Transition Period | Co-Parenting and Hi-Conflict Divorce Ep 25
Hi and welcome to a new episode of the Mom Bosses Abroad podcast we are so delighted to have Nicole Luposhansky with us today and we're going to be talking about the theme and the subject of co-parenting and going through high conflict divorce. So Nicole we are so excited to have you here with us today. Welcome.
Ah, thank you so much. It's just lovely being with both of you.
Yeah, so Nicole is a Divorce And Co-Parenting Relationship coach and she really supports moms to reduce the psychological and emotional effects of parental separation. Even when the other parent does not really participate. So Nicole also partners with Villyge as a contributing author and coach supporting corporate executives and in her spare time she loves to travel mostly by sea. And she's a wannabe professional singer and her favorite hobby is snuggling with her daughters Ah Nicole, you have an amazing motherhood journey as a single mom and you have taught your children so much about being resilient and it's really elevated you and your business as well and we can't wait to hear about this healing journey and how you got to where you are today.
Thank you I Look forward to sharing what I can to help others.
Yeah, so what prompted you_ I mean I know from your personal life experience and you know parenting your children as a single mom_what was that pivotal moment where you said I also need to help other women that might be going through the same or that are in a relationship that is very fragmented and it's about to go into that direction of divorce? What was hat pivotal moment that prompted you to step into and say you know what I can help other women just like myself?
Yeah I don't know if there's like an exact moment but I know that I was advised by my mentor to be a coach for executives. So I got my coaching certification, tried parent coaching and felt like okay, is just exactly what I want to do I want to do more and I think that I have went through all the hardship that I did for a reason. I felt like I needed to take what I had been through and share it with other people when I went through my divorce I stuck my head in a library. I read a lot about personalities and how I could not be as normal statistic with this high conflict parent co-parenting and divorce situation that I was going through. I just wanted my daughter's life to be different I wanted her to not feel the pain that most children do. Not to say that she doesn't or she won't but she definitely has a different life and so yeah, that's really where it came from I think was just digging into coaching and realizing. ‘Okay, what are you doing with the experiences that you've been through?
So tell us_and that and that has to be part of the part of the package_ you have to have that vocation and that sense of you know it's bigger than me. It's just bigger than my own situation.
And I love helping people.
It is something that I just want to approach from an angle where the more people can hear the message the better it's going to be collectively for all of us. But I just wanted to go back to 1 thing that you said just now about you not wanting to be part of the statistics. So what are really the statistics when it comes to situations where parents are in in high-conflict divorces and how does that affect the family and especially the kids?
So the statistics are that and I'm not going to use like too many numbers here, but the statistics are that the children have a much more significant chance of having anxiety, depression definitely throughout their teenage years where their body is developing and changing at a very fast rate. The other part to that is that the mothers end up depleted emotionally, financially, mentally. It’s very, very hard for them. So I wanted that to change.
And that is a very toxic combo unfortunately because they feed off each other_ a mother that doesn't have the resources for herself to be in a good or at least neutral baseline is not going to be able to step in and help a child that is going as you said through depression and anxiety through the teenage years which is already a transitional period in their life as you said their body's changing, their brain is changing as well, it's rewiring itself to some extent and so now you have two two people that love each other very much and they have this really beautiful personal connection but they but they cannot seem to find at least some sort of light at the end of the tunnel in what is already a very difficult process for each one.
These feelings right? For a very, very long time and everyone's transition obviously takes a different time line. But um, you fall into this hole as a family, don't you? Into this kind of darkness and don't know how to get out, however, some fail to see in that moment that you can really create a beautiful motherhood journey, you recreate it through healing, deprogramming and letting go of these societal beliefs. That's also what you told us before. So can you let us know a little bit how you start talking to these moms who are in these situations and who are seeing just darkness around them and how do you help them get out of it.
So I think the first thing is identifying is it me is it them (the other partner), is it both of us and what happens is once I start talking to a mother first of all, when we're identifying the abuse I acknowledge it, I validate them, I let them know that yes, this is abusive. It's not okay or it's toxic for both of you right? However, that looks and then once we do the validation then we move on to what can we do right now here and now even if we're still in the home to sort of change to start to change this dynamic and we talk about the inner us right? The inner child. And where is this coming from So we then start talking about attachment styles and once we understand our attachment styles. We can then understand our behaviors where they're coming from how we're being triggered.
Why we're being triggered and using introspection so that we can stop reacting and start responding thoughtfully. That's where it starts. It's a lot of work that probably sounds like a lot to a mother that's in it or even is like in the relationship or that's out of the relationship but still having to co-parent. Yes, but to keep it simple. Is you just take one step at a time.
Is still dealing with that. Yeah.
You do it at your own pace and you work through it and every small step that you take is one day closer to creating a better life for you, for your children.So it's very important that I say this to anybody if they're listening right now and they feel overwhelmed if you're just listening to this and becoming aware know that that's a step towards the right direction.
And that is such ah such a powerful statement Nicole because it is in a way the idea that when we are in a situation of high conflict we tend to always look to the outside, to the other party or to the circumstances in a lot of situations and I know we're going to get into that. It's also the system. It's not only a partner but it's a system that is also not working that it might be broken that it has a lot of a lot of obstacles along the way. And so you can't see the finish line and you see it all out there and as you say it takes a lot of intentionality to look inwards and start taking those baby steps into saying okay regardless of what the system is throwing at me regardless of what the other parent might or might not be doing it starts with me and that also might give a message of hope and control that there is something that you can do because at least you can work on yourself and you can start taking those first steps on your own.
So one statement that I have about what you just said is we have to identify how we show up in our relationships. When we identify how we are showing up as painful as that may be to say okay I could be part of the problem or I could be adding fuel to the fire right? Like I am part of this equation. There's a very fine line to know that just because you are part of the equation does not mean that it's your fault.
A very important distinction.
Right? So you forgive yourself. But yeah, you humbly and kindly look inward and say okay what patterns am I repeating from my childhood. What am I searching for with this person. A lot of times I found for me that I was searching for validation even after I left years, after I left him. Why was I searching for validation because he was my daughter's father and for some reason I felt that I needed that until I started to validate myself.
It is that powerful right? I mean these relationships um have been years in the making sometimes decades and just cutting ties altogether and saying okay I'll turn the page and I start over. As you say it has that transition period that that self-awareness piece of of coming to terms but being curious without being judgmental about what happened in the past taking responsibility but without self-flagellating in the process. Ah so having those distinctions_
That's why I love the work that you do Nicole because it's so important to have that external objective person such as yourself a coach that can come in and really give that support and guide you through that inner dialogue that can take you down a rabbit hole of feeling even more guilty or worse about the whole situation.
Yeah I think when you're able to see the little girl and say okay I, for example, I'll use my story I was a child of an alcoholic. So I was searching for something in my partner that I didn't get from my mother and once I understood that I was able to see that it wasn't the adult Nicole that was making these decisions. It was the child that was making those decisions so I had to write and so I had to go. Okay, well how could I be mad at her. Can't be mad in an innocent child. Yes, a grown adult should know different. But that's not the grown adult making these decisions and doing this. It's the child that's yearning for acceptance yearning to be seen and that. It was easier than for me to be able to move forward and so that is what I work with my clients is the same and then and then when you love yourself and you see that.
Exactly It's so important because no keep feeling sorry.
It stems from your childhood. You can then look at your partner and say oh is it the little boy in him that's acting out and doing these things is that why he has these behaviors and able to look I have two ex-husands and I will be very vague here for obviously privacy reasons and respect. But I can look at them and say ‘oh, it's the little boy in them that what this wasn't healed for them and so this is why they have their style of interaction and then I could accept them and love them from afar.
Exactly because you're able to as well forgive after a while aren't you once you work through all of that once you are able to identify because often one step back when you are in these kinds of relationships. You often. Don't see that you have these like I always see these pink glasses on and you don't see the things that are happening. You actually need outside people to sometimes pull you out of it because people that you know, that you date, you trust and everything. But once you are able to see that and kind of pull yourself out you encounter this freedom as well and then how do you now that children are well things are becoming a lot more complex so by identifying your partner’s faults maybe are what went through and your own inner child but how do you then turn to your child and facilitate that freedom for them.
I love that you ask that question because this is why I do what I do. My main purpose is really so that the child can have a happy childhood. What you do is you look at that child and you see their parent through their lens instead of yours. So we all want to love our parents right? My mother was an alcoholic. My mother was not active in my life, God Love her. She was a sweetheart She did not show up for me at school. She didn't show up for me for dinner and so would I want somebody else to say anything bad about my mother. No way. I still love my mother and wanted her to be this great person right in my eyes. That's what your child wants. And that's what they deserve. It is their birthright to decide whether or not their parent is good for them or isn't good for them. However, they want to see that so in turn. Now we can look at our child and say oh yes, Daddy is awesome and mean that he's showing up for you or you know when they express their love for their child for their other parent and when they express their disappointment. This is even more important when they express their disappointment.
Is when you're going to show up like that even more and say you know I'm sure they're doing the best that they can There must just be something else I'm sure it's not about you but I understand it feels personal that gives the child a safe space to vent.
And exactly it.
To release their feelings but to still love that parent and not feel like they have to make a choice. The worst thing you can do is trying to make the child feel like they have to make a choice or act like you're better than them right? well.
Right and take a side. Yeah.
They gave you this as their parent I can give you this that is the worst thing to do. The best thing is to just be able to help that child like it. It sounds counterintuitive but love that parent through the child's eyes just like you love your own parent and you want your parent to be the most perfect person right? Does that make sense?
It's a big of course because it's a big load to carry as a child to feel the guilt and the heaviness of having to choose and almost like be train one parent in the process. As you said, if they're not allowed to vent in a way that is healthy and with an open heart and an open space. They might be feeling that they are betraying a parent with the other parent and back and forth and that carries a lot a lot of weight for a child that they cannot handle because they don't have. Yet the skills the maturity the perspective of putting it all on the table and making a healthy I don't know choice or decision about the whole thing right? They don't get to have that until much later in life when they look backwards but in in the midst of it. Um, I think that is so powerful this message that you're saying it's not about retaliation. It's not about um you know, ah kicking while the other is down in those moments as you say when the child herself is having a moment of disappointment or is having a moment of anger or just having a moment of. You know, feeling angry at the other parent but just taking the high road and it's ah it's a little bit. What Michelle Obama tends to say you know when they go low. We go high and it's a bit about that right? We censor the child for having the feelings and for having the thoughts and for having the experience of what might be going on.
And what's really amazing about what you just said? You said when they go low, we go high and what happens after that they elevate from low to higher. That's what happens more often than not. Always not always but a lot of times you will see that because that other person's like oh well, they don't even know they're doing it so consciously. It's like oh I want to be better, I Want to be better I Want to do better So it's actually this like silent beautiful occurrence right? just.
Yeah, it is scientifically. It doesn't always happen right? like it. It depends on a lot of factors but scientifically speaking it is true that high-vibe emotions tend to override the low negative ones.
That happens and it's amazing again. It doesn't always happen but more right? It does.
So if within you know the dynamic that is happening you as a mom are taking the high road and you're teaching your child to also take the high road and have that compassion and have that grace towards whoever is doing whatever right? Most naturally, it tends to be as you say not all the time because nothing is 100 % assured but let's say for the most part this other person will have to rise just out of the fact that this good feel high-vibe emotions are being played out. And no one is out to get anyone from a negative space.
Right? It's you said it exactly right.
So I guess also from this from this topic that we're in in terms of like high-vibe emotions and applying curiosity towards our participation in the situation compassion, grace, all of that I guess from that stems the next step that would be the idea and the new horizon that opens up to such mothers of knowing that they can always reinvent themselves. They can always step in into a new version of themselves but being a little bit The Devil's Advocate. What might be the hardest part about that is there anything that that comes on as a challenge that you have seen come often in in in the moms that you are coaching that you say okay this is going to be like a sharp turn ahead. But we're going to get through it.
Yeah, so reinventing your identity in a new way as a single parent can be very challenging. You're looking at okay, I've let my old self go or I'm letting my old self go What is that new person look like, who are they, are they accepted, are they understood, are they seen, are they heard and so that can be somewhat difficult but typical. Now I think it's more difficult for those who have not done that past work. But for those who really dig deep and are looking forward to okay who is the new me what does that look like. Hard when they go out into the community If not everybody is accepting of them. One of the mistakes that we can make as a single mom reinventing. Our identity is not telling anybody that we're single maybe still wearing our ring maybe still acting like we have a partner because that makes us think.
They think we have it together and it's just so much better for your own self-confidence to own it when appropriate you don't need to obviously advertise it but because obviously you don't want to like make something out of nothing or put more focus on it. But it's okay when it comes up to be single to be I'm a I'm a single mom because really, what does that mean that means you're like a super mom. We're all super moms you are too as a married mom but we have to really look at ourselves and say okay so I don't use this name for advertising because it doesn't ring true with them yet. But when I am at the end of my teachings I will say to a woman you are new life diva.
Yeah, love that.
Now some people think it means like a bad. Yeah, like how that just maybe very near me. You know all about themselves or they don't care about anybody else, but to me what it means is loving yourself owning your feminine power and.
Feeling empowered as well.
Knowing that you're okay on your own I need right and new life, this is your new life. I just love that term like I said
Yeah, it's a celebration. Yeah, it is true. It's a new rebirth.
Exactly It's like a celebration of it, exactly.
Yeah, so I think that is like really challenging though right though, reinventing yourself and going out by yourself because when we have somebody else. They're a buffer and now we have to go out by ourselves so that is that's a lot different but you can really help that by doing the healing that we've been talking about.
Exactly, it's such a blessing that you are there and helping other moms I mean it is one of the most difficult things even to admit, you know sometimes what you're going through and you need that helping hand. So really, it's really great and one thing we do like to ask as well now changing a little bit um towards looking at you and your girls at home, you have so much on your plate you have you are a single parent. You know, you have like almost double the work of giving support to your girls as well and you're running this amazing business and helping others every step of the way and. We always think of having balance at home is extremely difficult especially when you are in this situation and even I always say that finding harmony in our life is a much better and easier way to describe what we're doing how we're living our life how we're showing up for our family. So can you share with us maybe one thing that you do that brings harmony into your busy life?
Yes, but first I want to tell you that you guys even like now that I'm in a partnership I can say this you do just as much work as we do. It's just where it comes from like the financial pressure is more as a single mom but there's still a lot of pressure when you're with somebody.
Like taking care of the family and keeping up the house. So I just want to commend you ladies for what you do too. So the one thing that I would have to say that I do to keep harmony is I truly make sure that I take care of myself and a lot of people think this term self-care is woo woo. I even have clients that will tell me in the beginning like okay I just need to get through this I don't need to know about the self-care I know what I'm doing with that, but self-care is so important so in the morning I wake up and I tell myself something positive I actually have this little ring binder here and I will read at positive affirmations. But I'm going to add one more thing even if it's like in the afternoon because I can't do it at night because I wouldn't have time. I take a bath I really think that that's really important- really important. So it's the self-care. It really is.
I love that too.
Love that and a it can come in so many ways and it can be as you know as quick or as long as you want like_ there's no hard and fast rules and even if it's ah it's a little affirmation at the beginning or at the end of the day.
Or as you say taking a bath or just you know taking a 5-minute breather or stepping out to get some fresh air. Whatever you can do to bring yourself back to that I always call it a baseline because we tend to be in in high, strong emotions during the day as you say maybe the pressures of life on both ends right? Nobody is on a competition here to decide who is who is having it harder. It's just a matter as moms we do care, we show up in so many ways, in so many areas of life and we're not only moms, we're also friends, we're also sisters, we're also daughters, we have all these different hats, we’re mompreneurs following our passion and so it is a matter of putting your oxygen mask on before you get to help others and I love that sometimes even if people are a bit not so on board with the self-care because it triggers them that eventually working with you can help them get to a place where they're open to the possibility of at least doing that one little thing that is going to make their day a little bit better and brighter. So we love this and we know also Nicole that you have a freebie for us today and can you tell us a little bit what it is.
Yes, so I have now is called a Family Court Success Guide. Yes, so you want me to tell you about it and describe it a little bit So anybody that is thinking about divorce or in a divorce and feels out of control can download this and start to take control to where they feel confident. And they're able to give their children a healthier environment.
This is so needed. This is so needed for anybody that's going through um a difficult period and a difficult journey in in the case of a divorce of a separation but this is something that they can They can really at least have on their end and start. Connecting some dots together some sometimes people don't even know where to start where do we even begin and I love that you are providing this as a bit of a roadmap just to get started right and then move on to the next to the next steps.
Yes, yes, and I always say go to marriage counseling first couples counseling try that I do advocate for that and I put that in my work. But if you're at the point where you really know that you, you probably want to divorce, this document is going to help you a lot.
Ah, this is amazing.
Oh fantastic and we're going to put the link that to that freebie in our show notes but we just wanted to ask you Nicole, what are you currently working on is there any other exciting projects in the works for you?
Well what I'm working on now is a self-guided course, so that women that can't afford an actual life coach can have this study guide and at their own pace. At least guide themselves through the process of divorce. It takes. It's very hard to advocate for yourself. Women find themselves fearful of the lawyers and the judges and I want people.
Yes, they often need to do that themselves first before they approach these other people don't they?
Yeah, so I want them to have it at a price that is affordable for them. So for some reason they can't afford to work with me. So that's what I'm working on right now. Yeah, it'll be the family court., it's a family court. How to navigate family court successfully that's where I'm at now the title may change.
Well, we'll be sure. We'll be sure to check it out and also you know we're going to put links to that so people can um you know can come follow you and get more insights into how you can help them navigate the tricky waters of a transition period which is a big one like this right when you're coming out of a relationship and you still have your children with you and now you need to do a little bit more on the on the front end of things.
So we want to thank you so much Nicole for coming over chatting with us today and if you want to connect with Nicole you can find her on Instagram and we're also going to be sharing the links to her Facebook page, her Linkedin profile and her website as well as her freebie and all the new projects and courses that she's working on in our show notes. Thank you so much Nicole for being here with us today.
Thank you ladies so much I Really do appreciate the opportunity and thank you for what you do for the world too. It's so important. It's so important.
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Nicole Lupushansky, Divorce & Co-parenting Relationship Coach, supports moms to reduce the psychological and emotional effects of parental separation, even when the other parent does not participate. Nicole also partners with Villyge as a contributing author and coach supporting corporate executives. In her spare time, Nicole likes to travel, mostly by sea, is a wannabe professional singer and her favorite hobby is snuggling with her daughters.
Custody Battle Tips: A Parent's Guide to Reduce the Overwhelm
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