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 for many of us already seem a memory. Harvests are tucked up in warm hay barns and the once laden berry bushes of promise and delicious treats are currently being 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 divorce and hot water bottle, bar of chocolate and visit to the lawyers is the trade off salve for the warmth of a 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 summer months can for the divorce lawyers the busiest for the divorcing industrial machine. One so perfectly oiled during the lead up to heady summer months now 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 have been, the scrummy summer pudding bake off, but as is, so often, 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 in 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 your 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 the post-Christmas period 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 uncomfortable iPad silence, will reignite the dying embers of our once burning hearts?  

With love Natasha x

Saturday, 4 October 2014

A Big Lovely Thank You to All my Readers

I am just the most excited person... I have found 'time' .again and have started writing my blog .... 

Our extraordinary lives can and without reason, throw so many unexpected fastballs at us that we just sometimes find ourselves inexplicably out of our 24 hours. There is no time to be really doing anything we love, that helps heal us and keeps our weary little heads bobbing above the blustery seas that very often can be our lives. 

The realization that even a small amount of this most precious time, in our crazy fast world is about giving ourselves permission ....  to have a little fun.  This allowance can be the antidote to those head monkey feelings of unworthiness.  We are all worthy of time for our incredible selves.  To finding that place, where time is for you and you only is cathartic, medicinal and without doubt so important, if indeed any one of us are to continue at the pace we do.  Pausing, breathing and being in the present even for ten minutes every day is the clear wake up validation that we all need head space....

So a huge thank you to all my loyal, lovely readers for your continued support during this less productive time. 

I am incredibly humbled that so many of you read my blog, from countries all over the world that are peaceful, in the midst of conflict and are fragile. You inspire me to write, to share my thoughts and experiences and I thank you.  

I am recharged, excited and inspired...

Remember ....

With love Natasha x

I also post daily positive quotes and thoughts in support of our extraordinary lives on my Facebook page Divorce Goddess please Like to see them x

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Unexpected Treasures Found When Moving House

No matter who you are, where you are moving to or how you are getting there  ... moving house is a moment in our lives to really consider our treasures .....

So these life treasures we hold in our minds, in our hearts and in their physical state.  Are they the treasured mementos of times past? Of the once happy snapshots of married life and the collectibles dear at the time that now no longer hold the intrinsic value they once had. 

Or... are they the treasures within us, those extra pockets of emotional oxygen that we need to free dive deeply for. Those places that enable us to have the strength to surface, gasping at the blue skied, positive and joyous wonderland that exists beyond the fear?  

Moving house, no matter how many times we go through the process is exhausting. It is so very easy to find yourself in true moronic modus operandi.  

YOU need that bed of decompression to ease your very tired body, now muscle popplingly painful and to soothe the brow of those attempting to brain balance children, animals, cardboard boxes, a job, cooking, cleaning, household bills and budgets ... To be given a decompression token when you are moving house as a single parent is a like a Willy Wonka Golden Swim With The Dolphins Spa Ticket. 

So my moving house experience, for the fourth time in three years has very generously brought me to this slightly scary realization. That no matter how canny and good at this moving malarkey I think I am, there is a whole load of energy being poured into house moving that leaves you humanly on every level so very tired. 

However, and here is the great stuff - you may be weary, but the unexpected triumphant feelings that surface as a single parent through these times in your extraordinary life are the strength rosettes you will carry with you always.

Geographic relocation with children especially, becomes an exercise in diplomacy of extraordinary proportions.  With this moving thing, no matter how good or how used to it they are, it brings out their fear monkeys who 'don't throw anything away because it is going to get scary and it is all going to CHANGE'.  

Children don't like losing their treasures. Well of course they don't, none of us want to lose our treasures... however, when moving to a smaller, cosier home our little family start remembering that it is the love we have for each other which is our treasure and really the only padding we need and the extra hugs that bind loving words. 

It is good to remember that moving from your old life to the new is an opportunity to release all that was and embrace, no matter how dog tired you are, the experience of letting go.  I look around my house at the endless, literally endless boxes that pile high on every surface creating a skyline worthy of a Middle Eastern new city and I just want to pick them up, blind to the contents and then carry them straight into a charity shop.  

I have my head monkeys sat rather seriously around a bunch of dive tanks debating the need for the weight belts of stuff in our lives and the process of letting go. Positive thoughts...are ... do we release as much of the 'old' as humanly possible to allow the 'new' to enter in? Or do we keep and store our beautiful treasures in the sure and positive belief that this is merely a temporary situation and the future is so abundant that we will need lots of treasures to fill our new and bigger home?

And then there is the important point of do we really want to take all our 'stuff'
that made up our family homes before into our new one? Does not the experience of release and moving on send the old stuff packing and welcome a different, lighter place filled with laughter, love and a very much treasured opportunity of the new?

Love Natasha x

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Moving house!

To all the lovely dear readers who follow me all over the World. From happy places, sad places, from places of peace and places of conflict. I want to tell you that all you wonderful readers give me such strength, positivity and hope to continue to write especially when life gets really tough.  

I have been slow of late in writing as my life has been filled with a degree of uncertainty over the last couple of months and I have on occasions let those fear monkeys in to party in my head, clog it, fog it and fill it up with unhelpful stuff.

The subject of me moving house and renting a less expensive, smaller house has been ruminating for a few months. As a parent your fears for putting a roof over your head for your children, yourself and your pets is none more invitational to the fear monkeys as when you are divorcing.  Unless you are so very fortunate to have someone watching your back financially, the night terrors become your dreams and your basic existence of four walls for a safe place for your children is your reality.

So through serendipity, a little karma, a touch of kismet and the Universe a house fell into my lap...... I believed so hard it would come and not always in the form you thought it would appear. But it has come to me, my children and my dogs and I have such enormous gratitude to what life hands you in all its sparkling incredible glory you when you are least expecting it.

So I am surrounded by boxes, moving existence has hit our little house and this is why my blog has been quiet.... I am filled with inspiration to write about these months and share with you all the continued belief I have that all will be well, it will be OK. We will have a safe roof over our heads, which is at the end of the day what truly matters.

With my love Natasha

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Power in Forgiving Yourself

Self-forgiveness is really hard.  Within our lives, there are so many pressures to succeed, stay strong and maintain self worth. And these feelings have the ability, at any given moment, to sneak up and without warning, consume your mind, body and spirit.  

Being kind and forgiving yourself a little more through separation or divorce is weighty and sometimes an unexpected task now added to your perhaps List of Forgiveness jobs.

However, self-forgiveness does exist in all of our hearts. Why, because we all know that as with self-love, it is a good idea to start with our good selves first. How are we ever going to learn to forgive anyone else, until the blatant blaze of scary rawness within us is soothed, understood, given time and due process to be still and calm?

We have become so very proficient at layering up the proverbial guilt ridden and genius moments of indulgence.  Perhaps with unhelpful foods, smoking, drinking, feeling the big resentment, hurt, shame or anger... 

We already know that we will not disappoint the fear monkeys who sit on our shoulders waving that cupcake with a knowing nod to our guilt laden scales.  

Or the eternally optimistic ego, co-existing quietly and darkly with the head primates during our daylight hours. So why is it so hard to extend love and self-forgiveness to our good, loving and trusting hearts? Why can we not boost our sometimes lonely little battered spirit along its way? 

We can begin to understand the difference to our lives, by choosing, one day at a time not to beat ourselves up over the many sometimes, inexplicable life decisions. 

So is this the prescriptive daily judgement of being human which should govern our lives? Why do we do it?  Can we not just let the baton of self-flagellation be still for just one day, a week or possibly for ever?

Can we be the most focused, self-supporting and gorgeously forgiving gift to ourselves, especially during times of sadness, hardship and confusion?  Do we begin to allow this positivity of feeling to make the difference and become the AMAZING start to any day? 

Forgiving yourself is one of the most important steps in making peace with your life. Its about understanding you are a wonderfully loving human being.  It is all the happiness you can be and your amazing contribution of beautiful energy into the World around you.  

It could also be, that once in a while a little cake helps ....
With love Natasha

Friday, 13 June 2014

Father's Day and a Divorce

As all divorced mums and dads know there are just some days during the year that are trickier emotionally than others. Pulling the big bag of generosity out of our depleted reserves is thus sometimes a whole lot tougher than others.

Here is a question, in this modern co-parenting and divorcing, married and distance managing family world of ours are we all subscribing to Father’s Day?

We know that there are more Fathers now staying at home.  They are more hands on helping, contributing to childcare and supporting the family fabric of our lives.  As well, the good intentions of Fathers are there in their thoughts and actions, despite the balance of the pressures of commuting, long working hours and increasing financial pressures. 

So the marketeering monkeys are all set with cards, chocolates, books and golf or fish style additions to give our Fathers the assurance of love and worthiness. Whether you believe in celebrating Father's Day or not is immaterial. It can be a wonderful, caring opportunity for separating or divorced families to help make things good

Is it entirely possible to leave your ego at the door of your aching heart and gift your kids the value of time and effort to show their appreciation for their Dad?  Does then Father's Day become a day to relent a little, forgive and extend respect to the Dad of your children?

Are you so very fortunate in your relationship with the children's Father, to be able to support your children with the acknowledgement of their Dad in whichever role and in whatever form that is?

Can divorce become a big 'Welcome to Real Fatherville' flag to Dads who perhaps haven't in the past paid so much attention to their children and can really start to get to know them. The very fact that Fathers will have one to one time in the future with their children will certainly enable the 'getting to know' the every nuance our children have.  Divorcing dads may have to learn to cook, iron, organise homework and sort out the bickering and truly understand how much emotional support is needed during childhood and those divorcing tough times. 

Is it not right then, if your children's Father is present in whatever shape or form in your children's lives that Father's Day should be given due credence and note?  Or maybe not if that fine human emotion of respect has been dragged kicking and screaming into the fear monkey's castle of sadness, which is divorce. Or that our children associate the celebration of Father's Day as a big, smack in the tummy reality that their Father is just not around. Thus questioning that he even cares and does he warrant any such attachment such as recognition, love and respect?

So is Father's Day a celebration of what is good about Dads? Or is it yet another opportunity for feel the difficulties of single parenting and the tough realities of many modern families?

Could it just be that the simplicity is in the biological fact that he is their Dad. Fundamentally, it would seem that all children want to know is that the other parental half of what created them, in some way, could be acknowledged by his existence. That they are supported with the simple fact that their Dads are important in their lives.

I know that my children are happier for the their Dad and I show towards each other. They are more relaxed and content that he is a part of their lives.  Their Father’s Day this year will be a positive for him, their relationship and future will be all the more productive and respectful.  The ability to support this special eternal relationship will be a reward for all, that kindness and love is the way forward.

Just now need to get organised, find the arts and crafts regalia for the cards and with it the proclamation of Dad love

Natasha x

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Divorce : Grandparents Hurt Too

You know those mornings, the ones where you are so very fortunate to be near a stretch of water so flat and is perfect... untouched by any such interaction from any human, animal or bird.  

And then a rock is unexpectedly sometimes dropped into this calm water. The effects of such a jolting disturbance reverberate and the shock wave ripples begin to travel from the impact site to their anointed destinations. The separation or divorce rock thrown into the ebb and flow of marital existence and the ramifications affect everyone within it. 

So we pretty much know that whether intentionally or not, this rock is going to start affecting all folks close to us dreamily cloud gazing in their life boats. Those boats that are gently bobbing about on the tranquil lake.  Here is the thing, for a while this water is going to be stormy, disturbed. There are some who will be touched, or those whose lives will be drenched with the very bothered water. It is the fallout, it is divorce. 

And one of those little boats may be carrying grandparents. 

So there in the middle of the lake is a life continuing piece of the family world that are grandparents.  Their children may be married or in a relationship, they may have grandchildren and all is well... then the rock drops....there is shock... of course there is.

These parents of ours, do they now, whilst trying to fathom out the uncertain depths of the disturbed stillness, do they question how well they knew their now adult children?  Did they see signs of the rock, held by the uncertain grip of together foreverness being dangled over the water? Would a little private truth and integrity chat with your children about their marriage before this have gone amiss?... Divorce affects everyone... we all know it does and it may be well to remember grandparents in this now stormy lake.
If you are fortunate to have loving and supportive grandparents there is shock involved, they have concerns for their children. Most of all they really want to know their very much loved grandchildren are going to be alright. They may be more mindful of their grandchildren than of you... they will be there for you, supporting you, but grandparents worry about the grandchildren .... a lot. 

Thoughts and decisions, for instance about what to do with the marital photos, the once happy family photos.  What do they choose to do?  Do they keep them for when the grandchildren stay and remind the children that they still love this family unit or do they slowly start taking them down? This hurts, the mantle piece has been systematically altered overnight. The future invitations to family gatherings has changed. It has all changed and it is all tinged with the shame monkeys skirting in their predatory way on the periphery.

The grandparents really don't want to acknowledge those fear monkeys who are giving them a little wave whilst they row furiously out to Grandparent Island ... Its too late to say "quick hide, the shaming fear monkeys wont find us". Why? Because the rest of the grandparent social and slightly competitive world will eek them out. 

We all understand the need for those inquiring, dreaded and difficult questions that head our way. Perhaps at social gatherings, within a church support network and with friends. It is all going to come bubbling up and out into the grandparent open. With the feeling of a little shame that one of their own is entering into the divorce family existence in all its unexpected, unknown with sad difference.  

Is there a sense of failure that rests with the grandparents?... Of course....When any of our life happiness grand plans goes ever so slightly awry we look a little closer at ourselves. We ask a few more searching questions and dig a little deeper. We all try very hard to make it all a little less painful, more positive and we begin to move on.  

With good, honest and true love, together with the kindness and respect that exists in all our good hearts and lives that we have for each other. Time once again becomes the life balm, the waters return to a soothing and once again calm.

With love Natasha

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