Close to 50 percent of marriages in this country lead to divorce, and there are more single mothers with children than ever before. Even though this is a common life situation, society may still have some catching up to do. Single, divorced mothers can find it hard to juggle their children, school, work, finances, and their ex-partners. Many face criticism from family, friends, and colleagues, so it is essential for these mothers to find support from those they can trust.
Many divorced mothers receive custody of the children, and without another parent in the house, the sudden, added responsibility can feel overwhelming. Others that are close to the mother may offer unsolicited advice and voice their disapproval. This can be hurtful, especially if the mother is feeling vulnerable.
Taking time to think about the comments before responding and answering politely is a tactful way to respond. Not all comments are meant to be unkind and, in some cases, the person may have helpful information. After time has passed, the opinions may have some merit, or not.
Taking Things Slow
Divorce is a major life event that changes peoples’ lives in many ways. Mothers with children may have to move into a new home, adjust their spending habits, and plow through endless paperwork, all while parenting their children. This may not be a good time to make other big life changes. For example, if a newly divorced mother is offered a job relocation in another state, she may want to hold off. This may not be the right time to buy a new car or make other drastic financial decisions.
Children feel the effects of divorce, and they may be hurting, too. Mothers should also put their children’s needs first, even when it requires extra effort. Slowly easing them into new routines, such as visitation schedules and carpooling, will also help the transition. Children thrive on routine, so it is important to stick as closely to it as possible.
Many divorced mothers feel relieved once their marriages end, especially if there was constant fighting. Being single can open opportunities for mothers who want to advance their careers and try new things. Putting children first can also create very strong bonds between mothers and their children. Divorced mothers that seek support can find it by joining support groups, either in-person or online. Your children’s teachers, along with your new friends, can also become part of a support network.
In some situations, ex-partners can be supportive. This is not always easy, but when the children are the priority, it can work. Trying to never fight in front of them is paramount and choosing what to argue about is also important. Little things, such as what the child ate for breakfast or what time they went to bed, are not as important as disciplining them for something like cutting school. Divorced, single mothers that take care of their children’s needs, as well as their own health and wellness, can lead very happy lives.