This beautiful, and chilling, video really hit home for me.  For years my oldest, a strong-willed, brave little girl, was afraid of of falling asleep at night. Thinking myself a progressive mom, as bibliotherapy I’d often read her Mercer Mayer’s There’s a Nightmare in My Closet to help her overcome her fear. Even so her fear persisted.

Little did I know her “monster” was Daddy thanks to his violent outburst towards me during the day … and in the middle of the night. Wish I’d figured it out sooner.

Please share this video because it’s an eye-opener.

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Old & Poor Sucks

April 27, 2011

If you’ve attended one of our monthly Second Saturday programs you’ve heard financial expert Debbie Marson’s sucient warning “old & poor sucks.” Here’s a humorous video supporting her claim. It just might help you gather the courage you need to tackle your property settlement with you in mind!

Women, Work & Success

December 23, 2010

Like the message! Helpful if you are in the workforce or contemplating a return.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite, or even just getting ahead.

Nouveau Poor

December 21, 2010

Perhaps because it’s Christmas, the term nouveau poor has been on my mind a lot lately. I miss the joy of shopping for just the right gifts that will bring delight to my loved ones. This year shopping feels more like torture than a treasure hunt.

Being a coach, I’ve been trying to  “reframe” my situation by coming up with a chic name to enhance my declining status. When I came up with “nouveau poor” I excitedly googled it hoping  to buy the domain name. Amazingly, not only is the name taken, it’s also trademarked for a line of clothing.

Thanks to Google, I also stumbled upon the clever video (below) discussing the discrimination the “Nouveau Poor” face courtesy the “Old Poor.”  I chuckled a bit watching it, but some of it hit too close to home.

Single parenting brings its challenges. For me, the most difficult piece is raising my daughters totally on my own thanks to an ex who hasn’t even paid child support for nearly 5 years. (While at the same time maintaining his lifestyle and paying his high priced attorney to block any attempts at collection.) It’s taken a huge toll, hitting home today when my oldest pointed out I’ve turned into Scrooge.

Alarmed,  I asked her why she thought so, and she calmly explained “You’ve grumbled you don’t like Christmas, we can’t do gifts this year, and we won’t get to go to MA to see all our cousins. It kinda ruins things for us.”

Sadly, that’s totally true. However, the Me of Christmas Past was a very generous, loving Santa. The Me of Christmas Present  is fraught with the difficulties of having been on the “mommy track” too long, an ex who doesn’t meet his obligations, and a legal system that’s become so complicated only the monied are entitled to protection, and going Pro Bono (self-representation) is considered legal suicide.

Since I can no longer afford an attorney (or Christmas), I’m struggling to accept America’s form of (un)justice given the “No Money, No Rights” setup  … unless for example you are the victim or perpetrator of a crime that harms society… like murder or robbing a business. Why isn’t family devastation life-changing enough to qualify for legal protection in our judicial system?

Furthermore, while families are hailed as the foundation of our society, and marriage is considered essential to our country’s economic security, head down the Divorce Isle (even when circumstances present no other option) and it’s “No money? Sorry ma’m, the system is not set up to help. You need to beg, borrow or steal to get a lawyer.”

In such situations, I haven’t a clue as to how our lawmakers believe “with justice for all” can prevail, especially when  a monied abuser pairs with a rambo-type attorney hell bent on protecting the abuser’s money by impoverishing the rest of the family. It boggles the mind how such a lawyer is even entitled to be called a “family law attorney” when his/her sole goal is placing his/her client (because s/he can pay exhorbent legal bills) well above accountability to a family’s needs or society’s morals.

Think I’m exaggerating? Not according to recent articles in the Washington Post and the Huffington Post titled:Access to Justice in the U.S. is at Third-World Levels.” Not a comforting thought should you need to pursue your rights.

My apologies for the “bah humbug” attitude, but should life demote you to the ranks of the nouveau poor thanks to divorce, job loss, being foreclosed upon given the mortgage industry’s shady practices, medical bills, whatever … I just wanted to let you know you are not alone.

And media, like The Onion, is pointing out our plight. Wishing you a chuckle.

And please, someone comment. It sure would make my day!

Your goal as a coparent

December 2, 2010

A word of caution: I cried when I watched this video. Watching it may inspire you to do what you can to work things out with your spouse. It might also help you envision your life coparenting post divorce. In any event, it models the best way to facilitate kids transitioning between mom’s and dad’s.

Mommy Mom Mum

October 29, 2010

It’s Friday so I thought you deserve a treat! My niece, a kindergarten teacher in Dubai, shared this with me and I laughed so hard! Perhaps it’s because I’m out of the trenches…

Clients, especially the couples I meet with, are often most concerned about how to best help their children with an impending separation/divorce. If you and your spouse can keep your children’s well-being a goal you’ll be giving your children a wonderful gift, be they age 5 or 30.

Some things to keep in mind are:

  • It’s parental conflict, not divorce that most harms kids.
  • Never put your child in the middle. Even if your child is an adult, s/he will still experience it as being ripped apart.
  • Assure your kids you will always love them.
  • Tell your kids together, as a couple, and be sure to stress they are not getting a divorce from either parent. It’s just mom and dad who are divorcing.
  • If they are minors, it’s important to explain they will still see their friends, go to school and activities, and that they will always have food, shelter and lots of love.
  • Never bad mouth their other parent. Kids know they are half mom and half dad and experience it as you bad-mouthing them.
  • Tell them over, and over, and over again “It’s Not Your Fault.”

The video below does a good job helping parents keep their kids well-being in perspective. UpToPartents.org is a great (and free) interactive resource to help parents transitioning to co-parents and beyond. Check it out.

Up to Parents