The day I got divorced, I took my wedding and engagement rings off of my left hand and put another ring on my right hand. Not to celebrate my "freedom" or to commemorate the event or anything like that- I did not celebrate being divorced even a little bit- but to reaffirm my commitment to my family. I have worn the ring every day since and have been happy with my decision for so many reasons I didn't expect, so today I'm sharing why I'm glad I have it. If you are facing a divorce yourself, you might consider if this might be a good choice for you too- I don't think it's for everyone, but I do think it's worthy of consideration.
1. It's a nice piece of jewelry
I got the ring off of Etsy- I wanted some kind of "mother's ring" to remind me of the girls, and fell in love with this one with the vines intertwined with the birth stones for each child (obviously I went with the colors I have always used to color code the girls' stuff since they were babies, rather than their birthstones, which would have been the same...). So the first reason I love the ring is that it's a beautiful piece of jewelry! :) Why should only married people have a nice ring to wear every day?
2. It is a symbol for me of my commitment
When I was married, I wore my wedding and engagement rings all the time- I never took them off, even to shower (I don't recommend that, by the way). It was a symbol to me of my commitment to my marriage, and it was just a part of who I was (and who I presented myself as to the world). When I got divorced, having the new ring to put on gave me the sense that I was not abandoning my commitment, but rather transferring my commitment. Rather than having a constant reminder of my commitment to my husband, I now have a constant reminder of my commitment to my children- they are now my entire immediate family.
3. It is a source of comfort for my children
This is something I didn't anticipate when I got the ring, but has become one of the main reasons I love my ring now. Especially when they were toddlers, but throughout their lives, the girls have gone through periods of separation anxiety and it was very difficult for all three of us. One day I sat down and showed them my ring, and explained to them (they were around 2 years old) that the two stones were the two of them, and the vines were me, always surrounding them, always there. I explained that I wore it every day because I was always thinking about them and because I was always their Mommy. Since then, even 2 years later, the ring has been a source of comfort for them when they are having a difficult time leaving. When they are upset, I can simply show them my ring and let them feel it in their hands- I don't have to say anything, and it doesn't take much time, but it always comforts them and reminds them that I am always there for them no matter what.
4. It is a symbol for others
I have had several meaningful conversations with people who have asked me about my ring, including my students, coworkers, and friends. I am very comfortable sharing (the basic facts of) my story at this point, and I love any chance I get to tell people how much my children mean to me! Without a wedding ring, many people assume I am single without kids. Sure, don't care about what people think, blah blah blah, but it helps me knowing that my ring at least gives people pause, and often provides me the opportunity to tell people a little about who I am as a mother, without wearing a giant sign on my chest when the girls aren't with me.
5. It provides a sense of normalcy
This is minor but when I got divorced, it was a huge change. A lot of things about how I lived, how I identified myself, and how others saw me changed dramatically. Having a ring to put on every morning, to twiddle with mindlessly (as I was in the habit of doing), and see when I look at my hands somehow eased that one small change of taking off my wedding and engagement rings. It may not seem like a big deal, but I really think it helped things seem a little less strange.
6. It helped with the pain of the day itself
I've already sort-of said this in so many words, but knowing that I had another ring to put on to show my commitment to my children helped ease my dread of taking off the other rings on the day of the divorce. I actually got the ring several weeks before the actual divorce, but decided to wait until it was finalized to help with the day of the divorce. I actually had something to look forward to that day- I like this ring a lot more than my engagement and wedding rings- they are much more my style! ;) Being able to put on the new ring helped brighten an otherwise difficult afternoon (that, and the Sonic coconut cream milkshake I got on the way home).
I am so grateful that I have this ring for so many reasons. If you are divorced or heading towards a divorce, have you considered anything like this?