How do you co-parent with a man who most often than not refuses to speak to OUR children together when confronting them with a concern? Who most often than not refuses to discuss any “big” decisions regarding OUR boys? Who most often than not disregards my perspective as it relates to OUR boys? Tell me please, how do you co-parent? Let me give you a few, what I feel significant, examples of times I have struggled:

1.) T was in 6th grade and wanting a phone. I was not comfortable at the time fulfilling this want. Allow me to back track a bit. D was in 7th grade when we allowed him to get a phone. The circumstance being he was going on a school trip out of state and had a fairly significant history of separation anxiety. So we made the leap, and provided him with a phone. With good intentions as most parents do, we vowed to closely monitor his activity on the phone, know passwords, etc, etc. Honestly, try as we did, it wasn’t quite that easy and before long it all got away from us. I felt like I totally lost control. As a result, second go around, I was determined to be better, learn from my mistakes. My ex husband was crystal clear on my stance of not wanting T to have a phone. A brief conversation one particular day this was conveyed with clarity. However, it fell on deaf ears as the following morning I received a text with T’s new phone number.

Please tell where co-parenting resides in this example?

2.) The day came when D was ready to buy a car. We agreed to help D, significantly. My ex-husband took him to test drive a specific car D had found on-line. Actually my ex-husband would not take him until he had found several cars on-line he was interested in test driving. Side note – I think this was more about my ex-husband being lazy than anything else. They called from a dealership just a few short hours later ready to purchase a car – the first one they saw. I felt it had too many miles, and suggested they look at a few more. My ex-husband responded with “He wants this car. I am not going to argue with him. I don’t have much time. I have someplace I need to be.” And that was that. D had his new car.

Is this co-parenting?

3.) T had mentioned he was the only one without social media. He honestly didn’t have much I thought. Until he friend requested me on Instagram. He apparently went to his dad for permission who thought it was no big deal. When I asked my ex-husband to please talk with me about our son joining social media in the future, his response was “Come on . It’s Instagram and we have his password. Please stop. Everything doesn’t have to be the sky is falling. It’s really ok.” A follow up phone call to this text included him asking “Do I need to call you to find out if the color sneakers I buy him is ok too?”

Is there any hint of co-parenting in this scenario?

Please. Please let me know. Let me know how you manage to co-parent. I feel as though I have tried so hard, so much and it’s starting to make me really angry. And resentful.


Another Christmas Past

This year Christmas was different. Different than it has been for nearly 20 years. I was not invited to my ex-husband’s parents’ home to celebrate the day. In fact, there was no discussion. Simply a text that asked if taking the boys at noon and returning them later that evening would be an acceptable plan. And that was how I came to find out I was not welcome. Texts from my mother-in-law voicing I was in their thoughts didn’t quite make me feel any better. As they did not express any consideration either. I will say my parents have and continue to let my ex-husband know he is always welcome to a family gathering even if to just stop by and say hi to family members he no longer sees. But…he never does.

I thought I was okay. I had time to mentally prepare myself for the day. And truthfully I was with my boys, the most important part of the day, all morning. But when my house fell silent and the emptiness started to invade me, I made a last minute decision to go to my brothers. He and his in-laws had already expressed a desire for me to join them. In fact they somewhat pleaded this case. And with all their sweet intentions and definitely heartfelt words, there was a feeling of pity splattered on top that never sits well with me. The last thing I want is pity. I overlooked this and headed north just the same.

I was greeted by my sweet nieces taking me by the hand and excitedly showing me all that Santa left that morning. Their hugs were medicinal. My brother and his wife have a simple way of exuding love. It lacks any unnecessary negativity, stress, and certainly is never pretentious. As a result, my mood was stable and I felt fairly balanced…until I returned home.

I couldn’t deny the excitement of my boys, particularly T. He was floating on air, bouncing, happy. And I did all that I could do to try and smile. When my ex-husband asked what I did, as I knew he would, I reluctantly told him. In his mind I had a good day, I did something and was with family. “That’s great!” Oh, how I wanted to scream and cry and curse right then. It wasn’t until I lay in my bed all tucked in under my covers later that night that I cried. A release in many ways I was not expecting. I woke to swollen eyes that caught co-workers attention. I felt so vulnerable and exposed.

So yes, another Christmas passed by..this one less extravagant than ones prior. I have no amazing stories of the day. I have no report of any epiphanies realized. I only have a shift. Another shift. Hesitantly looking forward to the new year, I remain bruised.


Here we are on Thanksgiving Eve. Please tell me how a year went by so very fast! Last year my post was a reflection on 10 things for which I am thankful. One year later, it all remains true..and then some. But Thanksgiving is not only about being thankful but also about giving – Thanks  Giving.

So this year I’d like to focus on what I can give. Like last year, I’ll break it down to a top 10. I can give:

  1. A smile – to everyone. As I reminded T just this week, the smile you give may be the only one someone sees for the day. A smile can be the simplest sign of hope.
  2. My undivided attention – to my boys..without distractions, no phone, no computer, no cleaning. Just focus on what they are telling me.
  3. My time – whether it be volunteering at my boys’ schools, meeting with a friend who needs support, or sitting with patients who need that extra minute.
  4. My expertise – to help change children’s lives for the better. One at a time.
  5. My best – to my family, my friends, my co-workers. Just give my all to all I do.
  6. My love – I’ve learned it’s one thing to say the words “I love you” but quite another to show and give love.
  7. My compassion – whether it’s a simple gesture of kindness or offering a hand to hold.
  8. My respect – for those who keep us safe, for those who everyday put one foot in front of the other despite the obstacles, for those consistently standing up for what they believe to be true.
  9. My positive thoughts – thoughts become and blossom into actions. I will feed my positive wishes so they grow for you.
  10. My heart..someday. It’s pretty well protected today. But someday, soon I hope, I will give all my heart to someone who can hold it as if it were their most precious treasure.

I truly live in abundance. I am grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!


I once wrote about wishing I could go forward in time to see my boys okay – as a way of giving me peace today. Having a knowledge that in the end, it will all be okay. Lately, I have been having discussions with T, in response to his observations about his father, about life really and people. Truthfully, I have found it somewhat difficult walking a fine line between speaking negatively about his father’s actions/words and providing some clarification and lessons. As T gets older and starts to understand more I’d like to be able to offer positive words to ignite a knowingness in T that he does not have to follow his father’s path. And I speak specifically of T simply because of his recent conversations with me, but hope D hears me as well. At the moment D is muddled in between being a 17 year old, stubborn, on-the-verge-of-fleeing-the-nest-but-keeping-one-foot-cautiously-in-the-door, defiant, and yet loving and happy young man. He knows his father, but he so desperately wants his father – on the surface I don’t think D is even aware of this feeling – consciously anyway. I, as his mom, am left in a challenging corner that I have been arduously working to maneuver. Which leads me to the purpose of this post. There have been so many messages I have hoped my boys receive from me and understand and keep with them as they grow.

  1. Always hold the door open for others – not just women, but everyone. A small gesture of kindness truly can spark a light of hope in someone’s day.
  2. Be unselfish in your life. The world is bigger than you and I. Know when you do for others, you actually benefit just as much.
  3. But..remember to take care of your self. When you grow your being in a positive light, when you feed your own soul, when you treat your mind, body, and spirit as the temple it is, you will evoke happy energy.
  4. Your past does not define your future. Every single day you have a choice.
  5. Exercise. It not only strengthens your muscles, it strengthens your mind.
  6. Volunteer. Give to charity. Make a difference. And don’t forget the Starfish Story.
  7. Respect your partner. Take a deep breath and please think before you speak. Words can’t be taken back. YOU own your actions and your words.
  8. Family. Don’t ever give up on family.
  9. Truth. In your life, be truth. Speak it, show it, and model it.
  10. Be kind. Remember you have no idea what someone has gone through, what they have endured or experienced.
  11. Don’t forget to respect others and yourself. We are all human beings existing in a shared space.
  12. Don’t get caught up in the small details so much so that you lose sight of the bigger picture.
  13. Someday if you have you own children, relish in each moment, every stage of their life, plant seeds of confidence, and self-worth, and love in their hearts with your words and your actions.
  14. Go to bed every night saying “Good Night, I love You” to at least one person.

I am sure I could add more to this list and maybe someday I will. But know my beautiful boys, I love you with all my heart. Everything I am and everything I do, is because of both of you. You are my heart. You are my soul. You are my breath. Please forgive me for the mistakes I have made as your mom, but know I have tried and will always try to do and be my best for you. You are my reason.

Regret Versus Guilt

So by now you must know I carry a lot of guilt. Waxes and wanes, but always peaking its head around the corner daring to be seen, guilt is ever present. At times I am able to assuage this annoying and often incredibly persistent emotion. While other times, I succumb to the drowning effects.

Certainly regret and guilt are not mutually exclusive. They seemingly both stir up negativity in many ways. But for me, in my case of divorce, one does not mean the other. To clarify – because I carry this guilt does not equate to regret. Admittedly, the weight is slowly lifting. And yet, I truly don’t think will ever completely disappear. The definition of being a parent surely includes feeling guilt. Somewhere in there it must state “be prepared to go to bed many a night feeling guilty.” But, I did not choose divorce in that I ultimately had no choice. Despite the many good “things,” some of the best were not shining through or even present. For example, I want my boys to witness love at it’s core; to experience first hand what respect looks and feels like between two people who have promised their life together; to sense compassion; to taste the sweet, sweet taste of undying selflessness; to witness patience and self-control; to appreciate the ups and downs are to be travelled together.

Yes, there is a possibility that I will never be able to personally exemplify all of this for them. But, they are no longer living in a place where the opposite exists and teaches them all that should never be taught.

Guilt? Yes. Regret? No.

This morning I read a beautiful post. It was the reminder I needed. My boys are strong. And I think that maybe, just maybe, I am too.

‘Honey, that challenge was made for you. It might hurt, but it will also nurture wisdom, courage, and character. I can see what you’re going through, and it’s big. But I can also see your strength, and that’s even bigger. This won’t be easy, but we can do hard things.’                        -Glennon Doyle Melton



I’m trying, trying to demonstrate how I want my own boys to be

How I hope they will treat others…

But I am pushed back, not by them

I am not allowed to provide them the example I wish for them to witness

I have done all I feel I can, and then I try more

And my heart starts to ache, my breathing increases, but shallow

Don’t they deserve more?

Who are their role models?

How will they be better fathers and husbands if they haven’t witnessed a better example?

My purpose in my life was without a doubt to be a mom

And I will always work to be better at my purpose


Be kind, be considerate, be unselfish, be giving

Be love, be happiness, be compassionate, be alive

Be nurturing, be supportive, be forgiving, be strong

Be a hero in your future children’s eyes

….and do not allow a moment to slip by when you can be everything to them



It’s been awhile, I know. While  much to say, I just couldn’t find the time to sit and write. But I have been processing…a lot. After four years of contemplating meeting with a counselor, I finally made the decision to talk with one. And she is perfect. Funny, she did ask me “So why are you here? You seem to have it all together?” My answer “Guilt. I don’t want to feel guilty anymore.”

With my meeting Ellen (that is my new counselor’s name), my runs, my now daily sun salutation practice, my now daily meditation practice, and my overall being a bit more present, I have found a new place inside of me. However small, it’s new. And one strong realization of this place, is that as much as I feel more present, and I am able to think clearer, I am still very aware of my avoidance of feeling. It’s a blocking actually. Surely, it’s a defense mechanism. It’s an unhappy place and reminiscent of my past. And I so don’t want to go back to that feeling.

Which brings me to the purpose of my post today…gratitude. In the words of my yoga teacher “Find something to be grateful for, we are all fortunate people,” I am doing just that. Every time she speaks these words, my mind immediately thinks of my two boys and my lips curve into a smile. Gratitude does not have to come from something momentous. Find it in the smallest of spaces – like a cup of hot chocolate or a vase of fresh wildflowers or a warm fuzzy blanket. So much surrounds us, so many itty-bitty miracles. The only thing preventing us from seeing them is ourselves.

So in no particular order, here are 10 tiny, itty-bitty parts of life that hold space in my tote bag of gratitude…..

My adirondack chairs that welcome pause…my handmade tea cup molded with my manager’s hands and so thoughtfully given to me…my Runner’s Magazine for all it’s inspirational stories and words of motivation…my camera to capture so many amazing moments that I can reflect upon…my new sneakers because they make me feel like I am running on clouds…my barn door because other than being exactly what I had wanted design wise, it was built just for me…my thieves oil for starting my mornings with a calming smell…mason jars for their versatility and simple beauty…the candle in the window I plug in every night as a small gesture for our soldiers…my hair elastic for just simply pulling my hair back.

What are you grateful for?