Surviving Divorce: What not to do if vows aren’t upheld

When you go through a divorce, you end up reaching out to others going through what you are going through. Because if you haven’t been through a divorce, you don’t quite understand it. So you find others in your shoes, and you swap war stories. And from talking to divorced women, there were some underlying “lessons” everyone talked about.

So this is my advice on what not to do if you divorce because your husband didn’t uphold his vows. Don’t listen to others, do what feels right to your soul. Don’t blame yourself, nobody deserves to be put through that. DO NOT tie your self worth on his actions. This I can’t stress enough. What he does to you and how he treats you has nothing to do with you. You were enough. Please, remember that. You were enough. And if he is out treating someone much better than he treated you, don’t question why he couldn’t be like that with you (also remember that a person rarely changes, and that his old self will always come back through once he is comfortable with someone new). Just be thankful that you get to start again.

Oh, and don’t look back. You left that life behind for a very good reason. Let it be left.

Happy Life Day, Eli!

DISCLAIMER: I CANT SING…..I DONT CARE.

Happy Life Day my beautiful boy. I made that song up for you 13 years ago, one night rocking you because you had terrible colic and never slept. You were always happiest in my arms, so eventually I just wrapped you to me and continued on.

Somehow I have a teenager. I dont know how it happened. I wasnt quite ready for you when i found out i was pregnant, and i was terrified to be a mom. But you changed everything. That first night in the hospital room, when it was just you and me at 2am and you stared up at me, I knew I would do anything for you.

You are such a bright and lovely boy. You are sweet and kind (except to your siblings) and unless i dig to see how you’re feeling, i would never know you were having a bad day.

I love watching you grow and evolve. I love watching a lot of my traits coming out in you. I love our morning cuddles and that you still climb into bed some nights with me. I love how you ask me how my day was, like an adult would.

And boy do I love that smile.

I could never have fully understood the gift you would be to me thirteen years ago. But you are. Having you as my son has gotten me through a lot of tough times. Knowing I’m doing what I’m doing for you and your siblings keeps me pushing.

Thankyou for being so wonderful, even when you think it’s funny to fart on me, eat all my cookies, wipe your chip hands on your shirt, forget absolutely everything (you would forget your head if it wasnt attached), pee on the seat and leave it, leave rotting food under your bed, wrestle with your brother constantly…..I love you.

You’re perfect to me, oh cant you see?

What they will Remember

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It has been quite the emotional week in this household. I didn’t realize how much one little speech could cause so much drama. My daughter wrote something from her heart which was a positive and encouraging speech to others, and she should have been able to read it. End of discussion.

So what will my daughter remember from this experience?

Five years down the road, I doubt she will remember her speech. But she will remember that her mom said: No. Unacceptable. You will not be silenced. That her mom told her that her speech was good enough, and that other kids would have benefited from listening to it. She will remember that her mom posted her speech to show her how important it was. She will remember sitting with her mom for over an hour, reading all of the positive comments and encouragement she got, from complete strangers, and being proud of her speech.

She will remember how her mom went into the school to speak with the principal and make sure that even though speeches were over, she got to read her original in class, because that was important to her. She will remember her principal supported her in this, because she also believed it was important she used her voice.

Your child may not remember the exact situation years down the road, but what they will remember is how those around them acted, supported, treated, demeaned, bullied. They will remember the lesson they learned, how they felt, what they were taught in that situation. I guess I could have sat quietly, held her hand and said: I’m sorry how you’ve been treated. That’s too bad hunny. Then maybe she could have gone on to think that her voice and feelings didn’t really matter. She could have believed that censorship is ok. But instead, five, ten, twenty years down the road, when she is in another situation like this, because she will be, she will look back and remember when her mom stood up for her and told her that her voice matters, her feelings matter, and nobody was going to silence her.

If you have children, remember that the things, the presents, even the underlying parts of the situation don’t matter. They are watching you and seeing how you react, how you treat them and what you allow. That is what they will remember, that is how they will be shaped as they grow. This is such a big responsibility we have as adults. They remember experiences over presents. They remember hugs and kisses over toys. They remember time spent with them over money thrown at them.

They remember being told they aren’t good enough and what they say doesn’t matter. But not only do they remember this, they believe it. They believe it and it stays with them.

So, I stand behind what I did. Because I know that when she grows up, she will remember that I was proud of her for using her voice. There are too many girls like my daughter being silenced. Too many being told what they think doesn’t matter. Shush up. Say this instead. Think this instead. Do what I say or I will silence you.

How can the world be changed, if the firecrackers that can do the changing have their spark stamped out?

What do you want your children to remember?

This is What 36 looks like

Today is my Life Day.

36 years on this earth.

432 months lived.

1877.14 weeks gone by.

315,360 hours spent.

18,921,600 minutes breathed.

1,135,296,000 seconds felt.

This is what 36 looks like for me.

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I was born with a spark, that lead my way. I had a creative flair that sometimes made it hard for me to focus on one thing. I wanted to try it all, and I wanted to see how well I could do things. I was outgoing, had little boundaries, and not an ounce of patience.

These past 36 years have brought me many great things, but also many great struggles. I made choices that at the time I thought were good, but turned out to shape my life very different from what was true and authentic to me. I pushed through as many do, head down, one day at a time. And even though my children brought me so much joy, I lost my spark.

For a very long time.

I listened to the people that treated me like I didn’t matter. I listened to the people telling me I needed to just choose the be happy and appreciate all that was given to me. I listened to the people that never gave me the benefit of the doubt. I listened to the people that abused me and made me feel like I was never good enough.

Until I stopped listening.

And now, today as I turn 36, I can tell you my spark has started again. Thanks to some amazing friends, partner, family and my own strength, I can look back and see how much I’ve healed, and how much I continue to heal. This road isn’t quite over, but there is a light at the end of it.

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So let me tell you some lessons I’ve learned along the way. In no particular order, but all just as important.

  • At some point, everyone should live on their own. It can be quite wonderful, your own space, sleeping sideways on your bed, silence, space to live in your own feelings and thoughts, and an independence that everyone should feel.
  • Dogs really are great companions. They are always happy to see you, and are perfect at snuggling up for a movie.
  • True friends run towards your fires, always. Not just when it is convenient for them. Get rid of the ones that don’t.
  • It’s ok to not be ok.
  • Encourage your children to travel, find themselves and be independent before worrying about settling down with someone.
  • When you share a bathroom with four children, locks are non existent and sometimes the tub has to be used as well to pee in.
  • Don’t ever think another person “completes you” or that you are “one”. You complete you, and you are one all on your own. Another person should just be an added bonus.
  • Women, you can and should leave a toxic and/or abusive relationship. You will be ok. Your kids will be ok. Trust me. Let me repeat that, you can and should leave a toxic and/or abusive relationship. You will survive. There is never a good enough excuse to stay.
  • Your children really do grow up too fast. It’s impossible to cherish every moment, but take a moment as much as you can to understand how blessed you are and how fleeting time is.
  • It is possible to survive on very little food during your week alone so that you can afford more for your kids.
  • You will always have mommy guilt, no matter what. Try to be kind to yourself.
  • The numbers on the toaster represent minutes.
  • There really are men out there that treat you like a queen. Don’t settle, ever.
  • Your children want your time, not things.
  • It is almost impossible to keep potted plants alive.
  • Stop buying spinach that sits in your fridge, goes bad, and then you have to throw it out.
  • Read as many books as possible. Read to your children, listen to your children read.
  • Your children will ask you how babies are made at the most awkward times.
  • Kindness is always the way.
  • Find your talent, and use it to give back/do good.
  • Aging is just a number. It means absolutely nothing.
  • Your body can actually survive for quite a long time without vegetables, but it is not recommended.
  • There is no family out there without their drama.
  • You actually pay more for jeans that have rips in them.
  • Meditate each day and take time to focus on your goals.
  • There is more to life then just getting by.
  • Some bowling lanes are warped from use, try not to use them it adds frustration.
  • Dance with your children. It doesn’t matter if you are not good at it, just dance.
  • Don’t make fun of your kids, you can so quickly break their soul when you do this.
  • Find yourself a guy that makes a big deal out of your birthday, not one that usually forgets it.
  • There is a thrill and huge sense of accomplishment as a woman when you can fix a clogged toilet or drain, flat tire, sliding door off the hinge, or broken furniture all by yourself.
  • When I’m trying to take self timed photos of myself, I am too busy to remember to smile and tend to purse my lips in almost every photo!
  • Make sure you love your tattoos, it hurts like hell to remove them.
  • If people believe lies that are being told about you without asking your side of the story, let them be, they aren’t worth your time anyways.
  • If you allow your children to take food to their room, at some point you will end up with a rotten smell filling the hallway, or maggots.
  • Everyone should do Yoga.
  • Never let someone silence your voice. Speak up.
  • If you own a business or are in the process of starting one, do something small every day for it.
  • The sun really is not your friend. If you spend your summers burnt, then make sure to be ok with embracing wrinkles and sun spots.
  • A rebound relationship hardly ever works out.
  • Sleeping with ear plugs might change your entire life.
  • If you have no patience, the universe will continually bring lessons into your life on patience.
  • Sometimes city hall is the best way to go.
  • It is important to always have a toque around in case you pushed the no hair wash a day too long and don’t have time to shower.
  • Bras are over rated.
  • Your children love looking at photos. Print them. Put them in an album. Frame them on your walls.
  • If someone is focused on money and having the best of everything, they are really lacking in their life. The big house, fancy car and toys don’t bring happiness.
  • Karma really is a thing.
  • Rash decisions will come back to bite you.
  • Be open to trying something new, you might be pleasantly surprised.
  • Tupawear drawers never stay clean.
  • There are many forms of abuse. Even though you are married, he does not own you or your body. You can say no. If he still takes after you say no, it is NOT OK.
  • It’s ok to love off the shoulder sweaters. Wear them without care, but remember when you bend forward there is a very large gap in the front.
  • Balayage is beautiful, but it will ruin your hair if not done properly,  and will then take years to grow out and get healthy hair again.
  • Starting and running your own business means you will always be hustling. But it can be the most rewarding experience to know that everything you accomplish is because of pure strength, talent, and not giving up.
  • If you are an emotional shopper, it is best to stay out of stores while going through a divorce.
  • You never miss your mom any less. Actually there are times each year you miss her more and would give anything to have her there with you. That feeling never changes.
  • Losing babies to miscarriage never leaves your soul.
  • It is best to just focus on your own life, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing or accomplishing. And remember, you have no clue what it is like behind closed doors.
  • There are certain colors you just can’t wear. I love photographing mustard yellow on people, but if I wear it I am asked if I’m feeling ok.
  • Acne comes back in your thirtys thanks to hormones. Good luck.
  • What you see on Social Media is very rarely the entire picture, or truth.
  • Happiness is ALWAYS more important than stuff. You are not more successful because you have a big house and fancy car.
  • Throw out the ‘stuff’. Minimalism is the way to go.
  • Wear underwear under a dress on a windy day.
  • Your children prefer to see you happy and will notice it, and feel better if you are happy.
  • Find someone that really makes you laugh. This is one of the biggest things I  have learned actually. Being with someone that can get the real belly laughs, the constant chuckles and brings a smile easily to your face is worth everything.
  • Doing your laundry, leaving it in a pile on your bed and then starting to wear the clothes again because you don’t get around to hanging them up is normal.
  • If a woman starts posting inspirational quotes and is “revamping” herself, you might want to reach out and see if she is ok.
  • So many people are not in happy or healthy relationships.
  • Everyone should see a chiropractor.
  • When you have boys, there is a good chance you will either fall into the toilet late at night, or sit on pee, all the time.
  • If your rice crispies squares go stale, just put them in the microwave for a few seconds and they are just like new.
  • Avocado goes over ripe really fast. Like, they might be green at the store but by the time you get home they will be brown and mushy.
  • If your kids spill something on the carpet, they will do everything they can to hide it.
  • Your ex will tell everyone that you take all his money.  Some people will believe these lies, they aren’t your people. Try not to worry about the lies your ex tells. It really doesn’t matter.
  • Your children watch everything you do. EVERYTHING. Then they mimic you.
  • If you drop your contact lens on the floor of a plane and find it three hours later, you can actually put it back into solution and wear it again….although probably not recommended. (oops)
  • Make yourself todo lists, on paper so you can get the satisfaction of crossing off the things you accomplish. This is a very motivational thing. You will be surprised with how much you get done.
  • Your life is not over after divorce, actually it gets better.
  • Put your phone away as often as you can and be in the moment. Talk to people.
  • Do kind acts for others. Seeing them smile or knowing you helped someone is such a gratifying experience.
  • No matter how many times you tell your kids not to eat their boogers, they will still eat their boogers. It’s best not to watch.
  • Don’t try to talk/fight in the heat of the moment. You will say things you can never take back. Take the time to settle down so you can calmly talk through your problem.
  • Your kids will act like human radars and constantly tell you how fast (or slow) you are driving. They will also get great joy out of telling everyone that their mom drives like a race car driver.
  • You are never too old to start again
  • And one of the most important, it really doesn’t matter what others think of you or your situation. Because they really don’t care if you succeed or fail. Everyone is only worried about themselves and living their own life. So live yours however it makes you happy. Live yours so unabashedly for yourself that you fill your corners to the brim and joy spills out onto others.

 

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Oh, and get yourself infront of the camera every once in awhile, it’s important to document yourself. You matter. You’re beautiful and deserve to have photographs to be remembered, at every stage of your life.

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Surviving Divorce: Censorship

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There are so many things that you have to get used to when you get divorced. But one thing I struggle with constantly, is not being able to help my children at all times.

My daughter just had speeches at her school. This is where the kids write a speech, say it infront of the class, and then if it’s judged to go further, they get to go to the gym to say it. This is a big deal to all the kids.

Eve has been struggling huge with this divorce, and finding her way and dealing with her emotions. I have been in contact on many occasions with her counselor on finding ways to help her cope and express her emotions. It is a struggle, and she is a very emotional girl. But she has a voice.

She wanted to use her speech and talk about her last three years. How it has made her feel and how she has coped. She was very proud of her speech, wrote it all on her own and memorized it. But it was thrown in the garbage and she was told she wasn’t allowed to say it, that nobody would want to hear it. That it wasn’t fun and outgoing and the kids wouldn’t want to listen to it. Her speech was then rewritten about a trip that she came on with us to Mexico.

I. AM. ANGRY.

My child has a voice, and should not be censored because others think her speech on how she has felt the past three years is not exciting enough or appropriate to be read to others. She has been through a lot, and has struggled a lot, and this was her talking about her life, and how she matters, and how shes coping. She even gives others encouragement at the end of her speech.

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This is not how I parent. I do not tell my children that their voices, their experiences, their feelings don’t matter. I do not try to control them through censorship. I want my children to grow up strong and opinionated. Especially my girls. I want them to know that what they feel and think matters. That the topic they choose for their speech is important to me, because it is important to them.

I am proud of my daughter. She keeps pushing through her struggles. She keeps trying to find ways to cope and find happiness. She wrote her speech all on her own, and I feel like she deserves for it to be heard.

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So, here it is:

My past , three years

Hello my name is Eve bickle. Good afternoon Mrs Fox ,Mrs Hall and students . I have decided to write my speech on the past three years of my life because it has been the biggest change of my life. Three years ago my parents started to fight.It got us all upset. We did not know what to think.After a while they talked to us and they said they were getting at divorice . We started having week on week off with each of them. It got me upset and I cried a lot . In those week on and week off we would have happy and sad times. We started to pack up. We were going to move out of our house. With my mom we moved to my Papas and with my dad we moved up the road to my Grandmas and Grandpas . At my Papas it was hard the same as at my Grandmas and Grandpas it was hard because i wanted to have both of my parents at the same time. After a while we moved out of my papas into town. It was different because both of my parents did not live in the same house but i had to get over it. Time went by my mom started to see someone and so did my dad. They are both dating great people. In the winter time of 2019 my dad got engaged we started to look for a place to live that’s not my grandma’s house but still i would miss my grandparents.

In 2020 it was a time to set goals and be happy but at school it was hard i could not focus. I was stressed out from all the things that had happened. We still have not figured out exactly what it was. my dad found a house in cold springs we still have not moved into it but we are soon. My life is starting to get better. My friends at school have helped me along this very very well . Now my dad has found a rental house and has started to paint it. It will be a big change because grandma does so much for us and my dad. I am getting better thanks to my teacher Mrs Fox , the principal Mrs Scott , Mrs Mckenzie have all helped me very well .

Things that have helped me to feel better are.

  • Playing with my dog
  • Going to my aunts
  • Using strategies to focus and have fun
  • Playing outside
  • Listening to music
  • Having my own time and doing things with other people
  • Talking to someone
  • Helping people

If you are going through this it is okay both of your parents love you and use your strategies and you will get through it . thankyou for listening to my speech.

Surviving Divorce: Everything is going to be Ok

I can remember when I told my dad I was getting a divorce. I expected him to be upset, or angry, or disappointed in me. I felt like I had failed. But he wasn’t any of those things. He told me he wasn’t surprised, and then he told me everything was going to be ok. It didn’t feel like it at the time. I can remember when I finally decided I had had enough of everything. I had no clue how I was going to do it. I had no clue what I was going to do. I had no clue where my path was going to go. I just knew it could no longer stay like this. For the first year after splitting, I thought my life was never going to be ok. I have NEVER regretted leaving, but I just thought that I was going to feel stressed and in limbo forever. I believed that I would be single forever, as what man would want someone that felt broken, and had four kids. I cried a lot. I had a lot of anxiety attacks. I had a lot of mom guilt, as I went from being with my kids 100% of the time, to 50% of the time, and I still struggle with this. I got very angry that lies were being spread that I was the one that cheated, that I took all of his money, and that I was a bad mom.

I went from sadness, to anger. Things didn’t feel like they were going to be ok, ever. I got sucked into that trap of comparing, and feeling like he was doing so much better, and that I was just stuck, in limbo. Things did not feel like they were going to be ok. I got mad when people would tell me the light at the end of the tunnel was coming. I got mad when my children would bottle up their emotions they were feeling about their dad not being around much and moving so fast and then take it out on me because I was their ‘safe place’. I got mad that I had asked the new girlfriend not to post my children on her social media because they didn’t want to be on it, and she would turn around and post away. Things didn’t feel ok. But, can I tell you something? If you are reading this and you are feeling that things are not going to be ok, that your world is broken into little pieces and the more you try to pick them up, the more they fall between your fingers….things are going to be ok.

I’m not fully out. I still get mad at the idiotic things that are done. That my children are having to adjust to things much faster then they should have to. But, you know what I realized last week? That everything is ok.  I’m focused on figuring out what makes me truly happy. I rent a small house, but it is full of love. I work really hard, but at things I love. I have found my artistic side again, the one I had put away because I was with someone that dulled my spark. And somehow, I’m hanging upside down in the rainforest!

I enjoy my time by myself. I love sleeping sideways in my bed, and showing my kids what strong looks like. That single moms are brave. That following what makes you happy is always the answer. And as much as I enjoy my time alone, I have also found someone that brings so much light and laughter to my life. I have been shown how a real man treats a woman. I have been blessed with someone that cares deeply for my children and their wellbeing, and who doesn’t look at me as someone that is broken and with baggage. He loves my crazy hair, my strong will, the way I laugh when most would get angry, and that I believe you should be complete on your own.It is easy to compare where you are to where your ex is. Trust me, I know. But this only leads you down a bitter path. And remember, what you see from the outside, is rarely the real thing. I speak from experience.This is a lesson I am in the middle of learning. I hope you can learn it as well. Stop comparing. Stop thinking your ex is doing better. Stop rushing and pushing and being angry.Breathe. Relax. Enjoy.You made a really big decision. And you made it because you wanted a better life for yourself. So I’m here to tell you, everything is going to be ok. I look at where my life is now headed, at the people I am surrounded with, at the dreams I am making, at the joy my kids and I have together, and the amazing and loving partner that I have beside me, and I realize, life is good.

Everything is going to be ok.

Find What they Like to Read

My kids have to read a minimum of 30 minutes a day. They can’t touch any devices until their reading is done (actually they can’t touch devices until all chores, reading and supper is done) and they have to read more to get more “play” time.

Elijah doesn’t seem to realize how much he likes stories, especially adventure/fantasy kinds. He is always the most involved in the book I read them at night, and the one asking for “just one more chapter”. Gracie is a bookworm and breezes through, Eve is more of a comic book kind of girl, and Kaleb we have FINALLY found what he is interested in….graphic novels (much like comic books).

I have always been a reader. From a very young age I had Green Eggs and Ham memorized, and performed it to anyone that would listen. I think it is because of this skill that I was able to find a lot of things easier in school. I can remember in grade 6 my teacher had me make my own spelling word list because the ones she made for the class were too easy for me (I would pick words like, triskaidekaphobia for the challenge) ; projects and presentations were my jam; english was one of my favorite subjects; and overall, I just did pretty good in school. I usually have two books on the go, and tend to have to monitor my reading time or else I will forget about doing anything else, even sleeping!

I was baffled when reading didn’t come so naturally to three of my kids, that they weren’t that interested in it. I even found it difficult to try and help them learn to read. But through lots of arguments and trial and error, we are finding our groove.

I don’t know about you, but as a mom, I am always worrying about my kids and if I am doing enough for them. I worry that I am missing something important that they should learn and could benefit them later in life. My partner also shares these thoughts and is often trying to teach them new words and meanings. When life isn’t so crazy, I give the kids 5 words each week to learn the spelling and meaning, and these aren’t every day words! If you don’t think reading and learning vocabulary is important, look below:

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I think it is SO important for kids to read, and to read daily. This is going to help them so much more in life then whether they are the best at mindcraft or fortnight. Take them to a bookstore and let them get excited looking at all of the different books. Let them browse as long as they want and find a couple books of interest so when they are done the first, they are excited to come back and get another.

Kaleb hasn’t stopped talking about book two and three of the series he picked, and asking me to make sure that if there are more I will be able to get them. As soon as he got home, he sat down and started to read, and this morning he put it in his bag to bring to school so he could read more.

In an age where digital and quick rewards is the normal, sometimes getting back to paper and hours of enjoyment is just the way to go.