Ok, so we all know sometimes we say things that aren’t always the best. We don’t know what to say, but we feel like we need to say something, anything. To make us feel better and you feel better. It usually backfires. I am a regular put-my-own-foot-in-my-mouth kinda gal. A quality I am working on. Therefore, I am going to share a few things to consider the next time you come across that moment of needing to say something. 

Don’t say Ex. Or any other derogatory name.    

I went to a DivorceCare class and noticed the leaders never called their spouses an ex. They never used ex-husband, ex-wife, or ex-spouse. In their minds, it was a negative title. Critical, demeaning, abrasive. I agree with this. So, when I speak about my husband, I refer to him as my former husband or my boys’ dad. It keeps it positive and neutral. If you could follow my lead that would be great. And while you are at it,  leave the name calling to yourselves. Don’t say it to my face. My children could hear. I can hear. When you say that about him, remember I was married to him. I created a life with him. I loved him. Hearing those words being said about him doesn’t make me feel better. It usually has the opposite effect. 

 You are so lucky to have all this kid-free time.    

This also sounds like, “I would love to just have a few hours by myself.” Or, “Oh I would love to get 2 days to just sleep in and do whatever I wanted.” Or, “No Kids! I am so jealous! How fun!”  You get the idea. Sure it is nice. After having them for 12 days in a row with no help, I do enjoy my time to myself. To recharge. To catch up. To unwind. Yet, 48 hours, 4 days, 7 days, go by and I ache for them. I want them in my arms. I am missing out on their lives. I am missing holidays with them, birthdays with them, everyday little moments with them. When I miss them, I just don’t get to go home and see them. I have to wait until the time the parenting plan decrees. I don’t have a choice. So please don’t say I am lucky. Yes, grateful. But trust me, you are not jealous of my life. 

I don’t know how you do it.  

I don’t know how parents of special needs kiddos do it. I don’t know how parents of multiples do it. I don’t know how parents of all boys/all girls do it. I don’t know how parents who mourn their babies do it. I don’t know how parents with sick children do it. I don’t know how foster parents do it. I don’t know how widows and widowers with children do it. I don’t know how single dads and moms with no support do it. I don’t know how parents with cancer/disorders/diseases do it. We just do. We have to. We make it work. We don’t have a choice. We do it because we love our children and we want them to have the best possible life. Just as you do for your children. Our’s looks a little different, though. 

You are so pretty, nice, sweet, smart, funny, kind, etc. You will find someone.                       

Well, thank you for saying that. But in the broken heart, thoughts of, “If I am so pretty, nice, sweet, smart, funny, kind, etc., then why did he leave? Why did he cheat? Why am I here? Then if I am all of these wonderful things, why do I feel less of a person? If he didn’t want me for those qualities, who will?” Also don’t say, “You are so much pretty, nicer, sweeter, than her or him.” Our egos and self confidence are nonexistent after a divorce. Therefore, I have a good idea and avoid this subject all together.

He will regret this.

Maybe. Maybe not. I am not too worried about it. My eyes have been open. My heart has changed. My life is, although not how I ever imagined it, fuller. Maybe me or whoever didn’t ask for this or want this, yet maybe it is what needed to happen. Having this thought in the mind intrudes upon the healing process. 

As a friend, family member, co-worker, stop and listen. Hold us when we cry. Love us when we make mistakes. Support our decisions. Let us embrace our newness. And if you don’t know what to say, be silent.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Katie Weber

Me. My two little men. My second change. Motherhood. Depression. Divorce. Love. God. laugher. Friendship. My lovely. It's all right here. Follow along for more at Lovely in the Dark. 

You’ve been Gone a Year, So Why Does It Feel Like Yesterday?

In: Grief, Loss
Old photo of mother hugging her young daughter, color photo

In February, you will have been gone a year. How is that right? It was just yesterday. I still remember the day we got the diagnosis. One I knew was coming but still prayed wasn’t true. I still remember promising you that everything was going to be okay, and knowing that it wasn’t. I still remember the first time I saw you and thought to myself, “The dementia is moving too fast.” It was just yesterday. I still feel your hand in mine as I sat next to you in the hospital bed. You were talking and humming along while...

Keep Reading

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

Growing Slowly around the Grief of Losing Your Mom

In: Grief, Loss
Sad woman sitting on couch with folded arms

Everyone has heard about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Society often assumes the stages of grief happen in order, but those who encounter grief know that’s not true. Undergoing grief can feel like riding a rollercoaster blindfolded—disorienting and chaotic. There are numerous ups, downs, and twists you wouldn’t anticipate. Grief is like an ocean. When waves come crashing, it feels like you’re being swept away. Regardless of their size, waves are always rough. Despite everything, you also get pushed forward to the shore after every wave. Sometimes, you may feel like you are drowning...

Keep Reading

The Shattering Grief of Suicide

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Sad person sitting in darkened hallway, black and white image

Navigating through my second Christmas without my dad, the weight of grief seemed even heavier this year. In fact, everything felt and looked different to me. As I unwrapped the ornaments and cards he gave me over the years, a tidal wave of madness and sadness engulfed me. I know many feel sadness and grieve during these times, but let me just say . . . suicide is a different type of grief. My vibrant, happy, physically fit dad committed suicide on April 30th, 2022. There, I said it. In the aftermath, a myriad of emotions consumed me. One perplexing...

Keep Reading

Dear Dad, Maybe You’re the Bird

In: Grief, Loss
Young girl sitting on father's lap, older color photo

Maybe you’re the bird. The one I see outside my door. The one who flies so low it seems you’re somehow weighted down. Like you’re carrying more than just yourself. Like you’re carrying a message. Just for me. Maybe you’re the rain. The sound I hear that reminds me so much of home. Of you. Of driving in your car as a little girl when you looked over and asked my opinion about everything. When you made someone so small feel so very big. RELATED: Dad Left a Legacy in Fried Green Tomatoes Maybe you’re the butterfly. The one I...

Keep Reading

I Hope You Never Know What it’s Like to Forget Who You Are

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Woman staring at camera, black-and-white photo

I write best when I’m passionate. It’s always been my release. But lately, I’ve struggled to write. I’ve struggled to find purpose in my words. It’s all been twisted and choppy, not a bit poetic or beautiful. These feelings are what the struggles of loss, parenting, work, and marriage push against. It’s finding yourself over and over again and trying to make sense of the senseless. It leaves you questioning most things and leaves you feeling broken with no idea how to put yourself or others back together. I hope you never know. I hope you never know what it’s...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Know How to Live Without My Sister, But I Must

In: Grief
Sisters smiling in posed color photo

I’ve spent a year of my life living in a haze. Holding my breath, afraid to exhale. Focusing on staying in this frozen moment where there is no reality. I pressed the pause button. Pumped the brakes. I’ll stay right here and wait for my life, life as I knew it, life as I loved it, to come back around. Where there is no future to mourn, thinking about the way it should have been and no torturous past to remember, recalling the horror of that day. The special occasions that will come are now outlined in sadness. Wait, she’s...

Keep Reading

6 Ways to Be a Friend to Someone Grieving

In: Friendship, Grief, Loss
Friends hugging

Grief can truly be such a lonely experience after you lose a loved one. The loneliness isn’t necessarily because you don’t have anyone around you. It’s because only you had your relationship with the person who died, and it’s hard to find anyone to replace that. I have first-hand experience. My mom died recently and unexpectedly at the age of 62 and I at the age of 34, and it single-handedly has been one of the most painful experiences of my life. However, having support from family and friends will help you navigate this difficult time. Without it, the loneliness...

Keep Reading

These Final Gifts from My Mom Are Hard to Let Go

In: Grief, Loss
Little girls boots with worn toes, color photo

My daughter wobbled toward me in silver, square-toed go-go boots, one heel dislodged and flopping against our hallway’s faux wood floor. On her opposite foot, a striped sock peaked curiously through the growing toe hole. “Mama,” she said. Her tiny voice raised another octave, “My shoe!” I sighed, then sat on the floor. Waves of grief washed over me as I contemplated what kind of glue might capably reconstruct the shoe’s sole. Elmer’s glue? Textile glue? Maybe Krazy Glue? I knew the boots should just go into the bin. And yet, they—along with a vibrant, overbearing cat dress that would...

Keep Reading

A Daughter Is Never Ready To Let Her Dad Go

In: Grief, Loss
Grown daughter hugging older man

I wasn’t ready to let you go. When I was a little girl, one of my greatest fears was that something would happen to my parents. If they had to go somewhere, I would nervously follow their route in my mind, mentally noting where they probably were and when they should be back home. If they hadn’t returned by the time I thought they should, my imagination would get the best of me as I pictured a thousand things that could have happened. But the day I sat having a late breakfast at my kitchen table and saw an ambulance...

Keep Reading