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Divorce, Kids, and Being a Single Parent

with

Tim & Jolie Cotten

This week, we have a highly requested episode for you all! Kait brings on Tim and Jolie from the Blended Project to come on the show and discuss dating after divorce AND dating when you and/or the person your dating has kids!

Tim and Jolie are the Instagram owners of The Blended Project. What started out as a way for Tim to document their Journey of blending a family of seven, soon turned into a source of inspiration for many of their growing followers. With God at the Forefront, Tim and Jolie discuss the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly of blending a family.  You will find however, it is not limited to just blending blissfully. They hit on many topics such as parenting, relationships, roles that men and women bring to the table and so much more!

On this episode Kait, Tim, and Jolie discuss healing after divorce and practical things to take into consideration when kids are involved! You don't want to miss this!

What is the Blended Project?

  • Originally it started as sharing their story as they progressed to the next step.
  • Not many people see life after divorce and life into a blended family, so they wanted to share their story. 
  • Both Tim and Jolie were previously married and had children of their own beforehand. 

What was it like healing after a divorce?

  • Jolie talks about how a divorce is a painful thing to go through and amits that even today she’s not fully healed.
  • Jolie says that it’s a journey that she is still on and one that never truly finishes
  • Tim says that after the divorce he felt like he was a failure in many people’s eyes especially as a father. 
  • Tim said his parent’s got divorce when he was a kid and he felt he was falling in his father’s footsteps and he said he felt judged and there was a lot for him to heal from. 
  • It took a few years for him to move to the next stage of his life. 
  • Healing after divorce it’s easy to blame everything that happened on the other person, however Tim talked about how he chose to self-reflect.
  • Time spent a lot of time going to counseling after the divorce and said he needed to figure out where he was first so he could be a better father for his kids as they also felt the effects of the divorce. 
  • For some people the process may take longer than others when it comes to healing and coming to a place of self-realization

What was the response to people in your life, including your church communities, as you faced divorce and what’s your response to some stigmas behind it?

  • Tim said he unfortunately faced many people coming across as self-righteous, especially Christians in his circle and family because of his divorce.
  • He says he did feel looked down upon and he felt alone and not trusting many people because of their negative response. 
  • He felt that a lot of people that accepted it were those who have also been through it.
  • Joli says that divorce is a messy thing, and they’re not looking for it to be accepted, but looking for some grace and understanding.
  • It’s important to have a seek to understand mentality instead of assuming the worst. 
  • Tim said he’s been humbled by his experience and those who’ve faced divorce do learn some valuable lessons.

How do you make time to date when you have kids and not feel guilty about it?

  • If you neglect taking care of yourself, it’s going to change your mental state and it will lead to your parenting. 
  • You have to put yourself first through prayer and through trusting that God will work everything out. 
  • Once you take care of yourself, it makes you so much of a better parent. Yes, you need to take care of your kids but you are more mentally stable when you’re taking care of yourself first.
  • A lot of people wait for the “perfect time” but that perfect time isn’t coming. 

If you have kids or were previously divorced, at what point do you mention to the person that you’re dating of these things?

  • There’s no real right or wrong answer as it’s a personal thing to share, however Jolie does suggest telling them in the very beginning
  •  You shouldn’t be afraid of it scaring someone away. If they’re afraid of hearing it, they’re not the right person for you. 
  • This shouldn’t be something you should hide. 
  • When you’re dating with children, you are looking for qualities that they’ll positively impact your children as well. Essentially, you’re looking for a mother or father figure in your childrens’ lives. 
  • It’s all about owning your story and not being ashamed of it. 

When do you introduce your kids to the person you’re dating/ to the person’s kids that you’re dating?

  • Tim talks about how it’s almost a bit of an instinct based on your kids and if they understand what’s going on .
  • If you’re kids are old enough to understand you also want to make sure they’re healing well and make sure they understand the notion that you are going to start dating again. 
  • A lot of introducing them depends on the child’s age. 
  • Don’t just spring it on them, but have a plan, pray about it, and walk them through it.
  • Make your kids feel involved in the process, it helps them feel more accepting of the process.
  • There’s not a perfect time to introduce them, each kid will process it in a different way.
  • Jolie says to not introduce the kids right away and they waited until they were dating for a year to introduce them. 
  • It’s easy to be a little selfish in this time and want things to move a little quicker than they should, but in this case, the children do come first when it comes to dating.
  • It’s not about when the mom or dad is ready, it’s when the kids are ready. 

What is your final nugget of dating advice?

  • Be patient with the process, if you try to rush it you’re going to make mistakes. 
  • Take time to learn about yourself through the process

Connect with Tim & Jolie!

Follow The Blended Project on Instagram HERE!

Like The Blended Project on Facebook HERE!

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Tim & Jolie Cotten

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