Wanted: The Ronald McDonald House for the Recently Separated

English: The Ronald McDonald House (1705 Clinc...

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The Ronald McDonald House is an organization that provides free or low-cost housing for families who have a child undergoing treatment in a hospital in a city away from their hometown.  The homes are designed to be welcoming and comfortable, providing a haven for the family while they are dealing with stress and uncertainty.

I think that same model could work for the recently separated.

When my ex left,  I found myself with I home a could not afford (literally or emotionally), no family in the city where I was employed, and I knew that I should not live alone (not that I was in any shape to go apartment hunting).  I was fortunate.  Very fortunate.  A friend and her husband immediately offered their spare bedroom, even though they had just brought home an adopted preemie that had problems of her own.  I went from 2000 square feet to 200.  It was perfect.

That home, which I was in for a year,  was a key component of my healing.  It was a safe place, filled with the sounds and energy of family.  It was space where I could cry, scream, and curse.  It was a house that provided normalcy, as my friend and I engaged in our usual debates.  It was a place for gaining strength, the baby and I both placed on weight-gaining diets.  It was a home that welcomed me, as I  was.

Not everyone undergoing a divorce has the opportunity to be in such a place.  But maybe they should.  Perhaps we could have transitional homes for those who are leaving one life behind and unsure of what the new life will entail.  Homes where discussions of depositions, custody, and infidelity are just normal nighttime ramblings.  Spaces where we can scream the anger out and cry the hurt out, until we are ready to leave intact, ready to face the world again.

I don’t see Ronald McDonald taking up this cause, so let’s help each other by creating safe spaces for those navigating the pain of an unanticipated and unwanted major life renovation.


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15 Responses

  1. lynette says:

    this is such a wonderful idea — although it does not really work if you have kids. the kids need the stability and safety of their home, which means most of the time, the parent who stays in the house is left surrounded by the walls and belongings that defined the marriage and the family.

    i could not run away to a safe place, because my kids’ safe place is here in their home. but a safe place to go, just for an hour or two, to rage and cry and wallow, where support and care awaits?

    that would truly be a blessing…

  2. wercnc says:

    I like your idea…..just recently I was sitting here having a very down day. My feeling was that NOBODY understood my pain, nor could anyone comprehend my feelings of emptiness and loniness. It is really surprising when a separation occurs, you suddenly realize who your friends are and who you can call and talk to. It seems the numbers are dwindling. So I thought to myself, I wish I had someone to talk to and the idea of RENT A MOTHER popped into my head. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had someone to talk to who understood and had our best interest at heart. Someone who would listen, not judge and take the kids so you could cry or rage or sort your sock drawer. Whether it’s a safe house like yours or a rent a mother idea like mine, we all need the same thing, support, compassion and love.

    • I love it!! It is so true that we all need that compassion at times. I was lucky enough to work in a school where there was lots of maternal energy to soak up. I hope today is a better day for you.

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