Sunday, 14 December 2014

Give Extra Love - Children, Divorce and Christmas Holidays

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time" Laura Ingalls Wilder

So here is December.... Celebrations are upon us and the one certainty is that we know Christmas and holidays even at their most genuinely festive and full of LOVE can be fraught with emotions.  

We are all coached subliminally for months for the best Christmas ever... So facing the prospect of Christmas and a divorcing scenario kind of renders us, with our already depleted energy banks, reindeers in the headlights and can send us running, startled for the New Year stars.  We know our head monkeys have been so specially planning the Christmas blitz. Our fears polishing the Don't Feel Good Christmas baubles, stuffing potential Little Strife Gifts into our holey emotional stockings and icing that heavy Heartbreak Christmas Cake.  Not forgetting the Wrapping Up of loneliness on an otherwise cheery Christmas morning and just Decking Out Those Halls with festive monetary concerns. 

So is not now really the time to take a huge, deep and egoless December morning breath and take a sweet Peter Panlike flight back to your childhood. To ever so gently take your inner child's hand in yours and look really honestly into your happy memory Christmas stocking.  Allow yourself to indulge in a childlike fantasy of everything that is Christmas; the magic, the wonderment, all the love and surprises. 

Gather up all your heart warming feelings in all their glittering,  joyful glory and tuck them into your big, hurting and divorcing heart.  Allow your heart to envelope, to merge and be imbued with these beautiful memories.  Give yourself permission to immerse yourselves into your Christmas Wonderland and then, holding all these precious thoughts reemerge into the present and your maybe, very different, Christmas.

As divorcing parents we really do not like to face the parts of our changing lives that matter so much to those we love the most, our children. 

So is divorce something we should focus on at Christmas? Is it a time to take our ex-marital, battery tired, Christmas light sabers out on each other? Is it possible that just for a couple of days, we can let our stuff go, we remember the incredible World War I Christmas Day Truce football match.  Do we need to be sat in our sad family trenches, in the seemingly cold mire of discontent, forgetting that all our children want is to be joyful, to play and feel loved.

Be the heart filled with love, as a divorcing parent or supportive family member. Know that you can leave your ego monkeys to be bored, dulled and useless, during this difficult, emotionally precarious and often painful festive time.  

We know as adults, that our children are dealing with change on a regular basis in divorceland. Understanding that what we can do, no matter how hard, is to preserve some of the beauty of their childhood magic and innocence. 

We are able to give our children and families, through all of this, a festive treasure that is the gift of gentle, sweet love of both parents, without pain, anger or blame during this time that is Christmas. 

Happy Christmas and love filled holidays ...... Natasha

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Divorce Goddess Tripping the Morning Fantastic

DO NOT be tempted to disrespect your divorcing self by walking out the front door looking like you just don’t care.  You are the first port of call in the flotilla of loving, caring and supporting ships bringing forth the beauty, peace, self-respect to your newly single life. 

No matter how dreadful you are feel on waking, how low in esteem you feel or stressed your hair and skin looks on bad nights sleep post break up. The daily machinations of getting it together and working it all out on your own are tiring and wearing, so try to remember the effort that is so rewarded when you do put your gorgeousness together.

Trash Walk of Shame entree was the morning I walked out my door with every single one of my wonderfully caring instincts screaming at me not to put the sheepskin slippers on... put THE trainers have running kit on. So please, oh please, do not wear those to school, take that micro second time out, put the right footwear on even with the moth munched jumper, face devoid of anything but a couple of hormonal spots, hair pony tailed and a pint glass of aired water and lemon in hand.

But I did get into the car, my gorgeous children glad to be on their way to school at a reasonable time didn’t  notice in our haste and into the school car park I drove. Ho ho and what a surprise, to be waved down in the car park by a lovely helpful Mumma who asked if I was going to my Son’s pre-camp meeting NOW...    Aaahhh what ...right now... I peeked at the slippers, back at her and then at my Son whose camp meeting it was.  

My Daughter bolted for the school steps, even in their  no uniform school did the idea of Mother in sheepskin slippers do nothing for teenage daughter's self respect.  I agreed - well of course I did!  I walked into the school in a state of pre-espresso shame shock. BUT secretly and ever so quietly I was laughing. Laughing because I didn't listen to my fantastical intuition, that is there for so many good, valid and caring reasons.

So I walked into a full house classroom meeting, smiling and preempting any of their thoughts with a salutary “Guess the Mumma who forgot about the meeting today”…. My hot water and lemon still high in hand, remarked upon as being not dissimilar to a vodka tonic and bit early in the day..... So in amongst this brave, gung ho'ness, marched the fear monkey glamour army and I realised that whilst one can laugh at oneself in a situation like this, although funny, it could be the slightly sad "she's getting a divorce" scenario and this can only ever be done once. Preferably, in hindsight, not at all…. 

In public and especially if you are getting divorced, does it smack of losing that wonderful edge of control, self-respect and self-worth? Was there a slight sadness attached to the 'pity of divorce' laughter or was it the genuine gratuity of thank goodness it wasn't me.

However... a good morning belly laugh with lots of wonderful people is an immeasurable positive. The connection of laughter for humans is the EXTRA happy place, we relax, we heal and understand with grateful knowledge that everyone has those wrong call mornings. 

Getting your gorgeous self together every time you walk out of your door, rain or shine keeps that 'little goddess getting divorced' head of yours held humbly high, prepared and utterly grateful for what you can manage a little better because you gave yourself the time you utterly deserve.  

So, really we do not need to feel judged because we didn’t get it together to be the yummy mummy. Instead we can choose to give ourselves permission to look beautiful, glamorous and positive in our grace and beauty no matter what is going on in the monkey control centre of our very different, now divorcing life.

With love Natasha

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Is a Good Divorce Better than a Bad Marriage for Children?

Okay, here's the situation....I'm in a bar when someone who is married, happily I believe, loosely throws in a remark that children from broken homes need 'special help' at school. It is not especially directed at me, more in the moment kind of remark. 

Since we have all been children, we should ask ourselves this?  If our parents rowed, argued or bickered even a little, how did it make us feel, deep down inside?  And if our parents ever occasionally did hug each other, compliment each other or KISS, how did we as children then feel?  

So the fact that as a divorced parent, who can genuinely hug their ex hello, perhaps not be rowing and is a whole load happier, is this what is going to send my children into the unpredictable 'special needs' behaviour meltdown room at school? Or is it this, as a child living in a permanent state of uncertain angst, with frustrated, married, unhappy parents is this not going to send those kids into the special ed corridor any sooner?  

Energetically, children have the master commander radars.  They don’t always understand why, but they do have the big KNOW when parents are not good, respectful and loving.
And here is the 'special needs' door on kids of divorced parents.    DOES the sun shining a little brighter with more love, happiness and truth in their readjusted lives with good divorced parents give them a better education for what really is important in a marriage or relationship? 

Or does the systematic sweeping of denial, anger and fear in a bad marriage give them a brighter 'hallelujah' snapshot of what adult relationships are really about? 

Is not the innate programming of a child geared to wanting everyone they LOVE in their lives to be happy and they will pretty much use their three magic wishes to have this be so?  

What is the deal breaker for children with unhappy parents? Is it a life of detached lies mixed with sporadic bursts of half hearted 'we are married' HAPPINESS laced with denial and thus jaded relationship optimism? Or is there a future of life lessons in divorcing respectfully, that teaches love out of conflict and a surety that kindness and truth can strengthen future relationships?

So out of all this, is my question... are children of divorced parents used as a bypass and/or an excuse for sad, angry, quiet or negative children when as many married adults are themselves suppressing all these emotions?  
How then does this affect their children? 

So ‘special needs’ for children of divorced parents... Could this perhaps be a scapegoat and mirror for everything that we might be fearing in a society that has sadly availed itself on so many levels of social and moral responsibility towards children no matter whether one is divorced or not?

With love Natasha x

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Divorce and the Post Summer Holiday

Summer holidays already seem so very long gone. Harvests are tucked up in warm hay barns and the once laden berry bushes of promise and delicious treats are melted into jars for the winter ahead.

Why is it then, at this time of year, when we should all be snuggling down as the cosiest of loved up couples, do many decide that a hot water bottle, onesy or bar of chocolate is the trade off material salve for the warmth of our partner.   

How sad that the thought of a winter with cosy fires, warm stews and love should leave so many couples cold and bereft of the dark winter months of togetherness. 

The truth is, the post summer months are heralded as the busiest for the divorcing industrial machine. One so perfectly oiled during the heady summer months ready to catch, sort and distribute the chaff of troubled couples and families.  

And so with a reluctance and belief in the positives of what my divorce journey has been for me, I snuck a look back into our summer holiday road trip through France. Two years ago where on day three we decided to get a divorce.  It all came easyjetting back, those summer holidays of what, should in reality be, the scrummy summer pudding bake off, but so often, is the finale of another marital relationship.  

So why does a summer holiday become the overdone, hardened and disappointing ta daaaah moment?  There is no joy in taking your beautiful sponge cake out of the oven after all the commitment to the process, binding graft and your finest emotional ingredients, to be faced with a sunken, once was treasure devoid of any glorified love.

Why is it that holidays absorb so much that is vulnerable in marriage, exposing relationship truths and seek to, declare the arid, dry cracks that are clearly visible on a now quite barren relationship ground?

Summer holidays are booked with the wonderful belief of renewed excitement, the enveloping warmth of sunny togetherness and the time generous promise of a relationship bond. The simplicity head monkeys beckon us seductively out of our crazy, busy lives and so we gather up our children, our marital partners, our gorgeous holiday wardrobes and head off to an airport or dock with the heady feeling of a PROMISE.  We perhaps bat aside, with newly manicured hand, any of those head monkey malingering thoughts of potential holiday irritation.  Those especially associated with our partners, airport dramas or a long child filled journey on the peage. Instead we are eternally optimistic, looking forward to a fun, laughter filled and adventurous holiday of relaxation. The ideal, the lazy, the hazy endless days of beautiful love, sex and happy hearts.  

Has the summer holiday marker penned the highlighted truth that children bind, time together concentrates the mind and provides the reality checker for another year in a relationship? Does the thought of snuggling up with someone who we feel so far away from emotionally, leave us that cold, vulnerable to the chills of life and love. Does gorgeous autumn become the season to shed those dead leaves and is the opportunity to start anew?

The numbers would report a firm yes, with post-Christmas coming in a close second for the divorcing numbers. 
 Mediation is once again busy with those understanding their summer holidays confirmed their worst fears, vulnerabilities and the winter months approach with the chill of divorce upon them.

SO do we not want, with the end of the harvest and gathering of comforts, a time to bolster the depleted stores of love, care and respect for the heart of our other?  Or do we perhaps leave it for a few more months, in the hope that evenings together in comfortable iPad silence, will reignite the dying embers of our once burning hearts?  

With love Natasha x