You may have felt like Super Mom or Super Dad while you were married, but once you dive into single parenting, you may realize it’s not as easy as you expected. When your spouse is out of the picture and your home, all of a sudden, it’s just you and your kids and you have to be 100 percent on your game when you’re with them alone.
Parenting is full of dirty diapers, crying babies, toddler tantrums, runny noses, doctors’ visits, vaccinations, meal times, bath times, trips to the park, nightmares, fears of the dark, birthday parties, childcare, parent-teacher conferences, homework, shopping for clothes and shoes, discipline, grounding, and curfews – and it’s not all glamorous.
After a divorce, single parenting can have its challenges, that’s for sure. If your kid gets the stomach flu and keeps you up all night, you may still have to go to work in the morning. If you want to go on a date but your ex is out of town, you may have to find a babysitter or if you have an older child, they may not “approve” of you dating. In other words, single parenting can be difficult, but fortunately, there are things that can ease the transition.
Tips for Single Parenting
When you become a single parent, surely, you’ll face some unexpected roadblocks, but with the following tips, you should be able to navigate them a little better:
- Look for a support group to join in your community. There should be some support groups that are for those who are newly divorced. Usually, such groups can be found in local papers or online. You can also ask around, for example, you can ask fellow divorced parents at your children’s school or at local libraries or community centers. It’s typical for groups to meet weekly and for the members to offer each other advice and coping tips. If you’re more spiritual, you may be able to find a parenting support group at a local church.
- Reach out to your friends and family for support. Although it can be difficult to discuss the details of your situation, it can be healing to do so. And you never know, your friends and family may be able to relate more than you think.
- While you may not feel like socializing, divorce is not the time to isolate yourself and push people away. Usually, the friends and family who know you best can offer you the most realistic advice. Sometimes they can offer a place to stay temporarily or simply a much-needed glass of wine or a shoulder to cry on.
- Remember that your children may be stressing more than you are. In the midst of a divorce, it can be easy to forget about your children’s emotions, but sometimes kids take divorce harder than their parents. Since kids tend to blame themselves for their parents’ divorce, make sure your children know it’s not their fault. Even if your kids bottle up their emotions, that doesn’t mean they won’t act out at home or school.
When you have school-age children, it’s wise to alert the school counselor and their teachers about your divorce and ask them to notify you if your child’s behavior changes in school or if their studies are affected. Another practical solution is to keep your kids busy. A full schedule filled with extracurricular activities, outings, or visits with friends and family can help your kids keep their minds off of the divorce.
Remember that everything is temporary and even these big changes will pass by until one day they’re just a distant memory. Pause and take the time out to nurture yourself and your children so you can all adjust emotionally to the new situation.
To learn more about our $249 no-fault divorces, contact Cairns Law Offices.