Are You Ready to Be a Single Parent?

So, you’re getting a divorce. Up until now, surely, you’ve been sharing parenting responsibilities with your spouse. Whether you are the parent who has been spending more or less time with the children based on your work circumstances, things are about to change, perhaps significantly.

For breadwinners: Are you going to have to get up with the kids at night on your days with them? Are you going to have to hire a nanny to pick up the kids from school so you can work? Do you have a family member, such as a mother or a sister who can help you out with the kids while you work, go to the gym, or go on weekend trips here and there?

For stay-at-home mothers and fathers: Will you have to go back to work? Will you have to put your children in daycare? Will you have to go back to school while you put your children in some type of childcare? How will the divorce affect your lifestyle, especially as it pertains to staying home with your children?

Single Parenting Will Impact Your Life

Maybe you don’t fit in any of the above molds and that’s okay. Perhaps you and your spouse have been working full-time and this transition won’t be too big of a deal and if that’s the case, all the more power to you. Even still, the divorce is going to make you a single parent and it’s going to impact your life in more ways than one.

As you transition into single parenting, you will notice a difference. Things may be harder, or you may feel that they’re easier because you’re doing things your way and you’re no longer arguing with your spouse on how to take care of your children. Regardless of how you feel about being a single parent, know that you’ll slowly transition into a new normal. Until you reach that new normal, follow this advice:

  • If single parenting comes as a bit of a shocker to you, consider joining a support group for the newly divorced or for single parents. You should be able to find one near you online or in the paper. You can also ask around at your children’s school or at other places, like local libraries, where parents tend to gather.
  • Lean on your friends and family for support. Not only can they give you a good ear, but they can give you advice and maybe even a place to stay for a while. You may not be in the mood to open up about your divorce, but your closest friends and family care about you and they want to help.
  • Read books on divorce and single parenting and follow the advice that resonates with you.
  • Remember, divorce hurts your kids too and it may even hurt them more than it’s hurt you. Keep them extra busy and distracted and be sure to reach out to their school counselor and teachers and let them know what’s happening. Ask the school’s staff to notify you if they notice your child’s behavior or academics being negatively affected by the divorce.

Remember, everything in life is temporary and that includes all of the change that you’re going through right now. As time passes, the newness of the divorce will fade away and it will just be a distant memory; it will no longer have such a strong influence on you.

Next: Divorce When You’re the ‘Out Spouse’