Tips for Newly Divorced Parents

Father and child hug - visual concept for family law blog for divorced parents.

Going through a divorce is one of the most emotionally difficult experiences you may have in your lifetime — and it can be even harder when you’re a parent. After parting ways with your spouse, you might be feeling overwhelmed and wonder how you’re going to juggle work and home responsibilities while raising a child on your own. Although navigating the challenges of single parenting after divorce isn’t easy, you can help ensure a smooth transition into your new life by keeping a few tips in mind.

Here are some tips for newly divorced parents:

1. Put the Best Interests of Your Children First

Divorce isn’t only tough for you and your spouse — it’s hard on your children as well. It’s crucial to put the best interests of your children first. No matter how much you might want to retreat inward, your children need your support more than ever right now. Be present and set aside time to spend with them. Simple activities such as playing a board game or talking with your children about how they’re feeling can communicate a reassuring message that everything will be okay.

2. Prioritize Self-Care

Single parenting can be challenging and it’s critical to prioritize self-care to maintain your physical and emotional health. Engage in regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, set boundaries, and be sure to get enough rest. But beyond the basics, take some time for yourself — watch a movie, go to a painting class, practice meditation, or try a new hobby. By nurturing yourself and your well-being, you will be able to keep your energy levels high — and be less likely to burn out. Ultimately, by ensuring you are caring for your own needs, you will be in a better position to care for your children’s needs.

3. Know That Grieving is Normal

The end of a marriage can often be just as devastating as losing a loved one — and it’s important to understand that grieving is a normal part of the divorce process. Even if your breakup was amicable, there are many feelings to process. Consider journaling or sharing your feelings with a family member while you go through this difficult period. Not only can isolating yourself as a newly divorced parent increase your stress levels, but it can also impact your overall health.

4. Create New Family Traditions

Whether your family had traditions around the holidays or even certain routines during the school year, acknowledge that things will be different moving forward. Create new family traditions that you and your children will look forward to, such as movie nights or baking together for special occasions. While many things might change for you and your children after divorce, you can still make lasting memories with your children as a single parent.

5. Forgive Yourself

One of the most important things you can do as a newly divorced parent is to forgive yourself. You might be feeling shame, guilt, anger, hurt, and various other emotions. But while you should identify your feelings and take ownership of the role you might have played in the breakup, try not to focus on the past.

6. Have a Support Network You Can Depend On

Whether you rely on friends and family for support, you join a community group, or you seek therapy, it’s vital to have the emotional support you need as a newly divorced parent. Single parenting is hard, and you will experience ups and downs. Know that you’re not alone — and it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.

7. Work on Improving Your Co-Parenting Relationship

Single parenting after divorce isn’t easy and working on improving your co-parenting relationship can make all the difference to help ensure your children feel safe and secure. Prioritize healthy communication with your co-parent and be sure you’re both on the same page. Don’t badmouth your co-parent in front of your children or use them as messengers. Practice active listening, establish clear boundaries, and follow the custody plan that you created. Co-parents don’t have to agree on everything, but you should focus on working together for the best interests of your children.

8. Focus on the Positive

Single parenting after divorce is a time of new growth. Although there will be many hurdles to overcome, try to stay focused on the positive. By having a good attitude, you can provide your children with a positive example — and help them maintain a positive outlook.

Contact an Experienced Missouri Divorce Attorney

If you are facing divorce, it’s important to have counsel by your side who can guide you through the process. Divorce and family law attorney Mark A. Wortman provides knowledgeable counsel and reliable representation to clients in the greater Kansas City, Missouri area for divorce and a wide variety of family law matters. To schedule a confidential consultation to learn how he can help, please contact him today online or by calling (816) 523-6100.

Categories: Divorce