The road to single life is a long and bumpy one after marriage. Divorce can take its toll on you, your ex, and your children. But eventually the dust settles, and it’s time to get into the swing of being a single parent. It’s not easy, but it’s important to remember that being on your own doesn’t mean you’re alone. Join support groups, call on your parents and siblings and find professional help to get you through these tough times.
There are millions of parents raising children without a spouse or partner living with them. Even if you co-parent, the time you are with the children can still be tough. Lots of children are understanding and sympathetic of the role you now play. But many will try to use your marriage break up for their own gains at times. Age, hormones, and a simple need for attention have their parts to play. How you handle it will be important.
Often, when you have to make a tough decision and say no to your kids, the gloves will come off, and your ex will be brought into the conversation. Once the two of you are divided, children may assume your opinions on parenting to be divided. This shouldn’t be the case. The two of you will still need to communicate about major decisions. And the little things, should be determined by the parent they are with at the time, with no undermining from the other parent.
When you go through a divorce, a family attorney can often help you agree on a timetable of access to the kids. It may not be even, and sometimes it may not continue to be convenient for long. But each time one of you needs to make a change to the routine, it’s very tough on the kids. They need reliability and stability more than ever. Children need to know exactly what to expect and what is expected of them, especially in their home lives.
As a single parent, it is essential you stick to strict routines for your sake as well as the kids. It helps you to become more organized so you can juggle your career and parenting more effectively. Use help when it is offered. It might be in the form of a cleaner so you can have that extra quality time with the children. Or it might be from your parents offering to stay over so they can get up early with the kids one weekend. Every little helps.
Parenting is hard work. It’s tiring, both physically, mentally and emotionally. And if you parent alone most of the time, it can feel like an ongoing battle to keep your children happy. Even talking to a child who is devastated by the divorce can be hard. Don’t feel like you’ve failed as a parent. These are common problems shared by millions of divorced parents.
Finding support and encouragement can help. Don’t cut yourself off, even from your ex. Sometimes you have to bite your tongue and let things go to be able to move on for your sake and the kids. Take care of yourself.