Alternate Family ArrangementsDivorceHow ToMarriage

When Mommy Bloggers Divorce

One of my guilty pleasures is the website known as GOMI or Get Off My Internets — known for its never-ending supply of snark about bloggers and the internet famous.

What can I say — I can only spend so much of my free time looking at pictures of horrific dips on Pinterest.

Confession: I actually spend a lot of time doing this. (WTF is cake batter dip?)

Pinterest Dip


According to a recent GOMI post, Heather Armstrong, aka Dooce, aka Queen of the Mommy Bloggers, has now confirmed that her ex has moved to New York city and away from Salt Lake, where she and the kids still reside. Armstrong confirmed that little factoid on her Facebook page and then went on to make a number of comments that some called snarky and some called honest — about her ex, his living situation, their living situation and her decision to no longer stay quiet about this part of her life.

I can see where she’s coming from. She’s a blogger whose livelihood depends on her ability to be open and honest, and that’s pretty difficult to do when you’re keeping quiet about something as significant as a divorce.

I’ve told stories about parts of my life that coincided with my own divorce and somewhere along the way I just made the decision to leave my ex out completely. I felt like I couldn’t say too much — I wanted to be fair and I didn’t want to damage our co-parenting relationship — and yet talking about only part of the story always felt unsatisfying. So I just decided not to talk about him at all and the decision turned out to be strangely freeing. All of a sudden, I looked at some of these episodes in a new light. It turned out that most of them were more about me than they were about him anyway.

Photo by flickr user Nana Agyei
Photo by flickr user Nana Agyei

Sometimes the challenge is realizing a decision to avoid bad-mouthing your ex doesn’t mean you have to be dishonest. For a long time I felt so much pressure to be relentlessly positive and let everything go. I don’t know why. Maybe I was trying to be some sort of post-divorce co-parenting superhero or something.

I finally realized that not bad-mouthing my ex didn’t mean I had to shout from the rooftops that he is flawless and the best at everything in the entire universe. Not that I ever did that, mind you. I just felt like that was a goal that I should obviously be working towards. The truth is that we’re both flawed because we’re both human, and that’s perfectly fine. But I still choose to keep the details of my divorce private, even as I tell stories about my vagina or eating cake out of a garbage can (different stories, obvs).

Featured image by flickr user zombieite.


Jenny Splitter

Jenny Splitter is a writer, storyteller and over-scheduled mom of two living in Washington, DC. She spends her glamorous days trying to write whatever she can, counting 1-2-3 in a slow yet threatening manner to her children, playing with gluten and working to eradicate dog hair from the planet (or at least her home). Find her on Twitter , Google+ and Facebook

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  1. Great article, but those last three words really disappointed me.

    Sometimes it’s not about being embarassed or being afraid, it’s just that society demands certain niceties which require shutting up, lying, or eliding about certain relationships. Shutting up seems a perfectly valid choice to me.

    1. Ha ha!

      I think people have limited tolerance for anything negative, whether it’s justified or not. You are expected to move on at a respectable pace. Most of the time, grief (not just over the dissolution of a marriage but in other context as well) isn’t a linear process. So you move on, and then something comes up and you deal with some other layer of grief, and then you move on again, and then something else comes up, etc.

      1. I’ve noticed that. I’m very critical (of both myself and others), and I have to be very careful, because lots of people have a hard time with plain criticism. It’s important to emphasize good points when criticizing, because it makes it easier and more possible for people to listen receptively.

  2. I think it’s good advice about how to let go, if you’re able to do that. Sometimes I have noticed that once I start complaining about something, I can just keep going and going, whereas if I try to suppress that urge (and man does that feel bad!), I feel better in the long run.

    1. Funny – I was just reading this article this morning — about the challenges of staying publicly positive on Facebook during a divorce. Of course, people still do a lot of public venting online but it tends to be anonymous.

      Although “fake it until you make it” sounds disingenuous, it’s kind of as simple as tricking your mind into positivity. I don’t know. It helps me to think about it like that rather than in some sort of woo woo heal the world kind of way.

      1. Yes, I think I read that advice from a Richard Wiseman book too. That “getting it out of your system” isn’t usually the best course of action and can just reinforce your negative feelings. “Fake it till you make it” is what I strive for sometimes! 🙂

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