Divorce is more common than ever these days, and this trend isn’t expected to turn around for the foreseeable future. If you were the child of a divorce, you may have grown up promising yourself that you’d never put your own kids through such an experience. However, the strain of growing along with your partner while raising kids and trying to settle into a home can be a massive strain on your relationship, and despite your plans you may find yourself becoming a single parent. Being a single parent certainly isn’t a picnic, but these tips should make things at least a little easier.
Suck it Up – Get Along With your Ex
This is one of the hardest pieces of advice to follow, so it’s a good idea to get it out of the way as soon as possible. When you’ve only just divorced, talking to your ex can be very painful. You’ll both be pretty angry with each other, and may be looking for ways to make things harder for each other. I can certainly understand this, but I can’t really condone it. While petty feuding with your ex may be pretty harmless when you’re a teenager, now that you’ve got kids, you’re going to need to suck it up and work with your ex to do what’s best for your children. If you can’t be friendly with your ex-partner in front of the kids, then at least make an effort to be civil. The sooner you can bury the hatchet, the better your kids’ life will be.
Take Stock and Plan
Even if your divorce was a mutual decision, and there’s no bad blood between you and your ex, you may still need to think about the financial aspect to the split. If you’re now going to be the sole breadwinner of the household, you need to take a long, hard look at your financial situation, and ensure that you’re going to be able to provide for your kids. You may be tempted to make various snap decisions about where you’re going to live and how you’re going to handle your situation, but being rash in this area can have some serious repercussions later in life. It’s also important to start developing a support network as soon as possible, and know who you can lean on for financial help if and when you need it. I know it can be embarrassing to ask for this kind of help, even if you’re approaching a parent or another trusted relative. However, getting this kind of conversation out of the way early on can help to circumvent a lot of awkwardness further down the line. Finally, make sure you’re going out of your way to maintain your physical and mental wellbeing. The immediate aftermath of a divorce can be an extremely strenuous time for your mind and your body, and your health can have a direct impact on the state of your personal finances. I’m sure you don’t want to find yourself out of work and have to call a personal injury attorney just to make sure you can pay the bills!
See a Glass That’s Half-Full
Regardless of what the news has been saying about broken homes, remember that you’re not another statistic, and your actions and attitude will dictate just how “broken” your home is. As long as your kids know you love them, and you raise them thoughtfully, they’ll grow up absolutely fine. Part of this is maintaining an optimistic attitude. Don’t fall into the common trap of jumping to conclusions. Just because you’ve suddenly found yourself as a single parent, it doesn’t mean that everything’s going to fall apart. You’re bursting with potential to be accomplished and independent, able to bring home a paycheque, keep a roof over your head, and offer all the care and guidance your kids need. Things may seem a little bleak right now, but this divorce could in fact be a blessing in disguise. If your children are old enough to understand what’s going on, it can teach them some valuable lessons about the family unit – how you all depend on each other and others to function as a family. As a result, your kids can become more responsible and empathetic than they would have been otherwise.
If you’re finding it hard to get used to the realities of being a single parent, I hope this article has given you some degree of comfort. Keep moving forward and maintaining a positive attitude, and everything will turn out fine.