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Divorce Let's Talk

5 Ways to Make Children Feel Secure During Divorce

Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

Divorce is devastating, not just for the two people going through it but for the children. Parents are the foundation – the solid stability – beneath the feet of children, and when that crumbles, it takes a lot of work to protect the kids. While I hope you don’t ever need this advice, here are five ways you can make children feel secure during divorce:

Avoid Conflict

For some couples (and their children) divorce comes as a relief because the fighting during the marriage was so bad. But whether the relationship was volatile or not, now is the time to avoid conflict. Don’t fight in front of your kids.

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…

Even worse than fighting in front of your kids is telling your kids how awful their other parent is. No matter how much you detest the person you made babies with now, you made babies with him or her, so deal with it. Keep your negativity to yourself in front of your children and let your child grow up to have a positive view of both parents. If your spouse is really that horrible, your child will figure it out on his own.

Provide Stability

Children are resilient and ultimately flexible, but that doesn’t mean their living situation should be upended completely. If you’re going through custody battles or fighting over who gets to keep the house, do what’s best for your kids until the dust is settled and let them stay as stable as possible. If they do have to move, make sure you take all the things that keep them secure with you.

You Are the Adult

Do not use your kids as therapists or friends even when things are going really badly for you. You are still an adult and a parent, and sometimes you simply have to deal with the fact that your life is sucking and still get up and do what you have to do to take care of your kids.

No Blame

Your kids will figure out as they get older who did what to cause what’s happening now. You don’t need to drag them into it and disparage their other parent. Don’t ever say things to blame the other parent.

When it comes to getting divorced, your kids should not get caught in the middle of the conflict. They should be insulated and protected as much as possible and reassured that nothing they did caused the problem and that everyone still loves them.

Categories
Divorce

Poetry, a Pathway to Healing

by Tammy Bartholomew

Love

Love is a mystery
Found in interesting places
Created by people
Things, time & spaces
It can be given freely
Or come with a cost
Keep it forever
Mostly always lost
Established from a distance
Or over a period of time
Sometimes a hidden secret
Love is even blind
The hardest love
Is to Love ourselves
Continually looking for it
From things or someone else
Why can’t we be happy
Without continued affirmations
Materialistic things
Other contributions
Some want to share
Through touch & emotions
All this does is mix
With our devotions
It doesn’t seem
Enough giving it freely
It just gets pushed away
While others take it so willingly
When taken
And not given back
Our heart is broken
Not knowing how to react
Time tends to heal
Love that is lost
Another journey looking
Finding it at all cost
If we are not getting
The love to fill the empty hole
We will go scouring risking
It all to fill our soul
We get furious when
Our Love is taken
Thinking we deserved it
But we are sadly mistaken
Becoming jaded an angry
Revenge becomes the plan
How can this be
Why don’t we understand
Give your heart so young
Thinking it is forever
That is just not the case
With all life’s endeavors
Balance is the key
Know what fills the part
Forgiveness is needed
To let Love in your heart
 
Who Is My Protector

 
 
Who is my Protector
When I go astray
Helps with my insecurities
Problems along the way
 
It should be my father
It will never be
To many issues of his own
Not always able to help me
 
Is it my mother
Yes from the day I was born
Sometimes overwhelmed
Never leaving me alone
 
It should be my ex husband 
But to busy always to deal
Can’t depend on him
Himself learning how to heal
 
My counselor
Listens and reaffirms
But me teaching myself
For what I have learned
 
Is it a new man 
Trying to fit his mold
Not to be fat, independent or strong
Opinionated or too bold
 
Is it my Bestie
When I have a bad day
Just pick up the phone
I am a phone call away
 
Why do people think
I am the solver of problems
Never the first to know
Always where it ends
 
Searching frantically
When problems arise
Not knowing the answer
Too much of a surprise
 
Ask myself again
Who will be there to protect me
Will it be God
For all eternity
 
Please save me
Relieves me from the pain
Teach me that I am
The one not to blame
 
Help me come up with a solution
Put a plan in motion
Calm all the people
From this great commotion
 
Let them know 
I need protection too
Don’t always have the answers
Let him see them through
 
Teach me from the
Help me through today
Guide me into tomorrow
Protect me when I don’t know the way
 
Freedom to Fly 

White picket fence
Two car garage
Three perfect children
Full time jobs
Day to day living
Family vacations
Love growing
Building relations
Dining out
Church on Sunday
Cleaning house
Kids we would play
Tables turn
In half a life
Choices made
No longer a wife
Single moments
Dust starting to settle
Gathering information
Start fixing the mental
Pain and suffering
Heart mending
Old and new
Starts blending
Not a failure
My new reality
Focus on the future
And what will be
Savor the moments
Time to spend
Patience and peace
Learning to bend
A piece of the cookie
Instead of the whole
Content with that
Blessing to my soul
As the breeze
Continues to blow by
Give myself permissions
Wings and freedom to fly
Categories
Divorce

The Steps of Letting Go

The Steps of Letting Go

Emotions run high
During the divorce grieving process
You feel every one of them
Trying to figure out this mess
Manipulated, mad
Are a few to start
Frustrated, betrayed
Because someone broke your heart
Denial is the first phase
I hear you go through
Not wanting to believe
Someone is through with you
Anger and rage
Is next I am supposed to feel
Still trying to get there
In the process trying to heal
Depression on the docket
Do I really need to go there
All I have been through
Do I even dare
Hurt, confusion, rage
Has to be in there somewhere
I’m sure they wouldn’t be
If the person truly cared
Acceptance is part of the last step
I have to take
Prayers and letting go
Forgiving the mistakes
Categories
Divorce

We’re All Affected When Family or Close Friends Divorce

Getting Real with Jennifer Poole

Recently there have been many people in my life who are deciding to divorce. Even if I agree that it is the best thing due to issues in the marriage, it is still heartbreaking. The parents of one of my daughter’s friends are divorcing. This has caused my daughter to ask us many questions about what happens when people divorce and if daddy and I fight does that mean we will get divorced. It has allowed us to have open discussions about relationships and how just because we may get upset from time to time it does not automatically mean we are getting divorced.

To add to my daughter’s concern, her former babysitter and the sitter’s spouse are divorcing. This has been difficult for all of us as I grew up with the husband and I am like a little sister to him. I was at their wedding 20+ years ago and his soon to be ex-wife took care of my daughter from the time she was six weeks old until she started kindergarten.

At first they were battling things out on Facebook for the whole world to see. Eventually the husband, Sam deleted his account, but Jan continues to post about her new life and her soon to be ex. I am happy she is finding a new life and enjoying herself but her comments like “I used to think I would be upset about seeing my ex with another woman but my parents taught me how to give away toys I didn’t want any more” are painful to read when we care about both of them.

Why they are divorcing and the details of the process are none of my business, and I don’t want to be drawn in to it and don’t want to be asked to pick sides. I just want to be able to support both of them in their quests to find a happy and fulfilling life even if it means they are not doing it together. I refuse to “like” or comment on her posts about her ex and instead focus on her posts about finding herself and new happiness.

That brings me to the most difficult pending divorce – my parents. After almost 26 years of marriage my mother and step-father have decided to divorce. Do I agree with this decision? It is none of my business, so I try to keep my opinions to myself and just be supportive. My mom will often vent to me her frustrations with dad, the pending divorce and its impact but I try to stay neutral.

I validate her feelings and offer her suggestions on how to approach a discussion or express a feeling. I know if I was still a child my mother would never talk negatively about my step-dad but since I am an adult I guess she does not need to protect me from the negativity and the reality of it all. I haven’t discussed the issues with my step-dad so I don’t know what he is truly thinking about all of this. Overall, I guess I am still in denial about this divorce. I know they are not happy but part of me still hopes one day soon one of them will swallow their pride and try to get things resolved.

At this point I just continue to validate and support all of those people and their children and grandkids because regardless of why they are divorcing it is a major life change for them and the people that care about them both.

Categories
Divorce

Poetry – An Emotional Balm

MomsGetReal™ Poet Extraordinaire Tammy Bartholomew

You’re In My Heart

I said I miss you today
Even though we are miles apart
You said you were with me
Because I had you in my heart
You are growing up so fast
A strong handsome young man
It boggles my mind
Things you can comprehend
Told you I was moving on
What did I need to do
Explain but you all said
We are happy for you
What an adult answer
For me to make a new start
From my strong handsome son
Remember you will always be in my heart

The Steps of Letting Go

Emotions run high
During the divorce grieving process
You feel every one of them
Trying to figure out this mess
Manipulated, mad
Are a few to start
Frustrated, betrayed
Because someone broke your heart
Denial is the first phase
I hear you go through
Not wanting to believe
Someone is threw with you
Anger and rage
Is next I am supposed to feel
Still trying to get there
In the process trying to heal
Depression on the docket
Do I really need to go there
All I have been through
Do I even dare
Hurt, confusion, rage
Has to be in there somewhere
I’m sure they wouldn’t be
If the person truly cared
Acceptance is part of the last step
I have to take
Prayers and letting go
Forgiving the mistakes

Nails in Our Coffin

Through our addictions
We face each day
We start to put nails in our coffin
In a bed we must lay
Whether it be with alcohol
Or maybe even drugs
Sometimes even through
The ones we loved
We hear our bodies are a temple
We keep putting poisons in
See it doesn’t seem to matter
The world just continues to spin
Maybe it is with food
Certain amounts to survive
Not every food healthy
To help keep us alive
What about the disease
We can’t seem to fight
Another nail in our coffin
Closer to our forever goodnight
We are so engrossed
Just keep putting the toxin in
When will we learn
This is one nail closer to our end
We are all in the vicious cycle
Some can’t even see
How their actions
Start to affect me
We want to believe
The more knowledge we have
We should be able to face
Maybe just learn to laugh
Addictions come in many forms
You never realize
Sometimes we tricks ourselves
In believing our own lies
We don’t want to face
We are all the same
Some may even die sooner
Of the dreaded game
Categories
Divorce Let's Talk

The Pain of Divorce Hurts More Than Just the Couple

Getting Real With Tammy Bartholomew

Tug o’ War Princess

Tug o’ War

A child’s game

In divorce

Someone places blame

Manipulation is

How it starts

Some believing

Others end with broken hearts

Please don’t tug me

My daughter said in her quiet voice

Please don’t make me choose

I don’t want to have to make the choice

“I feel so guilty” she says

I say it’s not because of you

Repeat that every night

What else can I do

You don’t see the tears

Or the sadness in her face

When she says I want my daddy

Want to live at his place

Don’t want to hurt you mom

Don’t know where to go

Should I stay here

Or should I go

“Please don’t get a divorce”

What can I say

Never wanted it

To end up this way

We both love you

With all our heart

How do you make an 11 year old understand

Sometimes people have to part

It kills me to see

The nightly tears in her eyes

See the sadness

Painted in her hazel eyes

How do I help

Repair your heart

Help you understand

And make a new start

Hear kids are invincible

Bounce back like a rubber band

But the pain we are putting you through

Can’t truly understand

Acting out differently

Every day is new

Never know the behavior

To expect from you

Damn you for

Putting our children in the middle

Quite be a selfish bastard

Trying to belittle

Raised up their hopes

Just to let them fall

Can’t you see it’s

Tearing down every happy wall

Never want to tug you my princess

On your tiny heart strings

I’m also learning everyday

What this really means

So Princess please pray to God

Each and every night

He will lead and guide you

Not tugging on your rope to tight

Categories
Divorce Let's Talk

Fighting Over Money and Control Make Divorce Ugly

Getting Real With Tammy Bartholomew

Divorce can be ugly, and the bottom line is, divorce is about money and control: Who is paying the money and who has the control of the kids. My parents have been both married and divorced 4 times. My mom is still with “old #4” as he calls himself after 18 years. They are to the point they finish each other’s sentences; it’s cute.

Cute as it is now, it wasn’t always that way. After my mom divorced my real father, I lived full time with my mom, never really seeing my father. I knew him but I think because of the control my mom exerted, he never really reached out to me as he could have. He also went on with his life, new wife and kids. My mom remarried a military man and we traveled, moving a lot.

Money was also a variable with child support. I am not all justifying this or making an excuse not to see your child, but sometimes it is a factor. My ex-husband is ordered to pay all the travel cost for our 3 children. I was very adamant about this in the beginning, because I was not the one who moved out of the state; he was. He moved, so he pays. After a while, I saw him struggling as I did.

Who does it hurt when the kids can’t visit both parents? Our kids.

One day I called him and said, “I will not always be able to help, but if I can I will.” I still know it’s ultimately his responsibility. Luckily for my kids sake, my ex and I try to be civil. He lives in a nearby state and we have a very set schedule for the kids visitation. I have to admit, in the beginning I was controlling.

They are my kids and I don’t want them hurt. I don’t want them being taken and raised by anyone else but me.

Then, I started to remember about my dad and how he wasn’t around. Who did it hurt? Me. That is exactly what path my kids were heading down. They were paying the price for us.

It amazes me. As a couple we were fine paying for whatever they needed. Now that we are divorced, no one wants to pay. Everyone has what they think they are entitled to in divorce.  I realize not all divorces are fair, or amicable. They are physically, emotional, and mentally painful. My parents try to get along, but still don’t like each other and pull the control card when it comes to my children and me. Its extremely sad.

In the end kids should always come first.

Keep Smiling, Tammy

Categories
Divorce Let's Talk

The Pain of Betrayal – a Poem

MomsGetReal™ Poet Extraordinaire Tammy Bartholomew

D Day

The day has come

For you to leave

It should be happy

Then the ace comes out of your sleeve

See the separation

Was supposed to be fair

Until you pulled the other “Divorce” card

Out of thin air

The air was never thin

You knew the whole time

Your heart was gone

Not belonging to mine

Really wasn’t surprised

You didn’t cover your tracks

Internet research skill

Something you obviously lacked

Kept believing

Until the very end

We would be together

You had discovered a new friend

Your heart was gone

It had been for a while

Was hard to believe

This was your new style

Like I said before

Tell the truth and I’m gone

You couldn’t even do that

To cover your dance and song

Enjoy your future

I will too

Soon I will be free

Of all the pain you put me through

Will find someone

Who loves my feelings and all

Not because my hair is t0o short

Or my body not small

Will be open and honest

Learn to live again

Be in love with my new

Partner and best friend

Categories
Divorce Let's Talk

Learning to Live Again After Divorce – a Poem

MomsGetReal™ Poet Extraordinaire Tammy Bartholomew

The Little Girl

We all have

A princess in our heart

Father the protector

From the start

She’d been hiding

For a long time

Bursting to get out

Not willing to cross the line

Wanting to

Be taken care of

Needing to feel

She was loved

Never to be laughed at

Nor leaning on others

A giver too many

Perfect wife and mother

Many reminded her

Of her human side

Where life is not perfect

Not to run and hide

Most important lesson

The little girl had been taught

The love she needs

Is the love in her heart

She has grown to become

A woman of confidence

Just needs it back

All this to make sense

Make mistakes

Be financially broke

A girl as her best friend

Maybe crack a joke

She can be loyal to all

Trust in others

A good partner

And a great mother

Laugh at herself

Just enjoy life

Smiles on her panties

Not be so uptight

Kids to enjoy

Dreams to come true

Learn to live again

Being true to you know who

Categories
Divorce

Mind Games

Mind Games by Tammy Bartholomew

Mind games

Played so well

Consuming lives

Others in hell

Our minds crazy

Waiting the next move

Out playing the other

What will they do

By the phone

A call or text

Read the unknown

What will happen next

Take others feelings

Make them our own

Become someone else

Sitting all alone

Surrounded by people

We think we knew

Willing to trust

Bare our sole to

Family and friends

Choosing a side

Betrayal and trust

To someone who’s lied

Unproductive

Minds pounding

Blood pressure rising

Everything mounting

A drug

We need to survive

Asking ourselves

Will I still be alive

Much are we fed

That’s not true

Might have been the creator

Between me and you

Eating thoughts

In our head

If not careful

Ending up dead