Category Archives: Book the stripper, we’re having a divorce party!

Do it before you regret NOT doing it

 

pug dog reading newspaper while sitting relaxed on a cool red sofa or couch

Well my dear friends, life has been hectic since I last posted here. Nothing new for most Divorced Super Mums, I know.

I’ll give you a quickie run-down, and then I have news to spill!

Well the puppies are all settled in gorgeous loving homes and I get regular updates from them that I proudly coo over like the nutty Pug Granny I now am.

Once the pups left me, I made a vow to focus more on my writing and start actually submitting work. I attended a writing workshop help by the incredibly amazing Fiona McIntosh, who inspired and fired me up. Her written compliments and encouragement on one of my crazy stories, has been enlarged, printed out, laminated and has prize place on my pin board
( I’m a pathetic fangirl ).

I decided to put some ideas into practice, grow some balls, and start entering competitions for some feedback. I wrote 2 short stories, completely different from each other, and submitted them to Romance Writers Australia, Little Gems competition. I was hanging for some crushing feedback so I could improve my work. I was petrified clicking send, my pointer finger hovering over the icon. What if people laugh at how stupid my stories are, and how much I don’t know yet about crafting a story? What if my Mum finds out I have written stories with a romantic element?
In the end I decided ‘Bugger it, just do it, or you’ll never know.’

So I did.

Then took the family on a wonderful trip to Bali, made some fun, lasting memories, relaxed, and swam three times a day in our private villa pool. There may have been quite a few cocktails consumed in there somewhere as well. It was a tough gig.

Life resumed to semi-normal when the school year went back, and work beckoned. I didn’t win the X-Lotto during the holidays, unfortunately. Nor one of those luxurious house lotteries I keep entering.

The writing continued. This time, a novel, and a few other short stories. I am not sure I have it in me to pad out 50,000 pages yet, so we’ll see how that goes. Stay tuned…

While attending a boring workshop on Adobe InDesign, I opened my email and was absolutely stunned to learn that my short story For The Love Of A Pug, has placed 3rd in the competition and will be published in the Romance Writers Australia, Little Gems Anthology available in August!!! I honestly thought up until now, that being ‘speechless’ was really just an amusing  term used for someone who is a tad excited. Now I know it’s actually an emotion, and one that consumed me when I read the results. My sister, who happened to be sitting next to me, was beginning to panic watching the shock on my face and my eyes welling with tears. All I could manage to utter was Oh. My. God. There may have been arm flapping involved too. From me, not her.

‘What’s wrong?’ she said. No answer. More arm flapping.

‘SPEAK!’ she ordered with rising concern.

‘Oh. My. God.’

‘I got that bit! What’s wrong?’

I could only hand over my phone so she could read the email as I was still processing and not functioning on any cerebral cylinders requiring words other than Oh My God. Luckily we were sitting in the back row or our antics would have been slightly embarrassing.

So, the question on my mind is this? Now that I’ll be published in print, can I call myself an actual AUTHOR? I usually call myself a writer having had non fiction work published, but where’s the line, and have I jumped over it? Is there even a line or just a choice of terms?

But how damn good does being a REAL author sound?

And how bloody excited am I to feel like my dreams and goals are heading in the direction I always dreamed of.

Me? I’m just a Divorced Super Mum like so many around the globe.

But if I can achieve my dreams, work full time, run a household by myself and bring up 3 kids, anyone can.

So get out there and just DO IT, before you regret NOT doing it!

~Cat~

 

To love again? Consider these 5 things before committing your heart.

 

Can I love again?

You may not think so now, but there IS going to come a time when you’ll at least consider this question: Am I ready to love again? You may answer with ” NO way, I’d rather have dinner with a hungry lion while smothered in blood”. But you WILL make a decision either way.

It IS a big decision. Am I prepared to open my heart and my life again for a relationship, and potential hurt and/or embarrassment? Or am I happy either being by myself, focussing on my children, career, goldfish, or electric kettle collection?

Is it worth all the hassle? And believe me, there WILL be hassles.

You’ll lie awake for days devising hundreds of questions and what ifs and drive yourself crazy.

With that in mind, I have put together my top 5 issues to ponder if you’re considering opening your heart again.

  1. Are you still angry at your ex and/or angry at yourself for marrying him?
    Probably not a good place to begin a new relationship if you haven’t resolved most of the emotion of your marriage. Forgive yourself, and your ex for your mistakes. Holding grudges will not make you any happier. Remember you have the rest of your life ahead of you. Make it your best years yet.
    Besides, what will annoy your ex more than seeing you moving on and being happy?
  2. Have you grown too accustomed to having everything YOUR way?
    Queen of the household and all that jazz. Control of the remote, the entire bed to sprawl out in, and girly stuff all over the house? Can you share again? Here’s the clincher: are you ready to share your bottles of wine…
  3. Are the kids ready to see you with someone other than their Dad?
    Watch your step here, this could be tricky. Some children may never be ready for this, so you’ll need to negotiate some strategies to minimise damage. It’s like a minefield, so tread carefully. This topic is so huge and fraught with danger, it really needs an entire post by itself, so I’ll get on to that!
    In the meantime, consider how ready your kidlets are to share you.
  4. What if my dog/cat/guinea pig/imaginary friend doesn’t like him/her?
    They’re all very intuitive as you know, so maybe listen to them ( Especially the imaginary friend, it knows you best. Though on the flip side, maybe it wants you all to him/herself?? ) .  Having said that, I once went out with a guy whose cat was so jealous of me she spat and hissed and screamed blue murder if I went within 5 feet of her. And I LOVE cats, my name is Cat for god’s sake! But this fellow adored his nasty cat more than me, probably a little too much. So here’s another tip: Beware of men who do eccentric things like leaving bathroom and kitchen cupboard doors wide open for the cat to sleep in.
    Likewise can you be with someone who can’t handle your pug’s fur on their precious rug, or who would rather hold a plate of worms than said guinea pig?
  5. Are you looking for an actual relationship or just someone to go to the movies and whinge about work to?
    Here’s the biggie. What is it you think you can actually handle at this point in your life? TIP: If you’re not 100% sure about a full on relationship, just dip your toe in and start with a casual one. But be completely upfront with your potential partner from the word go. You do NOT want him ordering wedding stationary if you’re just bored of nights home alone and want someone to play poker with.

If you’re anything like me ( crazy, paranoid, but hopeful) you’re dead scared to have another stuffed up a relationship. Not just because of your heart, but also because of your kids, family and reputation. Nobody wants others to think you’re a relationship-hopper ( and I have met some of these!) just because you’re someone who would like to find THE one to share your time with, and potentially more. Ignore those who think you should be by yourself until your kids are adults, they’ll probably be very vocal about it too, so buy earplugs. Everyone will have an opinion on what you should be doing. Only listen to your own.

Make your OWN decisions based on your life, needs, plans and desires. Those who matter, will simply want you to be happy.

Don’t panic…most decisions are reversible. Just like marriage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New careers and hobbies

 

make your dreams come true

For some Divorced Super Mums, you may have been an amazing Stay At Home Mum and now need to go and work out of the home to support your family. Being a single Mum is financially challenging, especially if your ex isn’t so good with coughing up child maintenance.

Others may decide they just want to try their hand at something new and make a clean slate for an entire new life.

Perhaps you want to do something you always dreamed of doing, but couldn’t in the confines of your marriage.

HOW EXCITING! So many possibilities. Possibly daunting. But doesn’t that tingle of anticipation sound a bit thrilling and fun?

What is it you have always wanted to be? Maybe it’s an under-water basket weaving expert,  a physicist in Siberia, a Veterinarian for rainbow-bellied snakes ( Aren’t they just stunning?!).

You have experience now, could you consider a Divorce Party Planner as a career? It’s a growing industry as we know! And you have contacts in your address book. If you did not get the sexy stripper’s phone numbers, here’s the perfect excuse to pop them on speed dial!

Have you been stuck in a career rut because you think you have to?

STOP.

You can be all you want to if you really want to!

What’s stopping you from succeeding in your dream job? Money to study? Time? Fear?

There are ways around all of these issues if you are willing. You can apply for study grants, or make part payments and study part time, or online.

If time is your barrier, forget it! I read once; you’ll make time for what really matters.

I also like this one: “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Fear may the be the huge anchor dragging you back. But truly, what is the worst that can happen? That your dream may not be as special as the reality of living it? At least you’ll know! 

I don’t want to be at the end of my life and wish I had lived more, and done more of what I wanted to. Regrets will weigh you down in later years. This is my motto in life:“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” H. Jackson Brown Jr. ( smart man).

Go DO and BE while you can. 

What about a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try? Today there are numerous ways you can learn new things. I learnt how to decorate cakes and ran a business for a while, all from YouTube and online tutorials. There are also plenty of community courses you can look for. You’d be amazed at what some of them offer: motorcycle maintenance, belly dancing for beginners, balloon animals and psychic development, are all courses my adult learning centre offer. Get on to it girl. That ukulele you’ve been wanting to learn how to play, there’s probably a course for that too.

Today, apart from my job in Teaching, I am also a freelance writer, and have been published in some prestigious magazines of which I am incredibly proud. Writing was a childhood dream. I considered doing journalism at University, until my Mum talked me out of it. That’s one time I wish I hadn’t listened to her!

It’s never too late to try your hand at what interests you. I am living proof of that. You never know, one day I may be able to write full-time. Until then, at least I am doing what I love, some of the time.

If this had just remained in the ‘dream’ part of my wish list, I’d never be on the way to accomplishing my goals.

Now is the time to explore your passions.

Don’t wait any longer.

‘A year from now you will wish you had started today’. ~ Karen Lamb

 

 

20 reasons why dogs are better company than husbands

 

Add subtitle text-5

Who doesn’t love a cute snuggly puppy? It provides you with unconditional love, and watching them chase their tail is more entertaining than watching TV.

When we got our beautiful baby Ava, and then Beau, I wondered why anyone needs a hubby ever again?

This is what my puppies taught me:

  1. While they may slobber on you, they do it with love, and a supposedly antiseptic tongue.
  2. They are cheaper to feed. Unless your hubby had a thing for dry doggy food and gravy.
  3. Dog fur is easy to suck up from the couch with the Dyson hand-held. It would take a bulldozer to get my ex to pry himself up and help with housework. Unless there was a sale on at Dan Murphy’s.
  4. Your dog is always excited to see you when you get home and will run in circles of joy. The only time my hubby did that was when you either brought home Chinese food or Dan Murphy’s had a sale on.
  5. Your canine friend will beg for the leash when you mention a walk. My ex had an aversion to any kind of exercise that exerted energy. That included work.
  6. When the dog gasses off, it could smell like a rubbish tip and you’d still think it was cute
    ( Unless you own a pug!). Hubby’s odours were unbearable.
  7. Puppies can easily be kept amused for hours with a chew toy or an empty plastic bottle to chase around the yard. The only time my ex- husband was that entertained was watching  a football game, and his bottle was full.
  8. Your canine buddy won’t screw his nose up when you put the food bowl down, or tell you how horrible the meal is that you just took 2 hours to prepare.
  9. Your little bundle of fur may snore as loudly as a train, but you won’t want to smother it like you did your husband. And maybe not just while he was snoring.
  10. Pooper- scoopering around the back lawn is a quicker chore than cleaning up after a piggy husband. Especially one who was a plasterer and dropped white blobs everywhere and clogged up the washing machine ( the plaster, not the ex-husband) .
  11. A vet visit will be expensive, but not as long-term financially costly as a divorce.
  12. Your pampered pooch will keep your lap warm at night and let you watch Escape To The Country without a single complaint.
  13.  When you need time alone, your pup can be locked outside for fresh air. However your hubby never liked this activity for some reason.
  14. You can cuddle your pooch just because, and it won’t want anything else from you. Unlike a hubby who may think it’s a signal for some adult time.
  15. Walking your dog can be a social outing for both of you. It’s surprising how many people stop to talk when you have a cute puppy in tow. Not so many when you have a scowling husband along for the ride.
  16. Bath time is easier to clean up after with my pooch, than cleaning up after a 6ft 3″ human who can’t see the pool of dirty water on the bathroom floor, or the soap scum around the rim. The puppy I send outside to dry, the ex-husband never seemed to like that either! Who knew?
  17. I don’t need to worry if my doggie gets lost. She has a micro-chip and will be returned safe and sound into my loving arms. If husbands go missing, they always look suspiciously at the wife first.
  18. You don’t have to associate with the puppy-in-laws. Enough said.
  19. If your puppy is a male, you can get his boy bits chopped off without a fuss. Husbands are not so fond of this procedure. Even if they don’t have to wear a bucket on their heads.
  20. When your dog has spent many a wonderful year making loving memories with you, and the time comes to say goodbye to your beloved friend, burying him in the backyard is accepted practice. Not so much with the husband ( see number 17) .

If you don’t have a dog my friends, you’re missing out on the best relationship you’ve ever had.

Who needs a husband, when you have a 4-legged loyal mate?

large group of puppies

10 tips for Working Super-Mums

 

Super Woman Mother Cartoon with Yellow Background.

Like many women of this era, I have to work inside and outside of my home to pay for mortgages, bills, braces, school fees, mobile phones and ever-increasing electricity bills. And for some reason my children insist on eating every day!

By the time I reach home around 5pm, after leaving at 6:50am, I am ready to pass out. And that’s BEFORE I even sniff a glass of wine. It’s exhausting trying to hold the fort together AND do chores around the house. If you’re one of those incredibly super, super Mums who can work a 10 hour day, skip in the door to make a 3 course gourmet feast, and clean up the kitchen while doing a load of washing, we can longer be friends. You’re a freak!

If you’re anything like me ( and I hope you are, or else I may be the freak) , you try to give the illusion you have it all under control, but truthfully, you’re barely hanging on. It’s not easy managing on your own. But it’s sure rewarding when you do!

Here are 10 tips I have discovered to attempt some sort of organisation around the house:

  • Tell the kids you have hidden a set amount of money around their pig-sty bedrooms. They’ll have to clean it to find it all. Put the last bit in a very difficult to find spot. Amazing what bribery/ incentive, can do.
  • We all know there’s a hole in the washing machine where lost socks go to spend their sock days partying. Peg the pairs together before you pop them in so the little buggers can’t run away.
  • Set the kids alarm clocks 10 minutes early so the kids will be ready on time. This only works until they become smart enough to realise your treachery.
  • Sick of finding soggy towels on the bathroom floor? Colour code each kid’s. Then the culprits will be obvious. Just hope they don’t cotton on to the ability to frame a sibling.
  • Ditto with drinking glasses. Mine seem to think we have an endless supply and go for a new one each time they quench their thirst. Trust me, if someone sees someone else drinking out of theirs, they’ll pounce for sure.
  • Have a no TV night. Yes, none.
    You MAY be fortunate enough to get those rooms cleaned! It’s amazing what everyone will find to do when they are ‘bored’. Maybe even combine the money hiding tactic with this one.
    It’s possible you’ll get motivated to clean out that Tupperware cupboard and get rid of the overflow of lids that lost their container 20 years ago.
    Think of the power you’ll be saving if you make it a complete NO SCREEN night! That includes TV’s, Computers and iPods. (Yes it may kill them, but it’ll be peaceful eventually. )
  • Get a slow cooker! There’s nothing better than walking in the door, kicking your shoes off, and pouring a glass of wine to the aroma of an already cooked dinner. The only down side is that you have to remember to get it ready and pop in the fridge the night before, then get it out in the morning and flick the magic meal switch. 
  • If you have family who live close, try to farm the kids and yourself out for a meal. Surely your own Mum will take pity on her grand-babies and make sure they get one decent meal a week.
  • This one I got from FB somewhere a while back.
    Sick of telling the kids to put things away? You’re not alone baby. Some genius came up with this idea…..
    Put the offending objects in a box. To get the objects back, the kids have to choose one of the cards attached to the box. The cards have chores on them!!! Once the chore is performed to your satisfaction, the object can be returned!!
    I told you….genius!
  • Get up 15 minutes earlier than you need to. Before the kids and animals. I can scoot around and get loads of chores done that may take me an hour of dithering when I get home. It’s much like the theory of getting more housework done in the 5 minutes before you’re about to have surprise visitors, than you’ve done in a week!
    The down side of this is that you lose 15 minutes of precious sleep. ( I NEVER SAID YOU’D LIKE THE TIPS! )

Even if you can’t organise your home like the super, super mums, fake it til you make it girl!

I bet you’re doing that already. Just like the rest of us. Never fear girlfriend, you’re in amazing company.

If all else fails…hock your rings if you still have them, and get a cleaner!

But keep smiling, because Divorced Super Mums are incredible whether their house looks like a show home, or one a cyclone has just blown through. We do the hardest job in the world, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

Dating after divorce: Will I remember how?

 

woman getting ready

You have rustled up some courage to jump online and meet new people.

Isn’t it fun and a little bit scary? Boy did I learn a lot about myself during that time: what I’d like in a potential partner, and what I absolutely did NOT want near me.

If you have met someone you hit it off with, he’s not completely ugly, has all his teeth ( I met one with only about 6), and he can string a few sentences together, you might decide to get to know each other better.  Things are about to get even scarier.

What does DATING mean once you’ve been divorced? Is it different from pre-married dating?  What are the rules? Is he a psycho, why is he single? Will he think I am a psycho? How do you manage it with kids? What about sex?

I’ll touch on these from MY dating perspective, but as I am no relationship expert don’t take my findings as gospel, write me hate mail, or report me to social services in your area when YOUR date goes down the toilet.

Is it different from pre-married dating?

HELL YES! I am not the same person I was when I was 22. I have lived almost two decades since then, had 3 children, many disappointments and a failed marriage. Of course it’s different. You and your new man will both have baggage to unpack and deal with. You’ll each have different expectations about relationships, so make sure you have a conversation about this. You don’t want him pulling out a ring box on your second date when you don’t even know if you want a third one!
Being more mature this time around ( some may debate this) , I knew myself better, and knew what kind of person would suit me and my children. I had a few single dates where either I, or both of us were honest about the lack of chemistry. I am too old and practical to stuff around. If it’s not right for you, don’t force it.
The down-side of being more mature is that you may not be as sprightly as you used to be. You want to appear confident and sexy on a date, but are you really feeling it? This may mean brushing the cobwebs off the makeup drawer and tackling a hair styler thingy without burning your ears off. Choose an outfit that’s casual but one you feel great in. Wear those spandex undies if it makes you feel better. Nobody will ever know. ( unless you’re planning on getting further than first base on this date!) If he truly doesn’t like you, then he isn’t one you want to spend time with, so don’t get too hung up on it. There will be plenty more suitors online to fish out.

And smile, it’s always going to be your best asset. Unless you’re the guy with only 6 teeth.

What are the rules?

You’ll have to make this up as you go along as my rules will be different from yours. But here were some of my personal dating rules:

  • NEVER meet them at your own home initially. There are too many stalkers and pervs out there who prey on naive people. Be smart and careful.
  • I am old fashioned, he should still pay the bill! Boo me if you must, but I like a bit of chivalry and a take charge attitude. It shows me he’s confident.
  • I never met anyone I hadn’t chatted with for a bit online first. At the very least, a few conversations over as many days. Anyone who asks for a meet up after only a ‘howdy’, is probably NOT looking to help you wash your car in a couple of months time.
  • I was never keen on a first date kiss, though I admit to caving on a couple of occasions. One fellow who was rather nice, had a lovely dinner date with and great conversation, shared a few kisses at the end then mentioned he hoped his ‘separated wife’ wouldn’t smell my perfume on him as they still slept in the same bed at home because the children didn’t know yet! WHAT??? I hightailed it very quickly out of there after that and didn’t cave on a first date again. If someone is interested, they’ll stick around. I can personally vouch for this!
  • If he doesn’t have kids, find out why. And if he doesn’t have kids OR pets…rethink whether he can share his life with anyone. Can you put up with someone who HATES dogs?
  • If he’s still living with his ex, or his mother…get the hell out of there! It screams either money troubles or mummy troubles.
  • Wait at least a few weeks before introducing each other to kids. That way you may have at least discussed whether the relationship is ‘just friends’ or something else. You certainly don’t want your kids messing up your suitors names if they meet too many, that could just be embarrassing.

Why is he single, is he a psycho? Will he think I am a psycho?

Don’t be so paranoid. He’s probably just as nervous about the whole dating saga as you are. Be open minded and honest.

Being divorced isn’t shameful these days: it means something went wrong, you were honest enough to admit it, mature enough to do something about it, and smart enough to move on.

Though if he was also divorced, I wanted to hear his side of the broken marriage story. If he’d cheated ( would he admit it though?) , eaten fruit loops in their bed, or hated children, I wanted to know.

How do you manage it with kids?

As carefully and tactfully as possible. It was easier for me because my kids went with their father every Wednesday and Saturday evening at that time, so I was able to arrange dates on those nights and my children were none the wiser. But once I met someone and we’d decided to spend more time with each other on weekends etc, it was a whole new ball game. Especially when they also had kiddies. It was a matter of introducing the new ‘friend’ slowly and keeping it casual. My children were old enough to get an explanation that Mum wanted some adult company. Initially my eldest was resistant, but that is probably not unusual. They are trying to work out where they fit in a new relationship and see their mother in a different light…as a woman.

It can be treacherous waters to surf in if you both have children. I have attempted this a couple of times now. The first was a disaster as our parenting styles were so opposite, the second was smoother as our children were similarly aged, but 6 kids was the Brady Bunch!

My only advice is this: If your kids don’t like your new partner or vice versa, it probably won’t last, no matter how hard you try…but that’s exactly the reason you should let it go. There’s a saying ” you can’t force a round peg in a square hole”…

What about sex? 

So you’ve been seeing this guy for a bit ( time elapse will be different for each woman dependant upon morals, desperation or fear) , and it’s now time to ‘sign off on the deal’ so to speak. You are attracted to each other and it’s time to make that decision… do I want to have sex with another man after all these years? Alongside this question will be a host of scary others: what if I don’t remember how, what if I am bad at it, will he laugh at my jiggly bits, and what ‘maintenance’ is required beforehand?

Here’s the deal girlfriends: ( God I hope my mother never reads this!)

You will remember how as soon as he gets to the pointy end of the business. It’s a dance zillions of years old. Besides, he’ll be keen to remind you. 

He’s a man, so he won’t think you’re bad at it. He’s more likely to be over-the-moon to be getting any. Besides, you might just find it liberating being with another man who is NOT your ex-husband. Perhaps you can explore that sensual side of yourself you didn’t get a chance to in your restricting marriage. 

I doubt he’ll laugh at your jiggly bits. He probably has them too. Men don’t seem to see our bad bits like women do. They’re weird that way. 

Pre-maintenance. Here’s where I had some shocks in my research at the time of early dating: ( Dear God, I am begging you now NOT to let my mother read this!) ‘au naturel’ body hair is not considered very sexy these days and maintenance is required. Here are your main choices: shaving, waxing or painful lasering. Not only do you have to decide on which way to go, you also need to make a choice on how much to get rid of. Oh yes, my friends, there are whole beauty businesses dedicated to making your bits as pretty as they can. I am also not just talking female bits too apparently. Do you just trim the edges, make weird and wonderful shapes, or go the whole hog and take it all off. Now, hold on to your undies, as there is also a trend to get yourself smooth, then glue on shiny jewels to make artworks! Yes, it’s true…google it. Prepare to be stunned!
Whatever floats your boat, I am sure your partner will be flattered you’ve made at least some effort to be tidy. 

At the end of the day, the only way you’re going to get better at dating, is by actually dating. There’s no way around it my friends. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and hopefully have some fun with it.
You’ll most likely date a few lemons just for the experience, but this will only highlight when the right one actually DOES appear on your internet screen, and you end up having a 9 hour amazing first date without any hanky-panky, not even a kiss.
Now THAT’S a story to tell the grandkids…

Happy dating girlfriends…stay safe!

 

 

 

A guide to dipping your toe into the online dating pool

Online dating concept. Hand & Wine Glass Through Laptop Screen

 

The thought of dating will send many of you into an almost -coma of panic. Especially if you were married a long time, and previous dating consisted of a burger and coke after meeting through friends at a roller disco…twenty or thirty-so years ago, when the body was pre-kids and the hair less sprinkled with grey highlights.

Once you’ve been married and divorced, you’re not likely to be the spring chicken you once were. Where in the world do you meet someone to spend time with, go to the movies, and ride your Harley with, without looking like a desperado trawling the pub scene alone? It’s often the case that all your friends are at home with their amazing hubbys , slippers and flannelette PJ’s on, chocolate and coffee close by. Perfect pooches on their laps.

Gone are the days of roller discos and meeting friends through your hairdresser’s, painter’s, ex-son-in-law. The world of dating these days, is oh so different my friend.

The new world of dating often takes place initially ONLINE. So you had better get tech savvy. Even teenagers use it as a tool to meet up. It’s an easy way to chat with people safely, get to know a bit about them,  and decide to meet up if you’re interested.

You can even ‘date’ someone without meeting them apparently! One of my students told me her boyfriend lives in another country and she’s never met him. They chat via skype regularly, and this is considered a relationship believe it or not!

Once I talked myself into considering hopping online to see if I’d even be able to gather any nibbles these days, I was mind blown. Getting used to this new way of talking and deciding on someone’s personality, was interesting, eye-opening, often amusing, and occasionally scary.

Here is what my naive little self discovered about the world of online dating:

  1. There are tons of creeps, pervs, stalkers, stirrers, scammers and bored kids on dating websites. But you’ll quickly learn to fish them out. Just don’t give out any of your personal details along the way! Use your noggin’. If it feels wrong or weird, it IS!
  2. There are also many wonderful people online who I have become great friends with, and stayed that way.  Just be up front with what you’re looking for, and honest when you don’t think you’re right for each other. I mean who could be with someone who puts their toilet roll in backwards?
  3. Be honest in your profile write up. You want others to be honest with you. Maybe mentioning your obsession with taxidermy and green M& M’s can wait until your second date.
  4. You don’t have to want an actual relationship to venture on to dating sites. Apparently wanting companionship is ok too ( read into that what you will), which leads me to my next point:
  5. Be VERY clear in your profile what you’re looking for. If you DON’T want a relationship, then say so immediately. Ask early in your chats what the other is looking for. If they are looking for someone to propose to tomorrow and you’re just dipping your pinky toe into the dating pool…RUN! Fast!
  6. If you’re smart, don’t have a profile photo. That weeds out the non serious and creepy, pervy ones. If someone is genuinely interested, they’ll read your profile and contact you based solely on that. OK so I admit to ogling some members of the male species and contacting them because they were cute. I am only human.
  7. You will read a lot of rubbish on profiles: e.g. I like to go for long walks on the beach, and spend hours at the gym. They may as well say, I am so dumb I have to copy the 450 other profiles that have written this, rather than come up with something original.
  8. Some of the profile names will give you a HUGE clue about a personality: Steer clear of MisterFitnFab, MeSexyboy65, Lardarse16. Make sure you come up with something that reflects your personalty in a good way. Remember they’ll be judging you too. Bigbutt69 will get you lots of attention, but perhaps not the kind you really want.
  9. If someone asks, ” do you have a webcam?” , they don’t usually want to look at your baby photos over the internet. I got a couple of shocks along the way.
  10. Beware of profile photos that look like runway models…they have probably been stolen from somewhere. I mean if they looked like that, would they be on a dating site with us mere mortals? Really?
  11. Be photo savvy in general. If the photo looks old, fuzzy, sticky taped together, photoshopped or just wrong, it probably is. Most people want to pick the best one they can, so an old one may mean this is me at my best: when I was 18 years old!
  12. If you hit it off chatting online and decide to meet, do it in a public place. Coffee is always nice and casual, and can be a short date if it’s uncomfortable. Even better, station a friend nearby to accidentally ‘bump’ into when you give her the ‘get-me-out-of-here signal.
  13. “Let’s meet for a drink” may be code for something else. I got caught a couple of times and had to extricate myself from the situation quickly when I twigged what was going on. The pawing hands were a dead give-away.
  14. People will contact you from overseas. They may even become good friends with you. But seriously, it’s NOT a healthy relationship. Someone on the same continent is going to be easier to go to the movies with.
  15. It’s very possible you’ll meet lots of weirdos before you meet some normal people. I once met a guy for a drink at a hotel one night. He was nice, but I wasn’t planning on continuing our contact as I didn’t feel we had chemistry. The next day he went skydiving, broke both ankles and ended up in hospital awaiting surgery. He was annoyed I wasn’t going to visit him and posted such a message on FB. What the? It was a few drinks!

My number one piece of advice: BE WARY AND SMART.

Have fun chatting to people to gain your confidence, decide what kind of relationship you’re looking for, become aware of what kind of person you’re looking for, then take a deep breath and jump in.

You never know who you’ll find. The love of your life may just be looking for you too.

Next: THE PROCESS OF DATING. Otherwise titled Will I remember how?

 

5 ways to steal YOU time

 

 

 

Woman bathing

Being a Divorced Super Mum has infinite benefits as I have already mentioned. But I am not going to lie to you: you will have some days that feel like a cake eating rhinoceros is sitting on your chest. The burden of managing a household on your own, working, driving kids around and attempting to remember who needs to be where at what time, trying to figure out which bill to pay this week, and who will eat what for dinner, does occasionally take its toll on you.

You’re not alone. Sometimes I still have panic attacks when I wake up in the morning and think about what my day will involve.

We may be Divorced Super Mums, but we are also human and need to take care of ourselves for the benefit of our children, those we work with, those who drive on the roads next to us, and for our neighbours who will have to listen to our screaming banshee breakdown when it all gets too much.

Our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health is continually drained by the necessities of life, but how often do we take time out for ourselves?

Below are 5 strategies I have used to get some time to myself, so I can be a better ME and a better Mum ( work colleague, neighbour, daughter, sister, road-user, customer) :

  • Get locks on your bathroom and/or bedroom doors. These will be your saviour! You need ONE private spot in the house where kids and animals cannot get to you. They need to learn that you require time out, AND they need to discover that they WILL survive without your attention every 2 minutes.  Even if you do this for 5 minutes at a time, sit and just breathe. Or lie down for a brief spell. Any time you can turn off from being Mum for a few minutes, is a bonus. That big wound up spring inside you, has a chance to loosen just a bit. Big tip: USE THE LOCKS, don’t be a wimp!
  • Bath time is bliss. When the kids are (finally) asleep, run yourself a bath, light your favourite candles, pour a glass of wine, and just soak in the day. Lie back and let the water float away your stress. If you’re not into candles and wine, take a book. I have been known to read an entire novel in one bath session. Just let out some water and refill to warm it up. Water is soothing to our souls. It’s also a chance to unwind before you try to catch some ZZZ’s. A  restful sleep makes all the difference to approaching the day with positivity.
  • Get up half an hour early. Yes I can hear the groans. Even LESS sleep? I have discovered that sacrificing just 30 minutes of snooze time before everyone else is up, can make a difference to your sanity. It’s amazing how fresh you feel beginning the day with some quiet time. Use it to shower and get ready in peace. No knocking at the door, or faces peering through the shower glass to see what you’re doing in there without them. Maybe a few stretches or a few minutes on the treadmill to get the blood flowing and brain wires connecting. You’ll quickly look forward to getting up each morning for that 30 minutes of YOU time.
  • Don’t be a martyr. If you’re fortunate enough to have friends or relatives offering some kid free time so you can do some shopping, get your hair cut so you can see again, or see the doctor for your pap smear…SAY YES!!! Drop the kids off and RUN. Fast. For some reason we wonderful women think we have to do it all. I have been guilty of this ridiculous notion in the past too. But believe me when I tell you, you’re going to be no good for your family if you’re curled up in a ball, exhausted and having a nervous breakdown. You may be an incredible Divorced Super Mum, but you’re also human and need a break. You’ll be revived and ready to take on the world after some time away from your demanding munchkins.
  • Turn off the radio! When you’re in the car, turn off the constant noise and input to your brain. Just enjoy the rare silence. If you’re on your way home from work and have a long commute like I do, work through the day’s issues and then leave them in the car when you get out. DO NOT drag them out of the car with your handbag, they’ll only overload your circuits. Home time is for you and your family. OK, this could be a problem if you work from home, but the theory can still remain. Have a work space, and leave the worries at the desk. If you’re in the car with teenagers, the same thing can apply, though they’ll most likely have music blaring out of their headphones that you’ll have to bear anyway!

Being a Divorced Super Mum is liberating, challenging, incredibly rewarding, and at times exhausting. BUT you cannot do and be all, without looking after yourself, and your sanity.

Be SMART, steal some YOU time.

The world will keep revolving if you do!

 

How to answer THOSE dumb questions

 

Come on ask me something,-2

The ink is barely dry on your divorce papers and you still have a tell- tale tan mark on your ring finger, but some nitwit is bound to start asking stupid questions.

Don’t let your head spin around like one of those creatures from a horror movie, just act cool and flippantly send one of these remarks their nosy little way. They’ll never ask you again. ( Unless they are really TRYING to make your head spin around!)

 

How are you coping?

  • Better than you would if you had your heart ripped out via your nostrils, and stomped on by a herd of roaring bull elephants.
  • Like all Divorced Super Mums: I am living it up with a margarita in one hand and my laptop fired up for an online shopping spree , while my kids run around naked in the backyard eating poisonous snakes. And that’s just breakfast.
  • COPING?  I want to rip your head off, drag your stupid brain out, smear it with peanut butter and eat it with a cake fork. Does it sound like I am coping?

Have you started dating yet? 

  • My doctor thinks I should get rid of that disease first before I consider stepping back into the pool. SHHHH
  • Honey, I’m so fabulous I think I am happy dating myself for the rest of my life!
  • Dating? I’d rather have heart surgery done by a blind dog with 3 legs. While my family is holidaying in Hawaii.

Why are you single?

  • Because I am one of the smart ones. What’s YOUR excuse?
  • Because nobody could contain my awesomeness inside the confines of a constricting outdated, religious based, monogamous contract.
  • Have you seen my social calendar? I have too many men to meet and test drive to settle for just one. I might die before I reach my goal of 503.
  • You know what? I just can’t figure it out myself. Maybe they’ve heard about my seriously infectious disease?

I don’t know what I’d do if WE got divorced. ( I know this is not a question, but still an equally dumb statement. )

  • You’d have the time of your life being your own person, making decisions that suit you and your family, and an exciting future full of possibilities.
  • You’d have a different bed partner every night like I do. I am working my way through the pages of 50 Shades Of Grey!
  • Yes true, you would probably not survive it. You have to be a strong, smart person to cope. You’re better off staying married and miserable for another 50 years.

Oh yes you will meet many morons who have no filter on their mouths, and blurt out ridiculous questions or statements before the alert message reaches their brain.

Sometimes it’s just because they don’t know what else to say to us and feel like they should say SOMETHING to address the elephant in the room.

If you’re not courageous enough to flip them one of the above lines, a shoulder shrug will suffice. They can fill in the blanks themselves, because trust me, they will anyway!

So my Girlfriends, hold your head high, be proud of who and where you are. Stare your questioner in the face and declare:

I’M A DIVORCED SUPER MUM!

 

 

 

How to identify a Super Divorced Mum’s GF

 

Add subtitle text

All women know that the truly important supporters in our lives are our Girlfriends. They may even be our sisters. But if they are not blood related, they are related by heart.

Any Divorced Super Mum will tell you they would not have survived the whole separating and divorcing circus if it wasn’t for their trusty Girlfriends or BFF’s.

These amazing women play a multitude of roles in our lives when we are incapable of making rationale decisions except for turning on the kettle for 2 minute noodles.

A truly awesome Girlfriend will:

  • Come around with your favourite wine and chocolates as soon as she hears about the split. She’ll stay and cry with you, scream, laugh and support you through it all. And she’ll leave the leftover chocolates when she leaves. ( There will be no leftover wine of course!)
  • Let you bag your ex without telling you off or reminding you that you used to love him. If she’s really amazing she’ll join in and tell you what a bad person he is.
  • Tell you how awesome you are, and deserve so much better. Even while you have puffy panda eyes, fluffy slippers, a snotty nose and legs so hairy you don’t need sunscreen for protection.
  • Agree with everything you say for a while, even if you’re making wildly insane statements about going to live in Borneo and breeding orangutans.
  • Offer to look after your kids for a while so you get time to do important things like wax your legs. The waxing ladies don’t like kids making pretty pictures with paddle pop sticks and blue wax on their walls. Some people really don’t appreciate art.
  • Wait at least a week before mentioning their hairdresser’s, plumber’s 3rd cousin for a blind date.
  • Never rub it in when her own perfect hubby cooks coq au vin and souffle for dinner, and takes her on romantic weekends to Paris.
  • Cheer you on when you burn you wedding photos and will probably supply the lighter. But she’ll stop you when you go too far and think about burning your wedding certificate. Ironically you’re going to need that one day to prove you’re divorced!
  • Help you pack, move and unpack again if you need to move premises. She’ll even do it if there’s a Ricky Martin concert in town. Now that’s a TRUE GF!
  • Tell your ex to take a hike if she crosses his path, protecting you like a lioness does her cubs. She may accidentally trip and key his car in the street too.
  • Will always answer your texts. Even if they are drunken ones at 3 am asking if you prefer the name Freda or Brigitte for your future orangutan breeding- mother in Borneo.
  • Give incredible gifts like a Dan Murphy gift card, a subscription to Awesome Women magazine, or a night out with Manpower.

No matter what, your GF will be your lifeline during some rocky times, so make sure you appreciate the time, effort and strong shoulder she will be giving you.

Remember that time spent with you, is also time she’s spending away from HER family. So don’t stretch the bonds of sisterhood and be too greedy.

Who knows, one day you may even get to return the favour?