Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The use of Day Timers

When it comes to dealing with your ex, whether you get along or not, it is very important to be sure that you have all of your information correct. We are only human after all and it's easy to get lost in life and find ourselves overwhelmed. You also want to be sure that you don't miss anything involving your kiddos - parent-teacher conferences, specialty fun nights at school, important doctors appointments for your kiddos and especially, when your visits with your kiddos take place.

You want to have at hand a calander, I chose a medium day timer (like the ones they sale all year and especially during back to school season), which you can keep track of everything. I also use it for my own personal appointments but you may choose to use something else for that.

I keep my appointments in the daytimer because the shared calendar Jake and I have for the Boys shares aabbsolutely everything you put in there. Including any person appointmeans, which I personally feel Jake has no business knowing. Plus I can keep my daytimer in my purse and with me at allt imes should appointmentes for myself come up. Again, I also keeps Jake from knowing my personal business, and allows me to keep track of things with the Boys.

Not only does it help keep things straight when making appointments for yourself while being sure they don't conflict with your visitations, but it also helps when there if there is a conflict between you and your ex as to when visitations are scheduled etc to take place you are also documented for court if necessary.

Love & Support,

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Consistency between the households is incredibly important, however, it isn't something we always consider. Our kiddos need and actually crave consistency, especially between our households.

One of the biggest things which needs to be consistent are basic rules. Each parent can handle the situations revolving around the circumstances involving the rules at the time. However, there should be main rules, somewhere around five or so, which travel from one household to the other. That way the kiddos know what is expected, and aren't confused because dad has one set of rules, but mom's rules are completely different.

I like to think of the set of rules as a bridge between the households. It's something that regardless of how my ex and I are relating to one another at the time, the bridge remains for the betterment of the kiddos. It's something they know will still be the same even if things between my ex and I happen to be tense at the time.

Consistency is key. Plus, it helps the kiddos feel more secure during visits with us, the part-time parents. Since they know there are basic rules which are the same between the houses. Also, you shouldn't feel limited to five rules. That's just the number Jack and I have agreed upon because it's enough rules to maintain order and control. Yet, it's also not too many rules for our kiddos to remember.

Keep in mind, simple is usually best.

Love & Support,

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I Survived My First School Function

When AJ was younger there was a couple with a son in his class who was divorced. Thing was you couldn't tell they were divorced. The first time I met them was at a class party. They blended so well, got along so well and were so friendly with one another that I thought they were married. I was pregnant with RJ at the time and while I was talking to their son he made the comment to me that he wanted a little brother or sister too. His mom and I laughed, and I told him he would have to talk to his mommy and daddy about that one. His mom laughed and told him, he knew that wasn't possible. I thought she meant she couldn't have any more kids and I apologized saying I didn't know. She laughed again and said, "Oh it's OK. It's just not possible right now because his father and I are divorced." I was shocked.

Then as the years went on and our Boys went to separate classrooms we didn't really see each other very much anymore, except at school functions. Always the two of them at every function getting along so well you'd believe they were married unless you knew better. I was still amazed every time.

Unfortunately, we can't all get along with our ex's that well. Maybe it's because we're newly separated/divorced. Maybe it's because for whatever reason we simply will never likely reach that place, which is OK.

Recently, I had my first school function where both my ex and I attended. To say it was awkward would be putting it mildly. It was a fun sort of night for the kids. AJ wondered around, checking out the various stations. RJ wondered around looking to hang out with his friends. While I went from station to station with Jr. I took pictures. I took video. (Always very careful to keep other children out of the shots whenever possible.) I was in Heaven. For a little while I felt normal within the walls of the school again. I felt normal with my baby outside of my home.

My ex and I had been getting along fairly well for the past few weeks. We'd even reached a point where we could talk on the phone for brief periods and not begin fighting. I thought that would transfer over into the real world especially at a school function. It didn't. I went up to my ex at one point just to sort of say "hello" and ask how he was doing. He answered me in an angry, clipped tone. Looking at me like I was crazy to be talking to him. I didn't understand. What had happened to us getting along? Why was he suddenly so angry?

If it was a matter of the fact that I monopolized all of Jr.'s time, at any point he could have tapped me on the shoulder saying he wanted to do things with him. I would have stepped back and allowed them to have that special time together. Only, he never did. He slumped in a chair and didn't interact with any of our Boys unless they went to him. Part of me felt bad because I didn't think to "share" Jr. with him, since I already get so little time with him. This was a treat. Part of me felt that if he had wanted that time, he should have asked for it. I can't read minds after all.

Either way, I was able to spend some fun quality time with my Boys. Even if my ex was a giant grump. (lol)

Love & Support,

Monday, October 26, 2015

Surviving Shared School Functions

Having to share the same space and time with your ex is never easy, unless of course you are one of the lucky ones who has a very positive relationship with your ex. Not only do you have to find a way to share the same space and time with your ex, someone you with whom you aren't necessarily getting along. You also have to find a way to share your time with your children. While you engage with your one another in general, sharing time with your ex can seem an insurmountable task. It is possible.

Firstly, do everything in your own power to keep things at least civil. Aim for friendly and light if you can. Even if your ex doesn't seem open to this. Take the high road here, which I know will be difficult. Don't ignore your ex. Simply attempt to be civil, friendly if you are able to manage. If at any time you are with your ex during the functions simply aim to treat him as friendly as possible. If you absolutely have to aim to treat him as any acquaintance you don't know very well. Be nice. Be civil. Be cordial. Try to keep it from getting awkward.

Try and include your ex, or at least attempt to find a way to share the time between the two of you. I know it's difficult to accomplish this. Trust me, I know. I also fail miserably with this. Try and offer your ex to spend time to your child(ren), essentially trading space with one another. Perhaps if you have more than one child you could trade off at some point. You spend time with your oldest, while he spends time with your youngest. Then at some point, some how you swap places. That way you are both able to spend time with each of your children.

I know it's not fun. I know it isn't the ideal situation, however, it is possible to survive shared school functions with your ex. It simply takes a little work and, unfortunately, a whole lot of self restraint.

Love & Support,

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What hurts the most

There are plenty of things that hurt during a divorce and custody arrangement. I don't deny that. I never will. However, there are certain things which hurt more than others, at least for me. Recently, Jr. made the decision that he did not want to come with my other sons to spend the night, something which happens only every other week. He had a cold.

Could he have come anyway? Yes, he could.
Should we have forced him to go? I'm torn. He didn't feel well, and wanted to stay where he was comfortable. I would never want to force him out of his right to say where he was comfortable while he sick. At the same time, I missed him during the visit. He didn't have a serious illness, which I obviously would never force him to come on the visit. However, part of me wanted to push the issue because he wasn't seriously ill.

He didn't come on the visit, which hurt, a lot. It's something, which I look forward to every other week. I understood why he didn't come. That didn't stop it from hurting me because although he was sick and I understood the reasons, it still hurt me.

I'm learning rather quickly that while the divorce it self hurts. The custody situation, no matter how friendly, hurts. However, having Jr. refuse to visit with me hurts the most.

Love & Support,

Friday, September 11, 2015

Remembrance of 9/11

I hope that each of us takes a moment, maybe two, to remember 9/11. Remember how all the lives, the families, our country were forever changed. Because it only takes a moment to bring about change.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Methods of Maintaining Contact with Your Children

I am by no means a perfect part-time mama, not by any stretch of the imagination. I don't contact my kids nearly as much I should. I know that I'm wrong. This is something I'm trying desperately to correct, although it's still not nearly often enough.

I call when I can. Even if that means I need to set alarms on my cell phone to remind me, and yes, I know how sad that sounds.

I have a difficult time when it comes to the usual methods of contact. We can't Skype. My children don't check or read their email, so there goes that method. To try and keep in touch when I don’t see my kids I've gotten creative. 

I make the silly little videos and text them to my ex-husband for him to show them, which is something my children love.

I send cards. Sometimes it's one card and I put 3 three separate, special notes to each of them inside the card. I actually mail to them using old fashioned snail mail. What child doesn't love to reveive mail, right? Sometimes I fill the cards with the confetti you get for the tables at parties. You'd be surprised how exciting it is as a child to not only get mail, but for it to be from Mama and sometimes confetti falls out. Other times I'll put in stickers, always the same three stickers so there isnt any fighting over who gets what. After all, the communication is about my children. Not tormenting my ex. Mine love receiving snail mail!

At times, if I can't find a card I like and so, I create my own cards to send to them. Or if you'd like index cards work really well. They are easily accessible and realitively inexpensive. Plus there's the added bonus that you can use white cards or the multi-color cards. Don't forget, they're on sale at most places because of the end of Back to School sales at the moment.

If I come across a silly little picture or even something which has special meaning to us, I will send a picture of it, or the picture itself. Then, again, I send it to my ex to show to my children.

These are the ways I use A List of Maintaining Contact

I'd love to hear the ways y'all use the List. I'd also love to hear any ways you've come up with to keep in touch with your child(ren) while you are apart.

Love & Support,

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A List of Ways of Maintaining Contact

Here is a list of the ways of maintaining contact that I have come up with so far.
  1. Phone calls
  2. Emails
  3. Skype/Facetime
  4. Make silly videos and text them to your ex to be shown to your children
  5. Send cards via old-fashioned snail mail
    1. Buy them
    2. Make them
      1. Make actual folding cards (draw on the front and write a note inside)
      2. Use index cards (drawing on the front and write a note on the other side)
  6. Send pictures of things you find while out which have special meaning to you and your child(ren) and text them to your ex
  7. Saving and showing off gifts (either made or purchased) your children have given you where they can see you during visits
  8. Make simple little gifts and mail them in either standard envelopes or bubble envelopes
I hope this list helps you to maintain contact with your child(ren) both in the usual and unusual ways.

If you have any other ideas that you use to keep in contact with your child(ren), I would love to hear them. Leave a comment and let's share our ideas.

Love & Support,

Friday, September 4, 2015

Let the Nightmares Begin

When I was going through my first divorce (yup, this is my second time around), I used to have these horrible nightmares of my ex-mother-in-law taking me to court and the court simply gave her custody of all three of my children. Even though she only had a genetic tie to one of them. She only had rights to see one of the three. Yet, she was still given all three of my children.

I've honestly lost track of how many times I've had that nightmare, or some version of it. In fact, I still have this very nightmare to this very day. The custody battle involving AJ was over long ago. It's like a sick, twisted version of PTSD. I hate it. The worst part is when the nightmare morphs into a night terror and I wake up screaming or fighting off a non-existent assailant.

Drawing Credit:

My current divorce was supposed to be semi-friendly, if such a thing exists. Last night, I had my first nightmare involving this divorce, which I was hoping to avoid this time given that we are trying to go a more positive route. I don't remember the exact details of the nightmare. All I remember is waking up terrified of losing my children and never seeing them again. If it hadn't been 2 o'clock in the morning I would have called my children simply to hear their voices. It's bad enough that I was unable to go back to sleep for two or three hours because I was afraid to go back to sleep. I was afraid the nightmare would begin again. My body finally won out at 4 o'clock AM and I fell asleep in the position I was in once my body quit and gave in.

I had sincerely hoped that I wouldn't have dreams or nightmares this time around. The details of the relationship and the divorce are different. I truly had hope. Looks like it was wasted hope because the whole cycle has begun again.

I don't know if the rest of you have had similar experiences, but I'd love to hear about them. It would be so nice to know I'm not alone with this bizarre side effect to divorce, and perhaps we could support each other through this difficult time.

Love & Support,