English by birth, Mandy studied Business Administration at the University of Bath, England. In 1986 she emigrated to the United States and spent the next twenty years working in financial services. Of the many hats Mandy wore during that time, she was responsible for handling formal customer complaints and major service resolution issues giving her a solid foundation in dispute resolution.
With a change of career in mind, Mandy graduated in 2008 with a Masters in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. While pursuing her journalism studies, Mandy and her husband of seventeen years divorced and it was that experience that led to Mandy’s new career as a divorce coach and mediator.
Mandy is a member of the Mediation Association of Colorado, the Boulder County Bar Association and also serves on the Board of Children First of The Rockies, a non-profit that provides safe exchanges and supervised visits for children on the Front Range in Colorado
1) Tell us what your blog is about and what inspired its conception?
Since My Divorce, inspired by my own divorce, is collection of people’s stories about life after divorce, shared with the hope of making my readers’ own journeys a little easier, whether that comes from gaining a different perspective, growing in compassion, greater understanding or knowing they are not alone.
2) Who is your ideal reader and what do you hope they can gain from your blog?
My ideal reader is someone who is going through divorce whether it’s them or their spouse who initiated it or who is considering divorce and wants to know more about what to expect. I hope that my blog helps them on several levels. I hope the stories help them see that divorce is another life event that shouldn’t be stigmatized or judged. I hope they’ll find some practical solutions to the complexities of untangling from your spouse and I hope they’ll get the sense that they are not alone because divorce can be a very isolating time of your life.
3) Where do you see your blog in 5 years’ time and will the topic continue to be as prevalent in the same vein you have blogging about it?
I’d love for Since My Divorce to still be around in five years’ time – most blogs don’t make it past a couple of years and Since My Divorce has already been going for over five years. The need for divorce-related information certainly is not going to go away and I think people will still need to learn about the tools and skills for ending a significant relationship with dignity and respect.
4) How do you continually find content for your blog?
My blog is about sharing other people’s stories so the content comes mostly from interviews with other people. Very few people turn down an interview request – I think on a fundamental level we all like to help others and we like to feel we’re making a difference.
5) What opportunities has your blog provided you?
Starting my blog was part of my midlife transformation although I didn’t know it at the time. I’d spent 20+ years in customer service and operations in Financial Services when I took a severance from that job. I went back to school for journalism partly because I didn’t have any idea about what I wanted to do for the rest of life. That led to the blog which led to divorce coaching which then led to divorce mediation. Now I have a whole new career centered around helping others and that’s important to me.
6) Do you think there are enough resources out there for children of divorce? What do you think is missing or what can we improve on?
I think we need more resources specifically for children, rather than their parents, giving them tools and skills for renegotiating their relationships with their parents and siblings following divorce, how to love both parents without choosing and what they can do to avoid getting caught in the middle. The challenge is getting the resources to the children because often they are dependent on their parents for access. It would be great to create to an coaching program for children that could be delivered in school perhaps as an after-school program.
7) Why did you decide to create some free audio and how does that complement your blog?
The free audio programs are timeless content such as deciding if divorce is right for you, essential preparations for divorce and parenting after divorce. They really are the basics, the starting points for anyone who is ending their marriage and getting that information out is about helping people to get started on the journey. Frankly, it’s much easier for me to turn these teleconferences into audio programs than to keep organizing the teleconferences.
8) Tell us about My Divorce Pal
My Divorce Pal is an affordable, self-guided, online divorce coaching program created from the interviews for my blog. It covers five main areas: deciding to divorce, preparing for divorce, financial preparations, parenting and divorce, and self-care. In total there are over 50 different modules each of which comes with a worksheet so you can apply the message in the module to your specific situation. It’s a great learning tool.
Membership in the program gives access to all the modules which you can do in any order because, divorce is not a neat, orderly process as much as the law would like us to believe it does. I do firmly believe that you will easily save the cost of your membership through finding out more about divorce, making more informed decisions and making better use of the hired professionals on your team.
9) Do you have any advice for aspiring bloggers?
I don’t like to put anyone off blogging because it’s been such a great learning opportunity for me. Blogging about your divorce can be challenging since it can cause difficulties with your ex and privacy concerns for your children. That makes it hard to be authentic about what’s happening and if you can’t be authentic then you may be losing some of the therapeutic benefit of blogging. This leads many people to using a pseudonym and that’s probably the safest way to start. I still caution people though, especially if they’re still in the legal process. You absolutely do not want to jeopardize your parenting arrangement or financial settlement because of something you wrote in a moment of overwhelming emotion.
THANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
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Blog: Since My Divorce
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