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Single Parent / Choice Parents

Dear If mag readers,

As I have become a single parent since September of 2012, this section will have new vigor. I have been blogging recently about single parenting escapades, the funny, the exhaustion, the exhaustion, oh yeah…. and the exhaustion. I would also like to make sure to link and celebrate the single parents and contributors such as bloggers, etc. around the world. Cheryl Paley wrote for a long time for us as a single parent by choice who left a relationship to adopt a child. Please read her wonderful stories. I have republished as a debut one of my favorites, and then put one of my own.

I am starting a book I am titling “365 days +1” in which I chronicle the first year of the separation and how my brother’s own divorce influenced me to separate with as much gentleness and acceptance as I could, to benefit the children. I will always be grateful to my brother. What I have come to understand as I stepped into the world of single parents, just how many of us there are. I thought I would be in a disenfranchised group, heck no! It is actually like stepping into the “noveau family” club.

That is not to say that a family breaking apart should ever be a joyful step, it is always a serious one even if it is for all the right reasons. We do not normally marry or have babies, and imagine a separation or divorce. But gone are the years that we are culturally or socially intimidated or prohibited from divorce so that we are raising children in an unhealthy situation. When I was growing up most people stayed married but there were some really awful stories from my friends that wished their parents would divorce. I have a similar story myself. I wish my Dad had started over years before he left. He stayed too long. He stayed till he was mad, resentful and even hated my mom for many years. That hurt us just as much as their marriage being awful for years and us kids ducking the projected pain and anger that rocketed all over us.

Don’t get me wrong, there are marriages today that are magnificent. My Uncle Gordon and Aunt Maureen have been married for over 50 years raised their kids, their grandchildren and still laugh together. My cousins, Kerry and Rhonda are adorable. There are great marriages out there. And, I still believe in “happily ever after.” Whether there is ever another love in my life or not. My children and I can find happily ever after. We get up every day with laughter, sibling rivalry, beds to make and lizards, turtles, frogs and a dog to feed. Whatever shape your family takes, it is family after all.

The Yellow Brick Road

On Love and War in Cyberspace
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