Thursday, June 17, 2010

How Am I Doing?

I get emails every day asking me how I'm doing. Or more specifically, how I'm handling the divorce and being a single mom to six kids. How am I handling the divorce? Well, that part isn't fun. The negotiating back and forth for months, the lawyer fees, the constant fighting and going back to court just to get the minimum amount of child support (still working on that) sucks. When you get your soon-to-be-ex's bank statements and see just what he's been spending all the child support money on, it's a kick in the gut. I really can't wait for all of that to be over. It's stressful. I feel like I can't totally move on and put that part of my life behind me until I have that signed document saying it's over.

But being a single mom to six kids is no big deal. Things haven't changed too much around here, other than the fact that I only get a little break from the kids once a month or so. Still, I'd much rather have it this way than the way Joe has chosen which is to not see the kids at all. It's hard when the kids all need to be someplace at the same time, but we've learned to relax a little. If one kid is late for baseball, the earth won't stop revolving. It's okay. If we miss one activity, it's not a big deal. Life goes on. And I have the most awesome group of friends! I know my friends would help me out anytime they possibly could and I can't thank them enough!

Honestly, when you're in a crappy marriage for more years than you can count, divorce isn't such a horrible alternative. I feel good about myself and my kids. I know I can do this on my own. Or well, notsomuch on my own, but with the help of God who I wholeheartedly believe is looking out for us, and with the help of my friends. I can't imagine ever having a healthy relationship and loving someone enough to be willing to change and compromise in order to make a new, blended family. But it happens every day. I know people do it. And although I can't quite imagine it now, I do have hope for the future. My kids are amazing (you know, when they're not beating each other over the head with pool noodles, or covering every conceivable surface with colored chalk), and they motivate me to be a better person. I want to show them that they can always, always, always count on me and that I'll never leave. I want them to see the glass as half-full because no matter what you're going through, there is always someone in much worse circumstances.

So, to answer your questions, I'm doing well. The kids and I are doing really well. And we have hope for good things to come. :)

43 comments:

Hannah said...

Glad to hear it! You're one strong mama!

Tricia Freeman said...

(tear) I'm so sad for your family. I wish things were different for you. I have heard of a syndrome called "fleeing syndrome" where a spouse or person drops everything -like family- and just leaves. There is something wrong with chemicals in the head and stuff like that. I hope that Joe can figure out whatever is wrong with him and be apart of your children's lives. Again (tear) so sad for you.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you are doing well. I know first hand how difficult divorce can be but a relief to have hopes of sanity again. (whatever that is.)

Child support. Once my ex called me and told me he was very sorry he wasn't paying. He then elaborated that a "friend" of his needed some help because her ex wasn't paying. His "help" was paying her for sex so she had income. His logic was he wasn't just giving it to her. I was stunned.

Another time I was in the hospital after a serious accident. The jerk (aka ex) called to tell me he got into MY house "just to watch a game." The milk was sour and I really should clean my fridge more. I was in the hospital and had been for weeks. My mother finally made it to clean the fridge. The ex went to jail for trespass.

Trust me, in a few years it will all be funny with just a tinge of hurt. Now I am sure it is more hurt with some numor. Divorce stories could be your new book. :)

Good luck

Mama On The Move said...

Good for you Dawn! Stand strong in the Lord and trust in HIM!

Sarah said...

Thanks for the update. You are a wonderfully strong woman and Mom and you are to be admired. I'm very sorry you're having to go through this, but you're handling it really well. I'm glad God has provided a good network of friends to help you!

There is always hope, and I'm glad you're holding onto that. May God bless you and the kids and knit you closer together than ever before! :)

misssrobin said...

Doing well and inspiring others -- continued power to ya.

Lisa said...

You mentioned you were house hunting. Are you planning on moving?

Kristin said...

Dawn,
You are such an inspiration. I love your outlook on life. When I divorced my ex MANY MANY MANY years ago it was the best thing for all of us. My boys and myself. My feeling was it was better my kids have a happy mom and be raised by a single happy mom then be raised two miserable people who fought all the time. I can't tell you the number of times we had to go back to court for Child Support issues. Until he got stupid one day and told the judge he didn't feel he had to pay child support. The judge told him what she felt like and followed through, never had a problem after that. I love reading your blog and I love your optimistic spirit and humor that comes through. I have since remarried and have been happily so for 10 years. When I first got married and was treated like a queen it was a new and unfamiliar feeling for me. It was so weird. My husband went from being a bachelor to being a dad of three small children at the time OVERNIGHT. But we made it work and the boys love him like he's their real dad and things have leveled out over the years. Now if you have any suggestions to get rid of my ex's psycho mother who feels the need to drive us all up the wall that would be great. I think you're AWESOME, keep up the great work.

Nina said...

good. I hope you continue to feel powerful and strong and beautiful because you are. congrats on making a very difficult decision but what seems to be best for you and your kids. I think that is an excellent lesson for kids to learn.

Jennie said...

I'm glad to hear that although things are rough with the Joe situation, you and kids are looking at life with a positive outlook. Just remember that you need rain to make a rainbow!

Jennie

Jennie said...

I glad to hear that although things are rough with the whole Joe situation, you and the kids are keeping such a positive outlook. When I'm going through rough times, it helps me to think that it takes rain to make a rainbow.

Holly C. said...

You rock! and so do your wonderful kids!:)

Diana said...

Great attitude. I'm glad your family is doing well. Keep the faith gal!

The Last Girl Standing said...

Good for you, Dawn. I grew up in a household where my parents stayed together "for the sake of the children". Trust me, growing up in an unloving home full of tension and contempt was NOT best for us. I would gladly have had any number of seperate, but loving, homes instead of 1 miserable one. I grew up seeing my mom feel she was trapped and doomed... feeling it was us kids' fault because, if it weren't for us, they'd have split, moved on and been happy. I think, partly because of that, is why my brother and I have so many relationship issues and will probably be single, divorced, etc for the rest of our lives. You have done your children a huge, huge favor. Kudos to you, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love you Dawn! I am so glad to hear you and the kids are doing so well! You are a saint. I really look up to you. I have been reading your blog for over a year now! You are such a fun mom. And I've said this before but I'll say it again, I just love Clay. He reminds me so much of my 4 1/2 year old! Gotta love boys!

Shannon said...

I am so glad I found your blog. A friend recommended it to me. I am also going through a divorce and am a single mom to 3 kids now. I totally agree with you as far as the divorce not being a horrible alternative to staying in a bad marriage. I am so much happier now and I feel free. I'm not excited about the number of court hearings to come and lawyer fees to incur, but my family has the right to experience happiness....rather than chaos, fighting, and overall stress.

Hang in there. I'll be following your blog more now. It will give me inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, you rock. Great, positive post. Sharon

Michelle Faith said...

no one would blame you if you just wanted to crawl in a hole for a few days. But I'm glad you're not.

Jennifer said...

It's good to have a good foundation and support network while you go through this. I just went through a divorce about 3 years ago & have 1 child, and my sister with 3 kids did divorced over a year ago. Sadly it seemed that the almost-ex-husbands all pulled some shady financial stuff that you would've never thought they would do because, you think "hey what about your kids?"

I'm so glad to read that you're doing ok. Being a single mom is hard enough, but once the legal stuff is over it's so much better. And you never know what God has in store for you. My sister just became a blended family of 5 while I haven't even even considered dating! :-D

Que said...

You keep on keepin on'. Or as Dory would say, "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming."

I guess a lot of people expect others to just crumble in life when it hands you crap. But most survive and some excel. It sounds like you are in that "some" category.

No one is a fan of divorce but I love your line, "Honestly, when you're in a crappy marriage for more years than you can count, divorce isn't such a horrible alternative." That pretty much sums it up right there.

msprimadonna67 said...

Way to go, Dawn! As long as you keep taking care of yourself and bein' there for your kids, everything will work out well. Life can sometimes be a bit messy, especially when you're a single mom, but messy is not always a bad thing--it teaches creativity and flexibility: )

Christy said...

I'm coming out of lurkdom to say "Go Dawn!" You are a fantastic mom. :)

Jennifer said...

Courage allows the successful woman to fail-
and learn powerful lessons-
from the failure-
so that in the end,
she didn't fail at all.
-- Maya Angelou

Keep on being strong!

Que said...

So Jennifer quotes Maya Angelou and I quote Dory from Finding Nemo.

I pretty sure you should probably listen to her.

faithlessone said...

*hugs*

You're going to be fine. You're an awesome person, and a fantastic mother. Go you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping us updated on your situation, Dawn. You and the kids are on my mind and in my prayers. Keep your faith in God, you are where you are right now for a reason. You're doing an awesome job!!

(((hugs)))

Donna in PA :)

JennyF said...

Thanks, Dawn, for letting us know. I wonder myself how you hold it all together.

If you haven't yet read "Eat Love Play" by Elizabeth Gilbert, please do. It was for me an eye-opening chronicle of a woman's life after divorce, and the happiness she found within herself.

I have a friend who is recently divorced -- she finally came to the conclusion that it was better for her daughters if she showed them that "men can't treat you that way" than to continue to be a doormat for her husband and let them think that that was a woman's role in the world. So remember that you are doing a FANTASTIC thing for your daughters by standing up for your own emotional well-being.

Best wishes for you and your family throug this journey.

Jennifer Strauss-Myers said...

I've been there, and remember all to well the challenges you face. I prayed that soemday I would find a man who would love me & my children after my divorce. Months and years passed and I had told a sister in Christ about my prayer. She said, "Oh honey, you're missing the most important part. He has to love Christ first". We prayed that prayer together, and 2 weeks later, God brought him to me. We married 6 months later. I can't imagine what life would have been like had I not prayed that prayer.
I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog & I look forward to reading future posts.
Jennifer

Jessi said...

It's great to hear you're managing just fine then. :)

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Just found your site and want to say I hope better days are ahead for your family. :)

Tammy said...

Thank you for updating us. "We" worry about you. :0)

God has you in His hands, and He's watching over you.

And you have a huge group of friends here who support you. :0)

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear your doing well, OK, so did Spuds just call you a "hottie" in the comments of his last post. I think so . . .

Anonymous said...

Dawn, you are so strong! I lift you up daily. I think of you a lot and hope all is well. Joe doesn't even know what he is doing right now. Sounds like an addiction to me, his personality screams addict! or Asshole! Hugs!

Robin said...

That is so good to hear! Being a single mom is NEVER easy no matter how many kids you have but it's especially hard when you are grossly outnumbered! :) I'm glad you're all finding your rhythm and making it work - with the help of God and friends!

You are Superwoman!

Susan said...

Hey Dawn, ditto everyone above...I'm still belly laughing over your storytelling abilities. Amputated arm indeed...and I never would have picked up on the see-through shirt. You need to interpret art for a living.

Tinagsmarykay said...

I am so glad to hear you are being strong for you & the kids, although I'm sure it's much harder than you let on. Just know that there are so many of us out here who are proud of you for continuing on without missing a beat!
How are the kids handling dad not being around or wanting to be there for them?

Jen said...

I was just going to ask how you've all been doing as of late. (hugs) I'm glad to read that you all are okay. <3

Chris P in MN said...

Someone in an earlier comment said that they were sad for you...I agree that's it too bad that it had to come to this, but I can't say that I am sad for you. I'm glad that you found the strength to do what you had to do to protect your family. I'm glad that everyone seems to be adjusting so well. I am sad that your ex has chosen to avoid contact with the kids. I hope that changes eventually. Best of everything to you & your "6-pack"!!

Candi said...

Some call it divorce - i call it deliverance. It's always the last consideration after all else has failed. But you give it your best and wake up to realize one morning that no matter how hard you work at it, you can't make another adult do anything they're determined not to do, even if it is socially, legally, and morally correct. Everybody loses something, but at the same time, everybody gains something. The trick is, waiting to make the decision till you are sure that it is the best choice for all the people involved so that everyone involved walks away with more than they leave behind. Believing that you have done exactly that, the only thing left is to go through the tunnel of uncertainty (sort of where you are right now, i'm guessing)until you reach the new life at the other end. Each individual chooses whether they come out a victim or a victor. Of course, you already know all this, but even the most secure person in your situation needs encouragement and support. My prayers are with all of you, as they have been from the beginning of my getting to know the Meehan clan. You have the tenacity to be the glue that enables your chidren to be Victors! Part of my prayer is that when the darkness tries to feed you the lie that this is all on you, don't remind him who you are - stand firm and tell him Whose you are. You and yours are in my heart, every day. Love in Christ, Candi

tonyastaab.com said...

Dawn, you are a very strong lady and I admire you. It sounds like a little peace and harmony has been brought to your home through this ... amidst the chaos of course :).

Anonymous said...

God Bless You, Sweetie!! You are one awesome inspiration.

Much Love,
Robin E. from Mississippi

Anonymous said...

It sometimes really sucks to be an inspiration - but hang in there, you are doing a great job and helping more people then you can imagine!

Anonymous said...

Don't you hate it when people call you strong? I always feel they say that so they don't have to worry about you. I'm not worried about you because you seem to be handling things and are self reliant. My daughter, a mother herself of 6, told me about you. She is lucky because her husband is so helpful and loving. I wish that for you.

Who's Visiting My Blog Right Now?

 
Home About Dawn Blog Books News & Events Press Kit FAQS Photos Video Fun Mom's Time Out Get In Touch

Dawn Meehan 2008-. All Rights Reserved.
Site Design by Pulse Point Design