What Divorced Women Want For Their Fresh Start This Holiday Season

Stacey Freeman

By Stacey Freeman | Dec 6th, 2018

When I was married, I always put my kids’ needs before my own, so much so that my husband used to call me a martyr. But by doing that, by not treating myself well, I was, in actuality, doing the opposite. My ill-treatment of myself, which included eating quickly and sometimes on the go, not getting enough sleep, and failing to set aside time to engage in pastimes I loved, meant I wasn’t putting my kids’ needs first at all. To be the best mom I could be, I first had to become a person who liked and respected herself. That wasn’t always the case during my marriage, particularly toward the end.

Following my separation and after receiving full physical custody of my three young children, I had no choice but to (wo)man-up. In my desperation, I sought strength from others, only to feel disappointed over and over when I didn’t get what I was looking for in any sense. Strength, as I began to see it, comes from within, which meant I had to build myself back up again, both from the inside and on the outside. From the way I ate to how I dressed, I began making changes, some small and others more pronounced. Though I didn’t know the term at the time, I learned later that I had started engaging in self-care, and oh how I had lacked in my practice of it.

Everyone’s definition of self-care is different. It can evolve also, especially after a life change such as a divorce. After my divorce, self-care meant setting aside time to exercise, whether or not it was on my treadmill or the streets of my neighborhood and included buying nicer workout clothes, so I could feel good while working out. I had always loved to take baths, one of the few practices I did maintain during my marriage. When my marriage ended, I enhanced my nightly ritual further by buying myself different types of bubble bath and candles. After spending years sleeping in t-shirts and sweatpants, I bought myself beautiful lingerie, and revamped my entire wardrobe, too. I had, finally, figured out what I liked and disliked, and my preferences had nothing to do with anyone except me.

” To be the best mom I could be, I first had to become a person who liked and respected herself. “

Seven years after my separation, the above are all still gift items I purchase for myself from time to time and am thankful to receive from others at holiday time. Like most everything else about divorce, my wishlist is personal and unique to me, so I decided to have some fun and find out what other Worthy women have on their lists this year. Here’s what they said.

Jennifer B., Carthage, Missouri

As someone in the process of finalizing my divorce, buying a clothing store, and managing a newborn, my perfect gifts would be relaxation items! A spa day, bath and body aromatherapy, and anything else to keep me calm and centered.

Amanda E., Sarasota, New York

I’m a literacy ambassador for a children’s publisher and think a great gift to celebrate my next chapter after divorce would be a retreat to Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Western MA. For my business, it would be going to one of Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within events! Cheers to new beginnings and adventures!

Divorced Women Want Fresh Start
Photo courtesy of Amanda E.

RaChell C., Charlotte, North Carolina

For me, perfect gifts to celebrate my next chapter would be ones that celebrate me, especially gifts of pampering. I was in an abusive marriage and able to turn my pain into my purpose by getting my certification as a Life Coach. I’ve done business coaching, started an LLC, and got clients. Now I need to focus on me! I always make sure my boys are well taken care of but willing to go without sometimes. I need to pamper myself more.

April R.

I just got divorced this year. I have struggled with my weight for most of my adult life. It has always been about appearance in the past. Now that I’m a single mom, I’m much more interested in my overall health and wellbeing, not just how my clothes fit. I need to be healthy for my kiddo, and I need to model good behaviors for him.

I joined a Crossfit gym and started working with a trainer, and now I see some progress! One piece that has been missing through this stressful year is an element of balance and relaxation. That’s why I would love yoga classes! I absolutely love yoga and find it so meditative, but when I budget, I haven’t been able to make room for regular classes. I can’t swing both my gym membership and regular yoga classes, even though mental wellbeing is as critical as physical. Yoga classes would make a perfect gift.

Caroline, New Jersey

If I could have my pick, I would have a chef cook me breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a week. Seriously, that would be the greatest gift in the world! The other thing would be a weekend at a spa, where it’s all about me. Me, me, me, me, me. Because when is life ever about me? It’s always about everyone else!

Celeste B., Pennsylvania

This year my next chapter gift will be planning a special trip with my daughter before she heads off to college. We love to go on adventures to new places together!

Bernice A., Stratford, New Jersey

What would be the perfect holiday gift to start my next chapter? Great question! I just recently made my 2019 Goals List, so I think I’d pick something from there:

  1. Meet with a financial planner.
  2. Join a yoga class.
  3. Face the fear and learn to swim!
  4. A private photo session starring the new me!
  5. Take dance lessons.
  6. I’ve never done any type of cosmetic procedure, so now would maybe be a great time. (Laser hair removal? Cool sculpting? Breast lift?) Something to help make my confidence skyrocket!

As a side note, I have to say I love this group of women. We have become a strong tribe, and we all have a story to tell. Thank you, Worthy, for bringing us together!

Stacey Freeman

Stacey Freeman

Stacey Freeman is a New York City-based writer, lifestyle editor at Worthy.com, and the founder and managing director of Write On Track.


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