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12 Empowering tips for parents coping with divorce & separation

Bella Heim

Bella Heim

Bella is a mummy of three, writer, and photographer. She's not afraid to admit that she relies on a little red wine to keep the chaos of motherhood at bay. When she's not dodging toys and dirty diapers, you'll find her documenting the wild and wonderful ride of parenthood, and adding a splash of inspiration, creativity, and a healthy dose of mum humour along the way.
Created on Oct 30, 2023 · 6 mins read
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Going through a divorce or separation can be an incredibly challenging and emotionally draining experience. And being a parent just makes things a little bit more complicated and difficult to navigate through.

You may have self doubt and perhaps feel like you have failed, or worry about what the future may bring. It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed by the myriad of emotions and changes that accompany this life-altering event.

As a parent, it can get tough to cope with this significant life change, while trying your best to provide support for your children as they navigate the emotional turmoil that comes with it.

Whether you’re dealing with divorce as a man, or a woman, it’s essential to find ways to cope and move forward. And please know that there is light on the other side.

1. Allow yourself to grieve

Dealing with divorce/seperation grief is a natural part of the process. It’s essential to allow yourself the time and space to grieve the loss of your relationship.

Give yourself permission to feel a range of emotions, from sadness and anger to fear and confusion. Understand that these feelings are normal, and eventually, they will subside as you work through them. It could take a long time, but hold onto hope, because you will get there.

2. Seek support from friends, family, and professionals

Dealing with a divorce/seperation can be an isolating experience. Reach out to your friends, family members, or even support groups to share your feelings and seek advice.

If you’re struggling to cope, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor who can guide you through the healing process.

3. Prioritise self-care

During this challenging time, you may worry too much about how to take care of your kids. But remember it’s just as crucial to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Focus on getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly. Engage in activities that bring you joy, such as reading, painting, or spending time in nature.

Practicing self-care will help you maintain your well-being and regain your sense of balance.

4. Develop a healthy communication style with your ex-partner

It’s not uncommon for communication to break down during a divorce or separation, but try to work on maintaining a respectful dialogue for the sake of your children.

Set boundaries and establish clear expectations with your ex-partner. Avoid using your children as messengers or involving them in disputes. Remember that your children’s well-being should be your primary focus during this time.

5. Establish a new routine

Creating a new routine can help you regain a sense of control and stability in your life. Develop a schedule that works for you and your children, incorporating both work and personal time.

Establishing new traditions and routines can also help children adjust to their new reality, making the transition smoother for everyone involved.

6. Seek legal advice

Navigating the legal aspects of divorce and separation can be confusing and overwhelming. Consult with a family law attorney who can help you understand your rights and responsibilities, as well as assist you in making informed decisions about your future.

7. Support your children in their adjustment

As much as dealing with divorce grief is challenging for adults, it’s essential not to forget that kids dealing with divorce go through their own set of emotions.

Encourage open communication and make sure they know they can talk to you about their feelings. Be prepared to answer questions they may have and be patient as they process the changes in their lives.

Depending on their age, children dealing with divorce might not fully understand the situation. Reassure them that both parents love them and that the separation is not their fault.

You might also consider seeking professional help for your children if they are a bit older, such as counseling or support groups, to assist them in navigating this difficult time.

8. Embrace a new chapter in your life

While dealing with a divorce/seperation can be incredibly challenging, and at times it can feel like there is no more hope in store for the future. It’s important to remind yourself that this event can also mark the beginning of a new chapter in your life.

Embrace the opportunity to grow, learn, and find new interests or hobbies.

Rediscover yourself, set new goals, make new friends and don’t be afraid to seek out new experiences. You never know what pleasant surprise the universe has in store for you right around the corner.

9. Practice forgiveness and let go of resentment

Holding onto anger and resentment can be toxic and prevent you from moving forward. While it may be difficult, try to forgive your ex-partner and let go of any lingering bitterness.

This doesn’t mean condoning their actions, but rather accepting what has happened and allowing yourself to heal.

Forgiving yourself is also essential. Understand that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s crucial to learn from them and grow as a person. This will help you release any guilt or negative emotions associated with the divorce.

10. Maintain a strong support network

Even after your divorce is finalised, it’s important to continue relying on your support network.

Stay connected with friends and family who have been there for you throughout the process. They can provide much-needed emotional support, encouragement, and companionship as you navigate your new life.

Joining a support group for divorced individuals or single parents can also be helpful. Sharing your experiences and learning from others who have gone through similar situations can be empowering and comforting.

It is really important to know that you are really not alone.

11. Focus on financial stability

Dealing with divorce sometimes comes with significant financial changes.

Ensure you have a clear understanding of your financial situation, create a budget, and prioritise financial stability for both you and your children.

If necessary, seek the advice of a financial planner or attorney to help you navigate these changes.

12. Be open to new relationships

This maybe the last thing on your mind in the midst of a divorce/seperation. And while it may take time to heal and adjust to your new life, it’s good to remain open to the possibility of new relationships.

Take your time and know that you dont need to rush into anything, but also recognise that finding love again is totally possible.

Just remember to prioritise your well-being and the well-being of your children in any new relationships.

Dealing with divorce and seperation, no matter your role or perspective, is undoubtedly an emotional jourey. Whether you’re facing the aftermath of a recent divorce or still grappling with the memories years later, know that you’re not alone. Remember it’s vital to prioritise self-care, lean on your support network, and focus on your well-being, as well as your children’s.

The journey of coping with divorce and grief may be filled with ups and downs, but remember that healing and growth are within reach. You’re stronger than you think, and as you move forward, embrace the new opportunities and experiences that life has in store. Don’t let the past overshadow your future.

You are deserving of happiness and peace, and with time, patience, and effort, you’ll find your way there.

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