3 Ways Divorce Impacts Only Children Differently

Sixty-four percent of children (classified as people ages 0 to 17) live with two married parents today as opposed to 77 percent of children in 1980. These statistics don’t account for children living with remarried parents, but the Pew Research Center reported in 2014 that 15 percent of children were living with two parents in a remarriage. Any way you slice it with these statistics, it seems divorced families and/or other alternatives to the typical married family household are on the rise.

Knowing this, I felt somewhat better when my ex and I decided to divorce. We both came from married families and so divorce was very different from our upbringing. I even did a lot of reading on children of divorce and felt I understood why my daughter had first responded so strongly to the divorce. She had just turned 3 when we separated and so there was regression in terms of toilet training as well as lashing out aggressively toward myself and on occasion her peers. A year and a half later, she is doing great, but the one thing I had not considered in her divorce experience until as of late as we finalize the divorce was her only-child status.

 

Read More: 3 Ways Divorce Impacts Only Children Differently

Kids Need Our Support,

Laura

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5 Comebacks For People Who Scare You With Horror Stories While You’re Pregnant

There’s nothing better than having someone tell you every single awful labor story or story about how after having a wonderful first born child, her “second kid was the devil incarnate” or that “You look exactly how I looked right before I went into preterm labor” when you’re pregnant! Oh the stories! My favorite was the woman who tried to sell me life insurance about a month before I was due just in case I “didn’t make it” through labor. I liked that woman a lot until that very moment in which she opened her mouth and I started to hate her.

For some reason, a pregnant woman brings out all of our “stories” for better or for worse. There is a kindred connection and a warm feeling many of us experience when we see a pregnant woman as mothers, but then there are also moms who, while they may mean well, can’t help but hold back on their dire tragedies, stresses, and experiences in the hopes that they can scare the living daylights out of some innocent woman!—I mean, help someone.

Read More: 5 Comebacks For People Who Scare You With Horror Stories While You’re Pregnant

Don’t Overshare Horror Tales Ladies,

Laura

Why I Am Thankful For My Divorce

Dear Divorce:
You hurt me.
You make me sad. Hopeless. Feel lonely. Broke.
Wonder why ‘”this is happening to me.”
You screw me up when sometimes, I miss my ex. Or sometimes when he’s nice, I remember all the good times all over again only to realize in a flash, that those times are gone.
Divorce.
You take my child away from me for part of the time.
You make me lose seconds, minutes, hours, and days with my child. Moments that I can never get back. Parts of her childhood gone. Forever.
You make me work too much and too hard.

Read More: Why I Am Thankful For My Divorce

Gratitude in the Darkness,

Laura

10 No-Question-About-It Signs Your Mom HATES Your Wife

If your mother doesn’t like your wife, you probably have a good idea that she’s not happy with your better half. But my comprehensive list that your mom hates your wife will be the real tip-off as to whether your mom is #TeamWife or #TeamIWantMySonBack.

It’s no secret that mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws can clash from time-to-time. Typically, it’s simply a case of two strong personalities, two different personalities, or perhaps the case of one mom who can’t let her son go. For me, I was the hated wife and let me tell you: it sucked, plain and simple. There were many times I wish my ex handled the situation, but it’s hard to be between two women you love.

Men, remember this: you chose your wife. You chose to get married. You picked her as your family. Stand by her side and don’t let your mother’s hatred or anyone’s hatred get between you and your marriage or you will slowly watch as your marriage disintegrates. Here’s how to tell if your mom hates your wife.

Read More: 10 No-Question-About-It Signs Your Mom HATES Your Wife

It’s the Truth, Pal,

Laura

Are You Pushing Your Kids Too Much?

Sometimes as parents we need to give our kids a little push to get them going in the right direction, but occasionally we end up pushing too hard. How do we know when enough is enough? How do we know if we are pushing too hard? Here’s a go-to guide to decide whether we are being encouraging or downright pushy:

1. If your kid starts to dread doing an activity, hobby, or sport, you may be pushing him or her too hard to love something that perhaps he or she doesn’t love . . . but you do. Yes, sometimes kids will dread when activities or academics pose too much of a challenge for them, but we do know when our kids are simply afraid or struggling . . . or really disliking an experience. Pay attention to the “dread.” Is your child simply trying to avoid the hard work or not enjoying the process? As parents, we need to encourage them to work through obstacles, but there is a difference between a struggle and simply distaste for something. It’s hard to not want your child to love art, basketball, piano, or what have you as much as you do, but sometimes even if our children show an inkling of interest in what we do, it may not last long once a kid gets a shot at trying something out, and as parents, it can be sad when you see that your kid hates what you love. Most importantly, though, we must remember our kids are individuals, and we have to let them be who they are as they are!

 

Read More: Are You Pushing Your Kids Too Much?

Know the Difference Between Pushy & Encouraging,

Laura

When An Amicable Divorce Becomes Not So Amicable

I write with a heavy heart today that as I near the end of the divorce process — complete with an already signed property settlement agreement — things have turned not so amicable anymore.

I was proud for a long time of how amicable things were between my ex and me. I felt like, “Hey we didn’t get it right in marriage but we’re getting right in divorce.”

At least we were, getting it right.

There is a huge grief and loss in knowing that it has become so sad and despondent of a situation.

Is it inevitable that all divorce turns angry, uncomfortable and stressful?

If you asked me a few months ago, I would have told you no but now, I fear for the worst.

It’s not that we are having big parking lot arguments or phone calls to lawyers. Instead there is silence. Messages not returned.

Read More: When An Amicable Divorce Becomes Not So Amicable

It Will Get Better Again,

Laura

Why Your “Broken Home” Isn’t Broken — It’s Just Different

I came from a “married family” so when I knew it was time for my ex-husband and I to divorce, I was devastated. I grew up in a time in which there was a lot of “hush-hush” and shocking quality to divorce because very few parents were splitting. So when it came time for me to be a single divorced parent, I felt a lot of shame—I’m not going to lie. I felt like a failure even though it had taken two of us to tango, and I had begged for marriage counseling and we went on three different occasions. The “broken home” family image really shook me: was my daughter now to be pitied by others or frowned on as just another “kid from a divorced family?”

No and no!

It took me some time but now I can say with full honesty that I love the time I have as just the two of us. We aren’t a broken family—we are a different family. She has time with her dad and time with me and the time she has with just she and I is fabulous. And while from time to time I wish I had a nice partner to spend time with and someone to enjoy romance with, I never feel as if we AREN’T a family! That’s ludicrous. Here’s why your family isn’t broken, it’s just different, after divorce or after perhaps being stranded by your child’s father—whichever your personal case:

Read More: Why Your “Broken Home” Isn’t Broken — It’s Just Different

Unified,

Laura

 

8 Ways To IMMEDIATELY Stop Anxiety From Sucking The Life Out Of You

Having anxiety isn’t fun, but it seems like anxiety is continuously making its way into my life. And that means I’ve got to fight anxiety right back. After having my first panic attack in February and then multiple ones in August, I decided I had had enough.

I wanted to tell anxiety to sit in the back seat while I drove the car, and I haven’t looked back since. Does anxiety sometimes try to grab the wheel, swerving me off the road? You betcha. But it doesn’t mean I’ll take it quietly. Instead, I work every day to kick anxiety’s little tiny butt. And here’s how you can, too.

1. Admit you have some form of anxiety disorder.

Admit you have a problem or sometimes have anxiety, whatever the case may be, and accept it. This is the single biggest step towards kicking anxiety’s ass. If you pretend you don’t have it or try to make excuses for your behavior, you won’t improve. Realizing that anxiety affects you and that you need to take back control is the best way to have a happier life.

2. Realize that getting help doesn’t mean going on medication.

I’m not a big fan of meds, even for panic attacks. But it’s a case-by-case and personal preference basis. Either way, getting help for your anxiety is the only way to gain control.

I highly recommend cognitive behavioral therapy, otherwise known as CBT, because anxiety is so rooted in our way of thinking — negative thoughts, catastrophizing, projection, and fear. CBT addresses ways to change your thinking and point of view.

For me, I’m now able to tell when I’m buying trouble where there is none, or if I’m catastrophizing about the future. CBT is helping me to do this. CBT can also help you gradually address fears and phobias with the guidance of a therapist to which it becomes a fear no longer.

 

Read More: 8 Ways To IMMEDIATELY Stop Anxiety From Sucking The Life Out Of You

Sayonara Anxiety,

Laura

Yes, My 4-Year-Old Does Chores and No, She Isn’t Always Rewarded For Them

The other day I posted an image of my daughter’s chore chart on Facebook alongside with a photo of her swiffering. Many parents eagerly clicked “like” and said how great it was that I have my young daughter actively taking care of the home she lives in. Of course, I had a few other people say how long her list was and how it was “way too much for a young kid to do.”

On the list her chores are:

Bring in the mail
Clean & set plate
Put away shoes when you get home
Put dirty laundry in hamper
Help mom fold laundry
Help put laundry away
Swiffer play area
Wipe down bathroom sink with mom’s help
Dust with mom’s help
Make bed
There are no consequences if she DOESN’T do her chores, and many are ones in which she helps me rather than does the chore alone.

Read More: Yes, My 4-Year-Old Does Chores and No, She Isn’t Always Rewarded For Them

Let Them Do The Work,

Laura

6 Signs Your Teen May Have an Eating Disorder

The National Institute of Mental Health states, “3 percent of teens are affected by an eating disorder but most do not receive treatment.” Yet out of all the 30 million people who have an eating disorder in the United States, “95 percent of these individuals are people ages 12-25,” according to information found on the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders (ANAD) website, which means that many of these cases are teenage patients. We can speculate on why teens are a high percentage of eating disorder cases, but the question remains: how do you know if your teen has an eating disorder?

I did not have an eating disorder as a teenager, but I had various “disordered eating” patterns starting at age 22 and ending at age 25. I fell right into the above statistic and I am fortunate that I am recovered from an eating disorder.

Read More: 6 Signs Your Teen May Have an Eating Disorder

Be Aware,

Laura