There is no manual.

I'm a mom every day, every moment, and in every instance - whether Riley and Logan are under my roof on SRR or not.

I have been sitting on this topic for quite some time, but today, I decided my thoughts needed to exit my head/heart.

Split family life is my reality and the reality of many of my friends and individuals I encounter in my life. I don't have the "split family" manual folks, but what I can tell you is I have two of my own sons living this life and encounter many others adolescents on a daily basis living this life too, so I feel I not only have a vested interest in doing the best by all of the children in my life, but a pretty good idea of how to help the children to endure the least amount of heartache.

I urge you to not speak to children in terms of that is "my day" or that is "your mom or dad's day" and vice versa. To a child, every day they have a mom and dad, they are just under one roof some of the time and another roof the rest of the time. Do you not think that is hard enough on them? As a child I knew every night where I was sleeping, I didn't have to wake up on a certain day to say good bye to the other parent for so many days or nights, so I cannot empathize with my own sons, but I can raise them to know that they have "their mom" every day.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not wish this not be their reality, but it is and we have all accepted that. I know my reality is so much better. I am a better person, a better mom, I am the best I have been in many years, but that still doesn't mean I don't beat myself up daily for what their reality is. And, I miss them so much when they are gone. I know I am not the same "Jolene" when they are not with me, that is evident to me, those who love me, those who interact with me on a daily basis, and my heart, my heart is is not the same when they are not with me. Marriage is hard, divorce is hard, parenting is hard, but watching them walk out the door on SRR hurts my heart more than I can even put into words. I force myself to look through their lens and in doing so I bite my tongue often, but I know it is for the best for them.

There is no manual for this life (or any life situation) and I know that, but the worst thing you can do is put things in terms of "that's not my day" or "that's my day" I have heard it time and time again and it eats away at me; because never in my life did I hear from either of my parents, "oh, that's not my day" or "that's my day."

Own your situation in life, but always remember if you chose to be a parent you chose to throw away the selfish card the day you became a mom and/or dad and every time you say the phrase "my day/your day" you're playing that selfish card you should no longer have in your hand.

I'm a mom every day, every moment, and in every instance - whether Riley and Logan are under my roof on SRR or not.

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