Transitioning to being a single parent

Your divorce might be finalized, but the emotions you are feeling may stay with you for a while. It can be scary to be single, responsible for all the bills and care of the children. What can you do to make the transition to single parenting less stressful? Here are some steps you can take to help adjust without a partner.  


Stop judging yourself for a failed relationship

Self-judgement often follows divorce. Instead of falling into the trap, take these steps into consideration:

  1.             Face it: You are going to grieve the loss of your marriage and relationship. Do not try to avoid these emotions. Allow yourself the time to mourn. Be kind to yourself while you are.
  2.             Address the hurt and pain you feel. Talk to a counselor or spiritual leader, someone who will not judge you. Do not rely on your children to be your emotional support.
  3.             Spend time alone when the kids are with the other parent, and do not feel guilty about enjoying yourself. Take up a new hobby. Exercise. Do something you like.
  4.             Create a budget to help you assess your financial situation.
  5.             Create a network of support. Find other parents who you can exchange pickups for nights when you might be working. Ask your family for help.
  6.             Make a routine. There is a stability in having normal plans.
  7.             Give yourself time before dating again. Wait before introducing your kids to any new partner.


Know you are not alone


Single parents are more common today than 20, 30 or 40 years ago. There is no stigma attached to single parenting today. There are many other parents who understand your situation. Get out and meet people who can help you find ways to manage your new life.


When you have your kids, make sure you spend quality time with them. Allow your kids to see you do normal things such as paying the bills or cleaning up. Do not feel guilty about asking your children to have chores. Family responsibilities will instill pride and a solid work ethic in your child. Explain that working together lets you all have fun together later.


As you get past the early days of your divorce and your children grow up, your child custody agreement might need modification for different circumstances to avoid any additional conflict in your life. However, change may not come easy when you have to make decisions with the other parent. Get information about your child custody modification when you speak to an experienced attorney who can help you find the best solution for your situation.  

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