On Starting Over and New Beginnings
This Life in Progress | A Community for Divorced Parents & Blended Families
by Kate Chapman
3y ago
  This is my all-time favorite poem, by John O’Donohue: For a New Beginning In out of the way places of the heart Where your thoughts never think to wander This beginning has been quietly forming Waiting until you were ready to emerge. For a long time it has watched your desire Feeling the emptiness grow inside you Noticing how you willed yourself on Still unable to leave what you had outgrown. It watched you play with the seduction of safety And the grey promises that sameness whispered Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent Wondered would you always live like this. Then the delight, whe ..read more
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On Parenting and Plank Position and the Pain of the Present
This Life in Progress | A Community for Divorced Parents & Blended Families
by Kate Chapman
3y ago
I’m in plank position, toes flexed, torso rotated open, arm reaching for the sky when I hear her. “Breathe. Don’t forget to breathe,” the trainer whispers. I haven’t forgotten. I’m holding my breath on purpose. I’ve been to enough pre-dawn punishing gym sessions to know that breathing makes it worse. Breathing removes resistance. It forces my body to settle into the excruciating pain of a position that is totally unnatural and wildly uncomfortable. Breathing brings me into the present moment; it allows no distraction. I can’t avoid the heavy sensation of my full body weight balancing on one h ..read more
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And Baby Makes Nine?
This Life in Progress | A Community for Divorced Parents & Blended Families
by Kate Chapman
3y ago
I became a mother for the first time at 25. Billy and I married at 23, and thirty seconds later, kind strangers at the grocery store began asking when we planned to start our family. I thought things would be different after I married Gabe. We were well into our thirties, with three children each. Established in our careers and fixtures on the soccer sidelines, I thought it was abundantly clear that our hands and hearts were full. It wasn’t. The baby conversation began before we walked down the aisle. “Your kid is going to be huge,” commented Gabe’s best friend, upon meeting me, 5’10” and in ..read more
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What A Difference A Year Makes
This Life in Progress | A Community for Divorced Parents & Blended Families
by Kate Chapman
3y ago
It was a year ago today that I hit the green “Publish” button on the very first post on This Life in Progress and held my breath. Like so many things in this divorced and blended journey, I had absolutely no idea what would come next. And, again like so many other things in this life, what actually came next far, far exceeded the wildest, most hopped-up fantastic scenario I could have imagined. Happy blogiversary! Brene Brown says, “”[C]onnection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” It was connection that was missing for me as a newly divorced mom. Connection ..read more
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Five Secrets No One Tells The New Stepmom
This Life in Progress | A Community for Divorced Parents & Blended Families
by Kate Chapman
3y ago
I’ve seen the Disney movies. I know stepparenting isn’t an easy gig. But after taking the plunge and marrying Gabe, I was still shocked to come up sputtering for air and flailing wildly. In what seemed like seconds, I was drowning. My first months and years as a stepmom were nothing like I imagined. I felt overwhelmed and confused and alone. Today, many years and frustrations later, when I meet a new stepparent, I share five stepparent secrets I wish I’d known at the start of this adventure. Truthfully, at first the newbies aren’t always excited to hear what I have to say. My stepparent secre ..read more
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Can’t We All Just Get Along? Yes, Yes We Can.
This Life in Progress | A Community for Divorced Parents & Blended Families
by Kate Chapman
3y ago
This house is a constant, wild cacophony of dart gun wars, impromptu karaoke and teenage meltdowns. Gabe and I sometimes forget that most “normal” families don’t have a matched set of Bigs, Middles and Littles, three boys and three girls in nearly perfect stair-stepped order. Most families don’t consume three gallons of milk a week or get cartons of toilet paper shipped to the house. We are often so busy with the care and feeding and driving of the troops, that the truth is, often we forget we’re not most families. Because the children are all generally tall and sport varying shades of brown ..read more
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Our Five Rules of Fight Club
This Life in Progress | A Community for Divorced Parents & Blended Families
by Kate Chapman
3y ago
I often describe my relationship with my husband only to find myself fighting off a swarm of bees. I love that man like crazycakes, and when I write about our love story, my words often drip with sticky sweet sentiment. And that is true and genuine and an accurate reflection of how I feel about that tall,blue-eyed, piano playing, motorcycle riding man. And we also fight. Like all couples, Gabe and I do not get along all of the time. We have our share of disagreements, days when one or both of us are itchy and scratchy. Raising six children (three of them committed teenagers ..read more
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Broody Business: What My Chicken Taught Me About Sacrifice and Control
This Life in Progress | A Community for Divorced Parents & Blended Families
by Kate Chapman
3y ago
Buffy is broody. This has happened before, and it’s terribly inconvenient. The children are afraid of our broody Buffy because she hisses and pecks. She’s nothing like her normal sweet self. Frightened children don’t collect eggs. They whine about whose turn it is, and dawdle on the walk to the coop and generally avoid the task altogether. That’s what sent me out to the chicken coop yesterday. Three sunny days, six chickens and frightened egg collectors meant I had a treasure trove of farm-fresh eggs waiting for me. Let me back up, in the event my farm talk has confused you ..read more
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Yes, Sometimes I DO Want to Run Away. Here’s What I Do Next.
This Life in Progress | A Community for Divorced Parents & Blended Families
by Kate Chapman
3y ago
Yesterday, during that witching hour between dinner and bedtime, I walked out the back door and into our yard. I sat in an old faded plastic lawn chair, stared out into our too-long grass littered with foam arrows and bubble wands and wet sidewalk chalk, and thought about running away. I thought about what would happen if we weren’t a family of eight. I thought about what my life would be like if I’d never married Gabe. I thought about what might have happened if I’d stayed married to my children’s father. I played all the hits on my Anxious Questions album. “How on God’s gre ..read more
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