I got divorced 4 years ago and I’ve yet to shed the accompanying guilt of forever changing my daughter’s lives. They didn’t ask for a divorce – it was my choice and yet they are paying the price of an adolescence they didn’t bargain for nor bet on.
Divorce isn’t something anyone plans for, but it happens – 50% of the time according to some studies. Twenty years ago I’d never have imagined I’d be on the losing side of that 50% – but I am and the loss and change for my daughters has and will shape their lives in ways only time will reveal.
Not being able to do everything I want to for them because I have less money now is hard for me. There’s the $2000 swim team, drama lessons, driving school, back to school shopping, I miss you gifts, vacations and more that all have to be done on one income.
So I work really hard at my job because it keeps me focused and allows me to provide for them as best I can. And I rely on my family who are the most amazing bunch of funny, workaholic, goofy, kind, loving and caring people in my life.
The oldest of four and proudly resistant to asking for help, divorce has taught me to ask for help especially when it is in the best interest of my daughters or simply a way to give them something I cannot. So, putting my self-worth on the line, I have asked several times for help over these years.
And you know what – my siblings, my parents and their partners have stepped up to the plate willingly and graciously every time. Be it financial, emotional or physical – they just did it.
So I won’t rationalize, minimize or explain away any of my feelings or my daughters, but in the final analysis, I have created a new life for me and for them. A life where I am more burdened yet more free, more stressed yet more excited for each day, more fearful yet more courageous, and more unsure yet more certain that I will figure it out – for me and for them.
But without the love, acceptance, help and impossible amount of humor from my family it would be a far more challenging road to travel.