Take Care of Yourself

Thursday, January 28, 2016

One of the biggest things any reading material or advice giver of those going through (or on the other side) a divorce will tell you is to start taking care of yourself! Take time to love yourself, treat yourself well - I mean, I've even seen date yourself! Honestly, this can kind be an eye-roll sort of task, especially when your ex has already moved on and you feel like a total single loser. But one thing I'm trying super hard to work on is allowing myself time to heal and not to rush into anything. For giving myself time to get back on my feet and putting enough time and distance between my last relationship so that it doesn't blend over into a new one. I'm also working on better self-talk.

It's important to figure out what your body, mind and soul need to recover - especially if your break-up was brutal (more than normal). I've sat back and really thought of the person I want to be, what I want to accomplish in my life and what I need to get there. I've made lists and started scheduling things that make me happy. It's important to continue living - do the things that make life worth doing! Some advice I have on ways you can take better care of yourself during this rough time:

Mend Your Mind
My thoughts can totally take me off the deep end. I'm an over-analyzer and with my past relationship (I won't go into details but...) it caused me to question a lot of things that occurred or were occurring. My mind swirled and spinned and there were many days where I walked around utterly confused and deflated. My mind needs that time to heal and to patch itself back up, so I have decided to return to seeing my counselor. It's great to get a professional's perspective on things, an outsider who is not attached to my issues but can talk me off a ledge, as well as see my point of view when others can't. 

Treat Your Body Right
Honestly, I haven't been doing the best in this area, but am working to getting better. I think it's important to get those endorphines pumping and to get your body back on track too. This isn't necessarily to make yourself the sexiest ever or to win your ex back - but really to get YOU feeling better about yourself. If you're into walking, running, Zumba - whatever!! - just start moving! Burn off some of that bad ju-ju!

Purge the Crap
Getting rid of everything that gave me a bad memory (or really any memory) of my marriage was therapeutic. I didn't wait until, years out, I was "ready". I ripped that damn band-aid out and purged the crap out of things. I sold my wedding jewelry and any jewelry I received from my relationship, I tossed old pictures and even threw out my ex's backpack that I was using for work. BUH-BYE! I had debated keeping the jewelry to give to my girls when they were older - but then thought better of it. If it was something that I didn't feel was even ever real, then why would that have meaning. So now everything in my home is now me and my daughters and our memories will be made there. 

Drink the Wine
Seriously - drink the damn wine. Don't become an alcoholic, but also don't feel bad about a glass or two on a Tuesday night. You deserve it. You've been through hell and back and are on a path to amazingness. This is part of your journey and you DESERVE to do the things that make life enjoyable. So drink the wine. 

Do not - I repeat - DO NOT become a hermit. Yes, the beginning is hard when everything is ripped away and you have moments when the tears flow freely and you're just overall lost. But that fades a bit, and you'll notice that life is going on without you. Your friends and family care about your broken heart, to a point. They want to enjoy this life with you, though. So rally the troops and get out and do things that make your heart sing. And do things that are normal (movie night? grabbing a drink?). Just get the hell out of your house and rally your support group. Lean on them - they actually might not know you're even leaning - but use their presence to remind you what it's like to laugh again! 

Let it Go
This has been the hardest thing ever. I'm not one to let go. I'm the one that wants someone to notice a wrong and fix it ... or in the least, acknowledge it. I want to scream at the top of my lungs when something bothers me - and stuff always bothers me. But it's causing unnecessary stress and it's taken a looooong time to realize many of the things I'm upset about actually DO NOT impact my life at all. People will do things in your life that will anger you and hurt you, and the key is to learn to brush off the stuff that's just noise. Being upset and sitting in a puddle of anger will only impact you and why are you spending all of this time being down? I'm honestly super tired of it it. So, I'm trying to let things go. 

These are the tools I've deployed and I'm sure over the next few years, I'll have more (better?!) tools in my belt to nurture myself and keep plucking along. What tips would you share?

Single Parenting is Hard

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

There's no way around this - and many of you are already aware but single parenting is freaking hard. And by single parenting, I don't mean like my ex doesn't co-parent, because she totally does. But what I'm referring to is when you are solely in charge of your kids with zero help, zero back-up, zero break for 24+ hours. Especially with twin toddlers, it's exhausting.

Recently I had my girls for a pretty long stretch - longer than our typical 2-3 days with each mom. I was worried, not going to lie, because what if my patience wore out? What if I wanted to crumble to the ground? What if I needed a break? Honestly, though, it wasn't that bad. We even have started weaning them off of their pacifiers, and they have been surprisingly okay with it.

We power played and did activities to keep us all busy - I think it gets harder when you are just a total bum. The lazier I get, the more I truly don't want to do anything, so if I'm already up and moving, then it's easier to keep the whole gang in tow. We visited our local library for the first time and got a library card! I'm excited to continue to take the girls there as they get older. We colored - and at even the mere mention of the word "color," Holland gets the biggest grin - she loves it. I did have to move their play kitchen to the living room at one point, though because they refuse to be in any room other than the one I'm in. So they got to play and stay near me. It was nice - and of course we got a lot of cuddles, giggle time and such in too!

Usually, I'm a little relieved when it's time for them to go with their other mom. I need me-time and time to just not be "on" constantly. My brain wants to just sit. But this time I was a bit sad when it was time for them to go. I loved having them for a long stretch of time - I felt like it was just us 3 in our own little mommy/baby world. I loved the time bonding with them, and the fill of love they have for the hole in my heart. They're just growing into these seriously super amazing little people and I just love them more than I imagined I could ever love anything - EVER. So now I have a few days without them until they come back. I get to clean up our apartment (imagine tiny twin tornados wreaking havoc) and get all of my errands done that I wasn't able to do when I had the girls with me.

And life continues to go on.

The masterpiece Holland and I created! :)

I'm Just a Girl - Standing in Front of You ...

Monday, January 25, 2016

I think I'm traumatized from my relationship with my ex. My emotions are completely pelted and my confidence is dismal. It all sucks sometimes. In the 8 years that my ex were together (including 4 years of on/off), she stood in front of me and told me she no longer loved me, that we no longer belonged together and she wanted out of our relationship a total of 4 times. Four times I was looked at in the eyes and broken up with by one person. I allowed that to happen. I don't regret our relationship for the fact that I got my children out of it - but outside of that, it was nothing.

Now, this can take a toll on someone. It's hard to bounce back from rejection. It's hard to choke back that you're not desired - but to have the person you love most in the world, especially the person you're building a life with, gave your body to building a family with. It a shot right to the heart and something you can't recover quickly from. I'm trying really hard to get my life back and myself back. But, I'm still broken.

I've been called crazy - and sometimes I think it's expected to patch myself back up and move on with not a thought. I'm sorry, but I just can't do that after 8 years. I can't just act like my heart isn't torn up. I can't just handle this on my own, either. Anyways, I'll likely get blasted for this post - for airing my "dirty laundry" online. But, I just don't care. I'm sick of people acting like this is all okay. I'm sick of people sticking up for shitty behavior. I'm sick of being labeled crazy because I have a reaction to pain and torment. I'm a REAL person - and this shit is actually happening. It's not a "we just didn't work out" kind of story. It's a sick, twisted game of lies and deceit. But no one else sees that, right?


I just want to find someone (eventually) that will fight for me and love me. I want someone to stand in front of me and choose me, every single day of the week. Will choose me on my best days and even more so, on my worst days. I think I deserve that. I think I deserve someone that values my opinion and sees the wrong in both of our actions - someone that will work with me through things and not just toss me aside. One day, I'll find her.

If you've ever had an ex make you seem crazy after a break up
Posted by Chris Crocker on Sunday, January 17, 2016

Is Rory Gilmore a Homewrecker?

Friday, January 22, 2016

I have been watching Gilmore Girls almost religiously this past fall/winter. I don't think I ever saw it when it was on and now that it's on Netflix, I've been soaking it all up. I'm finally [sadly] on the last season [and my favorite Rory boyfriend - Logan]. But back in Season 3 of the show, Rory and her ex boyfriend [and first love], Dean, finally hooked up and that's when she lost her virginity. The only problem? Dean was already married to Lindsey.

Rory kinda hit a downward spiral after that - but I love this conversation between her and her mom. Lorelai points out the negative of the situation, "Is that what Dean told you? Does he still live with Lindsey? Is his ring still on? He's not yours - he's Lindsey's." But Rory has a totally different perspective as "the other woman," "He doesn't love her, he loves me. Didn't you want me to lose my virginity to a great guy like Dean?" 

It's interesting being on the outside, and going through something similar. When you're the married party - you're angry and you think the other woman ruined everything. She wrecked your marriage, your home, she stole your partner. But looking at it from Rory's point of view, yes she did wrong, but she felt that what she was told indicated that it was all going south anyways ... even though the timing wasn't great on her end. And her mother, doesn't want this type of love for her daughter. She knows what this means, what type of person Dean is. She realizes it in that moment. 

So I guess my question is - was Rory Gilmore really a homewrecker? If the marriage was declining and Dean was already unhappy [and saying he was planning on leaving his wife] is the fact that he hadn't made any moves to leave her indicate that it was okay since he was emotionally done? And telling what he did to Rory to get her to believe that it was all okay - or that he loved her - was that the right move?

I don't know. All I know is that Rory made a mistake and Dean is an ass. He should have fully ended things with Lindsey and moved out before doing what he did with Rory. Now he has two women that are emotionally confused and pitted against each other because of his terrible decision. 

Apparently, Jess was the best boyfriend that Rory had because he never cheated on her and was emotionally connected to her - even though he didn't really have his life together. They also never had sex. However, in true Ashley-fashion, I like rich bad-boy Logan (even though he cheated on her kinda) and think he's my favorite bf of all time. She shoulda married that guy. :) 

What do you think about the Rory/Dean incident? Who was at fault? Or was no-one at fault? 


Thursday, January 21, 2016

There's honestly nothing I want more than to be completely free and untangled of my ex. She thinks otherwise, but it's the honest truth. We have kids together so we can never be completely free of each other - but it'd be nice for her to walk her path and I can walk mine.

When you build a life together - there's so much that gets wrapped up together. Purchases, mementos, debt, kids etc. Bank accounts get merged, insurance is together - you're merging 2 lives into 1. And when your marriage fails and one (or both) person wants out of the relationship, you have to work to untangle it all. Divide out the belongings, break out time each parents gets the children, find your own insurance, remove your ex from your medical plan, etc. It takes a while to wipe clean of them. I'm inching towards that. I have only a few minor things before my ex is otherwise wiped out of my life (besides co-parenting with me). I've been truly trying to focus on myself and my goals and my happiness - to build an amazing little family when I have my children and not let my ex's actions affect me.

I've been slowly, methodically building a wall since this summer. I let myself feel the rage and the pain and every now and then it creeps back up. I tried so hard to hang onto everything - even when being pushed away. I was hurting myself more by refusing to give up. But now, I feel like I've processed my emotions. I feel like I allowed myself to sit with the anger and sadness. And, truly - I don't care. I only care how my children are affected. I do not care about the love I thought I loss - because there's plenty of love in this world! There are plenty of things in this world to be happy with. One person does not make or break that for me. I've finally realized this!

So, I'm working to untangle myself. We closed our joint bank account and we have to [finally] get separate car insurance policies. I've changed my last name back to my maiden name officially and on most of my bills and official things. I have just a few more to tackle and when I get the money, I'm changing my license plates from my married initials to something way more special. I've thrown away a lot of the things that drummed up memories - and even sold ALL of my wedding jewelry or relationship jewelry she ever gave me. It's GONE. And I just love that that *stuff* is no longer taking up space in my apartment - and my heart.

Single Mom Adventures: On Dating Apps

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Let me first state that I'm totally, absolutely, 100% okay with being single. I'm also not (read: 150% not) looking for a 3rd mama for my children. BUT I did recently sign up for a few dating websites, because - why not? I think it'd be fun to chat with others, get to know some people, dare I say "go on some innocent dates?" I haven't been on date since I was pregnant! Not gonna lie - it sounds kinda fun!

I've been chatting with a few women here and there - nothing serious. I "met" a woman who is a lesbian and also has a kid from her relationship. It's been nice to chat to someone about our kids without the overly insane eye-roll you can feel across the technology. I also don't hide the fact that I have kids - I want someone to know what they're getting into and where my priorities lie.

However, the other day I received a "like" from a very beautiful (think: model) blonde that was 28 years old. Ok, game on. So I liked her back and we got to chatting. Now, here's where it gets weird - not only were my defenses up because (models don't like) her content was weird and she started talking about how she was a civil engineer and visited Chicago for work and then she said the mother of all internet scam phrases "NIGERIA". Anything to do with Nigeria is fake, right? I don't know but I shut it down anyways.

So unfortunately, I won't be running off into the sunset with a young, blonde model and our mansion in Nigeria - but it was fun while it lasted.

Seriously, though. It's been interesting and it's (the apps) are something I thought I'd just give a shot too. I'm not interested in seriously dating anyone right now but I do want to meet some new people. I'll keep you updated on any other offers I receive. But my advice for those of you using those sites - be safe and mindful and careful of the information that you give out. Trolls are everywhere.

You Are Not What Happened To You

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

During any break-up, your confidence and overall well-being can take a beating. It's easy to slip into "victim mentality" and relive painful moments, pick a part stories and lies, and continue to recall things that have been hurtful to you. I over-analyze everything. I always have. I like to think about situations and pick them a part to find the underlying meaning. That's why when I'm lied to - it completely flips me out. I feel passionately wronged, and that validation needs to happen - like "Hey! I figured it out! Tell me I was right!" But like most things with life, we don't always get what we want. We have to learn to continue on without closure that we sometimes desperately want.

I'm constantly reminding myself that I am choosing to be a victim. That my story, although painful, does not define me. That the wrongs that have happened to me are just experiences to set me on a path to something better. That my heart has to hurt to know what true joy feels like. I can sit back all day long and analyze everything about the past 8 years of my life (some days I do), but what does that accomplish? It keeps my thoughts off of more important things, it keeps me from looking ahead, and it keeps me entrapped in a story where I'm consistently choosing to let the pain win. 

I want to be my own hero. I want to re-write my story, where this time in my life (and my ex) are merely chapters in a really long novel. A novel that is overwhelmingly full of better (happier) moments. A novel that would warm my heart to read it. We all will all experience pain and betrayal in our lives. But to be able to move past that, to be able to work through it, to be able to overcome it - is the real key. You are not what happened to you - it's merely a pit stop on this long winding road, where eventually the sun will hit your face and you'll deep in your heart that you arrived to where you've always belonged.

Sunshine on My Face

Monday, January 18, 2016

I hate January and February. They're seriously the longest months ever. Right after the holidays - which I love the holidays, it's fun and festive and the lights are adorable. Spring is awesome because the earth is shedding it's gross wintery skin. But the thick of winter? Sucks. Who cares about Valentine's Day? Not this single lady!

So I'm near desperate for the warm sunshine on my face. The warm breeze dancing past me, birds chirping. You know - SPRING! Well, maybe late spring because early spring is usually a wet cold mess. But I digress.

I'm ready for good vibes and a new season. I'm ready to move on and continue forward. I'm just ready.

Maybe I just need some Vitamin C?

The Thankful List

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Even through all of the murk, there is a LOT of good in my life. Sometimes when I'm swept up in my own emotional spiral, I forget that, and I shouldn't. So weekly I'll post a "top ten" thankful list of what's great in my life at that moment! I'm hoping it serves as a positive reminder that my life is awesome and there's so much to love in this little corner of the world of mine. I'll also encourage YOU to share your top ten things to be thankful for - let's love our crazy worlds together!


1a. Harper
1b. Holland

2. A good job that provides:
- medical insurance
- a roof over our heads
- food on the table
- busy work to keep me entertained :)

3. Old Ella [dog] on lonely nights sans girls

4. Netflix and all of my shows!

5. Starbucks coffee + toffee nut syrup!

6.Good friends that still love me after all of my life chaos

7. A supportive father + sister

8. Quality car that I love

9. Stretch marks - serve as a constant reminder that I'm a mommy!

10. Online communities
- through this blog and Facebook it has given me a chance to relate to others

What's in your top ten this week?

And she will be loved ...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Ever have something happen to you that brings you to your knees? Then you work. You work so hard to rise back up. And you get to a point where things align and you can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm there, my sweet friends. A lightbulb has gone on above my head. A focus has revealed itself.

I won't dive too deep into what's happened or what I've done (or haven't done). But let's just say that it's slapped a smile across my face.

And there's this whole big world to enjoy and love! There's so much to be thankful for. There are good people in this world - people who want to share in your happiness. Shouldn't it be our goal to grab that? Hold on to the good, the happy, and the light? I believe so.

Anyways, I know this post is super vague. But I just wanted to share some positivity with you that might be struggling through a dark time right now. One day you'll be released, you'll see that your life has just begun. You'll see that you're worth all of the happiness in the world and that you can be right smack at the center of your own little happy bubble.

You can do it. I believe in you. Do not let anyone or anything drag you down.


Stoking the Flames of Low Self-Esteem

Thursday, January 14, 2016

If you're someone that already intrinsically has low self-esteem, a divorce can completely shatter you. It can cloud your eyes and rip away your future. It can beat down your self-worth and increase your negative self-talk. Divorce can be brutal, and divorce mixed with your own esteem battles can be a potent hindrance to moving on with your life. It can rip away any silver linings you may have.

I've battled low self-esteem all of my life. I've never been a fan of the way I look, or how much I weigh and have internally [and perpetually] compared myself to other women. I have gap front teeth and I'm a little heavier - why would anyone love me? I snore in my sleep, and in middle school battled bad acne (to which someone that I to-this-day remember his name) called me "Pizza Face". I used humor and my athletic ability to overcome some of those self-esteem issues. It became my little own personal pats on the back. My anger, as a result of my self-esteem, came out in my every day personality. In high school, I was a total b*tch. If I didn't want to speak to you - I didn't. If you were "beneath me" - you knew it. To say the least, I wasn't a fan-favorite at pep rallies. But it was okay because I did have friends and I was good at sports. It was better to be hated for my attitude than disgusted by my physical body.

And that's how I lived life. My skin cleared up at the end of high school, and my body filled out a bit in college [beer + junk food]. I feel like I started to come into my own, especially when I came out to my family. Things were finally moving. And, in college I had a great first-love. It was one of those experiences where your heart beats right out of your chest and every single thing about the person and the experience is brand spanking new. Someone was attracted to me. And I was attracted to her too.

But we broke up and that shattered me to pieces. My self-esteem relied on her approval of me - of her love for me. And, when she started to show someone else that love, I allowed my worth to be weighed and measured by that act and decided I was flawed. I stopped eating and dropped a ton of weight. I started partying a lot more than I normally did. Eventually, I picked myself back up - got a job back in Chicago and moved 3+ hours away from her. I also met someone new.

My second relationship lasted about 2 years. She was a lot younger than me (4 years younger) and while she was in college, we were separated by 6 hours of distance. I was living my post-college life and she was just jumping into hers. We weren't really compatible from the beginning but we trucked on. I cared about her, I truly did. But I know I used that relationship to buff up my self-esteem more, and that wasn't fair to her. When my heart healed enough, I officially ended the relationship and began the "Summer of Me". Kinda like George Costanza did on Seinfeld.

(The Summer of George) - [George's severance package from the Yankees includes three months pay, so he declares it “the Summer of George,” where he will “taste the fruits and let the juices drip down my chin!”]:

I felt great about myself and I was ready for fun, fun, fun. I wasn't focused on anyone else. I was focused on fun. And wouldn't you know - FIVE people entered my life that summer. One of those people was my current ex. And by the end of that summer, I was head over heels in love with her. We started dating and like I always did, I put my worth and value into solely her possession. It nearly ruined me the first 4 years we were together. The pain and torment that I put myself through, forcing a relationship that wasn't working, sitting in a room crying for hours - all because I wasn't strong enough to realize that I was a great person all in my own. 

Fast-forward 8 years, and post divorce and I still battle with low self-esteem. This past summer sucked. I didn't feel good enough, pretty enough for my ex. I felt used. I felt discarded. I felt that I wasn't worth the battle, the fight, the desire to stay together. And I beat that message into my own brain. Regardless of what happened in my relationship or if they were actually true or not - these are things that I told myself. What's the first feeling I had when telling someone I was getting a divorce all summer? Sheer embarrassment. I couldn't keep my wife. I wasn't worth sticking it out for 50+ years. I was so awful, that my partner would chose to live a life without me than to try to work on things. That's all that flooded my mind. 

I've been really trying to work on that negative talk but I know it's all there lingering in the back. I know I have very low self-esteem about my post-partum body and my belly that has 20 lbs extra still hanging around it. Sometimes I worry I'll never find love again - not because it can't happen but because no one will ever love me like I need to be loved. No one will find me worth fighting for. No one can stand to live their life with me and my two kids and my big belly and my gapped teeth and my reddish blonde hair. I mean, who would?

This talk isn't healthy. It isn't being fair or nice or kind to yourself. It's hatred, self-hatred and you're the only one that's fueling that fire deep inside. When will the flames go out?

Movie Review: Sisters

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I recently checked out the comedy Sisters starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and it honestly was the funniest movie I've seen in a very long time!

Kate and Maura are the Ellis sisters who find out that their parents want to down-size and sell their family home. Maura, the younger and responsible sister, knows that this will flip out her older sister Kate who is more emotionally unstable. The two arrive at their parents house under the gist to clean out their childhood rooms only to find out that the house has already been sold.

The two decide to have one last massive blow-out with all of their high school classmates in true "Ellis Island" style. 

Seriously, the story behind the movie is really relatable but the comedic duo is what really shines. These two know how to throw a party and showcase their laughable style. There were a ton of memorable, hilarious moments and one liners. I'm pretty sure I almost cried I was laughing so hard.

This is a great girls-night movie or to even scope out with your own sister!! 


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The worst thing that I could ever imagine - that I have anxiously waiting for has happened. My ex has told me that she is dating someone else. Someone else calls her their girlfriend. It makes me want to vomit.

But it's also a sweet release. I've made it so far. Six months ago my world crashed down around me when I was blindsided by a request for a divorce. And this past summer was probably the hardest point in my entire life. My future changed immediately but I kept moving forward. My heart wanted to stay - but my brain kept me moving on. I went and got a lawyer, I rented my own apartment, I furnished that apartment, and even though I didn't want it - I filed for divorce. Our divorce was finalized on December 8, 2015. I was told about this new relationship on January 9, 2016. 

So why a release? Because the worst is over. Everything ahead now is just life being life. And I feel that, after all of the garbage and nightmare that I've been through over the past six months, that that chapter has officially ended. I'm released. A new woman has stepped into my place and that has released me from expectations and heartache. It's shown me time and time again the true (and confusing) colors of a life I thought I was living. I've been through some super emotional garbage this winter - which leaves it all packaged up and life moving on forward. 

I'm not in a rush to date. I can be alone. My father sent me a text the other day reminding me to stay focused on my dreams and being a good mom. That love will find me when it's time and that right now I have to pick myself back up and keep trucking along. My heart may be injured but I'm not limping along. 

I'm excited for my future. I'm excited to feel that the world is wide open for me at the age of 32! I'm excited that my daughters are on this earth and I get to raise them and watch them grow. I'm excited for the day - far from today - when love is ready to find me again and I can get the ending that I've been dreaming of. In the midst of it all, I have a lot to be excited about. 

New Year, New Me - #lifegoals

Monday, January 11, 2016

I've been thinking a lot about 2016. I know that you can start a 'new year' whenever you want - but this year it truly feels like a blank slate and that I'm able to leave 2015 behind in the dust. Deuces.

So what can I accomplish? What's important to me? To my girls? What will get me to where I want to be physically, emotionally, financially, etc. Here's my list:

Work towards a healthier lifestyle.
- eat better
- exercise more
- drink more water
- watch less tv

Continue plan to financial success.
- keep focused on paying off debt
- do not splurge on unnecessary purchases
- buy items at bargain price, if possible

Love myself.
- nourish my emotional needs
- be kind to myself, even when stumbles
- connect more with friends
- "say yes," do more things that I want to do

And that's it! That's what I'm going to work hard to focus on over the next year. Really on figuring out what my life is like as a single mom, as a person ... finding myself all over again. I want to try my hardest to get back into a good place, to be happy and proud of myself, to not let my failed relationship define me. I want to give myself grace in navigating life. I want to be my biggest advocate and my number one cheerleader. 

We're all stronger than we give ourselves credit for, and no matter what kind of loss you've incurred in your life - you're still here. Now, let's get out there and live life. 

Part-time Parent, Full-time Mom

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Post-separation with my former spouse, I found myself in this weird parenting limbo (that I hate) but is the new "normal" for our family. We are trying to co-parenting effectively, because although we couldn't make our relationship work - we have two daughters that need mommies that can work together and put them first. But I don't have my girls 24/7 and do not see them every single day. It's heartbreaking and something that I've been trying to get used to for the past 3.5 months.

I feel like a part-time parent but a full-time mom. I share parenting responsibility with my ex, so half of the month I am solely responsible for their care (when they are with me). When they're with me, I'm in parenting mode: teaching, loving, listening, etc. I'm solely responsible for their safety, their sniffles, their sleepless nights. But even though I only have them 50% of the time, I still feel like I'm a mom all of the time. I can honestly say that I think about them all day, every day. When out shopping kid-free (!) I'm always looking for things they might like or that they need. I'm always wondering about their future and if we are doing the best for them. I'm thinking about them as I budget my bills and plan for my (and their) future. 

It's tough stuff - switching gears from parenting to solo during the week. Most days my time without my girls is spent on just allowing my brain to rest. Because we're always "on" as parents, right? But it doesn't mean that those solo nights I'm no longer on mommy duty. I'll always be a mommy. I'll always have two littles to worry over. Time away from them gives me time to re-charge my mommy-brain. It gives me the opportunity to re-calibrate and center myself and that's really how I try to look at it. It can break your heart if you don't try to find the sliver of positivity in the situation.

If you're in the same situation, splitting custody and time with your kids - just remember this ... you're never a part-time mom/dad. You'll always be their mom/dad. You'll always be a part of them, no matter if you're together or a part. So, try to enjoy your solo time when you can and continue to piece yourself together. Be the best you, that you can be.

Stay In + Netflix

Monday, January 4, 2016

We're in the midst of winter here in Chicago - finally. Snow covers the ground and the holidays are fully over. Now is the "big wait" for spring to arrive, because really what's there exciting about January and February? Valentine's Day? barf.

So what is good about this time of year is the unapologetic hibernation you can dive into - and I love it. Cozy nights with a glass of wine and some good tv, yes please. Some of the shows I've been digging on Netflix are:

Gilmore Girls - a total lady fest fully of awesome mother-daughter moments. You can also grab hold of my theory that good-girl Rory gets all of the boys. All of them.

Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce - middle aged author, Abby McCarthy finds herself in the midst of a divorce - which impacts her credibility as the "all-knowing" mommy-writer. She grapples with re-invigorating her career, keeping her family financially a float and this weird thing called dating. It's funny and totally relatable (except for the rich LA living) with moments that will look eerily familiar to your divorced life. Season 2 is currently running on Bravo but you can catch season 1 on Netflix.

Parks and Rec - After I finished up The Office (for the third time), I needed another funny go-to and Amy Poehler and gang are another one of my faves.

Making a Murderer - This is one that's swirling across the internet recently as it just debuted as a Netflix original series. Focused on Steven Avery who was wrongly convicted of a brutal sexual assault and spent 18 years in prison, Avery - upon his release - finds himself entrenched in another case as the main person of interest. Is he wrongly accused this time? Or did he heinously rape and murder Teresa Halbach?