Florida Women's Law Group
Surviving Divorce As A Single MomDate: Feb 05 2021
Being a Single Mom After Divorce
No one expects that they will get divorced and women do not plan on being single mothers. Even if you were the one that wanted the divorce it still takes time to get used to being on your own and raising your children by yourself. While you will have good days and bad days you will be able to overcome the challenges and enjoy a happy life with your kids.
Take Time to Grieve
It is OK to take time to mourn the relationship and lifestyle that you lost. Whether the divorce was your idea or not, you will grieve what you once were as a couple and a family. Grief can oftentimes help you to move on and accept your new life.
It is normal to grieve and to experience sadness sometimes, you do not want to wallow in your grief and feel sorry for yourself. It is good for your kids to see you sad, but you also want them to see that you can overcome obstacles and be a role model to them. Do not be a victim and make divorce all there is about you, you are so much more. You are stronger than you think, and you can get through anything, especially for your children.
Co-Parent Like a Boss!
One of the hardest parts of being a single mom is co-parenting with your ex. Believe me, you thought he irritated you before but now he will find new and different ways to get under your skin. Look at co-parenting like a business, try to remove emotions and expectations. The rules at your ex’s house may be different and he may spoil them with material things, but you have to learn to let it go. In the end the important thing is that your children have happy and healthy relationships with both parents. Your ex loves your children and wants the best for them even if he lets them stay up later or they have ice cream for dinner. It is OK and you have to learn to let go of things you can’t control as long as everyone is safe.
Have you heard of the Disney Dad? This is the dad that when he has the kids, he buys them whatever they want, splurges on the latest iPhone, takes them on extravagant vacations and lets them do whatever they want. It is frustrating for you, especially if you are counting every dime and cutting corners to make ends meet. Your kids understand more than you think they do and get it, especially when they get older. Do not get yourself in debt to try and outdo him, it will only hurt you more in the long run. Being a good mom has nothing to do with material things.
Learn to Take Care of Yourself
You do not need your husband to kill a bug, change a light bulb or other small things around your house. Learn to be independent and rely on your own resources. It is an adjustment to being the only adult in the house and making decisions on your own. Show your children that you can be strong and can take care of yourself and them even if you do not know how to fix a toilet. Use the internet, watch a video, call friends but show them and yourself that you can solve a problem on your own.
When it is your ex’s turn with the kids it will be an adjustment to being by yourself for a few days. While it seems unfathomable now, you may enjoy the break of being a full-time adult and parent. It is nice to have time to yourself to relax and not have to be mom all the time. You will miss them and feel lonely, but you learn to enjoy it. This is the time to meet with new single friends, try something new, exercise, mediate or maybe even go on a date. Take a trip by yourself, you may surprise yourself with how much you like it. Use this time to recharge and do something for yourself so you can be a better mom when they come back home.
Get to Know Your Finances
Now that you are on your own you need to be fully aware of your financial situation. It is important to know how much money is coming in and going out each month. While you may receive child support and alimony it is still a good idea to try and become financially independent. You do not want to rely solely on money from your ex to pay your bills. Becoming financially independent can give you confidence and security to do what you want and spend your money with freedom.
Being a single divorced mom will have high and low moments. You do not need to be super woman and try to overcompensate for being a single mother. You are going to make mistakes and there will be days when you just want to stay in bed and not deal with reality. Trying to be perfect is exhausting and is not sustainable in the long run. What is important is that you are staying both mentally and physically healthy and that you are there for your kids and you love them. The rest will all fall into place over time.