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Embracing a New Family Dynamic After Divorce

Author: Jessica Woolwine
Published Date: Monday, July 31, 2017

About a month ago, I bought secondhand bunk beds.

Henry’s crib has been in my room since he was born in November 2015. Lately his little legs have been figuring out how to climb the slats in his crib.

I’m convinced the boy is part monkey.

I’ve had two other little ones at this busy stage, so I know it’s only a matter of time before there’s a climbing-related injury. I used to catch Jackson trying to bungee jump using the CVL (central venous line, a permanent IV used during cancer treatment) in his chest after naptime.

Gives me a heart attack still remembering that.

Last night, with his twin bed, toddler rail and anchor sheets, Henry transitioned to a new room with his big brother Jackson. It only took three trips to put him back in bed, and then he slept until almost 8:30 this morning!

Ah, the sweet taste of victory. I’ve probably totally jinxed the success now that it’s in a blog post.

Growing up I was pretty lucky to have my own bedroom. I had space to play and create in a safe suburban neighborhood with happily married parents.

Our path – my kids’ and mine – looks different. With their special needs and my recent divorce, my kids will have used bunk beds in a shared townhouse bedroom with a single-parent mom running the show. And that’s okay. The reason they’re happy and thriving is because the common denominator between my ideal childhood and theirs is love.

Love looks and feels the same.

As a mom going through a divorce, meeting the basic needs of three little people was all I had the energy to do in the beginning. Eventually, the kids and I found our groove. I’ve gained the ability to embrace what my family looks like. I like us a whole lot.

Family is what you make it, and every family is unique.

My social media feeds are full of friends creating their version of family. It could look like my childhood, or it could be two mommies or daddies, mixed ethnicities, blended families or grandparents that play the role of parent.

The pieces may look different, but they all put together the same puzzle. It doesn’t make it wrong. It just makes it different.

 Many children are affected by divorce each year. Help kids cope with these tips.



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About Jessica Woolwine

Jessica Woolwine is a native of Hampton Roads and lives in Hampton with her three “miracles” Jackson (9), Abby (5) and Henry (1). As a mother to a childhood cancer survivor and a micro-preemie, she began the blog Mothering Miracles in 2014 to support other families dealing with health issues. Jessica also works as Creative Director for Rubin Communications Group and enjoys mixing her talents for graphic design and creative writing with community relations. She is a past member of both the CHKD Family Advisory Council and the CHKD NICU Family Advisory Council.