If you know me, you know that I am a proudly from South Jackson- I’m not talking about Byram. I’m not talking about Terry. I’m talking about snuggled between McDowell and Raymond Road around the corner from Wingfield High, South Jackson 39204. My phone number growing up began with 372. I proudly wear my South Jackson t-shirt because it is a part of who I am. If you are from South Jackson, you immediately get the benefit of the doubt in my book.

 I am also a proud Mississippian. For years I was of the mindset that I was going to move off one day to New York or California or Colorado or to some foreign country. But as I have grown older, I better understand the concept of home. Mississippi is just that- home. I love living in the Bible belt, eating fried catfish or chicken or anything else we feel like frying. I love bottle trees and backyard gardens and good ice tea and on any given Saturday, I may cheer for the Dawgs or the Rebels because I have a degree from both of our fine Universities. (Yes, I intentionally did not recognize USM)

 We Mississippians have a unique relationship with Momma and them. (If you are reading this and you are not from the South, “and them” generally refers to the rest of the family) Even in the land of Faulkner where our families are as screwed up as anywhere on the planet, what Momma says matters.

 Of course if you are going through a divorce, Momma is going to have an opinion. You already know that. In fact, if you are going through a divorce you may have to ask Momma to help pay for it. People have a jacked up way of forgetting their responsibility to their spouse and children when they start walking through a divorce, so Momma and them sometimes have to step in to help pay the bills until a judge can set the rules. I call this the Storm Before the Calm. I must warn you, however, just because Momma and them are paying the bills, it does not necessarily mean that in the purview of your family crisis, Momma always know best.

 Listen to your lawyer.

 I know Momma knows a lot about a lot of stuff and there is a great deal of wisdom that she has gained through the years, but when it comes to your divorce, listen to your lawyer. I have no hidden agenda. In the grand scheme of my life, the decisions that you make are going to have very little impact on me. They will, however, impact your Momma. In other words, I am an impartial third party that has no skin in the game that has been through at least 495 more divorces than your Momma.

 I will also throw your friends into the “and them” category. It does not matter to me what happened in Mary Jane’s divorce. Each case is different and there is usually no one-size-fits all approach. Your friends can get you in trouble in many, many ways. If they are feeding off the drama that your life has become, keep them at arm’s length.

 Now Momma and them have their place in your divorce. They need to help you watch the kids when you need to unplug and they are a much less expensive sounding board for the venting that you need to do. But when it comes to decisions that are going to affect the rest of your life, leave the hard stuff to your lawyer and keep Momma and them in the much needed role of unconditional love.

  By: Craig Robertson 

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