Getting a divorce is never easy for anybody, and it’s a sensitive topic which is unique to every individual.
For women with children – whether teenagers or toddlers – it’s even harder because there is so much more to consider when you think about all the implications and practicalities of divorcing your spouse.
You want to minimize the impact felt by yourself, but even more by your children, and it can be difficult to know what to do for the best. Here are a few ideas that might help you ease the journey as much as possible.
5 Tips for Divorcing Moms
1. Organize Thoroughly
As with almost anything difficult in life, good organization can make a major difference in the experience you have. If you have to search for each scrap of paper every time something new comes up, if you have to hunt down files or you miss crucial meetings because you misplaced your diary – or perhaps neglected to even keep a diary – you will find the whole process far more stressful.
“This is even worse if you are trying to suddenly adjust to being a single parent, and your children are trying to adjust to only having one parent. They may be feeling unsettled and want more of your time than usual, so make things easier for yourself by knowing where everything is, and putting things back in the right place every time you use them” says Rhonda Guida, a Relationships blogger at Brit Student and Australia2write.
2. Put Your Children First
This can be very hard when you yourself are suffering from hurt, insecurity, uncertainty, etc., but remember that your children will be feeling similar things, and will look to you for reassurance. You must provide this as much as you can, and minimize the impact upon them wherever possible.
Think about what your children will see when they watch you, and allow this to guide your interactions. Try and show them grace and poise, and remember that while you may be finding your ex-partner very difficult, he is still their father, and they love him and miss him. Don’t say unkind things about him in front of them, or you may make them feel confused or guilty for loving and missing him. Explain the situation as maturely as you can, and avoiding your children feeling as though they must choose between you and your ex-partner.
3. Care About Yourself
This might seem to contradict the above point, but it doesn’t have to, especially if your children are in school. Make sure you give yourself a bit of time to recuperate, or you won’t be able to give them the energy and reassurance they need. If that means doing nothing except looking after yourself when they’re out of the house, so be it. Treat yourself, look after yourself, let yourself cry or vent as much as you need.
If your kids aren’t in school yet, get a neighbor, a family member, or a daycare to take them for a bit, just so you can have a breather and bounce back to being the mother they need.
4. Be Honest
It might be difficult to be totally honest with your children at points but do your best. Children often sense lies easily, and these make them feel insecure and untrustworthy. You don’t need to load your child with details, but if they ask you a question, try and give them a truthful answer without blaming your ex-partner or yourself. Explain that some people aren’t compatible, or that sometimes people hurt each other and they have to separate to heal – do whatever you can to talk your child through things without overwhelming them or telling them lies.
5. Be Fair
Teach your children about maturity by being as fair as you can, especially where your ex-partner is concerned. “This doesn’t mean you have to put yourself last, but when you try to reach agreements with him, do whatever you can to ensure these agreements are fair. Ask impartial third-parties their opinions, and take time to think about decisions before you make them – this will help ensure arrangements don’t favor one partner over the other” comments Tara White, a Lifestyle writer at Next Coursework.
Getting a divorce can be emotionally devastating, and having children to deal with makes it infinitely harder, but hold your head up and act in a way that you will be proud of years later when the pain has faded. Look after yourself and your children as much as you can, and be kind to yourself.
Problem identification and resolution is Katrina Hatchett’s niche. As well as being involved in many business projects, she is also a business blogger at PhD Kingdom. Her objective is to increase the effectiveness of communication in the workplace.