I felt like a flake -- not a strong, capable mother who was going teach her children to succeed despite the obstacles ahead.
When I was married, we were just like all the other families: our own tiny self-sufficient universe.
Even if my husband and I didn't get along, we were both still deeply invested in the minutiae of running our family.
Then one day, my best friend and co-parent was gone from my life. Okay, that was an exaggeration -- but it's how it felt at the time, and it prompted me into action.
When my divorce was new, talking with my ex was painful.When my sons, Jacob and Isaac, were just 3 and 1, my husband and I separated.As a child of a divorce, I'd always sworn that I'd never put my kids through that -- yet as it turned out, living paycheck to paycheck and trying to do our own growing up while raising a family proved to be too great a strain on our marriage: It bent, cracked, and finally broke.Though I had always paid lip service to the "It takes a village" idea, it turned out that, while there might have been some "village" people out there, we had been too wrapped up in our own lives to get to know them. I was driving through a bad snowstorm with my little boys. I decided to check in every night with another single mom.Then I made a conscious effort to invite friends over for dinner, ask a neighbor to help me move my couch, and chat with the other moms at drop-off.
We were angry at each other, and, let's face it, looking for ways to hurt each other.