Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer As A Single

Summer may be a difficult time for those that are newly divorced. Summer vacations, the beach, and picnics can be fun; but they can also trigger insecurities and feelings of loss, loneliness, and failure. Here are some tips to help get you through the summer season.

5 Things To Do

1. Plan ahead. Dont wait until the last minute to make summer plans. However, be flexible and know that the plan may change.

2. Tap into your support network. Dont depend on just one person. Make sure you include many others - friends and/or family members - in your plan.

3. Keep it simple. Avoid biting off more then you can chew. Keep your financial and time restrictions in mind and set up a plan that you can afford.

4. Create new rituals. Divorce is the perfect time to assess and re-create your life as you want it to be. This time of assessment also allows you to design rituals that you will want to follow for years to come. Ask yourself - what do I REALLY want to do over this summer? Is there a signature event that you can host and call your own for years to come (Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, or just a Girl's Weekend Getaway)? Now, set it up and do it.

5. Volunteer to help the needy. Giving back to the community feels good but it is also a great way to meet new people.

5 Things NOT To Do

1. Dont isolate. A little alone time is OK but make sure that you will be around others in your support network.

2. Dont waste time arguing over the details. If your Ex is stuck on having the kids for certain days, go with the flow. Many of my clients find that they get more when they give in. So be flexible and open to unseen possibilities.

3. Dont focus on the past or hold on to old patterns and rituals. Change is the only guaranty we have in life. Avoid dwelling on the things you miss as well as the vacation disasters that were part of you former life. Instead look to the future and march on.

4. Dont go anywhere you really dont want to go. Avoid critical or nosey relatives and anyone else who will open up old wounds.

5. Dont jump into a new relationship just because you dont want to be "alone." Instead, enjoy this summer season as a single.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Mother-Daughter Bond

For many women, the Mother-Daughter connection is life’s most complex relationship. This powerful bond can bring a woman unique insight, grace, and understanding or extreme sadness and resentment.

Typically, as a Mother-Daughter relationship evolves over time, their dependencies change. Ideally, Mom should become a supportive friend and ally. But early patterns can influence us forever. And, for some, the Mother-Daughter relationship stays stuck in adolescence - fraught with hurt, disappointment, disconnection, and conflict.

It takes two to tango. However, in order to improve a Mother-Daughter relationship, the mother must do more of the work. Here are five things you can do to lessen Mother-Daughter conflict.

1. Accept your daughter as an adult. Mothers who are unable to accept their daughters as adults typically find that their relationships are categorized by struggle and old patterns of control and rebellion.

2. Don't criticize. A mother's efforts to motivate self-improvement often make a daughter feel hurt and inadequate. Daughters need their mothers to view them as competent adults and beautiful women.

3. Listen supportively and allow breathing room. Avoid giving advice which may reflect your own values and desires. Instead, ask questions to improve your understanding of what she wants to do when faced with difficulty and allow your daughter to make her own decisions - even if you disagree.

4. Check it out. Before you do anything for your daughter or intervene in any way check it out with her. The Golden Rule does NOT apply. Instead, do unto your daughter, as SHE wants to be done unto. The only way you will know this is to ASK her what she wants.

5. Create a Mother-Daughter tradition and/or go on a Mother-Daughter retreat.