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While the kids’ dad and I work out the final details of our divorce, we are still living in the same house and nesting.
This means that for now, the kids stay in the house and whoever doesn’t have parenting time leaves the house.
I stay with my parents when it’s not my time with the kids.
There was a time when I thought I wouldn’t survive without them.
That I’d literally be incapable of functioning. Missing them would be too painful.
For fifteen years, I have been either a stay-at-home mom or a work-from-home mom. And when I was coaching swimming, I took the kids to the pool with me and I was always coaching at least one of them.
So I was pretty much with the kids for all their waking hours outside of school.
Then I was literally with them 24/7.
This limiting belief I had of my inability to function without my kids is disappearing.
In fact, having some time away from them has been good for me.
Because it has forced me to practice surrendering which is probably my biggest area of weakness.
But it is also a big reminder that our lives as mothers – and parents – cannot revolve solely around our kids.
It’s so important for women, especially stay at home moms, to have an identity outside of motherhood.
Because while half of us won’t get divorced and we will stay married, eventually our kids are going to leave.
And you never know. They might leave sooner than you think.
I never in my wildest dreams imagined Number 4 would leave and go to boarding school for high school. I thought I had four more years before I had to deal with that.
Even if your kids are still around in high school, this practice of surrendering is crucial.
Our kids need to develop the skill of advocating for themselves. And they need to practice this long before they leave for college or to live or their own.
In these times that I’m at my parents’ house and away from the kids, I’ve come to appreciate the mental break.
The time to focus on myself.
The opportunity to actually have time to accomplish things without being interrupted.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’d rather not be missing any percentage of my kids’ lives.
But that’s the reality of divorce.
And I can fight the parts of reality that I don’t like.
Or I can really embrace the parts that I DO like.
It’s taken A LOT of work on myself mentally to get to this point.
But it feels pretty good to be in a place where I feel not just okay but REALLY GOOD about taking care of myself and focusing ONLY on me.
Because the more I take care of myself, the more available and present I can be when I am with my kids.
The more I adjust to this new season of life, the more I realize this divorce isn’t going to destroy me.
In fact, I think it’s allowing me to be the parent — and the person — that I’ve really wanted to be all along.