One of the scariest parts of divorce can be regaining your independence. The pain of losing your marriage is bad enough but now supposing you’re one of the millions of women that because of divorce, for the first time in a long time, you have got to ‘stand on your own two feet’. You’ve got to reclaim your independence. That statement can mean so much more than just living alone. It may mean finding a new job, a whole new career or finding your own accommodation. It’s attending birthdays and dinner parties alone. Its dining alone. Parenting alone. Its readjusting your thought process and learning to believe in yourself. It is taking complete control over your life and lifes choices. Being independent is doing all of these things alone and still being completely comfortable and confident. Being able to rely on yourself is an awesome thing.
Losing the support of an ex spouse can leave you feeling very vulnerable and very exposed. There will be a lot of change ahead when you end a marriage and ultimately one may feel that they have no choice but to go back out into the world and try to find a whole new life. Sometimes that can feel like making the worlds biggest puzzle with the worlds smallest puzzle pieces.
Many women, after they marry, find themselves in the role of ‘Mom’ and ‘Housewife’. They can get stuck. They stay home and cook, clean, raise families and more often than not, lose themselves in the process.
Being a homemaker, in my opinion is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Raising children equals huge responsibility, a lot of patience and major dedication. Here’s what we’re not supposed to say : Children are needy, demanding, ungrateful, challenging, repetitive and, mentally and physically exhausting. Almost everything that you do for a child goes unacknowledged and unappreciated. Caring for another human being is stressful stuff. Agreed?
I’m right at the part of motherhood where my kids constantly run the risk of electrocuting themselves, drowning, falling down stairs, bruising themselves, choking on random household objects and, gravitating towards open doors and windows. Its been almost 5 years of being on edge. I feel that getting through these toddler years without having a nervous breakdown, is in itself a huge accomplishment.
Well done to you if you’re raising kids. In case nobody else has told you lately, Im going to say it. “You’re a great Mom and a great woman!”
I can’t speak about the pre teen and teenage years. I’m not there yet but I’m sure it has similar amounts of challenges. I truly take my hat off to parents that have been “momming” for ten or twenty years.
I adore being a Mom. I would do anything for and give everything for my children. Yes, a ” thank you ” occasionally would be nice but I guess I can wait another few years. My fingers are crossed. Im very hopeful.
So while you’ve been busy living for everybody else in your family, did you stop studying? Did you stop working? Did you let go of friendships? Did you stop training at the gym? Did you stop doing all of the things that you used to love so much before you became a wife and a Mom?
Truth be told I never thought that I would have children. I wasn’t maternal. It didn’t interest me. I loved my own life far too much. My views changed quickly. When my children were born, I knew immediately that they would become the single most important thing in my life. I slipped into the role like any Mom, with a few bumps and bruises but I eventually found my way and I began to love being a
Such is life, ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too’. The reality of my new role was that the more I settled into it, the more I began to forget who ‘I’ was. I was losing myself. It felt as though all of the doors that were opening left right and center in my twenties were beginning to close one at a time in my thirties. My CV read: Morgan Smith – Mom. Morgan Deane had become obsolete. My own identity had vanished.
I remember thinking to myself ” how can you have lost your whole identity in four years Morgan?” But I had given it all up instantly as I jumped on that plane from Ireland to South Africa. It was only when my marriage went kaboom and I got to assess what of my original life was left, did I come to the realisation, that I hadn’t done anything for myself in years. I hadn’t been studying, creating music, writing or making new friends or in anyway bettering myself. All of the things that I loved, that were my making, I didn’t have time to do them anymore.
So if it’s the same for you as it was for me 2 years ago, then the next card that’s been dealt to you, is divorce. That can present itself to you as a massive culture shock. You may now find yourself suddenly alone and suddenly with a lot of free time. You may be asking ” what do I do now? “.
You should make a list of what you would like to do with your life now. Set goals for yourself. Age should never be a factor. Circumstances should never hold you back. Fill your free time with things that make you happy. Rebuild the life that you have always wanted. Its not going to be easy. Stepping outside of your box can be difficult but once you establish what genuinely makes you happy it will give you a good place to start from.
Read, study, attend yoga. Go to the gym, go for coffee with those old friends that you’ve kept cancelling on. Attend a course that helps you meet new people, take walks, see shows. Build memories! Now’s the time to start embracing your life. Don’t be a prisoner of it. It can be so beautiful. Use this life changing thing called ‘divorce’ to rectify all of the wrong turns you made. See it as your second chance to rediscover what makes you smile. Get busy finding yourself because you’re waiting to be found!