Monthly Archives: December 2014

Separation-Urgent decisions to be made.

 

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It’s happened. Legal Separation has begun. Divorce is on the cards.

It cannot be fixed, changed, rectified, altered, or repaired. This is the time you need to make some tough decisions. The most urgent decisions that cannot be bypassed or ignored are:

  1. Who is going to move out?
  2. How will you tell the kids and family?
  3. How will I support myself and kids? ( if any, and fur babies and joint-plants )
  4. How soon can I book my divorce/separation party without seeming tacky?

Of course, if you’re female, other decisions at the forefront might be:

  • Where’s his favourite shirt so I can slash it?
  • Oops how did that key just accidentally slipped all the way down the side of his car?                ( Technically not a decision, more like a reflex. )
  • What’s that link to the “ post your dirty Ex’s name on here “ website?
  • How soon can I book my divorce/separation party without seeming tacky?

WHO IS GOING TO MOVE OUT?

Now I have heard of those separations where the couple still live under the same roof. I even went on a date with a guy who was heading home to sleep IN THE SAME BED as his soon-to-be ex wife as they hadn’t yet told the kids ( Needless to say I hightailed it very quickly out of THAT date) , but really, who are you kidding?

Cut the cord, and do it properly from the start. Don’t be a wuss. It’s like getting a tattoo: it hurts like hell at the time, but it’s done and over with, and you get on with it.

One of the pair needs to vacate the premises. Hopefully quietly, during daylight hours and with limited clothing hurled onto the front lawn. Your neighbours will thank you.

Girlfriends, I am hoping wholeheartedly that it’s YOU who gets to stay in the family home. Otherwise it may take a while to pack up the shoe collection. I wouldn’t however, use that as my first argument. Hit him in the balls and use the kids and their need for stability of course. Back that up with a reminder of how his mother never wanted him to get married and move out in the first place, so she’ll be overjoyed to be able to spoil him all over again when he moves back home.

HOW WILL YOU BROADCAST THE GOOD NEWS TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS?

Hint: A Facebook update is probably not the FIRST announcement go-to. Especially if your EX hasn’t heard the news yet!

I have a whole blog post coming with ideas on this one…STAY TUNED, and keep a bottle of vino handy.

HOW WILL I SUPPORT MYSELF, THE KIDS AND ANY OTHER DEPENDANTS?

OK this is an important one and often the reason ( mine) women stay in relationships past their use-by-dates. The fear of being the sole one to financially, emotionally and physically support anyone or anything living in your house.

Can you pay for the mortgage/rent, food, vet, school fees, plant food by yourself if you had to? Chances are that finances between the two separating couple will take some time to be sorted, and bills still need to be paid. Be honest with those you owe money to, they may grant you temporary breathing room while you organise your finances. It’s not easy going from a two person -wage- household, to a one. Or in my case, a one person, to a none. I had to figure out how to support myself and three young children alone. Don’t rely on money from your Ex to begin with unless your split was ridiculously amicable like Gwyneth Paltrow and her ‘consciously uncoupling’. You’re not a movie star, and you and your ex will find it a strain to even speak to each other for a bit, let alone get money out of.

Go immediately to Centrelink if you live in Australia. Change your marital status ASAP. As a single mother you’ll be entitled to extra benefits, maybe even rent assistance or a Health Care card. I quickly discovered why it is more advantageous for couples NOT to live together! They can also point you in the way of other services. ( Just don’t go when you’re in a hurry!)

Don’t stress about the plants, you can always have them live in the shower and kill two birds with one stone. They are hardy.

I cannot offer the same advice for pets. Family or friends may be able to manage an emergency pet holiday though. Except for Alpacas, family generally don’t take Alpacas. Don’t ask me how I know!

My biggest tip here: DO NOT BE TOO PROUD TO ASK FOR HELP FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS, be it short term accomodation , or financially. I bet most would be more than happy to help out if they can.

HOW SOON CAN I BOOK THE DIVORCE/SEPARATION PARTY WITHOUT SEEMING TACKY?

May I suggest that the day after separation is a tad early to send out invitations for the big celebration. A classy lady would wait at least a week!

A word of warning: If you’re still in contact with any of your Out-Laws, it’s probably not a good idea to invite them to the stripper party. Unless your ex has a very distant HOT cousin who happens to BE a stripper! Especially if he has friends. HOT ones. 

More on the trending Divorce Party in future blogs. Excitement ahead! 

GOOD LUCK IN YOUR IMMEDIATE SEPARATION/DIVORCE DECISION MAKING.

Just breath, have a good swig of a courage-boosting juice of your choice and get it over with. It’s like tearing off a bandaid. It only stings for a bit, then the fresh air makes it feel better.

~Cat~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who let the kids in the kitchen?

 

Kitchen utensils need wash close up

I love baking, but hate cooking meals.

I know, I’m strange, but honest. I find cooking family meals boring and thankless. The worst part is wracking my brain to think of what to cook that won’t be met with groans from kids who have never been force- fed foods they don’t like. I have nightmarish memories of sitting at Sunday lunch until everything was gone from my plate-even if it was brussel sprouts, soggy carrots, or horseradish. Blah.

I vowed never to feed my darling offspring such inedible cruelties. Too late I realised the error of my soft meal time approach. What I created was fussy pants eaters. I became sick of spending time in the kitchen after a long work day and a 3 hour commute, only to have the kids screw their noses up when faced with their plates.

I envy those creative culinary geniuses who can walk into the supermarket and a vision seems to emerge of a 3 course delight. Me, I wander aimlessly hoping something will jump off the shelf into my shopping cart and say ‘eat me’. I’d be OK with that. 

My solution to fussy eaters and less stress for me: one night a week is KIDS COOKING NIGHT.

That includes thinking, cooking and cleaning. It works on a rotation system between the three of them. With a kids cooking night, one takeaway night and them at their Dad’s a third night, I only have to have 4 nights of conjuring up something edible per week! Brilliant!

They now eat cool things like tacos and quiche. Really. It turns out they’ll eat it if they cooked it. Even if it tastes crap.

I murmur nice mummy words of encouragement, often hoping my serviette- spit wasn’t noticeable at the dinner table. It’s a terrific way to discuss food, flavours and what works and what doesn’t. I try tactfully to throw in helpful feedback too. ” Honey this sauce is delicious. Maybe 5 spoonfuls less of pepper though next time hey?” Sadly their siblings are not always as tactful, but a swift kick under the table from their long legged mother soon stifles that.

The down side of kids in the kitchen??? I never realised I had so many dishes until I could see them paraded over every surface of my kitchen. The quantity seems unnecessary, do they breed in the dark of those cupboards?

The upside…I found Aunty Jane’s salad bowl that I swore I gave back five years ago. Woops.

The down down side? How do I get part 3 of my bludging- a- night- off- in- the- kitchen, to work?……How do I get the kids to clean up the mess to a semi reasonable standard so we will be able to cook there again one day?

UGH!!!!

Anyone have a hotline to those Disney animals who do this for a living?

~Cat~

 

Welcome to Divorced Super Mum

 

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Welcome to the world of the Divorced Super Mum, where we face challenges, fight foes and celebrate our fabulous sisterhood!

I am a divorced mother of three human children and two fur babies, a freelance writer, editor and teacher.
Skip along this journey with me as we find joy and make new discoveries about ourselves. There will of course be female venting and rambling along the way, information to be shared, plus instalments of my series titled: Book the stripper, we’re having a divorce party!

Don’t forget to subscribe to receive updates!

So pour a beverage of your choice ( mine has bubbles of course!), pull up a chair and come do the divorced -super- mum- rumba with me.

~Cat Whelan~

cathoff3@hotmail.com

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Me and my babies. Samuel, Zachary, Me, and Nicole.

( We left the fur babies home that night with a sitter .)

The end of the world as we knew it!

New Life? It Depends on You! written on the road

Let’s face it, nobody chooses this scenario when they’re scrapbooking their wedding photos and adding frilly hearts, sparkles of perfection and dreams of unicorns. We all thought we had snagged the prince of everyone’s dreams and we’d live divinely happy forever, only being pried apart when death dared separate us. Even then we’d be buried holding hands. On the same day. In matching outfits.

Then the meteorite hits and leaves behind a messy crater to stare dazedly into. It’s the end of our world as we knew it. Everything is about to change.

Life happens. It evolves and so must we.

I have stared the Divorce-Devil in the eyes.

If you’re reading this, chances are you have already met him head on, or are contemplating a rendezvous at some stage in your future.

I have met him. He isn’t as scary or as gloomy as he has been made out to be. If you approach him carefully with a cupcake and call his bluff, chances are, you’ll be the one in control of the bus.

It may feel like it, but you’re not journeying alone. Sadly it’s a growing sisterhood. But burying your butt in the bed covers is not going to do you any favours in the long run ( and think what it will do for the size of said butt!). Nor will it be great for your kids and families who will also affected by the changes.

So pull up your socks, a bra is optional, and in the words of J.R Ward:

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Life goes on chickie, and so must you. Think of all the advice you would offer your BFF if she was in the same situation. Now actually take some of it yourself, with a few nips of Vodka if you must.

Do you really want your children or your Ex seeing you snivelling all day in your Elmo PJ’s? Especially if he’s done the dirty on you. Get on with the rest of your life, and think of all the positive and exciting things that may lay ahead……a whole road of possibilities. You could be the next Nobel prize winner, or discover a new vaccine for stupid ex’s. Just keep your mind open to all that you’re now free to accomplish. I bet you have a long lost mental ‘some day‘ list. Well, it is now that day to begin ticking them off!

Yes you are allowed your mourning time. Grieve for all that you have lost. It’s a healthy part of the process. It would be concerning if you bottled it up to later explode all over the Coles checkout girl forcing you to rip open your newly acquired rolls of toilet paper ( this may or may not have happened to me ). It hurts to all buggery. The world sucks for a while. But you’re stronger than you realise, and this part of your life is only temporary. Yes I know it sounds horribly cliché, but believe me and every other sister who has walked this road, it is true.

My world is so far removed from where I was when I was married, it’s unrecognisable. All positive changes in my little world. I have accomplished things I never would have within that relationship. I am becoming the ME I was supposed to be. (That sounds like a song I must write )

In the five years since I separated, I have:

  • Returned to study and gained qualifications in Aged Care.
  • Moved back into the workforce gaining employment in a prestigious Nursing Home
  • Worked P/T as a Medical Receptionist as well.
  • Opened a home cake decorating business. (I hadn’t EVER made a fancy cake previously, but had always dreamed of it.)
  • Merged all of my skills and training as Teacher and a Carer, into an amazing job as an Education Support Worker in disability.
  • Become a writer and actually have work published.
  • Become a magazine editor!
  • Continued to solely support my 3 children, one of who has a disability.

I eagerly look forward to what the future holds for me now! I am free to make choices that I couldn’t within the confines of my marriage.

I am proud of how far I have made it on my own. It’s been empowering and confidence boosting.

I am slowly making my way through my bucket list. (or as I recently saw it called: a F*** it list!) I don’t want any regrets when I get to the end of my life journey. We only get one go at it. Don’t waste it by being weak and self-pitying forever.

How you cope with the big D is all in how you look at it. Positivity is a mind-altering thing.

~Cat Whelan~

Stuff New Year’s resolutions!

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It’s THAT time of the year again when we make up ridiculous lies called New Year’s Resolutions. Crazy stuff like ‘I’ll lose those 6 kilos in a week by walking the dog 5 times a day’ , or ‘ I’ll take up underwater belly dancing to meet new elephants’.

We ALL know New Year’s resolutions are a crock of rubbish.

I found something much more beneficial to celebrate the heralding of a new year: Forget New Year’s Resolutions-reminiscing is better for you! I have reflected on Stephanie Noon’s questions as a life coach, and come up with my 2014 Reflections:

What went well?

  • Well, I survived another year as a Divorced Super Mum!
  • The kids and the fur baby are still alive.
  • I didn’t have an arrest warrant officer knock on my door this year to pay for ex-hubby’s bills!
  • I still have a job.

Who was good to me?

  • The postman, when he didn’t deliver bills.
  • The pay roll lady who didn’t stuff up my pay once this year!
  • The staff at the Chicken and Chip shop who always add extra into my order. ( Should I be concerned they know me by name when I walk in? )
  • The nail lady when she managed not to sandpaper my cuticles.
  • The hairdresser I found who finally cut my fringe the way I have wanted it for 44 years!

What did you achieve?

  • Not killing my ex-husband though he deserved it numerous times.
  • Ditto re kids!
  • An average of 150 hours of driving per school term. That equates to roughly 600 hours to and from work for the year. I am trying not to think about the amount of petrol and THAT cost.
  • An occasional healthy meal per week for the kids.
  • Survival from one payday to the next without resorting to rent-out-a-child.

Small best moment of 2014:

  • I managed to get one kid through High School. Graduated, and hopefully off to University. (Though there’s a whole new future blog post to write about this one!)

Big best moment of 2014:

  • It’s finally coming to an end! I can now make all those stupid new year’s resolutions I’ll never keep!

ENJOY YOUR NEW YEAR, DIVORCED SUPER MUM GIRLFRIENDS!

Have a glass of bubbles on me.

~Cat Whelan~

 

 

A divorced Christmas: How to save money.

 

Group of three Christmas presents

Sigh…such a trying time of the year at the best of times. Worse when you’re a single mum of three teenagers, and an eleven year old wannabe-teenager.

The pressure is huge, even though it’s ‘supposed’ to be about spending time with those we love. We all know it’s impossible to escape the commercialism at this time of year unless you live in an igloo. Hmm could a Christmas tree fit in there?

The older kids get, the more expensive Christmas becomes. When my kids were little tackers I could buy what looked like a mountain, on a small budget, Santa was a hero. So was Mum ( Even then they knew that Mum was the one who did the shopping).

As they grew, so it seems did the money I felt I had to spend to satisfy their often tech savvy needs.

Now I am a single Mum, it’s even more difficult to budget for this costly time. Not only do I have my own kids, but my parents were crazy enough to have had five children ( Good Catholic family) of their own. Did they NOT think of future Christmases and how expensive it would be for the whole family? Especially when we all started breeding too: thirteen grandkids in total! Phew!

Each year I am becoming more of a Grinch as the festive season nears, and I have to find extra cash to spend on presents. It’s a superbly stressful time of the year when you are counting pennies from payday to payday.

So, with Christmas over for another year, I have settled my butt in the chair with chocolates handy, and have begun my research into ways to save money for Christmas for 2015. Here are my top tips to save yourself money and precious time.

  • Shop now for next year! I hear you moaning, but now is the time to buy Christmas decorations, trees, bon bons, wrapping paper, ribbons and all the sparkly bits. They’ll be discounted like crazy so you’ll save considerably. Especially if you’re one of those crazy pedantic people who like all their presents wrapped in matching colours to go with the tree. I am lucky to get some of mine wrapped, let alone matching. If the store’s bag is red, isn’t it OK ( and good for the environment) to sticky tape it shut and wack a tag on it?
  • Brainstorm your talents and plan to use them for homemade gifts for teachers, aunties, and extras that can be pre-made throughout the year. Be clever. Maybe you’re a whizz at jam-making, brewing your own alcohol, knitting fuzzy scarves, card making, writing poetry that could be personalised and framed. There are so many things you can do. i heart nap time have 101 inexpensive handmade Christmas gifts I would love to receive myself!  Handmade gifts mean you’ve spent time and love on your gift. It truly doesn’t need to be expensive.
  • Get the kids involved. This one will work well with youngsters. Teenagers , not so much unless they are arty. Make your own wrapping paper and cards with their artwork. There’s a double bonus on this one: it will keep them busy while you do Mum stuff, like have a bath and paint your toenails! ( in your dreams!) You can even make and decorate your own envelopes: Homemade gifts made easy. There are also TONS of other amazing Christmas gift ideas on this site too.
  • Be super ORGANISED! It’s the only way when you’re a Divorced Super Mum! I LOVE The Organised Housewife Shop. They have amazing bits and pieces to keep things running smoothly so you’ll never forget the Christmas gravy or sending Aunt Betty’s card again. The  2015 Christmas printables aren’t up yet (OH my, I am more organised than The Organised Housewife! ), but sign up and you’ll be emailed when they do.

The key, my busy girlfriends is to be creatively organised! You’ll be less stressed when Christmas 2015 comes rearing its red nose.

Right now, I am going to peruse the handmade gifts and start making my list… ( Watch out The Organised Housewife!)

But first another Christmas choccie. 🙂

~Cat Whelan~

‘We’re having a divorce party!’

 

Add a little bit of body text-2My series titled Book the Stripper, We’re Having a Divorce Party is a been-there-have-the-sad-bank- balance-to-show-for-it, kick up the pants, humorous celebration of the exciting choices a newly single woman is free to make. Such as how soon is too soon to book the Divorce Party?

It is entertaining, engaging, and witty as well as informative (and possibly deliciously controversial). This is the one a best friend will bring suggest reading with an obligatory bottle of wine, the one women will turn to when they need that confidence boost, the blog that should be published into a book and dropped into every Divorce Party’s goodie bag!

The divorce rate increased 2% from 2011 to 2012, an increase of 982 divorces. If you are female and divorced in 2012, you may be one of the 60.3 % aged under 45 years, like me. That is a large percentage of young female divorcees potentially couch-slothing eating Doritos and peanut butter ice cream, torturously watching The Notebook for the zillionth time.

Women of today are smart, sassy and have the world at their heeled shoes if they choose.

Divorce is not the heralding of doom and gloom it once may have been. Amazon has 8,211 books on divorce however I could barely find any covering divorce in a positive or humorous light. Why not?

Yes divorce is a serious topic, but can’t we begin to look at the positives that it can also bring? The fun and humorous side to the whole shebang? I have certainly been in the thick of it, but learnt to focus on the good things instead of the nasty bits.

My series Book the Stripper, We’re Having a Divorce Party encourages women to laugh, enjoy being free, and challenged by possibilities. Ultimately, to CHOOSE happiness.

I’ll be covering topics such as:

  • Becoming the old but new you (selling the wedding rings, burning the albums, getting a tattoo
  • Telling family and friends the good news (Divorce parties and strippers)
  • Careers and new hobbies (Does Divorce Party Planner count?)
  • What the hell is this, and what do I do with it? (And how to kill spiders)
  • Looking after you (They laser your what these days?)
  • The other dirty D word

and many more!

Come and join us on a merry journey and celebrate your freedom!

~Cat Whelan~

Super Mum before sunrise.

Every working Mum has a hectic schedule. This is a typical example of my mad mornings. Can you relate?

5:30am Damn, the alarm won’t go off for another half an hour but my bladder is screaming to move it or I’ll be in real strife. Might as well stagger into the shower and get an extra cup of quiet liquid sanity before I have to drag the kids up.

5:40am The first mirror fright of the day. God help me, I am looking more like my mother every day. Must remember to buy super strength concealer.

5:50am Heading to turn on the kettle for double strength coffee ( my catalogue circled HINT for a coffee machine went unnoticed ).
Oh pee-ew…..I thought the kids let the cat out last night. Sigh….I love kicking off my day cleaning up kitty poop off the floorboards.

6am Where did that bonus half hour go? I don’t suppose I could start a new towel turban trend at work? If I bang around loudly enough it may awaken the sleeping creatures and save me the drama.

6:05am Obviously I am being too stealthy in my morning preps. Time to pull out the big guns: TV on….woops, must have had it up a tad loudly last night! ( nobody around to see me flick up the volume control, all good. )
Better get some of this caffeine ingested before somebody gets hurt.

6:10am How dare the infomercial people be so bright and cheerful ( and glamorous) at this hour. ( sleepily forget that they are pre-recorded ) Promise self to get on Trevor ( the treadmill)  tonight to obtain buns of steel. Would be happy with aluminium.

6:15am Right, time to get serious. Into child No 3’s room. No more nice mummy: light on! Creature under the cover screams and moans. I look for feet to tickle. Moans turn to shrieks. Covers fly back. Creature sits up. My mission here is complete.

6:20am Time to face the mirror again. Maybe I should buy some of that face lift stuff off that infomercial.
Two attempts at applying a straight line of eye liner. I haven’t yet mastered the trick of doing it with my glasses on that I need to actually see with.

Wishing I knew how to make my eyelashes ‘long and luscious’ without looking like I have gone a round with Jeff Fenech.

6:25am Check to see if Son is dressing and pulling on socks that could just about walk themselves to school.
Slug another cup of coffee for luck.

6:30am The big decision of the day that all women dread………WHAT TO WEAR TODAY??? First ask 3 questions:
1. Am I having an I- feel- bloated- kind -of- day?
2. Who will I need to impress today? Is the cute guy at Cibo’s working?
3. What is clean in my closet?
Okay I suppose the weather has a small part to play in the decision making process, but can be disregarded any day to look super swish in a new outfit.
Accessories are important. You can go from drab to fab with the perfect necklace.

6:40am Where are those shoes???

6:45am Quickly slap together a sandwich and do an apple grab. Chuck in lunch box for the hopefully now ready child.
Teeth clean, quick loo stop after early coffee.
Deep breath and prepare…….

6:50am Enter Daughter’s room. Find poop dropping culprit curled innocently on the quilt. Kiss Child No 2’s head. Sleepy eyes squinting at me, followed by: “ Do I have to go to school?” My reply: ( proving I am now awake and firing on all cylinders)
“ Yes, and if you don’t I will call child services and you’ll find out what they do with truant kids. Now hurry up or you’ll miss the bus.”

Time for my last mission.

OK This is it. Eldest teenage son’s door. Opening gingerly, just to make sure nothing dead falls out at me. Hmm smells like there’s something decomposing in there though. More than likely his favourite crusty sneakers.
“ Time to get up” is the first morning shout. No reaction will receive a
“ZAC, GET UP!”. Still no response and I get to have some fun……press the alert button on my car alarm ( even more fun as the garage is directly opposite his room. Evil, yes, but payback for three years of sleepless nights when he was a wee baby ). That usually does the trick and has him bolting up swearing and glaring at me. Oh happy days.

6:55am Still chuckling, herd No 3 child into the car for Before School Care. Thank God they serve breakfast there or I’d have to do a Macca’s brecky run.

6:56am We’re off!

6:56.30am We’re reversing down the street because I still have my fluffy pink slippers on.

6:57am Dash inside. THERE’S those shoes…again.

6:59am After another bladder drain, we’re off. Again. On the one and a half hour trip to work.
Is it time to go back to bed yet??

 

comforts

Essential daily items in my world.
What helps you get through the day?

~Cat~

Hello Divorced Super Mums!

Welcome to the world of the Divorced Super Mum, where we face
challenges, fight foes and celebrate our fabulous sisterhood!
I am a divorced mother of three human children and two fur babies, a freelance writer, editor and teacher.
Come along this journey with me as we find joy and make new
discoveries about ourselves. There will of course be female venting and rambling along the way, as well as information to be shared.

So pour a beverage of your choice ( mine has bubbles of course!), pull up a chair and come do the divorced -super- mum- rumba with me.

Cat Whelan
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