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Monday, August 1, 2011

Mothering in the Storm

Just as I was finally settling in to watch the news before bed, I heard thunder rumble.  It wasn't the distant thunder type, it was the "Get ready," type and was quickly followed by more ominous booms.  It was less than a minute when the first set of pitter-pats reached my room, and two more quickly followed.  When thunderstorms arrive all three little ones join me in my bed and we hunker down.  Sometimes we all sleep, more often we light candles, make shadows, tickle and giggle our way through the storm.  Even with the recent and horrible storms we've had, they always do pass.  It's natural for mothers to comfort their little ones, to keep them close and safe when storms enter our life and theirs.

The last few years have been stormy in our family life, but the last year was the most acute.  Here are some ways I think I've handled the division of our family well and poorly...
  • We told the children together and reinforced the fact that they have two parents who love them deeply.
  • I have kept as much consistent for the children as possible, especially routines, childcare providers, church, schools and even family traditions like a birthday dinner.
  • Established firm "house rules" and have been brave enough to enforce them strictly.
  • Create a new "welcome home" tradition with notes on the bed.  I'm pleasantly surprised at the delight from a simple note from Mama.  Sometimes I include a favorite candy or little toy just for fun. 
  • Got rid of cable, mostly to save money but the side benefit has been more intentional activities and less tv time.
What I wish I'm not as pleased about -
  • The INconstencies they have to face with bouncing between two homes and the long commutes.
  • Scheduling changes which are beyond my control.
  • Falling into popluarity contests with daddy and sometimes feeling insecure about my mothering skills.
  • Being away from my children at holidays.
 When the personal storms entered our lives, when our marriage failed and our family underwent intense changes, the same holds true.  There was the same need to comfort my little ones, to keep them close and safe.  I'm sure we will face more storms in life - it's part of the human existence in this fallen world.  Financial, relational and more foes will challenge our family for certain.  When those times come, I want to remember the importance of pulling my family close, comforting the pain and creating a safe place to relax, play and remember joy.

If you have journey this road, please share what you are  glad about and what you wish had been different.  Especially - please share if you are a child of divorce ~ Thank you!


  1. Hi Missy, I just found your blog from your guest post on "Money Saving Mom" and have found your posts uplifting. I am a single mom for two years now of a 13 yo boy and 8 yo girl. The end of my marriage was a shock to me and though I prefer not to share specific details it certainly has simalraties to your situation. I am proud of the work my X and I have done to co parent our kids and am thankful that so far our parenting styles are similar enough that there have been few major disagreements. My biggest fault seems to be that I at times fall into a "Why me" attitude which I have been working on turning into a "Why not me" attitude. If I accept life's blessings so quickly what makes me think I am above life's sufferings? Anyway I have not found many single mom blogs that have that positive attitude and honest searching and feel blessed to have found yours. I look forward to continuing to read you.

  2. Heavenly Father,

    I hear the hearts of these two ladies speak encouragement to others as well as continued personal pain. I am unable to adequately imagine their feelings of frustration or loss or anger or possibly even guilt, but what I do know is that You want so much more for them to experience as they relish in Your love and divine protection. Thank You for their upbeat and positive demeanor. May You continue to provide Your healing salve to their pain; would You bless them beyond their wildest imaginations. As they seek You with all their hearts, would You provide them with the feelings and the knowledge that they are cherished, loved, wanted, and Yours. Wrap Your arms around them tightly, love on them mightily, encourage them daily, and use them to advance Your kingdom through the power of Jesus.

  3. All families deviate from their routines every so often; that's just life. I remember what helped me cope with that is when someone reminded me that each year of school, they adjust to different teachers and rules. And in middle school, they adjust to several teachers. I like to believe that our children are slightly more prepared for that :) (This was when my children were spending half their week with my parents, not my ex, but I had those same concerns about two different households.)

  4. I am a child of divorce. My parents split up when I had just turned 20. I was not a child and was going to college but it still rocked my world. My youngest brother was 10, middle brother was 13 and oldest brother was 17. Each of us was affected differently. My parents handled NOTHING well, so pat yourself on the back for the best days and forgive yourself on the worst days. It is a constant battle for you and the children. Divided loyalties, step-parents, who's house do we go to for Christmas, everything is much more complicated. The damage that has been done will never go away for your children but you CAN make it less painful. Teach them to love and forgive easily so as they get older and understand more about why the whole process happened they will be able to love and forgive. This is the most important thing. God's Love, God's Forgiveness, we are blessed to have them and blessed to give them. God bless you as you commit yourself to sacrifice for your children. "Take up your cross daily and follow ME".