5 Reasons Why I'm Thankful For My Parents Divorce

5 Reasons Why I'm Actually Thankful For My Parents' Divorce

Even though it took me almost a decade, I realized that my family being split in two was one of the best things that ever happened to us.

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My parents divorced when I was just 12 years old. This is a rocky age for anybody, and mix in my family splitting apart, and you had a recipe for disaster. The road wasn't always smooth. It's hard to watch your parents fall in love with, and marry, people that aren't each other. But thankfully, as I've grown up, I'm now 21 and can honestly say that my parent's divorce was the best thing that could've happened to my family.

1. The way divorce bonded my siblings and I

Being the middle child of five kids, you learn how to get along with your siblings — or else you won't really survive until adulthood.

My siblings and I always got along well enough, but going through something as hard as divorce creates a bond that can't be replaced. When my parents were fighting, when our mom started going out on dates with guys we didn't know, when we moved, when we went and spent the weekend with our dad, his girlfriend, and her weird kids, when everything was hard and confusing — we always had each other. When we moved to a new place and didn't know any of the neighborhood kids, we could play with each other — and we loved it. There were (and still are) times when we confided in each other about our parents when things were hard. They have always been there.

Now in adulthood, I'm constantly texting and joking around with my siblings. We don't always have time to see each other, but when we do spend time together, it's uplifting, fun, and positive. My siblings are my original best friends, and I don't think we would be so close if it weren't for the divorce.

2. My relationships with my step-parents

My mom and dad respectively had struggles finding the loves of their lives, and I definitely didn't like all of the people they dated between the divorce and their current marriages. I hated going over to my dad's house when he lived with his ex-girlfriend. But now, they're both married to amazing people.

My now step-mom and step-dad have both accepted me as their own child, and I respect them both as parental figures in my life. If something ever were to happen in either of their marriages, I still think I would stay close to my step-parents. The bonds I've formed with my step-parents is something I cherish. Each of them have introduced so much positivity and joy into my life, and supported me through some of the hardest times I've had to face. I've been through a lot with both of them and that has helped to build so much trust. They are family to me, and I would never have been able to have these great relationships with them if my parents hadn't married them.

Plus, having four parents to share good news with, to support me in life, and to get advice from? It's an absolute blessing.

3. The benefit of having two homes

There's no place like home, and I am so fortunate that I have two places that are like this for me. I know that I can walk into either house, eat whatever is in the fridge, stay for however long I want, and always have people there for me at each home. Plus, both families are so different. If I need somebody to talk to, the advice I get at my mom's house will always be different from the advice I get at my dad's house. At both homes, we have very different traditions and rituals. For instance, I cherish going to church with my dad, step-mom, and step-siblings. But at my mom's house, I cherish having family game nights, cooking big meals with my mom, and studying with my sister on the couch.

4. Having hope for my own love life after breakups 

Breakups are horrible.

Seeing the way my parents struggled to rebuild their lives after the divorce was also pretty horrible. But imagining the pressure they felt of having to put their lives back together, as well as still being a good parent? I can't imagine how tough that must be, and to anyone who does that- you are amazing.

They both were heartbroken and struggled to heal. It was slow, but eventually, they both found their new lives and became happy again. My dad in particular was once very hopeless and depressed. Now, he is genuinely so content in life and is so blissfully happy in his marriage.

This has helped me when I've gone through breakups. I can sit on the couch and bawl my eyes out with either of my parents and they tell me how they got through the divorce. They talk about how it felt when they met their now spouses and how much better they feel now being in a relationship that they truly belong in. This is helpful for me because it isn't just stories I'm reading on the internet, or my friends giving me advice. I was there when they were heartbroken. I watched them have to put their lives back together. I watched them fall in love, and I watched them rise from the ashes of heartbreak.

And on top of that, my step-parents have both been divorced before marrying my mom and dad. So they can share even more advice and wisdom with me. The hope and comfort that brings me is irreplaceable.

5. Seeing my parents happier and healthier

I saved this one for last — because it's the most important to me.

Before my parents got divorced, there was constant fighting. There was so much drama and tension and neither my mom or dad were truly happy- and that negativity definitely leaked onto my siblings and I.

I always remind myself that before we ever were a family, before my parents ever had kids- they were a couple. They were their own people that got together with hopes and dreams of their own. Over time, their love died and stopped working as it should. Having been in unhealthy relationships myself, I know how it can drain your life force. Nobody should have to stay in a situation like that.

It's much easier for me to compartmentalize this as an adult than it was for me when I was younger. It's hard to imagine your parents as being anything but that. But they're living, breathing humans just like I am. Knowing that they are both healthy and happy now brings me so much joy. Seeing my mom laughing with her husband, seeing my dad light up when his wife is around- these things make me genuinely so happy.

I heard a quote once that said, "no good relationship ever ended in divorce" and I think about that often. It was heartbreaking to watch my parents get a divorce and have to lose so much of what made us a family- the traditions, our home together, and a sense of belonging. But so much positivity came out of it- and my parents, my siblings and I are better off now. You always want the people you love to be happy and healthy- and I would go through it again if it meant that for my parents.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.

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Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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