Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
A divorce is stressful, and it can drain you physically, emotionally, and financially. While it is hard on both partners, things are more challenging for single moms. You can imagine the pain if your spouse isn’t willing to take the responsibilities of the kids. At times, moms aren’t willing to give it to fathers because they cannot trust them enough. In either case, you need to be ready to cope with the extra load of single parenting while going through a divorce.
The unconditional love for your children is often enough to keep you going, and sensible advice from experienced single moms can bring the motivation you need to deal with the challenging situation. Here are some words of wisdom for single mothers looking to start afresh after a painful divorce.
Give yourself time to mourn
Failed relationships are always painful, more so if it is as important as marriage. A lifelong commitment isn’t easy to end, but it is something you have to deal with when it happens for whatever reason. It is alright to feel the pain and mourn, so give yourself time to do it. You may feel guilty for the end of the relationship but remember that marriages end only when both partners want to close things. Mourning lets you get your life back on track. The kids will understand, no matter how young they are. Once you get over the sadness, you will be able to focus on your mommy duties.
Connect with your children
Your children need you the most now when they see their parents drifting apart. Even as you mourn your loss, you have to understand their loss as well. Talk to them because they may be experiencing the same feeling of loss or guilt, and having a conversation will help them move on as well. Let them know that you will be there for them, no matter what. Be a team and work your way back to living a normal life, even without your partner. A conscious effort to connect closely with your children will make you a strong family that stays together forever.
Invest in self-care
Going through a stressful divorce is hard on your body and mind, so you deserve all the self-care you can get. It may sound challenging when you have kids to look after, but a little effort takes you a long way. Self-care makes you feel good about yourself, and you will end up being better at parenting as well. Self-care starts with getting your social life back on track. Go out and meet friends and family. Talk to someone you can trust because you need to work through your feelings to make a fresh start. You can even consider speaking to a therapist as professional help can prepare you to cope with the situation.
Sort out the financials
One thing that matters the most for single moms is financial planning. Whether you are financially independent or not, things change after you lose the support of your partner. It makes sense to use family law to your advantage if you can opt for an amicable separation through a collaborative divorce. It is a safer route for single mothers who want to bypass the hassle of litigation and get the best value in alimony and child support. You will be in a better position financially with this approach. When it comes to sorting out the financials, future planning is equally vital. No matter how young your kids are today, consider saving up for college and other expenses.
Embrace your new role
Life will definitely be different after you separate from a partner you have spent years with. You will need to make a transition into a new role as a single parent. It will probably bring its own set of challenges. The responsibilities will grow as you will have to manage home, kids, and your job together and all alone. But the best way to deal with the situation is to embrace this new role and enjoy freedom. Give yourself a break, and do not pressurize yourself with over-expectations. Making mistakes and learning from them should be a part of your personal growth. You will eventually experience a confidence boost when you love life the way it is.
Explore new passions
Embracing your new role is just the start of the journey. Consider exploring new passions to get your life and self-esteem on track. A broken relationship can make one feel vulnerable and lonely, which you are most likely to face even as you try to be brave for your kids. Trying something new can help you rediscover your self-worth. You may even find a skill that can eventually become a side hustle to make some extra money. Try your hand at writing, designing, or gardening. If your children are grown up, you may discover the passion to travel and take a solo trip once in a while. It may just be the opportunity to do things you always missed doing.
Consider having a transitional relationship
You are a single mom, but you are also a woman, so keep yourself open to new relationships once you are ready. Consider dating again because it can bring back your lost self-esteem. Look for someone you can be honest with, as dating someone with kids is a completely different ball game. So your potential partner should be comfortable with the idea of connecting with your children. Think about a transitional relationship rather than a long-term one and leave things to destiny. A new relationship can help you heal, so do not stop your mommy status from finding love once again.
The road to recovery after divorce isn’t easy for single moms because there is a lot you have to deal with. Being strong and making genuine efforts to build back will make you a role model for your kids. Let life take its course and go with the flow, and life will get on track sooner than you expect!