That Damn Wedding Album

I’m a clutter whore.

I keep anything and everything.  It used to drive the OCD man crazy.

If Devon hadn’t have come out of the closet, our differences on our housekeeping philosophies would have driven us apart, I’m sure of it.  But you know, gay trumps clutter any day.

So when it finally came time to move out of our foreclosed home, I had been living there by myself for nearly a year.  The house was disgusting with piles of ka-ka everywhere.  I even had kept my Christmas tree up until April.  No shit.  I think I kind of rebelled against him in a twisted way with my new-found freedom of not having to keep the place neat and orderly all the time.  I now despise June Clever, who wore prim and proper little dresses with pearls and carried a vacuum in her purse.

Like seriously, I pretty much didn’t fold one ounce of laundry for I think 5 months.  Ask my kids.  I would simply fish through a Mt. Everest of clean laundry everyday in order to get dressed.  They used to lie on it like a giant Lovesac and watch Hannah Montana.

I’ll bet it was uber comfy.

Wait.  Who am I kidding?  I would still be doing that today if my oldest daughter didn’t like to fold laundry so much (this is beyond my understanding).  Thank you, Devon, for passing on that mutant gene.

You can only imagine what it was like when it came time to sort through household junk and decide what he would keep and what I would keep.  I pretty much just wanted to leave it all there and start over.  I considered pulling a trailer trash move and walking away from everything just so I wouldn’t have to sort through and organize things.

Devon’s solution was to come over when I wasn’t there to find the things he wanted.   I was glad about that arrangement.  I definitely didn’t want to hear a lecture from him about my slovenly ways.  I’m sure he took a look around, baby barfed a few times on the dry brown lawn, and set to work.  I had already given him a list of things I definitely wanted and set a few things aside.

But, that damn wedding album.

That was a doozy.  I really didn’t want the stupid thing because at the time, I was still really struggling with my hurt and anger.  He didn’t want it that badly either because it made him cry.  Actually, everything makes him cry.  He’s the biggest bawl baby ever.

But we knew we needed to keep it.  You know, our kids really loved that album.  For me it produced hurt.  For them it produced nostalgia.  They loved us both.  Without the two of us marrying, they wouldn’t have existed.  That is a very amazing thing, really.

I put my hurt aside, he put his tears aside, and we kept it.  I gave it to him for safe keeping because I really wanted all of the scrapbooks I had created.  There were times that I considered cutting out his face from the pictures out of spite, believe me.

Today, I am so glad we kept it.  With time, my hurt healed.  We worked on our relationship to make it as amicable as possible, which also took time.  Today, I can sit down with the kids and look at that album with them.  They can even ask me questions about our first date, what it was like in the hospital when they were born and how Daddy reacted, what our favorite vacations were together as an intact family… and I don’t get sad anymore.  That one really took time.

It has been so important to the kids though.  When they see that we aren’t bitter toward each other, at least with our demeanor and words, then they feel more secure.

This amicable divorce thing really is for them in the end.

Keep that wedding album, people.  You might be glad that you did someday.

Oh, and don’t cut out any faces.  That looks freaky.

Blessings, Emily

We went on tons of family vacations to Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay, California. This is one of my favorite pictures of us. I still have it framed and displayed in a prominent place.

Here’s a little tune for you.  I encourage you to not dig up bones unless you’re looking at your wedding album with fondness… not longing.  Randy Travis, “Diggin’ Up Bones”

Check It Out! Exciting Stuff!

Hey, hey, hey Loyal Subjects!  An article just came out through Reuters (an international news organization) where Devon and The Royal We were interviewed regarding amicable divorces and mistakes to avoid.  It’s a super helpful article and very practical.  Check it out and give us your comments!  Thanks, Geoff Williams, for including us in your research. 

Blessings, Emily and Devon

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/26/us-divorce-mistakes-idUSBRE85P0W020120626

The Dreaded Talk

A personal email was recently sent to Devon and I concerning having that dreaded “talk” with the kids.  You know, the “Mommy and Daddy Are Getting Divorced” conversation?  It was a new process for me to work through in answering Inquire-ee.  I had to think long and hard back to those days.  That time was kind of a blur, but I think we did some things right.  Here’s what I wrote to her.

This email will be a bit of a process for me because no one has ever asked us your very practical question.  In fact, I will definitely be blogging about it very soon.  I am thankful you felt comfortable reaching out to us.  I will be cc’ing Devon when I’m done with this in case he thinks of anything else to add.

I don’t know your situation, of course, so I can only speak from our own.  Here are some main points that I hope are helpful.

1.  Our biggest concern was making sure that each of the kids knew that they could ask questions at anytime during our process.  That being said, we did NOT tell them that Devon was gay.  That was difficult for me personally, because it was the ultimate reason we were getting divorced and the bitter side of me wanted them to know.  I didn’t, thankfully, because Devon needed to tell them when he was ready.  If they asked us something that would lead them to specific “why” questions, we told them that we would definitely let them know the reasons when we were ready.  We assured them that we would, but the adult nature of it needed to wait until Mommy and Daddy were both ready to tell them.  They seemed to accept that answer, with the expectation that they would eventually find out in due time.  We followed through with our promises.

2.  We always, to the best of our ability, presented a united front.  We sat next to each other when telling them things at our various family meetings.  We made sure the kids were cuddled up next to us when we spoke.  Sometimes we would go on a picnic. Sometimes we’d just be in our living room.  Never in an overtly public place.  We still do this and it gives the kids reassurances that we can all be together when it is necessary.  Let me tell you, there were times when I bit the bullet and didn’t exactly love it, but it was for the kids, and so I did.

3.  Devon and I always discussed in person (sometimes over the phone) some of the exact verbiage we were planning on using.  If an email is necessary for you, that’s ok, too.  It’s just good to practice meeting and getting used to talking together before you speak with the kids.  Be sure to decide who will start off the conversation and what you will say to begin.  Let it be somewhat organic from that point on.  Also, for yourself, you should write brief talking points you want to be sure to say.  It will help you to not miss your most important items.  I hope your spouse will do the same, but you can only control yourself.  Be the best example you can.  If he or she senses you trying to control the situation, there will be defensiveness.  Do your best not to be defensive yourself.

4.  Keep the focus on the kids.  Make sure that you both look them in the eye.  Most importantly, tell them specifically that they have done nothing wrong, nor will they ever in the future, to be the cause of the divorce.  It’s seriously the most important thing.  I guarantee in their simple childlike minds that’s what they’re thinking.  Reassure them and continue throughout your various processes to do so.

5.  Are you living in separate households currently?  If so, reassure them that not much will be changing except that you and Daddy will have some personal and specific stuff to deal with.  Be honest with them when things need to brought up, but not too much info.  Kids usually ask questions when they’re ready to hear the answers.  Too much info and they won’t be able to process things in a healthy manner.

Interjection:  I liken this to the three times when each of my kids asked me: “Where do babies really come from?”  They asked me this at different times, and each time I gauged what they really wanted to know.  One wanted to know how babies were created.  One wanted to know where babies came out and how.  One simply didn’t know what the hell he was asking.  I gave them each different answers.  Later, they asked follow up questions when they felt the need.  They knew I’d be honest with them, and today, they all know that babies are born out of the belly button and that kissing causes pregnancy.  Okay.  So please continue with the quoted email.

6.  During your talk they will probably have questions that you weren’t expecting.  Just answer them as truthfully as you can (without giving too much info).

7.  Both of you can ask them a day or so later if they have any other questions that may have popped up in their minds.  Talk with them each separately.  You will be surprised about how deep their thinking can be.

Keep in mind that I’m not a counselor.  This is what we did and it worked for us.  It started us off on the same footing and our children have adjusted really well.  Some of it may not apply to your situation, but my hope it that you can find a few nuggets of wisdom in my words.

When are you planning on telling them?  I would love to have an update on how it goes.

Thanks again for writing us and giving us inspiration to continue helping others toward amicable relationships.

Blessings to you, your spouse and your children.

Devon didn’t think of anything else to add, so I guess it was spot-on.  My kids, whom I consult with daily regarding our blog posts, also felt the same as Devon once I asked them about it.  They are nothing if not honest.

Take what you can from that email.  I think we did a lot of things right and how we handled The Dreaded Talk was one of them.

The Rainbow Bench in one of our favorite parks holds sentimental memories for Devon and I. We still go there to have “talks” or to simply hang out together. Our kids are awesome.

Questions to answer in your comments:

1) If you have kids, have you told them that you’re getting a divorce yet?  How did they react?  What did you say and is there anything you wish you had done differently?

2) What information was helpful to you in this post?

3) What advice would you give to others who are about to broach this important topic?

We Love You, Daddy

Basically, the kids’ summer calendar is even busier than their school-year calendar.  On this Father’s Day, 2012, the girls and I are in Las Vegas sweating our keisters off during a softball tournament.  Thomas is with Felipe their step-dad in the Bay Area for a football camp, impressing the socks off of his future NFL coaches.  Poor Daddy is at home in Reno all by himself.  I think it’s starting to make him sad.  Here’s a love list for Devon to read that I put together with the kids.  Maddie, Kate and I composed it after I interviewed Thomas over the phone today.  Blessings, Emily

To the Calendar King of Reno:

Here are a few things that the kids want to tell you, Devon.  Of course, I had to put a snarky comment after each one because it is my duty to do so as your ex-wife.  They love and miss you, but after writing this with them, it kind of seems like every day is Father’s Day in their minds.  You’ll understand this once you read what they have to say.

To The Daddy Who Knows Everything About Everything, You Need to Know These Things, Too:

1.  Maddie:  You’re an amazing shopping partner, like when we visited Forever 21 together. You’re quite the fashion maven so Kate and I went with your opinions on what clothes flattered us.  We didn’t believe that you were right at first, but when we looked up your reasoning later on the Internet, we realized… you really do know everything about everything.  Plus, you did work at Gantos.  Duh.

(You should write about your Devon-isms and Fred-isms in a post very soon, Dev.  “Gantos” is just the tip of the iceberg.  Write something.  Anything.)

2.  Maddie:  You’re a horrible singer, but we love it.  Like the time when you were singing Starships and you changed the words from “Starships were meant to fly” to “Starships were meant to cry.”  Those moments always crack me up.  Besides the fact that you usually belt out the wrong words, you’re tone-deaf.  It’s very entertaining.  Please go on American Idol.  You may just get famous, like that one Asian dude several years ago.

(You still insist that you can sing?  However, keep singing, even though others tell you differently.  It shows your confidence.)

3.  Maddie:  I appreciate the fact that you care about our personal hygiene.  As you know, Mom isn’t a stickler about cleanliness, and while Kate and Thomas might not like it, I accept your pseudo-OCD with open arms.  I’m a lot like you, apparently.  I think it’s a good thing.

(I’m pretty sure that in the summer, a day at the pool counts as a bath.  However, I will choose my battles wisely with you and will try to make sure that they shower at least half of the time that they’re at my house, not just once a week.  It’s my Father’s Day gift to you… the gift that keeps on giving.)

4.  Maddie:  I love how you stuck by Mom and were so patient while she was sick this last year.  I know it wasn’t easy for you and Felipe to take over full time with the three of us, but you were awesome and it really helped Mommy out.  I love you so much.

(This topic could be an entire book.  I’ll use the title of the article I wrote for the RTT, “Fighting Cancer With Rainbows”, with Oliver’s permission, of course.  Oliver?)

5.  Thomas:  I love it that you’re a clean freak.  You make our lives a lot easier.  A clean house means more quality time hanging out and not just cleaning all the time.

(Thomas starts convulsing when the girls don’t pick up after themselves.  I have you to blame for this.  However, he always offers to help me clean up after dinner…)

6.  Thomas:  I love it that you’re such a sensitive man and that you never hide your personality.  You aren’t even afraid to cry.

(Yes, Thomas really did say this, word-for-word.  Can you believe how amazing he is?  I guess he’s not just a kid with really sexy abs, after all.)

7.  Thomas:  I love it that you’re so comfortable with yourself that you’re not afraid to make fun of yourself.  Your humor helps me to feel better when I don’t feel so happy.

(Your intelligent and silly humor has helped shape our kids into thick-skinned but sensitive people.  I am to blame for their fart-joke obsession, which pleases me to no end.)

8.  Thomas:  I love it that you’re so open-minded.  You help me to see all the sides and options of life.

(Seriously.  I can’t believe this kid is only 9.  He’s so friggin’ awesome.)

9.  Kate:  I love that you are extremely supportive of my sports and academics.  Without you, I would not have been able to participate in All-Star softball. You’ve also taught me the importance of keeping my equipment together.

(Pah-leeze.  You teach me this everyday when you remind me with your equipment checklist of things not to forget.  She has learned a lot from you.  She would be on her fifth softball bat, not just her second, if you hadn’t have helped her.) 

10.  Kate:  I love you because you are very involved in my schoolwork and grades. You help me to be organized and prepared for my schoolwork and assignments.

(She has improved, hasn’t she?  She’s so much like me with her right-brained thinking.  It probably drives you crazy.  That binder was hands-down the best thing you did for her this school year.)

11.  Kate: I love that you smile a lot, because you have a very cute smile.  It helps me smile when I’m down.

(I agree 100%.  You have a great smile.  It’s one of the things that attracted me to you 15 years ago.  That and the fact that you’re a really good dancer who made me Tanqueray and lemonade behind your bar in a to go cup during our shifts at Applebees.)

12.  Kate:  I love that I always know that you always love me.  I can always count on you, like that song that you love which you sang to me:  “You can count on me, like 1 2 3; I’ll be there; And I know when I need it I can count on you like 4 3 2;  And you’ll be there;  ‘Cause that’s what dads are supposed to do, oh yeah.”

(Nuff said.)

Yes, Devon, out of the mouths of babes.  They sure do love you.

I know you’re at home by yourself today.  However, you were right when you said that it’s just one day out of the year and “you’ll be fine.”  But seriously, Silly Rabbit, I know your heart doesn’t feel that way.  So even though you’re trying to keep yourself busy by cleaning, organizing, or writing the latest calendar for the day, I know that you’re probably crying.  At least you’re a sensitive man and it’s tears of gratefulness that you are shedding after reading this from your three amazing children.

I’m so thankful we were married and had these cool chick-a-dees.  Happy Father’s Day.

Blessings, Emily

If you have kids and are alone this Father’s Day, 2012, be confident that your kids really do love you with all of their heart.  Happy Father’s Day.  Love, The Reeses and Their Pieces.

Some people think we’re twins, but we are so totally different! -Kate and Maddie

“I’m sexy and I have great abs.” -Thomas

Tips, hits, and quips

Loyal readers and fans (all 3),

Emily is on my arse every three minutes to post “something, anything” so here goes…

#1 — I am not an OCD calendar freak, I just like order and knowing that our kids are getting where they need to go.  This is hard in our two households because all three kids are renaissance cuties — they play or are involved in football, basketball (2 leagues), soccer (indoor and outdoor), softball (All-stars and recreational), tennis (soon to be added); choir, band, GT, SWAS, running club, personal training, writing, and underwater basket weaving.  I am certain I have left out 10-15 things they have going on but I have not consulted the calendar in 3.5 minutes so I am a bit off.  The calendar is updated 4-5 times a day and emailed to all involved.  Some days it is updated hourly, depending on what new sport is to be added or where they are traveling to next.  This is a part-time job which I frequently wish I was paid for or had a personal assistant to coordinate.  Alas, I did not win the lottery a few months back so I’m stuck with it.

I have tried several on-line calendaring programs without success — I think I need more control over the calendar and who adds what.  I don’t want Emily sneaking any down-time in there while I am not looking.  Plus, sometimes we have to be in three places at once and the calendar programs start sending error messages like — “Stop this madness, your children need a break!” and I just can’t let some computer Siri bullshit tell me what to do.

#2 — Do not see movies you know are going to be horrible just because you have nothing else to do and they are supposed to be “hits”.  I have seen only terrible movies of late.  The list includes “Dark Shadows” (walked out of that one and got a refund), Prometheus (spoiler alert – Lizbeth Salander gives herself an abortion / c-section and then fights her spawn), and Snow White and the Hunstman (Bella gets to see all the crazy shit in the universe).  Instead of wasting your time and money on this garbage you can read these brilliant blog posts.  And don’t get me started on “The Artist” which is the worst movie of all-time after “The Island of Dr. Moreau”.

#3 — Quip (a clever usually taunting remark) of the day.  Said by Thomas — “Dad, I have better abs than you”.  Yes son that is true, you workout 6-8 hours a day while I spend 6-8 hours a day calendaring.

Mutual Respect Part 1: Emails Gone Wild

God bless the saints who came up with texting, instant messaging and emails.  I swear I hate talking on the phone and trust me; this is coming from a talker.  I would rather say exactly what needs to be said, get the response I need and get back to mindlessly Facebooking or reading 50 Shades of Grey.

Unless, of course, I’m talking with my sister 1,500 miles away from me.  The phone is the way to go in this scenario, because I feel like I’m right in the same room with her, drinking a beer and playing cribbage on her comfy purple couch.  Emails and texts are stupid when you’re talking with a dear friend, loved one or close family member.

However, when you’re trying to communicate with your ex or soon-to-be ex, face-to-face conversations, phone calls, or even texts and emails, can spell disaster.  Basically, any form of communication raises the blood pressure, causes Tourette’s syndrome to emerge and throws all sense of courtesy out the window.  Things are said, responses are puked back, emotions call the shots and the reason you needed to communicate in the first place is completely forgotten.

Been there.  Done that.  Bet you have, too.

Those first couple of years, after Devon’s big reveal, I felt more anger than I knew how to handle and said some really nasty things.  At other times, I was happy, at peace and kind to him.  Essentially, I was all over the place in a manic depressive way.  It took me a few years to be consistently even keel.

During those tough times, phone calls between the two of us were disastrous.  I pretty much always took the conversation to bitter and unproductive levels.  Devon was not a saint, either, but I won’t speak for him.  He knows his faults and pointing them out, even today, is not productive.

There was one day in particular that I completely snapped.  I honestly had an out-of-body-experience and became possessed by a horrible supernatural being.  As horns grew out of my head and my pitchfork jabbed at Devon relentlessly, I realized that I needed to change.  My words really hurt him, and I was happy that they did.  I know you know what I mean.  But, really?  That’s not the person I perceive myself to be, and so something had to be done.

The following is the email excerpt that began to change our circumstances into something more amicable.  I’m so thankful that I saved this so I can share it with you.

5/6/09

From:  Emily

To:  Devon

Devon-

I want to start off my letter by formally asking you to forgive me for using so much profanity and screaming at you yesterday.  No one deserves that, especially you, my best friend for the last 14 years and father of our children.  I should not have called you a “fag” nor said that I wished I’d never married you, as well as calling you over and over again a liar.  These things, among others that I don’t recall that I said, are not really how I feel at my core.  I care deeply for you and how you feel and have compassion on what you have had do endure through our various processes and what you have had to deal with your whole life as a gay man trying to find your way in this world.  I hope that you’ll forgive me and we can move forward.

I think that when it comes to talking about some specific things regarding the raising of our kids and my own choices and future life, I need to start corresponding with you through emails.  This will help me personally to keep my emotions in check if you say something I don’t like and will allow me to keep from saying things that are unproductive.  I don’t always need to write everything, because I generally enjoy talking with you personally, but some things are better done for me through writing.  I can also respond more kindly and not be so emotionally charged…

And so, the email continued and I was able to appropriately express myself on productive issues, rather than the lack of focus that our phone calls produced.

As I’ve stated in a previous post, my friend once told me:  “Emily, the best letter ever written is the one that was never sent.”  Since this personal breakthrough email, I have written many emails that were never sent.  At the time, I made a general policy (which I followed pretty closely) of waiting a day to push “send”.  It gave me the pause I needed to review the email when I wasn’t charged by emotions, by weeding out the zealous statements, capitol letters, italicized words and quoted commentary.  Sometimes, the only thing that remained of my email draft was: “Dear Devon”.  I wasn’t perfect at it, but I made a true effort to be civilized and not condescending.  I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

You should try it.  Seriously.  What’s the worst that can happen?  Your spouse doesn’t return respect in kind?  Keep doing the right thing anyway.  Either it will rub off on him or her eventually, or you’ll simply be a better person in the end.  It’s a win-win for you… and your kids.  Also, your maturity is documented forever in cyberspace in case you need it someday.

On that note, I believe that sending nasty, psychotic or stalker-type emails and texts is probably the worst idea in the history of the world, even if you somehow justify it in your mind.  In today’s technologically documented planet, those things will come back to bite you in the ass ten-fold.  It’s every attorney’s wet dream when they have evidence against you as a parent that you are harassing their client somehow.  It’s pretty tough to cover those kinds of tracks, not to mention the potential for getting a visit from a smiling document server at your place of employment, with an envelope in hand, containing a TPO.  This isn’t just a blow to you and your ego; it can destroy your relationship with your kids.  If you want an amicable divorce, you’ll refrain from being a compulsive idiot.  Don’t put yourself in that position.  Ever.

My hope with this post is that you’ll learn from our mistakes and make minimal mistakes of your own.  Accepting your life circumstances and working with them instead of against them (and changing what you can) will lead to a healthier relationship with your ex and will benefit your children greatly.  I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, which my wise father used frequently in our home growing up.  The Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference. 
– Reinhold Niebuhr

Blessings, Emily

Divorced Parenting 101 Part 1: Caught On Videotape!

Besides the fact that I’ve had that nightmare, heart-sinking experience with each of my kids at one time or another, where I lose them in a mall, a giant fabric store outlet or just forgot them at the gym, I have found most of my Mom-of-the-Year experiences to have humorous outcomes.  I generally like to share them on Facebook in mini-form, in order to get as many of those addicting little red numbers as possible in the left corner of the screen, as “likes” and comments under my posts.  It’s a sick addiction, and unfortunately, I feed my addiction at the expense of my own children.  It’s my meth.  At least my perfect pearly whites aren’t falling out.

However, I won’t apologize for it.  I think people generally like my little anecdotes because they can relate to them, or at least laugh at my expense, which I’ll happily take.  I’m human and make many mistakes, and parenting opens the coffers for a plethora of mishaps to slide through.  These parenting mistakes keep me humble and help me to understand other moms and dads when they struggle with their own children and parenting styles.

Like when that lady at Walmart, several years ago, somewhat violently spanked her child in the parking lot, unknowingly getting videotaped on the security cameras.  The news went viral.  Now, I’m not condoning spanking, even though I’ve implemented that type of punishment in my own household.  In fact, even now, when my kids are 12, 11, and 9, all’s I need to do is say the words: “Do you want me to get out the wooden spoon?”  They shape up pretty quickly and begin to eat their brussel sprouts and asparagus with a flourish.  I don’t ever have to follow through with my threats, thankfully.  They’re just too old to get a spanking these days.

The point of my example about the lady at Walmart is that even though her circumstances were less than stellar (I think she was mad at her daughter because her daughter thwarted her attempts to shoplift), I’ve had those less-than-popular mom moments myself and regretted my actions to the Nth degree.  I felt for that lady in the parking lot, even though I didn’t know the circumstances at the time.  If there was a video recorder in my house, I would be extremely embarrassed at what could be aired by the nightly news for all to see.  My momentary Tourette’s syndrome, for starters.

I certainly have not punished my kids for their lack of thievery skills, but I have inappropriately punished them before.  If I had just taken a step back and breathed for a couple seconds, I might have acted differently. Parenting is tough, and when you don’t have the other parent in the household anymore, it can become even more daunting to follow through with discipline and it’s easy to take out your frustrations on your own beautiful children.

Not only is it tough to parent on your own, without your now or soon-to-be ex to back you up, it’s especially hard to be a good parent when you’re going through the process of a marriage dissolving.  Your own emotions stemming from your deteriorating relationship with your spouse can really bring out the worst in you.  We all know that taking these things out on your kids isn’t right, but you are not alone if you’ve done this.  I did.  They just didn’t understand why I was going ballistically psycho over the fact that Dora’s incessant singing was really pissing me off.  And depending on how old they are, it can be especially difficult.  Younger kids really won’t get it, and older kids may simply rebel.

I’m not a counselor, but I can speak from experience by saying that taking healthy steps to alleviate the pressure and stress you’re feeling can be a benefit not just for you, but for your kids as well.  Is there someone you love and trust who can regularly take your kids for brief amounts of time to give you a breather?  If so, take advantage of that.  During that time, do something that helps you to relax and reflect, like taking a walk and listening to your favorite music.  I highly recommend journaling all of your thoughts during that time as well.  It will help you to sort through your crazy but valid feelings and keep you from puking horrible things all over the true object of your anger, which is your spouse.  A very wise and dear friend of mine once said: “Emily, the best letter (or email) ever written was the one that was never sent.”  I have found this to be true time and time again.  Try it.  It can only help you, so why not?

As a side note, there’s no shame in seeking medical attention from your doctor to discuss the possibility of medicinal help.  I did, and I’m so glad for it.  Don’t hesitate to ask.  They would understand with empathy, I’m guessing.

A word of caution: Do your best to try not to turn to something with which you self-medicate, to keep you from dealing with your feelings and situations.  It doesn’t help in the end, only in the moment.  I am speaking from experience, here.  Mixing vodka with my wine (and listening to Norah Jones’ song “Turn Me On” on repeat) became a regular occurrence every evening for a short span of time, and when I woke up in the morning, my problems were still there bitch-slapping me in the face, not to mention the fact that I still had to play Mommy.  I get the desire to do that, however.  Hang in there.  You’re not alone.

(And then I just thought:  Hmmm.  I was hammered and the kids were home, even if they were sleeping.  What if something had happened and I couldn’t drive them to the hospital?  Yeah, that should have been reason enough for me to not add that vodka to my pinot.  Maybe I just should have stuck with wine in a limited amount.  Just something to think about.)

The perfect recipe for being a parent is really tough to master.  Add a cup of marital unhappiness, a teaspoon of resentment toward your spouse, a dash of bitterness at your situation, and the recipe can easily flop.  Leaving out the important ingredient of having your partner to help you parent on a daily basis can cause a culinary disaster of major proportions.  Do your best for your personal health, both mentally and physically, so that you can learn to effectively parent as a single mom or dad.   My hope for both parents is that you will eventually get to a point where you can parent alone and together, despite your single status.

Hang in there.  You’re not alone.  And remember, your kids are way quicker to forgive you than you are to forgive yourself.  Simply ask them for their forgiveness.  They’ll respect you for it because they love you.

Look for my funny stuff to come, titled Mom-of-the-Year Chronicles.  It will add a little levity to your not-so-great experiences you’re going through right now.  Try to find humor in as many things as you can during this trying time.  Laughter is sometimes just the medicine you may need.

Blessings, Emily