The process of separating is a whirlwind of a time. So many changes are occurring so quickly. This time can be a challenge, especially when there are children involved. Not only are there literal physical changes with one or both of you moving, but you are also processing your emotions through all of this.
When you start the process of separating and filing for divorce, often knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. When you are married you have that partner to lean on and talk to about what to do when processing a difficult situation. However, now things are different. That partner you once had to lean on is now thinking of himself/herself and making decisions from that stand point as you should be doing too.
In order to help you get started in your journey I am sharing 4 tips that you can do right away to help you through the divorce process in order to make this time of change as smooth as possible.
- Take it easy! Do not be hard on yourself. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You will be feeling a full range of emotions. Anger. Sadness. Relief (because at least there has been a decision and the relationship is not in limbo anymore). Guilt (now that the family dynamic is changing). I have felt that guilt myself. I had always had this vision that my son would be raised with his mom and dad together, but that didn’t happen and when I was going through my divorce this made me very sad and distraught.
Be easy on yourself. It is okay if you don’t get everything done. It’s okay if you are just going through the motions every day. You don’t have to be a super mom. Don’t expect to have all the answers or your shit together right now. You don’t have to. You are going through a huge life change. Allow yourself to feel how you feel. The sooner you do this the sooner you will be able to pick up the pieces and move on.
- Take time for yourself. Read. Cry. Be alone. Chill with friends. Do what you need to do in order to recharge yourself, so that you can keep being strong for your kids. You can’t be a good mom if you are not taking care of yourself first. This is a fact!! If you have family, friends, or a neighbor nearby send the kids over to them. Go get your nails done, drink wine, sit in your bed and read. Spend time with a friend. Got to a coffee shop. Do something that feels good to you!
You are probably thinking right now you have to pour all of yourself into your kids. But, the BEST way to be a great mom is to take the time you need for yourself. You can’t take care of your children if you are falling apart and a hot mess. Take some time alone. Cry it out if you need. A good cry is a release of all of the energy that is locked up inside of you. It is getting that energy out. Pull out a journal and write about how you are feeling. Create a draft e-mail and send him a letter….just don’t hit send. I mean it!! DON’T HIT SEND. This is for you only. Lol. Write down exactly how you feel. Write the letter about how pissed you are. This will make you feel better, because you are getting those feelings out. Do whatever it is you need to take time for you, but make sure to take that time. Your kids need a strong mom and the way to be a strong mom is to take care of yourself.
- Be Consistent. Consistency is KEY for children. The kids will be okay. The divorce and change of the family dynamic will not ruin them. If you want to make this time of transition as smooth as possible for your kids, then stay consistent and keep that routine in place. Create a new consistency to match the life change. Establish a new routine.
Kids need consistency. Establishing routines are the best way to keep them on track. This will help your kids feel safe and secure. You want to give them routines that fit your lives whether that is a routine in the morning, after school, and/or in the evening. Doing this will create stability for them.
Make sure you have a co-parenting plan in place that involves what days the kids will be with their dad and what days they will be with you. This will really help the kids feel safe and secure. In terms of co-parenting, I know that can feel tough to navigate right now. Do your best to put your feelings aside when creating the schedule with your ex and focus on the schedule as quickly as possible. This is great for the kids, because no matter how you decide the visitation and the living situation is going to go down the kids will know this right up front and won’t have to guess about it. You can even put it on a calendar. This way the kids will know when they are going to be with mom and will know when they are going to be with dad. It takes the guessing, worry, and anxiety away from the kids.
- Seek support! Talk with friends. Family. A life coach. A Therapist. Whomever you feel most comfortable speaking with. People want to support you and you do not have to go it alone! Often when we go through a situation such as divorce, we are afraid to tell our family and our friends, because we don’t want to be judged or criticized. But, if they love you then they will support you. No matter what. And guess what…they do love you and they are going to support you! Reach out to your family. Reach out to your friends. Ask them for support. Ask them for love. Tell them how you are feeling.
Additionally if you need extra support or an objective person to talk with, then seek out a life coach. Even if you have support, a life coach will help you get it together by moving on beyond the sorrow and anger. They can help you figure out what you need to do. Lastly, seek support from a lawyer. A lawyer can help you with the laws and the guidelines. They have free consultations and can give you some great advice just during that free time.
We only have ONE life and we don’t need to live it drowning in the negativity and the sorrow and the sadness. We can feel that way. We can visit there, but we don’t need to stay there. Life is too short for that!
If you do nothing else, implement these four steps right away! These steps will start you down the course of healing and creating a new normal life for you and the kids. Once you start with these things the other pieces will begin to connect and fall into place<3
Hey there!! I’m Christina, a life coach for moms going through the divorce process and looking to figure out how to reinvent their lives in this new phase. I help moms get out of survival mode and into a life filled with love, adventure, and happiness. I am a single mom myself and have been divorced not once….but twice and I know exactly how you feel and where you are!