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August 30, 2008
It's good to get out again!

I went out dancing last night.  A few of my neighbors and I headed over to a local bar.  Somehow it just wasn't quite the same as when I was young, pre-marriage!  For one, though they played the same music we all loved, it just wasn't quite as fun.  The people were all a little weathered and worn.  I'm proud to say that on my way out the door one guy came up to me and said I come here all the time and you are the prettiest lady we've seen in here in a long time.  I thanked him and went on.  It made me feel for about thirty seconds like, hey "I've still got it".  The difference is, that feeling lasted thirty seconds.  It is so different to have lived a life, fallen in love, had kids, been divorced, recovered and fallen in love with me.  Though it felt good for those few seconds, I didn't hang on the words like I might have before when I was pre-marriage.  I realized that it felt so good to get out, just because I wanted to, because I felt like being around people, because I felt like dancing.  Before it would have always been about "meeting someone" or about someone else wanting to and me just tagging along.  It feels so good to be on the other side and realize that I do things now just because they bring me joy, and for no other person or reason.


August 28, 2008
Single parenting and politics
My ex husband and I are about as opposite on politics as they come.  Passionately opposite.  Perhaps that contributed to the demise of our marriage, I'm not really sure.  Anyway, I'm here in Denver, and proud to be attending the Obama acceptance speech tonight.  However, my kids will be with the ex.  My kids want to watch because Mom will be there.  Not sure if Dad will have it on or not.  I think he will, but who knows.  It all got me to thinking though.  How do our views shape our kids' views.  And how does having children that are bouncing between two homes shape their political views if their parents are opposite.  I try not to warp anyone's minds, but rather try to explain the positions of both sides so that they can decide.  I have no idea if their Dad even discusses it at all.  Does the fact that I do, shape them into my views, or that he doesn't shape them into his?  Or does it even have an impact?  I'm certain it probably does, because I know whenever schools have "mock" elections, the kids' vote almost always mirrors the "real" results. Anyway, it was just something else for me to ponder about relating to the whole split family living thing.  I guess I won't know the answers until they are adults.  Meanwhile I'll just keep sharing ideas...

August 24, 2008
What can divorced parents learn from the Olympics?

OK, I admit it.  I've done not much else for the last two weeks.  I've been a tv junkie, glued to the Olympics!  I just saw an interesting commercial pointing out how for two weeks the world somehow manages to set aside their differences for the sake of good sportsmanship.  Countries that are absolute enemies suddenly find themselves shaking hands with their competitors and saying "good job".  That made me start thinking.  Why is it so difficult for parents to set aside their differences for something way more important than good sportsmanship?  Aren't our kids more important?  Why can't us moms and dads reach across that swim lane rope and shake hands and say "good job"?  Why can't we come together for the good not of a sport, but for the good of our children.  These children are our future.  We set the example.  And just like the Olympics where the athletes are setting the example for the rest of us around the world, we as parents can be setting the example for our children.  We can set aside our differences for our kids' sake.  I know we can!


August 20, 2008
Ms. Phelps is a shining example of how to recover from divorce and be a mom!
Unless you have been under a rock you have probably heard of Michael Phelps and his 'Phelpsian' amazing feat at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  8 gold medals on top of the 6 he already had.  You probably have even seen how he always looks for his mom up in the stands just as soon as the swim is over.  Ms. Phelps is an incredible inspiration to anyone who has gone through a divorce.  I don't know the exact circumstance other than she is classified as a 'single mom' and there is almost never any mention of Michael's Dad.  So this woman was left to raise 3 kids all on her own.  She could have been down and out.  Instead she continued her own education to go on to be a principal.  All the while she was encouraging her son to be exactly who he is.  She didn't let being divorced knock her down.  She didn't let the fact that she was a single mom stop her from helping her child pursue his dreams.  She is an inspiration to anyone who as ever thought that being divorced means life is over.  She is an inspiration to anyone raising kids on their own, that it can be done and done well, no matter what the challenges are.  If they gave away gold medals to supportive Moms, I'm sure Debbie Phelps would get at least 8!

August 19, 2008
Two kids, two homes, two schools, now two schedules!
School started last week.  Things have compounded.  We've been doing two kids and two houses for quite awhile now.  It's tough.  We have to think ahead to what is going on through the next few days in order to make sure that everything is packed and ready to go.  If we don't have it, it means an extra trip back home or back to Dad's.  Now this year we have our kids in two different schools that start and end two hours apart!  Talk about a pain in the neck.  So now my ex and I are trying to balance two jobs, two kids, two schools and a variety of schedules.  We've been trying having him take one and then I take the other.  Then at night we alternate who picks everyone up.  So far it's not been working so well.  We may have to see about having them walk or ride their bike, but that will only last until it gets cold.  Ugh!  I'm so thankful that I have built a strong co-parenting relationship with my ex.  If I hadn't done that, I'd be trying to figure this all out on my own.  No wonder they say "it takes a village."

August 18, 2008
How do you introduce someone "new" to the kids?
Dating after divorce is tough.  Dating after divorce when you have kids is way beyond tough.  So how is it that you introduce that someone new to the kids?  I suppose there are several ways it can be done.  The one thing I would NOT do is tell your kids that this is just a friend and we are not dating etc. if you are.  That doesn't mean you have to spill the beans and reveal all of your cards right away, but certainly don't lie about it.  I have always dated someone for awhile before I even consider introducing him to the kids.  After all, what woud be the point of bringing kids into it if 5 dates from now, or even 10 dates from now I discover he just isn't for me.  Once I do seem to figure that out and I need to test the waters, then I think the most effective way is to just do it without making a big deal out of it.  If you often go out with other friends or have them over to your home, then invite your "date" to do something similar.  That way the new person might sort of blend in just like another friend without it having to be a big deal.  I would probably pretty soon decide if you are going to continue dating the person even after they've met the kids.  If so, it's best to let your kids know so they can begin getting used to the idea of you being with someone besides their parent.  If you do this a few times, it will be old hat to them, and easier on you too!

August 14, 2008
Back to school for kids of divorce isn't always easy!
Having shared custody of kids in the summertime is a lot easier than during the school year.  We just went back this week.  Suddenly it isn't a piece of cake transitioning any more.  During the summer there are no worries of jackets and shoes.  Flip flops pretty much does it.  There is no mention of school books, gym shoes, or library books.  Now we're back to trying to plan several days in advance.  What will I need tomorrow, the next day, or even a few past that?  What about the field trip permission slips, and lucnh boxes.  It almost feels like my vacation is over too.  There will be more runs to Dad's mid-week for forgotten items.  I don't know about you but I like it when the shuffle is as simple as getting into the car and saying, "I'll see you Tuesday"!

August 12, 2008
I finally get why my relationships haven't worked!
A lightening bolt went off in my head this year.  It's been forming for awhile, but now it is so crystal clear! I get it!  Even though I've counseled many people over the years, somehow I didn't seem to take my own advice.  Whenever I was out and about searching for that Mr. Right (who always turned out to be Mr. Wrong), I was really searching for someone who would like me and love me.  When I got married I was very young.  But I have often described it as I married the first bus that came along.  In many ways I did.  The first man that paid serious attention to me, the one who called back, showed up, and actually acted like I might matter......I married.  Somewhere along the way I realized that marriage wasn't good for me and out I went.  But though I seemed to temporarily get it, I've continued this pattern of wanting someone to love me and settling for the buses that come along.  I went as far as having a long distance relationship for 5 years with someone who was a lot of fun, but who was never really honest with me, or ultimately a great match.  What I finally realized was that I am so whole and happy as I am.  I love my life, my activities, my kids, and all that go with it.  I don't need someone to love me or to do things with.  I would really love having that someone special to share things with because it makes it more fun, but I don't need it.  So now as I go about in life, I"m not looking for someone.  But if they do happen to show up, I really do have a list of what it is I am looking for.  If they don't meet it, sorry, game over and I move on.  I've become quite good at figuring out quickly that they aren't a good match for me and moving on.  It is helping me fine tune the "list", and eventually someone matching the list will likely show up.  If they don't, that's okay too because I'm having the time of my life just as I am!

August 8, 2008
Do parents ever think before they cheat?
Once again today we are hit with the news of yet another politician covering up with lies that he has cheated.  This time it is what appeared to be such a wholesome character, John Edwards.  His story is even more sickening than most.  How is it that his wife is dying of cancer and he manages to still think that cheating is okay.  But what sickens me more is how time after time, famous or not, how it is that people get so caught up in their physical passions and excitement that they NEVER seem to think through their actions.  They never seem to think about what it will do to their spouse of course because apparently that is who they are having such a tough time being honest with in the first place.  But why on earth can't they consider what their actions might do to their children.  This is especially disconcerting when they are prominent community or public figures.  Is it really all worth it?  Do they like it when their spouse whom they once professed (sometimes as recently as yesterday) to love, and then their children have to know how unimportant their feelings were.  If things are that bad......why can't we just get out.  Why do we have to cheat and then drag the whole world down with us.  It happens even in the little people's world.  Someone inevitably finds out, and then everyone has to discuss it.  Our kids are the ones that suffer.  So PLEASE, just don't do it.  Think it though.  Oh, and I applaud Ms. Edwards, for so far anyway, not coming out and standing next to her husband.  There is no reason for her to be humiliated any further!

August 8, 2008
Is the dating pool getting smaller?
I had an interesting conversation with someone a few weeks ago.  We discussed how much more difficult it is to find someone to date in the second time around world.  We surmized that it must be due to a couple of things, one of course is there are really fewer people available as a portion of the population is of course married.  That certainly wasn't the case when we were 18!  But the other thing is that we realized that as we get older, especially if we've been married and divorced or had a break up or two under our belt, be become more selective.  Our "list" becomes more detailed.  We know a lot more about what we are looking for as well as what we absolutely just do not want!  I know my list has certainly become a little longer.  There are certainly a lot fewer people that would meet the criteria.  So yes, I suppose the dating world has become a little smaller. But I'm thrilled because I've become much better at recognizing what will and will not work.  I don't have to spend time with people that ultimately won't work anyway.  So yes, I suppose there again is another benefit to being divorced.  I get a second chance at finding a partner that really will work, even if I do have a smaller pool to pick from!



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