“You sure do have a lot of self-help books.”
That’s what Chris said to me when I had him over to my house for the first time, as he browsed my bookshelves. Yes, he seemed a bit unnerved.
“I’m NOT like that,” I said defensively. “A lot of publishers have sent those books to me to review.”
“Oh,” he said, slightly skeptical. And the truth is, although the know-it-all language in some self-help books rubs me the wrong way, I often turn to experts when I’m stuck. I’ve always been that way. When I’m scared or unsure, I reach out to others. That includes friends who’s listen, authors I’ve never met — and other bloggers, too.
So, perhaps it’s no surprise that as my life slowly changes (read = I’m getting married!), I’m turning to those who’ve gone before me. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been seeking out single moms who’ve gotten remarried. I’m going to start profiling these super women off and on here as “snapshots.“
For starters, please help me welcome Tinamarie Bernard, aka Modern Love Examiner.
Tinamarie and her first husband got divorced after almost nine years together “because, in a nutshell, our core philosophies, values, and expectations were way off from one another.”
Their son was two when they broke up, and she started “to do some serious soul searching.” This included finding a spiritual path in Judaism and deciding to convert. Within the year, at age 38, she started to date an older man long distance, “but he was just too broken for a relationship.”
“One night, feeling really blue, I went to a single’s event with friends. That’s when I heard this guy with luscious lips say in a funny accent, ‘I want to meet the woman with the beautiful eyes.’ ”
“H” was from Israel and he was immediately smitten about Tinamarie — although she was the first single mom he’d ever dated. After dating for JUST eight weeks, he took her to Israel to visit his family. Still, she was cautious. “He proposed after three months, and I said, ‘Yes, but not now.’ Three months later, he proposed again.”
At first, her son was jealous when he saw his mom holding hands with H. After they got engaged, Tinamarie started to let H. spend the night — and bring some of this belongings over. “We started with his cat. Over the course of a month, H. started to stay in the morning, and we talked to my son about how we were all getting married. As in the three of us. Not exactly spelled out, but my son would say things like, ‘When we get married, blah blah.’ ”
Listen to this! Tinamarie, H., and her son have since moved from San Diego to Israel together. And on Leap Day, 2008, they welcomed a baby girl into their lives!
What has been the best part about blending your family?
“We have a really cool family tradition. We call it the mosh pit. We all lay down somewhere together, under lots of blankets an just snuggle and wiggle and eek out a comfortable spot between squirming little kid bodies trying to get the best position. Which usually means in between both of us. It lasts all of five minutes, but still, those are my five minutes of family time.”
And what has been the most challenging part?
“Two things. One is that my family isn’t Jewish and my mother, in particular, has a hard time with the fact that I am now living in Israel. She only has two grand kids and they are 7000 miles away. Here, we’ve got loads of cousins and can feel part of the mainstream culture. In San Diego, it was a constant issue. To this day, my mom still wishes me Happy Easter, etc, but doesn’t mention one Jewish holiday unless prompted by my dad.
Also, H. and I do have differing philosophies at times about parenting. He tends to be stricter, and gets into power struggles with my son…. But the truth is, they both love one another as much as any biological father/son. H. does a fine job of balancing his role with my son, as well as with his biological father, who still lives in San Diego and talks to our son several times a day.”
If you’re a single parent, do you ever imagine getting remarried someday?
And if you’re a single parent who has gotten remarried, what has been the BEST part? And how about the most challenging?
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