Divorce is the equivalent of rebooting your computer. It creates a fresh screen. This can be good and bad. On the positive side, it allows you to re-define who you are as a person, friend and parent. On the negative side, it places you in unfamiliar territory. This is especially difficult in respect of parenting. During the first year of single parenthood, you may question every decision you make. Previously, parenting decisions were made by the two parents after consulting one another. Divorce causes you to learn how to make your own decisions based on only your considerations, your values and your beliefs.
The following three tips will help you cope as a single parent after your divorce.
Tip #1: Be good to yourself. Like the flight attendant says before take-off, place the air mask on your mouth first so that you can take care of your children. This applies equally in divorce. You need to first take care of yourself, be healthy and be happy to be able to fulfil the needs of your children. This means that you may need to find the courage to try new things and discover hobbies that you have always wanted to try. It’s ok to be selfish because you return to parenting fully recharged.
Tip #2: Surround yourself with people who are supportive and positive. Within that circle, make sure you have at least one good friend who you could rely upon, who will not judge you and who will help you navigate difficult situations with your ex and children. Also included in that circle should be a coach or therapist, lawyer and financial advisor. Each of these professionals brings a different set of skills that will be instrumental in assisting you manage the challenges that lie ahead.
Tip #3: Establish a set of routines and traditions in your home that reflect your values and ensure the emotional and physical safety of your children. Expect that your ex will have different rules in his or her house. Children are extremely flexible and resilient and will learn to handle different rules at different households. During a time of change and upheaval, children require strong and consistent parenting. Having routines and traditions in your home will ease the transition to single parenting.
In conclusion, the most important thing that you can do for your children during this first year of single parenthood is to show them that you love them unconditionally. Have realistic expectations during this first year of divorce. Divorce has a way of depleting your confidence and energy. So remind yourself that you are much stronger than you think. Your display of confidence, courage and perseverance are qualities that will shine upon your children and likely be adopted by them as they mature and face their own struggles in life.Share this article on: