Monday, July 23, 2012

NJ Divorce: Blowing a gasket and not on the Parkway

We've all had those days - endless schelping of children and endless working. Here in NJ we all seem to be running in two rat races - the job of course (which pays the bills) and then the kid rat race with endless activities. Add to this, you are a divorced mom living in our overpopulated traffic plagued state - and matter how hard we plan, no matter how organized we are, sometimes, when the frenzy hits all in one day - we blow a gasket - tonight it was for me at the end of dinner when my two big children were starting their daily session of picking on the little one. What to do? 1) Excuse yourself from the situation. I can not emphasize the importance of this enough (hence, it is #1 on the list). Sitting in the situation is counter productive to calming down. 2) Count to 10 ----in fact do this over and over again taking deep breaths - until you calm down. 3) When appropriately calmed down, appologize for your behavior. You will hear me say this over and over again - kids need to know that parents make mistakes. While it will happen, it is inappropriate and you need to appologize. 4) Do something fun with your kids - board games, walk around the block, bike ride through the neighborhood, go for ice cream. Of course, we all have our own process to work through. For instance, I'm not going downstairs to appologize yet for two reasons - I need to shower (and if I wait the kids will shower and then we will run out of hot water) and calm down even more, and the kids are cleaning the kitchen. Why the heck would I interrupt my kitchen being cleaned even if it is being done because they feel badly about their behavior? So then I'll go downstairs, appologize for yelling, thank them for cleaning, and play games (we are huge fans of Othello here). Lastly, and this is critical - take a few minutes to immediately forgive yourself. You aren't perfect, you are a single mom in New Jersey with lots on your plate - and yes, you will slip up every once in a while.

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