Some days can become emotionally charged triggers for a divorced mom.
That’s because divorce is a life-altering experience that takes its toll on your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Its ramifications not only turn your own world upside down but can also seriously affect your innocent children – a dire consequence every mother wants to avoid.
Since divorce is a process, often a lengthy one, there are days – yes, sometimes weeks and months – when life can seem awfully low. Often overbearing. The weight can seem just too much to carry. The many life changes related to divorce can exaggerate difficult circumstances. And when you’re a parent at the same time … well, you know how it feels!
Then something comes along, reminding us of what once was that isn’t the same anymore. That experience can also trigger fears of what may lie ahead for you and your kids.
Keep in mind: you’re not alone. Parenting is tough for everyone, even under the best of circumstances. Parenting through and beyond divorce takes enormous focus and a continuous need for compassion, both for yourself and your children. If you take it day by day, you will find the strength and the insight to make decisions that tap into your innate wisdom and love for your children.
But it’s also essential to parent and nurture yourself at the same time. Take a tip from the airlines when they instruct you to put your oxygen mask on first before providing oxygen to your children. You need to be alert and functioning well before you can make decisions on behalf of the children who matter so deeply to you.
So be mindful about getting the help you need to recharge, de-stress, and unwind from time to time. Share your frustrations with a caring friend or a compassionate coach or a counselor who specializes in divorce issues. Join a support group for divorced Moms. Reach out to the community and spiritual resources that empower you. Treat yourself to a massage, concert, evening out, weekend away from the kids, or other activity that energizes your psyche.
Don’t suffer or brood alone. We all need help, support, and encouragement from an outside source that we respect. We can’t always give it to ourselves – but we can and must let others know when we need a shoulder to cry on, a babysitter for an occasional indulgence, or a team of reinforcement when the burden of moving on feels too heavy.
Remember this as well: sometimes, all you need is to take care of yourself for a day – and you’ll have the clearer perspective you need to make sound decisions on behalf of your children. Whether you’re a divorced co-parent or single parent, remember your first obligation is to parent yourself with loving compassion. Your family will thank you!