Any woman who has faced life as a divorced mom knows that the challenges of divorced parenting are huge. Time, energy, money and patience can very quickly run short, leaving you depleted and frustrated, and not being the mom you truly want to be. Divorced parenting is an art, and it takes a new set of skills to get your mothering mojo back. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Think ‘Simple Systems’
Creating simple systems of support is one of the key success strategies I encourage all my clients to use. Without simple systems in place, life for divorced moms feels chaotic and overwhelming. Simple systems of support will get you back on track and help you do the work of two people – without losing your mind. A system can be as obvious as putting your keys in the same place, every time, so you don’t have to go frantically looking for them at the last minute. Or, getting all your banking and bills online, and committing to checking them once a week, whether something is due or not.
Take a look at your life. Where do you find yourself losing patience or getting angry? There are undoubtedly some simple systems you could put in place that will alleviate that exact stress. Don’t assume your stress comes solely from your ex. Much of your stress comes from how you are setting up your divorced mom life. Find your sore spots, get creative and start systemizing your life -Today!
Less is more
Very often divorced moms make their lives more complex than they need to be. Many moms get stuck trying to over-compensate for being divorced by keeping their children on the same activity schedule as before, not taking into account the emotional strain divorce can levy on kids; or by giving their kids the latest and greatest – even if they can’t afford it. Less is more when it comes to divorced mothering and ‘making up’ for being divorced is a guaranteed dead end. Instead, focus on simplifying and streamlining.
Create a life that is rich in meaning for you and your children. Get clear on what really matters to you, what your personal values are and what your mission as a divorced mom is about. Understand what your children need from you, not what you need from them. Create new family traditions of doing things with your children that reflect your values and mission as a family, and takes into account their unique needs. Ditch the busyness. Your children want your time and attention more than anything else. By doing less, you are able to give them more.
Never forget that as parents we adjust to our divorce much quicker than our children will. By creating consistent, gentle transition times between households you give your children the time and space to process being in a divorced family. This is especially true for younger children who are not able to articulate their emotions yet. Some suggestions: have some crayons and paper out so they can quietly draw. Or, allow them alone time to play in their rooms – whatever it is that they do to process their emotions. For older children, keeping the household calm, orderly and comforting is helpful. Or have a comforting activity you love doing together, and do that when they come home. Don’t pepper your children with questions when they first get back to you, and don’t over-schedule activities for them during transition time. Keep this time sacred.
Living a happy, well-adjusted life as a divorced mom is absolutely doable! You can have more joy and peace in your life – and a deep and loving connection with your children. You don’t have to be perpetually stressed or overwhelmed. If you are frustrated with your life as a divorced mom, take these tips to heart and make some changes for yourself and your family. You’ll be happy you did.
Written By: Jeanie Rule, Founder and CEO of SoloMama
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