Changes

Posted on | May 9, 2011 | 89 Comments

Something has to change for me.

I don’t know what it is, but something has to change.  I have to do something differently or I will explode. If I keep on living the life I was living before, it is as though at any minute, my husband will burst through the door with an enormous smile and a belly laugh and announce that this was all just a bad dream.

I am moving back to the house we bought together.

I am moving back to the city we met in.

I am moving back into a world I lived so closely with him that he is wrapped into the very fibers of that life.

And I can not do that if I stay the same.

I can not just keep waiting for him to come home.

He is not coming home. I am not his home any longer.

So I need to make some changes.  I need to make some changes to ME, not just to my surroundings.  I need to lose weight, gain sleep, and in general find my strength again.  I need to stop shedding tears over a man who stopped shedding tears for me a long, long time ago.

And I’m open for suggestions. 

Give me your best suggestions and then I’ll pick my five favorite ones and we’ll vote to see what I start doing to make positive changes in my life.  It can be anything… be creative.

Just give me a reason to get out of bed in the mornings and be happy for a change.  Give me something I can be proud of… something separate from him.  Something that is all mine.

And… GO.

Comments

89 Responses to “Changes”

  1. Truthful Mommy
    May 9th, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

    Take control of what you can….YOU!DO something nice for yourself that you haven’t had the time or desire to do yet..new hair, new clothes, new make up, new tan, new you.If you start to do little things for yourself, you will start gaining some of your self confidence back.Remember, you are great. He failed you! Not the other way around!*HUGS*

  2. Irina
    May 9th, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

    Plan a mini-vacation with your son and go away for a few days to create some really fun memories for the two of you. You can also make a collage of your favorite photos of the 2 of you and hang it somewhere in the house as a sign of how happy the 2 of you can be! Hang in there! I hope you find something to make you feel better!

  3. Missa (@conceivednotion)
    May 9th, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

    Here’s an idea you may not have thought of. Follow your journey to the new you while taking self-portraits. You may find that you take a few extra minutes to make yourself feel and look great if you know the camera is coming out. You’ll find your beauty on a daily or weekly (or whatever) basis, have an excuse to strike a pose and strut your stuff and wear great accessories.

  4. Lauren
    May 9th, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

    Embrace your feminine side! You’re not just a mom, you’re a woman!! Dress up, be stylish, flirt! Have fun and be spontaneous. Get a babysitter one night a week and take yourself out! Join a club where you can meet people!

  5. Andrea @paralegalmom.com
    May 9th, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

    Switch bedrooms at the new house. Don’t go back to the old master bedroom. In your new room, get new bedding – something that YOU love and want to crawl into every night.

    Fresh paint.

    Come up with a new tradition for you and J. Find a local restaurant that has kids night and go there once a week on a “date.” I love to do that with B.

    Do some yoga with J at night. Relax both of you. Check out the Yoga Pretzel cards.

    Go for a walk after dinner.

  6. Samantha
    May 9th, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

    I am truly sorry for what you are going through. I really hope things get better soon.

    I can’t imagine how hard it’s going to be to go back to a house with all those memories. But I can also see how it would be comforting, because it’s a safe place for you. Perhaps you could make-over a few of the rooms you use most often? Make your safe place into something that is entirely yours and J’s.

    And I don’t know if you’re near family, or friends, or what your financial situation is, but perhaps there is a way for you to carve out some time for yourself every week. Set up a few hours a week with the grandparents. Or find a good mother’s helper that will come over and play with J. You can go out and run errands, have lunch with friends, or just take a bath or a nap. But you deserve to have someone that will reliably take care of J for a few hours a week so you can just relax for a few hours a week. Perhaps you can ask if any of the workers at his daycare would be interested?

  7. Verna
    May 9th, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

    See if J can stay with your mom or someone for a couple days. Taking a break from being a mom can really help give you new perspective. Get a tan, haircut, massage, get your make-up done by a professional, get a couple cute new outfits, lots of sleep, eat whatever you want for a couple days, watch some movies, read, and just be you by yourself for a little bit!!

  8. Mae
    May 9th, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    I love the switching bedrooms idea, if that’s feasible. Consider switching other rooms as well, remembering you’re building a home for JUST you and J. Want to see what it’s like to turn the dining room into a play room? If you have a breakfast nook you guys can eat in why not? Make the living room a grown up room so you have somewhere to sit at night and blog or cry or paint your toes or whatever without being surrounded by toys and kid stuff. Make your new bedroom as frou frou or girly or whatever as you want, no one has to be comfortable in it but you.

    If you’re still buying the kind of coffee/corn flakes/toilet paper that Husband liked, stop it and buy stuff neither of you ever tried before, or that you wanted and he didn’t.

    Make that house YOUR house, not “their” house. Think of it as a new home. When you move back in don’t put the plates in the same cabinets you did when you lived there before, try putting everything someplace different.

    Paint. Everything.

    Get a pedicure, it’s the south and it’s summer. I mean honestly that’s maybe for other people as much as it’s for you.

    Get your makeup done at the mall or someplace, then buy the things that you LOVE that you can afford. If you can’t afford them, write it down and start a piggy bank toward your beauty supplies or shoes or WHATEVER it is that you want.

    If you always wanted to try a haircut that Husband didn’t think he’d be a fan of, now’s the time to get it done.

    If J isn’t sleeping through the night yet, get that handled. You HAVE to have the opportunity for a good night’s sleep. If you stay up all night obsessing about stuff fine, but you shouldn’t be up all night with J.

  9. monk
    May 9th, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

    1. visit Virginia on a bi-weekly basis. What? that’s not practical 🙂 okay fine.
    2. go on walks. you enjoy this, so pop J in the stroller and enjoy the world around us. look at the little things in nature…the flower in a crack in the sidewalk. the little bug that made it successfully across the street. (yes this is stuff I notice on the bike haha)
    3. one thing I enjoy is twice a year I buy a new lipstick. a winter color and a summer color. it just makes you feel fancy wearing a new shade.
    4. once a week/month try a new recipe. something totally out of the box.
    5. make a list of movies you want to see. and slowly cross off movies as you watch them…when J is in bed and you have you and a glass of wine.
    6. reach out to other women in your shoes. I bet there is a group in your area.

  10. Stephanie
    May 9th, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

    I’m a cynical person.. so this probably going to be missing the rainbows but …
    .. start thinking about kicking some butt… take the anger and the hurt and head to the gym. I hate the gym with a passion but it is the best place to take out the aggression without ending up with a restraining order.. start thinking about all the decisions that you can make on your own now – no sports on tv, pink sheets, cookie dough in the refrigerator and a dog (my ex didn’t want one, I did – so the day I kicked him out I headed to the pound)etc. I found that being around people helped me the most with my most difficult breakup – I didn’t want to be by myself so I visited everyone whether they wanted me there or not and the rule was we didn’t speak about the past that involved my significant other – wasn’t worth the lost energy. Also, and I know it sucks, but there is nothing better for weight loss than breaking up/divorce.. best diet out there. Hang in there!

  11. Dallas
    May 9th, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

    I recently joined a gym here in Macon! I really enjoy it and it’s been something pretty different for me. (They have childcare too) You are welcome to try it, see if it’s something different you’d enjoy. Plus it’d be nice to see a familiar face every once in awhile.
    But if we are there are the same time, pls don’t judge me. I am the Queen of Enough To Get By and right now, while I’d love to lose a few pounds, I am just trying to keep my butt from getting any bigger.

  12. Allison
    May 9th, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

    Be kind to yourself. For every thought you think, I’m not good enough. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, HELL YES! I’m good enough – I’m better than good – I’m GREAT! Make a list of all the things you love about YOU and post them on your mirrors. You are going through a lot. Be kind and nice to yourself!

    I also LOVE the idea of creating a new bedroom for yourself in your old home.

    You are going to get through this and it will be a memory. The memory will get blurry over time.

  13. Delia
    May 9th, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

    Plan a photo session of just you & J. Then hang them all over the house, the office, the car. Go get a new outfit and haircut and love the way you look in them! He is your family – he is what matters.

  14. Mama Fisch
    May 9th, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

    Okay, in no particular order…

    1. If possible, hire a babysitter one night a month or one afternoon a month and get some you time. Maybe someone from your daycare?

    2. Switch bedrooms if possible. Change your linens. Sell your old ones.

    3. Decorate with “your” style. Take your time, make it fun by looking on Craigslist, thrifting etc…

    4. Find a book that you can curl up with each night…just for a few minutes to take you somewhere “different”.

    5. Consider finding a way to get a “schedule” in place so you feel like you have things to do, places to go, and a plan. Schedule something every weekend, even if it is an ice cream store excursion. Get J on a schedule so napping is consistent and daily and bedtime does not change.

    6. Get outside. Walk with J. Exercise is good therapy. It’s amazing how much fresh air can clear your head.

    7. Try and find a Mother’s group, maybe through your church that does MOPS. So you can have some you time and drop J off or swap etc…

    8. Clean out your closet and house. Anything that was “us” is old news and treat yourself to new things slowly but surely.

    9. Get some responses ready so you are not bending to J’s dad’s will when he wants to come visit or the in-laws do. Be firm about them not imposing and what your expectations are.

    I am going to keep thinking but these are my initial ideas… I think it is key to get a schedule so you can sleep and have some “you” time.

  15. Katie
    May 9th, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    I agree that you need to change that house into YOURS.

    Paint, new bedding, new throw pillows, new photos on the wall (maybe have a photoshoot of JUST you and J and choose pics from that). Clean out the fridge and cupboards and get rid of stuff that you were just keeping around or that he mostly used.

    Get new bathroom towels and rugs.

    Hire someone to clean every few weeks so you don’t have to.

    Whatever is in your budget.

    Create new traditions for you and J. Evening walks, Mommy and son gym dates, going to the playground or Saturday ice cream. something that he (and YOU!) will remember as yours. together. that is happy and that you look forward to.

    Love you momma. I wish I could come and be your weekly date. Your something new.

    <3

  16. Claudia
    May 9th, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

    I love all the ideas above but when I was dealing with post-partum depression from my first girl. What helped pull me out of the funk is keeping a “Gratitude Journal”. Everyday, I would write 5 things that I was thankful for that day. It really helped to concentrate on the positive things going on around me. I started to notice a rainbow in the sky or my favorite flowers blooming in some one’s yard.
    When it was suggested to me, I thought “No way!”. Then I gave it a shot.
    Also, I totally agree with surrounding yourself with things and decor that makes your home YOURS.

  17. Luna
    May 9th, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

    Any form of energy therapy. Or rapid eye therapy. The emotion code, reiki, acupuncture, massage, EFT, birth clearing, what have you

  18. Camille
    May 9th, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

    I mean this in the nicest possible way, but I highly recommend finding a great therapist and scheduling regular (weekly, every two weeks, etc.) therapy sessions. I can’t think of a better way to sort through everything you’re going through right now than to do it with someone who is trained to counsel people.

  19. Elizabeth
    May 9th, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

    I love the daily pictures idea, even if you don’t post them.

    Also painting everything – must.

    Switch bedrooms if you can.

    Now my own ideas feel lame, but..

    Plant a garden? Color your hair? Knock down a wall in the house, something not necessary? Buy a recipe book of things you’ve never cooked before and do something new each day?

  20. Adrienne May
    May 9th, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

    in some ways I know exactly how you feel. You are still acting as part of a twosome and you need to learn how to be wholly yourself again. Focus on yourself, what you like, what you want, what you need. It will make you a better mom in the end. I promise.

  21. Cassie beckwith
    May 9th, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

    I would suggest getting involved In a non profit that helps less fortunate children. Nothing seems to make me feel better than helping people in need and they appreciate you, most of the time.

  22. Kitty
    May 9th, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

    You’ve gotta sleep. Get a doc to prescribe you a 1/2 mg of Ativan, or take simply sleep, or soooomething to get the sleeping under control. Exercise. Whatever you can fit in, but you’ve gotta do something even if it’s just a slow 1/2 hour walk pushing Jude and rocking out with him to ridiculous songs. Sleep and exercise, 2 best cures for depression. unfortunately, they are the 2 toughest things to make yourself do when you are depressed. But do them. The happiness and peace will follow.

  23. Savgypsy
    May 9th, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

    You’ve been given lots of good ideas here. But how about a new hobby? Something that allows you to be creative? Beading, painting, knitting etc. We know you are creative by your writing, but you write as part of your job. How about another creative outlet? (don’t stop blogging we’d miss you!)

  24. KristinaYellow
    May 9th, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

    Looks like everyone had some great ideas already. I am totally on board with you redoing your house. Paint and decorate completely how you and J like it. I’d also second the therapy thing. It’ll be a safe place to vent and think and may help you feel more positive as well. And I’d totally plan little activities-pick one place each week that you and J can visit, take pic’s, and post them around the house. Fill your home with new memories–after all, home is you and J. The house is just a place and eventually the bad memories will fade, replaced by the ones of you and J. And of course-do something silly. Paint your fingernails or toes a fun and bright color. Write words on the walls–your favorite quotes from books, movies, or inspiring people. 🙂

  25. Mary
    May 9th, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

    Attitude, need to change the attitude. Why would you want him back, he did not love you and that is why he left. Why would you want to be in a loveless marriage. Move on, love your son and yourself, thanks will get better over time. Good luck.

  26. Elizabeth
    May 9th, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

    Ideas I like…
    1. Change bedrooms and get new bedding. Sexy Carrie Bradshaw, I’m a kick ass writer bedding.
    2. Visiting Virginia on a bi-weekly basis.
    3. Dye your hair. Red. Renne Russo in Thomas Crowne Affair Red. Slut Red. Do this now.

  27. Jennifer
    May 9th, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

    Do something that you always wanted to do that he thought was silly, like the yellow sheets, but bigger. Repaint the house all your favorite colors.

    Start a new tradition for just you and J like going to a different diner for breakfast every Saturday morning or taking a walk through a park, but make it somewhere you’ve never been with him.

    Find a new place to go to church or worship. Don’t go back to the place you were before.

    Take a class in something you always thought would be fun, like ballroom or country dancing, and make NEW friends that didn’t know the two of you.

    Buy new plates and silverware so that every time you sit down to dinner you don’t think about him.

    Arrange your furniture a different way so that when you walk into the room it isn’t the same room you walked into before.

    Get a new piece of artwork that you truly fall into when you look at it and hang it on the wall where you will see it every day.

    Slowly start removing the reminders of him from your things and replace them with new things that aren’t linked to him at all.

    You and J plant a new tree or shrub in your yard to signify a new beginning in your life.

    I didn’t really read the others so some of these may be repeats.

  28. Mommy 2.0
    May 9th, 2011 @ 11:42 pm

    If it is at all feasible, put in a swimming pool, and hire a hot pool guy. Hire a mother’s helper to watch J once a week when he comes to clean and sit out in the sun reading trashy magazines sipping gin and tonics with your wide brim hat and big, sexy sunglasses.

    Okay, if that is out of the question, the other ideas here sound good too.

  29. Confectionista
    May 10th, 2011 @ 1:10 am

    Remodel your entire closet. It’s yours now- ALL Yours! Paint it the color you want. Get new shelving, Show off your favorite clothes. Find a space to showcase your jewelry and find a beautiful picture of you and J. Also find old pics of your dear friends from before you were a mom. The ones where you’re dolled up and having the single time of your life. Make a space for your shoes – and add a fabulous pair to your collection. AND post pictures – It’ll look awesome. You deserve it!!

  30. Emily
    May 10th, 2011 @ 2:20 am

    I’m in the midst of a gut-wrenching break-up as well (not your same situation, but I understand your pain) and I’ve found running and Ativan (someone else’s previous suggestion) to be fantastic.

    Don’t take the ativan every day (can be addicting) but just a couple of times a week when you’re having one of those “I can’t do this I want to stop breathing” moments (there may be lots of those, but just pick the worst ones). It totally takes the anxiety and over-the-top emotions away and makes you feel relaxed and calm. Best stuff ever. Also makes sleeping better (and helps with the terrible dreams, which I’ve been having, I’m not sure about yourself).

    And, if your knees/hips/what not can stand a jog every now and then… I highly recommend it. It’s hard getting into it at first (especially with the summer heat coming) but after a week or two the endorphins start kicking in and give you those “I am woman hear me roar” moments where you feel on top of your game. I always try to grab my running shoes at the lowest moments in my day… It certainly doesn’t make the pain go away, but it keeps it at bay for an hour or so. AND makes you feel like you can conquer the world. Which is fabulous.

    I love reading your blog because you so completely express the emotions I’m feeling as well. While it may not help, just know you are not alone in this and you have hundreds of prayers and love vibes coming your way every moment of every day.

    And, if you discover any more wonderful things to get through this absolutely shitty time, PLEASE let us all know 🙂

  31. That's Me
    May 10th, 2011 @ 3:12 am

    Two things I did when my wife left me that made a world of difference:
    1 – Every time I felt angry/sad/upset I went to the gym. Made me feel a lot better, and since I was there A LOT, it helped with losing the weight I wanted to.
    2 – found a group of single parents on meetup.com. It may have helped more than anything else to find a group of people in the same predicament that I was, at every step along the way from newly separated to divorced for years.

  32. Carolyn
    May 10th, 2011 @ 4:27 am

    It. Will. Get. Better.
    I survived it so I know you can.
    Take baths.
    Do something physical, like a dance class where you have to concentrate on the steps and can’t think about anything else.
    Write letters and then BURN them. The burning is cathartic and a little bit wicked witchy at the same time. Very satisfying.
    Think about creating voodoo dolls and then decide you are better than that.
    Spend time with women. Reach out to your friends. Create a team that knows you might call anytime, in tears, and their job is to listen and whisper supportive comments back to you.
    Get a new bed and all the trimmings that go with. That is a very good idea. Also, new towels. Just for the sanity of it.
    Purge the stuff that makes you feel bad. And box up the memorabilia of your past that you don’t want to visit right now with DUCT TAPE.
    The therapy is good; think about a life coach to help you through it–a more positive outlook and approach in genera.
    xoxoxoxo

  33. paige
    May 10th, 2011 @ 4:35 am

    I don’t have a great suggestion for you, but I can tell you we are almost the same person. My husband left in early April too–complete shock to me. I am also a lawyer. The only difference is that I do not have any children.

    I know what is working for me, but I would not presume to suggest it would work for you too.

    I do wish you good luck though

  34. Amanda
    May 10th, 2011 @ 5:30 am

    Do you knit? If not, start. It soothes the soul and provides a sense of accomplishment. Plus, baby knits are the absolute sweetest thing.

  35. Cate
    May 10th, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    1. Meditate: it’s amazing how a daily practice of 15-20 mins can leave you refreshed and ready to face the “real world” (there are lots of guided meditations out there – just google or look on iTunes).

    2. Write yourself letters (or keep a journal) – don’t detail your day or even just pour out your heart (unless you find that works for you); instead, concentrate on writing what your imaginary, and perfect in every way, best friend would say at that very moment. It’s going to be different from what your real friends say and that’s ok. The exercise is more about allowing yourself to remove yourself just a tiny bit from all those overwhelming feelings and make time to tell yourself what you need to hear. And remember, it’s a friend who’s talking to you! Be kind and be gentle to yourself.

    With best wishes,
    Cate

  36. Emily
    May 10th, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    My husband left me for another woman almost exactly 6 years ago today. I had about a month where I could hardly get out of bed and I was in the same place you are now. I knew something had to change, but I felt I had nothing left to give because everything had been taken away from me. And then it occured to me that maybe I needed to give more. So, I joined my local Habitat for Humanity. And they had a women only group. (At the time, I wanted nothing to do with men…haha). And even though the pain was still there I had self fulfillment knowing I was giving back. So, join a local charity and do some volunteer work. It gets you out of the house, let’s you have some hope and joy by giving back to others, and if only for a minute…..it takes your mind off of everything else.

    In time, I was able to take baby steps to recovering and slowly started packing away the memories. Our wedding album, old photographs that were too painful to look at, etc.

    I promise you, you will get through this. It takes time, perserverance, many tears and heartache. But the flip side is so much better. I can look back now and be thankful that even though it was horrible, I am better because of it. There is light at the end of the tunnel, eventhough it may look like a pinpoint right now.

  37. Gen
    May 10th, 2011 @ 11:56 am

    Hi. Just found you thru kate and lydia….first i wanna say i’m sorry that you have to go thru this. next, i want to say…You don’t need me to give you a reason to get up in the morning..that precious little boy that God gave you, he is more than reason enough. however, i will say that a new haircut may help. i know it sound superficial and crazy, but roll with it…sometimes a new sassy do is all you need to brighten today…or this week. I haven’t been thru what you’re going thru…but I’ve had struggles that sent me down the hill hard…i like to do something different to my hair, then have coffee…and a girls day with my children. 🙂 I know i’m not terribly helpful, but i AM praying for you!
    Gen

  38. HappyHomeMommy
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

    Take some time out for you. If you can take a mini vacation (or stay-cation) with some friends. Gather some friends and make a pact to work out together, join a gym or just get together a few times a week and go for a walk or do a work out video together. Give yourselves a fun name (Gym Junkies, Marvelous Mamas, etc). Have a girls night out/in once a week. Get together, play games, watch movies & eat junk food, have wine tastings and just have fun.

  39. Jen
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    Very good suggestions here, I especially like the gym and the painting. There is a website that really helped me through a very bad time. It is called mountainwings.com and you can sign up for a daily message. It was uncanny how very many times the daily message was exactly what I needed to hear that day. It is done by a minister, so your religious beliefs may come in to play, but if you are open to it, I highly recommend it.

  40. Katy
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

    Ideas (if you haven’t done them already): redecorate the entire house and then throw a huge re-housewarming party, train for a marathon (or 1/2 marathon), plan a vacation to Tahiti, buy a chaise lounge, plant a vegetable garden, and download a boatload of new music to listen to.

  41. JulieBo
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

    I have no suggestion to offer, no words of wisdom that will guide you or answers to give. I have no idea what you are going through and can’t even begin to try to imagine how truly horrible it is. I offer only the knowledge that somewhere out there someone is thinking of you and hoping that you know that there is a legion of women behind you, offering their support, their strength and their love.

    I’m so very very sorry for your loss.

  42. Karisa
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    You get out of bed because you have to. You put one foot in front of the other because you have to. You put a smile on your face because you have to. You go through all the emotions because you have to. Then when you are alone while you kid(s) are sleeping, you mourn. Sometimes it will feel as though that is all you do when you have those moments to yourself. It will pass. It will get better. It will also get worse. Its not a roller coaster but a dang ride to space and back. You can try and predict what to expect, but you will fail miserably. You can try and control everything that you can, but again failure is inevitable.
    My most useful advice is not what to do, that is not helpful. Everyone can tell you everything in the world, but it doesnt matter, you have to go through it yourself.
    The one lesson I learned from my own separation and finally divorce – do what is in the best interest of your kid. If that is your measuring stick – you will come out ahead. You will reach a place of peace. You will survive and so will your child. Your child will be better for it and so will you. Not everyone will support that motto (those that love you will want the one that hurt you to suffer). Push through it. Focus on that goal and you will come out stronger and better for it.
    Keep your head up. And when all else fails cuss out love songs on the radio.

  43. CityGirlLost
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

    Lots of great advice here for lots of great people. I’ve been through the wringer of divorce, with kids, and I think I’ve come out okay on the other side– I’m engaged to be married again to a great guy.

    It wasn’t always easy.

    I got through it by mentally treating the divorce like a death. I had to grieve. I let myself cry and be sad and then I had to let it go. I read a great book called Mom’s House, Dad’s House that gives good strategy on treating the divorced parenting relationship as a business arrangement while feelings are still raw and hard to manage.

    Time helps. One day at a time.

  44. Leigh
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

    I know this has been mentioned a few times one way or another, but you need to focus on yourself in a big way. Do something drastic that will make men notice you when you walk by. It is definitely not the time to start dating, but turning a few heads will give you a confidence boost. Make a major change to your hair, buy a couple of outfits that accentuate your best features (in a mom appropriate way), get some new makeup, and take up a new sport that will help you get into better shape. Swimming is always a great one for achieving the long and lean look, and is very low impact so you don’t pay the next day like you do with other exercises.
    But through it all, anytime you start feeling like you are unloved or unlovable, spend some extra one on one time with your son, and remember that you are the most beautiful and most wonderful person in all the world in his eyes, and it will remind you that you are worth it.

  45. Kristin
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

    Get out of bed, congratulate yourself.

    eat something, pat yourself on the back.

    Read a book to your beautiful baby, and tell yourself what a fantastic mom you are.

    Take a shower, and notice if it helps relax you just a tiny bit.

    I think the ideas above are awesome, but for some of them I don’t think you’re ready yet. You are at this point at the very beginning of something world changing, mind shifting. It’s going to take time to do big things, and it’s important to take that time. If you try something and it doesn’t work, please don’t beat yourself up. Step back and do something smaller that you can congratulate yourself for. Even if it’s brushing your teeth. 🙂

    You will come out of this stronger, smarter, more confident in who you are as a woman and a mom. Really.

    And remember how many warrior mammas you have routing for you- even those of us you’ve never met.

  46. Mandy
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

    Ok- I’m going to try and not write a long and rambling response to this…
    I was in your shoes last November. My husband of 13 years was no longer sure that he “was in love with me or that he wanted to be married” anymore. He also wasn’t sure if the wanted to be a full time parent anymore. We had been in counseling together since that April and I was really working on my end of things. He was working… a lot. I can give you the longer version one day.
    We have 3 kids- 5 yr old twins and a 3 yr old son. Precious and loving children….
    I am here to tell you- you will make it through. You put yourself first, take care of yourself. I run- my therapist knows I have to run to survive. Focus on your child, by making sure you stay positive for him….well it just helps.
    It will come in stages. You will get angry and when you do- it will be so empowering.
    Circle the wagons. Family and friends. I am 400 miles away from my family but my friends have been invaluable.
    This is all the tip of the iceberg as far as what you can do for yourself.
    Also- your “wounds” are still fresh and I remember that feeling. Your emotions will ebb and flow.
    I could write a book on this… but if you’d like to contact me please feel free. I’d be more than happy to help in any way I can….

  47. Nellie
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

    Hey there,
    I’m not going to pretend that I have any clue how you are feeling, although you are excellent at forming words on the page and your blog is a wonderful chronicle of your life, even the sucky parts.
    Your son is amazing and you are an incredibly strong woman. I am praying for you to find some peace in your heart and start to heal.
    (hugs) from Missouri
    Nellie

  48. Karen
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

    Change bedrooms, paint colors that you love on the walls (feel free to be daring with some bright colors), new bedding…all great ideas.

    Also, if there is a DivorceCares or similar support group that you can join it can be an awesome way to get the emotional support you need from people going through it as well. The groups in our areas have child care during the meetings so you don’t need to worry about a babysitter.

    The one big thing I did for myself was to join my local symphony orchestra (a community based one). I hadn’t played my violin in ten years, but the weekly rehearsals got me out of the house and gave me something to focus on outside of my job and my child. Is there an organization that you have always wanted to participate more with but never took the time to do before? Perhaps volunteering at an animal shelter to play with the animals/walk the dogs, a bible study at your church, some other organization that could use another hand.

    I went through this ten years ago and there are some days even now that it isn’t easy. But I know I’ve done and will continue to do everything I can to help my daughter be the best she can. Good luck to you as you move through these tough decisions.

  49. Jami
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    I have been through divorce. This is what helped me…or yet better said…this is what saved me.

    -Prayer, Prayer, Prayer
    -Surrounding myself with positive people who would listen and love on me without criticism.
    -Consuming myself with truth…aka. reading scripture
    -Taking capture my thoughts, reminding myself of what is true and positive…canceling the false thoughts that would consume me if I let it.
    -Make good choices for yourself. Know that you are in control of your feelings, attitude, etc.
    -Find a support group!

    Know these things:
    -Your past does not define you.
    -God knows your fears and wants you to depend on him in every way.
    -God knows your circumstances and He is the only way to fill the void in your life!
    -God loves you!
    -God wants you to know him personally.
    -God promises that He will give us a peace that surpasses understanding, but not necessarily a peace that always will give us understanding.
    -The Bible tells us the answer to worry is prayer: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).

    I will be praying for you and your son! You will get through this…I am confident that if you call on God, He will answer.
    Just know that you are not alone!

    With Love,
    Jami

  50. Kat
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

    There are some great suggestions! I LOVE the idea of redecorating your bedroom. If you haven’t done that, do it now!!!

    My idea might be a little crazy, but you mentioned losing weight and this worked for me;
    RUN A TRIATHLON! 🙂 I told you it is a little crazy. When my husband deployed for a year I needed something that was healthy that would keep me busy. I despise running so doing a marathon or even 10k was not my idea of fun and I knew I wouldn’t stick with it. So, the tri-sport it was. I joined a Masters Swim class, started going to spinning classes and began a couch to 5k program. Training for all 3 sports really kept me busy as well as interested. You don’t have to do an ultra-tri like an Ironman, there are many different lengths and a sprint length is a great place to start. It usually takes less than and hour or 2 to finish.
    The best part about running a triathlon? everyone is in awe of your new ability and it gives you something more to be proud of when you complete your first tri! I will warn you though, triathlons are addictive. There is also the helpful side effects of losing weight and working your stress out on the bike, the treadmill or even the pool. Did I mention that you get to look at a LOT of very fit half-naked men (another great side effect)?

    If you are at all interested here are some links to get you started:

    Triathlon General Info: http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/

    Masters Swim: http://www.usms.org/

    Couch to 5K: http://www.fromcouchto5k.com/articles/training/the-couch-to-5k-training-plan/

    Spinning (your gym may have included spinning classes): http://www.spinning.com/

    You are odviously a strong, capable woman and you deserve the self-love that your ex was never able to give to you. Good luck on your journey which ever path you choose.

  51. kristinayellow
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

    Oh. And this will sound insane but. I’m inspired by writing letters. Handwritten notes. I am seriously addicted to cute stationary and pens. Anyway. I do it because i love getting happy mail instead of bills and its getting more rare each month. Still I am determined to bring the art of letter writing back. Its a way to show people that i sat and focused on them for a bit and its something to make them smile. Perhaps set up a PO box. Enccourage people to mail you happy mail or cards or pictures that calm and inspire. Kind of like a happy only postsecret project. Sounds insane but think of how great it would be to have a pile of happy letters to hold and read when you are down. Plus i think seeing the handwriting will make it more personal and that will remind you of how supported and loved you are.

  52. Elizabeth
    May 10th, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

    Please, don’t get a makeover- you are beautiful just the way you are. You need to look outward rather than inward and relearn to celebrate the amazing life that you are blessed with. So… find a farm. An organic farm that has a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) component. http://www.localharvest.org/ Inch your way towards a sustainable future while you pick strawberries with J and see the juice run down his little chin. Feel the sun growing the food that will taste better than anything you can buy in the store. Meet the people who grow it and smile when you lift your fork to your mouth. Sense the connection between you and the universe, something your husband cannot sever.

  53. fredalina
    May 10th, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    If there is one non-destructive (no drugs or alcohol here!) thing that takes your mind off of things a little bit and doesn’t let you dwell, do it and do it often. For some people that’s jogging, working out, whatever. For some it’s volunteer work. It could be karaoke, or skydiving. For me, it’s taking my daughter swimming. Just do it as often as you need, and if you can involve your son, even better. Then, in your darkest moments, imagine yourself doing that, try to breathe the moment and live the moment in your head, and know that you’re doing a great job.

  54. 'Lizbeth
    May 10th, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

    Stay strong! You are not alone. There are so many great ideas here – let friends and family help. Use that network – especially when it comes to transforming the house into YOUR home. (And friends WANT to help. Let them strip wallpaper, paint or pull weeds!)

    Take time for you. You deserve it! Splurge and create a beautiful new room for you. Treat yourself – maybe a pedicure & fun shoes? And I agree with Amanda, knitting – especially for little ones – is great therapy. I’ve found lots of support – in life & knitting – with fellow knitters at http://www.ravelry.com.

    Best wishes,
    ‘Lizbeth

  55. Carrie
    May 10th, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

    Divorce is not easy no matter what the circumstances. Peace of mind will come with time. It might help to start a new activity/sport that you have never done….yoga, martial arts, dance, etc. Something like this is bound to give you confidence in yourself, relieve stress, and meet positive people.

    Wishing you to best,
    Carrie

  56. April
    May 10th, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

    Dear Law Mama 🙂

    You got this. Might not seem like it but you do.

    Start your bucket list…and make goals to complete those things on your bucket list. For you…and for your son.

    Let the STBX see that you are one tough cookie (you can have cookies as a part time vegan right?) and you will move forward with your life…even if he can’t see the inside. Start a running program if you’re feeling like you could shed a few pounds. Start training for a half marathon. (look at you go!) If there’s something you always wanted to do, do it. Skydive lessons, quilting, etc.

    I found some therapy in changing things around in my house. Painting rooms, etc. Making the house “mine” and not “ours”…

  57. Angela
    May 10th, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

    I’m 3 years out from my horrifyingly similar experience (although my girls were older, and my then spouse was gay), but there is a lot of truth to what other ladies have said previously. Here is a synopsis of what helped me –
    1) “family” vacations without my spouse. The girls and I had some really fabulous yet cost effective trips that we still talk about – like the time we rode rollercoasters during a hurricane. Or when we snowboarded in CO and after one trip down the mountain we were all tired and decided hot chocolate was a better idea. Or when we visited friends in NM and traveled by train and woke up to see the sunrise in the observation car.

    2) I got rid of everything that reminded me of him. Even if it was useful. I bought a red microwave because know what? I always liked red. I changed fabric softener to the scent I liked, threw out the Lever 2000 and bought body wash in girly scents, threw out lingerie and bought new just because. I like hazelnut flavored coffee and girly creamer, and no, I will never eat anything low carb/low fat/full of fiber ever again unless I want to.

    3) I cultivated a relationship with my girls that he will never have. I never spoke poorly of their father, but I didn’t lie and I think my honesty is what created a very loving, honest relationship with my teenage girls – yep. That’s right. Teenage girls. They tell me stuff that most girls hide from their mothers, yet they know I am not their friend, but the mom. No matter how bad it hurts, this relationship will remain long after I have moved on.

    4) Feeding your child PB & J every day for a week because you are not able to do more is FINE. Crying every time you think of how hard it is to be alone is FINE. Taking a dirty shirt up off the floor, shaking it out, spraying it with perfume and putting it on your need-to-be-showered body because you can’t think of another option and at least that shirt accentuates your breasts is FINE. Do what works to get through this and throw all the rules out the window. The paradigm has shifted.

    You will not feel this way forever. You will start to think of the benefits of not having to compromise yourself with another adult. You will think of him fondly, but not miss him. And yes, someone else told me all this and at the time I didn’t believe it, but it’s true.

  58. Jennifer Gagnon
    May 10th, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    Do what you can for you but don’t do things too soon. You need to grieve. You will need J to get through your days. It is going to be a long process in which you have to take one day at a time. Compartmentalize things…. One thing at a time. If you try to fix or work through everything, you will become overwhelmed. And last but not least…. Kill em with kindness. He will not understand and it will drive him crazy!!!!!

  59. KLZ
    May 10th, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    Kick.

    Boxing.

    Gyms have daycares. Go.

  60. Shelly
    May 10th, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    My suggestion is to read a book. Some trashy chick-lit or a good mystery. After a bad break up years ago it felt like I spent every waking moment crying. I forced myself to pick up a book, and 2 hours later when I put it down I realized it was the longest stretch that I hadn’t cried in days. I started really looking forward to reading every night and just being able to escape my life for a little while. It really helped me, much more than I expected when I first picked up the book. It won’t help you change or move on but maybe it will bring you some relaxing, thought-free hours. Hugs to you!!!!

  61. Linny
    May 10th, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

    I’m from a different place, different time and i surly have no super mommy skills yet, but id be proud to have you as my mother. Well that’s no advice but i do see a smile coming on…So that counts for something, right?

    -23yrs

  62. Pam
    May 10th, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    I hear you, loud and clear. I just moved back into ‘our’ house two weeks ago. Rather than drag you through all my details which I am sure are all too familiar to you, here is what has helped me.

    Pick another room to make your bedroom, and make it your sanctuary. I couldn’t be in ‘that’ room anymore. I removed wedding gifts, memories, shared things, books, anything that painfully brought us right into my face. I recarpeted another room, redesigned how it looked and was layed out. I filled it with fresh light, seashells, a piece of art I’d been meaning to frame, the things that make me feel good. Finally I’m sleeping like a normal person at least a few times a week.

    I immerse myself in my kids. It’s been a long time since I watched cartoons with them, had a dance party or made mud pies not caring about the time. Do it often. You and J will be all the better for it.

    Grab a friend. Go have wine, wear jammies if you want to, and pig out on your fav food just for a night. Tomorrow will always come.

    And make sure you get some sun everyday even if its just taking out the trash or pulling weeds. You’ll be shocked how it might change your mood.

    Fake it til you make it. And you will make it.

    -P

  63. Jane
    May 10th, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

    This is going to sound really silly, but trust me: roller derby.

    Every time we have a “newbies” session, at least half the women who show up are going through something unbelievably hard. As a result, they hit unbelievably hard. And many of them say it’s the best therapy they’ve ever had. They work out the anger and gain a big support group. They feel empowered, and they appreciate doing something completely for themselves. Also, many of these women bring their kids, no matter how young. It’s a playgroup and a workout session in one.

    If this sounds too nuts, I agree with KLZ: kickboxing.

    My heart goes out to you. Your strength is incredible.

  64. Lisa
    May 10th, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    When I went through a tough break-up (no kids though) I took up running. I had to start slow but three years later I have completed 8 half marathons, a triathlon, and countless 5 and 10k races. Most local races allow strollers, so you can take J with you. Even just getting out to walk will help clear your head and get your mind off things, plus you will be teaching J great healthy habits. A lot of local races are starting to have “kid runs” too, which might help you meet new people.

    I LOVE all of the suggestions about making your house your own!

  65. Alena Chandler
    May 10th, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

    These are some amazing suggestions. I don’t think you should pick five. I think you should buy a notebook and write them all down. Write down hobbies, events, trips, idea’s….write everything down. And then spend time crossing it off. If you can’t do something now (because you aren’t ready, or you don’t have the funds, or the time) skip over it to the next thing.

    Also? Look at it as moving back to the place YOU never wanted to leave. Because you had a job you loved, and a daycare J loved. No go girlify it. And post pictures. 🙂

  66. Celeste
    May 10th, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

    Come to WV!!! I’m serious! My name is Celeste, I am an attorney, I have a 2 year old son, and I’m a vegetarian! See? What more of a sign do you need to take a break and come to WV! Actually, me and some girlfriends are planning our second girls’ weekend in June. Maybe the end of the month?

    Or, if you’d rather, you, and your son, could just come to stay and relax. Ok, really meet me and my family for the first time, ever, but then stay. We could sit on my deck, drink beer/wine and watch the trains go by (not as bad as it sounds). Or, if you don’t drink, you can watch me drink while watching the trains go by.

    I’m serious, come to WV!!! Also, I promise you, I am not a psycho! 🙂 I am, however, crazy (but in a good, perfectly functional, way). 🙂

  67. Donna
    May 10th, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

    First, my heart goes out to you. I have been where you are and I know how bleak it feels. I can absolutely promise you 100% that it will get better. You will emerge on the other side and feel WHOLE again, even happy, nay, happier than ever!
    I found what helped me the most was doing things that he hated. I would listen to music he would always scoff at, run in the mornings when he said “go back to sleep”. Just whatever I wanted to do, however I wanted to dress. That is what helped me feel like me again, and made me feel that maybe my freedom wasn’t such a bad thing afterall.
    It also helped me to make plans for my daughter, and imagine our future together. I pictured all the things I wanted for us and got going on those things. Maybe it was all distractions, but it worked to get me through until I didn’t need them.

  68. Michele
    May 10th, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    Every divorce is different, but they all hurt the same. I have been divorced not once, but twice. Both totally different circumstances and one remains a close friend to this day, but neither one was a pleasant experience. I learned more about myself as an individual and learned just how much strength I really had during that process. Just speaking out of personal experience, the best way to be able to move forward for me was to acknowledge that it was ok for me to be upset, hurt and angry. Those are natural emotions that you have to go through in order to move forward, so go ahead and get them behind you. You are entitled to your big break down, so to speak, where you yell,scream, and cry or however you deal and cope with emotions, then after that.. its time to focus on YOU and your child and for your futures. Good things will come in due time. Its a process, just like that divorce itself. Find a hobby or an interest that you enjoy doing, whether its from taking a “how-to” class,or listening to music, or writing, or painting, or traveling, or just going to the park and walking around. I found that music was a huge outsource for me. I really liked the idea someone had in a previous comment about moving back into one of the other bedrooms….or move back into the master but redo it. Repaint, new pictures, bedding, etc…make it what you would like for it to be. But start anew what ever you do. Focus on your child, work, and do the things that you have always wanted to do, but couldn’t. Try to think about it as a fresh start in a whole new life and the opportunities are endless. One day, this will only be a reflection, on what helped you become the stronger person you had become.

  69. Heather
    May 10th, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

    I’ve never been through a divorce, but I am a mommy and can’t imagine suddenly having to do it alone.

    I don’t have any other fantastic advice that the ladies here haven’t covered, I just wanted you to know there are people that will be pulling for you as you go through this.

  70. Ron
    May 10th, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

    I found your blog through the Rants from Mommyland site. As a guy, I kinda feel like I need to say that “Lydia” is a relative and I think their articles are pretty funny but I also still read stuff about cars and guns too so, it’s ok 🙂

    They say it helps to know you are not the only one, I don’t know if it really makes any difference but here it is.

    My wife left me and our daughter about a year and a half ago. Like you, we kept things civil for our daughter’s sake. She moved in with her new boyfriend and I started trying to create a new life with just me and my daughter. My daughter is 10 and I didn’t want to cause any more disruption in her life but I needed my own space so I found a new house in the same school district. I sold the “family car” that was bought for my ex but somehow became mine in the divorce. I forced myself to stop playing that stupid song that just fueled my depression and anger (everybody seems to have one). I started doing stuff with friends — both with and without my daughter. At some point, I just sort of decided that it was time to “get over it”. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t get angry or depressed. I still want to strangle her sometimes when she is complaining about some scheduling detail about her weekends or that I didn’t send her a copy of a report card soon enough. I will never forgive her for throwing away 22 years of marriage or maybe I will never forgive myself for whatever I did (I always feel like, as a guy in this situation, I need to make it clear that I never ever cheated or was abusive or a drunk or anything like that — not once in 22 years. I always thought I was a pretty good husband.)

    The good news that I can report is that life goes on and it becomes “normal” again. Its not better or worse, just different and the same. I think it is harder, especially trying to balance work and family, when there is one less person to take up the slack but its not impossible.

  71. JD Momma
    May 10th, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    There have been tons of great thoughts on here already… My favorites:
    1) make the house YOURS and J’s
    2) hair cut/color – make the new you someone new.
    3) a new hobby – scrapbook, paint, etc.
    4) take up a class for exercise
    5) writing and burning letters – you can get out all of the b*tchy thoughts and never worry about J seeing them… I still do that sometimes!

  72. Caroline
    May 10th, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

    OK, I’ve just skimmed through the comments, but I have been thinking about this post since you put it up. I no longer live in Macon, but when I did, I went to Ingleside Baptist. They have a fantastic Divorce Care class, and a wonderful preschool program. It’s been a few years since I was there, but I think the Divorce Care class was on Sunday nights. It might be just what you need to put J in the nursery and get a little break to meet others who are going through the same thing you are. The people who were leading it when I was there are probably not still the leaders, but I remember there being some strong women who were amazing with the hurt that happens in that class.

    I wish I had more advice than that, but really all I can think of is to tell you to spend some time on the lake. Go see some plays at the Macon Little Theatre. Take J to the museum. Do the little things that help!

  73. Star
    May 10th, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

    I was recently left in a similar abrupt manner. After a few days of being a sobbing puddle of mess, I went out and got a tattoo (something he didn’t approve of but I wanted). That was great so I dyed my hair black and pierced my lip. Extreme yes, but the point is, I asserted my individuality, reminding myself that I am more than his wife, or at this point, not his wife. I promise it will start to heal and hurt less. In the meantime, work on remembering who you were and cuddle that little bundle of warm you have!

  74. barkingkel
    May 10th, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

    Find your voice, take a voice class.

    Tap into your creative side, through the local community center/college art program, create something wonderful to fill the void of the destruction fo your old life.

    Find your new self, which is wonderful!http://www.mondobeyondo.org/index.html

  75. Melissa
    May 10th, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

    I found you through Rants from Mommyland. Your grief is palpable and I truly feel for you. For me in a heartbreaking situation from my past, I turned to yoga. It was something that I could do myself and it helped to bring healing. At the time it was something I really couldn’t afford to do but at the same time I couldn’t afford not to do either. Whatever you decide to do, I hope you will find happiness, or at least a facsimile of happiness for now.

  76. kady
    May 10th, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

    I think everybody has said everything good already, and I don’t really have anything new to say. I just want you to know my heart breaks for you, and I’m sending you a hug and blog love. (unless you’re a non-hugger, like Kate at mommyland!)

  77. Katie Carr
    May 10th, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

    My favorite thing to do when stressed is to get outside with the kids. Whether walking downtown, hiking skyline drive, visiting the state arboretum or even just playing outback – being outside and watching my boys experience things in ways I wouldn’t – it brings me to a good place.

  78. Fancy
    May 10th, 2011 @ 11:42 pm

    I couldn’t think of a short and sweet way to “comment” my suggestion. So, I blogged it for you. 🙂

    Here’s the post, just for you.

    http://fancy-pants-mommy.blogspot.com/2011/05/this-ones-for-you.html

    Good luck with everything. I can’t even begin to describe the sadness I feel for you.

    It will get better…. But it sure does suck right now.

  79. Ruthie
    May 11th, 2011 @ 12:28 am

    Keep a gratitude journal. Three items a day for which you are thankful. After a month you’ll be close to a hundred, if you can keep it up for a year it will be over 1000! Minimal time commitment, but will remind you each and everyday that you have a life worth loving and much for which to be grateful.

  80. Semantha
    May 11th, 2011 @ 1:30 am

    First, I am sorry for the loss of your “before life”. I have been divorced twice now, raising numerous kiddos (I swear they multiply like Gremlins!) and both times it sucked, for two totally different reasons. The second time I could not sleep in our bedroom and stayed on the couch for 3 weeks, until my therapist 1) gave me xanax and 2) told me to go in that room in the light of day and completely change the room. I took down all the pictures and changed as much of the room as I could to alter its appearance. I took down all of “our” pictures and only kept the dartboard with his pic in the closet to start. Then I took the stupid TV he would keep on 24/7 and got rid of it, replacing with picture frames with quotes I printed off the internet in cool fonts. 🙂

    I suggest to do this to your space. Throw out the crap you hated that he has left (how come some men cling to horrible looking stuff?) and pick out new stuff for yourself. Stick to a new color scheme (ours was medium blue, mine is now red, for power and strength). New pillows, a dash of paint, and Voila! A new room for YOU!

    Pick a few goals of things just for yourself. What is something you wanted to do that got pushed aside? Run a marathon? Write a book? Stalk a celebrity? Dye your hair? Get a tattoo of goat cheese? (Please don’t, I was kidding) Watch every old Bogart movie? Learn to bake/cook/change the oil in your car? Ride a motorcycle? Whatever it is, make a list and prioritize it, and then start doing them. Its just you and the kid, so take advantage of that fact! Your darling little ankle biter doesn’t give a crap if you eat pizza for a week straight, so give yourself permission to do what YOU want. I highly suggest making an elaborate breakfast for dinner. Something about pancakes and syrup at 6pm…yummm.

    In order to find your new life path you have to start out by finding YOU again. The you before you were a couple. Go back and find that girl and dust her off and take baby steps to figuring out what she likes. He liked blah blah on blah blah day routine? Erase that and create a new one. As you rediscover yourself you will be able to let pieces of him go. And if that doesn’t work, there’s always Vegas! Many blessings and wishes of good luck to you!

  81. Rayna
    May 11th, 2011 @ 2:20 am

    I remember writing almost your exact words in my journal not to long ago. I was a full-time Paralegal working 50+ hours a week and desperately trying to keep a failing marriage afloat, along with two kids (one of which is special needs). I found myself fried, miserable and sicker than heck with Pneumonia before I got to the point where I realized I had to break through my fog. My advice?

    1 – Redecorate the house, top to bottom. Make it ALL yours. Splurge and be creative with it. That is YOUR sanctuary now and you need to make it so.

    2 – Splurge on LOTS of portraits of you and your son. Trust me, this will go hand in hand with #1 and you will be amazed at how much you treasure the pictures. As as single parent, you will be the one behind the lens more often than not, so frequently pay to have good ones taken with YOU in it. Plus, your son will cherish these when he’s older.

    3 – Schedule things that get you out of the house during your ex’s visitation times. Nothing will bring you down faster than sitting at home when your little man is with his Dad. Schedule a massage, a facial, a mani/pedi, haircut, etc. Things for YOU! It will help getting sleep easier and pass time without your son faster, and in a healthy way.

    4 – Take a “Mental Health Day.” That means… no depositions, no court appearances, no meetings with clients. It’s a day off of work for your own mental health. Take a nap, go for a hike, wander the mall and shop…whatever you like. And tell your assistant/paralegal if she/he calls you, you will check yourself into a mental hospital. 😀

    5 – And this one is super important: Take the time to appreciate your Paralegal/Assistant. Like it or not, your stress will ALWAYS filter down to your support person/staff. Make it a point to thank them for their work with flowers, lunch, gift card, whatever. Why? Because they will SAVE your butt and reduce your stress in ways you can’t possibly imagine. If they know where you are coming from and what you are dealing with, they will be more forgiving and help carry your burdens tremendously. And when you decide you need item #4, they will make sure everything is taken care of and you won’t have WWIII sitting on your desk when you come back. 🙂

    I truly wish you the best of luck. I know you’ll come through all of this. You have an amazing amount of support and positive thoughts. 🙂

  82. Lisa
    May 11th, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

    Do as much as u can backwards or oppistite how u do normally!! If you normally take a left for worko straight, go out on a Tuesday night instead of Saturday. Workout in the morning not at night. As said above change bedrooms. Anything u can possiably do different do differnet!!

    I also second the thoughing a little makeup and wearing something u love. The picture thing might b a good idea. I know since I’ve been doing I feel much better.

    Good luck please know a lot of people support you but also know Makin mistakes is ok u r not going to let anyone down and thts how u learn and grow.

  83. kerri
    May 11th, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

    i haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if this is redundant, but i think you might need a place you can be angry and not civil toward your ex…maybe start another blog, anonymously, where you just let off steam in a way it can’t possibly hurt J.

  84. Denise Reid Troxclair
    May 11th, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

    I’ve never been through this, so I will in no way claim to understand what you are going through, just wanted to offer some extra love and support! My suggestion of things to do–start running, get a running stroller (I rec’d a BOB) and take your little one out with you and run, set a goal, a distance or a race and enjoy the time out with him and when you cross the finish line of a race, I promise you’ll feel different. I did that after my miscarriages, and have now done 6 half marathons, best feeling in the world, literally (well I haven’t had my baby yet, I think feeling her move is and her birth will be the best!!). Good luck with this transition. I am inspired by your calm, collected behavior in the midst of such tragedy!

  85. Tera Cruz
    May 11th, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    You already have a reason to change yourself. . . . J! You are the one person that he can count on. You are the one stable thing in his life right now.
    Something you might consider to help you get rid of the sadness is to find your inner anger. It’s there under all the tears. I have been through a divorce myself, although under different circumstances. Get angry and get motivated. He did this to your life. He found someone else. He chose to leave your life, not you. Get angry at him for changing the game, get angry at him for making you feel this way and get angry at him for making you doubt yourself. You are a strong, confident mother and you need to find your inner strength. Prove to him that you don’t need him to be happy. Prove to him that you are capable of living and LOVING without him. Make him regret his choices.
    Keep on keeping on. One day you will forget you ever felt this way. It does get better!

  86. Nita
    May 12th, 2011 @ 12:11 am

    I didn’t go through a divorce because luckily, we hadn’t gotten married yet. But I do know how much heartbreak, trauma, stress, and hopelessness is involved in completely uprooting your life and your child’s life because the man you loved has changed his tune. So, I’ll give you the best advice I can from my own experiences. Take whatever you can from it and ko that you’re not alone.

    1. Don’t drown yourself in three bottles of wine every night. You’ll only feel like crap tomorrow, plus it gets expensive. If you’re having trouble sleeping in your now empty bed try this instead: Buy new sheets, buy extra pillows, download Lightning Bug (or other white noise making app) for your phone, drink some herbal tea (like lavendar-chamomile), and snuggle up with your child.

    2. New shoes. If there was ever a time to buy yourself happy, this is it. Find a way to treat or spoil yourself. If it takes a new pair of shoes, a trip to the salon, or a brand new handbag, so be it. Go buy something that makes you smile.

    3. Try your best to ignore the pseudo-well-wishers… They mean well, but some how they don’t understand that saying “Don’t worry, I’m sure that someday you’ll find someone.” can be extremely hurtful in a time like this.

    4. Wrap yourself in a blanket of quiet, fuming bitterness and anger. Let that cold numbness wash over you. Because feeling nothing at all hurts a whole lot less than what you’re feeling now.

    5. Start working out. When I finally left my ex, working out was my frustration relief. Sometimes it was yoga. Somes I just did crunches until I couldn’t sit up anymore. It helped.

    6. Go on a trip. Take your son with you and go on a trip. Get out and experience something new with him. Even a short trip will give you a day or two to not think about the divorce. And seeing your child’s eyes light up at a new adventure will remind you why you’re staying so strong.

    You can do this! The pain will pass, but be prepared for a lifelong scar from it. I wish you the best!

  87. Shannon
    May 12th, 2011 @ 4:09 am

    You need a prescription and counseling to get past this.. I was in the same negative space you were 6 months ago. What felt like bottomless despair and regrets and straining to be better all of the time have lifted. I can be objective about how much emotional energy is reasonable to spend on something that isn’t working or someone who is being an asshole.

    You might still love your ex but he doesn’t love you and you can’t make him. Its not easy to accept but its not complicated. You have a long road of civil co-parenting ahead and an example to set for your kid.

    So, it sounds wacky, but do yourself a favor and thank your ex for releasing you from a lifetime of unrequited love and giving you the have a chance to find happiness with someone else. Let him be someone else’s pain in the ass. Be yourself and you will attract people who will love you for who you are, not what you have to struggle to be.

    And dance around to celo green’s F you song.

  88. Lola
    May 12th, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    This helped me in my first year: I chose to do two things that scared me half to death. Neither one took practice or weeks of self-improvement. I learned to ski over a 3 day weekend and floated down a river I’d been avoiding for 14 years. Both took all of my concentration, all of my energy, and there was no room for anything else – it was me and fear out for a walk. I came away utterly exhausted from both, yet triumphant and amazing. It doesn’t fix anything obvious, but really, it’s about reclaiming yourself. Find that one thing,don’t think about it .. then do it. My next big thing is jumping out of an airplane …

  89. Michelle
    May 13th, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

    Sent here from MommyLand.
    1. Exercise. I do Zumba three days a week on my lunch hour. Also have lost 275 pounds since filing for divorce (OK, 240 of that was him, but still…)
    2. Do something that you gave up when you got married. Me? I gave up live music/concerts and cycling. What have I done to recapture the former me? Gone to a monthly free jazz concert and bought a beautiful Raleigh road bike with the pennies I’ve been saving since I asked for the divorce.
    3. 99-cent nail polish. Bug picked out the most outrageous blue that I would never wear, but it was perfect for last summer and it made me think of my son when I looked at my toes.
    4. Therapy if you’re lucky enough to have health insurance that covers mental health issues.
    5. Alcohol. Not too much, but dang, nothing like a good glass of merlot under a snuggly blanket to make me feel warm.
    6. Friends. Embrace the old and make new. Think about the energy you spent on a relationship that didn’t appreciate you, and turn it toward ones that do.
    7. Paint, paint, paint. It’s relatively cheap and it makes it YOURS.
    8. Take down all the old artwork and put up new. I now am surrounded by my friends’ beautiful nature photographs that were mocked by the x.
    9. Embrace your son, and know that when he is standing on the stage at graduation, he is going to know YOU were the one who was there for him and helped shape him into the awesome person he is.
    10. Laugh. Puns, movies, TV shows. Get the happy endorphins going.

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