I know you're like "Jesus Christ lady, 15 years? Screw that!" Well it didn't take me 15 years to be happy but it took me 15 years to accomplish my main goal of raising well adjusted, successful kids (so far, knock wood, and I have one more year in HS with the 3rd one, almost there!) in spite of all the bullshit and hardships I went through. Have I had joy and fulfillment for myself? Yes and no. My main goal of raising the kids with no collateral damage has made me ecstatic. Have I followed my heart's desires? No. Can I comfortably pay my bills? No. But it's getting to be my time to do that. It will happen.
My saving grace is that somewhere along the line I stopped letting my divorce and hardships define me. Sound odd coming from a woman writing for a divorced mom's website? Maybe but this blog is merely a way to give back and impart some wisdom from a woman who has gone through it and come out the other side. I wish I had these types of things when I was going through my divorce in the early 2000's. Not a whole lot of advice on Myspace or Yahoo Personals back then.
The key to reaching the light is keeping the big picture in mind. Don't get caught up in all the petty nonsense of "My ex never washes the clothes I send with the kids for their visits, all I get is a bag of dirty laundry!" Seriously, who gives a shit? How does that effect the kids? Does it harm them? Make them less productive? You say "But it's the principle!" Guess what... having a big fight or Mexican standoff with your ex over the "principle" of doing laundry WILL negatively effect the kids, so just get the hell over it. Does it make you mad? Yes. But ya' know... punch a pillow and move on, getting over it is your fastest route to happiness and productive kids.
Sure it took me a while to learn this stuff. I wasn't quite that petty but I did spend a lot of time thinking about what a shitty hand I was dealt. A key thing I learned is that while you are dwelling on your misfortune it perpetuates more misfortune. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "We become what we think about all day long". Don't think about your anger, hurt, misfortune, or anxiety... think about how things will be better, how they get better every day! Small steps every day and know that you will come out the other side where the comfy couches and cocktails are.