Year end Kids' Show: with you, your ex, both new partners & the kids!

What a circus parenting is sometimes – except none of the adults are laughing, when they are all at an event for their child/step child and just trying to make sure it's all cordial.

It can literally feel like a circus I’m sure.  When you’re all together, it can feel like you are competing to get (and keep) your kids’ attention.  Cause somehow, your worth as a parent is gauged by whether or not your child wants to hang out with you more, when they have the option of hanging out with any parent they want!  You know you’ve thought it and felt the pang of hurt when they choose your ex! :)

Now I’m not there yet, I’m dating a great man but haven’t introduced the kids.  My ex is keeping a low dating profile, so I’m not sure where he’s at exactly, but certainly no one new has been introduced to the kids on his side either.

However, last week, I did find myself at my girls’ gymnastics finale –...

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Parenting: You don’t have to do it alone!

Let's be honest, parenting is a hard gig.  Thank-goodness, it takes a community to raise a child :)  I have found such comfort in this idea and since my Separation have come to see that this is the only possible way to raise children while keeping your own sanity and personal interests.

Juggling children on your own (even if you are a part of an amazing co-parenting team, you still have the children on your own for large chunks of time) is exhausting and awesome and so many things in between.  And the pressure to do it all as parents is SO HUGE, it’s absolutely crushing at times.

Now, before my Separation, I was never one to ask for help.  I’m sure I’m not the only one here :)

However, once I was Separated, there was no way I could handle everything on my own, which forced my hand: I had to be open to help that was offered and to even (terrifyingly) admit I needed some.

My kids are also getting older and with each year that passes, the world...

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When your Child asks: Why don't you and daddy love each other anymore?

This was such a terrifying question to me initially because I didn't feel that I could ever explain the situation well enough to really have the kids understand.  Keep in mind my kids were 6yrs and 3yrs old when their dad and I separated.

I spent a ton of time, as my marriage was ending and during the first year or more after we moved apart, being paralyzed by this immensely terrifying fear and doom, where I thought that by separating, our kids were now officially damaged beyond repair and essentially ruined BUT at the same time wishing and hoping and praying that they would completely and always be happy through it all.  Like the slightest tear was a sign of my complete failure as a mother and needed to be wiped away and replaced with a smile as quickly as possible.

My marriage ending was my cross to bear for eternity.  I was a shitty mom because my kids were grieving the family unit they’d known since birth.  My failure in a marriage had caused them...

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Separation/Divorce & Parenting: Sleep is Key to Success!

Sleep.  Yes, I’m serious.

No matter where you are on your Separation/Divorce path right now, your life will improve with more sleep!  Just try it.

Your parenting will also improve with more sleep.  It’s a win-win.  It’s almost like magic.

On my worst days, which are usually around the end of the week, when I’m completely exhausted from work, and I’m kicking myself for not getting as much done as I had planned at the beginning of the week.  And I also need to dig deep, to somehow find patience for the kids, this insanity is always because I’m low on sleep.

And getting enough sleep is certainly a struggle with a million other priorities, absolutely, unquestionably.

However, I have actually consciously gotten a solid 8 hrs of sleep a night, for say, a week at a time, and my life improves.  And so will yours.  Try it for a week.  Even just commit to a certain number of nights a week, where you’ll make...

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Dear Kids, I hope your dad and I don’t fall short - Intentions for Co-parenting Success!

Dear kids,

Thank-you.  Your unconditional love has been invaluable.  It has softened the way your dad and I relate to each other as co-parents.  We both want to make you proud.

No matter who’s weekend it is, if your activities are double booked, then the parent who’s ‘off’ pitches in to drive you to your activity, or a visit with friends, or an appointment.  We are a team for you kids and don’t want you to miss out on any opportunities because of a completely inflexible child sharing routine.  So please speak up if you want to go or do something, don’t feel like you can’t or shouldn’t, just because you know there’s already something else planned.    Please don’t settle.

We may not always have the exact same rules.  However, we’ve got the same themes when it comes to discipline and expectations for you and how you can contribute to the family unit.  I’m sorry that at...

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Separation and Divorce: An Opportunity to Declutter Your Life!

When you're in the early months or years after Separation or Divorce – decluttering and minimizing your life is a must!  Your life depends on it.

When my ex and I had first separated several years ago, I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by the way my family life had changed in such a short period of time.  I had never lived on my own before, and while I’d call myself very independent, it was amazing to me how much I had to learn or relearn to completely run a household on my own.  Not to mention the mountains of emotional baggage I needed to sort through at some point.

At my most overwhelmed, I remember making a mental list - while I lay on my bedroom floor - of all the things I HAD to do to keep my life running.  The bare minimum.  Just the things required to ensure that what was left of my life wouldn't implode.  I had to work.  I had to feed the kids.  I had to do whatever was required to ensure the kids were...

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Celebrating Your Kids' Birthdays with Your Ex and Everyone Who Loves Your Kids!

How far out of your comfort zone will you go for your kids?

This question came to mind last week as we were celebrating our twin girls' birthday!  Holy Smokes does time go by so quickly!  In another decade they’ll be 20 and off figuring out a life of their own, which makes me so proud and so sad all at the same time.

Anyways, this got me thinking about how well or smoothly my ex and I have celebrated their birthdays since we've been separated.

For the majority of birthday parties we’ve celebrated since separation, the kids have wanted their birthday party at a place – like an indoor rock climbing park, a trampoline place, an indoor amusement park, an indoor jungle gym place, etc.  All of these have one huge benefit – they are on neutral ground.

This year was different though.

One of the girls wanted an ‘at home’ birthday party, and since her birthday party fell on a weekend the kids were at their dad’s house, the party was...

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Taxes after Separation – Where to start!

money Feb 26, 2017

This post is only applicable for Canadians living in Ontario – I apologize in advance!

The idea for this blog post came from a question one of our community members had - this is his first tax season separated and so he was wondering how being separated would affect his taxes, which I thought was such a great question!

I remember my first tax season and thinking – holy smokes, I don’t really care about my taxes and what a hassle to have to coordinate with my ex!!  BUT as part of my stubborn side, I had committed to doing my taxes myself, by hand, so that I could fully refresh myself on where my money was going and where I could find further tax savings for future years.  I felt like I needed to take charge of my own money and where it was coming and going. :)  My ex had done both our taxes for the last long while, so it had been years since I’d even thought about taxes.

Very Thankfully – my ex had an accountant do his the first year we...

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Five Ways to Reduce Stress Forever!

Wherever you are in your life – newly separated/divorced, dating, focusing on yourself & your kids & letting the dust settle a bit, into a new serious relationship, etc – stress finds a way to creep into your life, for long periods or very short periods.  Frankly, some of life's low points have wider ruts than we'd like.  Wherever you are today – reducing stress will help move you ahead :)  And it'll serve you well for the rest of your long life.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to keep my mind optimistic and creative and fresh, to stay curious, even when things are very uncertain.  For some reason, it feels like a pivot point for me these days, where I am starting some small new habits that will carry me through the next few decades and further – I hope!  For the past while, I’ve just been running myself ragged and my mind and body are starting to feel the drain.

I am naturally optimistic at my core,...

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10 Must Read Books to Carry you Through your Separation and Divorce

I LOVE to read!  Books are what I turn to first, when I need to learn anything or just to escape into another world.  I read to relax, I read to learn, I read to go on an adventure, and lots more! So, as you can imagine, I read a lot as I went through my separation.  And figured if there's any other book lovers out there, then perhaps you might enjoy this list!

So, here they are, in random order, books I lived and died by when I was first Separated and in the midst of chaos, figuring out what my next steps were going to be – and figuring out WHO WAS I AS A SINGLE PERSON ANYWAYS??

1: Mom’s House, Dad’s House: Making Two Homes for Your Child by Isolina Ricci. 

Our mediator gave my ex and I a copy of this book to read while we were going through separation mediation.  I found it fantastic at outlining and suggesting compassionate ways to run the basic day to day logistics of a two house family.  It was also the first time I got a more...

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