“Throwing in the towel” for sanity’s sake

Have you ever been trudging through the divorce process, and thought to yourself, “I’m about done with this. I want out.”

I got to that point somewhere around my 3rd visit to the courthouse. Those of you who’ve gone through the divorce process are well aware of the painfully slow pace with which anything happens in court. Every ‘visit’ solves absolutely nothing. I couldn’t believe that I’d been made to spend half a day waiting for absolutely nothing to happen. And I mean that literally. I often walked out of the courtroom asking my lawyer, “that’s it?” For a process that’s so involved with taking up other people’s time, you’d think that it would advance at a much quicker pace. I found it sickening.

Back in 2006, the child support guideline in Canada got an increase of 15% across the board. You’d think that this increase would automatically be implemented to those who were already paying support, but NOOOO. We had to (you guessed it), go back to court and apply for the increase. So, I went to court and filed the paperwork. Of course (big surprise), my ex balked at a 15% increase to an amount that was already well below what he should have been paying anyway. But I digress.

One day, on another uneventful, 3+ hour “visit” to the courthouse, my usual comment to my lawyer (“that’s it?”) brought a different response. She said, “Nothing happens in court unless you both agree, even if it IS a governmental increase to the guideline. So if he doesn’t agree to it, we could do this forever.” My jaw was on the ground. THAT is when I decided that it was time. I’d had it. The very thought of walking into that gawd awful courthouse one more time, literally made my stomach sick. It was causing too much anxiety and stress. My hair was falling out. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t take it anymore. So I said, “If the money is that important to him, make sure someone lets his family know that they should put it in his casket when they bury him, because I can’t do this shit anymore.”

I’ve never been back to that courthouse. The ex is still paying what he was paying before the increase for the one child that I have left at home. I got to the point where I didn’t care anymore. I knew that I’d rather make my own money, than indulge his need to control me financially by dragging me back into court over every fucking nickel. That was where my divorce determined who I would become, and how I would make the money that I needed to support the three beautiful children that God gave me.

The second that I decided “Enough”, I felt a huge weight leave my body. I gained a sense of control that I didn’t have when I was running to and from court on an almost monthly basis.

Once you decide where / when you need to draw that line, do it. Believe me, the feeling of freedom that it gives you is unmatched. Only you can decide what’s more important, your sanity, or ‘winning’. I’d say that keeping your sanityIS winning. Wouldn’t you agree? :)

Peace xo

The Life of a Single Mom is Kind of Like a Show…

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a huge watcher of television. Yes, there are the odd couple of shows that I’m addicted to, but that’s honestly just a couple. My attention span is too short to be paying attention to it for much longer.

At The Joy of Ex, I spend a fair amount of time fielding questions that land in my inbox, from single moms trying to find the best way to maintain some semblance of sanity, and I tell them exactly what I do.

Since my divorce, I’ve been known to compare my own life to a TV show.

As the ‘boss’ of my now four person, one parent household (or “the cast” as we’re affectionately known), I’m the Producer and the Principle, or main character. Not to sound ‘big headed’, but everything revolves around me (single mom), because as you mom’s well know, that’s how we roll in real life. If mom decides that she actually wants to do something for herself, the whole damn thing falls apart.

My show is about this crazy life after divorce, that most single mothers can relate to. It includes my three (sometimes insane) children, also known as my co-stars, who test my friggin patience on an hourly basis. Their friends are character actors and guest stars, as are my own friends, family, and dating potentials. There are a couple of things that I’d probably add, but this show is essentially the way that I want it to look.

Single mom…your life is like a show. This is your show. As in life, there’s a camera on you practically at all times, and all of the say as to who you ‘cast’ in that show belongs to you. If you’re dating someone who is proving terrible for ‘ratings’ (ie; the jerk who treats you badly, that your ‘viewers’ and co-stars can’t stand), you simply dump his ass, and easy peasy, you write his ass out of future episodes.

Boom. Done. Next.

Easy, right? Isn’t this fun? 😉

The so-called “best friend” who professes to be your ‘rock’ to your face, but takes any and every opportunity to slag you behind your back? You get to cut that bitch from future episodes too! How you choose to do that is entirely up to you, but you know that the power is yours.

The neighbour who’s constantly needing a favour, never offering to return it; If you were watching this show on TV, would you be yelling at your on-screen self to “just say no!”? This is where you get to take your own advice.

In your show, is your ‘character’ a strong, self-assured woman, or is she that spineless woman who lets others walk all over her? What kind of woman do you see yourself as, in your show?

You create, allow or control everything that goes on in your show. If the person that you’d be in your show, isn’t the person that you are now, what’s holding you back?

Peace xo