If there’s one thing I don’t want this blog to become, it’s some sort of marker for that one person who “has it all, does it all, can be it all” without batting an eye or dropping a bead of sweat. Authenticity and transparency mean a lot to me, and if there is any one universal truth about what it means to be a working mom, it’s that no one’s journey is bullet proof and everyone has experienced some level of earth-shattering difficulty at some point in time. In truth, being a pro in the earth-shattering difficulty department, my usual MO is to curl up inside my own head, turn on the self-sufficient, multi-tasking, workaholic machine-mode and just phone it in for awhile, all with a dazzling smile of “all togetherness.” But this blog is about doing things differently and if I really mean to make my life as a working mom more manageable, it’s time to get real. With myself and with you. This working mom is going through a divorce. A life-demolishing, heart into a million pieces, room is spinning, oceans of tears, no oxygen, gut punch, gaping hole divorce. Surviving infidelity. That’s where I’m at.
As someone who champions the true beauty of every woman, both on this blog and in my career as a pro photog, my own self-worth is presently in tiny pieces on the floor, littering my happy world of strength, ambition, clarity and drive. Realizing that surviving infidelity would be more of a war with myself than with my soon-to-be ex-husband (seriously, my stomach just dropped even typing those words – one of those “How is this happening?” moments), I find myself battling inner demons without ceasing and clinging to any semblance of normalcy.
Instead of detailing the horrors of my recent married life, reliving those ugly minutes of discovery and the soul-shredding pain that comes with the awareness of intentionally brutal deceit, I’m working to table the “what ifs” and “whys” and instead focus on my recovery and the rebuilding of my family. Sparing you the juicy details of what happened, and totally owning my role in my life up to this point, it’s time to start fresh. #katystartsfresh
Here are the top 5 challenges I am facing this week as I define what surviving infidelity means for my new normal:
- Realizing I haven’t mowed a yard in over 10 years and grass grows very quickly.
- Getting a grip on my finances and making sure bills don’t bounce and get properly transferred over.
- Explaining to my toddler boys why Daddy isn’t home and explaining that he loves them with a smile on my face when they ask why he doesn’t want to live with them anymore.
- Fearing that this divorce will somehow rip my stepdaughter from my home and her safe place.
- Feeling resentful that alone time is at an absolute minimum, and I’m left to cope with my emotions quietly and internally for the sake of the children, instead of getting to be a bit selfish and wallow in bed for a few days.
Here are 5 things I am grateful for this week:
- I no longer feel stress when I enter my home. It feels peaceful, happy and mine.
- I don’t spend all day questioning when I might hear from him and whether or not he’ll be nice to me today. I don’t have to walk on egg shells anymore.
- My house is CLEAN. Me clean. New couches, new table, carpets cleaned, new pictures hung, new security system. It’s turning more me and my kids every day.
- I already knew this, but have been humbled by the intensity of the love and support my friends and family have shown. Their selfless commitment to my survival has left me feeling very loved in a very unloving period of my life.
- There’s a certain sense of accomplishment when I conquer small tasks. It feels good.
Here’s what I have learned so far in my very brief, very dark week and a few days change of newly-estranged, defined singleness. These 5 steps have started me down the path to surviving infidelity:
- Cling to faith. I don’t imagine how anyone navigates this type of loss without the love of God to carry you.
- Ask for help. I am forcing myself to ask for help EVERY. DAY. I cannot do this alone.
- Accept love and support. Likewise I am forcing myself to ACCEPT love and really breathe in all of the positive words of encouragement I am receiving.
- Fight the urge to hide. Dark Katy wants to hole up. Not an option.
- Say thank you to your friends and family. They deserve my wholehearted thanks and it also continues to remind me that I am surrounded by a great support system.
The obvious theme here is to avoid isolation. My quiet thoughts are my most dangerous ones. They question my worth, my sanity, my past…they dream up nightmares, horrors and scenarios I don’t want to think about. I am forcing myself to go through this with everyone in my life for my own survival, which is in part why I am writing this blog post. So that you can see that this working mom is coping with a major loss and perceived failure among all of the professional success and ordered chaos. Sometimes things just don’t go right. Or in my case, they go blisteringly wrong in the most epic and painful of ways. Usually I’m blogging from a “If I can do this, so can you!” position.
Today, I’m blogging from a “If you can do this, so can I.” Thank you for motivating me to fight back and reclaim the life that I deserve.
Give Thanks: It’s Good for Your Health!
As a busy mompreneur, it is important to make time every single day to reflect on the things you are grateful for. This time for reflection is not only good for the mind, but for the body as well. Studies have shown that individuals who possess a grateful attitude have better overall health than people who tend to be negative or pessimistic. When you take the time to give thanks, especially amidst chaos, not only do you resist the urge to just give up, but you also set your intentions for forward momentum with a “go-getter” attitude.
Better health just from being thankful? Yes. You read that correctly. Let’s look at the facts.
In a 2003 study known as Counting Blessings Versus Burdens, participants recorded less physical pain and symptoms, more restful sleep, and more time spent taking care of their bodies. A separate study in 2007, individuals who counted their blessings once a week experienced a significant decrease in blood pressure. And in another study, people who focused on being thankful were more likely to have healthy immune systems.
Mental & Emotional Health
Taking the time to give thanks can actually reduce depressive thoughts and attitudes. While major depressive disorders are often treated with prescription medications, incorporating a gratitude journal in your wellness routine can help to ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Feeling grateful can also block toxic emotions such as envy, jealousy, and anger. Since gratitude and envy, jealousy, and anger are opposite emotions, we are not able to experience them at the same time. By focusing on the things in your life that you are grateful for, you can proactively block these negative emotions and feelings.
Gratitude can also help you to feel more self-aware, allowing you to increase your self-esteem, boosting humility and pride at the very same time.
Gratitude can also have positive implications for your social life. Gratitude allows you to be more optimistic, focus less on material things, become less selfish, and friendlier. And guess what? All of these qualities will make you a better friend and family member. Having an attitude of gratitude turns you into a helpful, beautiful, attractive human being.
This is proven with a simple question – Who would you rather be around? A friend who is constantly complaining or a friend who is consistently happy and positive? The Golden Rule, tried and true!
Grateful attitudes can open the door for meaningful development to your career. Gratitude increases your decision making ability, your ability to effectively manage a team, as well as provide and receive constructive criticism and praise to and from your colleagues. Our simple question applies here as well – Who would you rather hire? An employee who is constantly complaining or an employee who is consistently happy and positive?
Gratitude also helps you to network and expand your ability to be productive. Being grateful in your career sparks creative energy, keeps your perspective fresh and maintains alertness for powerful opportunities and new relationships. You will feel thankful for the opportunities presented to you in your career, you will be open to how they can positively impact your environment and you will utilize those chances to increase your professional prowess as your grateful attitude magnifies the power in your present situation.
Demonstrate your Gratitude
One way to demonstrate gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal. Write one thing you are thankful for in your journal daily. This could be done in the morning shortly after you wake up, or it can be completed before you go to sleep at night. Just pick an opportunity to give thanks.
Another way to demonstrate gratitude is to write it in a place where everyone in the family can see it. I have a chalkboard calendar in which I write one thing that I am grateful for every single day. Not only does this help me to slow down in a busy day, it cultivates an attitude of gratitude by demonstrating the importance of giving thanks to my entire family.
This is the season of gratitude. Thanksgiving is upon us! But let’s commit to give thanks every day, embrace humble hearts and watch as we collectively grow into good health, mentally, physically and emotionally. Will you give thanks with me?
I’m Going Live! Weekly Periscope Schedule
Are you on Periscope yet? I talked about why your blog needs Periscope just over a week ago, and we chatted why businesses need Periscope over on The Hampton Roads Creative too! Now I have a whole new reason for you to hop on the Periscope bandwagon. Chaos & Kiddos is going live! Below you’ll find the weekly Periscope schedule for August and September. I picked popular blog posts and fun topics that will give you a little peak into my home and real time access to the methods behind my madness!
I decided to formally schedule these sessions so that you can plan ahead and mark your calendars. As busy working moms, I picked a weekday evening, when hopefully most of us will have kids in bed and will be ready for a little chat to unwind with other working moms. I know the likelihood of you hopping on randomly at different times of day probably won’t happen, so the weekly Periscope schedule will help you set a routine, keep me consistent and accountable and hopefully help us all make the most of our time together.
I can’t wait!! I’ll be releasing a weekly Periscope schedule for future months too! Stay tuned and follow closely!
Share-Network-Grow Link Up
Wow! Another week has come and gone already!
Thank you to everyone that showed up last week to make our very first Share ~ Network ~ Grow social media link up a success!
This party is all about building and fostering a community of bloggers that actively support each other in their blogging journeys.
And, as you all know, one of the best ways for bloggers to connect with one another, is through social media.
So the Share ~ Network ~ Grow social media link up was born! We’ll be featuring 2 different social media networks on the link up each week and hope that by focusing on 2 rather than all of them every week, you will have more of a chance to connect and engage with some amazing new bloggers!
Now, let’s get this party started!
This week’s featured social media networks are TWITTER and INSTAGRAM!
The rules for this link up are very simple! (Seriously, we don’t like a lot of rules either!)
1. Please follow your host and co-hosts! We’d love to connect with all of you!
2. Grab the button if you’d like! Not mandatory at all, but we would sure appreciate it 🙂
3. ENGAGE! No one likes a link and run blogger. If you add your link, try to engage with at least one other blogger.
That’s it! See, told you it was simple!
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Now, for the party! Brought to you by your host:
And our fabulous October co-hosts!
Becka from Probably Crafting
Katy from Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy’s Survival Guide
Interested in co-hosting for a month?
It’s a great way to network with other bloggers and grow your social media following! Just fill out the form and we’ll email you with the details!
Now, grab a button and get hopping! Link your Twitter and Instagram profiles and get to know some fantastic new bloggers!