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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Let It Go!

authentically you hope Jan 06, 2017

Hi there!  And Happy New Year to you!  I wish you less static in 2017!

I am looking forward with great optimism to the year ahead – 2016 seemed like a year of ups and downs for me, so overall, I’m hoping that 2017 is a little more even keeled, a bit quiet and even dull (at times) would be welcome :)

And I confess, I am one of those people who LOVE to make lists of things I aim to do over the course of the year.  Especially because my birthday is this month, so the New Year seems to double down for me on both reflection and looking ahead.

However, this year I’ve noticed a distinct difference in my body, mind and soul.  This year, it feels more appropriate to focus in on a few goals and see them all the way through.  And more than a few of my goals are simple and quiet ones, such as ‘read all the unread books on my bookshelf’ – I’ve got two shelves full of books I’ve yet to read (I find it hard to resist buying a...

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Real and Loving Connection: Let it be Your Guide

I remember it very clearly.  I had been a zombie since my separation and felt like everything was unravelling in my life.  I had no idea where anything was headed and I was just trying to keep my day to day basics together (ie. drag myself to work, keep my job :), be as attentive to the kids as possible, eat, fall to bed exhausted, repeat).  I realized later on during a routine physical exam that I was also iron deficient for the first time in my life, which made everything feel more exhausting and my body more like molasses.

My life plan for one long marriage was gone.  What wrench did that throw into all my other plans for life?  Where was my life heading now?  I was coming up with nothing, as far as new life plans go..so I was just putting one foot in front of another until (hopefully sooner than later) purpose and/or passion returned to my life.

So, through all that fogginness, one summer's day, I found myself sitting on the front porch and the kids...

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Separation and Divorce: Building Resilience in Our Kids

co-parenting Nov 20, 2016

I’ll be completely honest with you – when my ex and I separated I wanted, more than anything, for the kids to be unaffected.  From where I sit now, I can see how completely naive and impossible that idea was – thankfully I’ve grown a lot since those early days!

I think it’s fair to say that no parent wants to see their kid(s) to struggle.  Especially, when they struggle with a situation that you’ve had a hand in creating in their lives {insert a pile of guilt here!!!}.

It’s also hard to attend to your kids as best you can when you’re struggling as well.

So, between us all, let’s agree to drop this unrealistic expectation from here on out.

Kids will struggle when adjusting to a separation or divorce.  That’s ok.  It’s a massive change.  Who wouldn’t?  Separation and divorce is painfully hard.  And sad.  And crappy.  And the short end of the stick. And an overall...

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Keeping Perspective: Through Separation and Divorce

I had the opportunity to visit Halifax a few weekends ago - it’s a city I love and I have great history there!  I also have a 98 year old step-Nana who lives there and so I made sure to take the time to pop in and visit her.

And am I ever glad I did.

It had been two years since we last connected, and she continues to be so positive and upbeat about life – it’s amazing!  Obviously, at 98 years of age, one can’t help but have a unique perspective on life.  And by now, she’s clearly learnt how to roll with the ebb and flow of life, complete with all it’s struggles and all it’s miracles.  And she’s chosen to walk through it, with her head up and with a deep knowing that the tough times will pass and she’ll get through it all.  And she truly has!  It’s so inspiring to me!

So, I’ve taken up the habit of asking myself, when any problem or irritation arises – ‘what would by 98 year...

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