Divorce, Part 2: How Do I Talk To My Kids About Divorce with Dr. Penelope Underwood | EU 2632 min read

August 19, 2020

What happens in the lead up to the divorce? How does your divorce impact the other people in your life? What other changes do you have to make in your life when you leave? In part 2 of this podcast episode, Veronica Cisneros continues her conversation with Dr. Penelope Underwood about divorce, this time discussing […]

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I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, marriage coach, course creator, retreat host, mother of 3, married for 23 years and host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 


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What happens in the lead up to the divorce? How does your divorce impact the other people in your life? What other changes do you have to make in your life when you leave?

In part 2 of this podcast episode, Veronica Cisneros continues her conversation with Dr. Penelope Underwood about divorce, this time discussing the changes in your life after divorce and how it affects your kids.

Meet Dr. Penelope Underwood

Dr. Penelope Underwood has been a licensed clinical psychologist for close to 17 years. She studied at UCLA and Pepperdine then worked on the adolescent unit of an inpatient psychiatric hospital. She spent the majority of her career providing services in an adolescent group home and ran a small private practice. More recently, She has been running group therapy with an intensive outpatient population and is expanding her private practice. She is a single mom of two children and made that transition after a 20-year marriage.

Through all the challenges that her transition brought her, she learned a lot about herself and redefined who she is more authentically and congruent with her soul. Although this was not easy and admits it will always be a work in progress. She states, as with any transition comes an opportunity for growth, and that growth has afforded her the kind of happiness that makes this turn of the earth worth living. Her goal is to assist others in their transition so they get the same opportunity to live their best lives.

Visit Dr. Underwood’s website. Get in touch via email drpunderwoord@gmail.com or call 951-395-0972

In This Podcast


  • The time leading up to divorce
  • The widespread impact of your divorce
  • The process takes time
  • Follow-up questions
  • Living the life she wants

The time leading up to divorce

Once Dr. Underwood decided that divorce would be the best course of action, it took her a couple of months before she was actually able to have that conversation. In those months, she and her husband tried therapy, but she was constantly feeling suffocated and came to realize that it just wasn’t going to work. She talked with two of her close friends about the situation and confronted how unhappy she was in the marriage, despite the beautiful big house and their two wonderful children.

She took the time to think everything over properly and not to make any rash decisions, taking into consideration what would be best for her, for him, and for their kids. The divorce was only final after about 4 years but, much like her month-to-month rental after leaving her husband, she took each month as it came and tried to see each month as a new opportunity for her to become stronger.

The widespread impact of your divorce

Divorce affects more people than just the two of you in the marriage, as there is a ripple effect on your children, immediate and extended family, and also your friends. It’s good to be considerate of this possible ripple effect but remember that respecting others’ feelings regarding your divorce should not come at the cost of your own feelings and needs, even though this will not be easy.

You’re going to find that some of the people around you will not always be supportive of your decision to get a divorce. This often happens when there isn’t one breaking point, such as adultery, but when the divorce comes after multiple, complex issues and when there isn’t an outright “good guy” or “bad guy”. Since they don’t necessarily know everything that’s going on, people are likely to side with whichever person they feel is the “good guy”, and that might not always be you.

You made the decision for a reason and after a lot of consideration, so you must trust in that decision and not let those around you break you down. Oftentimes, their reaction to your decision might even be a reflection of their own feelings or situation, so you need to try not to take what they say or think about you too personally.

The process takes time

A very important thing to remember is that the whole process of divorce – lead-up, legal, personally having conversations, etc. – takes time and it’s going to be uncomfortable for most of that time, as you’re going to be feeling all kinds of things; scared, deflated, overwhelmed, insecure, ashamed, and more. But, if you lean into those feelings as time goes by, it will become more manageable.

Follow-up questions

The ball kept rolling and I didn’t have to know where it was gonna roll. I just focused on one step at a time.

Once you’ve asked yourself if you should stay in your marriage or get a divorce, there are some follow-up questions that come up when you’re figuring out what will happen if you leave:

  • What are you going to do for finances?
  • How are the holidays going to work?
  • How do you and your ex stay friends after the divorce?
  • When is the right time to bring someone else into the picture?
    – This is dependent on the individual person and their situation. On the one hand, we as humans want connection and want meaningful relationships, but you must be sure that you’re not jumping into anything before you are truly ready and before your kids are ready. You don’t want to be spending time on a relationship that is not going to last, and you definitely don’t want to be bringing people in and out of your kids’ lives while they are still reeling from the divorce. When you pursue a new relationship, ask yourself why you’re in it and if they are someone you really want to be with for the long haul before you consider bringing them into the picture. It’s also important to pay attention to your children’s emotions and if they will be able to handle it when you potentially start dating someone new.

Living the life she wants

I could have just been “poor me, nobody loves me”, and try to really make my kid’s father look bad, but that’s not reality. My reality still is valid, and it’s okay for me to want to live it a different kind of life for me.

Dr. Underwood uses each and every day as an opportunity to lean into her fears and to stretch herself by doing new things, something she has been focusing on since the beginning of her divorce experience. She tries to see pain as an opportunity for growth, rather than wallowing in the pain and self-pity. 

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Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic Podcast I’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life. So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist. Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[VERONICA]: Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a family of podcasts that changed the world. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Imperfect Thriving, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network. Hey, ladies. We’re back for part two with Dr. Underwood. Raising kids is so hard, especially when you factor in divorce. What do I say? What do I do? How do I have this conversation with my kids? Dr. Underwood answers those exact questions in this episode. If you haven’t already, I want you to listen to part one. Should I stay or is it time to go? Grab a pen and paper, ladies, because you’re gonna want to take notes and share this with your friends. ________________________________________ [VERONICA]: Take me through this. So you had the revelation and you were able to go ahead and say this out loud. You started to take baby steps. What did it look like when it was time to actually have the conversation? [PENELOPE]: Well, I think that was… it took a couple of months before I actually had that conversation. I had gone… [unclear] to be careful that I’m not too open about that. [VERONICA]: Of course. [PENELOPE]: But there was some conversation and I think at that point in my life, I felt like I knew that he wasn’t going to be the fit that I needed. And it wasn’t like… I did go to therapy, I went to therapy with him a couple of times, and I kind of knew it wasn’t going to work. And I’m not advocating, like… if you think you can go to therapy and work through it, by all means. [VERONICA]: Yeah. You’re just sharing your experience. [PENELOPE]: Try to save that, right? Like, if it works, it works. But for me, I think probably because of my career, my profession, like, I kind of knew that emotionally, we weren’t the same person, and our needs weren’t the same. And so I just remember just feeling suffocated, and wanting out, and I had many conversations with that same girlfriend. I knew her since I was 14, like, she’s amazing, and still a great source of support for me. And I also have a friend from grad school that I can talk to openly. So I think these dialogues got me kind of like, really facing how unhappy I was. And I had this huge 3400 square foot, beautifully decorated, Ethan Allen, you know, like type furniture, it was beautiful. It was everything you could ever want, right? And these two beautiful kids, and this house, and it’s like, I felt suffocated by it. We had things everywhere and the things weren’t making me happy. We had debt, we had, you name it. It looked pretty from the outside, but from the inside, it felt chaotic to me. And I think I just made that decision. I had another girlfriend who I didn’t really know that well and ended up being one of my best friends now. She had a room for rent, and I remember seeing her and going, do you still have that room for rent? And somehow I made that choice to do that. Every step of the way I was like… [VERONICA]: I remember. [PENELOPE]: Am I gonna do this? Am I gonna do this? Yeah, like it was… yeah. [VERONICA]: I remember having those conversations with you – mind you, you guys, we worked together and we became besties like automatically. And I remember having those conversations with you, in my office, in your office. And I remember you really, really thinking this through. [PENELOPE]: Yes. [VERONICA]: And I remember telling you that I admire your ability to just not be so impulsive and not just go for it. You really took things, both for you and for him and for the kids, you took it all into consideration. And every move you made, it was well thought out. It wasn’t like this crazy, designed plan, but it was like, okay, well, what’s my next move, and where am I at with this? [PENELOPE]: Right. And that’s how it was. It probably took me – let me think – it was three or four years before the divorce was final. That’s a long time. And when I made that decision to move out with my friend, I knew it was a temporary decision. I didn’t invest a lot in it. It’s a room I could rent month to month. And that’s how I looked at it, like, I’m going to take it from this month to the next month. And then when I was there, I thought to myself, do I want to go back? And I had lots of debates inside my head, with friends, like, do I go back? Do I stay? But it was never I wanted to go back for the relationship. It was always I wanted to go back to what was normal, and routine, what I knew. And when I looked at that critically, I could say, no, I think this is where I need to be. Right here. And so every month became a new opportunity for me to get stronger and more clarity about that choice. So yes, it took a long time and I don’t think… it is going to be something that just kind of hits you and you’re able to do it. I don’t think that’s a good thing either. I think it is important with something so life changing, and it has such an impact on so many people, that you do do it step by step. [VERONICA]: I love that you said it has such a huge impact. Not just your family, not just your immediate family, your outside extended family, and friends. I have a friend who is kind of going through something similar and her biggest fear is everybody’s gonna blame her. Everybody’s gonna blame her, because he’s this amazing guy, and he’s a great father, which is true. Like I said, we’re not doing this to go ahead and make anybody look like the monster, or the victim, or the hero. Not at all. This is just recognizing when a relationship is no longer healthy for you personally. And so, she’s struggling with that, and, matter of fact, she had asked me to – you know, I told her you were coming on – and she’s like, oh, my God. How do you handle that? Because in so many ways, yes, you want to go ahead and respect other people’s feelings. However, it can’t come at the cost of yours. [PENELOPE]: Right. I mean, that’s ultimately the end game, right? Like, the finale of that question, right? [VERONICA]: Yes. [PENELOPE]: But I’m not gonna say it’s easy, because there were a lot of people – some that I expected and some that I didn’t – that were not supportive of my decision. And I hear this from a lot of moms that are going through this, that they’re like, I almost wish he would cheat on me, or [unclear]. [VERONICA]: Let’s just get it over with. Here we go. Yeah. Whatever. You got the whole house to yourself, I got the kids. [PENELOPE]: Yeah. But it doesn’t work like that. Because, you’re right, we want the good guy, bad guy thing. And I think that so many people operate from this black and white perspective that they want to put people in those categories because it’s painful. Instead of just acknowledging that this is painful for themselves, they have to put us in these bad guy categories. And so you have to kind of go back to what you just said, which is, how am I going to be authentic and true to myself? Am I going to live my life for other people, or am I going to do it for me? And remember, that benefits our kids. Don’t you want that for your kids? I was thinking about it, when I would get a lot of backlash from family, not just family but friends too… and when I say backlash, I didn’t feel anything overtly; it was really covertly. You could kind of feel that people were unhappy with you. I almost felt like the scarlet letter. [VERONICA]: Oh, yes. I’m glad you said that. [PENELOPE]: Yes. And I think that’s the painful part, is feeling shame and guilt. And like, I’m hedonistic and impulsive, and I just want… I went to the gym and got thin and so this is the reason why I’m doing this. [VERONICA]: Yes. Watch out. [PENELOPE]: Yeah, I [unclear]. Yeah. It was never that. But they didn’t understand that, and I kind of had to keep that like, that’s theirs, this is mine. And if I… kind of lost my train of thought on that, but if I go back to where, you know, what is best for my kids, it’s… So I think it becomes this thing where I’m separate from them, and their reaction to my choice is their reaction to that choice. And I understand that it causes them pain, but I can’t fix their pain for them. I have to let that be theirs. So even though it’s coming at me personal, it’s not personal. I found that the people that had the strongest reactions to my choice, it’s usually a reflection for them. [VERONICA]: Girl, yes. Yes. And as therapists, we’re able to say that, because if something’s triggering you, well, it’s an insecurity you have that you haven’t worked on; we can say that. When we’re in it, though. It doesn’t feel that way. We’re now triggered, because it’s like, holy moly, I’ve been back and forth about this decision. I’m still not sure if this is the… you know, I’m doing everything 100% correct, I’m doing everything 100% healthy, because there is no guideline. I mean, we’re both therapists and we still couldn’t provide anybody with 100% proof guideline. [PENELOPE]: Right. [VERONICA]: No way. There’s no way. And so, because of that there are insecurities. And then in addition to that, it’s uncharted territory. And like we said, you do want to be respectful of your friends and family. And at the same time, you can’t drink their poison. [PENELOPE]: Right. You can’t live their lives. Your choice has to be for you. Otherwise, you go back to the hamster wheel. You’re now living for them, and that creates anxiety because you’re not authentic. [VERONICA]: Yes. And ladies, you might do that, you might find yourself where you’re taking two steps forward, and then five steps back, and then 10 steps forward, and then only three steps back and then, all of a sudden, you’re going for a mile and you end up in some marathon because you’re literally running because you’re feeling that confident, and that secure in your decision. And that takes time, and I appreciate that Penny is stressing on all of this takes time. And it’s gonna be uncomfortable, it’s gonna feel… you’re probably gonna have all of these emotions, you know, scared, feeling defeated, feeling overwhelmed, feeling insecure, feeling even possible shame. [PENELOPE]: Right. [VERONICA]: And even with those feelings, again, we get to lean in, we get to lean in and get comfortable with them. Because as we get comfortable with them, that fear sort of subsides. [PENELOPE]: It does. It becomes manageable. I always say that the intensity we need to bring down so that we can manage the emotion, but the emotion is not going to go away. It’s still going to be part of who we are. So this process for me was painful, it was scary, it was embarrassing, it was all those things. And was I going to go back home so that I avoid those feelings? Or am I going to figure out how to deal with those feelings? [VERONICA]: Yes, yes. 100%. [PENELOPE]: And that can be, like you said, in any relationship, at any point in your life, whether it’s a working relationship, the moms on your baseball team, or your son’s baseball team, or whatever, right? Like, it’s in any avenue that we have to kind of look at how are we dealing with our emotions? Are we running away? Are we trying to fit a narrative so that others are happy? But then what happens to us? [VERONICA]: Yes. And I think as we start to develop this approach, one question that was asked is, if I leave, what am I going to do for finances? If I leave, what am I going to do? What am I going to say to my kids? How am I going to go ahead and still be a mom? What is it going to look like with me being away from them on holidays? How did you approach that? So going in, I mean, obviously, there’s going to be change. There’s going to be change for everybody. So now, knowing that, and doing your own work to go ahead and make this decision, now how do you handle that? How do you handle that change? [PENELOPE]: Well, each step was a step for me. So I felt fortunate. I knew that I was coming into this with a career and an education and a license to practice. So I knew that I had the ability to make some money and I continue to be in those bad relationships, you know, the bad contract with the county, because I needed that to survive. And what I found is that I was now in charge of my money, and living in that little tiny casita, paying rent, and paying for my car, my student loan, and feeding my kids, I found I was still surviving. I wasn’t making a ton of money. I was still surviving. But now, I wasn’t losing a lot of money because I wasn’t expending it excessively. So I kind of felt like, oh, okay, I’m actually doing better than I thought, because now I’m in control of this. So that piece started to kind of resolve on its own and it wasn’t for a couple years, but then I started to make another choice and started working full time at the outpatient program we met at. So for me it was I just kept taking that and the ball kept rolling and I didn’t have to know where it was gonna roll. I just focused on one step at a time. ________________________________________ [VERONICA]: Hey ladies, Are you loving this episode? Because if you are, share it with your friends. In addition to that, I want to personally invite you into my private Facebook group, Empowered and Unapologetic. On this page, I want you to post what was your favorite episode? What lessons have you learned? And what was your greatest takeaway? On there, it’s an interactive page where you find women just like you, learning and growing. ________________________________________ [PENELOPE]: And what was your other question? It was about the kids in the holidays, right? Like, that was another thing that transitioned over time. In the beginning, we celebrated together. Actually, for years we celebrated together. So Christmas, I would go over to the house and we would celebrate together, and then finally I started renting my own house, got out of that little casita, rented my own house and then he came over and celebrated Christmas. And then it was time where I started dating someone, and that didn’t make sense anymore. And so, in the last year we have separated so that we’re not celebrating holidays together. That’s just what worked for us. We had a working relationship. I’m fortunate enough that I feel my ex was not going to be vindictive in that way, that he wanted what’s best for the kids too. Our goals were always what was best for the kids, so we could kind of come to a conclusion about how to make that happen. And so that made sense for us, that transition was smoother. But that doesn’t work for everybody. I know not everybody’s going to have the same relationship with their ex that I have. [VERONICA]: What do you think it was? Because that’s another question. How do you stay friends after divorce? Is it possible, especially for the kids? [PENELOPE]: It is. It is possible, but both parties have to want that. [VERONICA]: Bingo. [PENELOPE]: If one party’s invested in the other being the bad guy, it won’t work, because they’ll look for any evidence, or pseudo evidence, they’ll create evidence, it’s not really valid, to support, well, you suck, right? And if that happens, then it’s a lose-lose for those kids. But if you can get your partner, or your ex partner, to see that what is best for the kid has always got to be the priority in the decision making, not who’s winning, or who’s losing, then the goal becomes a little bit clearer. So if you can have that discussion, if it’s not happening already, to try to help get your partner to see that, then hopefully, you guys can come to some sort of conclusion on okay, how to make that happen. But even still, like, as we made that transition, the holidays became our new norm that we would celebrate together. Well, then I moved on, and that’s no longer a norm that I want to continue. And so I had to look at it too, that a holiday’s on a day. It’s just a day. It’s arbitrary, right? So if Christmas is on the 25th, and it’s his turn to have Christmas, I can create Christmas on the 26th. [VERONICA]: Yes. [PENELOPE]: It doesn’t have to be on the 25th; we’ve just come up with this is the day. And same with the birthdays. It’s not the day that matters; it’s the celebration that matters. So even if your partner’s not willing to work with you on that, or at some point in your life it doesn’t make sense to do it together, you have to figure out a way to celebrate the moment, just differently. [VERONICA]: Absolutely. And I think that takes so much courage and confidence. And as you’ve stated earlier, it’s working on it step by step that builds up that level of confidence. And in addition to that, one thing I want to mention is it also builds up your level of self worth. Because now you realize, wait a minute, no, I am worth this, I am worth more, I am worth being able to ask this, I am worth being able to celebrate Christmas on the 26th, you know, instead of on the 25th. I can do these things, and I don’t have to be this state official to go ahead and nominate this day as Christmas, or whatever the heck, it could be me. It could be me that makes this decision because I get to go ahead and create this environment, and this experience, for all of us. [PENELOPE]: Right. It’s empowering. Because it’s no longer, oh, poor me. I’m a victim. I don’t get to celebrate Christmas with my kids. It’s like, no, you just do it on a different day. [VERONICA]: Bingo. [PENELOPE]: You just make it just as amazing. [VERONICA]: Yeah. You switch your perspective. [PENELOPE]: You just switch it. Yeah. [VERONICA]: You switch your perspective. [PENELOPE]: Yeah, yeah. [VERONICA]: So here we go. Let me ask another question. When is the right time to bring someone new into the picture? [PENELOPE]: I think that, again, it’s going to be a question that’s dependent on each relationship and each person. I can just speak that, for me, I didn’t bring my kids around anybody that I didn’t think that this was going to be long term. If I had any sort of doubts about that, then I wasn’t gonna bring my kids around. And I didn’t do a ton of dating before that, but there were one or two relationships where I just knew it wasn’t gonna be the one. And so I was very cautious about that, you know, I didn’t want them to be exposed to anybody, because that’s confusing. [VERONICA]: A hundred percent. And I think that’s important for women to understand, is where is this? And I know with maybe, you know, getting out of a relationship and wanting so badly to get into a new one because of what everybody wants you to… everybody wants you to be in a relationship. Everybody wants you to be a family, and what they think a family is, when in reality, you don’t have to be so quick to do that. And being able to go ahead and pay that time, and respect, not only for yourself, but also for your kids. Because if you’re bringing new people in and out of your life, like you said, what message? You know what I mean? [PENELOPE]: Right. That relationships are fleeting, right? And I don’t want them to feel that way. [VERONICA]: Bingo. [PENELOPE]: And we’re human beings, we’re wired to be in a relationship, we want that connection. And I think when we’re in the middle of divorce, it’s super painful. So you’re looking for something to fill that void, to help you with that pain. And sometimes a relationship can be that. So you have to ask yourself, is this relationship, am I in it because it makes me feel better at helping me deal with my feelings on this? Or is this the person I really want to be with and I’m connected to? And so I’ve only introduced them to… well, I’ve only been in two relationships. The first relationship I did not introduce my kids to, but this one I did, because this one I feel like is right, good, it’s healthy for me, and I want to model that for my kids. So I hope that this turns out to be the forever relationship I feel like it will be. But they get to see that whole process because, you know, I think it’s a healthy one for them to see. [VERONICA]: Absolutely. I agree. And I haven’t even commented, as you had gone farther in the relationship and things started to get more serious, just your attitude and your outlook on life was so much different. It was so much different. It was like, oh, my God, I have my Penny back. And it was so amazing to see, because, I have to say, I watched her in this process, and I watched her struggle, and I watched her just go back and forth on really making a healthy decision. And, like I mentioned earlier, I admired that about you, because there was so much patience. There was so much patience, and in addition to that, you rode that uncomfortable wave so well. And I know there were times you were kicking and screaming and still, you still respected those emotions. [PENELOPE]: Right. Yeah, I wasn’t going to be afraid of them anymore. I wasn’t numb. I wasn’t anxious anymore. I was feeling, and that’s the thing that I always said to myself. Whenever I was in pain, I say, at least I’m feeling. I’m in it, I’m not avoiding it anymore. And I think this relationship is one that enhances me, but it doesn’t make or break me. And I think that’s important for a healthy relationship, you want to, like you said earlier, you want to have these moments where you’re independent, and then you’re interdependent, and that’s what I looked for. And I have that emotional connection that I’ve been seeking. And it’s like, ah, this is why I did all this. This is why I did the hard work, but I want and need this. [VERONICA]: Absolutely. When Willie and I were one month away from divorce, we were both so dependent on each other. I mean, there was just this unhealthy level of dependence, and I needed him to meet all of my needs, and he needed me to meet all of his needs, and we were just constantly met with this wall of resistance and resentment. And we ended up being separated for a good amount of time. And, although it was painful, I’m so thankful for that time period because I really got to figure out what I wanted and what I didn’t want. And he was able to do the same thing. And in so many ways, I remember being well, you know, certain things are non negotiable. Certain things are non negotiable. And being able to have that voice taught me so much about myself as a person, and as a mom, just as a human being as a whole,. And so, I wanted to close with one question that I ask all my guests. What are you doing right now to live the life you want to live? [PENELOPE]: That’s a good question. I think that every day is an opportunity for that, you know, being here and stretching myself and doing a podcast. It’s leaning into that fear, right? I’m putting myself out there, I’m having a conversation that [unclear] listen to. [VERONICA]: [Unclear] have closed doors. [PENELOPE]: Right, like, I have no problem talking about myself. So that’s stretching myself. I still love my gym. I go every day. I have two gyms I go to. I love it. Every day I’m trying to stretch myself there. For me, it’s always about nature, and hiking, and adventures, whether it’s going to the desert – I’ve going with my boyfriend and our kids to the desert, it’s a new experience for me – or whether it’s going to Yosemite, I’ve been to you Yosemite, like, five times in a year. [VERONICA]: Yeah, you have. [PENELOPE]: I just love that exploring this earth and all that’s out there. But also, I’m still building me. I now have this little home for my kids, and my finances are in place, and I’m trying to build my private practice and stretch myself and grow there too, because ultimately that’s what I want to do, is I want to help people do what I did because it’s so personal to me. I know the pain that people go through on either side of that, whether they’re the ones that feel rejected, or they’re the ones that are doing the rejecting. I get it. And I want for them to recognize that this is an opportunity for growth, that if we’re the ones being rejected, how did we get here? And if we’re blindsided, how were we blindsided, right? Like, there’s something that we can learn from, from all of these experiences that are only going to make us better if we allow it. If we stay stuck in… I could have been the victim as a scarlet letter. And I could have just been like, poor me, nobody loves me, and try to really make my kid’s father look bad. But that’s not reality. The reality is, my reality still is valid, and it’s okay for me to want to live a different kind of life for me. So it gave me an opportunity to work on myself, to work on my relationships with my family. I have a wonderful relationship with my parents and my siblings, much more so than I felt like I did before. And I feel like it’s not their fault. It was me. I play a role in that. Let me just put it that way. We all play roles. And my role was to I need to follow this Bebop narrative that isn’t me. And so, I still work on those feelings, right? Like, how do I continue to be authentic? How do I continue to stretch myself physically and mentally? And how do I just have a good time? Just enjoy life? So my life is full of trips. [VERONICA]: There you go. So what advice would you give to the mom who feels stressed and disconnected? [PENELOPE]: I would say, what is that serving you? [VERONICA]: Oh, yes. Yes. I love that. I love that. [PENELOPE]: Yeah. It’s serving a purpose. I think that anxiety is a signal that you won’t look at something that feels too painful. Because when you do, then you know you have to make difficult changes and choices. So if you’re saying that you’re stuck, and you’re just living right here, in a stressed world, it’s because there’s something deeper, girl, that you’re not looking at. So, it’s time to look at it. [VERONICA]: Absolutely. Absolutely. Oh, my gosh, well, thank you so much for being a part of this show. This was awesome. [PENELOPE]: Very therapeutic, right? [VERONICA]: I know, it was happening. It was happening, I was like, wait a minute, what [unclear]…? [PENELOPE]: [Unclear]. [VERONICA]: Yeah. Totally gonna bill her. So where can we find you? [PENELOPE]: Um, I have an email address. It’s DrPUnderwood@gmail.com. So you can reach out to me there. You can also call me at 951-395-0972. I don’t have a current website. My ex actually had done one for me, so I probably need to see if he’ll help me update that. Thank goodness we’re on good working terms. But if I get that together, I’ll let you know. [VERONICA]: Awesome. Awesome. Well, you guys, like I always end with, live within intent. All right, bye. [PENELOPE]: Bye. [VERONICA]: What’s up, ladies? Just want to let you guys know that your ratings and reviews for this podcast are greatly appreciated. If you love this podcast, please go to iTunes right now and rate and review. Thank you, guys. Many women lose their own identity in the shadow of being a mom and a wife. We are a community of women who support each other. We leave perfectionism behind to become empowered and unapologetic. I know you’re ready for the next steps. If you want to become empowered and unapologetic, get my free course, Unapologetically Me over at empoweredandunapologetic.com/course. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests, are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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I’m Veronica, your new Boss MOM Mentor with no filter and no BS. 

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, women’s coach, course creator, and retreat host. Married for OVER 20 years, raising three girls, and the host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 

Enough about me… 

My jam? Helping high-achieving women thrive both at home and in the hustle of work.

I've been there.

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