By Admin | March 26, 2021
In December 2018, I posted the following on Facebook, referring to conversations with my then 9-year-old son:
Christmas, 1 year into Co-Parenting
Tad: Can I take this [present] to Dad’s, Mom?
Me: No, Sweetheart. What if you forget to bring it back or what if it gets lost? If it’s a really special one, maybe we can get you one for his house?
Christmas, 8 years into Co-Parenting
Tad: Can I take this [present] to Dad’s, Mom?
Me: Only if you promise you will pick up all the pieces right now, BY YOURSELF, and it never comes back.
To my surprise, this post has almost as many “likes” as the best snapshots of my children. People loved it. I noticed much positive reception from fellow single parents and from grown-ups who were raised in blended families.
They had all been there. They got it. They understand that things that felt important early in the blended family journey become less important as the years pass by.
It illustrates a point that I strive to help my clients see as early as they can: The way you feel about co-parenting during your divorce is not the way you’re going to feel about it several years down the road.
I cannot promise things will be better. I do not assume things will be worse. But I am confident in saying that the concerns you’re having now will not be the same concerns you’ll have in five years.
Being a Parent After Divorce
I used to haunt a lot of ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) classes when I was single-parenting my eldest. I was almost always the sole single parent in the room.
As we parents sipped our coffee and went around the table supporting each other, my classmates were wonderfully compassionate about the unique issues I brought to the table.
I will never forget a class where I had tears saying, “I just feel like I’m not 100% mom anymore. I’m 50% mom. I’m only mom half the time now. But I don’t feel that way. I still FEEL like I’m mom all the time but I don’t get to see him!”
A class participant told me her parents were divorced when she was four years old, and she does not have substantial memories of them parenting together before the divorce. She said, “You are thinking that way, Martha. But your son isn’t. My mom told me she worried about those things when I was growing up. But I didn’t. The thought that she could be 50% mom never even occurred to me.”
Coping With Divorce is a Unique, Personal Experience
Your divorce is exactly that — YOUR divorce to experience the way you experience it. There is no right or wrong way to feel about the tragic end to a marriage that you had profound hopes would last for a lifetime. But again – the way you feel now? It is how you’re feeling. Right now.
You can be the most compassionate, empathetic person in the world, and the pain of going through a divorce will still make it nearly impossible for you to notice anything around you other than your hurt. That’s not a bad thing. It’s normal.
I’ve Been There. I’ve Experienced It. I’m Here to Help You.
Why am I devoting an entire blog post to calling attention to the discrepancies between what you’re feeling now, what you assume others are feeling, and how you’ll feel down the road?
Because while you’re getting divorced, you have limited chances to make decisions that are in support of (and the hope for) the “you” who will emerge in years to come, rather than the reactive “you” who is terrified of the unknown you’re facing.
When you come in and meet with me, I’ll gently talk you through the discrepancies between what is important to you now, and what is likely to be important to you in the future as you’re living your awesome life.
I want to help you make decisions that will benefit you and your family in the long term. Because the unknown? The perceived financial ruin? The deep grief and loss? These do not need to be in your life for the long term.
Let’s work together to get those painful feelings addressed in your present, so you can leave them behind for a bright, bright future.
About Martha Therres, PLLC
Martha is a jiu-jitsu-practicing, crochet-rocking mother of two awesome boys and four cuddly pets. She is also the founder of Therres Law Office.
Martha is proud to say that she has experience as both a lawyer and as a client. Whatever you’re going through, she has likely experienced something similar. She will get it.
When you work with Martha, you’re not getting an attorney who will stoke flames to collect more fees from you. She truly wants what’s best for your family.
Negotiating a path to move you forward into your new life is something she’ll handle as if it was her own family. After all, it WAS her own family at one point. She is passionate, ethical, trustworthy, and knows that family law is not just her career. It’s her life force.