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Mothers Day 2013
I knew since
I was a young child, that I would be a mom. 
Having my daughters is my greatest life intention fulfilled.  I delight in motherhood.  I love finding their random socks in my
drawers, braiding their hair into pigtails and reading them stories in my best
English accent.  And I, like every single
parent I represented over the years, was devastated by thought of how divorce
would impact their sweet smiling faces. 
Parents universally feel the sting – but the focus of this blog will be
on mothers in tribute to Mother’s Day this weekend.

For some
mothers, divorce means they literally lose their livelihood.  I talk to women weekly who spent years and
years, since the birth of their babies, attending to the children’s needs.  They have mastered running their
households.  They pay the bills, buy the
groceries, clean the messes, transport the children, kiss the booboos, arrange
the schedules, attend the appointments, get the haircuts, purchase clothing, fill
the backpacks.  They do it all.  They feel needed and valued.  They feel important.

And then
divorce happens.  Their full-time job
suddenly lost.  They are told that they
will now have weekends and evenings without their children. They are told the
skills they honed over the years will be replaced by dad.  They are told hard truths about how their
role with their children will change. 
Whether a stay-at-home mom or a mom with a busy career, divorced moms inevitably
face abrupt and jarring changes to their mother/child relationship.

I cannot
imagine that in my lifetime I will get used to the quiet hours during my “every
other weekends.”  As a married parent, I
am sure I silently prayed for hours of quiet on end.  Now that I regularly have solitude, it just
feels empty.  It feels unnatural to me to
only be around my children half of their time. 
I regularly have to coach myself that those circumstances do not make me
a bad mom.  I can say without hesitation
that being a divorced mom is the source of the greatest heartache of my life.

That being
said, being a divorced mom also made me a better mom than the one I was before
the divorce.  I now have time to
regularly rejuvenate myself.  I am
happier and more relaxed when I am with my children.  I no longer squabble with their dad when
dealing with a stressful parenting situation, because he isn’t there to
squabble with.  I know that that when I
am with my girls – it is 100% on me.  I
feel empowered by that.  I look forward
to seeing my daughters every single time I pick them up.  I maximize my time with them and I find
myself more present to our moments together.

I encourage
all moms of divorce, during your time away from your children, to focus on
those things that made you happy before you had children.  Rediscover your creative spirit, your athletic
tendencies or your appreciation of an afternoon with a good book.  Take your alone time to finally fill their
baby books, to file away their school papers or hang their artwork around the
house.  Redefining motherhood is
necessary and will allow you to forgive yourself for divorcing.  Not only will it make the current version of
motherhood okay, it will make you happier and as a result you children will be
happier.  And at the end of the day,
that’s what it is all about.

Angela Dunne