Archive | February, 2012

Shower

29 Feb

TMI alert!  Since my daughter was born, and I’ve not gone into an office to work everyday, I have not felt the need to shower every day.  However, I realized today as I squeezed in time for a quick shower that the last time I bathed was on Sunday!  That’s just plain gross!  In my defense, I really haven’t left the house this week except for school drop offs. 

Clearly, I need to make more time for myself, or re-prioritize my alone time!!

TMI.

Welcome to my journey!

Sarah

Birthday

28 Feb

After getting through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s without my husband, I thought I had made it through the worst of it.  I thought that those would be the most difficult times.

I found out this weekend that I was WRONG. 

My son’s first birthday is today; his party was over the weekend.  It was more difficult that I had ever considered or imagined.  I hosted a party at the house with my family, and I invited STBEH to come as well.  I decided that since we are still married, we are getting along fairly well, and this is a huge milestone – it would be fine for him to attend.  It was surprising, to both of us, I think, how difficult it was for us to be in this situation.

STBEH ran a few errands for the party before arriving early at the house.  All smiles.  The party was great!  Everyone was all smiles and had such a fun time.  After the party, STBEH took Big Girl to another party she had that day.  While he was out, he looked for apartments.  When they came back to the house, it was tense.   He said apartment hunting was terrible, and that they were so expensive.  Then, he had to leave.

Both kids were so upset.  Baby Boy watched his daddy walk out the front door and drive away (I mean he turned all the way around in my lap, and watched out the window as his daddy drove the car drive away from the house) with a sad look on his face.  My mom caught this as well.  It was heart-wrenching.  My one year old baby watching his daddy leave his birthday party.

Surprisingly, I was really sad too.  Watching my kids was sad enough, but I was really sad that I was celebrating my son’s FIRST birthday without my husband.  It should have been such a joyous celebration for me and STBEH together; this is our son. That’s the way it works.  I felt like such a loser that I couldn’t even keep the marriage together for one year after the baby was born. 

I felt so alone and so sad and so small. 

My brother and his family, my mom and step-dad were all here, but my husband had to leave.  The one person I felt like should be celebrating with us was no longer welcome for an extended stay at the house.

I was sad for STBEH too.  that he had to drive away from his own home, leaving his baby boy behind to celebrate without him.

It just isn’t supposed to be this way.  This is not right.  It is not fair.  I hate it.  I wish things were different. I wish I could get my family back.

So, here I am back to surviving one moment at a time.  Taking care of my kids as well as I can each day.  Being thankful for small things.  Hoping and praying that things get better.  Hoping and praying that my kids are okay.

Happy happy birthday to my sweet baby boy!

Welcome to my journey!

Sarah

Tips

21 Feb

Although I wish I knew nothing about divorce, and I wish I were happily married to the father of my children, despite my best efforts, that has not been my reality.  As much as it saddens me to let go of that dream, I have grown and learned a lot from this process.  I did not make this decision lightly, and I will feel like a failure for the rest of my life because of this decision.  As I have gone through this process of divorce, and am hopefully close to finalizing, I have gathered some tips I wish I would have known when I began this journey nearly a year ago.

  1. Find the best lawyer you can afford.  Find a lawyer who shares your goals and priorities for the outcome you want to achieve.  Do you want a collaborative divorce?  Find a lawyer who specializes in it.  Interview several and find one who you connect with.  Get recommendations from friends, family, your doctor, your therapist… anyone you think may have some good recommendations.  (Did you know that if you interview an attorney, it then becomes a conflict of interest for your spouse to retain that attorney?)
  2. Talk to your lawyer about the process. Be sure you have a good understanding about time frames, information you need to produce, and how things will proceed.
  3. Have a plan.  Prepare for your separation; take your time if you can.  Know how you will handle finances, where you will go, how to access financial information and assets, where to find important documents (i.e. mortgage information, passports, social security cards, birth certificates, credit card information, etc).
  4. Understand that your plan might change; that’s okay.  Change it thoughtfully.
  5. Collect information and keep it safe.
  6. Find a distraction so you aren’t obsessing over the divorce 24/7.  Your job may be a great distraction.  Playing very purposefully with your children will take your mind off of things too, and be good for your kids.
  7. Protect your children with a vengeance.  Love your children unconditionally (but don’t spoil them).  Try to keep them on a routine to give them a sense of security.
  8. Don’t vent to your children.  Don’t speak negatively of your spouse (or ex-spouse) in front of your children.  As much as it may drive you crazy, they still love him/her, and they should.
  9. Tell your children the truth.  Don’t tell your children all of the details.  Communicate with them in a way that is age appropriate.  Your 5 year old needs different information from you in a different way than your 12 year old.
  10. Tell your children what will happen to them.  They will be afraid about where they will live, who they will live with, when they will see the parent they won’t reside with.  If there is a move, they will be concerned about seeing their friends, making new friends, living in a new home, having a new room.
  11. Reassure your children that you love them no matter what, and that they can always come to you to ask you a question, tell you how they are feeling, or talk to you about anything.  You will not be mad at them for asking a question or telling you something, even if that means they are mad at you.  Then, be available for them.
  12. Seek out someone you can talk to freely.  Maybe a trusted friend, a church leader, a therapist.  You also need an outlet, and someone to vent to.
  13. Take care of yourself  so that you can do what needs to be done (i.e. focus on the proceedings, talk concisely with your attorney, take care of your children, speak calmly with your spouse)
  14. Remember, your friends may not want to get involved.  Respect that and love them anyway.  (See #12).
  15. Stay calm when you can.  Even when your spouse/ex-spouse is pushing your buttons, being irrational, and making you angry.  You don’t want to say something out of anger that can later be used against you.
  16. Argue over the important things.  Let some of the smaller things go; you can use some of those things to negotiate to get what is important to you.
  17. Know how to change your beneficiaries (401(k), stocks, etc).
  18. Update your will.

I may add to this list as I continue through the process.  Feel free to post your suggestions as comments as well.

Welcome to my journey!

Sarah

Stronger

19 Feb

I am learning that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be.

It has been a really tough couple of weeks. I cannot shake bronchitis. I am having a really hard time breathing and talking. Unfortunately, I spend 8-10 hours a day on the phone… talking. So, it is difficult to work effectively, and takes so much energy. I hardly have anything left for my kids at the end of the day; I am tired and weak. But at the end of the day, the kids need me and they are my priority and bring me joy.

The kids were with STBEH until this morning so I was able to get a little rest yesterday – at least rest my voice. I got a ton of things done that I cannot do during the week, or with the kids here. Boring stuff like paperwork, catching up on my day job, planning, organizing. Important, but boring ,and impossible to do with little ones in the house! I listened to Kelly Clarkson’s new album all day – great break up album if you need some music to listen to!

Yesterday was cool with a light rain all day long – grey and dreary (or snuggly and relaxing, however you choose to look at it). I need some color on my front porch – all of our landscaping right now is green. So, I went to Lowe’s and bought two beautiful turquoise pots for the front porch, and filled them with pink impatients. So bright and colorful. I LOVE them! For me, it’s about doing the small things that bring happiness right now. This project is one easily done myself, but one I would have depended on my STBEH to do in the past – carry the bags of soil, carry the pots, take the garbage to the trash. Slowly taking over the things that I have depended on someone else to do to make my life easier. A little stronger every day.

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I have a list of projects a mile long that I want to conquer. Cheap and cheerful though. I want to paint the front door, and frame out the bathroom mirrors. I think I can do it myself. I am not sure when, but they are at the top of the list.

So, all of that to say that while I feel weak and overwhelmed, I am still stronger that I ever believed. Even being as sick as I have been, and with projects piling up and the daily chores barely getting done, I am doing it on my own. I am raising two kids, taking care of the house, working full time, planning for my business, room mom. It’s not all perfect; it’s not even all pretty, but I am doing it. Even sick, I keep going. I have to; there is nobody else to do it. There is no time to sit down and rest, so I take it one moment at a time, and finish one thing at a time. I rest when I can; I do not believe in being super-mom. I don’t believe that is good for me or the kids. But, I do have responsibilities that I have to take care of. Looking back on the last couple of weeks, I am surprised. I survived it alone. I am stronger than I thought.

Welcome to my journey.

Sarah

Valentine’s Day

15 Feb

What a day! I am still coughing up a storm; this bronchitis is dragging on and on, despite the ridiculous number of meds I am taking to make it better. None-the-less, had a fantastic and crazy busy day with my kids!!

Made pink pancakes for the kids’ breakfast. They LOVED it! My daughter wanted them to be heart shaped, but I am not that skilled culinarily! I had a hard time getting over the color to enjoy them. However, apparently the dog enjoyed them too because when I returned home from taking Big Girl to school, most of them were gone.

Then, had a Valentine’s party at my son’s school – so much fun. The baby class was adorable, and they did some and and foot painting for our cards! So cute!! Love all of those cubby little cheeks and smiles! And Baby Boy loved having me at school for a little while this morning.

Then, had Valentine’s party at Big Girl’s school – so funny! Those kids were on a serious sugar high and were so excited to see all of their cards and candy! They had a great time decorating cookies and their teachers!

Picked up Big Girl after school and spent time with her. We cleaned house and got dinner ready before picking up Baby Boy from school. On the menu for our Valentine’s Day dinner (menu selected by Big Girl):

  • Ribeye steak
  • Asparagus
  • Cake

It was delicious, considering that I have never made steak before in my life! I cooked it in an iron skillet on the stove; I need to perfect the technique, but it wasn’t bad.

I made a heart shape cake and decorated it for the kids; they loved it!!!

All in all, it was the best Valentine’s Day ever, spent with the people I love the most in the entire world! No expectations, no let downs, no negativity. Just excited kids whom I absolutely love and adore. There is nobody else I would rather have spent the day with. This is the first year that Valentine’s Day has not been a complete let down. Going out is such a hassle, and listening to STBEH whine and complain about it being a fake holiday get really old. I don’t expect a whole lot on Valentine’s Day, just appreciation and a nice evening. That’s what I got tonight.

Welcome to my journey!

Sarah

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Positive Momentum

13 Feb

They say that taking the easy way out is not always the best decision. They also say that when you make the right decision, things seem to fall into place. So, then, it becomes the easy decision? It’s funny how sometimes the universe propels momentum when things are going well.

I had such a difficult time making the decision to file for divorce. It tore me to pieces. I have had a difficult time since I filed for divorce. My STBEH has not made things easy either. He has been difficult, he has disagreed with the decision to divorce, he has tried to reconcile, he has made me feel guilty. I have questioned myself and my decision. I have worried about my family, my children, my future.

But, in the last week, it’s amazing how things are moving forward with such momentum!!

First, I got a great rate quote on a refinance for my house which means I may get to stay here with the kids! One of my biggest stresses is that my children are happy and healthy and safe. They are both in excellent school/child care arrangements with people we love and trust. I do not worry about their care during the day. They come home happy and secure. If we can stay in this house, I will have so much security just knowing that the kids are safe and healthy with their current arrangements.

Then, I had a phone interview last week, and have an in-person interview this week for a new job! The position is with a great company, and the commute would be just a few minutes.

Then, I got so sick on Thursday (okay, this isn’t positive momentum, but stay with me here). STBEH came over Saturday to take care of the kids; Baby Boy had diarreah so he could not take the kids to his parents house (as was the original plan). So, he hung out at the house all day long, playing with the kids and being a good dad. He left Sat night after putting the kids to bed, and came back Sunday morning at 7:00 (did I mention that it is one hour from our home to his parents’ house?). He got the kids up, fed and organized for the morning. We all went to lunch and did some shopping, and came home. I went back to bed, and he had the kids all afternoon/evening.

We did have a great talk about our future. He has agreed to move forward with the divorce. We are getting along so much better now that we are apart. We are each so much happier now that we are apart. We are better parents now that we are apart. We are better people now that we are apart. He finally sees that and agrees; he no longer sees those things as a justification to reconcile.

Amazing how things are starting to come together. The scary thing is that nothing is finished! Nothing is “signed on the bottom line”. Still in flux, but moving in the right direction! This has removed so much stress from me.

It is weird how it is coming together and the momentum is building. Positive momentum is building.

Welcome to my journey!

Sarah

Cleaning house

8 Feb

Wow! I will admit that I do not like cleaning house any more, and probably less, than most women. There are just so many other things I would rather do! More likely, there are so many things that I can easily find or create to do instead of cleaning the house!

And, it is amazing to me how much there is to be done now that we are separated… And once spring arrives, there will be lawn to manage too! I need a clone! Have you seem the movie Multiplicity? I feel like Michael Keaton’s character from that movie… I need some clones! One to do my full-time job, one to take care of the house and yard, and one to manage my small business! That’s it, I just need three more of me!! I don’t ask for much, do I? However, then I’d just have more versions of myself to manage!

I feel like, outside of working, I spend most of my time cleaning something. And it’s usually not moving me forward, just maintaining!!! it is hard to get ahead because something always needs to be done now. Baby’s diaper blowout results in load of laundry immediately, sick kids result is sanitizing most surfaces in the house, out of baby bottles – time to run dishwasher or wash by hand! Always something and nothing extra.

I am trying to tackle a few extras here and there, one small step at a time. Quickly doing one or two things here and there to get ahead. I am hoping that the cumulative effect will be that things get organized around here!! I am starting to notice small successes, but so much more needs to be done!

For example, you may remember that one of my New Years resolutions was to make my bed… So not happening!! Tomorrow is the day to conquer it!

So much to do and so exhausted!
Welcome to my journey!
Sarah