It may seem difficult to deal with cope after divorce and take care of your children alone but it is possible to cope and live well in spite of the changes in your family.
Saying that “life will change after divorce” is an understatement. You can expect countless moments of emotional highs and lows, mistake after mistake, and lots of self-doubts. Yes, life can be challenging but despite all of these changes, you can still live a good family life.
Raising your kids alone doesn’t equate to a sour family life or living in a severely sad state forever. Divorce should not automatically cause you and your kids to feel doom and gloom.
With a positive attitude, lots and lots of hard work, and a stronger relationship with your children, you can get through life after divorce.
Here are 7 Ways to Help You and Your Kids Cope After Divorce:
1. Try new things and explore new passions.
It is normal for single mothers to feel their self-esteem plummet. Worry not as this is only temporary. When you’re used to consulting your partner for childcare and financial issues, you may doubt your decision-making skills when you start doing it by yourself.
Similar to how break-ups make us feel unlovable, vulnerable, and lonely, divorce can easily wreck your feelings of self-worth. Do not let this unfortunate life event become a big part of who you are but instead, get to know the new you. Explore a new hobby and discover new things that excite you.
Try doing that thing that you’ve always wanted to try like pottery, painting, or traveling. Now that you’re single, dating can also be fun but do not instantly jump into a new relationship just because you feel lonely.
2. Do not let other people’s opinions sway you.
Other people will judge you and that’s okay. You can’t change what other people think or say about you. Instead, surround yourself with positive influences and supportive people. When people say something critical about your divorce, simply ignore and do not dwell on it.
What other people say about you speaks more about them than you. Do not be afraid to cut off judgemental, negative family members or friends in your life.
3. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’re bound to make.
You will experience a major learning curve when you start solo parenting. Give yourself a break and do not be a perfectionist when it comes to parenting. As a single parent, you are bound to make mistakes. Even those with partners still make them!
Cut yourself some slack and don’t expect perfection. Surrounding yourself with your closest friends and family members will be helpful as you can consult them for advice and support.
4. Improve your working relationship with your ex.
You may despise your ex now but if you’re willing to compromise, be patient, and work hard, you’ll be able to be on friendly terms. It’s hard but it’s important to develop a cordial co-parenting relationship with your ex for your children’s best interests.
You will have to make plenty of decisions together for your kids’ sake. Moreover, working together will also help you improve your relationship with your children.
5. Keep a positive attitude.
Do parenting with a purpose and focus on your kids. This will keep your mind off of the negative memories from your divorce. Be a good role model for your kids by showing them a positive attitude. Be the strength that they need to conquer the first year after the divorce.
6. Attend to your child’s needs.
The divorce will not only be tough for you, but for your kids as well. Make sure that you provide them with their needs as soon as possible, no matter how small it may be. Give them the support that they need to adjust well after the divorce. It can be in the form of therapy, counseling, tutoring or extra attention from you.
7. Give yourself the credit you deserve.
Recognize all of the hard works that you’ve put through and will put through. Reward yourself with self-care and do not be too hard on yourself. More challenges will come your way and the best way to cope after divorce is by mentally and physically preparing yourself.
It pays to take care of yourself by going out with friends, getting a manicure, or even a simple warm bath at night. It will put yourself at ease and makes you feel good. When you take time to relax, your kids will learn that it’s okay to take care of yourself when going through something difficult.
“The essence of being a good parent is putting your own needs first,” says Leah Klungness, a psychologist in New York City and coauthor of The Complete Single Mother.
There are a lot of reasons to be hopeful after divorce. Remember, you are not alone. It’s hard not to feel isolated during this time but you should avoid dwelling on sadness or depression.
You have your friends and family to support you. This is also the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about the things you’ve always wanted to study or pursue a business. You can also make the most out of this moment by getting to know your children and showing them the world.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by sadness but by focusing on the positive things that are going on in your life and what lies ahead, you’d be able to overcome these struggles.
Melissa Morris is a former travel blogger turned mother to three beautiful children – Justin 8, Piper 5, and Thomas 2. When she became a single mom, she decided to focus on writing that aims to help single parents survive parenthood. She brings her years of knowledge and experience to educate and inspire people to become better parents no matter what the situation is. Her goal is to help parents, even after a divorce, work together and make a family work in the end.