A Divorced Mother’s Summer Dance

Summer time.

Time with friends, vacation, outdoor fun, patios and trips with the kids. All this used to be with your ex and now you are trying to make plans for yourself and the kids, on your own.

I worried so much about not being able to provide them with the fun summer they could continue to have at their Dad’s cottage (what used to be ours). I figured they would prefer to be there over being at home with me in the city.

The second summer after our separation I had met a wonderful man with 3 kids and he liked to keep busy with them and had rented a cottage for a week. He generously invited us to come along. Us being myself and my 4 sons! Not a small ask 😉

I jumped on it so fast to make sure he couldn’t change his mind. And we all had such a wonderful time. I still struggled with that I couldn’t create the same experience as they were used to but I also saw that this was mostly in my head. It was my worry and not their experience. They had a great time. We followed this up with a very successful camping trip and the two were repeated every summer for years.

Summer is what you make it. We all enjoy the warm weather, feel lighter and generally happier during the summer months. We plan vacations and see more friends. Do that this summer even though you are separated and everything feels different and perhaps harder. Do it anyway. Do it for you and do it for them. We have some wonderful memories from those cottage weeks and camping trips and I am so grateful for that. No it wasn’t quite like the full summers at the cottage, but we made the best of it and it was great. Different and great.

And then there’s the guilty pleasure of divorce – the time when the kids are with the other parent and you can do whatever you want. Take advantage of this time and do whatever you want! Glen and I would plan weekends away at a resort just the two of us once or twice a summer. It was wonderful for us to have that time together to get to know each other better. Sometimes my kids would be a bit upset with me for going away without them, but I also know that it’s ok for me to do something for me and they understood of course.

Being a mom is hard at times as our love for our children goes beyond any other emotion we ever experience. And because of that one of the most powerful negative emotions I have experienced is what I call “mom guilt”. It can show up at any time with a single well placed word from one of them. It can show up because I missed something whether intentional or not. It’s like a stab in the heart. But mercifully the lived experienced out numbered the missed ones and the fun out numbered the guilt.

So, as we head into this summer and you make your plans with your children or whoever – what is the vibe you are wanting for yourself and your family?

My kids are all grown now, but several of them are coming to visit and I am excited to spend a summer weekend together. It truly makes my mommy-heart sing and dance. This morning while I was journaling, the title to this post came to me as did this little poem:

A mother’s love, so great it can break us

A woman’s love, so deep it can drown us

A love for self so far away it may never hold us

We can’t hold our children forever, for they must go

We can’t grip love so tight that we do not grow

We must hold our heart and never let it go as it is love that holds us in forever glow.

~ Elisabeth

I wish you the most beautiful summer with friends and those you love most. And make sure to love on yourself a little too. And while you are at it join my Summer Masterclass: How to not get wrapped up in what your ex is doing this summer.

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