As a Child Of

It’s no secret that I read a lot of blogs. Not as many mommy blogs as you’d think; I like looking at pretty pictures, so I follow a ton of design blogs. But two women that I (and tens of thousands/millions of others) have followed for years are dooce, written by Heather Armstrong and Penelope Trunk’s blog, which is allegedly a blog documenting work and life, but has veered into the land of her personal life. I admit, I sometimes feel like I have to look away when reading their work, but it keeps me coming back.

For those following either blogs, you’ll notice that both women have experienced or contemplating divorce. Both women have children. Both women make a living from their blogs.

It was Penelope’s post from yesterday, Divorce is immature and selfish. Don’t do it. that had me almost spitting mad. I mean, read it, and you might feel the same way.

But allow me to back up, because I do agree with her on some points. I agree that some people get divorced without researching and investigating themselves or all of their options, and that it can be bad for children, but let’s face it, a lot of people aren’t willing to look in the mirror and see what needs to be done. A lot of people would rather move on, with our without their spouse, with or without their children. While Penelope lays out numerous reasons for parents to stick together, what baffled me was the intense about of judgment that went into the post. And I, of course, in turn, am judging her. I see that.

As many of the comments in her post start with, I, too, Am a Child of Divorce. Let’s not mince words or feelings: it sucked. My parents managed a calm exchange in my presence and never bad-mouthed one another. They made great efforts to make sure that I was OK. Would my life have been better had my parents not divorced? I don’t know, but they might have been miserable.

Before I got married I was wracked with anxiety. I was petrified of getting divorced “one day,” and of “failing” an unknown future child. I remember with great clarity two things my mom told me: “If getting divorced one day is the worst thing that ever happens to you, consider yourself lucky,” and, “The only reason people don’t get divorced is that they don’t get divorced.” Oh, she also said, “Don’t marry someone you can’t imagine being divorced from.” People, take my mother’s advice.

Photo by Ellen Carlson.

I am not getting divorced. I have no plans on getting divorced, yet I ask my husband often how he feels about our relationship. We talk a lot about our marriage, our life, our dreams and our fears. Like, a lot. I’m not naive to think that it would never happen to us, but I feel grounded in our commitment to one another and our family.

What about you? Are you also A Child of Divorce? How did it shape your feelings about relationships or marriage or the whole family thing?

– MD

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Great. Another mommy blogger.

This idea has been rattling in my mind for a while. Like all people, I have a story to tell. And like many, I didn’t know how to get it out.

I’m finally getting the mental scraps of paper onto real scraps of paper and onto the screen. It’s a creation of stories – of all moms I know and their first years of motherhood. What made them laugh and what made them cry.

There are magical moments of becoming a mom that are beyond words. There is no accurate poem, song or language that can express the joys of motherhood, but there are many. Conversely, there are few poems, songs or language that expresses the sadness of motherhood and I wanted to create a forum for both.

I’ve most recently been inspired by Heather B. Armstrong’s new book, It Sucked and Then I Cried. For those who regularly read her fantastic blog, dooce, you have followed her honest chronicles of being pregnant, giving birth and suffering through postpartum depression. Do Heather a favor and buy the book. I don’t know her, but she seems like good people. Penelope Trunk also chronicles with candor about her own battle with postpartum depression.

So stay tuned. I’m gathering stories from friends about their first smiles and their first tears from the first year of their baby’s life. We want you along for the ride.

 РMD

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