Dear Aunt Becky & her Awesome Pranksters:

My most pressing question, only because it’s not something that can be answered by looking up local legal codes or consulting the legal counsel I can’t afford anyway, is how to tell my 3 year old, brilliant, observant, sensitive, & already adapting to the role of caretaker at age fucking THREE, Mama & Daddy won’t be loving together anymore.

See, I’ve been so busy trying to survive, take care of my daughter, & deal with the chest-tightening, ever-present, want-to-shoot-myself-anxiety, & not fall into a severe depression, that I didn’t have time to read the Guide on How to Get Out of a Bad Marriage Without Completely Destroying Your Child in the Process.

I know, right? You’d think I’d have carved out some time for that one. But thank god I haven’t lost my snark & sarcasm or my will to clean? Make my reservation in the asylum.

So, my dear Aunt Becky. What you got for me?

Well, first things first, if you’re actively suicidal, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). I’m serious, here. That’s not like a joke phone number.

And I’m going to give you a couple of resource pages from Band Back Together to look at so that you can take care of YOUR mental health. Suicide Resources, Anxiety Resources, Depression Resources

Your daughter sounds to be very intuitive and has probably already realized something was wrong. I would recommend talking to her in very concrete terms. Children don’t understand euphemisms and are prone to interpret things differently than adults.

That said, these are the key things you should try and touch on when you tell your daughter that you’re getting a divorce.

a) The divorce has nothing to do with you. You didn’t do anything wrong. This is not your fault.

b) Mom and Dad both love you dearly no matter what happens. We will always be your parents, even if we live in different houses.

c) Everything will be fine. Even if it seems scary and different now, everything will be just fine.

d) It’s okay to feel sad.

I hope that helps, dear Prankster.

Aunt Becky,
Is there a book on the way? I am unable to submit my request to your publishers or my e-mail for the chapter.

So I’ll do it here: hell yes, I’d buy Aunt Becky’s bookssss.

Dave

Dear Dave,

That seems to be the question plaguing me.

I’ve recently parted ways with my agents and realized the publishing industry is in the crapper, so I’m not entirely certain if I SHOULD write a book. I certainly can (although I’d need to ascertain what, exactly, I’d write about) and would be happy to, but I’m not sure if I should simply chuck the idear of finding new agents, praying for a publisher, then writing the thing. Certainly, I could try.

The logical step would be, of course, to simply write the damn thing and sell it as an e-book.

The question remains: should I? I’m asking you, Pranksters, because I trust your opinion. Should I bother trying to self-publish an e-book or is that as useless as the time I tried to cook dinner?

I’m having a mini-crisis over here about it and would genuinely love your input (not about dinner, of course. We all know I live on Uncrustables and cereal).

Should Your Favorite Aunt Becky bother writing and self-publishing a book? Do you know any publishers that would heart me? What type of book would you like to read? You can answer in the comments or send me an email: becky.harks@gmail.com

If you guys really think I can do this, then I will. MY FATE IS IN YOUR HANDS, PRANKSTERS.

Love,

Your Aunt Becky who may or may not be gulping Xanax while she writes this.

(P.S. if you are a publisher, please publish my book, no questions asked)

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

45 Responses to Go Ask Aunt Becky

  • GingerB says:

    First – the reader’s questions: Holy shit. Doesn’t that sum it up? I’ve spent the past five months thinking very much that I was about to have to divorce my husband. (I have recently changed my mind, for now) I actually googled how to talk to kids about divorce. Frankly I didn’t get that much help from it. I have heard all my life of people who stay together for the children, and I always thought that sounded like a pretty shitty deal for the parent and then I married and had kids. It looks a lot different now, right? All the advice about not talking down the other guy seems to be really important – but I couldn’t figure out how he wouldn’t look bad if I still have all the money and he turns out to have none and lives in a hovel, and wouldn’t be able to have food and cable TV. I talked to my friends who were kids of a divorced couple. It seems that they all did indeed feel guilty, at least for a while, and that those who had parents who didn’t run each other down and who seemed to genuinely commit to caring for the kids together while being apart got the highest marks, and they hated the parent who left the other parent in dire finances if they lived there. They didn’t all say counseling helped them but moms I talked to all felt better if they got it for their kids. What is it really like? I dunno, my kooky parents are still married. And I find the logistics incredibily daunting – so here’s to sending some positive thoughts your way, and I hope you successfully fight the depression and anxiety. Give yourself some time, too, and don’t assume you will do this badly. I think when your heart is happier you will be a better mom, and a sensitve child will notice that, too.

    Aunt Becky – of course you SHOULD write a book. I think a humor book about housekeeping would a great start – by the way I just did a haiku about stain remover, come visit – and you have some pieces that would work to dangle at publishers, like when you cooked that cupcake, n’ stuff.

  • Joules says:

    Dear Divorcing,

    First off, I’m sorry for your loss. Divorce sucks the big one and is hard enough to go through without having to parent through it.
    I would echo everything Aunt Becks said. I would also throw in some things that may seem obvs, but can make a huge difference to a kid. Tell her you love her, answer her questions with the truth(child sized version of course), listen to her and create a routine. Kids always benefit from routines and during such a tumultuous time it can be a lifeboat.
    Books are also a great way to communicate with younger kids. I used Two Homes by Claire Masurel for the youngest kiddos, but there are tons of good ones. The last things I would say is to have these conversations on a regualr basis. Kids need to hear things over and over for comprehension, memory and reassurance.
    And give yourself a break. The fact that you’re reaching out tells me that your daughter’s needs are in the forefront of your mind which is all a kid really needs.

    As for you, Auntie B, I say go for it. The way you write is some magical shit and I would read any kind of book you wrote. Unless it was a western or soft core porn. I’m hardcore all the way, baby.
    Reasons why I think you should self publish.
    1. You already self publsih on the daily which has worked out pretty well.
    2. You’ve got a slew of tech savvy(ish) Pranksters who would line up to download that shit.
    3. Suddenly you’re the green writer who doesn’t murder magestic trees to further your own greed.
    4. I have an ipad and am in need of a new book to download.
    5. Less overhead and production costs = cha ching
    6. You’ve got the talent, the ambition and the drive.

    You CAN do it and you SHOULD do it. When you are given a gift you better use the shit out of it or its like bitch slapping the universe. Confucious say dooooooooo iiiiit!

    • Vinobaby says:

      Well said Joules. I couldn’t have written it better myself. And considering it’s a Sunday morning and I haven’t had nearly enough coffee, I’m not even gonna try.

      Ditto.

      Cheers. VB

    • katrina says:

      Exactly what Joules said — and of course, you don’t want to bitch slap the universe….

  • Cristine Clarke says:

    Aunt Becky…the updated version of Erma Bombeck. We need it. It is overdue!

    • Victoria says:

      So very true! My mother bought me Erma Bombeck’s book last year for Christmas and I read it all in one sitting. Would be so awesome to have the updated version:)

  • Dear Divorcing,
    As the child of a divorced couple… She’ll be fine. Seriously. I was five when my parents split (my brother was one) and it was one of the best things that my parents couple have done – WAY better than raising us as an unhappy couple.

    Dear Aunt Becky,
    YES. And if I didn’t make that clear… YES. I would like to read a funny book, with a serious undertone/topic. About anything, really.

    Dear Publishers,
    PUBLISH AUNT BECKY. Thank you.

  • On the divorce thing…
    It very much depends on the kids how they take it. I was 8 when my parents divorced and it never at all bothered me. Granted, my father was always away on business, so it really wasn’t THAT big of a change anyways.

    What I can say is this: When the divorce process first started, and my mom was seeking counseling she brought me and my sister into a session with someone who was geared towards kids. We only ended up going for one session (because we both had no problems with the divorce) but she would have taken us as many times as needed. Though 3 is a bit young for it so I’m not sure how that’ll work out.

    Anyway, 2 points to this response: 1 the therapy recommendation. 2 to let you know, parents divorcing doesn’t automatically fuck up your life.

    …..

    Aunt Becky, 4 words: Idiot’s Guide To Vodka

  • rachel says:

    Aunt Becky: DO IT.

    Seriously. Epublishing to kindle/nook/etc is AWESOME. WIth Amazon, you get like, 70% of the purchase price of each book, I think? I don’t know about B&N or anywhere else, but I don’t imagine it would be too different. So if you write a book, put it up there, and ALL OF US download it for what? $5 or $6 a pop? That shit would add up, yo.

    DO IT.

  • Sisofdragons says:

    In a word, absofuckinlutelyhellfuckyeahiwouldbuyit.
    Just saying.
    Heart you, Aunt Becky.

  • Sisofdragons says:

    In a word, absofuckinlutelyhellfuckyeahiwouldbuyit.
    Just saying.
    Heart you, Aunt Becky.

  • PBBDesigns says:

    So my ex(the father of my two teenage daughters) left when the oldest was 2 1/2 and I was six months pregnant with the second. I was devastated at the time. I still wonder if I could have done anything different. I have been raising our daughters virtually alone for the last 14 years. He sees them about twice a year. He talks to them on the phone about the same. We moved away in 2005 and moved back in 2009 to be closer to him. He moved away last year. Last night, I was talking to the older one about Fathers Day. I died a little when she said, “I don’t have a dad. He doesn’t care about me.” she’s 16.

  • PBBDesigns says:

    So my ex(the father of my two teenage daughters) left when the oldest was 2 1/2 and I was six months pregnant with the second. I was devastated at the time. I still wonder if I could have done anything different. I have been raising our daughters virtually alone for the last 14 years. He sees them about twice a year. He talks to them on the phone about the same. We moved away in 2005 and moved back in 2009 to be closer to him. He moved away last year. Last night, I was talking to the older one about Fathers Day. I died a little when she said, “I don’t have a dad. He doesn’t care about me.” she’s 16.

  • PBBDesigns says:

    Oh, yeah, and a’s for the book??? GO FOR IT!! I’d buy it.

  • PBBDesigns says:

    Oh, yeah, and a’s for the book??? GO FOR IT!! I’d buy it.

  • Lance says:

    My daughter was 2 1/2 when I divorced her mom. We kept the bad divroce stuff from her, answered any awkward questions as sweetly as possible and to this day she doesn’t seem to have any lingering issues as a result. My daughter is one of three children in her second grade class whose parents are divorced. when kids ask her about it, my daughter says “i don;t really know what happened and i don;t care. I have two awesome families now. Her mom and I remarried.

    Kids are resillient esp when they’re younger.

  • Melissa says:

    Do eeeet! And you make more money when it’s an e-book anyway :D

  • Pam says:

    If you write a book I will buy it, read it and ask for more! Without a doubt. Regardless of the topic.

  • tracy in ohio says:

    As a child of divorce twice (my parents divorced, remarried, then divorced again) I was very relieved the second time they divorced. The first time I was three or so but I don’t remember much about it. I do remember going to my dads on weekends and having a good time. My mom made the mistake of moving in with another man who was a HUGE jerk and treated me badly ( I do remember that.) The second divorce was pretty messy and my parents weren’t on speaking terms. They would bad mouth each other and give us kids a message for the other party. I hated that. If you both can act as civil as possible around each other ( at least in front of your kid) and not put her in the middle things will work out okay. Good luck!

    Aunt Becky definitely write a book! I love reading your blog! Another blogger I follow just wrote a book and had a hell of a time trying to publish it in the traditional way. He ended up self publishing e-books and some printed copies (which were pre-order but he did autograph them, hint, hint :)) He said that at 4.99 for the e-books and twenty some dollars plus shipping for the printed books he made the same profit from each. I think the route to go now is the ebook as more and more people are using e-readers, cell phones, and computers for reading. He likened it to the music industry that relies more and more on selling music online than in an actual store.
    Write about whatever. You could do a sort of collection of short stories or your humorous take on any subject. I think we would buy whatever :)

  • Crystal says:

    Dear Divorcing, Be honest with your daughter. Aunt Becky has it right about being straight forward and not try to flower it up with pretty words. My folks split when I was four and it was hidden and I didn’t understand until about 6 what happened and that it wasn’t my fault.

    Aunt Becky, WRITE IT ALL! You are inspiring and no matter what you write you know your pranksters are behind you 1000%. eBook or hard cover I’d buy it for every penny it’ll be worth!

  • Ewokmama
    Twitter: ewokmama
    says:

    Yes, write a book. PLEASE DO IT. DOOOOOO ITTTTT

  • pam says:

    I think the better question would be ‘do YOU think you should do it?’ If the answer is yes then DO IT. As Glenda said ‘the answer lies within you.’ Look at me gettin all wizard of ozzy on ya.

  • Angie says:

    Dear Aunt Becky,
    Consider me in on the book buying. Just write it already! :)

    Dear Divorcing,
    I wish that saying “I’m sorry” could make it better, but please know everyone you love will be there to support you. All you need to do is let them help. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay for you to spend your alone time being nice to YOU.

    If there’s a way to find a silver lining here, it would be that your child is three. When my husband and I separated my son was 3 and my daughter 6. My son adapted almost immediately while it took my daughter a bit longer. The best you can do for now is to assure the little one that it’s just better sometimes for Mom and Dad to live in different houses and that neither of you would ever be able to stop loving them.

    ~hugs~

  • TheBeerLady
    Twitter: TheBeerLady
    says:

    Yo, Aunt Becky – a book? Absolutely, positively yes. ‘Real’ books are cool, but e-books are also incredibly cool. Look at something like Smashwords, which allows you to publish in a multitude of formats. I haven’t published anything (yet) but I’ve been collecting possibly publishing sites so that I’m ready when the big day comes….

  • katrina says:

    Hell Aunt Becky,…you are such a gifted writer I’d buy anything you write…..but especially your grocery lists!

  • Megaboo says:

    Dear divorcing,

    As a child who is a product of a blended family and bitter divorce the best advice I can give you is this:

    1. NEVER EVER put the child in the middle or talk shit about or to eachother in front of your kids

    2. Always act kind and show respect to your ex in front of your child.

    3. Never use the child as “bait” sometimes parents are so hurt by divorce that they want to get back at the other. Don’t use your child as weapons of mass destruction.

    To me this is common sense. I wish my parents would have behaved like adults when they divorced. It took me 15 years to realize it was not my fault and move on. I hope everything works out for you and your child. I hope you find happiness. Good luck!

    AB,
    Write a book! You would be crazy not to. A book of short stories would be cool. Or even a story about your life experiences. I think an e book is the way to go.

  • Re; Divorce, here’s what I know for sure. There is LIFE after divorce. I am happily divorced and my kids were 6 and 10 when I left my husband. Here’s what else I know: kids know when the house is out of balance. My kids still say, “remember when you and dady used to fight? There was that one time…” and recount in vivid and disturbing detail any one of several nasty fights. You 3-yo will be happier with a peaceful home. It will take some adjustment, but look around you. How many of us are divorced or children of divorce? Most of us are quite well adjusted. You will be okay. Stay focused on progress and PEACE. You will BE okay.

  • Martini Mom says:

    I think most other commenters have already covered the bases regarding how to talk to your daughter about the divorce. And while that’s huge, I it’s absolutely crucial that you and your soon-to-be-ex set some ground rules about how you behave. I would echo what Megaboo said: never, ever, EVER say anything negative about your ex in front of your daughter. EVER. It will be extremely difficult not to (I say this from experience), but it’s crucial. Always remember that your relationship with your ex is completely separate from your daughter’s relationship with her father. I think it’s also very important, if you can manage it, to continue to be civil with your ex. My exhusband and I have worked really hard to ensure that we get along well enough that our son doesn’t have to deal with our bs. We can attend birthday parties, soccer games, etc. together with zero drama. Sure, there are times I’d like to punch him in the face (my ex, not my son), but my son doesn’t need to be the one to deal with it. That said, as your daughter gets older, she’ll know that you and her dad don’t always get along. Pretending that you do won’t help things either. In those instances when my son knows there’s some tension between his dad and me, I say something like “We don’t always agree on the best way to take care of you, so sometimes we get frustrated with each other. But we’ll work it out.”

    Divorce is hard, but co-parenting peacefully is a million times harder and lasts a lot longer. There are therapists who specialize in counseling co-parenting divorced couples, and they can be a god-send. Ultimately though, if both of you are committed to setting aside your own hurt feelings for the sake of your daughter, you’ll be doing great.

    It may be hard to believe now, but your daughter will be fine. Just take it one day at a time. There are a lot of children of divorced parents in the world, including myself, and we’re doing just fine. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

  • ChiMomWriter
    Twitter: chimomwriter
    says:

    Divorcing:

    There’s some great feedback already on here, so I don’t have much to add. Be honest, be loving, and be careful what you say when your kid can overhear. They absorb everything. The children’s books are a GREAT thing to use. With our “stuff” going on around home, I use a lot of “feelings words” with our 2.5 year old to help her process. What makes you sad? What makes you happy? What’s your favorite thing about spending time with mommy/daddy etc.

    Aunt Becky:

    DO IT. You clearly have stories that need to be written. Do it. You know your readers are here and eagerly await. I am still hoping I can provide a couple of contacts in the traditional publishing sphere for you, but I’m still working on it.

    You use your words well. Do it!

  • Pete In Az says:

    Dear Aunt Becky:
    Write.
    The.
    Dam.
    Book.

    k?

  • Tara says:

    Ah, divorce. I have no advice, as I am currently going through one and it really, really sucks. We’re pretty low-drama, thankfully.

    Write the book, Aunt Becky. You know you want to. We want you to also.

  • Emily R says:

    You have a good following, so you have a shot at a good customer base. But, email me and I’ll tell you the honest numbers of how many I’ve sold.

  • penny says:

    hells to the YES for an Aunt Becky book!

  • Satan says:

    i would read anything you write. : ]

    as for the publishing… i’d give traditional publishing a shot, at least! that way you get paper books, and ebooks (for those of us *raises hand* who don’t have an ebook reader).
    or, you could self-publish. you get both of the paper/ebook options that way too, i believe.

    either way, write on! you know you’ll have an audience, for sure.

  • Michy says:

    Dear Divorced,
    Most any advice I might give you has been covered, but I’m going to repeat something, because it’s SO SO SO important. (I know because my parents divorced, married others, divorced them, and then I grew up to get divorced, so I’ve seen it from every angle.) The BIGgest thing is that you never, EVER badmouth the other parent, and you need to work to get along with them for your daughter’s sake. Do whatever you must to vent, but never never never where your daughter will hear about it.

    As far as telling her, AB covered it well. Give your girl the basics in simple terms, and answer what questions she has as they come up. There’s not need to fill her in on every detail, just give her simple, straight-forward answers when she does ask.

    AB, as far as a book, my favorite format now is Kindle, especially since you can get Kindle for PC free of charge, so even if you don’t have an ebook, there’s a way to read them. But I think traditional publishing would be good as well, and I’d likely buy both an ebook AND a physical book (if I could get it autographed). And heck, I’d even volunteer to help edit and not ask for any payment! (Okay, I’d want to be able to say, “I know her!” when you’re all rich and famous.)

  • Jenn says:

    Re Book – I think you should write about your life. You sound like you’ve had a helluva life – bipolar mom, PND, PPD, tummy tuck even… You should write about that, so that others can see that they can actually get through it… y’know… ,like that Bling Chick Aunt Becky…
    (Luv ya stax)

  • Ebook first. Little upfront cost,more money in your pocket. You already have an avid fan base that pretty much assures it will be a “WIN”. Based on the numbers, you would have more “ammo” to negotiate more favorable terms for yourself when dealing with the “bloodsucking assholes” associated with the traditional publishers, shoud you choose to do so. Your fans, and stalkers, err..I mean those that admire you from afar would pretty much buy anything you wrote. I’m sure you could make the relative merits of toenail fungus medicines funny… Write Hard A.B.!!!

  • E3
    Twitter: e3writing
    says:

    I would definitely buy an e-book written by you! The nice thing about self publishing is that you can write the book entirely for YOU. If you decide to do so, I’m a professional editor (who would buy the book even if you didn’t hire me to work on it!).

    As you say, write hard :)

  • Dora says:

    No advice for Divorcing, but the other commenters and AB have given great responses. As an SMC, it’s one of the perks that my daughter will never experience her parents splitting up. I am her only parent, and I’m not divorcing her. We’re stuck with each other, so bring on the terrible twos!

    Aunt Becky, come on! You know you have to write your book. Probably several books in the years to come. E-publishing is great, but I want something to keep on a bookshelf next to my books by my other blogger/writer friends. I love the chapter you released a while back. Get typing, bitch! xoxo

  • Victoria says:

    Dear Divorcing,
    Although a lot of people have already left great advice, I wanted to give you my insight on it as well. As a child with divorcing parents (I was 8) your daughter will be fine. I believe it was the best thing my parents ever did for us. Once they split, we didn’t have to listen to the fighting and the arguing all the time and they turned out to be the best of friends (Now, I know in most cases this doesnt happen, but in my case it did)
    Also as the parent of two children who just went through divorce two years ago herself, I can tell you that she will be okay. My daughther is 3yo(one at the time) and my son, now 4yo (had just turned 3) It was a huge adjustment for them, but now two years later and they are doing great. It took a lot of explaining on why mommy and daddy didn’t live together anymore and lots of love and understanding! You are strong! you can do it!! Keep your head up!!

  • Beth
    Twitter: star_momma
    says:

    And in case my earlier comment was unclear? WRITE THAT BITCH! Or bitches. However that ends up workin’ for ya :D

  • Dave says:

    Aunt Becky,

    Thanks for responding to my post about getting out some motherfucking bookssss. Absolutely go for it (whatever the format); shit, you got skills, yo! I read every post on yo’ blog. You always brighten my days and give me much needed laughssss. If you wrote a majillion bookssss, I’d buy ‘em all. I like your style, Aunt Becky… and you’re smokin’ hot, too! Cheers.

    Dave

  • For the woman that’s divorcing, I highly recommend “What About the Kids?: Raising Your Children Before, During, and After Divorce.” It has advice for every age group that will be helpful now, later and years from now.

    Keep in mind that, although you may feel very alone, you are not the first. Every situation is unique, but there are a lot of folks out there who can help and support you regardless of who’s “decision” it was to call it quits.

  • Heather says:

    Divorcing,
    I was three when my parents gor divorced.
    Things I remember:
    -Leaving my house in the middle of the night with my mother (I was three, middle of the night could have been 8pm, all I know is it was dark)
    -My uncle picking us up in my grandfathers truck
    -My mother crying

    Things I don’t remember, so I’m pretty sure they never happened, or weren’t important to a three year old:
    -Being told what was going on
    -Where exactly my birth father was at the time we left. He may or may not have been in the home.

    So, in short, avoid crying, and leaving in the ‘middle of the night’
    A simple, ‘mommy and/or daddy will be living in a different house’ should suffice.

    :)

  • Jillian says:

    Know this comment is really late – just found your blog, and I’m slowly reading every post. As far as how a divorce affects a child is determined by the parents, child, and just plain old circumstance. My parents split when I was ten, took it hard for the first two weeks, but knowing now (15 years later) how iserable they’d both be makes me happy that they’re no longer togehter. divorces and singularly happy= SMILES ALL AROUND. together and jointly miserable=DEVESTATION and POSSIBLE SERIAL KILLERS FOR ALL…

    as far as your writing a book, put it this way – I found your blog last week, and have been stealing time at work just to read it whenever I get a chance. Go after your dreams! life is for the living, (or something like that). definitely e-publish by the way, your ideas won’t get thrown out the window, and no carbon footprint.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

About Twitter Band Back Together Facebook Muschroom Printing Subscribe

blog advertising is good for you
wholesale kids clothing

Cheap and cool tutu dresses with readers

Buy Cool Toys for Your Children at Everbuying.com at a cheap price.
Helping students solve academic writing problems through guides and manuals. TheDailyWilton.com - college newspaper devoted to essay writing.

Archives

Marchin’ for Mimi!


blog advertising is good for you