Bella’s Chronicles: I am a non custodial mom and we are growing in numbers by the minute. This is not by choice but something I must live with. The stigma of a non custodial mom living in a midwest Bible belt state is one of shame and “oh my word she MUST have done something terribly bad to lose those children!” I write about the triumphs and struggles of day to day life. I want to help other non custodial moms to not feel so alone. We are strong, we can make it through this by lifting each other up. This will always be a judgment free zone because we have been judged enough.
Déjà Vow: Doing it over & over & over again until I do it right…I am every woman. I’m normal, intelligent, have children, work for a living, putz in my garden, and like to cook. I also am a perfectionist, judgmental, critical, and fail at relationships. I love being married, I am supportive of my husband (whoever it may be at the time!), I am willing to learn new things, reading all kinds of books, and enjoy traveling to places big and small. My ultimate vacation would be a cruise around the world. My quest is to find the perfect french toast in a little diner somewhere. And even though I love to travel, home is incredibly important to me. Friends say my place is cozy, comfortable, and relaxing. Living by the water is a lovely thing. I’ve decided to share my marital antics so that you can learn from my mistakes. I’ve made plenty of them!
Dish With Mary: I am Mary.
Come dish with me!
My ex and I should have divorced years before we did. Instead, we remained in a state of unhappiness for years. I agonized because I did not want my son to come from a broken home. What I failed to realize is that it was already broken.
Each night after we tucked him into bed we went downstairs. He would retire to the living room to watch television. I headed to the kitchen to cook dinner.
Cooking has always been my passion. It is the way I express my love and affection for others. But things changed when my marriage fell apart. Cooking became a means by which I isolated myself. That was the time that I learned a great deal about both.
I became a better cook.
I needed my marriage to officially end.
When we divorced ten years ago, our son was only 3. I owned a business and worked (more than) full-time. Initially, my son spent very little time with his dad.
Balancing was hard.
As he grew and went to school, his day extended to after-school care. My little guy did not get home until 5:30 at night. The last thing I wanted to put in front of him was take-out or another processed chicken nugget.
I found ways to make it happen. And even more importantly, he and I continued the dinner table tradition.
Ending my marriage also ended my need to isolate myself in my kitchen. And Baby, I am back with jazz hands and lots of fun ideas.
I am excited to share my cooking experiences as both a divorced mom and a personal chef with you, girlfriend to girlfriend. Sometimes I’ll offer recipes and others, maybe a kitchen tip.
I have been re-married now for three years. In my new marriage, I was lucky to gain not only a great husband (love wins) but two terrific step-sons.
And the dinner table is where our new blended family connects the most.
Because the table matters.
Divorce Warrior: Divorce Warrior
Divorce Whirlwind: For some of us, divorce itself doesn’t bring the fairy tale “closure” anymore than marriage brings the fairy tale. On the contrary. This life is something we couldn’t have imagined. This life is something our friends back away from. This life is filled with painful stories, hard-won lessons, ongoing conversations, difficult decisions, and unexpected triumphs that are born of the divorce whirlwind – life through divorce and long after – when the dust never settles. Divorce Whirlwind is a compilation of columns and posts drawing upon personal experience, stories of men and women shared in various online communities, and researched sources.
Divorced Pauline: I survived a bad divorce. Then I survived a REALLY bad custody battle. My ex-husband, “Prince Machiavelli,” got pretty much everything except for my sense of humor and most of my marbles. Oh, and my name isn’t actually Pauline. I write under a pseudonym because I am always in post-divorce peril and the last thing I need is for Prince to drag me back to court. Don’t you feel better about your life now?
His Giant Mistake: When I received the Pocket Call and listened to my husband and his mistress order a bottle of wine to take to their room, I took back my life. That very night I stood outside, under the stars, and made a commitment to the Universe and to myself: I will make this the best thing that ever happened to me. From that day forward I’ve been brave. Very brave. HGM is a raw account of how infidelity is changing my world. No real names are used. But everything else is real.
Lizzy Smilez: I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in January 2012. On the day of my diagnosis, I made the difficult decision to leave my husband and move my two young daughters and myself to another state to seek treatment. Divorce is difficult, but divorce and chemo and moving at the same time is quite the journey. Today, we are all doing well. I am in remission, navigating the world of dating, parenting my daughters, and rebuilding my life. My passions include blogging, hiking, traveling, and healthy living. Despite facing enormous challenges, I am proud of my survivor status: survivor of an alcoholic husband, survivor of a contentious divorce, and survivor of cancer. I am living proof that life post divorce can be beautiful.
MiddleAgedMan-ia: I was a typical (yet still fabulous) SUV-driving suburban Jewish housewife. Although I graduated from a large national law school and worked for all of one minute (not as a lawyer), I made the choice early on to stay home and raise my family while my husband built his career as a successful M&A lawyer. Fast-forward sixteen years. While I was busy shining up the granite and stainless steel appliances, competing with myself to be a more ethnic version of Martha Stewart, and running my three little geniuses back and forth to baseball and softball games, and to tennis, piano, and Mandarin lessons (Tiger Mom?), my husband up and left me for another (although certainly not as fabulous) woman. Today he lives in Asia with his soon-to-be new wife. And here I remain in my northern New Jersey home, a newly divorced mom, left to figure it all out. My name is Sophie Rosen, and you know me. Well, not literally. But if you did, I could be one of your best girlfriends. So let’s laugh together, cry together, and hopefully even learn something from one another. And maybe afterwards, we can even meet at Starbucks for a latte.
Not June: Who am I? I’m definitely not June Cleaver. Despite similarities- stay at home mom to two boys, home in the suburbs- that’s pretty much where it ends. I did own pearls, but I returned them to my ex’s family in the divorce. My apron features leopard print, not starched lace, and I’m usually already dirty from the kids when I start cooking so why bother? And I probably should be wearing some sort of shaping undergarment, but I’m not. WWJD? (What would June do?) So here I am, eight plus years later into parenthood, two years divorced. Picket fence-less. Man-less. Not cooking from scratch. June would definitely not approve. Hopefully you will identify.
Phoebe Quest: Hi, my name is Phoebe Quest. I am a divorced, middle-aged mom.
In a horrible misunderstanding I lost custody of my children, who now live with their father, my ex-husband. To add insult to injury, my ex stopped paying alimony—you know, just because he felt like it—leaving me near penniless and forcing me to give up a home near the kids. In the blink of an eye, I lost everything dear to me.
To keep from losing my mind, I moved to a nearby island where I have a free place to stay. My plan is to open a ceramic studio and gallery so I can work on healing my life after some serious heartbreak and loss.
The thing is, the more I try to run from my pain, the past, ME (!), the more I realize I need to face who I am, what I am. You see, in short, I’m a fairy. That’s right. A fairy. I only just found out, myself.
World order dictates that fairies exist “to fight the spreading darkness and bring love and light to Earth.” Quite frankly, I think world order should dictate that all divorced moms, fairy or not, get a free tropical vacation once a year and a monthly voucher to their favorite spa, NOT a mission to confront the demons in our midst. But I’m learning how to deal.
So, my real job is to fight evil. Just in case you’re wondering, the bad guys don’t go running the minute the fairies show up. And I have no idea how I can spread love and light when it seems that all the love and light in my world has disappeared.
This is my story.
Renaissance & Real Estate: Hi, everyone. My name is Valerie Fulton. I’m a middle aged mother, a college English teacher, and a writer. I lost almost 15 years of my life to marriage. I’m going to talk about how and why that happened — hint, it’s not just because of the ex — and what it is like to reenter the world as a no-longer-young person.
You can read more from me at my “civilian” blog, Bedrock and Blueberries.
rock. paper. separate.: Follow Kate Mae on her journey through separation after marriage.
She has three kids, and an ex. Who lives with her, in the basement, on the spare bed.
Kate wasn’t about to give up the master bedroom, and king size bed. Oh no friends.
Plus he seems happy down there. And all she ever wanted was for him to be happy.
Kate and her Ex are trying their best to re-create their definition of family. They may no longer be a couple, but they are parents and very good ones. They are best friends and hope to continue being so.
While the kids may or may not know what is going on, they’ll see that their parents love them enough to try keeping everyone under one roof. They figure since the shit ain’t so bad, and they still enjoy each others company, why not reinvent the divorce wheel.
Plus Kate is no dummy. She’s got a built in, good looking babysitter. So she can date.
Running For Freedom: I am recently divorced, never separated, mom to 2 awesome boys. My marriage ended because I finally refused to be emotionally abused any longer. I am working to find myself again, I recently discovered I love running, and I am training to run 5ks. I have learned to use my anger and sadness to fuel my running. This is my story.
Sarcastic Fringehead: The Sarcastic Fringehead is a fish native to the Pacific Coast. It prefers a small home, which it aggressively protects, and establishes dominance and territory with the size of its mouth. It’s me, but underwater.
Single Parent Madge: I was married for almost ten years, I have been divorced for about 12 years now. I have one son and two daughters. My ex-husband first left when our third child was 5 weeks old. Finally we separated for good when the kids were 7, 3, and 18 months. It was great for a bit but then my ex became a raging alcoholic and I couldn’t even let him see the kids unsupervised anymore. And then about 4 years ago, he just stopped all contact. What followed was hell. Job loss, anxiety attacks, eviction, foodstamps, cleaning toilets for gas money, and on and on. I kept plugging away, got back on my feet, had several part-time jobs, lost jobs, went through career re-evaluations and I’m still trying to get it right.
SingleMomSecondChance: My name is Virginia Masters, not my real name, of course. The name pays homage to Virginia Woolfe, the woman who tried to teach me a lesson long ago when I was in University.
I read A Room of One’s Own, and respected it, in theory, but have only recently started to appreciate the lesson’s application today, in my second attempt at life. Virginia wrote about women being kept from writing due to the relative poverty of women. It is only through financial freedom that we can have the freedom to write. For Virginia, it may have been quite literal, but my interpretation is more metaphorical.
I’ve been married woman, mother, teacher, lawyer, employee, artist, cancer survivor, though none except mother truly defines me. As Virginia Masters, the surname is a verb. What will Virginia master today? Seeking to believe that all who wander are not lost, I start wandering.
The Golden Repair: I am the divorced mother of two phenomenal kids, who are both taller than me, (rude,) smarter than me, (intolerable,) and generally delightful. I am also slave to a very handsome dog, indeed.
When my marriage of nearly fourteen years fell apart, I was shattered. My life was not what I’d believed it to be. That sort of realization causes a seismic shift to take place. It took some time to regain my footing, but once I did I found that I had lost the ability to fake it anymore.
After my divorce, I heard from so many people who thought my life was perfect. That’s the word they used- PERFECT. Now, I was pretty shocked by the demise of my marriage, but not nearly as shocked as I was at people’s perception of my life and relationship.
I was so undone, so devastated, that I stopped plastering a smile on my face, and telling pretty lies so that no one was uncomfortable.
Here’s the thing about telling the truth about your flaws and broken places- it gives other people permission to do the same.
And THAT, friends? That’s when it gets GOOD. That’s when everything gets SO MUCH BETTER.
The Petty Chronicles: I was lost, adrift on a sea of broken promises and crushing disappointments that obliterated the safe, dry patch of land where my marriage had once stood. So I wrote. And I wrote. The virulent scratch of pen meeting paper allowed me to release the bellowing screams of rage that might otherwise have led me to beat my husband senseless with my favorite All Clad sauté pan. It was perfect! I was able to say all the mean things he absolutely deserved to hear while not engaging him in conversation of any kind, which at that point would have been about as welcome as a test of the emergency broadcast system. The Petty Chronicles were my therapist when I couldn’t afford one and comfort food that never added a pound to my frame. They were my confidants when I knew my friends were tired of giving me the same advice, “Leave Him!!” and a safe harbor when I thought I might be going down. They saved me.
The Travis County Post: This is the story of a woman forced to stay in a place against her will. It is a story about power and control and, to some extent, patriarchy. It is a story about how our culture relates to power and about some of the ways in which we women participate in our own disenfranchisement. It is a call for communication based on authenticity and mutual respect. The irony is, I’m not really a feminist. Until the divorce, I kept a low profile in my house and garden. I was a soccer mom who cared about the same things that matter to other upper-middle class mothers. I was beaten down by my marriage, but I didn’t realize it. I thought everything I did was wrong, yet at the same time, I hoped the problem wasn’t me. I hoped, when we finally moved away, that things would change. In eight years, I am going to blow this popsicle stand, and I won’t look back. It’s nothing personal, Travis County. To be fair, you weren’t the problem either. But you were never my choice.
This Cuckoo’s Nest: I am a mid 40 ish mom of three little ones recently divorced. I am blogging Anonymously. I am a psychotherapist and I do know better than to use bad language or slang. But I do. Mostly in jest, sometimes just to make a point. Don’t be offended. Tight asses might need to find another nesting blog. I want this to be honest and a place for people to go who wonder if nesting is a viable option and how it really works.
Thriving In Crazy Land: Julie Boyd Cole is a mother of two sons, a journalist, writer and business woman. She has written for the Miami Herald, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Yahoo.com, among many publications around the country. Currently, she is the chief executive administrator of a non-profit in North Florida. And Julie is a survivor of domestic violence at the hands of her ex-husband, an NFL sportswriter, and today is an advocate helping other victims sort through the trauma of domestic abuse. Julie also writes for bruisedwoman.com and @bruisedwoman on Twitter about the topic of domestic abuse, co-parenting with an abuser and the emotional damage caused by narcissists and personality disorders.
Surviving domestic violence wasn’t easy or the PTSD that followed, but Julie has found a path through the trauma and now encourages all women that they can to. Julie speaks to church groups, men in prison and women made homeless by abuse.
She can be contacted at email@example.com