Todays post is a guest post about divorce.
My parent’s divorced when I was 9 years old and I’m now the oldest of a bunch of 7 in a blended family with real siblings, step siblings and half siblings. The word divorce still has a lot of stigma attached to it and is often associated with failing but actually, deciding to divorce and make that separation is often the braver option and can be the best decision for all involved. Instead of the end, it can actually be the start of a wonderful new beginning.
So – Over to Kathy (who you can follow on twitter)
Nobody ever goes into a marriage expecting to get a divorce. I certainly never thought I would find myself divorced with three children at the age of 28.
I could write about how hard it’s been, the sleepless nights, the stress and all the worries. But when you’re a parent your own feelings get put to one side. All I cared about was the effect it would have on my beautiful children.
My marriage of 9 years broke down with my husband leaving us three days after Xmas 2015. Obviously devastated, I did my best to hold it together for my children aged 9, 5 and 3. Painting a smile on my face each morning and trying to hold back the tears wasn’t easy but I did it. Some days I succeeded in this but others I didn’t. But I tried to be as strong as possible for them.
I never wanted my children to think anything was their fault. I’ve always been very truthful with them as a parent, and explained that daddy didn’t love mummy anymore and we wouldn’t be living together. I envisioned this explanation creating all sorts of tears and tantrums, but my resilient kids took it all in their stride. In fact better than I had!
There has of course been the odd question such as ‘Will daddy get married to someone else?’ and ‘Why exactly doesn’t daddy love you?’ but all of these I’ve answered best I can. Truth is, I don’t think I could of made it to the day my final divorce papers came through (14th of April – woohoo!) without the courage and strength my children showed me. They have continued to smile on days I struggled. They have been there with endless kisses and cuddles. And they have made me realise just how lucky I am.
In all fairness I did totally underestimate them. Looking back I think that handling their worries and feelings on the situation was a way of not having to deal so much with mine. But by them all being so strong and accepting of the situation, it forced me to get through it myself.
I know that we will have plenty of new situations to face in the not so distant future. New partners, new babies, shared celebrations and many other things. But I think, in fact I know that I will be able to handle everything that is thrown at us. Because my children have shown me that life’s paths may change at many points along the way, you’ve just got to learn how to adapt too.
So thank you to my ex husband. And thank you to my beautiful children. I may not have ever thought I would be a single parent at 28, but I wouldn’t change it now for the world.
And never ever underestimate your children!