Thinking Out Loud – Dating After Divorce


I made sure we filled up some cups last night before the  Cinco De Mango Five Dollar Fill-Ups promotion ended.

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Don’t you just love this time of year? I always have.

Of course my love of springtime might have something to do with my birthday next week but even beyond that, I just love this season.

Whenever I am asked what time in my life I found to be the best, I often think back to when I turned twenty-two.

Just graduated college, staring at a bright future, beginning that first real job, getting engaged and planning a wedding.

Such a wonderful time in life that I get so excited to read so many of you posting about your graduations, post-college lives and even some wedding planning!

I swear I live vicariously through Sarah each morning and I am truly looking forward to seeing Liz’s wedding recap.

Of course having my son is the best thing ever to happen to me (he’s my partner in overflowing Red Mango cups and dropping toppings everywhere you know) but the innocence and promise of the happy future and what lies ahead when you are twenty-two is just a magical feeling.

Life for me over the last bunch of years has been very different from it was back in my early twenties which I certainly didn’t foresee in my picket fence encased crystal ball.

I still feel so youthful (which may have something do with still wearing my jeans shorts which may not qualify as mom shorts) yet when I reflect on all I have been through, I am tired like an old lady.

Getting divorced was not something I ever thought would happen.

I have been living as a single mother for easily over five years now. It’s a tiring position yet at the same time, I decided it totally keeps you young simply because you are out there dating again.

Only this time, as a mother.

I have been wanting to share my thoughts on dating with you for a while now.

I recently wrote a dating after divorce post for the organization I work closely with, About The Children, and decided to share a good portion of that post with you this morning.


I always loved Carrie Bradshaw and the gang. I tend to get philosophical like Carrie, have been labeled a goodie-two-shoes like Charlotte yet have also been known to enjoy myself like Samantha and eat cake out of the garbage like Miranda. Oh come on, don’t tell me you haven’t.

The thing is though, I met my ex-husband during college therefore I never fully understood, appreciated or related to their dating experiences until after my divorce.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what it truly feels like to be part of the dating scene but having to experience dating as a divorced mother? Yikes.

Dating is tough enough for all of us but balancing your emotions, trying to figure out and understand men, juggling the good dates, bad dates and heartbreak—all while trying to raise a child as a single parent?


  • Finding a great guy (or so you think) and trying to decide when it is appropriate to introduce your child to your new friend?
  • Trying to decide if your new friend is even worthy of meeting your child? Envisioning how they would fit into your already established family?
  • Will your child like this person? Will this person like your child? What if they don’t along? What if they do get along and one day you break up?
  • How soon is too soon to even introduce them? How long is too long to wait?

The older I get, the more I have come to realize that certain situations are just not black and white.

There is so much gray area to dating after divorce as well as so many different scenarios and situations within where the answer may be right in one moment and wrong the next.

The only thing that has remained clear and true to me regarding this area of my life is best summed up by my favorite quote:


While I didn’t grow up in a divorced home, I always try my best to put myself in my son’s shoes and see things from his perspective.

As awful as the divorce process can be for us adults, it’s worse in a way for the children.

No child wants to see their parents apart. I know my son still wishes we were together; he still fantasizes about it and reminds me on an almost daily basis.

I would probably have felt the same way at his age which is exactly why I have been so careful about keeping my dating life to myself.

It was easy at first; he was young and unaware. I planned my dates around the weekends he was with his dad as well as other times that he would not be with me.

It’s getting a bit harder now as he gets older though. As he begins to show interest in girls, as he learns more about love and dating and relationships, he begins to question if I date, if I plan to get remarried and how he fits into the equation.

I have yet to bring anyone from my dating life into my son’s life. People have commented on this and questioned why I feel the need to keep things so separate.

My reasons have been this:

  • What’s the rush? Dating should be fun and new and adventurous…..and children free. Don’t you agree?

Think about it; when we first start dating, we don’t have kids. Throwing our children into our dating life doesn’t give us the time to really get to know and enjoy someone, to act like children ourselves and spend uninterrupted time together.

  • My son has a father. I am not looking to replace him nor I am looking for someone to lean on or have with us to do things so that we appear as a family unit. My son and I are already a family; should I find a good partner for myself and my son, this man will only enhance our already established unit.
  • I want my son to grow up as carefree as possible. After the trauma of divorce, he does not need to deal with another man entering our home until I know for sure that this person will be around for the long haul.
  • I want to know that the person I am involved with loves me unconditionally before they enter my son’s world.

And while nothing is ever a guarantee, once I really  trust someone’s feelings and our situation, I will still hold out a bit longer before letting my worlds collide. Anyone else watch Seinfeld?

You know I tend to lead with my heart but when it comes to my son, I must let my head take charge a bit more often.

I have been in a few situations where I did want to collide my worlds only to hold out and then see things fall apart making me ever so happy to have kept my son out of it.


I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!


Are you more like Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda or Samantha?

Ever eat cake out of the garbage?

Favorite time period in your life?

If you are divorced with kids, how do you handle your dating life?



Thinking Out Loud- Pretzel Spoonz And An Ah-Ha Moment


In honor of Amanda, our Thinking Out Loud host, check out the newest pretzels from Snyders:


Pretzel Spoonz! Click on the image or here for the link to the Hungry Girl article all about these new perfect-for-dipping Pretzel Spoonz.

I love a fun utensil but I never really cared for the pretzel.

Are you a pretzel fan? I just never really formed a strong opinion or craving for pretzels. Sort of goes with my indifference towards all things chip-related.

However, give me one of these spoonz, a bowl of melted chocolate and a jar of peanut butter and I can show you how it’s done.


So I have this strict routine when it comes to the music I listen to when I work out:

iTunes playlist is reserved for running only. If I am on the elliptical or the bike or dilly dallying around with the weights (dilly dally is the best way I can describe myself with strength training), I switch to Pandora.

I have a few reasons for this:

1- Pandora tends to annoy me by playing songs I don’t always like so I have to be free to click the thumbs down button or switch the station. When I am running, I can’t be bickering with an app.

2- Saving my iTunes playlist for running makes me excited to hear the songs on the list and less likely to want to fumble with my phone to change them.

The other morning though, I hit the Pandora jackpot:

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Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. And if this classic crowd pleaser wasn’t enough, it was followed by this song:

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I used to play We Didn’t Start The Fire on repeat in the car while I was pregnant thinking that like osmosis, the history loaded into the song would filter through my stomach to my unborn child making him a genius.

It may have worked by the way- the little boy has been a lover of history since the age of two and could tell you all of our nation’s presidents in order along with the placement of each state on the map when he was three.

I love those timeless songs. Billy and anything 80’s will always be at the top of my list.

Remember listening to Journey as a kid over and over and over?

I caught the little boy listened to Journey’s Faithfully the other day… right before he threw me out of his room.

I stopped myself from doing the whole I-am-your-mother-you-will-respect-and-listen-to-me thing because  I had a quick and sudden realization.

An Ah-Ha moment if you will…


I couldn’t get angry with him, I was once a kid. I was once the same kid who was obnoxious and wanted to be left alone, especially in the privacy of my own room to talk to my friends on the phone and do as I please.

He has it worse than I did-  If I walk in and he is on the phone, not only am I the annoying mother, I am now the annoying mother on camera for all of his friends to see.

I still can’t grasp the face time or why anyone wants to constantly be seen while talking but I will respect it as best I can.

Have I mentioned school has been closed all week for winter recess? Yes it has been tons of fun over here.

Even though I have been busy dodging various balls being thrown at me, I did make it over to another Trader Joe’s in my quest to locate my onion rings.

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It seems that the Trader Joe’s I normally shop at won’t be selling my beloved rings because they don’t have enough room.

If you ask me (which they didn’t but maybe you want my opinion) there is always room for something you find important. Why they don’t find onion rings important is beyond me.

That’s fine though, I can drive in the other direction to a different Trader Joe’s location where they clearly have priorities in order.

And look what else I spotted:

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Frozen organic pizza crusts all rolled out and ready to be topped and baked.

I normally buy their whole wheat pizza dough in the refrigerated case and will probably continue to do so because it takes up less room.

It is warm again this morning – 39 degrees. I do think I will be taking my run outdoors today before I head into the city for a Healthy Living-type luncheon event.

Before I go eat breakfast (fresh pot of oatmeal currently cooking) I must share a link with you that I came across yesterday:

The 10 Stages For Going For A Run When It’s Freezing Out – You must read this, especially if you have been trying to run outside through the winter.

Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!


Favorite pretzel – rods, sticks, twists, thins, flips, braids- what am I forgetting? I don’t have a favorite but I can tell you that I hate those yellow boxes with the thin salty sticks from when we were kids. Ick.

Do you use Pandora or a different music app?

Favorite Billy Joel song? Uptown Girl!



One Day You Will Appreciate Me

Sunday already? The weekend sure does fly by.

It snowed last night so my friend and I went over to Lifetime Fitness  instead of hitting the trail for a run. I split my workout between a variety of those elliptical type machines. There are so many different versions of those machines and I almost always risk being hit in the head with the mechanical swinging arms – and some people wonder why I choose to simply run outside?!

So the little man will be home tonight after he watches the Superbowl with his dad and back into the routine we will be. I better start meal planning and prepping for the week.

Speaking of meals, I am reminded of the text my tech savvy 9 year old sent me last night. He has been at his dad’s house all weekend so when I got a text from him, I was thinking how sweet it is that he wishes to say hello to me.

Well, he didn’t quite send me a text. It was a “pin”. From Pinterest. Can we discuss how kids today are so computer savvy that not only do they use Pinterest, they are able to text the pins they like from their tech devices. (I refuse to give him a cell phone at his age but he does have an itouch and ipad. So why I don’t just give him a phone I don’t know. Conversation for another day).


Uh huh. Yep. Uh huh. Yep.

My thoughts:

Hmm. Atleast he was thinking of me while away from home?

I was pleased to see that sh*t had the “*” instead of spelling it out. He might have gotten in trouble for reading this one aloud in his head. But since there was a “*”, I will let it slide.I was absolutely hysterical when I read this. I have a feeling he kinda sent it to me not so much to say, “look how funny this is”, but more like, “hahaha I am subtly making fun of you and your healthy Trader Joe’s foods and the lifestyle you keep trying to inflict on me”.

Make fun of me now but one day you will appreciate me.

Yes. One day he will appreciate the  jumbo pancakes I make for him from scratch before school (not just on weekends!) including chocolate chips.


For now though all he sees is my attempt to sneak some fruit into the meal.

I even bet he will remember 20 years from now the gigantic chocolate covered apples I made for his friends in the fall…061

And maybe he will look back with fond memory of watching me run the Hershey Park Half Marathon…


I think I deserve credit for choosing a destination known as “The Sweetest Place on Earth”, don’t you?


And most importantly:

I have a home cooked meal on the table 6 out of 7 nights of the week.

As a single parent, it would be very simple and somewhat tempting to serve up a frozen pizza, frozen dinner or boxed macaroni meal. How lovely it would be to not have to plan meals for each night and not have to be at a grocery store every 2 days to keep fresh produce stocked in the fridge. It must be nice to not cook and then clean up yourself every single day.

But that is not me.

Just because I got divorced does not mean that meals and cooking were over too. I always made sure to provide him with the same type of family dinner as any other “normal” household. Just because it became only the two of us and most of society seems to think a child can live on chicken fingers, pizza and macaroni,  is no excuse  for me not to cook and certainly no reason for him (or me) to miss out on a good meal.

Such a tragedy in my book to ever miss a good meal. Or good dessert for that matter.

Yes, one day he will appreciate me. He will appreciate me so much one day that he will expect his wife to whip up fresh pancakes for his children not just on Sunday mornings and a home cooked meal (with a vegetable) on the table each night.

And this wife, unless raised the same way I am raising him, will without a doubt hate me.

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